In Defense of Capitalism
American High School students emerge into the world of adulthood as political infants. Late night talk show hosts take particular pleasure in presenting us with college students who don't know who the Vice President is. Only two ideologies exist in the minds of a large majority of people in their 20s: Democrat or Republican. Of course, neither of these are political ideologies. Democrats follow some shade of liberalism. Republicans fall into the conservative spectrum. My own journey led me to believe I was a liberal, then a conservative, and in 1999 it became evident my ideology was libertarianism.
Upon further study and reflection, it became obvious that the root of all tragedy in the human drama was none other than the government itself. The sole purpose of government is to enforce policy. In tyranny, it may be the policy one or a few men. U.S. Democracy allows the enforcement of laws that were enacted by a majority of men who were elected as representatives by the most votes in any given race - in other words, less than a majority can dictate policy. Direct democracy allows even more, 51% of the people, to decide the fate of society. The only answer for individual freedom, in my opinion, became Anarchy.
Ah, how naïve I was (and probably still am). I wrote my well-researched essays. Many liked them, but some didn't. The most obvious group who disliked my writings on Anarchy was the Anarchists! "Whatever," I thought. I was informed that just because a society has no government does not mean it is "anarchist". The primary sticking point was that I believe that there MUST be property rights, which is the foundation of civilized, free society.
In my defense, I continued to study the subject. I even wrote a paper objectively discussing a world without government. The theory doesn't fit. It doesn't take into account human nature and Natural Law. It's not taking away property that will make man peaceful. It's his absolute claim to it that would stop fighting. I will die before I give up my own meager property. So would many, and thus Anarchists would have to kill many people who simply did not want to give up there half acre plot and house. At that point, they would no longer be Anarchists, using domination to dictate society.
What I did know was that I abhor the American system. If government is the weapon of evil (money is the root), what do you consider my opinion of an already gargantuan Federal Government giving away my individual sovereignty to the United Nations? Every country in the world is now a member of the U.N.: except the Vatican, a permanent observer, and Taiwan, a country that has begged admittance for decades, to no avail. (I recently called the Taiwan Embassy in Texas, and asked them if I could join their military - in case China attacks them. They laughed.)
In the U.S., we kill people in other countries, usually people of color, so that the Corporations can rape them of their resources and use their fields to grow illegal drugs. This is all on public record. The New England Establishment (the Governors for the European superpowers) first inhumanely used Irish, German, and other poor white, Europeans in the Northeast for cheap labor. After The War for Southern Independence, blacks were imported and took white jobs. As well, manufacturing was moved to the South. As the New World Order waxed after WWII, the Central and South Americans have been abused for labor, resulting in a massive loss of U.S. jobs for blacks, whites, browns, yellows, and everyone else. The goal - as detailed by the Bilderbergs, CFR, Trilateral Commission, Skull & Bones, and other elite groups - is to make the entire Earth one seamless, global, 2nd world plantation.
So, if the U.S. system wreaks this havoc domestically and abroad, Capitalism must suck, right?
Wrong. Any intelligent American Communist will tell you that the Soviet and Chinese models of Communism are bastardized. What most professed Capitalists fail to acknowledge is that the U.S. model of Capitalism has become a malevolent shadow of its former intent. Properly speaking, The United States of America operates under the system of Corporatism. In the pursuit of total control, the Corporations fund and maintain the media and the politicians. The politicians then use, to lesser and greater degrees, the planks of Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" to redistribute property and wealth from the people to the Corporations, with plenty of skimming off the top to go around. The government has a de facto right to take your property. We have centralized schooling. We have a central bank, which is a private/public company. We use the techniques of Communism, but we should replace the "State" with the "Corporation(s)."
The U.S. operates through Corporate Communism, which is often called Fascism. This follows the models of Hitler and Mussolini (Thomas J. DiLorenzo, "Economic Fascism", lewrockwell.com). Capitalism in purity would run on a "market economy". Soviet Russia's system was a complete "command economy." America uses both, and thus is a "mixed economy."
Becoming an adult is becoming aware of the myriad colors in the political spectrum. My next book is going to be partially about Anarchy. It is true: Anarchy historically rallies around the battle cry of abolishing private property. Anarchists had a right to grumble at me, calling myself an Anarchist. Upon further reading, I understand that I am what is dubbed an "Anarcho-Capitalist." This designates that I believe that Capitalism is the proper economic system we should follow. However, I think that the abolition of government, and the collective enforcement of non-domination, is necessary for the freedom of humankind.
