Tuesday, September 8, 2009

They Hate Capitalism

Art Carden writes an excellent piece on why capitalism is so unpopular with intellectuals and elites:

According to the do-gooders whom Adam Smith called "men of system," the average person is like a piece on a chessboard, to be arranged at the whim of a supervirtuous planner. The planner, who ignores the fact that each of the pieces has (as Smith put it) its own "principles of motion," does his best to orchestrate a game according to his own rules. Dissenters are not tolerated.

Yet people are not chess pieces, to be moved around at will. They are living, breathing, acting, thinking, rational beings with rights and dignity. Respect for their humanity rules out interventions by do-gooders, no matter what their intentions. The result of denying people their fundamental freedoms can be terrible, as the horrors of humanity's 20th-century experiments with collectivism have shown.


Harrison said...

The ones who are most vocal also seem to be the richest. Ironic. And they seem to want to move people around like pawns. The Michael Moore movie, if not an example of hypocrisy, will be believed by so many... and yet how rich is Moore?

Jeff Perren said...

A well-written, well-written piece. Unfortunately, he leaves the $64,000 question (or is that $64 trillion today?) unanswered.

"Why? Why do some people embrace these schemes and insist on coercing others to adopt them? The closest he comes is:

"For the people who derive their self-worth from being paternalistic..."

Insightful, but still unsatisfactory. What is so attractive about being paternalistic? Why this insatiable urge to control the choices of others?

I daresay that is still not known.

Harrison said...

Good question. Being petty or resentful comes to mind.

askcherlock said...

It seems that all too often we do not take into account the cultural differences between the U.S. and other countries. We go into these countries for various motives so that we can ostensibly "help" them. Democracy just does not work in all nations, nor should we be the task-master who attempts to force it upon them, often to their detriment.

Harrison said...

Democracy doesn't work? Oh, right, when Iranians took to the streets in protest because their government stole their election or Saudi Arabian women stole cars to drive in protest of the law making that illegal or Afghans took great risks to go to the polling stations to vote... because democracy doesn't work... Maybe the "leaders" aka dictators don't WANT it to work.