Capitalism has been, perhaps, the most misconstrued and misused term I’ve ever come across. For an average person, capitalism is evocative of extraordinary images of colonialism, suffering and slavery, or the sight of a billionaire whose convoy passes through the streets, whose sidewalks have been an unfortunate residence to many. Those willing to ponder about capitalism often come across those who carry the same misconceptions and misinformation. The misinformation about capitalism proliferates among people and only worsens when people use emotionally appealing arguments that often treats reason as a secondary. And as a consequence, today, here we are in a world where people take moral refuge in glorifying socialism. These socialist sympathizers who practice Marxism in every policy they propose forget that the very Russia that they thoroughly detest has socialism and Marxism in its roots. George Santayana’s aphorism that ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’
If you’re like me, then to you the absolute of capitalism would be a utopia where you have the freedom as an individual to mind your own business, both figuratively and literally, without the fear of being unfairly squashed by a government gavel. But this perception was most likely not something that you always had, thanks to liberal indoctrination. To those who have been liberally indoctrinated, the right’s desire for capitalism would mean an authoritarian state where the poor are exploited for the benefit of the rich, where they’re destined to remain poor forever. The disconnect is this: when the left hears capitalism, what they think about is corporatism. So, they think of an authoritarian state run by the corporations that want to exploit ordinary men for their profits. The left’s prescribed solution to this is to have an authoritarian state run by the ordinary man – in the form of a collective – that wants to exploit corporations for their profits! Which is retributive justice. Mike Buchanan, a British politician, argued that if we were going in for retributive justice then perhaps each black American should be given a white slave. So we ought not be emotional, but rather rational about it because the political system effects all our lives. The rational way to go about it is to have a political system where the businesses have their freedoms and so does the ordinary man, and they deal with each other with mutual consent. Wherever there is coercion against one another, the government jumps in to resolve the dispute through law and order. Which is what capitalism is all about, it’s freedom. Free markets give everybody the freedom and the opportunity to be rich or poor. Because of these differences in the perception of capitalism, when the left and right debate each other, it’s not a discussion, it’s a confrontation.
This phobia of capitalism understandably comes with history. A history filled with enormous suffering caused by colonialism and slavery, where businessmen were addressed as ‘capitalists’ has indeed left an indelible mark in people’s minds. While the leftist intelligentsia makes vitriolic attacks on capitalism for its dark history, they conveniently push under the rug the evils of socialism, claiming that it was actually this divine concept that went terribly wrong – every single time. This adulterated history caused the phobia of capitalism, which is not unique to the west, by the way.
India, after independence from the British empire, was shattered in all forms, having gone from being the richest country in the world at that time to one of the poorest, adopted the Soviet Union’s economic model and an isolationist foreign policy in the hopes of confronting this plight. The Indian leaders were unwilling to allow privatization and open up to the rest of the world. They were infused with concerns and skepticism of allowing foreign companies to do business in India. Because the last time, when India paved the way for a foreign company to do business on its land, it ended up being colonized for the next two hundred years. This went on until the highly propagandized paradise of the Soviet Union finally collapsed in the 90’s. India was also heading towards an economic fiasco. This socialist approach had to be changed and capitalism had to be embraced. The game-changing economic liberalization took place where private companies could be established, markets opened up to foreign trade, and India started getting increasingly capitalist. Fast forward 26 years, and it has maintained consistently higher rates of GDP and is the 7th largest economy. It’s at a point where one wouldn’t have anticipated a couple of decades ago. This only goes to show, as Shashi Tharoor puts it, that ‘sometimes history can teach you the wrong lessons.’
If you’ve been following Reuters on Facebook, or the folks in Hollywood who give cosmic importance to politics over their movies, then you must have witnessed a series of articles regarding the Trump administration’s repeal of regulations. There has been some new repeal, or at least a proposal, almost every day, and this went on for quite some time. For every article that said there has been a repeal of a certain regulation, it was showered with angry reactions. For instance, if it were a certain social program, the reaction was that Trump did it because he hated the women and poor. if it were the repeal of a certain environmental regulation, the reaction was that trump did it because he hated the environment. Now I know we all care for the environment, but the principle remains the same. The comments were filled with grief and contempt for allowing corporations more room in their profit-making endeavors. This frustration is a consequence of a conclusion based on the conflict of the left’s adopted morality from altruism, where you are virtuous when you do things for people around you and hold no expectations in return, and then apply it to economics, where the businesses work exclusively on self-interest and profit.
