Similitudes y diferencias entre las ideas de Ludwig von Mises y Ayn Rand

Warren Orbaugh, director del Centro Henry Hazlitt de la Universidad Francisco Marroquín, escribió un ensayo en el que compara las ideas de Ayn Rand y Ludwig von Mises. Según Orbaugh, “La rebelión de Atlas” es como “La acción humana” en ficción, porque aunque ambos autores usan un lenguaje distinto están exponiendo las mismas ideas. En este trabajo  toma los temas de la existencia, la acción humana, los valores, derechos, gobierno, interés propio, ética y altruismo, y analiza cómo los presentan ambos autores.


1. On Existence. 

Let me begin with the easy part. Both are realists. They agree that the existence of matter, of physical objects and the world is a fact, perceivable by man but independent of someoneЂs consciousness. I will quote Mises:

“From the praxeological point of view it is not possible to question the real existence of matter, of physical objects and of the external world. Their reality is revealed by the fact that man is not omnipotent. There is in the world something that offers resistance to the realization of his wishes and desires. Any attempt to remove by a mere fiat what annoys him and to substitute a state of affairs that suits him better for a state of affairs that suits him less is vain. If he wants to succeed, he must proceed according to methods that are adjusted to the structure of something about which perception provides him with some information. We may define the external world as the totality of all those things and events that determine the feasibility or unfeasibility, the success or failure, of human action.”1

And Rand states that reality is that which exists, that the unreal does not exist, that existence is a self-sufficient primary, and that consciousness, the faculty of perceiving that which exists, depends on the existence of an external world and not the other way around:

“Existence exists –and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists, which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms.”2

1 Mises, Ludwig von. The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, 5. The Reality of the External World 2

2 Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged, Part Tree A IS A, VII “This is John Galt Speaking”

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