A Secondary Consequence
“The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the common good.” It is true that capitalism does — if that catch-phrase has any meaning — but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.” -Ayn Rand
Although this commercial will be interpreted by most to be a glorification of altruism (even though what’s on display is actually benevolence), it is nevertheless a beautiful dramatization of the value of capitalism. Walmart’s message is that it (a capitalist, for-profit organization) plays not just an optional, but an essential role in “altruistic” (read: benevolent) acts. In other words: without selfishness preceding it, there is no “common good” of the type on display here. It’s sad (and worrying) that capitalist organizations have to appeal to the popular reverence for self-sacrifice in order to be (begrudgingly) accepted, but it’s heartening to see that they’re at least not yet completely ashamed of the fact that they deserve just as much credit (if not more) than the “altruists” who use their products in order to do their good deeds.