Brad Miller

Pravda – Ten Myths of Capitalism. We will agree to disagree.

In True nature of the State on March 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

You may have read an article recently on the Russian News site called Pravda,  praising Sheriff Joe Arpaoi’s quest to arrest the “persons of interest” concerning the forging of our current President’s birth certificate. (The sheriff if he’s interested in the biggest counterfeiting scheme ever in human histroy should arrest Bernake and the members of the Federal Reserve Board.)

While I do agree that the current resident of the White House is ineligible to lead it’s not because of his dubious birth. I believe that he is unfit to lead because of the principles he holds dear. He believes in the philosophy of Collectivism. The basic tenet of which is that the “collective”, the “State”, or the “majority” grant rights to individuals, and that no one has any inalienable Natural Right to their life, Liberty, and justly earned property. It is those in power who determines how everyone else should live.

It’s funny how the Collectivists in Russia are trying to get the Collectivist in the White House fired. But that is how it has always been with Collectivists. All Central Planners, those who want to determine how others should live, always believe their system their plan, their brand of collectivism is the best and can not tolerate anyone else who has a different plan.

The most famous split of the Collectivists occurred within Communist Soviet Union between Stalin and Trotsky. Eventually Trotsky was hunted down and eventually killed in Mexico. And the animosity between Hitler and Stalin was not Fascism vs. Communism. No, it was two collectivist central planners who thought their plan for the lives of the world’s inhabitants was the best and couldn’t stand to have anyone stand in the way of realizing their Global Dream of Conquests. We must remember that Lenin wanted Moscow to be the Communist Capital for not only the USSR but for the entire world and Stalin was in lock step with his ideology. And everyone is familiar with Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich in which he wanted to rule the world. These two Central Planners, these two Collectivists differed only on the specifics of how to violate the Natural Rights of Individuals, not in if they should be violated.

An interesting quote from another article was that anything that ” The U.S. wants for Russia is bad for Russia and anything the U.S. is against Russia having is good for Russia. It’s as simple as that. ” To me that sums up Pravda’s ideology.

I by no means am defending the United State Federal Government. And what the quote above expresses may in fact be true. The Federal Government is out of control.  That being said I think the anti-west mentality of a lot of the world wrongly focuses on the concept of freedom, individualism and private property as the problems in the U.S. instead of the massively intrusive increasingly Collectivist Federal Government. Those who “hate the West” don’t hate the  ideals of Liberty, Private Property and Individuality directly, instead they hate the U.S. Federal Government which they believe is the expression of these values. When in reality the U.S. Federal Government is no longer based upon Individualism, Personal Liberty and your inalienable Natural Rights.

And that is where the Article “Ten Myths of Capitalism” misses the mark. The writer fails to grasp that it is not Free Market Capitalism that exists and causes all the problems in America and the world but it is Crony Capitalism or more accurately stated, Fascism that is causing all the problems.

My take is that Capitalism is just the means of production in private sector vs. publicly held. But that belies the point that in America today we don’t have a Free Market system at all. Private Property is all but a myth because of taxation, regulation and inflation. All levels of Government regulate and tax every transaction, they charge property taxes, they control what is built where and over 30% of the land in the U.S. is owned by the Federal Government. So it is not unfettered Free Market Capitalism that is the issue but the government regulation, taxation and inflation that is destroying that very system.

It all boils down to the fact that  all levels of Government in the U.S. violate on a daily basis the Natural Rights of Individuals and that is what the . Let me be clear that if you are reading my blog for the first time I advocate for a Stateless Society in Which individuals are free to voluntarily exchange with one another without coercion. Until then I advocate for the drastic shrinking of all government especially the Federal Government back down to a strictly night watchman state. That is a government that is only constituted to protect the life and justly earned property of individuals. When the Collectivists of all stripes look at the U.S. they are not seeing a Collectivized State, at least not one that is collectivized enough. And I think that maybe what the author of the Pravda article is trying to accomplish.

The Word Capitalism by the way was first coined by Karl Marx. So it is a loaded word to begin with. We must remember we are all Capitalists and Entrepreneurs. Everyone of us deploys our “Capital” everyday to better our lives by investing in ourselves. Everyday we are entrepreneurs because we sell our labor. So these terms are very loaded and should be scrutinized. The Collectivist like nothing more than to divide and then group all of the “alienated” members of society together in order to wield power to gain the reigns of Government.

This debate boils down to what Rand talked about with the two diametrically opposed systems that Governments can be based upon, either  Individualism or Collectivism. The Pravda article fails to see that the U.S. has for the last 100 years moved away from the Individualistic system to one that is more and more Collectivist everyday.
Here are the myths and my refutation.

