Capitalism is not the cause of any problems we humans face today. In fact, it is arguably the solution to all of them. Capitalism ensures your rights and your freedom. It serves you. Capitalism is the only socio-economic system that says that men are free! Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to slavery and to war. It ended the global slave trade in the 19th century and led to 100 years of international peace from 1812 to 1914. Allow me to explain why capitalism is not the problem, but the solution to the fundamental problems.
Are we free?
Like many men, I always wanted to live on my own land, to create and build a home. I was fortunate to inherit a beautiful piece of land and so I moved on and set about the business of growing organic food and raising my family.
It wasn’t long before the government showed up and told me I needed permission to live as I did, on my own land. Being familiar with the planning system and the justification for it, I wasnt trying to break rules, I wasnt even wanting to build a house! Only live in some temporary structures. I wondered by what reasoning (if any) the state presumed that I need ask for its permission. If a man owns property, why can he not use it as he sees fit, and dwell upon it? Without a contract, how can an organisation, a legal entity, an administrative body, claim to have legitimate control over a man?
Having been told all my life that I was living in a free country, I wanted to test this claim to see if it were true. I was living in a nest of 4 yurts with my wife and two children. The yurts are tent like temporary structures based on a design originating in Mongolia.
When the nice men from the government invited me to apply to them for permission, I agreed to perform any alleged obligation upon proof of legitimate claim. In other words I said, “I will on the condition that you prove that I am lawfully obliged to”. But the court would not discuss the issue of jurisdiction and dismissed the idea of proof of claim. They would not/could not ‘hear’ the issue. My case was crushed without consideration and I was forced to leave my home and my land.
It seems that like free range chickens we are free to roam only so far, and as long as we don’t attempt to leave the farm… In England today, men and women do not have the right to dwell upon their own land without the specific granting of government permission to do so via the planning legislation.
The point here is the presumption of jurisdiction. The presumption is that government has legitimate authority over peaceful men; that the legal pile of paperwork, the idea, the concept of a government can have authority over a flesh and blood living entity. This has implications that contradict the notion of our freedom. The actions of the court demonstrated the implicit assumption it was acting upon. The government acts on the same assumptions when it initiates the use of force against men who have committed no crime. Both demonstrate the defacto relationship between peaceful men and government.
So here in England, although there are many benefit privileges we still currently enjoy, the fact remains that men are ultimately subservient to the state. Fine words tell of government service to the people, but actions to the contrary demonstrate otherwise. I was threated with imprisonment and further fines if I did not move out of my home. The rights of men are in second place to the needs of the state. This is the thin end of the wedge of slavery.
Why bother with freedom, not everyone wants it
Personal introspection tells us that we want to be free. Who wants their life micro-managed by someone else? worse still by some authority?
On the surface, no one wants to do as others command them in the most literal sense. We all know we like to choose how to spend our time. But deeper in the human psyche some people are happy to be told what to do in a more general sense. They are happy to be told how to be healthy, for example, what constitutes and education, how they should live. Such people are content with the presented answers within the Matrix, content to be swept along by the current yet never being quiet sure of the truth themselves.
But to truly live as men, to reach anything close to our full potential, we must be free. Free to exercise choice, and to act upon that choice. We must be free to become what we choose, not what someone else dictates. We must be free to discover and to learn and then to express our own chosen highest values.
Happiness requires freedom. You cannot be happy if you are not in control of your life.
We want to be wealthy, at least most of us do. We want the material values that make life and its enjoyment possible. Wealth creation requires freedom. We need freedom to enjoy all the comforts that we take for granted today.
From the wider perspective, for humanity to grow men must be able to openly question accepted truths, to openly challenge assumptions without fear of censorship or imprisonment.
What is required for human freedom?
Freedom requires 2 basic things.
- A respect for property rights.
- A complete absence of force or coercion.
Freedom necessarily requires that we have the right to our own life. This means having the right to live for our own sake. Logically, man must own his life, his body, his actions, his thoughts, and his produce. Therefore respect for the ownership of private property is essential. This amounts to freedom from the initiation of the use of force by others. Since it is only by force that your stuff can be stolen.
Freedom to think, to choose, to decide, and to act in accordance
Given that freedom means the ability to think and act upon one’s own rational judgment it must also require non-interference from others, freedom from authority, freedom from obedience to any ‘other’. Men must be free from the interference other men, free to disagree, and to act alone according to their judgment. The implicit rule is that you just dont mess with others, basic common law. Do what you will but do not infringe upon the interests of others.
freedom from authority, from coercion, from obedience, from any interference from others.
A lack of freedom stultifies human development, force works against the mind and stagnation results. Ideas cannot be tried by innovating men, development ceases. Humanity has always been, and will always be, held back by lack of freedom, it cannot be otherwise. That which opposes freedom opposes life.
