Monday, October 17, 2011

The Death of the Fascist Left

The “Occupy Wall Street” protests sweeping the country are the harbingers of a new and powerful grassroots movement. The outrage expressed in these demonstrations is aimed at the insidious influence of “fat cats”. I say, not so fast, American media.

The intention of these protests is to hide one simple fact; that our economic problems are the fault of the Democrats. Their purpose is not only to deflect blame but to wrongly accuse capitalism for the problems caused by too much government regulation. This same tactic was used by Democrats during the last great depression when, in fact, the depression had been caused by government regulation, instituted primarily by Democrats.

For instance, the argument that the housing collapse was caused by deregulation of the mortgage industry is simply not true. The players who caused the collapse were quasi-governmental agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act which forced banks to lend to unworthy loan applicants (under threat of prosecution by the government) and the work of organizations like ACORN and Democratic Party cronies who overwhelmed the system with bad loans. The only private institutions involved were Wall Street investment firms that were sold bad loans as good investments. What opinion makers ignore is that the banking and investment industries are two of the most heavily regulated industries in the country. It wasn't deregulation that caused the housing collapse; it was government money laundering schemes instituted primarily by the Democrats.

The protests, sometimes called the “American Spring” (taking place in the fall) are patterned after the Arab Spring that changed the Middle East; not necessarily for the better. It appears that the original intent of the protesters was to take the Middle East in the Spring, the United States in the Summer and then to bask in the glory of having fulfilled the socialist dream in a mere few months - not bad work for a genius President. Yet the demonstrations scheduled for May in the USA did not take place due to news coverage that identified the instigators of these protests as George Soros, the unions and sundry communist bomb throwers from the 60s (also known as friends of President Obama). In any event, the May takeover of America was not attempted until the fall.

In spite of the embarrassing delays, the Occupy Wall Street protests are being touted by the media as a new (and real) anti-crony capitalist groundswell. At the same time, many of the protesters support the policies of the President who happens to be the biggest crony capitalist in history. The protesters' demands for new “controls" on Wall Street have exposed the weakness of the left and its inability to offer a counter argument against the pro-capitalist Tea Party movement. In the past, leftist protesters rioted against the system, breaking windows and enciting police in a wave of violence and revolution. These protesters today are rioting somnambulistically for more government, crying because the cronies are the more beloved of Obama. It is a protest against unrequited love. Lenin is laughing in his grave.

In fact, the protests strangely follow the Cloward-Piven strategy, the idea that the best way to bring down capitalism (and institute socialism) is to overwhelm the system. I suspect that these protesters are prepared to stay on the streets until the government appeases them in some way. (Have you wondered where they are getting their money? I'll bet it is coming from stimulus dollars paid to unions and then funneled back from the unions to support and pay the organizations holding the protests.) And if the Wall Street protesters are not allied with President Obama, why are all the organizers allied with him?

Yet, these protests are doomed to fail. Eventually, most of the protesters will go home to answer to their parents. America will not be brought down. The protests will have become an embarrassment to the left which will become an embarrassment to President Obama who will have no answer to the Tea Party movement. President Obama will not grow in popularity; he will become desperate for a way to launder more money. But the left will have shot its last shot. It will be out of ideas, out of lies and out of money. Why?

I think the answer is that the left has been on cruise control for several decades. They are like school children repeatedly reciting formulas not connected to reality.They are doing all the things that leftists do but nothing is working with the American people. They believe they can still undermine capitalism and gain power, but the American people are decidedly more intelligent and knowledgeable than they. President Obama is in the same position. He will become a laughing stock as his arguments continue to be unimpressive. The American people have heard it all before.

The truth is that the left is out of ideas and they don't know it. They don't even realize that the hated capitalists and Tea Party protesters know a lot more than they. They know that capitalism is the greatest, most productive, fairest and most powerful productive machine in history; so productive that it has already swallowed the protesters by providing products that they cannot do without.

The left relies primarily on the implication that capitalism creates predators and greedy people who would do anything to make money, even kill their customers if it meant a profit. According to them, capitalists are polluters, thieves, racists, rapists, baby killers and gangsters who ride in jet airplanes, contribute money to conservative causes, smoke cigars and fornicate all the way to the bank. This prejudice against business people is their Achilles Heal because reality does not conform to their faith.

The left's attacks on capitalism are like the arguments of an ungrateful child who is not happy with the size of his allowance. Mom and Dad are immoral, selfish, wanting to keep their money to themselves, refusing to help others and hoarding money they will never spend, did not earn and should not have. Yet, in today's world, it takes more than an ungrateful child to make a valid argument for the total destruction of the greatest productive system in history. Somebody should tell that to the protesters.

If you look at the history of the progressive movement, there has never been an inferiority complex on the left until today. The left has always considered itself to be better educated, more logical, more knowledgeable of history and morally correct. This is why they have ruled the universities. So what has happened to the left? Where did they lose it? I think they lost it long ago when they closed their eyes to the fact that their progressive movement has always been based in fascism.

For instance, early progressives, in the early part of the last century, loved Hitler and saw him as a prophet, a genius and a master at building the German economy. It was only after the start of World War 2 that Hitler became an embarrassing pariah for them. And even Mussolini was once considered a superman whose fascist policies and controls were thought of as master strokes of genius. Even some American intellectuals openly preached fascism as a new kind of government, better, more advanced, more intelligent and more productive. The left has always loved fascism; and they still love it today; they just don't want to admit it.

Early leftist favorites, Hitler and Stalin devastated their countries and the world while Americans remained relatively protected against government treachery and violent revolution. As time went on, after the defeat of the dictatorships in Germany, Italy and Japan, fascism, in name, became discredited; but not fascism in practice; the idea that government should control the economy and force citizens to work toward "social justice" was still considered a positive social ideal.

This explains why leftist politicians, college professors and journalists never tell you what they actually stand for, and in fact, most of them don't know that their advocacy of a mixed economy is a roadmap toward full control; and that the end of the road is actually fascism. I would call this epistemological sleight of hand, word games where people don't know the actual nature of the systems they advocate. During World War 2, we knew we were fighting fascism. Today, the left does not know that it is advocating fascism.

This means that the basic principle of fascism was not defeated by World War 2. In spite of all the war dead, we did not defeat the idea that governments had a right to control and manipulate the economy. This mantra for citizen-sacrifice was repeated over and over, taught to us and our children, and slowly, the fabric of our constitution was unravelled. Today, because of our educational system, it is possible for the President of our country to say that the Constitution is inadequate. He can declare with little debate that our founding document was wrong because it did not allow for income-redistribution. So, while people are afraid to use the “f” word, we are quickly moving toward systematic government control of every aspect of our economy. In fact, those with the courage to speak the word are called unpatriotic, stupid and uneducated for doing so. Yet, today, the left is in the streets again asking for fascism.