Myth 1#

Myth 1. Under capitalism, anyone who works hard can become rich

The capitalist system will automatically provide wealth to hard-working individuals. Workers unconsciously formed an illusory hope, but if it does not come to fruition, they will be blaming themselves only. In fact, under capitalism, the probability of success, regardless how much you may have worked, is the same as in a lottery. Wealth, with rare exceptions, is not created by hard work, but is a result of fraud and lack of remorse for those who have greater influence and power. It is a myth that success is the result of hard work and, combined with luck and a good dose of faith, depends on the ability to engage in entrepreneurial activity and level of competitiveness. This myth creates the followers of the system who support it. Religion, especially Protestant, works to support this myth as well.

It was only in the last 220 years that man has progressed more than at any other time in the 6000 years of recorded history. It is only because of the mostly free individuals in America and England to a certain respect that the material innovation that the world enjoys is possible. Capital formation in the hands of private individuals pursuing their own self-interest is the best means by which to achieve prosperity. No central planners on Earth can do what free men can do. I agree that influence is used to gain favors from Government. But its Government who has the power of Legalized force behind them. No Amazon or Intel or Apple have police forces. So if hard work, faith, with some luck don’t allow for an individual succeed what does that leave us with? I guess he answers it when he writes that it is only through the result of fraud and lack of remorse for those who have greater influence and power. In the end that is what the Collectivists are always trying to acquire, POWER.

Myth 2. Capitalism creates wealth and prosperity for all

Wealth, accumulated in the hands of a minority, sooner or later will be redistributed among all. The goal is to enable the employer to accumulate wealth without asking questions. At the same time the hope is maintained that sooner or later workers will be rewarded for their work and dedication. In fact, even Marx concluded that the ultimate goal of capitalism is not the distribution of wealth but its accumulation and concentration. The widening gap between the rich and the poor in recent decades, especially after the establishment of the rule of neo-liberalism, has proven the opposite. This myth has been one of the most common during the phase of “social welfare” of the postwar period, and its main task was the destruction of the socialist countries.

The problem again is Not Free Market Capitalism. It is Government intervention and the use of Legalized Force to benefit some and punish others. How can anyone think that Government Regulations, Taxation, and Inflation are mechanisms of a Free Market that is based upon the Natural Rights of Individuals? Only when Individuals are free from the shackles of government coercion can they be free to pursue their definition of happiness, uncover their potential and follow their own uniqueness. You don’t need central planners to do that. You just need to get government out-of-the-way and this always includes eliminating the Federal Reserve.

Myth 3. We are all in the same boat

Capitalist society has no classes, therefore the responsibility for the failures and crises also lies on all and everyone has to pay. The goal is to create a guilt complex for workers, allowing capitalists to increase revenues and pass expenditures onto the people. In fact, the responsibility lies entirely on the elite consisting of billionaires who support the government and are supported by it, and have always enjoyed great privileges in taxation, tenders, financial speculation, offshore, nepotism, etc. This myth is implanted by the elites to avoid responsibility for the plight of the people and oblige them to pay for the elite’s mistakes.

Everyone is responsible for themselves. There is no “plight” of the people. There are only individuals. Only individuals act, only individuals feel, only individuals can think. I do have a problem with Privatizing gains and socializing losses. Again this boils down to the central planners at the Federal Reserve, the White House and the Congress who intervene into every aspect of our lives. If the Federal Government stayed within the enumerated powers and was ran on a shoe string budget it would have no favors to dole out. By the way we are all in the same boat. Every Human on Earth is on the same boat, its called Earth. And the best way for us all to live in Peace and for everyone to have the best chance at prospering is through Free Trade which must have the Right of Private Property as its foundation.  We are all Social and Rational Animals. The best way to prosper is to trade with other humans.

Myth 4. Capitalism means freedom

True freedom is only achieved under capitalism with the help of the so-called “market self-regulation.” The goal is to create something similar to a religion of capitalism, where everything is taken as is, and deny people the right to participate in making macroeconomic decisions. Indeed, the freedom in decision-making is the ultimate freedom, but it is only enjoyed by a narrow circle of powerful individuals, not the people, and not even the government agencies. During summits and forums, in the narrow circles behind closed doors, the heads of large companies, banks and multinational corporations make major financial and economic decisions of strategic nature. The markets, therefore, are not self-regulating, they are being manipulated. This myth has been used to justify interference in the internal affairs of non-capitalist countries, based on the assumption that they have no freedom, but have rules.

