Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Puppy Dog

Resistance to capitalism isnt about irrationality, it's about crim

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I'm not saying capitalists are criminals!

I'm saying that some people use a capitalist system for either borderline or outright criminal abuses. For instance total and complete destruction of the enviroment in the name of saving a few pennies.

Even if some of the abuses are due to mixed economy capitalism, and may or may not still operate in laissez faire capitalism (or may operate less, but still be there, and thus people would falsely believe that statism would prevent the abuses - ie Company Towns and other predatory abuses, they'd think the State would stop that or they could be sold the idea that it would, just like they falsely believe communism would be a workers paradise), when common people see the "abuses of capitalism" they paint everyone with the same brush. These "bad actors" ruin it for everybody, for the would be Hank Reardens of the world. (I dont see many of those in the world, actually any that I can think of, other than maybe Ricardo Semler of Semco, because alot of our Fortune 100 profits are probably more often due to corruption, abusiveness, government subsidies, and coercive govt help. Even those that legitimately create things also steal whenever they think they can get away with it, they are not white as the snow morally.)

What i'm proposing is that there may be an important moral and psychological distinction.

There is the true looter class - those that are nothing more than pirates themself, or support a government of pirates, that will redistribute wealth to them, and they don't care. We can all probably agree that these people are pretty worthless and referring to them as the howling irrational immoral mob is entirely proper.

Yet there is also a class that has perhaps been traumatized by the excesses of abusive coercive monopoly type capitalism, and resists capitalism not out of irrationality but out of either ignorance (not realizing that the problems are due to coercive monopolies which wouldn't exist in laissez faire, or not having a country properly enforce laws protecting the enviroment or preventing true crime like violent strikebreaker mobs often used in third world countries by oil and mineral companies) or not being able to perceive how having a system with even less laws would do anything to prevent abusive people in positions of power from making life even worse for them. To them it's like letting a rabid dog off the chain to tear up the schoolyard, and government regulation is the only thing protecting them. (or at least this is the idea commonly believed, that government is their protector, just like it was commonly believed Obama would fix everything and not run the country into the ground like he is. Whether it's true is not the point, it's believed to be true, and thats why people choose it because it seems the best or only thing they can choose)

If there is any way that one can PROVE that is an unfounded fear, whether by examples of objectivist communities resisting such abuses, you will be able to undo what I consider the moral, that is legitimate, resistance to unrestrained capitalism. Because so far i'm not convinced that an objectivist society would be free from the ills of organized crime either. I'm really wanting to believe that, thats why i'm asking some very pointed questions, despite having already gone through some of Rand's work and giving credit where credit is due, acknowledging proof that abusing the producers is the worst crime and danger of all in our modern society.

But the supposedly protectionist laws werent put there or supported by the public to intentionally curb or steal from the producers (not normally or not by everyone, all laws are not through and through like that nor is all support for them), they were put there to stop the excesses of abusiveness and destruction that were happening. That seems like a very rational, sane thing to try and do, even if it was poorly implemented, or open for possibly worse abuses that nobody asked, (like who is vested with the arbitrary power to decide what is really abusive and able to prosecute anyone for things that werent crimes when they started) or which primarily seemed to abuse a class (businessmen/producers) that were not properly appreciated at the time for what they really socially contribute.

It is not reasonable to say that someone who is supporting a pro-looting law wants to be a looter through and through and is evil and immoral, they are probably making a judgement trying to choose the least horrible of corrupt badly written laws from two corrupt parties. You could only judge them as evil if given a carte blanche line by line questionaire about what they think is fair or directly support.

One thing that many anti-capitalist types resist is the Company Town, thats an example of predatory capitalism. Lured in by the promise and contract for high wages, you didnt realize that the company store products cost 10x as much and after years of working you are only deeper in debt, not even making ends meet.

You could argue individual responsibility requires a person to carefully consider what theyre agreeing to. You could argue they arent paranoid enough or should know better. Yet when they first came about, NOBODY knew better. Company Towns were abusive, they were predatory, and yet they were legal because no laws existed to prevent them from existing.

