Monday, February 7, 2011

Capitalism, A Forgotten Value

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism

I have to chuckle when I listen to the business community and or the governemnt. specially when either talks about capitalism.

Capitalism is something our founders understood. For a brief, maybe one hundred years or so following them so did most Americans. They understood what it is as well as the value it gave to a free society.

However, after 1900 or thereabouts something changed. I think we all know what it was that began to slowing erode capitalism until today we have only a shell of real capitalism. And a  perverted shell at that.

Yes, certainly I blame the anti capitalist governemnt mentality that took hold and ultimately grew in America, much to its great detriment. I also blame equally the businessmen and the manufactures that once were responsible for this nation's prosperity and the creation of  national wealth {those who produce}because they became willing partners in the efforts that served to eliminate true capitalism.

By asking for and accepting favors in the form government subsidies, business played into the hands of the progressive elements  of society and a progressive socialistic government  and in the process played their cards against the best interest of capitalism, the American people, and a free society.

Consider the following from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.... "I said that the "liberals" are coining and spreading the "anti concepts" in order to smuggle this country into statism by an imperceptible process - and that the primary target marked for obliteration is thew concept of "capitalism," which if lost would carry away with it the knowledge that a free society can and did exist"

Consider as well this, again from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.... " "No "anti concept" launched by the "liberals" goes so far so crudely as the tag "consumerism." It implies loudly and clearly that the status of "consumer" is separate from and superior to the status of "producer"; it suggests a social system dedicated to the service of a new aristocracy which is distinguished by the ability to "consume" and vested with a special claim on the castes serfs marked by the ability to produce. If taken seriously, such a tag would lead to the ultimate absurdity of the communists proclaiming: "Who does not toil, shall not eat" - and the alleged representatives of capitalism replying: "Oh yes he shall!"

Anyone truly interested in understanding true capitalism and its force for good should read Ayn Rand's book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

I vaguely recall a time when the banking industry was lauded as "Pillars of the Community." Well, given the recent past and the financial meltdown I suppose we can all agree the neither banking industry nor the financial industry in general represent any such "pillars.". Rather they, as well as the government represent corruption and control. Today neither represent anything even close to an understanding of what true capitalism is.

Consider the following from the third President of these United States, Thomas Jefferson.... "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Indeed, if President Thomas Jefferson and Ayn Rand where with us today there is no doubt but they would be appalled at the Corporatism, Crony Capitalism, Anti Concepts, and lack of Intellectual Honesty that currently pervades our society.

Unfortunately neither modern liberals nor modern conservatives are talking honestly and rationally on the issues herein introduced. This is not all that surprising if one thinks about it. After all, as we have grown to observe {assuming we have observed reality at all}, regardless of party, ideology, or level of awareness it is likely that all roads eventually converge at the same point. The failure to reexamine the principles of capitalism. and allow a true capitalism to again take root and eventually flourish will, at a not to distant time, result in our society becoming {willingly}enslaved to the corporatist, crony capitalist, and the anti concept snake oil salesmen.

The choice we make must be that of people. The road we choose to take rests with us. Isn't it time that all Americans that truly long for a better more prosperous future take action to insure we remain a free people. A   people at liberty to choose the course of or life and succeed own our own merit and hard work.

This is The United States of America. We can accomplish great things if we renounce emotionalism and lead our lives and our nation by rational concepts. Concepts borne of physical reality and determined to be true based on cognitive reasoning and logic.

Cross posted to the Left Coast Rebel and Democracy Central

Via: Memeorandum


  1. This is a very interesting topic, but also extremely complex, difficult to wrap one's mind around.

    There's an important point I'd like to add via metaphor.

    Capitalism is a theoretically manageable, natural system, not an "ideal."

    Think of a salad garden.

    If you plant a garden without regard for what you plant, in all likelihood some of the plants will grow beyond control and overtake the other plants, until all you have is just one or two vegetables. Not much of a salad.

    If you do not tend the garden, weeds will grow, pests will eat your plants, and in all likelihood your garden will be overtaken by inedible weeds. No salad at all.

    If you tend one plant too much while ignoring the others, those plants you over-tend may well over-grow, or may well die, while those plants you ignore may well do the same.

    If the soil is properly tended, the right plants are sewn for the natural and artificial conditions, care is given and distibuted by what each plant needs to survive, and care is taken to control pests and weeds, you garden may well will grow just fine. You will enjoy a wonderful salad, with all the fixin's.

