It is often said that “Capitalism failed” or “Capitalism doesn’t work,” as if Capitalism is a political-economic or socio-economic system, which is a fallacy.
Since Capitalism is often discussed in contrast to, or in comparison with, true political-economic or socio-economic systems such as Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Corporatism, a “mixed economy,” etc., it suffers labeling as such a system—even though it is not.
Rather, Capitalism is the absence of such a system.
I argue that the merits of Capitalism should not be discussed or debated in the context of political-economic or socio-economic systems, because it leads people to believe that Capitalism is merely another variant of those types of systems, and therefore the benefits or consequences of Capitalism can be compared to, and debated with, those of the other systems—rather than leading people to the understanding that Capitalism is, in fact, the absence of such a system, and therefore the benefits and/or consequences of Capitalism are not truly comparable to, or debatable with, those of the others.
Apples and oranges, as the saying goes.
Thus, Capitalism should always be discussed as distinct from all the others categorically, as it is the only one premised on what I call the Five Pillars of a Peaceful, Prosperous Society: human (natural) rights, personal liberty, individual sovereignty, private property rights, and a free and open marketplace. In other words, the absence of political management or intervention. All others—regardless of which label or to what extent—are premised, in some way, on the presence of political management or intervention.
Capitalism is not a system, but rather a natural phenomenon, resulting from liberty and a respect for, and preservation of, human and property rights. It is voluntary human action on a grand scale. When people have the right and liberty to produce what they wish, buy/sell/trade what they wish with whom they wish, and their property (including their wealth) is protected from theft or destruction by others—including the state—Capitalism is what results.
Or, as I like to say: Capitalism happens.
In a free society, people who produce more than they consume then have the liberty to invest the difference—i.e., capital—in whatever way they wish; homes, education, business startups, travel, consumer electronics, real estate, the stock market, you name it. And, of course, all of those millions of people investing all of that excess capital in all of those infinite ways results in a robust, prosperous economy, such as the U.S. experienced back when it was a predominantly free nation, and Capitalism (at least as close to it as has ever been achieved) reigned.
The reality is that Capitalism didn’t fail, Capitalism was ended in the U.S. by the national government—probably beginning with the Sherman Act of 1890 (anti-trust law), by which the feds seized control over the nation’s previously free enterprise (although it’s difficult to truly pinpoint, as Lincoln ended the Republic prior to that time, in 1865, through his victory in The War Against The States, wherein he ended state’s rights and concentrated illegitimate power in Washington, essentially transitioning it from a federal (voluntary) union of the states to an authoritarian national government over the states—with the eventual adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment (1913) permanently silencing the states within Congress, thus further enabling the runaway national government our nation suffers under today).
The point is, true Capitalism (or again, as close to it as has ever been achieved) hasn’t existed in the U.S. for well over 100 year—125 years, really—meaning that anyone who is alive today has never experienced Capitalism, let alone be in a position to complain about it—failing or not, like it or not.
What did fail, however, was “The American Experiment”—the concept of a government of, by, and for the people, and limited in its scope and power by law. In other words, a constitutionally-limited government. The dismal failure of the U.S. Constitution has proven, once and for all, that governments can not—will not—be constrained by law. The simple fact that governments write, interpret, and enforce the law—and hold a monopoly on the use of force and violence over the people—is evidence enough that the entire concept is flawed, and the power vested in governments will inevitably be abused. It’s only a matter of time.
So be careful which “c-word” you use; it was not Capitalism that failed; rather, it was the Constitution.
It’s a matter of human nature; the concept of Socialism, in any and all of its variants, fails to work because human nature dictates that people will systematically leave the producing, supply side of the equation, opting instead to join the non-producing, consuming side. It’s only a matter of time until the tipping point is reached wherein the few remaining people within the ever-dwindling pool of producers can no longer support the masses of people within the ever-expanding pool of consumers. Atlas shrugs—or perhaps collapses—but either way, the economy comes to a grinding halt, and civil society breaks down.
And it’s the same thing—a matter of human nature—with the concept of a government limited by law; human nature dictates that people will tend to pursue their own interests, their own agenda, rather than follow the law—especially when they’re the ones who write, interpret, and enforce the law. And it’s only a matter of time until this departure from the law in favor of personal gain crosses the line from mere corruption to sheer criminality, and an authoritarian police state is born, the economy comes to a grinding halt, and civil society breaks down.
The only option left for humanity is, obviously, the advent of a stateless society. The tumor of government must be completely removed if humanity is to survive and thrive.
This brings me to the point of this article: though the video below is not a new one, it still rings true. (It is also alleged to be the reason Judge Andrew Napolitano was fired from Fox News). In it, by listing off just some of the countless things that have gone wrong with the US’s systems of government, he has in fact laid out exactly why the American Experiment—the concept of a Constitutionally limited government—has failed.
Take a moment to watch:
The concept of government restrained by law will always fail. It’s human nature that people will pursue their own best interest, and therefore are not fit to govern others—especially at gunpoint.
This is why Capitalism, in its true form, is so phenomenally successful, and Socialism, in all of its variants, always fails. It’s also why true liberty succeeds fabulously, while government—even when limited by law, such as a constitution—fails miserably. So again, be careful which “c-word” you use when speaking of success and failure. Capitalism—liberty—succeeds, while Constitutions—governments—fail.
So now that humanity has tried the experiment of legally limited government, and witnessed its dismal failure, there is only one option remaining: a stateless society. I believe this to be the only viable solution, the only hope for the survival of humanity (outside of global slavery under one-world governance)—and fortunately, I also believe that technology has only recently enabled its implementation…and just in the nick of time.
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