Fascism is the system of government that allows the government the power to regulate the economy for the sake of “social” goals. This is what the word meant before World War 2, it is what the word meant while we were fighting World War 2 and this is what fascism means today…whether we admit it or not. Those Americans hiding their heads in the sands, refusing to acknowledge reality, who think that life will always be free in America, are hiding from the truth. Fascism will mean the same devastation to their lives that it meant to Europe with its concentration camps, racism, anti-capitalism, anti-individualism, collectivism, pseudo-science and war. They will come to this rude awakening only after feeling the muzzle of a gun poking their behinds.

The Tea Party protestors are watching the OWS protests with more than mere interest. These demonstrations are a coordinated effort by the left to protest the very conditions that the left's policies have created, and to blame those policies and their results on the capitalist system. One will note that fascists, anarchists and communists from all over the world are throwing their support behind this newly invented “movement”. This is no coincidence. The radical leftists that run the unions and organize these college students are fascists, anarchists or communists themselves. Their goal is to steamroll governments, and hopefully, the government of the United States, to respond to their demands by instituting more government controls and regulations of the few free market institutions left. The final government control that they seek is the silencing of the Tea Party movement through purges and political disenfranchisement. In other words, they want to get rid of any vocal opposition that would prove the left's intellectual bankruptcy and barbarism. We have time to stop them but not much.

The left has created so many non-existent straw men regarding capitalism that their view of the world seems surreal and phony. That is why it is hard for honest Americans to understand their outrageous behaviour and the faked moral certitude of their anti-capitalism. Their ideas lead to the destruction of real people who just want to make a living. And now, those real people know what they are up to.

The Tea Party protesters know that Marxism is a system of lies. They know that the Obama administration, through associates in the unions, as well as the communists and far-leftists, have been orchestrating these demonstrations. They know that Obama is seeking to use these demonstrations to win the next election. This is the left's last stand before the progressive movement fades away into the pages of history as another wrong turn for man and society.

The two biggest problems today for the left are that its policies have brought our nation to the point of collapse and the Tea Party protesters have realized it and tried to stop them. The Tea Party movement has brought the left to the point of hysterical panic. Their "revolution" was destined to win until the Tea Parties came along. Hence, the OWS protests.

The attacks against the Tea Party movement, the lies, the guilt by association, the anti-capitalism of the left are designed to steamroll the Tea Party movement out of existence. The leftists have willing accomplices in the Republican power elites and the neo-cons. The comments made by Republican Congressman Eric Cantor on Fox News Sunday on 10/16/11 that he understood the “frustration” of the protestors is a case in point. If Cantor does not recognize that these protests are manufactured, that they are leftist in nature, how can Republicans represent an opposition movement to the left? How can they fight for freedom? He is signalling that the Republicans are willing to jettison their support of capitalism for the sake of winning second class status to the Democrats. Not so fast, Mr. Cantor.

While President Obama cynically tried to tie his spending policies to the civil rights movement, the neo-con Bill Kristol declared that the best policy for fighting the idiotic Wall Street protestors is surrender to the idiots:

“A surge is in fact the way to go—an intellectual, policy, and political countersurge to both the Obama administration and to Occupy Wall Street. The protesters don't like crony capitalism? Offer bold proposals to reform it. They don't like Wall Street? Conservatives should offer policies to benefit Main Street and seek to curb Wall Street abuses. The protesters don't like the glorification of money? Nor do conservatives, who put God, country, and family before business, and who respect the military, churches, active citizens, and stay-at-home moms more than bond traders (no offense, bond traders!).”(1)

You'd think this is a joke, but this advice to surrender government policy to a manufactured protest is why the Republicans of the Karl Rove variety are as bad for our country as are the radical leftists. The radical leftists admit they hate America while the neo-cons agree that in order to save America we must destroy capitalism. That’s a real “countersurge” for you. Again, not so fast, Mr. Kristol.

The Occupy Wall Street protests represent an effort by the crony capitalists who have a stake in fascism to take over the system before their movement fizzles and dies. The situation is similar to that after the riots in Chicago in the late 60s that caused the “silent majority” backlash exploited by Nixon. Only this time, the backlash will be different. The real countersurge will be a principled demand for capitalism’s resurgence and a total "intellectual" defeat of the left and its ideology.

The left is losing the battle of ideas. They have only violence to offer the American people and the American people are not buying.

The Tea Party movement is winning. The only thing we have to fear…really…are the Republican elites who will try to stuff their surrender down our throats.

Beware of Romney.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is Capitalism Evil? Part 5, Conclusion

Several common economic fallacies are constantly broadcast around the world. The goals of these fallacies are to denigrate, defeat and destroy capitalism. I mentioned four of these fallacies in the first post under this title. In this post, I will be discussing the following fallacy:

Fallacy 4. Capitalism is decadent and immoral

Many people think that anything damned by God and Karl Marx must be evil. Many religions, across the centuries, have discriminated against merchants and money lenders because they felt that these careers represented a focus on “this world” rather than the spiritual realm. They have regulated these practices and exhorted men to help the poor rather than pursue individual profit. Even today, the idea that capitalism is decadent is another myth that anti-capitalists hold as an unquestionable fact.

Certainly free men exercising their volitional capacities are going to do harmful things. But, this can happen in any country; it is not something that happens only under capitalism. Some acts, particularly those of a sensual nature, are considered immoral simply because they bring physical pleasure. Moralists attribute these acts to a wholesale abandonment of religious morality and to the acceptance of a secular, anti-religious mindset. Yet, many supposedly immoral acts are not an outgrowth of capitalism but of the conflict between religious morality and the need of men to enjoy their lives in a world that dispenses guilt too easily.

So where is the decadence of capitalism? Most dictionaries define decadence as a deterioration of morals. But the question we should ask is whether morality actually deteriorates in a capitalist society. Religionists and even Marxists say they do. Yet, as we have seen, almost everything said about capitalism by Marxists has been shown to be wrongheaded. We must not be afraid to ask the questions: Is capitalism really immoral? What if it is moral?

Consider the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations. Notice the angry and vehement expressions of disapproval of Wall Street and capitalism. What is the missing ingredient that gives these people the “moral power” to be on the street demonstrating? Clearly, they disapprove of capitalism. They think it is immoral. To these college students, Wall Street executives are thieves, pariahs, rich fat cats who deserve to be thrown in jail, or as one recent entertainer said, “beheaded”. Without this moral energy and hate, there would be no protests. What if that anger is totally wrong?

The basic flaw of the protestors is that they continue to follow Karl Marx in his critique of capitalism and the rich. Marx held that capitalists, by nature, use government to put down the worker. The mistake in this view is that it fails to distinguish between crony capitalism and true capitalism, between theft and honest work. Most of the production accomplished today comes from honest work and honest trade, not from government corruption. Only a small minority of capitalists are crony capitalists who dishonestly use the state to help them make up for their lack of productivity. The vast majority of capitalists in our mixed economy are honest people who do not deserve to be vilified. In fact, they are the most moral people in America today.

Marxists and the Wall Street protesters advocate government interference in the economy; the power of the state to violate individual rights. They claim that this is the best way to ensure "social justice", to manipulate the system so that it is fair. What they don't understand is that without this power there would be no crony capitalism against which to protest. In fact, crony capitalism requires the ideology and the existence of socialism in order to exist at all.

