Does Capitalism Do Better With an Enemy?

There is a new book, among many to come, discussing the current financial collapse. This paragraph of the review stuck out to me:

Once upon a time in America and Britain, he observes, “the jet engine of capitalism was harnessed to the ox cart of social justice, to much bleating from the advocates of pure capitalism, but with the effect that the Western liberal democracies became the most admired societies that the world had ever seen.”

Then the Wall crumbled, and “the jet engine was unhooked from the ox cart and allowed to roar off at its own speed. The result was an unprecedented boom, which had two big things wrong with it: It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t sustainable.”

He is talking about the fall of the Berlin Wall. It seems that the thesis is that capitalism was fine when there was a communist enemy because it forced capitalism to be “kinder.” The system of capitalism is designed to raise money and make money… lots of it. But when we battled communism as an ideal, there were things we did as capitalists that gave money to key parts of the world. We had more philanthropy and it was the envy of the world.

Now, without any “enemy,” capitalism just took off and the rich got richer and looked for ways to just keep getting richer. It’s an interesting thought. I’m not sure that is where the author is going, but it’s how the review sounds.

5 thoughts on “Does Capitalism Do Better With an Enemy?

  1. Prepare for some ranting on my part. In the words of Stan Lee’s character The Thing, “It’s CLOBBERIN’ TIME!!”

    This opening paagraph sounds like the same old liberal rehash of the evils of Capitalism in the “era of greed”, a term coined by former president Bill Clinton describing the 1980’s (from which he benefitted, having inherited the strongest economy in 50 years, courtesy of the Reagan Administration).

    The assertion that Communism forced Capitalism to be kinder is ludicrous at its face, and ignorant of the historical record. Capitalists were plenty kind without an enemy forcing them to do so (i.e., Lincoln and the Civil War; the Republicans and the Civil Rights legislation of 1964).

    If one’s view is that “only government” can make a difference (a quote from Obama, BTW), then the individual is maligned as inconsequential. Nothing could be further from the truth! The problem is, this thesis ignores the tremendous social contributions and giving records of American individuals, which totals in the billions.

    It also ignores the evils of Communism, which fails every time it’s tried (hence, the Current Administration), and is more unfair, more unjust, and absolutely crushing to the individual.

    Finally, it ignores the fact that we already HAVE an enemy: Islamo-Fascism, as embodied by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and radical Islam. The sad thing is we refuse to acknowledge this enemy because we have been indoctrinated with political correctness, and this doctrine is what’s killing our country (it’s true that we are not at war with Islam, but all the combatants ARE Muslim!).

    Capitalism does not equalize outcomes (which seems to be the unrealistic expectation of some Americans, including the author of this book), but it does equalize opportunities. You want a better life? You have the tools of liberty, education and opportunity, if you dare to take advantage of it. It is the solution to our current economic woes, if the government will just get out of our way.

    I will grant you that no economic system is just, but Capitalism is the system that made this country the place where everybody is trying to gain access. How many people do you see trying to illegally enter Iran, North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela? (Well, Al Qaeda is trying to illegally enter Yemen, but not for the prospect of a better life, I can tell you that much!)

    Okay, I’m done, but honestly, how can you NOT see where this book is going with that opening paragraph?

  2. Great read from Bill H. I especially like this part of his read ” I will grant you that no economic system is just, but Capitalism is the system that made this country the place where everybody is trying to gain access. How many people do you see trying to illegally enter Iran, North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela? ”

    I don’t believe we (U.S.) needs an enemy to still be a capitalist nation. However, when we do have an enemy( as Bill points out in Islamo-Facism,)in my opinion, it some how stimulates our country and government some how. whether stimulating for the good of our nation or not.

    Capitalism does create opportunities for individuals to some how make money or get money for themselves, then to spend money, and when we have money we make more money, spend money and keep it going. I don’t think the government under Obama needs their hands in it all the time for us as people to do it. to keep capitalism going. the way it is now, with all this stimulus plan ‘moneys’ is creating a big hole. its a temporary bandaid for a big cancer that really needs a cure.

  3. I do believe capitalism, socialism, and communism are only SYSTEMS. There isn’t anything “godly” about them as systems. I also believe, based on the founding of this nation and the philosophy of our founding fathers, they chose the form of government to try and make sure MORE people had equal opportunity.

    That said, I also point out that capitalism, like other systems, has inherent problems. One being that when the rich get richer, they don’t always like sharing. When that happens, it allows guys like this to write books and bash capitalism.

    It leads to times when things DO need to be reigned in, in my opinion. Teddy Roosevelt (a Republican, by the way) reigning in the huge monopolies is a good example.

  4. I agree on the point you made (apprenticetojesus) about the inherent problem of one being that when the rich get richer, they don’t always like sharing. that can be very true. but bashing capitalism as if that system of government created stingy people is the root of it all is foolish. for our nation to have this system of government (as you noted) to create more opportunities for individuals to prosper is not a bad thing in itself, and it isnt a godly system by all means, yet it could be a system that might work better than some out there. stingy people are all over the place from all sorts of government systems not just this one. Teddy roosevelt had something going for him then.

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