We all know that leftists are not particularly fond of capitalism. Much of their dislike, however, would likely be reconsidered if they had a better understanding of what capitalism is. One example of this misunderstanding would be their conflation of actual free-market capitalism with corporatism, or cronyism, which are in fact problems caused by government – the opposite of a free-market capitalist institution.
If only they were susceptible to changing their opinion when presented with the facts that contradict said opinion (a trait to which either a majority, or a vocal minority of them, don’t seem particularly prone; made evident by the fact that many of them still believe that Trump is racist regardless of a lack of evidence).
In this article, I am going to rant about the left’s hypocrisy and arrogance, as well as attempt to rebut one characteristic commonly ascribed to capitalism by the left: Greed.
We all know that one of the main gripes those left of center have with capitalism is that it is inherently “greedy”. They believe that since we capitalists oppose taxation and are against government interference in business, we must hold the lower class and their aspirations in complete disregard. Though we do agree that a free market would serve our own self-interest, you will seldom (if ever) find a capitalist that doesn’t believe it would also serve the interests of the poor.
Some examples of how capitalism serves the best interests of the poor are in China – where relative free enterprise has raised hundreds of millions of people out of poverty – as well as in India; which has seen similar results while also helping to reverse the negative effects of their ancient caste system. This is because capitalism is a “win-win” system; in any completely voluntary exchange, both parties expect to – and usually do – benefit from the exchange.
A classic example is that of the pencil and the dollar. If I have a pencil and you have a dollar, and we exchange them voluntarily, we clearly both benefit; because I want the dollar more than you want the pencil, and vice versa, or else the exchange would not have taken place.
They claim that providing goods and services for voluntary exchange is greedy because those partaking in it seek financial gain. Meanwhile they would prefer that a government body, funded by money stolen from the people, (including those they claim to champion) control the market. It shows a great deal of arrogance to believe that a handful of government bureaucrats could manage private citizens’ hard-earned money better than those citizens could themselves.
The projection could not be more clear. The socialists think that we capitalists simply want a dog-eat-dog, win-lose world because all they know is win-lose. If government regulations and laws worked well for everyone, then they wouldn’t need to be enforced, they would be voluntary.
Leftists claim that capitalism is greedy because they know only greed as an incentive; they know only dominance and submission as a basis for interaction, so they project that capitalism is exactly that – greedy – while they themselves practice their own greed.
In conclusion, capitalism is not greedy; it is only perceived to be greedy because of a misunderstanding of what capitalism truly is, and because of projection on the part of the left.
* Evan Xavier Hughes is an anarcho-capitalist pragmatist who supported Trump. He runs an extremely humble blog.