Ayn Rand may be the most vile "philosopher" of our times but she was spot on in her understanding of the true nature of capitalism. It is animalistic.
Capitalism is a devolution. Some time between about 40000 years ago and 12000 years ago, humans stopped regarding themselves as just another animal and began to perceive themselves as a unique species capable of negotiating with nature rather than just going with its flow. This led to the invention of agriculture and civilisation. They began to regard themselves as special, distinct from other species, co-creators as well as creatures. Gradually they came to the realisation that this new status came with responsibilities. As they were still creatures and subject to creaturely impulses they formulated rules and laws that placed their responsibilities above their instincts. These rules and laws formed a central part in the formularies of their burgeoning religions and, later, in more secular, human centred philosophies. There followed thousands of years of tension between natural instinct and responsibility with belief in various gods and moral philosophies always making sure that responsibility was regarded as a better way, a more human way, of living than just animalistic self gratification.
Capitalism rejects this conceit of humankind and returns us to the pre-civilised understanding of ourselves. It makes animal instinct our driving force. We become, once again, the stone age hunter killing his prey only for himself and his immediate family. Capitalism celebrates and rewards instinct and despises codependence and financially unprofitable creativeness (which are inventions of our free will), the philosophy of life espoused in Rand's writings.
Yesterday, I posted about how capitalism influences our languages. But it is not only language that has succumbed to being dominated by capitalist philosophy. Art and other manifestations of our co-creative nature have been reduced to commodities or expressions of pure self-gratification. Most frightening of all, scientific enquiry has become almost completely a capitalist endeavour dominated by a monetarist, dog eat dog understanding of human nature. Richard Dawkins' book, "The Selfish Gene" is a prime example of how science has become infused by capitalist (Randian) philosophies. His science is good, and co-creative, we are products of evolution and this does mean that our brains are wired the same as those of all other creatures. But his conclusions deny that humankind has evolved beyond just that, they deny our co-creativeness and not only legitimise unconstrained capitalism but declare it inevitable. That Dawkins has gone on to realise for himself abundant self-gratification selling the idea of the primacy of self-gratification and campaigning against the religions that used to control our desire for self-gratification, is proof of just how connected his science is to capitalism's dehumanising agenda. That most scientists and philosophers of science now adhere to the mechanistic view of a human race without real free will is, in my opinion, the most terrifying situation that humans could possibly find themselves in. If we are machines then there is no requirement that we have to justify our actions. The only moral imperative these scientists can come up with is that the components of the machine should work in such a way that the machine continues to exist so that it can create gratification for its "fittest" parts - pure capitalism.
It doesn't have to be this way because it hasn't always been this way. Modern science came out of that great moment in human history when science and philosophy were co-creative disciplines, when our human will became freer in our time of enlightenment. Now, science has become merely functional, a self-fulfilment of its claim that all is mechanical, almost completely devoid of imagination. This means that science is now a dead discipline existing only to assist capitalism in its task of destroying all beliefs we have in our humanity and the possibility of raising ourselves out of the inevitable by using our God-given ability to choose for ourselves and to choose in favour of the other rather than just ourselves.