Semantics are often manipulated to cash in on the virtues of certain concepts. In the earlier times this strategy was adopted by religion. Presently, it is politics which plays the game. The underlying tactic is simple. When a virtuous concept is given a bad connotation, or lumped with the worst of men, it is obvious who would be the profiteers. It is hard to believe that such a smear tactic is done with no such intention at all.
Spirituality means related to intellect or soul, but, it was turned around to mean religiousness. Idealism meant accordance to high values and principles, but it presently is identified with the left. No one is more impractical than the so called pragmatist or ‘practical man’. Morality, which was to be used to distinguish between the right and wrong courses of action, too is turned around in a way that no man can survive being moral. There is in fact, no clash between idealism and realism, or the moral and practical. Earlier the word ‘internationalist’ meant laissez faire liberals opposing war, but now it means men standing for crusading around the globe. The very word isolationist was coined to scoff at their laissez faire opponents. ‘Extremism’ is now synonymous with terrorism. Until twentieth century the word ‘liberal’ meant men fighting for a limited government, but now the left have taken it too up. Joseph Schumpeter was right when he said that the fact that the left took it up is the greatest of all compliments we can get. This entire smear means the mystics and collectivists, in fact, know what they are doing. Their mistakes in fact aren’t of an intellectual nature, but a character issue.
The word ‘Capitalism’, a pejorative term coined by Marx, too is no exception. Everyone seem to be lamenting on the evils of capitalism, but few, very few men on earth really know what it means. Even among those men, there is wide disagreement on how we should go about it. Some are market anarchists. Most believe in a limited government. Some are of the opinion Government should step in to tackle security and environmental issues. A lot many businessmen, economists and intellectuals equate it with corporativism to cash in on its virtues. If a Bush is shown as an exemplifier of Capitalism, there is no wonder in idealists turning to the left and me-too-ists to the right. Most men, as they have never cared to define it, pick up their notions from the popular media and writers, and hence believe Capitalism is a system in which the Government and big business colludes to exploit the poor. Is there any wonder if they turn to the left? Such definitions and contentions should not concern us here. Let’s define Capitalism in its right sense, as, ‘a system in which all property and services, including defense and security are privately owned’.
Among opponents of capitalism, as far as they are honest, understanding is on an emotional level-a term which they hate, but never cares to define. Whenever they hear “capitalism’, like leftist club woman, they denounce it with all the anger they can muster up, turn on their heels and stomp off. There is, to be honest, nothing inherently wrong in the phrase ‘laissez-faire capitalism’. When Colbert, the chief advisor of Louis XIV asked businessmen, of what help should be of the Government to them, a manufacturer Legendre answered, ‘Laissez-nous fairel’. It simply meant ‘let us alone’. No hand outs to the poor or special privileges for the rich. It means let no man initiate force against any other, except in retaliation. A Capitalist society is in essence, a pacifist society in which no man forces any one into what he doesn’t want to be dragged in. Why should anyone be against it?
Reasons are various for the smear on capitalism. Few books, if any, are available in most of the developing countries, to learn the issue all in and out. Laissez faire books and their authors are ignored and despised by the academia and media. A lot many of the French and German works remain not translated to the day. In China, communist conspirators, beneath their moralistic pretense have banned many websites dedicated to individual freedom, including that of Lysander Spooner. In most Middle East countries, the whole literature of liberty, including novels of Ayn Rand is banned. In Iran, youngsters who had never known what freedom means, spread those books by typing out five copies & handing it out to friends on the condition that they would be doing the same. In India, students interested in a career in Social Sciences still have no book at all to start with. The growing availability of internet access, luckily, has made considerable difference.
I am yet to see an article in support of laissez-faire in any Indian publication. Political agendas, threat of annulations of special privileges & fear of censorship makes things only a little better off than dictatorships. Unions never hesitant on using a ‘little bit of force’, hold insurmountable power over media houses. Historical & foreign policy documents are usually not in the reach of honest & capable writers. The Government threatens publishers keen on such works. Book clubs & other avenues for sale are under the power of parasitic union leaders. They threaten to boycott the whole publishing house if they set out to publish such works. Boycotting is perfectly moral if there is no initiation of force, or seeking of privileges handed out by force behind that move. Such is not the case here. Universities are even worse in this regard. Economics education is prohibited in all parts of the world. Universities, controlled by political pressure groups, as a rule don’t let in professors dedicated to Capitalism, who, in fact are the only men capable of imparting Economics education. Competent theorists usually have a hard time finding publishers, as the private publishers are incapable of taking upon them the task.