The idea that I should have any say over a corporate board is insane. That being said I do believe that the Federal Reserve should be abolished, the Entitlements ended, the income tax ended and fund the Federal Government with a National Lottery. That way no coercion is necessary for the funding of the Federal Government. Free Markets are self-regulating. It is called Spontaneous Order. It happens everyday without the interference of central planners. It is precisely because Central Planners are interfering with the Free Market that distortions are occurring. By the way when anyone talks of regulating the Free Market they are talking about regulating individual behavior. That is because the Free Market is simply individuals voluntarily trading with each other for mutual gain. No one needs to plan these interactions because no one knows what each individual values.  And the Free Market is self-regulating becasue each individual is responsible for their choices and will have to adjust their behavoir to those consequences. In others words individuals will do more that profits them and do less that causes a loss. That is how the pursuit of self-interest is the most efficient means of production and must be done by each individual and not dicatated by central planners.

Myth 5. Capitalism means democracy

Democracy can only exist under capitalism. This myth, which smoothly follows from the previous one, was created in order to prevent the discussion of other models of social order. It is argued that they are all dictatorships. Capitalism is assigned such concepts as freedom and democracy, while their meaning is distorted. In fact, society is divided into classes and the rich, being ultra-minority, dominate over all others. This capitalist “democracy” is nothing but a disguised dictatorship, and “democratic reforms” are processes opposite to progress. As the previous myth, this one also serves as an excuse to criticize and attack non-capitalist countries.

The idea of other models of social order always means coercion and in the previous myths the writer spoke of the “elites” ruling a country. Who does he think will “plan” and “run” these new Social Orders. My only thought is that he thinks he will be one of the one’s at the top. It’s amazing how someone from Russia doesn’t remember the Soviet Days and how those in Power lived like kings while everyone else suffered. Again I’m not excusing the current system in America. It is more of an Empire than anything else. What I am defending is the Ideas of Natural Rights, Spontaneous Order and the idea that human interactions are harmonious if left alone.

Remember what Ayn Rand said “the smallest minority in the world is the individual.”

And where in any collectivist society was the rights of the minority of “one” placed above the needs of the “many”?

Myth 6. Election is a synonym of democracy

Election is synonymous with democracy. The goal is to denigrate or demonize other systems and prevent a discussion of political and electoral systems where leaders are determined through non-bourgeois elections, for example, on the virtue of age, experience, or popularity of candidates. In fact, it is the capitalist system that manipulates and bribes, where a vote is a conditional term, and election is only a formal act. The mere fact that the elections are always won by representatives of the bourgeois minority makes them unrepresentative. The myth that bourgeois elections guarantee presence of democracy is one of the most entrenched, and even some left-wing parties and forces believe it.

Voting is not the answer if there is not a Candidate like a Ron Paul or Gary Johnson. All the other Big Government Collectivists will keep the status quo. But the Answer is not the taking of power by the masses either. the best option  is through individual action and self-improvement will there be any change in the world.

” If a man wants to move the world, he must first move himself.” Socrates.

“Everyone wants to change the world but no one wants to change themselves.”

When we first educate ourselves then others people will naturally be so disgusted with the Collectivists of both parties they will not only vote for them and will demand more and more Liberty minded politicians to limit government down to protecting the lives of individuals and their property from force and fraud. And then people would demand an end to all compulsory taxation as well. Government would then only be funded by voluntary means like a National Lottery system. People would also demand competing currencies and an end to the Government’s monopoly of money.

Myth 7. Alternating parties in office is the same as having an alternative

Bourgeois parties that periodically alternate in power have alternative platforms. The goal is to perpetuate the capitalist system within the dominant class, feeding the myth that democracy is reduced to the election. In fact, it is obvious that two-party or multiparty parliamentary system is a one-party system. These are two or more factions of one political force, they alternate, mimicking the party with an alternative policy. People always choose an agent of the system, being sure that this is not what they are doing. The myth that bourgeois parties have different platforms and are even oppositional, is one of the most important, it is constantly discussed to make the capitalist system work.

Again the author misses the point. It is not the “Capitalist Bourgeois System”, which by the way is impossible to classify, it’s the force of government intervening into the lives of individuals that is the problem. It doesn’t matter who has the reigns of power whether it is the “workers” or “proletariat” or the “ruling elite” it is still legalized force with which it is used to direct, control and plan the peaceful interactions of individuals. That is what is evil, no matter what system it occurs under, or who holds the reigns of power.

Myth 8. The elected politician represents the people and can therefore decide for them

The politician was granted authority by the people, and can rule at will. The purpose of this myth is to feed the people with empty promises and hide the real measures that will be implemented in practice. In fact, the elected leader does not fulfill that promise, or, worse, starts to implement undeclared measures, often conflicting and even contradicting the original Constitution. Often such politicians elected by an active minority in the middle of the mandate reach their minimum popularity. In these cases, the loss of representation does not lead to a change of the politician through constitutional means, but by contrast, leads to the degeneration of capitalist democracy in the real or disguised dictatorship. The systematic practice of falsification of democracy under capitalism is one of the reasons for the increasing number of people who do not go to the elections.

