Skip to comments.Wishing You Capitalism on Earth
Posted on 12/17/2012 4:36:48 AM PST by Kaslin
We wish each other "peace on earth." Wishing is not enough. We must act on this wish by promoting capitalism on earth.
Too many people (including some religious leaders) are promoting the idea that re-distribution of wealth or social justice is the best way to foster peace. But Christians and Jews need only read the Old Testament to see that God condemns stealing and envy so much that he gave Moses commandments like: You shall not steal, You shall not covet your neighbors wife, and You shall not covet your neighbors goods.
And in the New Testament, Christ promoted capitalistic ideas. Christs allegories conveyed the basic principles of capitalism: freedom, ownership, profit, private property rights, honesty and justice.
How capitalism promotes peace
Men who are trading partners do not typically fight each other. For, they have an economic interest in maintaining friendly relations. And men who are free to pursue vocations that utilize their unique talents will be happier than those who are assigned to work in a specific industry by the state.
In Ayn Rands novel, Atlas Shrugged, the federal government takes over all private industry. Dagny Taggart is the heroine whose private railroad company becomes bound and regulated by the federal government. Taggart realizes that socialist public policy has caused her once cheerful employees to loathe her and each other.
Taggart observes: she was both a slave and a driver of slaves, and so was every human being in the country, and hatred was the only thing that men could now feel for one another.
Capitalism thrives on peace; ownership and prosperity encourage individual morality. But socialism thrives on chaos, riots and animosity. Dictators can control people who are poor, hopeless and weak easier than they can control people who are wealthy, confident and powerful. Rand observes in the June 1966 edition of The Objectivist newsletter: Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.
Specific action steps
Let me recommend specific action steps we can take to cultivate capitalism on earth:
1.) Trade freely with other countries. For example, I think Iran would deal more openly with our allies like Israel if it had an economic interest in maintaining friendly relations with America. Our current tactics of covertly launching cyber attacks (think Stuxnet and Flame) on Irans nuclear infrastructure, enforcing extreme economic sanctions and using drones that breach Irans national sovereignty are inciting blowback while rendering diplomatic relations unfeasible.
2.) Reduce taxes and regulations. Our high taxes and regulations are encouraging American entrepreneurs to leave this country. (Think billionaire co-founder of Facebook Inc., Eduardo Saverin who renounced his U.S. citizenship in May to become a resident of Singapore.) TIME reports that a record number of American citizens (1,788 in 2011) are relinquishing their U.S. citizenship.
And jobs are leaving too. The worlds most valuable company, Apple, once made its computers in California but now must produce its technology in China in order to turn a profit.
As wealth and jobs flow away from America, it will be difficult for us to remain a peaceful country because we will be susceptible to both civil unrest and outside attacks.
3.) Eliminate the Federal Reserve. This unconstitutional agency is destroying the value of our currency and yoking the markets. And politicians can clandestinely spend money on futile wars because most people will not recognize inflation as a tax until it is too late.
Ideologically, the principle of individual rights does not permit a man to seek his own livelihood at the point of a gun, inside or outside his country. Economically, wars cost money; in a free economy, where wealth is privately owned, the costs of war come out of the income of private citizensthere is no overblown public treasury to hide that factand a citizen cannot hope to recoup his own financial losses (such as taxes or business dislocations or property destruction) by winning the war. Thus his own economic interests are on the side of peace, writes Ayn Rand in a treatise called The Roots of War in The Objectivist.
In other words, capitalism allows men to see the true cost of war because there is no central bank and the federal government does not manipulate the currency and the markets. In this way, capitalism naturally encourages men to avoid war.
Capitalism is the political system that promotes peace because capitalists know that war is inherently opposed to their financial interest and livelihood. During this holy season, let us each think about ways that we can act on our wish for peace on earth and promote capitalism in our daily lives.
He expects far too much from capitalism.
In 1960, medical author Berton Roueché wrote a book entitled The Neutral Spirit: a Portrait of Alcohol. In it, he wrote a history of alcohol, how in and of itself it is not good nor evil, right nor wrong, and even its pH is 7, just like water.
And likewise, so is money, perhaps even more neutral than is water or alcohol, because money is an abstract, having little inherent value outside of acceptance as a token for other things.
So what is capitalism, really? In its most basic form it is the idea of ownership of things by individuals, and recognition of this ownership in the social contract and the law.
The “first ownership” is of the self, that people own themselves, that they are not the property of other people or of an organization. That this is the natural state of a person.
The “second ownership” is the recognition that people who own themselves can own other things as possessions. And that society and the law guarantee this ownership against those that would take it away from you, against your will, without fair “consideration”, payment, to which you have agreed.
Capitalism really comes into play when people willingly consolidate their money to get something that each individually could not afford, splitting the profits as well; and likewise they share the risk in case there is a loss, not a profit, so they are not wiped out with just a single instance of “bad luck”.
The last, but an important of element to capitalism is that good ideas and money making ventures are not exclusive. That just because one person or group decide on an endeavor, they have no social or legal protection to insure that only they can do so, nor guarantee that their way will be more successful.
I will add that trademarks, copyrights, and patents have seriously strayed from this idea, that they should have been designed to protect good ideas in the marketplace for a limited time. Instead they are being used to hoard ideas, yet keep them from the marketplace, in perpetuity. Thus they have become anti-competitive, anti-capitalistic, and anti-creative.
But at no time is capitalism good or evil on its own account, like water, alcohol, and money, it is also a neutral spirit. Yet it is a very ingenious and natural system, that works quite well if allowed to work.
Nonsense. How many times has one partner gotten envious of the other and set out to take what he had by hook or crook?
Capitalism is the political system that promotes peace because capitalists know that war is inherently opposed to their financial interest and livelihood.At least, capitalists who are not wire service journalists know that war is inherently opposed to their financial interest and livelihood. Any sort of disaster, from a hurricane to a mass shooting to a war, is grist for the mill of the journalist. Big journalism in America is Associated Press journalism - including the member journalism outlets and their reporters - cooperate via the medium of the newswire, exactly as Adam Smith could have predicted:
"People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or some contrivance to raise prices."The common interest of all journalists is to promote the importance which the public attaches to journalism. That fact is entirely sufficient to explain the behavior of the AP and its membership.
- Naturally the AP and its membership claim that all journalists are objective - how else can people attach significance to reports of news over the wire originating from someone that the editor of their newspaper does not even know, much less vet for reliability?
- Naturally journalists promote the idea that bad things happen to good people - it makes people paranoid, and paranoid people are on the alert to hear bad news.
- Naturally journalists promote the idea that the people upon whose goods and services we depend are unreliable - how else are people to guard against self-interested capitalists (or police, or soldiers, or anyone else whom we need to be able to trust) if not by reading about their nefarious deeds via journalism?
- Naturally journalists apply positive labels to people who promote regulation by government to guard against the self-interest of businessmen, or promote unions to guard against the self interest of businessmen.
Naturally journalists pander to the self-righteousness which so easily besets us all.
- It is only natural, in short, to expect that whoever is trustworthy and of value to the community has an enemy in the journalist.
Journalists and their fellow travelers make it seem that it is only due to their diligence that anyone ever gets a fair shake or a fair share. People actually are progressive and who actually are liberal look for the good in people and the good in the progress of science and the useful arts. Such people can expect only calumny from journalism - and from journalisms fellow travelers whom journalists call liberal, progressive, moderate - and any other positive label they can think of.
“But at no time is capitalism good or evil on its own account, like water, alcohol, and money, it is also a neutral spirit.”
Unlike socialism, which can only be evil.