Consider the following: would a crony capitalist be able to bribe a politician to create laws and regulations that benefit him if the government had no power to create such laws and regulations? Would a crony capitalist give huge campaign contributions to a politician who had no power to affect his business positively or negatively? If the government did not have the power to interfere in the economy, would a crooked politician go into public service to benefit his buddies? And, imagine, of all things, a government whose job is to protect the individual rights of citizens; a government limited by a constitutional prohibition against being involved in any economic transaction. This would eliminate the cronyism that the Wall Street protesters complain about.

Marx failed to distinguish between political power and productive power and he charged that capitalists needed government coercion to maintain an unfair edge over the workers and consumers. He failed to realize that productive power was not coercive at all; it required reason, planning, risk taking, honesty and mutual trade for mutual advantage. The Wall Street protesters make the same mistake and because they unquestioningly follow Marx, they find themselves protesting against the moral as well as the immoral actors in our economy. They would destroy the very productivity that they must rely upon for jobs; and more importantly, they would disenfranchise the very people who provide them with the products and sustenance that they need in order to survive.

The Occupy Wall Street protestors have no desire to limit government power. They see it as the way to re-distribute income. They are thieves as are the unions that are paying them. They don't want to destroy crony capitalism. They want to tap into capitalism, the honest people, so they, the protesters, can be the next group of cronies.

The truth is that capitalism releases the individual to make his own moral choices and men are most likely to make the right decisions rather than follow a fixed demand for sacrifice. Is it immoral for a man to freely make the correct decisions about his actions? Isn’t it moral for a person to be productive, to buy products that improve life, to learn about the world and to make decisions using knowledge rather than faith? If so, then there are millions upon millions of moral acts done each day by free individuals living under economic freedom.

If the Wall Street protestors want to make their demonstrations viable, well-founded and effective, they would not fight against Wall Street; they would not fight against capitalism; they would fight against crony capitalism, and the only way to do that is to advocate full laissez faire capitalism that prohibits government interference in the economy. This is the only way to keep the cronies from using government to cheat consumers and taxpayers. They should be demonstrating at the White House and halls of Congress. They should be protesting Dodd-Frank, the SEC, FANNIE and FREDDIE, the CRA, a jobs commission made up of campaign contributors to President Obama's re-election campaign and they should refuse to be paid off by the unions that are the biggest crony capitalists of all. Short of this, they are just useful idiots totally unaware that they are in league with the actual crooks they claim to be protesting.

The view that capitalism is decadent is common to many religions. Many religious leaders rail against capitalism and exhort their followers to avoid the carnal and “this worldly” mindset in favour of the spiritual life. They disapprove of anyone who does things for himself; some even see decadence in the clothes a person wears, whether they cover their faces or not, what they say, how they act and whether they express a devout enough submission to God. But do these “choices” represent the full range of possible human action? I think not. In fact, there is a whole range of choices that have little moral import under this “spiritual” view. Most of these choices fall under the category of “the pursuit of happiness”.

Both secular progressives and religious teachers preach a form of anti-capitalism that enables them to manipulate their followers. Progressives glorify the state and teach students that sacrifice for the state is a magnificent act especially if one is fighting selfishness and capitalism. This revolutionary form of sacrifice creates attitudes that adversely affect the lives of people and, in particular, young people, turning them into anti-establishment radicals who choose to avoid productive work. They are taught that it is “not cool” to become a member of the “bourgeoisie”.

The progressive glorification of sacrifice gives followers the ability to declare their “self-esteem”, mitigating for them the negative psychological consequences of their basic destructive frame of mind. Socialist propaganda and lies, accepted as truth, justify destruction of the capitalist system and capitalists in particular. These justifications also enable the spurning of mere money-making in favour of mooching off of parents. Behind every non-productive “superior” mind is another hard working person who must provide the food and shelter.

The anti-capitalist arguments discussed in this series of posts, provide the outlet for destructive revolutionaries who think it is appropriate to kill in the name of “the people”; while religious fanatics, who obtain their self-esteem from association with their religion, feel justified in blowing up public sites and causing the deaths of families and children in the name of God. They tell themselves and others that they are destroying in order to build a “better” world. Religious self-sacrifice has the added "benefit" that the “martyrs” think they are earning a reward in heaven. The propaganda and lies that they accept merely result in the abdication of their minds and bodies. They no longer need to think about the moral import of their actions and the consequences for real human beings. The result: the biggest murderer rises to the top.

The revolutionary soldier and the soldier of God must imagine the virtual magical presence of God (or Karl Marx) while they do their killing. And, after years of ascetic devotion to God or society on this earth, they look forward to an afterlife similar to that which they imagine to be the lives of the infidels they kill. The ultimate altruistic sacrifice is the giving of one’s own life for the sake of taking lives - under the absurd belief that the enemies of God or the state must die for the sin of wanting to live.

For the religious fanatic, an infidel is any person who does not believe in the fanatic’s religion. It matters not that the infidel works hard, loves his family, provides for his family and deals with others honestly. The infidel is worthy of death, the killer believes, because God wants to cleanse the world of non-believers. So the fanatic will dedicate his life to finding a clever way to kill people.

For the Marxist revolutionary, the enemy lives and works in the capitalist system or advocates it. It matters not that the capitalist works hard, loves his family, provides for his family and deals with others honestly. He is worthy of death because he is a capitalist. The revolutionary believes that this person is a thief and must be destroyed because Karl Marx has proven definitively that capitalism is a zero-sum game. Those who cannot be re-educated must be killed so they don’t sabotage the revolution.

The values of both the religious fanatic and the radical revolutionary are not of this world. They are in heaven or in the future new world. Anything associated with today’s world is corrupt and must be destroyed in order to make way for God’s dominion or the state’s. To these fanatics, both infidels and capitalists possess no value; they are worthless compared to God or the utopian state of the future. Killing a few Americans is nothing to them. Neither is killing a few million.

Religious and political leaders are human beings capable of poor thinking. Most have never learned how to organize their thoughts logically. They derive their understanding from what they are taught… by people capable of poor thinking. And, as we’ve seen, most of them have accepted their anti-capitalist views without question. Most are content to follow the ideas of others so long as they can pretend to have self-esteem in the process. These people are fallible men following the opinions or whims of fallible men.

It is true that secular progressives are at war with religion. But this war is a political tactic, not a position based upon principles or knowledge, and especially not science. Progressives merely want to replace God with the state; they religiously hold to a determinist view of reality; a pseudo-scientific view that sees everything as mechanistic and without value. They think of men as if they were machines whose buttons must be pushed in order for the state to get what it wants from them. They seek the same basic power structure as does organized religion including the same moral imperatives; but they want men to mechanically adhere to the collective rather than God. So they denigrate the church and capitalism in order to undermine the values that these institutions have built up over time. They offer nothing new. Even the progressive principle of sacrifice to the collective is almost as old as religion.

