Those within the occupy movement, the venus project, and the overall left-hybrid-syndalcalist-utopian harbingers of anti-capitalist rhetoric actually believe that capitalism caused the current mess that we are in and that if we look back at history it was this same capitalism which caused the great depression and basically all the woes of history.
Any one that looks just a little farther into the history knows that The Federal Reserve Caused the Great Depression. Even Ben Bernanke himself believes this (although he thinks we should have continued to force inflation during the 1930’s, rather than laying blame to the 1920’s easy money). However, what we have on the left is an attack on the very system that turned our lowly origins into the great nation that we have today. I don’t blame them for believing this, when it has been the product of a slow and quiet movement within our education system, by creating propaganda in order to make people become slaves. It is of sorts reverse psychology, where the bankers and those in power -yet beyond reach of the public eye- get people to reject the very thing that could save them and put power back into their hands. Marx understood this method, and thus saw the beauty of a slow overtaking of every aspect of private life into the hands of a centrally planned government. One must say that the violent overthrow of the Bolsheviks, the want for immediate release of a class-based society by any means at the disposal of the idiot populous, is doomed to fail from the beginning. And Marx Knew this! He knew that it would take something more resembling of American politics to reach this misguided utopia. And the last nail in the coffin is to end what is Private and return everything to the common (and by return I mean to say something that spits in the face of the natural hierarchy of man and animal, although not to say that what is natural is correct):
In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.
From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised [sic], i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say, individuality vanishes.
You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.
So, it is has been to the advantage of the powerful to counter the belief in private property, the belief in free trade, and the belief in voluntaryism, in order to have control of monetary supply; thus, having control of the people. That is why they continue to push the dead beliefs of Keynes and Marx onto a new, young, energetic, and fully naive generation of individuals. While I do not believe Marx ever intended the very bourgeoisie that he despised to take his theory as a way of concentrating wealth, but here we are.
However, I’m not convinced by Marx, nor am I convinced that pulling on the demand curve will stimulate the economy. Hayek truly understood the roots of civilization when he said in his famous work The constitution of Liberty that:
Civilization begins when the individual in the pursuit of his ends can make the use of more knowledge than he has himself acquired and when he can transcend the boundaries of his ignorance by profiting from knowledge he does not himself posses.
To Hayek, Knowledge is a form of Property; one that man acquires and makes use of, in order to fully utilize the physical property that he has acquired so that he can achieve whatever ends that he desires. These ends are happiness. Man seeks to be happy and property (and knowledge as property) is the means to those ends. For some, the knowledge that leads to the most happiness is that of deity, to serve a god and to act as a servant of that god. For others, it is the knowledge of self and the indulgence in self, formally known as hedonism, which allows them to achieve the most happiness. Either way, it is upon the free and open trade of knowledge, along with other physical property, that is at the basis of what we call society.
And Property is the glue that holds the fabric (the individual) of society together. Not collective property, but the private ownership that is derived from the individual labour (whether mental or physical).
When asked if there was one thought that he would like to leave for all future generations, Hayek responded with this:
Modern civilization, which enables us to maintain four billion people in this world, was made possible by the institution of private property. It’s only thanks to this institution that we achieved an extensive order far exceeding anybody’s knowledge, and if we destroy that moral basis, which consists in the aggregation of private property, I think it will destroy the sources which nourish present day mankind and create a catastrophe of starvation beyond anything mankind has yet experienced.
3 billion people later, and the elite of the world wish to destroy this vision, the vision of egalitarian justice and fairness, of measuring the might of men, not by their heritage and upbringing, but by their work, and their ethos. This was the dream of the civil rights movement, that man is free and should not be judged by anything more than the content of their character, and now there is a mighty few who wish to destroy this society (the closest thing to utopia, worldly possible) by tricking those at the lower rungs with ideas of true selfishness (and not the randian model of self-ness) and greed.
No one will deny that there is a wealth gap in this country, no one denies that there is income inequality and that this should be addressed. But what is the solution according to those on the left, guided by their invisible masters (how democratic to appear that you aren’t being led around on a leash)?
TAX! TAX THE RICH! TAX THE RICH AT A PROGRESSIVE RATE! SPREAD THE WEALTH! AND TAX SOME MORE!