Capitalism is the only Social system that declares man free!
So why all this Anti-capitalism?
Capitalism is the only socio-economic system that declares men free. Plus, capitalism is also the solution to wealth creation. So why are there so many voices raised against it? People appear to be duped into thinking the solution is the problem.
Welcome to the Matrix. The ‘anti-capitalist’ movement is another part of the whole up-side-down-ness of a whole range of assumptions in the mainstream narrative. Ideas are spread by well funded organisations and people seem to absorb the predominat view – without critical examination – almost just because its the official view. Its as though there is a critical threshold of repetition, where if you go over it, you net in all those people who don’t consciously question the issue and arrive at their own answers.
Within the Matrix there are myths about Capitalism. There are myths about the ‘war on terror’, there are myths about health and causes of disease, but the truth is the truth no matter many belive the contrary. In the Matrix Mercury amalgam dental fillings are considered safe, In the Matrix Fluoridation of tap water is consider ethically acceptable and safe, in the matrix vaccinating children with dozens of jabs by the time they are 16 is safe. In the Matrix eating saturated fat is still responsible for heart disease.
Anti capitalism is just propaganda put out by well funded vested interests. Its just another set of slogans to be swallowd without thinking. We must resist being persuaded that we do not own our own lives and that the moral justification of our existence is service to others, or to the state. The Matrix advocates collectivism, following the crowd, and ultimately being owned by the crowd.
The message from outside the Matrix is that the anti-capitalist mantra is a duff steer. Capitalism is the solution. It is not responsible for the crimes for which it is blamed. It is the social expression of freedom. It is the way forward, it’s the un-known ideal. It is the only road to peace, freedom and abundance. When we understand what freedom is and understand what capitalism is, it becomes obvious that capitalism cannot be the problem.
Capitalism creating wealth
We all want to be wealthy? I know I do. To have a fabulous home and plenty of resources with which to enjoy life. Wealth is desirable because it is the values we need to live, the homes, the clothes, the computers, the cars, as well as the infrastructure, the factories the transport systems etc,. The common definition of wealth is – “an abundance of valuable possessions or money”. Money is the means of exchange, and represents value, but wealth is more than just money.
Wealth is the material values that make life and it’s enjoyment possible. Everything from food and lipstick to aeroplanes and computers. Some say that our real wealth is our time and our freedom. But freedom is a condition for the creation of wealth and not strictly a result of it. And our time can ultimately be purchased using surplus value we create, thus giving us ‘freedom’ to choose how to spend our time. Once we have created wealth we are rewarded with the freedom to enjoy it and spoend time as we wish. BUt only if we have an socio economic system that supports wealth creation and freedom.
Wealth is not evil, it supports life. If we re-calibrate our moral compass to reject the religious morality that advocates poverty in this world and riches in the afterlife, we can appreciate that wealth cannot be immoral. If it supports your life and its enjoyment to have stuff, there is nothing wrong with having stuff. Feel no guilt about material possessions – produce them, earn them, enjoy them.
How is wealth created?
For wealth to exist, people have to make things, to produce all the stuff we need. If no one produces anything, there is no wealth and we are right back to being hunter gatherers. No amount of need conjures goods into existence. Things have to be made. Wealth must be produced.
Fortunately we don’t have to make every single thing we need oursleves. Unlike a man on a desert island who has to build a shelter, find food and sow clothing together, we can take advantage of the division of labour. This means each of us can chose what to do, according to our skills and abilities. Production efficiency improves because specialisation means you can get really good at doing what you do, instead of having to do a little bit of everything – like the man on the desert island.
When things of value have been produced, they can be traded. Trade is where the real beauty of the free market can be seen. You see, In any particular trade deal, the thing being received is perceived by the purchaser as having greater value than the price paid. If I buy a shirt it is because I value the shirt more than keeping the money. If you sell me a shirt it is because you value the money more than the shirt. Both parties in a trade profit. Their gain is the difference in their perceived value of the goods received set against the price paid.
In conditions of political freedom and stability and sufficient confidence in the future to make long range plans, trade will flourish. And more trade equals a raising standard of living for everyone. Profits are made and wealth is created because things get produced and bought and sold. The essence of wealth creation is production and trade. Light the blue touch-paper and stand well clear!
A definition of capitalism
Capitalism is a socio-economic system based on the recognition of property rights in which all property is privately owned (including the means of production), and in which men freely exchange goods and services unregulated by any governmental (coercive) intervention.
In other words there are no barriers to, or reasons to stop you or I from plying our trade.
Capitalism is the name for the conditions required by production and trade, the recognition of property rights and the banning of force. Without ownership of one’s effort there is no incentive to produce. Capitalism encourages trade by providing the optimal circumstances that allow it happen, and to reward effort, merit and efficiency. It rewards production. It rewards thinking. It rewards rational planning. It rewards the best.
