Interesting this video came my way on the week prior to my visit to Greece where I’ll be sharing the Copiosis RBE Transition Plan. PragerU, this video’s presentation is nothing more than western propaganda. I’m going to destroy everything related to “life’s biggest and most interesting topics”. This video features George Mason University Economics Professor Walter Williams explaining why capitalism is the most economically AND morally superior way to “organize economic behavior.”
What’s amazing to me, having spent now going on three years running Copiosis, is how ludicrous this video is. It is nothing more than capitalist propaganda. I am sitting here writing this, amazed that I couldn’t see these arguments for what they were. I offer a long rebuttal to the video, which I am pasting here. I’d be curious what you think about the video too. Feel free to comment.
This presentation is nothing more than western propaganda (propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.). I’m going to destroy every one of these arguments for capitalism. Then I’m going to offer a far better alternative. Walter is not only an economist, he also is a professor and a renowned one. As such, he as a conflict of interest with regard to sharing this information and his bias shows in this video. Here are indisputable counter-facts.
First, capitalism is NOT economically superior to “any other way or organizing economic behavior.” This statement makes egregious and arrogant claims (arrogant: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own … abilities [of awareness and knowledge].). To use the phrase “any other way” suggest the speaker is aware of and familiar with ALL FUTURE systems which may come to light. As in the start-up world, it is impossible to know what future solutions will come. No one predicted Twitter, Amazon, PayPal or Facebook. In the same way, you can’t – honestly – claim to know what future innovations may come, including economic ones. So it is not accurate to claim capitalism is superior to “any other way”.
It may be superior to other systems which have been tried IN THE PAST, but we can’t even say that honestly because capitalist incentives – including its own propaganda and amoral reward features – insured other systems didn’t survive.
Second, capitalism is NOT moral (Moral: concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.) Nor is it IM-moral. Capitalism is A-moral. This means the system rewards producers NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO. For example, if I sell drugs and that activity destroys a community, I can be rewarded (with money) in capitalism for my “productive” behavior even though that “production” is on the ground, destructive and clearly not good. There are so many examples – on both the micro and macro level of “economics” which illustrates capitalism’s amorality. I am stunned that Walter can argue for capitalism as a morally superior system. Morals have nothing to do with capitalism.
Walter claims the system calls for voluntary actions in a free market. No coercion. Yet there IS no voluntarism in capitalism (except for the voluntary acts people do outside of the system as part of their moral alignment to churches or other charitable causes). Coercion is rampant in capitalism, we just don’t think of it that way because we’ve accepted the coercion as normal. Coercion in capitalism looks like HAVING TO EARN A LIVING. There is nothing that is provided in capitalism in abundance that frees you to volunteer. Even those doing something they love, often choose doing that despite the need to earn a living. No one volunteers to cut someone’s lawn in capitalism. They do it in order to obtain money so they can meet their needs. Without money, needs can’t be met. If there is volunteerism, then why do most Americans dislike the work they are doing? You call this volunteering? No, it’s not.
Because goods and services must be PURCHASED, and you can’t obtain such goods and services – even life-giving ones – without having money. You MUST work in order to live in capitalism. (this is NOT an argument AGAINST working, as you’ll see). It is NOT necessary to PAY people to have them serve their fellow man. There is another way to motivate productive behavior that (contrary to what Walter claims) is FAR SUPERIOR to capitalism. I’ll get to that in a moment.
A Federal Reserve Note (FRN) is NOT evidence of serving your fellow man. As I said above, capitalism rewards people (in FRNs in the US) for ANY productive behavior (productive: producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities) you can get away with. So when the grocer says “prove it” and the drug dealer offers a FRN, how has that drug dealer served his fellow man in a morally superior way? He hasn’t.
It is true that capitalism is NOT a zero sum game, but that is a simplistic answer. Capitalism and money doesn’t create a zero sum game, they create a SIMULATION of a zero sum game. That’s why every organization, from households, to companies, churches to governments must choose how they are going to use their money in capitalism. We can’t do all we want to do (like solve hunger, house everyone, provide jobs for everyone) because we don’t have enough money to do it all. So while everyone can enjoy big screen TVs and the latest episode of House of Cards on Netflix (if you call that winning) we LOSE because we can’t afford to do the things we really want to see happen: end homelessness, mental illness, joblessness, power inequality, pollution, end species extinction, etc.
