Are Economic Sanctions Ever Defensible?

Morals & Markets with Dr. Richard Salsman

Jun 1 2022 • 29 mins

Many nations recently have imposed economic sanctions on Russia. Is this proper? Effective?

In “The Roots of War” (1966) Ayn Rand argued that “the essence of capitalism’s foreign policy is free trade—i.e.,the abolition of trade barriers, of protective tariffs, of special privileges—the opening of the world’s trade routes to free international exchange and competition among the private citizens of all countries dealing directly with one another.”

But she also opposed U.S. trade with America’s sworn, mortal enemies (e.g., U.S.S.R.). In this session we’ll discuss if/when economic sanctions are justified and their typical effects (for good or ill). Like protectionist measures, sanctions often hurt the imposer more than the imposed.

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