Any religion that claims to represent a more “spiritual” and “pure” form of morality, but which also mutilates and punishes people for “crimes” of personal choice, cannot claim to be “pure” by any means. A lynching or public rock pelting, under any circumstance, and for any reason, is cruel and immoral. Such public punishments are not an indication of the punishers’ devotion to God and any religion that claims to be dispensing “justice” in such a manner cannot be an advanced body of thought but is instead primitive and barbaric.

But capitalism does not destroy values. In fact, it makes them possible. Free people develop their values differently, individually, not collectively, for themselves, not for the state. Values in a capitalist system enhance life and pleasure. Capitalism fosters the idea that all human action should be based upon reason and self-interest. When people are free to use reason and act upon their own decisions, the results are constantly improving decisions, better products and a higher standard of living. This is because, in a capitalist system, people are free to be moral.

Look around you at the freest countries on the planet. You see clean cities, paved roads, tall buildings, clean, smiling well-dressed, well-groomed people and highly educated professionals enjoying their lives. How could this be if capitalism is decadent? How did these people become self-confident and secure in their lives; by theft, treachery or immoral activities? Are they secretly evil people putting on a front for the rest of the world in order to hide the decline that they have brought about? The values these people have created are real. And they were created because they are moral.

Trying to understand the mentality that considers capitalism decadent is a difficult task. Such a mentality starts with the acceptance of ideas on faith. Most people who think like this imagine that the world really works the way they have been taught. They see the influences of gods and demons everywhere. Their saints tell them that the world is moved by the presence of the ineffable. Miracles and the actions of fantastical world-processes are dominated by the gods who are ever-present but seen only in dreams, trances and epileptic fits. They strive to devoutly experience the presence of these deities at all times, constantly conversing with them and imagining that the world can be impacted directly by the spiritual world and their devotion to it. They hold a split between the spiritual and the real and consider the spiritual to be superior while the world around them is imperfect and evil. They learn to hate the real and love the unreal. This is as true of Marxists as it is of devout believers.

Yet, philosophical issues and their discussion are not a matter for anger and hatred; they are a matter for discussion and learning. The dialectical method is the process of drawing out the implications of ideas and understanding them and their real impact in the world. The scientific method is a process for learning about how things really work in the real world. It is a method for arriving at truth. It is a noble endeavour that only someone who is indoctrinated in the unreal would reject.

Yet, the truth about capitalism (and American society) is that capitalism is based upon good living, doing things according to rational standards, getting educated, being well-rounded, working hard, thinking well, providing good services and products to customers, creating happy better-off customers, intelligently investing one’s earnings and using those earnings to create companies that provide ever-improving standards of living. Capitalists obey laws, drive carefully, eat well and live clean happy lives raising clean happy children.

Honest Americans, the overwhelming majority of people, seek to live in peace in a society where the best ideas win and people are free to disagree so long as they don’t resort to force or violence. In early America, no one had a right to force another human being in any way. That principle made capitalism the most civilized system in the world.

The outcome of capitalism for the thinking individual includes the ability to live in better, cleaner homes, the ability to live free of guilt and to enjoy life, to think higher thoughts, listen to beautiful music, read great books, make one’s own sexual choices and strive to enjoy those choices to the best of one’s ability. In a capitalist system, people admire and respect the beauty of a new thought and the mind capable of discerning it. This is the type of living that most of the major religions of the world consider decadent and evil…yet you see no evil here, you see no treachery and no harmful deeds. In fact, the hope and wish of millions around the world is to live the way Americans live, to go to America and be free. Most people in the world do not want to live in hovels full of filth, perpetually enslaved to the wishes of treacherous dictators and living in perpetual danger of having part of one’s body removed for doing something so evil as to enjoy the expression of love.

Fanatic religious groups fear that Americans will not be cowed into submission by their interpretation of the word of God, that Americans are not willing to give up their happiness for the sake of an ascetic view of life. They even fear that young women will want to dress nicely and marry the men of their choice, live the way they want and not be dominated by their fathers all their lives. Progressives, on the other hand, fear that Americans will not love the all-mighty state and that they will refuse to obey the decrees of the progressives.

The truth is that people in America are the most moral people in the world. America brings about more good than any other country in history. Americans live cleaner, healthier lives. Is this what religious fanatics fear? Is this what they want to knock down? Yes, but there is more to it than that; they fear that Americans are too free-thinking and that they will fight to keep the benefits of their Constitution. And they are right.

That’s why they want to kill us.

If the four myths discussed in this series are wrong, as I have indicated, you have to ask: What is the basis of anti-capitalism and Marxism? What is the basis for religious fanatics who want to destroy America? Why have we given them the benefit of the doubt and mistakenly believed that they represent a mere difference of opinion? Is their wanting to destroy freedom something we are willing to negotiate about or compromise with? If they have no legitimate intellectual foundation, if they are wrong in their basic arguments, then they are nothing more than haters and liars. They follow a corrupt view of human value and human freedom. Why do we let them mount the speakers' platforms? Why do we listen to them? Why do we pay them money and give them positions of leadership? Why are they "educating" our children if they are teaching them to hate us?

When will we liberate ourselves from the worst among us?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is Capitalism Evil? Part 4

Several common economic fallacies are constantly broadcast around the world. The goals of these fallacies are to denigrate, defeat and destroy capitalism. I mentioned four of these fallacies in the first post under this title. In this post, I will be discussing the following fallacy:

Fallacy 3. Capitalism is Imperialistic and warlike

Perhaps the one myth that is most often repeated by Marxists and Islamic fascists is that America is an imperialist nation bent on conquest of other lands. This criticism was often used by the Soviets against America when they, the Soviets, wanted to conquer more territory and expand their coercive influence around the world. Jihadists complain that America steals the oil under their feet and corrupts the sacred land that Allah had forbidden to infidels.

The idea that capitalism needs markets to conquer and resources to steal is one of the three major charges against it: war, racism and poverty, words that populate signs at anti-capitalist demonstrations along with the words: “Destroy capitalism”. Indeed, capitalism’s supposed war-like nature seems logical for those who think that capitalism is an outgrowth of jungle warfare. Yet, few stop to question whether it is true. A careful study of history reveals that America, when it was more capitalist than today, started few wars and the wars in which it did participate were wars of liberation from fascist dictatorships. These wars were started by dictatorships in order to gain liebensraum (Living space) that required the enslavement of entire nations.

The kinds of societies that start wars are not capitalist but dictatorships that see their people as the property of the state. Capitalism on the other hand sees people as traders and customers and would rather convince them of the quality of their products rather than hold them up for ransom.

The commonly accepted fallacy that socialist countries are more efficient and economically superior to capitalism relieves the socialist of having to prove the question. It also adds propaganda strength to the idea that socialism is the morally superior system. Whenever you can tag capitalism with war mongering and poverty, you have a powerful argument for a system (namely socialism) that is supposed to be peaceful and affluent.

But for many people, just taking it for granted that socialism is superior won’t work. For those in the Tea Party movement, capitalism has proven to be the superior economic system as well as the system that creates more well-being for people. And America (the supposedly capitalist country), is consistently the one country that has won wars started by dictatorships. It has also thwarted the advances of sundry brutal dictators in Cuba, Iraq and many other countries, not for the sake of conquest but for the sake of freedom.

