A Brief Moral Case for Capitalism
Mar 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM
One major critique of capitalism is the excess it creates for some while the majority suffer. The poor and needy are consistently abandoned in the pursuit for profit. Because of these overview critiques, in the eyes of many misinformed folks, capitalism has failed and something new must be implemented for the sake of humanity. In the current thesis I’m researching and compiling, I make the case regarding the morality of capitalism.
Let’s be clear: Capitalism never had a chance to “fail” because it was never truly allowed to work. There has -- and continues to be -- copious amounts of coercion involved. The subtle hint of coercion flips my switch.
Capitalism didn’t fail to aid the poor and needy. Man failed to aid the poor and needy.
Capitalism is an abstract idea. Capitalism can’t flush the toilet, cut down a tree, or carry out an effective marketing campaign. It needs man to do these things. Any collectivist framework ignores the individual as a sovereign entity and upholds an abstract idea of the “group.” The group can’t exist without the individual. Individuals should have the inclination and liberty to interact with the group voluntarily and without coercion. Individual liberty, therefore, should be upheld as moral and just (because it is).
Pure capitalism’s basis is trade. If I barter with you because you harvest pristine apples and I have pristine oranges, and because I want to enjoy God’s grandness in creating both tasty fruits, I should be able to trade with you, sans coercion. I simply ask if you would like to trade and you answer yes or no (say yes; I love fruit!). Pure capitalism also advocates competing currencies. Apples can be currency. Oranges too, though neither is very well fit for currency because they are not durable or universally desired.
Fiat money and legal tender laws are coercion by the government, therefore the framework for pure capitalism will never prevail until these man-made laws are no longer enforced through coercion. Capitalism doesn’t exist today. What people are calling capitalism today totally disregards what capitalism is and allows to happen. What we have now is not capitalism but rather corporatism, fascism, and socialism (in parts). This is far from capitalism. Speculation would be killed by market participants, as would monopolies. But government institutions use coercion to enforce speculation and create monopolies. No capitalism that I would want would include either (as well as a long list of other things). But the government I was born into does these immoral and unjust deeds. I act to change these facts. One must consider the effects of government on economics and individual liberty to understand where I’m coming from.
I’m strictly against any coercion by governments, other people, animals, etc. Actions should be voluntary for all, led by their distinctive view of ethos but for as long as it doesn’t interfere with my view of ethos. I believe in the non-aggression axiom. Some would contend that there are other forms of coercion that doesn’t necessarily come from governments, hinting to coercion in the forms of advertising and third-party run offs of a two-party contract. That is where an arbiter of sorts comes into play, upholding property rights and civil law. This arbiter would be determined by the marketplace. We are all the marketplace.