Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Capitalism within a democratic and politically free system offers a healthy channel for the redirection of negative emotions like envy and greed

Nov 29, 2007 THAT'S RICH ! from Dr. Sanity
In the 30's and 40's it became increasingly clear to Marxists that something was fundamentally wrong with the master's economic hypotheses. Like the followers of Jesus, they had been waiting a long time for the second coming,and they expected the collapse of capitalism at any moment. In fact, they were greatly encouraged by the Great Depresion and were certain that it was imminent.
But like a bad dream, capitalism just wouldn't go away, and instead of collapsing, it rebounded stronger than ever.
Why, they wondered anxiously, are the proletariat not rising up in rebellion against the oppressive forces of capitalism? Far from rising up against their "oppressors", that same proletariat were buying into the capitalist system and the "American Dream" in large numbers. The sharp differences between the classes were slowly eroding, and more and more of those in poverty were finding their way into the middle class, thus gaining hope for themselves and their children.
Not only that, to the great astonishment of the socialists etc., the "oppressed" proletariat seemed relatively happy and content with their lot!Happy and content people do not generally initiate violent revolutions nor rise up against their so-called oppressors--particularly when they don't feel oppressed, but feel empowered.And, furthermore, much to the puzzlement and subsequent rage of these same intellectuals, in those places in the world where socialist and communist theory had triumphed, wealth was disappearing; initiative was in decline; and the human misery index was climbing. This was the legacy of Marx's "social justice".
Instead of creating a utopia for the proletariat, Marx and his theories only generated the conditions for societal suicide.The clever capitalist system was actually co-opting the oppressed workers, and helping them enter the dreaded "middle class"!Marx always expected that the middle class would disappear as capitalism developed, since he believed that the only sustainable positions were the ones of his dialectic.
That is not what actually happens in the real world as it turns out.Whenever people are given political liberty and allowed to pursue their own happiness (and not the mandates of the state), the ranks of the middle class expand and grow stronger. In fact, the values and ideals of this particular economic group have come to anchor society in the United States.
Far from wanting to ignite a worker's revolution as Marx predicted, they enjoy the creature comforts of the capitalist system and feel themselves empowered by it. Worse (from the communist/socialist's perspective anyway), the typical person in the middle class believes that he or she can better themselves by using the many opportunities offered by a liberal, capitalistic democracy.Even in Communist China, capitalistic pursuits and entrepreneurship have become the true "opiates" of the masses--in the sense that to the degree people are free to pursue their own happiness and work for their own interests--i.e., where they have economic freedom, even if they don't have political freedom-- they are relatively content, and are unlikely to fulfill the ardent communist/socialist's revolutionary fantasies.
From a joint post written by Dr. Sanity and SC&A some months ago:
...a successful middle class demands that government answer to them, and not the other way around. Democracies are not developed or sustained by the political extremes- they are the trust and legacy of a vibrant, functioning middle class....In the most successful societies there is a large middle class, and anyone has the potential to succeed if they have a good idea, commitment to work and plenty of drive. America, Canada, the UK, Australia and Israel are all examples of societies that while very different, are very successful. As barriers to entry into the middle class becomes more onerous and difficult, requiring expensive and hard to obtain permits and licenses; societies are less successful and become progressively more likely to fail. The nations of the Arab world is a good example of that. There is no middle class in most of the middle east; only an elite, plundering class who are the beneficiaries of the oil wealth the land is blessed with; and a lower class, condemned by the elites to poverty, ignorance and oppression.
When there are few barriers to entering the free market, then the middle class can thrive; and the more successful the entrepreneurs and community becomes, the greater the stake the people have in maintaining peace and prosperity. Thus they become true conservatives. Is it any wonder then that the backbone of society--the hard-working middle class, middle-income Americans-- lean toward the Republican party?
So, how do we explain those many wealthy individuals who make up the ranks of the Democrats--the closest thing we have to the socialist party here in the U.S. (and they are certainly backed by legions of lunatic leftists who wholeheartedly subscribe to Marx's discredited theories)?
Having achieved a degree of success and/or wealth in our free society, a person who has worked their way out of the middle class (or out of poverty) is then subjected to a constant barrage of both subtle and overt messages created to make him/her feel guilty for doing so. Propaganda aimed at discrediting "the rich" (who actually pay a disproportionate amount of taxes to begin with) is pervasive and unrelenting. The Democrats use this rhetoric all the time to stoke the fires of class warfare.
This was not always the case. Once upon a time in America there was a certain pride that came with the "rags to riches" story that many Americans lived. Both Democrats and Republicans believed that this was a country where it was understood that if you worked hard, you could get ahead; make something of yourself and even become President someday! There were no social or class restraints imposed in America and that's why people came to this country to begin with. Equal opportunity meant that anyone with an idea or talent could make a successful life for themselves.
But equal opportunity gradually morphed into a demand for equality of outcome. And that if you don't have what the other guy has, then it must be becaused you have been oppressed by the other guy--after all, you can only get ahead by stepping on someone else. Your gain MUST be someone else's loss.
Here is where the Marxist garbage of "oppressor vs oppressed" has had the most impact on American society. Having been taught from kindergarden on that capitalism is a zero-sum game (and by definition evil) many Americans have difficulty in thinking of resources or wealth as ever-expanding, and tend to think that someone else's gain must be their loss. If you have only two choices--to be either an "oppressor" or one of the "oppressed", most people would generally prefer the latter because it means they must be nicer people.
This kind of thinking inevitably leads to envy, and a cult of victimhood with all the associated social and political conflicts those emotions generate. Envy, in particular, is the lovely human emotion that drives all socialist systems; and it exists in pure, unadulterated and vicious form in those systems. And, in answer to the unspoken question, yes; capitalism also thrives on envy-- and even greed.
But, capitalism within a democratic and politically free system of government offers a healthy channel for the redirection of negative emotions like envy and greed into something positive for both the individual and the larger society.
Something, I might add, that marxism, socialism and all its malignant variants completely fail to do. You cannot escape the reality of this dark side of human nature. You can either channel that dark side and use it constructively to benefit the individual and incidentally the society he lives in; or you can encourage and facilitate it in all its destructive power, and by doing so create the hell on earth we've come to associate with communist and marxist societies.
I'm sure that the usual accusations will instantly be hurled at me for saying such a thing. The victims of the world will rise up against intellectual oppressors like me someday and....wait a minute! Doesn't that proposed scenario sound strangely familiar? Since I started writing this blog, I have been taken to task by the left about how everything economic position I take is "socially unjust" and that policies like that will "impact the poor most of all..."; that conservatism is racist, sexist, or some other such nonsense. I'm sure I will get emails describing how such insensitive suggestions will result in harming little children and puppies disproportionately and without compassion.
But, no matter what they say about my motives, it remains a fact that poverty and misery have a cure; and that cure is capitalism and freedom. Now, that's rich, isn't it?

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