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In Defense of Capitalism

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:32PM

Every single day, millions of Americans demonize capitalism as an intrinsically evil system of repression.

Of course, this is nothing new. Anti-capitalism dates all the way back to the very beginnings of capitalism, though it was popularized by Karl Marx in the mid-19th century.

Since then, the word continues to be misconstrued and weaponized by the lower classes to use against the wealthy.

But let's clear all this up right now...

Capitalism is simply this: an economic system that allows the private ownership of the means of production for profit. It simply allows private individuals to own businesses.

If you disagree, I'd ask you to please open a dictionary.

In a system of no capitalism, the government completely controls a nation's industry and trade.

That's all there is to capitalism.

Being anti-capitalist means being against the private ownership of business. And that in itself is indicative of a repressive government.

Most ultra-liberal kooks still want to associate capitalism with greed or selfishness. But these words are not synonymous. They are two completely different things.

Capitalism is capitalism.

And greed is greed.

Yes, it's true that capitalism allows private individuals to accumulate vast amounts of wealth. And it allows private individuals to hoard that wealth and be greedy. But capitalism itself isn't greedy. Human beings are greedy.

And to some extend, that's not even a terrible thing.

I'm not going to go as far as to agree with Gordon Gekko that “greed is good.” But I will say there is nothing wrong with acting out of self-interest.

The main reason you have all the comforts of modern society is because someone else was acting out of self-interest. In the grand scheme of things, very little gets done without the promise of some return.

Fact is, everyone — 100% of the population — acts out of self-interest sometimes. The human being is both a self-sacrificing and self-serving organism. To deny this is to deny your very nature.

I'm not the first to have these ideas. Take a page from the great Milton Friedman. In a 1979 interview, Phil Donahue asked Mr. Friedman if he ever doubted capitalism, given the extreme wealth gap around the world. Here's what he said:

Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? ... The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.

I actually believe all this is very clear and most people do understand it. However, they choose to play the blame game.

The truth is, when human beings are in situations they can't control, they always tend to blame someone else.

Dr. Susan Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says:

Blame is an excellent defense mechanism. Whether you call it projection, denial, or displacement, blame helps you preserve your sense of self-esteem by avoiding awareness of your own flaws or failings. Blame is a tool we use when we’re in attack mode. Falling into the category of a destructive conflict resolution method, blame is a way to try to hurt our partners.

The point here is simple: Capitalism is not an institution of repression. In fact, it's just the opposite.

Capitalism allows upward mobility for private individuals. Without it, we all live under nearly complete government economic control.

But do not despair, my fellow capitalists. The far-left is just extremely misinformed. We're in the right.

Until next time,

Luke Burgess Signature

Luke Burgess

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As an editor at Energy and Capital, Luke’s analysis and market research reach hundreds of thousands of investors every day. Luke is also a contributing editor of Angel Publishing’s Bubble and Bust Report newsletter. There, he helps investors in leveraging the future supply-demand imbalance that he believes could be key to a cyclical upswing in the hard asset markets. For more on Luke, go to his editor’s page.

P.S. Check that Milton Freidman interview out here.

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