This is such a misguided and useless group to be on, the revolution against capitalism, that I just have to speak up.
Tax is inherently progressive. The rich buy more, they own more, and they invest more. To think that a progressive income tax would solve our woes is foolish at best.
What does need to happen is a fair and flat tax, one that does not have regressive perks for those that lobby congress including tax loopholes and pork barrel incentives for congressional districts. What does need to happen is to allow a natural progression of wealth for those that have their books in order. The richest should be those that take the biggest risks with the biggest wins, and those that slowly scrimp and save. Today wealth is created with high-risk investments at little fear of failure for those that make the decisions, this is due to Government interference in the market, quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve, which gives an illusion of stable prices through inflation and fractional reserve lending, and a top down economy that cannot naturally be produced.
We actually reward failure with bailouts and punish hard working middle-class with higher taxes. There is virtually a rope that the lower classes must climb, a rope within a sewage system, and when they reach the top and make the dangerous jump to the next rope, those above them flush the toilet.
This isn’t Capitalism! Even if it comes from the Keynesian Republicans.
Want to create better wages for workers? Incentivize those that offer jobs with Tax breaks for offering higher bottom wages. This isn’t so much a tax break, but a decision on the part of the business owner, to decide if he wants his tax to go to the government or his workers directly. I believe more often than not, the Entrepreneur will choose to make the bottom line, his producers, more comfortable, so they have an incentive to produce more, thus making them all better off.
Want to create more Jobs? Get rid of the minimum wage. Right now we expect those 16 year olds with ZERO job experience to be paid the same as a 40 something that can’t find a higher earning job because the market has been crazy-glued stale with regulation and forced minimums. How about we allow a teenager to work for $3 an hour, and then when they hit 18-20, they gain the privilege of earning minimum wage, which will incentivize the worker to gain job experience so they don’t get the boot when they turn 20, and this will incentivize the employer to hire more young workers. This is at least closer to a free market, but the selfishness of the proletariat is unending. People try to blame the greedy rich, but it is the Government that creates the bad working conditions, they are the ones flushing the toilet, and they exclude themselves from the very system at which they make. This system that we have, created by regulation, evokes anger in the populous, and with unclear minds driven by animalistic necessity to survive and consume, they are willing to find an enemy more rooted in tribalism than reality. The laborer enslaves himself to a government willing to give him his basic needs, only in exchange for his freedom. This is the road to serfdom.
We do not need to force anyone to do anything, but create normative expectations for our society, that are just fact. That those at the top can make choices, just as much as those at the bottom can make choices. We have never had a truly free market system, one that cuts out the market-manipulators, those that sit upon their porcelean thrones, gorging on nothing but power, releasing their bad ideas of central planning on to those below them (including the ultra rich). There they sit at the top of this system along with other foreign powers, those that do not hold accountability, and they exhaust us and starve us, till the point that we can’t take it anymore. Then we give up. We give up on any attempt to reach equality and we all lie in the filth thrown down on us. we revert back to animalism and darwinism. It is at the root of collectivism, and the want of other people’s labor, that we lose ourselves and we lose our desire to seek our own happiness.
Do we need these chains? Do we need to have others guide our lives, because we have no better angels of our own nature?
But in the end, it is the very fact that we are all inherently wicked and selfish, that we have basic necessities that can, overtime, trump any rational progress, any societal invention, such as property and the basic rights of man as individual, that causes us to enslave ourselves to one another, and to a nanny state. We need property in order to be free, and we need a set of social rules, mainly the ideas of Voluntaryism and free trade, that guide our conduct of owning property, so that we don’t revert back to being just species of animals. We are Mankind, and it is our dangerous idea of the individual and his right to own property that sets us apart from all other creatures.
So, before you jump on any revolution, please consider this counter-revolution, that brought our founders to throw off the shackles of tyranny, to live impoverished lives and to risk what could have very well have been their only free breaths, in the words of Thomas Jefferson:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
I hope this will encourage more people to study the words of American Founders, the works of the 700-year british battle against tyranny that came before them, the classical economist and philosophers such as Adam Smith, John Locke, Frederic Bastiat, and the modern works of people like F. A. Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, Jan Narveson, John Hospers, and Murray Rothbard. With that I leave you with a cheesy, yet highly tasty, economist rap battle.