Master CraftsMon

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Capitalism Cannot Work Without Voluntary Charity

Master CraftsMon - Aired Monday, November 28, 2005 at about 11pm CST

Let's talk a while about Capitalism. When you strip away the rhetoric and posturing of the Left, the core argument against Capitalism is that it has a failure rate of about 20%. By that I mean, 80% of Americans are middle class or above. The top 80% have enough food, clothing and shelter to get by and have a good life. How can a compassionate, enlightened society allow 20% of its citizens have less than what they need to get by? The thinking on the Left is that if the government provides food clothing and shelter to the poor, the poor will be freed from poverty by allowing them enough resources to become part of the middle class. It is totally unacceptable for our society to have anything less than 100% of our citizens being in the middle class or above. Capitalism then stands accused of being imperfect. Only perfection is acceptable. Or so the Left propounds.

Karl Marx wrote a multi-volume book called Das Kapital. If you haven't read it, you need to, whether you are on the Left OR the Right. Marx used the implementation of Capitalism in England as a case study. Das Kapital is a series of horror stories about how awful the people in England were treated as Capitalism came online in the 1800's. Marx's passion makes it understandable why so many people believe that Communism is superior to Capitalism. The sins of Capitalism are legion. At the end of Das Kapital, Marx states his conclusions. First he says that Capitalism is imperfect. There are winners and losers. This is not fair. A compassionate, civilized society should not leave some people behind in the march to prosperity. If all cannot partake of prosperity, then none should be able to do so, because it is just not fair or moral. The rage at the injustices of Capitalism outlined by Marx would cause any sane man or woman to yearn for something better, because Das Kapital makes a good case for this conclusion.

Marx next concludes that since Capitalism is imperfect, it is totally wrong. Das Kapital doesn't make much of a case for this conclusion, but many people like to think it does. I personally don't believe it.

Marx's final conclusion is that since Capitalism is totally wrong, Communism is totally right and morally superior. That leap of faith is not born out by anything in Das Kapital by my standards. Where was his proof? Marx had none.

The Soviet Union pretty much proved that in the third generation, Communism destroys the human spirit and creates a rotten life. By my standards, Communism has a success rate of about 20%. Thus 80% of the people under Communism were in poverty and 20% had a middle class lifestyle or better. Why is that superior to Capitalism? Got the hell beat out if me.

Then there is the moral component. The thinking on the Left appears to be that by forcing all people to give to charity then things will be better. Social programs are a form of forced charity. Forced charity is a form of slavery when the forced charity does nothing to help its intended recipients. Feed and forget is the mode of most government social programs. Feed and forget causes the recipients to become either despondent or dependent or both. That is not morally defensible.

Why has the United States outperformed all the other countries in the world? I say it is because of Capitalism and voluntary charity. I do not think that Capitalism can work without voluntary charity. Without people in a community working together voluntarily to achieve a positive social goal, I do not see how it is possible for Capitalism to work effectively. Marx points out how a Capitalist state can, if unchecked, enslave all the people in the country. Without voluntary charity, that looks to be what happens. Corporate executives who are not connected with a community can, if they want, screw everyone. By being required by their honor to give to charity, they have to take into account the stakeholders, not just the stockholders.

If you explore every Communist track, you will find no mention of voluntary charity as a force for good in a society. I believe, though I cannot prove, that this is because Marx wanted a strong central government and voluntary charities are a source of power outside the control of government. Everywhere I turn it seems that the Left wants to wipe out power centers that might threaten the control of the central government.

Voluntary charity is superior to involuntary charity, because a volunteer can use creativity on his or her own. Under a government program, someone at the top makes a decision and everyone has to toe the line whether the solution works or not. Plus failures under involuntary charity are ignored if not laughed at. Thus we continue to pour money into programs like Head Start that do not work and cannot work.

This is an old debate, i.e. "Is Capitalism better than Communism?". I say, "W'GASA!" The Soviet Union is gone. Every purely Socialist society on earth is dying. Who in his right mind would still fight this battle? If you want to fight this out again, please do. I think it's a stupid fight, but have at it. The floor is now open.

The question I would ask of any hard core Communist is: "Given how evilly all Communist governments have treated their citizens, why are you still loyal to the Cause?"


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