Early in December The Undercurrent published a series of articles (1, 2, 3, 4) analyzing and critiquing the Occupy Wall Street movement. Since then, many of the major Occupy encampments around the country have been shut down by municipal governments. But the spirit movement is still very much alive, and its promoters promise to keep it so.
Because the Occupiers’ ideas are likely to be discussed for some time—especially on college campuses—we at TU want to make it easier for you to offer a rational response in defense of freedom and capitalism. For this reason, the editors of TU have selected the very best excerpts from our pieces by Valery Publius, Elle Laine, and Nicholas Marquiss, and assembled them into a two-sided printable flyer. You can download two versions:
“Yes, the scale of this difference in incomes is probably historically unprecedented. But so is the scale of the innovation that has created this new wealth. It has never before been possible to sell a new “app” for $1.99 and become a millionaire virtually overnight. Who is hurt if the downloaders enjoy their software, and its producers profit? Many wonder how one person could ever deserve 190 times the income of another. But ask yourself how many times better is your life with the many forms of technology than without, if that can even be calculated. What producers deserve is not a function of the sweat of their brow, but of the fruit of their minds.”
–From “Why Protest Inequality?” by Valery Publius
“Although financiers are not usually involved in the conceptualization, manufacturing or sales of the product, they provide the necessary capital to make these things happen. Even Steve Jobs did not hand-craft modern Apple products. However, he provided the intellectual and creative capital that pushed his engineers to create their revolutionary products. Financial backers are not too dissimilar in their roles with businesses.”
–From “Why Financiers on Wall Street Earn Their Wealth?” by Elle Laine
“Occupiers justify further restrictions on the wealthy on the principle that the demands of a collective justify any goal. On this principle, what stops Occupy Wall Street protesters from restricting the voting rights of the 1%? Or from forbidding the 1% from running for office, on the grounds that the wealthy exert too much influence in Washington already, just as they supposedly do the economy?
Why do so many suppose there is such a difference between economic and political liberty? Shouldn’t the fact that we do not subject a minority’s political freedoms to the majority apply equally to economic freedom?”
–From “Can We Revive the American Dream through Majority Rule?” by Nicholas Marquiss
The Undercurrent is a magazine distributed at college campuses and communities across the country. We release a print edition once per semester, and in the interim, regularly post additional articles, blog entries, and campus media responses reports to our website.
The Undercurrent's cultural commentary is based on Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Objectivism, which animates Ayn Rand's fiction, is a systematic philosophy of life. It holds that the universe is orderly and comprehensible, that man survives by reason, that his life and happiness comprise his highest moral purpose, and that he flourishes only in a society that protects his individual rights.
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