This mind-set that removing a regulation would give more room for self-interest, and hence more evil, is the source of all arguments to justify the use of law-making as a weapon for combating the so-called evil. This stems from the notion which is at the core of every leftist, the idea that human beings are inherently evil in nature and therefore they must be controlled and corrected by the rest of the society. So, according to this philosophy, your sacrifice for others makes you a good person, but working for your benefit and self-interest makes you a bad person, which is incompatible with businesses. This is an artificial construct that goes against the natural survival instincts of species and therefore the conclusion is to make human beings good by the use brute force. A left’s version of original sin. They denounce religion, even ridicule it, but then practice the same principles, however, by replacing God with government. Although today, some would argue that to the left, government is not just god, but a mom and a dad. And that’s why the left would cheer for Bill Gates when he invents Windows and makes all our lives better, but would detest him when they see him make huge money out of it. He is good as long as he keeps talking about donating and helping the needy, but would turn out to be an evil person as soon as he thinks well for himself. The society’s imposition on you to have you exhibit remorse for the crime of being successful. Their apprehension for freedom is what drives them. And that’s why the left advocates for more regulations and bigger government. This is the difference between the leftists and the right-libertarians. The libertarian right doesn’t believe that human beings are inherently evil in nature and are against the imposition of their morality on others.
Another reason, apart from history and philosophy, would be envy. As Ayn Rand put it, “Today you’re supposed to apologize to every naked savage anywhere on the globe, because you are more prosperous. Because you earned the money, you have to feel guilty and apologize for it while he hasn’t and doesn’t intend to learn from you, he just wants your money.”
This is the most vindictive, collectivist, and uncivilized behavior of all. They pass a law that seems so kind and compassionate and the society applauds the government for passing such a law, which potentially wins it a number of votes. You are fine as long you comply, but the moment you don’t, the next thing you see are guns and handcuffs. There is no other way out because every law is indeed a governmental enforcement. They are carried out at gun point, there is no room for your opinion. And what is the outcome? If you don’t comply, you are the evilest person. If you do comply, however, you are fine, but you have to sacrifice and suffer enough in order to satisfy the rest to be applauded as a good person.
What’s more striking is that this is not attacking man for his mistakes or his crimes, but for his success and for his virtues. It’s not caring for the needy and poor, it’s the hatred of the good for being the good. The problem is that the left considers one’s prosperity as evil. The richer and more successful you are, the eviler you are to the left, and you must be dragged down since many others are living far worse off than you are. But if you do remain poor, then they love you and care for you, and will fight on your behalf to tax the rich and distribute that money to you. If this is not parasitic, I don’t know what is. The poor and the needy is not a reason, but an excuse to moralize and justify their atrocities against the successful.
We need to protect our freedoms from the leftist depredations. I hold adulterated history, self-destructive philosophy, and the tribal instincts of human beings as the primary reasons why the left hates capitalism. This leaves out many other reasons, such as the emotional-appealing left vs the logical right, the top 1% fallacy, and the deceptive term crony-capitalism. But these are only 3 of the top reasons why the left hates capitalism, i.e., freedom.
* Abhilash Korraprolu does libertarian political commentary on the YouTube channel: Al Righty.
 “British economic historian Angus Maddison in his book The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective has demonstrated, India’s share of the world economy was 23 per cent, as large as all of Europe put together. (It had been 27 per cent in 1700, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s treasury raked in £100 million in tax revenues alone.) By the time the British departed India, it had dropped to just over 3 per cent.” Excerpt from: Shashi Tharoor. “An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India.”
Latest posts by Being Libertarian (see all)
- Secession: The Lost Aspect of Federalism - April 16, 2022
- Democracy & Freedom: A Contradiction in Terms - February 15, 2022
- Catholic Church – The Amaranthine Enemy of Freedom - February 13, 2022