Capitalism, Corporatism and Socialism

From our corporate-controlled media outlets an old idea has been gaining momentum. This idea that capitalism has failed and that socialism is the answer is making a convincing argument, albeit in sound bites, to the general public; however, if one would only scrape a little off the new paint job they’ve given socialism all the rust and corrosion that history has taught regarding this thief would be revealed.

But let us first take a look at this pretty paint.  The false assumptions sound something like this: “Capitalism and its greed caused the boom that overinflated the real estate market. If capitalism were better regulated, more of the money would stay with the poor. We need more liberals (by liberals, they mean socialists) in office to create more programs to give to the less fortunate. This would elevate the lower-class and establish more equity.”

These would all be valid arguments if what created those problems was capitalism, but it wasn’t. These are the by-products of an oligarchy in the form of corporatism.  These are not the makings of free-markets and mutually beneficial exchange.  This is evidence of monopolistic companies gaining their success and superiority by turning the head of government.

We are currently dealing with three philosophies: capitalism, corporatism and socialism. The problem is that while capitalism and socialism have been battling it out corporatism has been sitting back having a good laugh all the while counting the money.  Most people think we have been living capitalism. We have been living corporatism disguised as capitalism. If it walks like a duck and quack likes a duck stop calling it an eagle.

In the debate between socialism and capitalism I have to agree with Ayn Rand when she wrote in 1962, “As far as superior productivity and speed of economic progress are concerned, the question of any comparisons between capitalism and socialism has been answered once and for all –for any honest person- by the present difference between West and East Berlin.”

Let’s not forget the lessons that history has taught us. Changing the name of socialism to progressive or liberal does not change its consequences. It is part of our humanity and religious nature to want to help when others are in need.  Kindness, love and charity are not to be marginalized; however, the way these goals are accomplished does matter.  If I believe in a cause I should, from my own pocketbook, act on that belief.  If a government believes in a cause I should not be forced to act on their belief.  Forcing money from me in the form of taxes to contribute to a cause that has petitioned the government is socialism. You may agree with those causes, but it is still as Frederic Bastiat put it “legal plunder” and opens the door for other causes not as worthy.  The notion that one is uncaring or heartless because they don’t join the ranks in petitioning politicians for government-funded aid is erroneous. They understand the mere fact that government creates nothing. It is simply a re-distributor of others’ wealth. In The Law Frederic Bastiat goes on to say, “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society.  As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all……It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

Most of us see no need to debate our blatantly evil system of corporations controlling government. Corporatism, the fugitive, has been mistakenly flying below the radar while its evil twin, socialism, has been enjoying the façade of masquerading as the good guy.

So next time we are asked to take a second look at this newly painted vehicle called socialism; do it and look a lot closer. Pop the hood before you agree to buy.  I think you’ll find that despite the pretty paint it’s still missing the engine.