Capitalism is a Religion

Posted on 9th December 2007 by Ryan Somma in Enlightenment Warrior - Tags: , ,

This is a play on my blogpost about Environmentalism as Religion.<TOUNG-IN-CHEEK>

NeoConservatives believe in the fantasy that all governmental regulations on the market are bad! Bad! BAD! BAD! BAAAD!!! If benevolent corporations like Microsoft, ExxonMobil, and AT&T were just allowed to do whatever they want there would be Universal Health Care and no poverty. Plus everybody would live in their very own mansion and own a pony! Therefore we should “drown the government in a bath tub.

When confronted with a massive trade deficit that’s industrializing China while deindustrializing the United States, the Invisible Hand’s devout members argue that a society that owns more stuff is more responsible than one that produces said stuff.

When confronted with the out-of-control Neocon-approved deficit spending, the Invisible Handers reply that the Prophet “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” The fact that people and governments can spend money they don’t have, just proves the rational logic of the market system!

When confronted with a slew of competition-squashing big Telecom abuses, the Cult of the Invisible Hand counters that Telecoms wouldn’t need to use dirty tactics to sabotage their competitors and hoard their vast wealth if they didn’t have to pay taxes.

And when archetype conservative William F. Buckley Jr. admits that he would like to see the abolition of cigarettes and compares cigarette manufacturers to the Nazis who manufactured Zyklon B gas to execute Jews… Well, Buckley is a “Paleoconservative” and obviously hates America.

With complete, unquestioning faith in the Invisible Hand, it will solve all the world’s ills for us! This means complete rejection of the consensus pragmatic approach to Mixed-Market Economies, which applies a well-balanced combination of free-market incentives moderated with governmental regulations to produce a stable market that ensures maximal fair competition and does not run out of control. That’s just silly!!!

</TOUNG-IN-CHEEK>

11 Comments

  1. I often don’t understand why people Just Don’t Get It ™. Thanks for capturing my frustration. :)

    Comment by Clint — December 10, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

  2. Being an enlightened libertarian I would normally dismiss such a socialist rant as being unworthy of comment, but your misuse of the word “NeoConservatives” needs to be addressed.

    The neo-cons are not free market capitalists who want to “drown the government in a bath tub”, they are big-government socialists who just happen to be warmongers and social conservatives! Bush increased overall government spending and the size of various tyrannical Federal beuracracies like the Department of Education.

    Capitalism never promised to “give” anybody a mansion or a pony, or anything other than an opportunity to CREATE wealth according to one’s ability and to retain ownership of one’s property. The only alternative is to STEAL wealth from those who create it and give it to those that don’t, which is what all socialists do in order to gain and keep power. This system reduces incentive to create, resulting in lower economic growth, stagnation, and the drain of brains and capital to less-socialist countries.

    The only thing that can effectively regulate the market is informed consumers, and government’s nanny state programs all but destroy the culture of consumer responsibility, actually resulting in more monopoly and lower product safety.

    In conclusion: deficits DO matter, Buckley is a fascist control freak, taxation is theft, etc.

    Go free market! Go Ron Paul! Go Libertarian Party! Go Free State Project! And, sooner or later, Atlas will shrug!

    Comment by Alex Libman — January 18, 2008 @ 2:17 pm

  3. The Libertarian party thinks it’s okay to run a “no blacks” restaurant. I mean, how dare the government tell ME what to do with MY private restaurant? BAD government regulation, BAD BAD BAD!

    Do you see what I’m getting at here?

    Now extend that to the rest of the real-world people-getting-screwed-over-unfairly situations.

    It requires a bit of imagination, but the effects themselves are not imagined. They are real.

    Comment by Clint — January 18, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

  4. The idea that we can have an economy that is wholly libertarian or wholly communist is naive and a false dichotomy. I don’t want privatized police, fire departments, or CDC. That would simply be disastrous. At the same time I don’t want broad, sweeping socialism, which would be equally disastrous.

    I think our ever-evolving American mixed-market economy is where it’s at. I don’t mind the ideal mean shifting here and there, but an economic revolution is simply asking for trouble.

    Comment by ideonexus — January 21, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

  5. I wouldn’t be a patron at a racist restaurant, and neither would any libertarian I know. Unless that restaurant owner can print his own money or tax people by force (which only the governments can do), he’ll need to find enough fellow racist dumb-asses to be his consumer base, which is pretty darn improbable. And, needless to say, anyone attending that establishment would be added to Boycott-So-And-So-For-Being-Racist dot com.

    Wouldn’t it be great if instead of lobbying for more hit-or-miss anti-discrimination laws through ineffective and inevitably corrupt government middlemen, which can make the problem worse, people could empower themselves and their communities to ostracize the bad guys?

    Racism is a stupid world-view that is self-defeating. A crime against someone’s life, liberty, or property should be punished irregardless of the victim’s melanin levels or any other personal attribute, but not letting someone into your restaurant isn’t a crime! The only people who’d want to use racism to create another tyrannical bureaucracy are either naive little yes-men or corrupt demagogues who’re only interested in expanding their own powers!

