Monday, 16 January 2006

Explaining Capitalism

Perhaps the most exciting recent book for capitalists released in the last year has been Andrew Bernstein's Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire (reviewed here and here.)

Capitalism Magazine has a brief excerpt up at their site:
A proper understanding of capitalism is sorely lacking among current politicians, intellectuals and even the American people, who generally support it. In order to gain such understanding, it is helpful to start with a true story that reveals the spirit, the sense of life, the emotional stance and outlook that characterizes capitalism. Then it will be possible to comprehend the deeper principles it embodies and the intellectual causes that give rise to it...
Read on here.

Linked Articles: The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire - Review
Release of the 'Capitalist Manifesto' - Not PC
The Capitalist Manifesto - Excerpt


  1. Capitalism is founded on the socially reckless belief that value can rightly be extracted from society by any means deemed expedient without regard for the consequences. This approach allows us to manufacture, promote, and sell poorly designed, harmful, unhealthy, thoughtless products under the banner of "freedom", thereby causing massive long-term societal damage.

    Though apologists call this valueless approach to resource exchange the best system possible, they are only repeating propaganda that advocates the accumulation of individual private wealth without concern for the implications of the methods used to obtain that wealth or its social results. For example, there is no consideration given to the widespread harm inflicted on society as a result of media, junk food, mechanistic behavioral demands, pollution, economic deceit, and other fundamental aspects of modern capitalism.

    I am not opposed to the trading of goods and services, which is necessary for the survival of any permanent civilization. However, when we make the method of trading goods and services - money - a goal above all us, we destroy the ability to do anything but parasitize ourselves until we collapse and are reborn as a lesser grade, more animal society.

    Capitalism is more than using money to trade for goods and services. It is the use of financing and borrowing to make money in itself a means of social control. It is "free enterprise," and the concept of a society where to have a decent standard of living you have to be monetarily competitive.

    Whether the values of capitalism derive from Judaism, surely they have a lot in common with both Judaism and Christianity in that money is given a supernatural importance in our society. It's as if money exists on a level of holiness separated from this world, and its world is seen as pure and correct to command us. Thus we follow it like dogs, and like dogs we eat each other until only the meannest and dumbest are left.

    This type of society might be fine if you're already dumb and mean (although you may be shrewd), it's destructive to all the higher things that make civilization worthwhile. Intelligent, exciting people. Art, music, literature. Even architecture and cooking are in decline in a society that knows only dollar value. When does the madness end?

  2. That's brilliant satire, Anonymous. My favourite line: "Even architecture and cooking are in decline in a society that knows only dollar value. When does the madness end?" World class. Well done. ;^)

  3. You should take a look at this book Anonymous, because it thoroughly answers your grievances and can show you how your conclusions are based on erroneous logic and misconceptions.

    For example, you attribute harmful products of a corrupt producer as a fault of capitalism. This is like having your car break down and instead of blaming your manufacturer or mechanic, you blame science itself. No such producer would last long in a truly capitalist society (and probably found to be criminal). The same applies to issues like pollution and economic deceit.

    The trading of goods and services is in fact all that lasses-faire capitalism fundamentally is. When two parties freely choose to trade with each other, both only do so if it is to their own benefit. This means every free trade is win/win for everyone involved. In a free society there is no dog-eat-dog or mutual parasitism. The rich get richer and the poor get richer, an effect exhaustingly enumerated and illustrated in Bernstein's book.

    The values of capitalism derive from long before Judaism or Christianity, to the very dawn of man, when men decided to peacefully cooperate for mutual benefit instead of fight and pillage; to choose values that affirm your life instead of ones that destroy it.

    Again your arguments are based on false assumptions. I recommend that even if you could never agree with what is being espoused here, you at least should read Andrew Bernstein's book to understand exactly what it is that you are arguing against.


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