Saturday, June 13, 2009

A True Defense of Capitalism

In this essay I will lay out what I believe to be a true libertarian defense of capitalism. Many libertarians think they have a concept of economic liberty and capitalism, but they do not. Instead, they unwittingly defend the corporate/government complex, aristocracy. and government bureaucracy. Let's look at what capitalism is not.

Capitalism is not what we currently have in the USA. What we have is a form of fascism. Government and business in "partnership" with the government allowing private enterprise to exist,, but controlling it's use. This fascism is ruining America. Let me enlighten.

This fascism spawns all kinds of tyrannical laws: Anti-discrimination laws, environmental laws, eminent domain laws, zoning laws, bureaucratic "administrative" laws with no jury trial, health laws, "privacy" laws, etc. These laws are not promoting economic freedom, but are instead retarding it. They cause innumerable headaches for the people in business like lawsuits (governmental and private), compliance costs (passed on to consumers), requirements for insurance, and other bureaucratic regulations which help slow economic growth and success. This form of fascism has it 's roots in the Old World of Europe. It stems from the European ideal of man as a ward, or more appropriately, a serf of the state. Some libertarians don't recognize this and they defend what they believe to be capitalism from this perspective. Let us examine this.

Many libertarians will defend any attack on "Big Business", or corporations as anti-capitalism. They will also unwittingly defend such ancient despot isms as feudalism, strong central government, and aristocracy as parts of capitalism. Aristocracy, feudalism and powerful government are the antithesis of true capitalism. European aristocrats gained power, money and prestige through the rape, pillage and exploitation of their people. They were not entrepreneurs and fighters for free markets. They hated freedom and free markets. They were an arm of the state, or king. The nobility of Europe "earned" their money through serfdom, slavery, guilds, mercantilism, and other forms of anti-capitalism. Even though this has been thoroughly documented by great libertarians like Murray Rothbard. Here is a link to a great article by Rothbard on the American Revolution libertarians still continue to defend the ideals of Edmund Burke: feudalism, state supported religion, and an elite governing a society. Why? Why would defenders of man's liberty reject true capitalism and freedom for this nonsense? I say because they are not really libertarians. They are either conservatives in libertarian clothing, or flat out fascists hiding their true desire for power and dominance under the cloak of libertarianism. I am particularly disturbed by such "anarcho-capitalists" like Hans Hermann Hoppe who seems to enjoy the concept of feudalism, and monarchy all the while claiming to be a market anarchist. Sounds a little strange, huh? Several months ago, on the great Strike the Root website, writer Douglas Herman called Edmund Burke an "anarchist". Huh? Has Mr. Herman ever read "Reflections on the Revolution in France"? A more pure defense of tradition,monarchy, aristocracy, mercantilism, and theocracy could not be written, Mr. Burke's previous more libertarian writings aside. Mr. Herman goes on to talk briefly about Burke's support for the American Revolution. Burke did support the Revolution, only as a defense of "English liberties" not as a natural right to liberty. Burke only defended the Revolution because he saw the English government violating English tradition, something Burke worshipped.

American libertarianism is the more radical wing of the wonderful tradition of Anglo-American libertarian theory. State supported religion, laws banning religious minorities from voting and holding office,quit rants, primogeniture and entail of estates,serfdom,slavery, etc are just a few of the ancient relics swept aside by the radicalism of the American Revolution. Now slavery took much longer due to it's entrenchment in the South, but it too fell away, albeit by war. Men like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, and other Jeffersonian Republicans attempted to keep the radical fire alive in the ensuing years after the Revolution. They only partially succeeded. We must be thankful for how far they have taken us, but we must press progress forward. That progress is best led by capitalism.

Capitalism made America Modern

It is capitalism and the freedom it creates that has made America a
mighty and advanced nation. Free trade between nations and individuals
is the corrosive acid that melts away feudalism and despotism. Capitalism allows for individuals to manage their own lives without harming others. This only works when government steps aside and allows people to be free. Modernity was a direct result of the American Revolution. The former colonists, freed from their mercantilist bondage of the British navigation acts, created the most explosive expansion of trade,commerce and business enterprise. The American standard of living, already higher than in most of the world, was raised tremendously. This new found liberty and freedom molded Americans into self reliant, open minded, and enterprising people. Was America perfect? No not at all. Slavery still existed in the South, and corporations were flexing their muscle in attempting to create a new American type of mercantilism. Since nothing is perfect, I do not wallow in immolating the American Revolution or the American Republic. The American Revolution and it results changed the world. The capitalism that was created made America the first modern nation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem you don't seem to see is that capitalism actually moves us constantly toward fascism/tyranny of control.

Most business models are autocratic or oligarchy. As these businesses gain more power their self interest based on profit is to protect their wealth. And thus they either become the state or hyjack it.

Capitalism is very dangerous if the people lose control of those with wealth. Because wealth is political power. I find it amazing how many of these wealthy people don't want government or people to influence their lives but they have no problem influencing the rest of us.

It's the same as most business people hate lawyers, except their lawyer. They all want a one way street where they can dominate. And most of these business people don't give a damn about liberty or justice. They only care about liberty up to the point it protects them and can be used as a weapon against others. This becomes ever more true with the larger business structures.

I personally don't believe big business and liberty can exist together. One or the other will be destroyed. And it is far easier to destroy liberty than it is to stop tyranny.

Again, capitalism promotes authoritarian control structures. How much freedom is there as an employee? How many cameras are watching you? How many background checks did you have to go through for even a simple cashier job?

Until people like yourself acknowledge the dangers of capitalism and the structures it creates in society we will get no where. I don't believe taxation and more government is the solution to these problems, but I do understand the dangers of capitalism. Capitalists have constantly saught to undermine liberty in the US for their agendas. Until we as a society can face this together these authoritarians will only grow in power.

Otherwise from my perspective it is like you are saying that the catholics down the street are not practicing real christianity. My personal version is the only true religion. I only treat people nice and respect everyone and thus they are not christian because of some reason.

Capitalism does promote evil in the world and suffering. Until you as a capitalist can come to terms with this there will be no solving these problems. You will continue to run behind some ideology and say those people are not true capitalists, even when they are capitalists with all the ugly it brings. It brings good to but stop hiding from the ugly.

Liberty and justice for all is more important than capitalism. Until you can seperate capitalism from liberty there will be no hope for America. This is a problem the whole world is facing.

We can either have liberty and justice for all or we can have control by capitalists. We cannot have both.