    Comment by Alex Libman — January 27, 2008 @ 12:05 am

  6. I personally find Alex Libman’s previous comment laughable.

    First, he implies that are no racist libertarians. Or at least, none that he knows (which would be a good thing). I find that to be quite a broad, sweeping assumption.
    If I were a racist, the libertarian party would be the one to most protect my rights to express my racism. They’d be a more important pick to me as a racist than they are to me as a non-racist! So of course there are racist libertarians. It’s probably good that you don’t know them. :)

    Besides, plenty of racist businesses have survived over the centuries, in this country and others.

    One need only walk into any restaurant-bar in Atlanta to see that the free market doesn’t magically correct things: 100% of patronage is white, 100% of the help is black. At every bar I went to during a business trip. No exceptions that I saw whatsoever.

    The fact that you think everything that deserves to would magically economically fail due to the good hearts of men & women everywhere (who happen to agree with you) is quite a tragic idealism. Get real.

    I actually do consider not letting someone into a restaurant to be a crime, if the restaurant is open to the general public. There are some technical assumptions — property tax is paid, zoning commission zones, etc — I think it should be enshrined that public means public. Want a private restaurant? Don’t open it up to the general public.

    Sometimes the invisible hand is not as strong as the iron fist. This is an unfortunate practical truth.

    Comment by Clint — January 28, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  7. There is no magic in libertarianism. Consumer power will never get rid of all racist businesses, but neither will government regulation. There are still tens of millions of people using illegal drugs in this country, in spite of the horrendous financial costs and civil liberties losses that came as the result of the “war on drugs”. The “war on racism” would be the same way.

    The reason why most racists don’t go out on the streets wearing “I don’t like black people” t-shirts isn’t because there are laws against it (First Amendment hasn’t been overruled in all parts of the country just yet), but because that wouldn’t do well for one’s social life, one’s family’s social life, and one’s career. I wouldn’t want anything to do with this person, and most (though not all) people wouldn’t either.

    That’s the mechanism that I believe is the most effective at defeating racism, not racial attitudes police keeping tabs on what everybody does, writes, or thinks. Even if you put millions of people in prison (and thus bring the economy closer to collapse, because all things considered it costs the economy a mid-six-figure to keep someone in prison), racism would never be entirely wiped out. It might actually become more popular, because the protected minorities will be seen as tattletales and lose the opportunity to earn respect for themselves.

    Now, look, our ideas are not really in conflict. We probably both believe in the fundamental layers of a Social Contract: legal protection against murderers, rapists, thieves, etc. It’s the higher layers of this social contract where we find disagreement – some people want protection against evil business owners, others against gay marriage, and others against all things non-Muslim.

    Why must the human race handcuff itself together and impose upon itself a homogeny of regulations? And do you really believe that a collectivist society will stay liberal for long, given the world-wide birth rate disparity between liberals and religious fanatics? The Iron Fist you want to impose on everyone will not be under your control!

    If you personally want to be ruled by an Iron Fist, fine, knock yourself out… But I don’t, and I would take every opportunity to escape it! Can’t you get together with other worshipers of your Iron Fist and leave the rest of us alone?

    Comment by Alex Libman — January 29, 2008 @ 12:59 am

  8. Comparing the War On Drugs to the War On Racism with respect to what I said strikes me as a bit of a false comparison.

    You can’t stop marijuana being traded in private, but you CAN stop *public* restaurants from being racist, by not allowing their operation if they, for example, do not allow black people in them. Restaurants operate in public and are licensed. They are ALREADY BEING REGULATED.

    So, I don’t buy your comparison. 0% for me. Big practical difference there. Huge.

    I’m not a fan of the iron fist (read my blog for awhile and you’ll see that, heh), but IT’S ALREADY HERE. At least in some cases, it can be used as good. To automatically dismiss all government intervention is idealism where pragmatism is needed.

    I’m usually an idealist… but some ideas fail in the face of human nature.

    Comment by Clint — January 29, 2008 @ 11:16 am

  9. Boa tarde parabéns adorei o seu blog. Muito bonito e bem clarBoa tarde parabéns adorei o seu blog. Muito bonito e bem claro. Continue sempre assim. Se você puder visitar também meus sites de tratamento de calvície e empréstimo consignado e psicologo(terapias) ficarei muito grato http://www.scemprestimoconsignado.com.br e http://www.calviciecarecanempensar.com.br e . Um grande abraço e siga sempre nessa linha de blog :)

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    Comment by ideonexus — May 22, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  11. I like that the lack of punctuation in the second sentence changes so much of the semantic meaning, even though it is the same sentence written twice. No matter where you’re from, it never ceases to amaze me how much havoc one skipped period can wreak. :)

    Comment by flyingsirkus — May 23, 2008 @ 5:22 am

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