Capitalism simulates a zero-sum game by conditioning us to believe we can’t have it all, when we can (but only without capitalism).
I’m not a fan of government. Yet, subsidies government creates, as well as laws, result from capitalism’s FAILURES as a system. Capitalism allows and rewards amoral behavior. Government tries to regulate or prevent such behavior, but sucks at it because it is subject to capitalism’s rewards, meaning, people (such as food stamp advocates, big business, corporate farming industries such as the Dairy Assn.) can successfully lobby government to rule in their favor…and win (receive rewards). Government is part of the problem, a necessary part, because of capitalism’s failures.
Capitalism does not require people to SERVE. It requires them to WORK. Walter uses the term “serve” (serve: perform duties or services for (another person or an organization).) as though it is an expression of altruism (altruism: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.) or volunteerism (volunteer: a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.) or charity (charity: the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.). The statement that capitalism causes people to serve is propaganda. It requires people to work in order to obtain basic needs and service debt, which perpetuates the system. Yes, some people work in fields where they serve others, but most people are not working to serve, they’re working to SURVIVE.
I am not suggesting people have a claim on others in any way whatsoever. It is capitalist propaganda to claim that people “should not have a claim on others without first serving others (through work)”. This is capitalist CONDITIONING and is FALSE. People don’t have a claim on anyone or anything except in debt-based economies. There are no claims other than those which arise when resources needed for survival are inaccessible unless you have money. This is a subtle but profound paragraph I just wrote and deserves intense study.
“We the people” do NOT have market power sufficient to adequately punish companies in capitalism. Yes, it is possible to boycott a company, exerting MORAL pressure on said company. Yes, it’s possible to damage a company so significantly that is can be forced into insolvency in many ways. That does’t happen very often. But what I want to focus on is the INEFFICIENCY (completely ignored by capitalist propaganda) that takes place in “free markets”. It is resource inefficient to have competition. Having companies compete against one another ensures redundancy. Providing an amoral reward system guarantees resources will be consumed to depletion without government intervention. Redundancy is inefficient. You require government to regulate the “free market” because of capitalism’s inherent instability. A more efficient system would require no such regulation, so too would it provide incentives to conserve scarce resources and reward the use of substitutes.
Capitalism claims to do this, but it does so extremely poorly. More inefficiency. Competition requires legal protection to insure “fair play”. If capitalism is so superior, why do we need to use so many resources (legal institutions of all kinds, government regulation) to ensure protection and fair play?
It is absolutely a fact that the ambition and (mostly non-voluntary) effort of citizens drives the economy. But all this is happening in DESPITE capitalism. And this is the amazing thing about people: they are so willing to produce they will continue to do so even when their freedoms are being usurped right under their noses! Remarkable!
Last point: If people really were “shaping their own destiny” in capitalism they would not be working office jobs, pushing paper and counting FRNs, rubles or rupees, working manufacturing jobs assembling cheap shit people don’t want or need except for the capitalist propaganda (called marketing) that makes them think they need it, digging mines and making weapons to kill other human beings. They would be following their PASSIONS, their spirit-inspired path to their greater JOY. Yes, some would do things that look like ordinary work, but life on the planet would be far more extraordinary than it is.
No: capitalism is holding back human potential and Walter and his economist propaganda are reinforcing the brainwashing. I said I would offer an alternative far superior to capitalism. People who have looked into Copiosis (www.copiosis.com) are calling it the best alternative to capitalism they have seen. Our transition plan offers a “best in class” process for ending capitalism and creating a world where people are really honestly free, in a system that becomes increasingly efficient, and where markets, money and government area thing of the past. Copiosis is from the future. It has the best of all economic systems including capitalism and NONE OF THE PROBLEMS. All we need is to see capitalism for what it is: another successful way of running human society, but one with too many problems to allow it to continue when we could do so much better.