Totally unregulated capitalism encourages abusiveness, it encourages loopholes, it encourages predatory behavior to find some "angle" that nobody thought they would have to protect themself from because once you get them into the trap and make the money, nobody can forcibly confiscate your ill gotten gains from you.

Yes unregulated capitalism also frees the true producers, I make absolutely no argument there. There are countless things I want to do that I personally think I could make billions at if I didnt' have to ask hundreds of beaurecrats for permission to produce and sell, the fear of going to jail over some obscure law while trying to make money forces me to put all plans on hold til I can pay thousands to have a lawyer tell me what i'm allowed to do. The sole question that normal people are asking is whether freeing ALL the dogs, the rabid and purebred showdogs alike, makes sense, or whether it's safer to try to keep them all on legal leashes, at least til we see a better way of judging or coming up with objective standards deciding which dogs to let free and which ones to keep leashed. I mean a sane person could probably judge this dog is rabid, it stays leashed, this one is a true showdog, it can run free, but then you have a government of men, not of laws, and once that position is filled by someone not benevolent who accepts bribes, the system itself turns into what we have now. Perhaps no such objective standard exists.

So why do common people resist laissez faire capitalism? They fear everything will turn into a company town. They see themselves solely as the losers in the arrangement, because they are 'commoners' (either by genetic inability to be more, or far more often due to bad culture and poor education) and because they see a government keeping everyone on a leash is better than every city and state everywhere becoming a cartel of Company Towns that is solely interested in feeding off and profiting by them while paying less and less to them for them to buy the things they need to survive.

Their argument is simple, in laissez faire they will have to go through life utterly paranoid of who is trying to fsck them over next because there is absolutely no government restriction on human-on-human or business-on-human predatory attitudes. Everything will be unsafe, everything will be unhealthy, everything will be a race to the bottom and a lowest common denominator because unless you can afford luxury goods like food that isnt poisonous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfWjQZVNd4o at 10x the cost, it's all downhill. They see no benefit, no profit, they see it like a bigger version of when the telecoms were deregulated and their prices for basic phone service just went up. (it did for us, our family resented it, we paid twice as much for what we used to get previously because we didnt care about all the stupid features and crap, we just wanted basic phone service)

China is a good example, melamine in the milk which is killing children and destroying kidneys, because its cheaper to put melamine in the milk and to mix it with milk (to falsely pass the govt testing of protein levels showing its not watered down) than it is to sell real milk. Normal people resist laissez faire capitalism because they think everything will be like this. And so far anywhere the laws seem to be further deregulated over time it IS like that, even if there are criminal prosecutions (china is putting people to death over it, but our US FDA just declared melamine in US infant formula is safe and no longer toxic even though a few years ago the FDA said it was completely toxic. Hmmm..) the temptation to do anything you can get away with because there is either no law restricting it, or because the evidence for safety is a little inconclusive is very high in a "merciless" capitalist society. Especially one with no safety net. If you dont produce and make money in a capitalist society you die, so the focus is on you making money by what you can get away with, not you being as fair and loving to everyone around you as possible. You will find the businessman with expensive health problems and no other skills making the compromise to sell the melamine milk when he has a chance to make his money now, hoping he'll get away with it, because he knows if he fails to produce money in his perhaps one and only shot at wealth, he will die homeless in the society.

Many common people do not resist laissez faire because they are irrational, they see it as resisting criminals or abuses set loose. They say they shouldn't HAVE to walk through life endlessly paranoid of who is going to hurt them next just because they cant stay up with every new health risk, every new predatory scam being pulled, every new side effect being caused by releasing new chemicals into the enviroment that have never existed before. Theyre too busy trying to raise a family and enjoy a little life to spend 12 hours a day researching all the ways that other humans can hurt you. So they try to support a government that they hope will protect them from all that.

Comments? Am I saying something insightful or do you disagree?

Edited by Puppy Dog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...