The benefits of Capitalism (and why the alternative is far worse)


Janet Daley has an excellent piece in the Daily Telegrapgh (UK) today. She hits on the notion so many have nowadays of some vague, fairer, better system out there – somewhere – that would be better than the free markets we have today.

However, we are reminded that that “fairer, better” system was tried last century. It’s called Communism (and you can include its baby brother, Socialism, in there too). Yet Daley laments that the utter failure of Communism never really permeated into the mass consciousness after the fall of the Evil Empire in 1989.

The failure of communism should have been, after all, not just a turning point in geo-political power – the ending of the Cold War and the break-up of the Warsaw Pact – but in modern thinking about the state and its relationship to the economy, about collectivism vs individualism, and about public vs private power. Where was the discussion, the trenchant analysis, or the fundamental debate about how and why the collectivist solutions failed, which should have been so pervasive that it would have percolated down from the educated classes to the bright 18-year-olds? Fascism is so thoroughly (and, of course, rightly) repudiated that even the use of the word as a casual slur is considered slanderous, while communism, which enslaved more people for longer (and also committed mass murder), is regarded with almost sentimental condescension.

Daley ponders, and I’ll paraphrase, whether this is because Communism looks better on paper, that it seems fairer at first glance.

I’d say it does.

I don’t know who said it first, but Capitalism is great – the best – because it truly understands human nature. It understands that we actually are pretty greedy and selfish (whether we like it or not). The delicious irony is that whilst Communism purports to enshrine freedom and fairness, in reality it delivers tyranny as we witnessed last century.

And in turn, the beauty of Capitalism is that whilst it “encourages” us to be greedy and selfish, it is actually that which in a free market which ends up helping our fellow man far more than what I’d like to think of as enforced fairness that only resulted in “corruption and a new hierarchy based on party status.”

Indeed.

More people need to know that whilst Capitalism isn’t perfect, it’s the best we have and that any alternative being touted these days is but a rehash of an already tested and failed experiment – Communism and its ilk – that resulted in death, bondage, poverty and misery for millions.

Read Daley’s full argument here.

H/T JM Heinrichs

 

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