Today, the charge that capitalism has failed (and it is time, again, to try socialism) is merely the last argument of a bankrupt view that government force can actually make things better. Virtually all failures attributed to capitalism (economic bubbles, unemployment, recession and depression, the sub-prime housing collapse, TARP, FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC) are children of socialist policies.

Around the world, you hear few voices repeating the truth that socialism has failed. Yet the evidence keeps mounting. Any policy that has anything to do with socialism is failing; deficit spending, stimulus spending, massive government borrowing, government regulations, re-distribution of income, high taxes, green bailouts, any bailouts, universal medical coverage, welfare...all of these socialist policies are failing.

In spite of the failure of communism and the Soviet system, the Soviet argument that America is a predatory, war-mongering nation has stuck even though the aggressive Soviet Empire was the actual imperialist. Is the USA really an Imperialist country as Ron Paul says? Do we have a desire to conquer other nations?

Definitions of Imperialism have broadened over the decades because progressives need to concoct American guilt to teach our children. Ideas such as economic imperialism and cultural imperialism are joined with military conquest to create a broader historical base from which to excoriate American power. However, such arguments are mere rationalizations designed to hide the true Imperialism of America’s opponents (made up of fascists and communists as well as Muslim extremists who seek a caliphate). America has fought these interests and thwarted their efforts in various parts of the world. So in order to avoid being drawn into false charges about American interests around the world, we’ll look at the real definitions of Imperialism.

The Consolidated-Webster Comprehensive Dictionary, published in 1957 defines the term “Imperial” as

“Pertaining to an Empire or an Emperor; pertaining to supreme authority or anyone who wields it; sovereign, supreme, suitable for an Emperor .”

The term Imperialism means “state or authority; the spirit of empire.” An Imperialist is “one favourable to empire or imperial government.”

These definitions say nothing about culture or economics. They strictly refer to political and military dominance of one nation over another. For instance, and more to the point, an imperialist country cannot merely be a larger country that trades with a smaller country. That is called a trading partner. Nor could it be a friendly nation with a superior philosophy or better government. That would be an ally. Nor is the appreciation of one country’s culture by another proof of imperialism. That’s a nation with good blue jeans and great movies.

An Imperialist nation dominates another, writes the laws, manages the courts and otherwise rules over the conquered people in every way. The distinguishing characteristics of an empire are military and political domination. And, more to the point, the fact that a given culture or economic system influences a country is not an indication that these elements were imposed by force or that they constitute imperialism.

When modern intellectuals attempt to broaden the definition of imperialism to include cultural and economic influences, they seek to define the United States as imperialistic. Although there have been instances where U.S. policy tended toward the acquisition of new territories, one cannot say that the U.S.A. is a fundamentally imperialist nation.

The USA is powerful enough to conquer big parts of the world – but it chooses not to do so. It is a country founded by free sovereign people organized into free sovereign states dedicated to the concept of individual rights. It fought for freedom against an empire. It is a nation that has liberated people. It has fought menacing and evil dictators, displaced them and helped their peoples create sovereign states that most have welcomed.

An argument can be made that even the efforts to gain new territories by the U.S.A. were not empire-building. There are many aspects of American foreign policy that were engaged, not to build an empire but to extend freedom to more people.

Certainly, among our Presidents there were contradictions and opinions contrary to our Founding principles. Yet, in spite of this, America is unique because it has the ability to correct its own mistakes through a wiser public that declares a desire for change at the voting booth. Few empires have had this ability.

Free countries tend to pursue peace and trade with other nations not empire. In addition, economic expansion by America takes place in the private economy independent of the government and under contract not compulsion. Only a collectivist interpretation of history could claim that America, an individualist nation, is an empire.

Yet, because America is one of the largest industrial nations in the world, and because of the desire of many dictators to loot American companies overseas, it is sometimes necessary for the American government to act against them. It is even sometimes necessary for America to ensure that “friendly” governments are in place in order to protect enterprise and freedom. A policy of encouraging freedom and republican forms of governments becomes necessary, not because America seeks to expand territory, but because it seeks to protect freedom as a matter of self-interest. The necessity of these actions, in whatever form, should be blamed on the dictators and brutal monsters who seek to use treachery and murder as means for acquiring power. Virtually every accusation of American Imperialism is made by people holding imperialist intentions against American companies. These “enemies of America” are the sundry dictators and coercive governments that want to seize the machines and equipment brought to their country by Americans. America is an exporter and a defender of economic freedom, not an empire.

America has liberated more people from dictators than any other nation on earth and only an anti-American bias would interpret American actions as Imperialism. Dictator after dictator has fallen to the liberating efforts of American soldiers, many of whom were young men who died fighting to bring freedom to other nations. America, in defending American corporations against looting dictators, is also defending the jobs and incomes of countless non-Americans around the world. More to the point, those individuals working in American companies overseas seek better lives and American free enterprise makes that possible. They are not the slaves of American imperial power.

Yet, there are those who want to destroy America because they have accepted the notion that America pursues an Imperialist foreign policy. When you see their angry faces in demonstrations and on college campuses, you are seeing the faces of ignorance. I find it strange that young people must go to college today in order to become more stupid. Only an ascetic view of morality and a Marxist intellectual base would attempt such a phony charge against America.

So if America is not an imperialist nation, why do so many people want to kill us?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is Capitalism Evil? Part 3

Several common economic fallacies are constantly broadcast around the world. The goals of these fallacies are to denigrate, defeat and destroy capitalism. I mentioned four of these fallacies in the first post. In this post, I will be discussing the following fallacy:

2. Capitalism is inefficient and socialism is efficient

Another Marxist myth is that socialism is superior to capitalism, that it leads to a better society and that it is more efficient economically. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the idea that socialism is efficient in any respect is a total fabrication.

Early arguments for systems such as socialism and communism were that a benevolent dictator, one man with the charisma to inspire people, could better control an economy since he would be the sole source of decisions. This one man, it was thought, could do a better job at setting the direction of a society by decree, than could a society ruled by the "indecision" of millions of people each with conflicting interests. All of these people, the irrational and the rational, could never create a cohesive society, they said (as if "cohesion" was somehow better than "affluent"). Only one man could do this.

Needless to say, when you argue that one man should rule, you must also argue that all others should obey. And when that one man turns out to be a monster like Hitler or Stalin, well, the efficiency of socialism must be questioned. Yet, whether the master is a dictator, President Obama or a host of bureaucrats does not matter. The truth is that each individual is a better judge of what is in his best interest and no other man can effectively decide for him what he should do and whom he should obey. Freedom really does work.

Many people (in the Obama administration) make the mistake of thinking that a bureaucratic dictatorship will create beneficial results. They expect that the economy will be stronger if profits are taken away from the capitalists and given to the workers. The fact that communism, socialism and fascism, all systems based on government rule, have killed millions of innocent people proves the point that these "isms" are not as civilized or efficient as capitalism. The question is why do today’s socialists think that the brutality of past socialist systems cannot be repeated? They ignore the fact that such brutality is an outgrowth of a principle they hold as strongly as the brutal monsters of the past. This principle is the belief that the citizen is the property of the state. There is no such thing as a benign socialism when this principle guides all socialist governments.

