Can Capitalism Be Saved?

The forces that threaten the free market are many. Who dares to stop them? The advocates of the free market appear to be outgunned, though their case can be eloquently made. Every reader would profit by watching the classic video “If I Wanted America to Fail,” which summarizes the inverted policies that hamper the successful operation of our market system. And as our country depends on freedom to prosper, the gradual limitation of economic freedom suggests an even worse danger; that is, the end of political freedom. “Your country is in peril,” said New Zealand author and researcher Trevor Loudon in a recent speech for  America’s Survival. “Small groups of Marxists [now] run your country,” he explained. For the labor unions were taken over by hard-core Marxists in the 1990s, and this affected the trajectory of one of the two major parties which in turn moves the country ever closer to Marxism. Day by day, moment by moment, the checks and balances of the Founding Fathers are breaking down. A highly centralized socialist system is evolving out of the old free market system; and national bankruptcy appears to be an integral part of their plan.

The great political battles of our time may be seen as a contest between socialism and capitalism, with capitalism unable to fight consistently or rigorously on its own behalf. “Opposition in principle to Socialism there is none,” wrote Mises over 80 years ago. And so it would seem today as well. For the regime of regulation and economic control seems to amass new laws and taxes in each decade, according to the prevailing economic or environmental emergency. To be sure, whatever anti-capitalist measure is revoked under a Reagan or a Thatcher, three measures come in its place. “The word ‘Capitalism’ expresses, for our age, the sum of all evil,” wrote Mises. “Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.”

Capitalism can only be saved, and will only continue to exist, if our civilization sets aside the notion of progress as the elimination of all the world’s ills. As human beings we must recognize the absurdity of such perfectionism. “It seems to me,” wrote Minogue, “that our preoccupation with the defects of our civilization is a standing temptation, and a dangerous one, to have recourse to civil authority in order to deal with what we may be persuaded to understand as social imperfections.” Let the generosity of the individual take the place of a welfare state which aims a gun at the head of every taxpayer on behalf of what Minogue calls “classes of vulnerability or hardship.” And even more importantly, we must not, as Minogue warns, “begin to conceive of modern societies as associations of incompetents and cripples.” It is not merely a question of what we can afford. It is also a question of what we would ultimately become under such a system.

Full article: Can Capitalism Be Saved? (Financial Sense Online | JR Nyquist)

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