Professional Ethics

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Jeneefer
Words 10396
Pages 42
Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy
Volume 3, Number 1 (Winter 2003), pp. 1‐26
Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics Stephen R. C. Hicks
Introduction: business and the free society
Advocates of the free society think of business as an integral part of the dynamic, progressive society they advocate. In the West, the rise of a culture hospitable to business has unleashed incalculable productive energies.
Business professionals have taken the products of science and revolutionized the fields of agriculture, transportation, and medicine.
Business professionals have taken the products of art and dramatically increased our access to them. We have more food, we are more mobile, we have more health care, we have more access to works of fiction, theater, and music than anyone could reasonably have predicted a few centuries ago. The result of business in the West, and more recently in parts of the East, has been an enormous rise in the standard of human living. We have gone, in the space of a few centuries, from a time in which perhaps 10% of the population lived comfortably while 90% lived near subsistence to a time in which 90% live better than comfortably and 10% live near subsistence. And we haven’t given up on the remaining 10%.
Intellectuals who study the free society have, in the fields of economics and politics, a good understanding of what makes this possible: individualism. In economics there exists a well worked out understanding of how, starting with autonomous individuals engaging in voluntary transactions, goods, services, and information flow efficiently to where they are needed. In politics there exists a good understanding of how protecting individual rights and limiting government power prevent the arbitrariness and stultification that suppress individuals’ creativity and incentive in all2 Hicks: Ayn Rand &…...

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