We’ll now move on to certain phrases such as ‘capitalistic war’ and ‘capitalistic imperialism’. What are those phrases supposed to mean? When one says free trade is imperialistic, one should keep in mind that it is not free trade, but some organizations such as Nafta which cash in on the virtues of that phrase, which are imperialistic. Such notions could be traced back to Lenin, who foolishly declared that Imperialism is the next stage of Capitalism. United States is widely believed to be a Capitalistic nation. This much is true: United States was the first nation to form their constitution upon the principles of a limited government in the late half of the eighteenth century. The prevalence of slavery and tariffs were in opposition to his principle, though. It should be noted here that Capitalism persisted in the feudal South, not in the Capitalistic North. United States, needless to mention was the most imperialistic nation of the twentieth century. Why is it so? People have come to believe that Capitalism is on the blame for it all. Nothing could be more farther from the truth. Capitalism means pacifism. If an honest person lies, is honesty to be put on trial?
One should understand the underlying causes before casting stones upon Capitalism. It was not Capitalism, but the growing ‘progressive movement’ and interventionist policies of United States which were responsible for all these tyrannies. It was Lincoln, who the left-liberals hail as an anti-slavery hero who provoked the fire at Fort Sumter for reasons having nothing at all to do with slavery. His real intention was to break free from the tradition of limited Government-To break free from near-capitalism into a more tyrannical government and it was Capitalism which got the blame. Left Liberals constantly remind us that things have gone worse since the First World War. They are certainly right in saying so, and they have only their own policies to blame for it all. Sixteenth Amendment, giving the government the power for arbitrary taxation was introduced in 1913.US Government now takes in 40% as taxes. Then came the Seventeenth Amendment giving power to the people to elect the ‘US Senators’ rather than the state legislators. It was only since then introduction of these laws that things got the way it is.
Federal Reserve System too was introduced in the same year, placing monetary control in the hands of manipulators. It’s a still prevailing myth that it was Herbert Hoover’s laissez-faire policies that led to the Great Depression. Hoover, the secretary of Commerce in the early 20’s was never able to convince President Harding to intervene recklessly. He did it when he was the President in 1929.It wasn’t the Free Market, but government manipulation of money & credit which caused the Great Depression.
It was Woodrow Wilson, promoted by the progressive movement, who led America to the First World War and finally led to the wreckage of the world economies through the expansion of credit, and finally the Depression of 1929. It was the humanitarian Roosevelt’s acts, which provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor. He even withheld the information from the military commanders stationed in the Pearl Harbor that an attack is being ripe. It was he who worked to enhance communism in Russia and China.
As of a gross misrepresentation of terms, left liberals now hail Bush as a laissez-faireist. As everyone, including left liberals know, a full free Capitalism never existed anywhere in the world. All nations known as Capitalist are mixed economies. Isn’t it the same men who remind us this fact when we point out the fact that higher the degree of freedom, higher the prosperity who blame all these evils on Capitalism? When a ‘Capitalistic’ nation is imperialistic, value judgment is placed on the system, ‘Capitalism’ and when a Socialistic nation is tyrannical, value judgment is placed on individual leaders and not on Socialism. It just obviates that they know the truth deep inside. In a mixture of Statism and Capitalism, it is Statism which causes all the evils and it is Capitalism which takes the blame. Statism means force and Capitalism means freedom.
Why is it that the freest nation on the world has become the most imperialistic of all? It is not always necessary that a nation should be tyrannical on its own men to be imperialistic out of the border. US allowed semi-freedom to its own men, but was interventionist outside the borders. Some libertarians would like to believe that it is always dictatorial nations and controlled economies which initiate war. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Some governments are inconceivably brutal on their own men, but never venture to take it outside their borders. No government had initiated an attack on the United States in its whole history. (Pearl Harbor was the result of Roosevelt’s provocations. The attack on September 11th was that of a terrorist organization, which, not coincidentally, grew out of Unites States own foreign policies.)
These facts, however doesn’t mean that it is Capitalism which is responsible for all these evils. It is the governments which wages war, not Big businesses or individual men. It is certainly true that some armament businesses profit from wars, and it motivates some governments to step into war. It was Lenin’s view that when Capitalists are done with their exploitation inside their borders, they step outside. To begin with, Capitalism and Free trade simply means that men should be allowed to trade as they wish and there isn’t anything aggressive in that. It is true that some men use these terms in an entirely different sense, but it is they who are to be placed on the blame, not these terms.
Why it is not stated that Fabian Socialists, Shaw, Annie Besant, Sidney and Beatrice Webb all were imperialists? Why don’t they pay attention to the fact that the left sided with the British in times of the Quit India Movement? What irks me is that all those men who seem to be against US imperialism never utter a single word against the greatest butchers of the 20th Century-Stalin, Mao, and Hitler of the National Socialist Party (NAZI). Lenin was wrong in his analysis, but it could appear true when it comes to certain facts. A state grown rich feeding itself upon tax payers money steps outside the borders and turns imperialistic and that exactly was what happened in the case of Unites States. It is not Capitalism, but Statism which is the root of wars and imperialism.