In spite of this, they continue to believe that taxing the rich and installing socialism will create a better, more affluent society. They believe that everything sacrificed by the productive capitalists represents a gain to society. It is as if they had created the sacrificed goods themselves. In their ignorance, they count both the sacrifice and the gift as two separate benefits that add new value to society. But in truth a sacrifice represents only re-distributed production, nothing new is created; no new wealth, not twice as much but nothing as much.

So when socialists see that nothing results from their policies, they look around for someone to blame and punish. Taking property from the capitalists, disenfranchising the capitalists, jailing them and making life impossible for them is a moral act, they think; so scapegoating them for the failures of socialism is easy to do. The result: more of nothing but beyond this, it creates a society in conflict (2) where the rich must fear the poor and all groups seek to loot each other. What they have failed to understand is that profits are an incentive for production and that without them, you get nothing.

The economist John Maynard Keynes provided the economic argument for sacrifice when he countenanced that government should print money in order to “stimulate” the economy. Keynes held that this “new” money would bring about increased economic activity and create prosperity. What Keynes and his followers ignored is that printed money dilutes the value of older money and steals value from those who hold that money. The increase of dollars in circulation, in a non-gold standard economy, should be based loosely on the increase in the Gross Domestic Product – so when you print money in quantities that far exceed the growth of GDP, more dollars are chasing the same level of product. The result is that prices must rise.

Keynes myopically assumed that economic activity was based upon the demand for labor and saw economic “stimulus” programs as a way of increasing economic activity and stimulating employment. Unfortunately, a Keynesian system (socialism), controlled by the altruistic decisions of economic masters, because it is constantly diluting the value of money and labor, makes it difficult for business people to gauge real value. This means they cannot set prices efficiently and this creates massive losses, over-production in some cases and under-production in others. This is because pricing decisions in a coercive economy are not based upon the price that people are willing to pay (self-interest) but upon the price that the masters decide is in the public interest (altruism). Losses develop all around and unwanted products flood the market without enough buyers while wanted products are in short supply with too many buyers.

Socialist planners think one-dimensionally. First, they don’t realize that their plans (in the forms of regulations and decrees) violate the individual rights of the people they are manipulating. They don’t realize that they are dictating to these people, many of whom would prefer not to have their lives interfered with. Secondly, they think they can make a decision, let’s say to keep prices low (because low prices are good) and that this decision will make things better for the people. But they don’t see the other dimension of the decision which involves the money losses to those who make the product. Once those losses are felt, and there is not enough money for more production, both buyer and producer lose. The planner, in his infinite one-dimensionality, refuses to blame his own decision for causing the problem and decides to put profiteers in jail for not being willing to sacrifice their profits to the collective. This is how Keynesian and progressive planners think even today under the leadership of President Obama. They have “no problem” taking more in taxes from the rich or providing bailouts for companies supposedly producing “socially necessary” goods – but they ignore the fact that the consequences of their policies are lost jobs and dead industries. They don’t realize that their problem is that they have “no problem” with themselves.

The perfect illustration of why progressives cannot create a better society through moral castigation and force is the principle known as the “broken window fallacy” explained by Bastiat in his 1850 essay “Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas” (That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen). This fallacy holds that the vandal who breaks a window is doing an economic good by making the shop owner pay a glazier to replace the window. According to Bastiat, there is no new economic activity in the act of fixing the window. The blatant truth is that a broken window destroys a perfectly good window that did not need replaced. The spending to replace the broken window merely displaces other spending activities that could have taken place. There is no economic benefit but an economic loss…the broken window.

The implication of the broken window fallacy is that government spending merely re-distributes money from one spending activity to another; but no net gain is created. The expenditure made on fixing the broken window has eliminated, for instance, an expenditure on a new pair of shoes for the shop owner. This principle is at work today in stimulus spending and explains why President Obama’s stimulus programs have created no new (net) jobs. The “seen” of the economic activity created by the government’s re-distribution has made impossible the “unseen” economic activity that would have taken place had the government merely left the money in the hands of the producer. When progressives promise new economic activity and new jobs from their stimulus spending they are ignoring the lost economic activity and the lost jobs experienced by those who have involuntarily contributed their money. The result: no net improvement.

The socialist system, because it is not based upon supply and demand (but upon altruistic “social justice”) is inefficient and doomed to fail…and it has failed repeatedly. This is a hard pill to swallow for a socialist who believes that men should do the ‘right’ thing and sacrifice for others. They ignore the fact that the socialist system is based upon doing the ‘wrong’ thing which is forcing people against their wills. Anti-capitalists and their policies have created a situation of loss, poverty and inefficiency by advocating government controls. The more spending the government does, the more massive are the losses.

Socialism and its advocacy should be feared because it has failed repeatedly and its advocates are anti-intellectual deceivers who would rather have power than do the right thing. When faced with the spectacle of capitalist growth and prosperity, the anti-capitalists are unable to see.

Why do Marxist critics claim that capitalism is inefficient? The most common argument given today is that profits represent a waste of money that could better be spent on “social justice”. Although few would explicitly make this point, it is implicit in all calls to bailout (nationalize) businesses. Presumably, the act of government bailing them out would enable the government to demand that profits be re-distributed back to the government, the unions or the people and that management salaries should be reduced. These “takeovers” of businesses are based upon the false premise that government can eliminate the inefficiencies of the business by subsidizing losses and directing productive decisions. In truth, this very method is the death-knell of the bailed out businesses because it relieves competitive requirements and destroys customer respect.

The idea that profits represent wasted resources could only be made by a collectivist mentality that by nature holds a dis-respect for human intelligence and individual rights. In fact, it takes efficiency of operations to create profits and the more efficient a company is, the higher its profits. To label profits as waste is to believe that those profits would continue to exist once the government began raising taxes. Profits are the pay checks of stockholders and owners of the company. As David Ricardo avers, “The farmer and manufacturer can no more live without profit than the labourer without wages. Their motive for accumulation will diminish with every diminution of profit, and will cease altogether when their profits are so low as not to afford them an adequate compensation for their trouble, and the risk which they must necessarily encounter in employing their capital productively.”(3)

(2) See my blog posts entitled “Society in Conflict”
(3) On the Principles of Economy and Taxation, David Ricardo, Google ebooks

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Is Capitalism Evil? Part 2

Several common fallacies are constantly broadcast around the world. The goals of these fallacies are to denigrate, defeat and destroy capitalism. I mentioned four of these fallacies in the last post. In this post, I will be discussing the first fallacy:

Fallacy 1. Capitalism is individualistic rather than collectivist

This fallacy is in the form of a charge against capitalism. It happens to be true. However, the fallacy is made up of the argument that individualism (and therefore capitalism) is evil and collectivism is good.