It’s interesting he cites the Constitution. If he means our Constitution then he should know that it was based upon the securing of The Natural RIghts of Individuals in America from Government. It was an imperfect but unique document in the annals of Human history. It stated that the Creator not the State granted the individual his rights and that they were inalienable and included the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Also the right to justly earned property is included as well. So clearly our Federal Government is no longer chained down to these principles and it is more and more implementing and acting upon Collectivist principles.

Myth 9. There is no alternative to capitalism

Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the only possible economic and political system, and therefore the most appropriate one. The goal is to eliminate the study and promotion of other systems and eliminate competition using all possible means, including force. In reality, there are other political and economic systems, and the most known is scientific socialism. Even within the framework of capitalism, there are versions of the South American “democratic socialism” or European “socialist capitalism”. This myth is intended to intimidate people, to prevent the discussion of alternatives to capitalism and ensure unanimity.

The only alternative to all Collectivism is Individualism. That is the only two systems that the author should be talking about. He is in error thinking that in America we do not already have massive amounts of Socialism in our government. How does he explain the concentration of wealth of 3.5 trillion annually into the Federal Government and another 1.5 Trillion or so into State and Local Government? I believe that when individuals are more  free great things are possible. The less government the better. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Reserve, Welfare for individuals and businesses, and the ever-increasing invasions overseas is based upon Collectivist ideology and not upon the philosophy of Individualism.

Myth 10. Savings generate wealth

The economic crisis is caused by the excess of employee benefits. If they are removed, the government will save and the country will become rich. The goal is to shift the liability for capitalist debt payment onto the public sector, including the retirees. Another goal is to make people accept poverty, arguing that it is temporary. It is also intended to facilitate the privatization of the public sector. People are being convinced that savings are the “salvation” without mentioning that it achieved through the privatization of the most profitable sectors whose future earnings will be lost. This policy leads to a decrease in state revenue and reduction of benefits, pensions and benefits.

The dependence on anyone besides yourself is the problem. Think about all the laws today concerning 401ks, IRAs, Social Security and Medicare, The new Health Care Mandate, the EPA, the Energy Dept, Public Education, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the Federal Reserve, the Progressive Income Tax, the regulation of the Airwaves and Roads. Think about the police state that is growing everyday. It is becoming more and more like 1984 everyday. And isn’t that the kicker. Everyone is trying to “plan” a new society to tell others how to live and the very act of trying to “plan” the peaceful interactions of individuals leads every one of those Collectivist systems to a future like 1984.

I would love to see an end to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. I would love to have 100% of my paycheck which is truly mine. No one else worked for that. I am the only one entitled to the product of my labor. I want an end to all “entitlements”. It violates not only Economic Law but your very Natural Right to your Liberty and your justly earned Property. Collectivist always want to demand more and more from everyone. They are never satisfied until 100% of the productivity is under their “control” through the direct means like in COmmunism or in the indirect means like with Fascism. Either way the individual has no rights except what the Ruling Elite administering the will of the “PEOPLE” grant them. That is Collectivism and we are sliding more and more into that everyday. I wish it was the opposite and we were going towards a more Free Market Society in which everyone’s Natural RIghts were respected and everyone was free to do what they wanted to as long as it didn’t violate the Natural Rights of others.

The Collectivist Governments of the world killed over 170 million of their own citizens instituting their “plans” in the last century. We should all be careful when anyone wants to tell you how to live and at the same time are seeking to acquire the seat of power in Government. Because all too often in history when the worker revolutionaries gained the reigns of power and controlled the Government they unleashed a reign of terror.

Freedom is good. And as Mises put it “Freedom always means freedom from Government” I want to live in a world in which every individual has the courage and confidence  to live their lives as they see fit, to pursue their passion and to do like Leonard Read wrote “anything Peaceful”.

The Pravda article is interesting and gave me a glimpse into the mind of a Collectivist who is focused on Capitalism as the great evil, when in reality it is as always, Government Action that is evil. Taken a step further it is the very Collectivist ideas that the author of the article espouses that has led to the massive Government Intervention we see in this country today and around the world. That is because all Collectivism is based on the notion that the ruling elite administering the will of the people have the moral authority to determine who has what rights. That is scary.

I believe that every individual even the author of the Pravda Article has a God-given Natural RIght to his or her Life, Liberty and Justly acquired Property. Even if the Collectivists of the world don’t believe that.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Living Life to the Fullest

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