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Objectivism already?

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Are there any countries, in our present time, that have an integrated laissez-faire government and full-strength capitalist economy? Are there any countries that come close to having this?

There has never been a complete laissez-faire capitalist system, but the United States was the closest that history has seen. Our freedom laid the groundwork for the spectacular progress in 19th century America. The wonderful accomplishments seen in the 20th century owe their existence to the same source, in spite of the fact that we have evolved into a very mixed economy -- a dilution of free enterprise by government regulation. This magnificent world we in the United States are fortunate enough to live in, is still but a pale reflection of what could be achieved with total economic and political freedom.

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If one equates Objectivism with “laissez-faire government and full-strength capitalism”, if such things can be said to exist, no country in our world comes close to this ideal.

But if one were to address the question: Objectivism already? the answer would be readily apparent. Objectivism already exists, in the minds of rational men, on this forum and others, and of course in the relationships between them. Miss Rand would surely have applauded the invention of the Internet as a means to propagate her philosophy among the producers of this world.

The timid should take heart that Objectivism is indeed alive and well. And those lacking in imagination, those who cannot envisage a world founded on Objectivist principles, need only open their eyes to the best that Objectivism can offer. It’s yours for the taking.

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Are there any countries, in our present time, that have an integrated laissez-faire government and full-strength capitalist economy? Are there any countries that come close to having this?

There certainly arent any in our present time (well, possibly Sealand but I doubt that counts). However, medieval Iceland is often cited as a historical example in regards to this, albeit somewhat misleadingly. It was by no means a truly laissez faire society (indeed, it was essentially anarcho-capitalist rather than minarchist), and as far as I know, it was highly collectivist with very little protection of civil rights. However, I think you could possibly argue it was closer than 19th century America to being capitalist, once you take the whole slavery thing into account.

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Does anyone think there's hope for former communist countries like Poland and Estonia to become true laizzes-faire free countries? From what I've heard, the people in these countries are fiercely protective of individual rights, especially in the realm of economic freedom.

I'd say it's highly unlikely, given the lack of support they'd be likely to receive from the rest of the world. I would imagine that small countries such as poland rely quite heavily on trade with other countries, and embracement of laissez faire doesnt seem particularly compatible with the membership of bodies such as the EU.

edit: just noticed there's an article on capmag today about this: http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3694

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There are the following main obstacles to laissez-faire capitalism:

1. Protectionism, through taxation, tariffs, and government support of domestic industries.

2. Governments which are caretaker governments

3. The "Old World," where ethnicity is considered more important than individual rights.

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