I should relate how I realized that I am an Anarcho-Capitalist, not an Anarchist. Wikipedia.com has become one of the most important online encyclopedias. It was there that the difference between the two was pointed out. Yes, I believe in private property, and a truly free market. But, the U.S. model has nothing to do with that. What the heck IS Capitalism? Wikipedia answers.
The definition of Capitalism is not set in stone, but the common theme is that property and the means of production are privately owned, in lieu of centralized state control or command economy. Socialism itself contrasts, but has two separate meanings. In Socialism either the State or the collective public owns property and production. These are very, very different definitions. I could get on board a fair public ownership, but without government. However, public ownership goes against human nature, and would lead to conflict, which would lead to the creation of government. Socialism through government leads to corruption and centralization. Socialism through the people has historically led to failure. That is why Socialists must depend on the State - to enforce the theory.
With private property, simple rules and commonly elected courts would solve most conflict. Wikipedia also contrasts capitalism with fascism, where "the State controls and/or cartelizes the means of production while maintaining a façade of de jure private ownership." OK, so the U.S. is a fascist country. Only as the original capitalism has been turned into fascism have the middle class suffered, and private ownership has devolved into criminal confiscation by the State for the Corporations. Free trade is defined as "trade that occurs as a result of voluntary agreements between buyers and sellers." That is not how America works. You have to pay additional taxes, on top of personal taxes. Users fees. Regulations. Fines. The government in America is just a racket, supporting the cartelizing definition of fascism. I am, in one sense, a collectivist. I believe that if we had no government interference in a truly free market economy, we would voluntarily collectivize on an unprecedented scale. Economist Hayek concurs, and outlines this theory.
One injustice perpetrated on the People of the World has been the morphing of the corporation into an "individual." This bit of legalese allows the corporation to operate inside of the free market under a cloak of illusion. This allowed the corporations to acquire more wealth than the individual, which allowed select corporations to infiltrate and bribe governments. From that has sprung our Corporatism.
Most thinking people agree that there has never existed pure Capitalism. The central principles of Capitalism are:
Private property rights
Free Market - The purest definition intends that all trade is voluntary, "free of coercive influence. The only reason for government in this situation, and the only reason the U.S. government was originally founded, is to act in a defensive mode to forbid coercion among market participants but does not engage in proactive interventionist coercion." Because of the nature of government, government cannot accomplish this task, and thus do I believe in the abolition of government. Yet, we should reestablish true Capitalism.
Profit - Profit is the "essential characteristic of capitalism." Profit driven economies have brought about the most beneficial inventions. Most inventors do so for profit. Capitalist economies provide a larger middle class, and the ability (when left unfettered by govenrment intervention) to become wealthy. Socialism works well only under certain circumstances, but always fails in the end. For Socialism, the circumstances for initial succes is that the population must be smaller, relatively, and they must have a common culture, either race or religion. No country is totally Socialist, and no country is completely un-Socialist. As seen in Europe, two crucial phenomena occur under Socialsim. First, the citizens eventually become non-producers. Even in the supposedly utopian Scandanavian Socialism, the workers complain that 1 in 5 people now live off welfare. The second problem with Socialism is that families become smaller. Therefore, the number of workers eventually cannot support the number of retirees. This is the primary reason that some want Turkey admitted into the EU - to support old, white Europeans. When profit markets are allowed to thrive without coercion, the highest percentage of people produce, gain wealth, and are permitted luxury in a beneficial blend.
Free Enterprise - There is one glaring difference between Capitalism and Socialism, Communism, or Anarchism. If the latter three's systems of abolishing private property were enacted, free marketers and capitalists would be coerced into giving up their systems. In a Capitalist economy, these groups could exist in an environment of communal support - I might even join. Wikipedia states that individuals and companies generally own production. However, the capitalist model allows non-profit organizations. These include "cooperatives, credit unions, and communes." So, Communism is allowed to exist in a Capitalist model; Capitalism is NOT allowed in the Communist model.
I do admit that the creation and sustenance of corporations is harmful to both Socialism and Capitalism.