One of the key points made by religious and Marxist critics is that capitalism lets loose a “dog-eat-dog” predation in men through which the most aggressive and vicious “animals” survive. This criticism, thought by some to derive from “Social Darwinism”, is a misapplication of Darwin’s principle of the “survival of the fittest”. It assumes that the “law of the jungle” is the basic premise of capitalism and that bad things happen when capitalism is not controlled. Anti-capitalists prefer to interpret individualism as vicious predation. In fact, whenever you state that you are an advocate of individualism you are immediately equated with Nietzche as an advocate of dictatorship.

The basic premise of capitalism’s detractors is collectivism. Most people are raised on collectivism which is one of the most common ideas in history. Many are taught to feel guilty if they advocate anything other than collectivism. Collectivists are so hateful of individualism that few people want to admit they are individualists. Many are treated as pariahs for doing so. Yet, collectivism is based upon certain false notions about man’s nature and some misconceptions about the requirements of survival.

For instance, collectivists hold that sacrifice for the collective is a positive act that creates good in society. I have written extensively about the fact that sacrifice to the collective is harmful to every individual because it removes his mind (and the effort necessary for survival) from the decision-making process and demands that the individual actually “lose” something of value in order to avoid the ire of others. The atrocities of history are actually caused, not by individualism, as is commonly charged, but by the demands of collectivism for sacrifice. The dead bodies in the mass graves are those of people deemed unwilling to sacrifice for the collective; the individualists.

Sacrifice is justified by the philosophy of altruism and it insists that the only good act is the act of living for others. Even today, this primitive idea is considered to be correct in spite of the centuries of hate and theft it has imposed on innocent people. It assumes that transactions between men are “zero-sum”, some men win and others lose, and that the only way to address this disparity is for the government to intervene and make sure that the “loser” “wins”. What this view ignores is that the exploitation of the productive individual will discourage him (or her) from participating in such a society.

The view that mutual trade is "zero-sum" is so unrealistic that regulators who make trade and policy decisions on its basis do tremendous damage. Capitalism and freedom release men to make correct economic decisions for the sake of living better lives. Each individual has a right to pursue his happiness and wellbeing and to produce the abundance necessary for survival. This includes the right to property and other individual rights. Capitalism is about peace and cooperation among rational men, not about predators and prey in the hunt. When regulators attempt to regulate economic activity they wind up regulating rational action and criminalizing profit.

According to the “zero-sum” view of Marxists, there is always an exploited and an exploiter, a predator and a prey. If you adhere to this view, you develop a negative and false view of capitalism’s nature as well as a false view of the nature of free society. You interpret free societies to be full of conflict and exploitation by the strong when this is not the case. In fact, in a fully capitalist system that is allowed to flourish, the “weak” benefit from new products as well as the “strong”.

The premise that capitalism is “dog-eat-dog” creates a cognitive split between the Marxist view of business and reality. The Marxists develop the view that government needs to regulate and restrict freedom in order to keep the capitalist from exploiting the workers. I recently watched a movie(1) that tried to explain the 2008 stock market collapse from this perspective. Its conclusion was that there were not enough regulations on the financial services industry - which is the most regulated sector of the economy. It virtually ignored the government's coercive role as the sole cause of the fiasco and indicted capitalism when the real culprits were government regulations of the housing industry, government backing of FDIC, FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC, the Community Re-investment Act (CRA), Barnie Frank and Chris Dodd.

Marxists of the communist variety would wrongly disenfranchise the capitalists and put the government in charge of production in order to eliminate the non-existent predation. Old-style progressives and socialists whoe advocate mixed economies, foster a combination of freedom and coercion in which government must restrain and control the capitalist (presumably) in order to keep him from taking advantage of his customers. All varieties of Marxists advocate coercion and this is their basic flaw that invalidates all of their prescriptions for society; Coercion is never a solution to any problem because it is a violation of free will; it forces people to do things they would not otherwise do. That progressives and Marxists have no problem with forcing people is an issue each of them should address in the privacy of their own mind.

Capitalism, it is thought, keeps the weak person down, making him constantly struggle for survival with no ability to build his own capital base. The predator presumably uses his position as a controller of capital to keep the little guy down and exploit his work. The “system” supposedly offers the weak no chance of enjoying the luxuries that have been created for the rich.

Capitalism does no such thing to the weak and history has shown that capitalism enables any man or woman to develop the capital necessary to become rich. For instance, capitalism requires that the “worker” be trained and educated so he can be more productive and this makes him more valuable as an employee, enables him to earn more money, develop a surplus and even learn how to start and run a business of his own.

Marxists ignore the fact that the “little guy” is actually in a strong position in a capitalist system. If he finds cheaters and elitists who use government to get rich, he can merely withdraw his support for them by refusing to do business with them. Once the “cheaters” are put out of business, the field is left to those who have rightly earned the trust of the “little guy” and who have provided benefits that improve his life.

The deceptive tactic of the Marxists consists of taking specific transactions that don’t go right as indications of a flaw in capitalism that must be addressed coercively. They ignore the full context of capitalism and human nature because they want to find flaws in capitalism in order to justify interference. Had they left the economy free of their manipulations, the consumer would have fixed the problem by seeking out honest businessmen offering more value for better prices. There is no flaw in capitalism that can’t be fixed by free choice.

Another supposed flaw in capitalism is that workers are exploited by the capitalist. This view holds that collectivism, solidarity and collective bargaining are the only way that workers can keep from being exploited. Not only does this argument assume that the capitalist exploits his employees, but it ignores the fact that an astute capitalist will want to have the best relationship possible with his workers. He will also want to train his best employees and educate them about how to perform their jobs better. In order to be successful, he will ensure that his most productive employees are given better treatment with bonuses, promotions, higher wages and other benefits.

Collective bargaining destroys the relationship between an employer and his employees. Unionism is a form of collectivism that is destructive of a system based upon individual achievement. It requires a form of solidarity that creates a bad relationship between workers and business owners. Union leaders will do all they can to poison that relationship in order to use it as a wedge to justify the existence of the union.

Let’s understand this more fully by examining what a good employee would do when he is hired to work for a business. First, this employee would seek to ensure that he can secure his job by demonstrating the ability to do quality work. This brings in more income for the employer than the employee is paid. This is as it should be because the goal of the employer is to utilize capital resources and combine them with labor in order to make a profit for himself and his shareholders. The employee's competence along with the employer's planning and management skills create a viable business that makes a profit. The employee recognizes that he would be of no value to the business, to himself or to his family if he demonstrates that he does not deserve the position to which he has been hired.

Companies that are saddled with unions offer a different motivation to the prospective employee. At first, he or she will do everything he can to convince management that he will be a hard-working contributor to the success of the company. He will work very hard until he qualifies to join the union, whereupon he no longer has to worry about working as hard, he can learn the union contract and file grievances whenever he feels he can and if he gets fired, he may get his job back through a union/management procedure. For this worker, the union adds significantly to the cost of employee management for the company.

When the good employee in the non-union shop is asked to change a work process or use a new piece of equipment, his first thought is how he can help the business be more successful, what can he do to make himself more valuable to the employer. The employer appreciates the good attitude because it means being able to get on to other issues without having to deal with disagreements or arguments.