Laise-faire is a term that came from French traders in the mid 18th century. They were asked by their government what could be done to assist them, and they replied “Leave us alone”. These days it is a term that emphasises zero interference in trade. There is no laissez-faire capitalism. It has never existed. When capitalism began in the states it was diluted from the start with state intervention.
Capitalism is Moral
So we can see that the principles of capitalism work very well to create wealth. Few seriously dispute this fact. But the justification for capitalism is that it is the only socio-economic system that is moral.
- Capitalism upholds the individual rights of men.
The only way to breach someone’s rights is by initiating force. It is the action of coercing a man to act against his own judgment, to go against his own perception of reality, and his judgment of his rational self-interest. Force is most profoundly anti-life. The banishing of the use of force except in self-defense is central to morality and central to capitalism. This is why capitalism is the only socio-economic system fundamentally opposed to war. It advocates trade to mutual advantage, not theft, conquest or helping people by force.
2. Capitalism is the only system inherently opposed to to slavery.
It is against the initiation of the use of force, period. Capitalism holds that everyone owns their own life, not a negotiable percentage of it. Slavery came to an end in the 19th century when capitalism showed that a slave economy cannot compete in a free market. The global slave trade came to an end as a result of capitalism.
3. The ruling principle of capitalism is justice.
Capitalism reveals it true guiding principle by standing against theft and rewarding the producer, the thinker, the one prepared to take responsibility for the many complex decisions that have to be made to produce things and create wealth.
If peace, freedom and abundance are what we wish to create in the world then capitalism is the way to go.
Problems with a mixed economy
The alleged dark side of capitalism is in fact all the worst aspects of statist intervention, manipulation of the money supply, and state collusion with big business.
Our economic world today is called a mixed economy. We have a centralised fractional reserve banking system, a central bank and a fiat currency, These are all contrary to the principles of capitalism. There are regulations and controls imposed on whole industries as well as the money supply, we have tariffs and duties, we have subsidies, licenses and special government granted franchises. ALl of this is contrary to the principles of capitalism.
Yes, we have a market, but not a free market, we have a controlled and regulated market. Trade on a significant scale would not happen at all without some limited property rights. Some degree of choice has to be permitted to allow people to buy stuff, otherwise economic activity wouldn’t get off the starting blocks. But the point to note is this. Of all the aspects of a modern mixed economy, it is the core principles of capitalism that are the only parts worth keeping. The statist interventions, the manipulations of the money supply and collusion with Big Business, are like the thugs in the room, with a gun in the back of capitalism. While capitalism is labelled the criminal, wrongly held responsible for the deeds of the thugs.
A free market is a beautiful thing if left to its own devices. It is relatively stable yet ever growing and adapting to new technologies and new techniques. It doesn’t stagnate or grind to a halt. people always need goods and services to live. It is a matter of historical record that economies have always flourished with greater economic freedom. If left alone the free market works beautifully to establish prices and balance supply and demand. Efficiency is rewarded, waste is punished and the choices and judgment of the customer lead the way.
Unfortunately the mixed economy we have today creates a tag between Big Government and Big Business. The rich gangster to pay the bills and corrupt bully of government to enforce the rules. Wealthy enough private interests can buy influence. Some people call it lobying, but the effect is to get beneficial legislation that favours a particular vested interest. It is this un-holy alliance that creates monopolies and subsidises entire industries – injustice imposed by law.
Anti-capitalists would perhaps benefit from looking at results of socialism. From the disasters of the USSR and Cuba to modern day basket-case Venezuela. Increased state intervention is repeatedly shown to be the way to misery, scarcity and suffering. A proposed solution that advocates re-distributing wealth necessitates the theft of that wealth from the one who has produced it. Acting immorally in the name of a supposedly ‘moral’ redistribution of wealth is a contradiction.
Further more the back-to-front morality within the Matrix has convinced many people that wealth itself is immoral. But the idea of vast fortunes being morally wrong is unfounded, as well as ignorant of the need of such accumulations of capital to run an industrialised economy. The money to invest in research and devlopment and new technologies comes from these fortunes.
Capitalism does not advocate neglecting those in need, it simple says you mustn’t rob anyone in order to help them.
Interestingly many of the problems of the current socio-economic system could be solved by Bitcoin which removes the need for central control of the economy and replaces much of the current need for the legal system by introducing a publically held ledger of transaction in ‘the block chain’.
Please feel free to join the conversation and leave a comment below.
Love and laughter
Nigel Howitt, October 2017
- ‘Capitalism the Creator‘ – by Carl Snyder
- ‘The God of the Machine’ – by Isabel Patterson
- ‘Human Action: A Treatise on Economics’ – Ludwig Von Mises
- ‘Planning for Freedom’ – Ludwig Von Mises