Because of its incorrect portrayal by the left a lot of people misunderstand what capitalism is. Quite simply it is serving one’s fellow man. A capitalist competes in the free market to provide goods and services to other people. All the parties involved benefit from every transaction. It is this amazingly successful mechanism that has built all the world’s wealth over the last 4,000 years and has paid for all the other -isms. With globalisation it has brought billions of people out of poverty during the last few decades. It is the greatest force for good on planet earth.
A capitalist loves it when other people are rich. He knows that wealth is not a zero sum game and the more wealth there is the better he can provide his goods and services. A capitalist hates cronyism, corporatism, clientism, rent seeking, socialism and corruption because they interfere with the market and make everyone poorer.
To a capitalist government is a necessary evil at best, to provide stability, security, infrastructure, education a level playing field and law and order. Unfortunately governments take it upon themselves to do ever more, to interfere in all that they can. And everything they do they do badly, they cause huge damage to the free market and in doing so harm all their citizens. It is those countries of the world where the government interferes least in the market that experience the greatest success. Just look at Hong Kong and Singapore.
Socialism believes in “social justice” which means equality of outcome for all regardless of how much or how little they put in. So, human nature being what it is, everyone puts in less. Socialism believes in “redistribution” which means expropriating from successful people in order to waste on their dogma and to give to unsuccessful people. Socialism believes that the state knows best and should have the maximum power over every individual person. And socialism tries to run and control everything in society, including businesses. It always does this very badly. Any socialist enterprise does not have to look after its customers, so it doesn’t. Any socialist enterprise does not have to make profits and be efficient, so it isn’t.
So you can see that socialism causes harm to people. Whenever it has been tried it has caused harm to everyone in society. Just look at Cuba and Venezuela now, or postwar and winter of discontent Britain, or the Soviet Union, or Eastern Europe, or even Vietnam. Every single time that socialism has ever been tried on the face of planet earth it has failed miserably. It really does occupy the moral low ground and is mostly just pure evil.
Many societies, for instance Western Europe today, try and mix socialism with capitalism. So what you get is the capitalist part of the economy looking after people and creating all the wealth whilst the socialist part fritters the wealth away, looks after people badly and interferes in the market with cronyism and corporatism. Which is why these countries have performed so badly compared with the rest of the world, they just cannot be competitive.
A major factor of capitalism is that it requires the maximum possible personal freedom and human rights, any suppression of these stops free markets from working properly. Socialism requires authoritarianism in order to be implemented (it never works) as anyone who has studied history will tell you. This is incredibly pernicious and evil.
So there you have it. Capitalism believes in freedom and serving one’s fellow man. Socialism believes in control and stealing. It is very clear to see that capitalism is vastly morally superior to socialism.
And finally never forget the immense death count of socialism. It has killed more than all other political philosophies and religions put together.
Previous blogs with more discussion on these subjects (click highlighted text to open).
Capitalism, what is it? Most people really don’t understand.
Socialism, what is it? Most people really don’t understand.