On the other hand, in the union shop, the employee argues with his boss, pretends to know more about running the business and otherwise accuses his boss of wanting him to work “too hard”; he will eventually convince the employer that having him employed is more trouble than it is worth.

A union would not tell the employee that the success of the business is paramount. It would tell him, right or wrong, that he is the reason for the success of the business and that he should resist whenever he thinks he is being exploited. He tells the employee that he should join a collective bargaining effort to force the employer to do what he thinks is right. All of these suggestions from the labor leader are intended to involve the union in the running of the business and are costly for the company.

A labor union would tell this troublesome employee that he is right in his hatred of the company and that the company is seeking to make money off of his work without giving him a fair wage. The union would ask him to join in solidarity to negotiate a fair wage and keep the company from firing him unfairly (which is most often a fair firing). It would tell him that his length of service in the company entitles him to a job over people who have not been there as long. It would ridicule and ostracize the employee who is "too productive" and accuse him of stealing jobs from other workers.

If the company attempts to defend its legitimate property rights and keep the union from entering the premises, unions typically take the position that the company has no legitimate property rights and sends goons to trespass on the company premises. Later, it asks government to force the company to deal with the union. These regulations presumably are justified by collectivist and anti-capitalist lies that capitalist organizations are cheating employees and customers. The government and unions use these lies to convince people that the corporations are doing something to the workers instead of defending their own legitimate property rights.

The basic flaw of unionism is the Marxist premise called the "labor theory of value". This premise holds that the labor expended on the manufacture of a product is the only significant factor influencing the value of that product. This theory justifies unions in accusing capitalists of exploitation because it nuetralizes the influence on value from such factors as intelligence, labor saving devices, production lines, capital expenditures and production line improvements, etc.

Yet, the capitalist, in his pursuit of profit, is trying to increase the value of products so they are acceptable to willing customers. He does not merely hire more workers to do menial tasks. He realizes that in order for a business trade is to be a win for both parties, he must work hard. And he realizes, more importantly, that in a free society, each party to a transaction has the right to withhold participation if he sees that the trade is not good for him. And, this also applies to employees who disagree with corporate policies. They have a right to withhold their support by refusing to work for the company and supporting other employers with “better” policies.

In fact, unions cannot bring benefits to the workers that the companies don’t have the ability to pay for in the first place. Unions can not exist without the companies and they bring nothing to the equation except the ability to restrict production and cause needless and unnecessary costs to the companies. These additional costs place the companies in an unfair competitive situation and require that they find ways to mitigate me in order to stay viable against competitors.

The entire basis of unionism, the idea that capitalism is “dog-eat-dog”, is a myth invented by Marxists. It represents a cognitive disconnect for anyone who believes the myth. And, because of this “cognitive” mistake, we have the spectacle of anti-capitalist economic policemen (regulators), union officials and their politicians seeking to limit and control business trades. Marxists see cheating, lying, stealing and defrauding everywhere and, when they get control of government, they disrupt economic activity, jail honest businessmen, distort free economic activity and create huge losses to both producers and consumers – in the name of protecting against exploitation that does not take place.

Unions and Marsists generally have no problem with government interference in the economy. This makes them advocates of statism, the same types of governments that caused so much havoc in our previous century. Statism is coercive society justified in its manipulations by the anti-concept of “social justice”. When government puts its hand on the scales between “predatory” capitalism and the poor, the result is not a fair society but an unfair society in which the productive and moral people are exploited and punished for their abilities.

Statism, not capitalism, is the basic cause of exploitation. To assume that a person should be punished for offering good products for sale is a reversal of morality and a travesty of justice. To claim that a person should act only for the sake of others is to destroy the foundation for action and to sentence men to lives of inactivity, despair and slavery. Coercion accomplishes only theft and cruelty.

Marx and other critics did not understand that capitalism operates upon a rational view of self-interest, not the Social-Darwinist view of conflict. They followed the trends of the time and accepted the idea that man is essentially an evil creature whose self-interests are detrimental to others. Today, the “zero-sum” view does tremendous damage to society. The critics of capitalism did not realize that there are transactions, those based upon self-interest and the pursuit of values, where two individuals can exchange money, which is a neutral form of value, and both can win. They do not realize that in a capitalist system, the overwhelming majority of transactions are “win/win”.

The critics also operate under the false assumption that, in a capitalist system, the individual who cheats others, does not win. Any individual, businessperson or otherwise, who cheats his customers (or employees) will suffer a loss of trust and business. It is not rational for an individual to think that he benefits by cheating or harming others.

The critics also ignore the fact that capitalism is not a system. No one has to create rules to implement it. The only thing the government must do is protect properly conceived constitutional rights. In this case, acts that are considered theft, fraud, breaking contracts, etc. are violations of individual rights and can be handled by the judicial system. No additional government agencies, departments, programs or regulations are necessary. This is because capitalism is what happens naturally in society when men ban force in their dealings.

Capitalism is the economic expression of human freedom. It is not dog-eat-dog in any way and any capitalist who thinks so will soon learn that he can’t get ahead by being a predator, Hollywood fiction and Gordon Gekko notwithstanding. Greed is not good, self-interest is good.

Anti-capitalists assume (with only anecdotal evidence) that the entrepreneur is a criminal by nature. This is because they do not understand that man must use reason in order to survive. If men are free to use reason without interference, then each man will operate according to a singular truth in any given context and, since all men function in the same reality, they are able to agree upon whether a given transaction is in their respective self-interest. All workers’ strikes, government regulations and government interventions are based upon a lie that the capitalist is an irrational predator. And, even more importantly, there is no justification for overthrowing capitalism. Such efforts are anti-reason, anti-mind, anti-freedom and pro-poverty. When you overthrow a system that is based in freedom, you can only replace it with a system based on force and anti-reason. You can only replace it with statism.

Those people who assume that capitalists are predators fail at understanding reality. By assuming a negative nature to people, they treat capitalists and individuals as if they were evil – and in the process, engage in inappropriate ridicule, pass unworkable regulations and make life difficult for people who are merely trying to trade value for value. The communists, and those who agree with them, have blinded themselves to the true nature of a system that enables cooperation and peace and improves the lives of millions of people.

What does this make of the communists, socialists and other haters of capitalism? It makes them enemies of man who are operating on false premises and creating havoc with society in the process. It makes them afraid of a system that is not evil but benevolent. Their fear of capitalism is ill-founded, destructive and conflict-ridden. The critics of capitalism are not saviors, benefactors nor patriotic. They are fearful haters of a system that brings rewards and opportunities to all men who freely and honestly participate.

In an age of high technology and advanced communications, I find it amazing that the arguments of the anti-capitalists are made up of ancient Marxist lies that are inappropriate for modern times. These "revolutionaries" are apparently oblivious to the advances that capitalism has brought about in their own lives. Rather than look around at the improvements in society, they spend their time talking to each other and repeating ideas that were never relevant in the real world. Perhaps it is time those of us who actually produce value realize that these losers are not trying to create a better world...but are the reason why people suffer. Perhaps it is time that we ask them to stop living off of us.

(1) Inside Job, Sony Pictures Classic