    Unfortunately, we have one hugely complex and dynamic garden. There's no quick-fix, easy, simple way of tending it.

    Back in Jefferson's day, we were an agro-export nation. Not any more. Ayn Rand's simplistic answer for everything would lead to no salad for anyone but a few rich people who can afford to have it imported from somewhere else.

    The method of tending our massive, complex, dynamic garden is not going to be quick, easy, or simple. It will require careful oversight and management, knowing when to leave well enough alone and when to act, how to leave well enough alone and how to act, when needed.

    No simple "ideal" is going to do the trick.


  2. >Ayn Rand's simplistic answer for everything would lead to no salad for anyone but a few rich people who can afford to have it imported from somewhere else.

    Every time I think that Jersey can't understand economics less, he/she proves me wrong...

  3. Bastiat,

    Sleazy assaults on my masculinity only prove what a slob you are.

    Be a man and argue your point. Slob.


  4. JMJ - Glad you dabble in "salad making" as it is not only a metaphor, in this case it an example of the "anti concept" mentioned.

    As to Bastiatarian's comment, he merely stating the obvious, you do have a problem grasping complex subjects and concepts as proven by your "salad metaphor."

    You are simply "out of your league" in issues such as those contained in not only this post put in my prior on rational self interest.

    As to sleazy assault, well, Bastiatarian did not assault your masculinity or lack of it. He simply does not know with any certainty your sex. He has no visual or conceptual framework in which to make a concrete and valid determination.

    On the other hand referring to Bastiatarian as a "slob" {twice} has no basis in either a valid visual or conceptual frame of reference. IE: you are shooting from your obvious emotionalism.

    Now being the likable understanding type of man I am, I have given you the benefit of the doubt with respect to your stated masculinity. I shan't go to that length in regards to your ability to understand "complex" issues.

    Nuff said JMJ?

  5. Bastiatarian - Thanks for the visit. Always do enjoy your clarity on these pages.

    Go easy on JMJ ;)

    JMJ is a well meaning person who does actually, from time to time, tweak my clarity and thereby re confirm the validity of concepts we hold as valid. (ethically correct)

  6. Les,

    No. It is a common sleazy attaack on masculinity. I've seen it perpetrated by bloggers all the way up to top pols and pundits all the time. It is designed to rile emotion and divert from the subject at hand. It is sleazy and shows a lack of intellectual accumen - an inability to argue a point.

    My avatar is a picture of me and has been for 4 1/2 years. Besides, why would any self-respecting woman put up such a ridiculous pic? Right at the top of my my profile it says I a man. Why would I lie about that?

    It's just stupid - and sleazy.

    The garden metaphor only varies from the capitalism concept in that the government does not actually create the private enterprises (although, in many cases, it does and in many of those cases, it should). We do, however, pick and choose which enterprises we allow - even libertarians want that. For example, I don't think any sane libertarian would abide the manufacture of heroine for over-the-counter sale to children.

    The variance between the metaphor and the garden is that we simply allow certain private industry to rise up on it's own. Every other aspect of the metaphor is right on track.

    Tending the soil? Building public physical and insitutional infrastructure, making it physically possible, safe, and potentially profitable to do business.

    Tending the plants? Enforcing contracts and fair practices. Trying to keep, to the best of our constitutional ability, actors from illegally gaming the system, or perpetrating fraud or other criminal activity.

    Asserting that I "don't understand economics" is yet another sleazy attack. Once again, we only differ by degree. Of course I understand economics. Anyone who reads any of my posts can see I do. I'm obviously not uneducated. Only a very poor judge of character would think otherwise. It's in how I understand economics that I differ from you guys. And remember, just as many if not more people understand economics the way I do as you guys do. Libertarians do not have a corner on the economic-understanding market.

    I often seriously question libertarians' grasp on economics. Do you guys simply ignore risk aversion theory, diseconomy of scale, decision isolation? Don't believe any of it?

    I think libertarians, like any one else, hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest, as Paul Simon would say.

    We should try to at least regard each others' points of view and examine them, not just willy-nilly brush them aside. I think you'd agree with that.


  7. JMJ - Overall well articulated. As you presented a salad I will dissect my way through the lettuce, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives in search of the meat.

    Perhaps it is a chef salad. I'm just not seeing it yet so after I have my lunch I shall ponder a response/rebuttal.


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