Capitalism has proven to give people the most freedom. A negative byproduct includes pollution. Pollution could be reduced to the point of negligibility were we to use bio-diesel (and destroy the Corporations and State). Pollution affects everyone, and thus good practices must be enforced by the people, or a volunteer and unanimously agreed upon policing unit. Pollution damages future production, the standard of living, and weather. Neither Communism nor Corporatism has halted foul ecological practices. Europe's free market Socialism seems to be winning the contest for a clean environment, but the free market in America, if allowed to burgeon, has already (through Rudolph Diesel) answered the problem and is simply stymied by regulations. Without the existence of corporations or government, both communes and individuals could enact cleaner energy policies.
Some say the disparity of wealth is an argument against Capitalism. Wikipedia: "If all agents possess the same amount of wealth, they will immediately begin investing it in different ventures which will pay off to varying degrees." Therefore, the only way to continually reestablish equality is through theft. This process, when done by government, is called taxation. Competition is not an essential part of human society, it is human society. To try and refute this is simply idealism, which Marx himself protested.
That leads me to one of the great proponents and evolvers of the capitalist theory, Ludwig von Mises. Modern economists admit that division of labor is the primary intent of economic systems. Communism would have the State dictate this division. Capitalism without government would have no way to regulate this important necessity. George Reisman of the Jefferson Shool of Philosophy, Economics, and Psychology writes: "When von Mises appeared on the scene, Marxism and the other socialist sects enjoyed a virtual intellectual monopoly." In the midst of the argument for centralized government, a more dominating State, von Mises proved that in the absence of regulations, economies naturally divide labor into the most stable possible position. Von Mises provided a substantive and exhaustive defense of Capitalism against Socialism. Reiss: "Socialism, von Mises showed, in his greatest original contribution to economic thought, not only abolishes the incentive of profit and loss and the freedom of competition along with private ownership of the means of production, but makes economic calculation, economic coordination, and economic planning impossible, and therefore results in chaos… Thus, von Mises demonstrated that capitalism is an economic system rationally planned by the combined, self-interested efforts of all who participate in it. The failure of socialism, he showed, results from the fact that it represents not economic planning, but the destruction of economic planning, which exists only under capitalism and the price system."
One of von Mises' benefactors was award winning and renowned economist, Friedrich Hayek. Hayek evolved some of von Mises' theories. His 1939 book, The Road to Serfdom, was decried upon publication, but proved to be prophetic. He claimed that centralization of the means of productions would lead to totalitarianism. Whether that centralization has been into the State or the Corporations, Hayek was right that it leads to oppression of the many by a few.
Ayn Rand is still another hero of Capitalism. Rand is credited with creating the philosophy of Objectivism. The Intellectual Conservative writes that Objectivism "holds that man exists for his own sake, that the pursuit of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose, that he must not sacrifice himself to others, nor sacrifice others to himself." We harken back to Truth being fixed and eternal, despite our perception of it. To Rand, freedom of the individual was paramount, and eternal truth. Ayn Rand wrote: "This is why trying to dissociate self-ownership (right of life) and free action (civil liberties) from free trade and free property (capitalism) is futile and ultimately self-destructive: without one, the other cannot exist." To Rand, and I believe her perception of this truth to be correct, capitalism is simply rational.
A final notable proponent of capitalism is economist Milton Friedman. Friedman argues extensively against centralization of power. He further endorses decriminalization and decentralization of prostitution, drugs, and other consensual acts to better allow for a free market. Friedman intensively showed how the Great Depression was made "great" by government intervention, i.e. the contraction of money through the command economy. Most Socialist are idealists, and believe a benign central government would most adequately provide for the citizenry. Milton states what they don't want to admit. "Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it." Another quote by Friedman had me hooting in support. Friedman: "I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible." The capitalist philosophies of von Mises, Hayek, and Friedman, among others, are represented in the Austrian School.
A few notes about Anarcho-Capitalism before my summary. The are certain glaring issues that all who uphold some form of government inevitably bring up. I will try to give ideas on how these issues can be encountered and bested. First, police. You still have rule of law in Anarchy, in fact it is an important theme of Anarchy. That rule of law is granted by God and Nature and needs no government to mandate it. The right to speak freely, practice religion, defend, privacy, due process. All these are inherent rights. We don't need a government to admit those rights, but what has been attempted is creating a government to protect those rights. The U.S. Government has failed in that endeavor.
The next argument, is this: OK. You have rights, but who is going to serve to protect those rights, as the local police departments are meant to do, but do not do. More importantly, who is going to protect us from enemies if not the government military. The ultimate responsibility for self-defense is each and every individuals, just as it is now. The U.S. police aren't here to stop crime, only to enforce broken laws. The term for non-governmental police and military are 'private defense agencies,' or PDAs. PDA's are private. That is not right, some might say. I remind you that the Elite and the Corporations almost exclusively use Private Defense Agencies. What do they know that we don't? It's that the free market allows you to have the best product or service at the best possible price. Therefore they have intervened in the PDA industry, creating psuedo-monopolies, inflating the price, leaving private defense an expensive commodity that the common man cannot now afford. Groups that are considered PDAs include neighborhood watch programs, militias, private defence contractors, security guards, and mercenaries. If defense were allowed to flourish in a free market without government intervention, we would be all be much safer, and much more secure.
A defining philosohpy, which Anarcho-Capitalists do share with Anarchists comes from Answers.com. "Anarcho-capitalists oppose coercion, which they (like other libertarians) commonly define as the act of preventing one from having the willful use of their person or property by employing physical force, the threat of such, or fraud." Coercion is inherently evil or wrong or unjust, or whatever derogatory word you want to use. Anarchists hold that capitalism IS coercion. However, it is not quite clear why a voluntary economic agreement should be considered coercion. I will agree that some necessities, such as roads and energy, should be a non-profit affair. As to the public ownership of land, it is only one part of human nature. The Anarchists have given no plausible theory on how to defeat human nature's desire for privacy and property, and therefore are not considering the fact that capitalism, just like socialism, will always intertwine into the fabric of societies - especially societies devoid of government.
Answer.com goes onto to answer another riddle. Why do Anarcho-Capitalists oppose the State, such as the United States? "Anarcho-capitalists hold that a modern territorial state is inherently coercive. For example, the United States maintains that it has co-ownership of the bodies and possessions of its citizens (i.e., the US government can punish you for harming yourself, and that punishment can involve seizure of your property). Another significant example is that the United States, like any other country, does not allow its citizens to truly own land." Abolition of private property is the most important dictate of Communism and Marxist Socialism. Capitalism expects complete private ownership. Through Allodial title, Americans truly do not own their land. These United States of America, it should be noted, is actually a corporation.
How would you know who owns what without a government? "Contracts, explicitly agreed to, are the form of private law that would pervade such a society." Prisons or indentured servitude would be the lot of criminals. In an Anarcho-Capitalist society, only those who coerce or threaten to coerce others, or those who defy property rights, will ever become a criminal. Under that system, over half the men in U.S. prisons today would be freed. These are men and women who have never harmed any person or property, except their own. However, a multitude would need to be put into prison for breaking these laws so far without fear of retribution. Mainstream media propagandists and pension-looting CEOs are the first to come to mind.
Again, we are reminded why Anarcho-Capitalism's 'inclusiveness' makes it the epitome of good society. Anarcho-Capitalism "would be panarchic. This illustrates the fundamental difference of implementation between capitalism and communism. A commune can exist within an anarcho-capitalist world. People may group together and voluntarily live in a privately owned democracy, or republic, or even a monarchy, if they so choose. Anarcho-capitalism is capable of encompassing any form of lifestyle, provided the lifestyle does not involve initiating force or fraud on another person."
Without government, individuals will be allowed to do what they want. There should be some way to curb the mostly abberant individual behavior of theft and violence. Governments have never stopped this behavior, and have adopted this behavior on a scale impossible by even a large group of individuals. Individuals can cause slight damage to freedom and property, the ulimate of which has been serial mass murder, usually in the dozens. This is a rare occurrence, despite mainstream media's insinuations. Governments, however, have been the primary and major attacker of individual AND collective liberty. Governments have killed billions and tortured millions. Without government, there would be more freedom. Capitalism allows for several types of society, including Communism. If Communists rightfully own land and want to use it communally, they would be allowed to do so until the rightful owner sells the land. Under Communism, Capitalism would be stamped out.
My updated analysis, at this point, is that Anarcho-Capitalism is the ideolgical theory which allows for the most liberty, equality, and solidarity.
Death to Government!
Vive la private property!
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