The Truth



Alan McKendree amck at thenetdr.com
Tue Mar 27 01:01:49 CDT 2007


> From: "Kevin and Tania O'Neal" <kevinandt at gmavt.net>
> Date: March 26, 2007 8:30:29 PM CDT
>
>> I say we've never had true capitalism.
>
> That is a proven concept in economics.
> But, true capitalism never existed anywhere, and never will as long  
> as there are humans creating laws to protect the greater good.   
> That term "morals" seems to keep getting in the way.
> :-)

Capitalism has a moral foundation.  You'll note that economics is not  
a branch of philosophy, but politics is, and capitalism is the best  
word to describe a political system in which individual rights (to  
life, liberty, and property -- and those only) are preserved.  Any  
deviation from such a system by definition results in a loss of  
rights, and is thus immoral.

> Yeah, dopey old us just throw out terms that make things sound 'evil.'
> The term capitalism has always meant different things to different  
> people at different times.
> But, in this discussion, we're talking about the desire to make  
> money regardless of the outcome.

You go ahead.  I never advocate making money regardless of the  
outcome.  For example, making money by doing murder for hire is right  
out.

> So, lets just get past this little distraction and call it what it  
> looks like..."Capitalism without a conscience."
> Meaning......"let's make money....no matter what."
>
> Ok, now that we're on the same page....

We're not on the same page, not at all.  You insist on defining  
capitalism as doing absolutely anything that will result in a  
profit.  I'm saying that capitalism exists, if at all, in a context,  
which rules out actions that violate individual rights...but once  
that context is defined, transactions should all be voluntary,  
without  the introduction of the police power of the state.  That  
means capitalism has a built-in conscience, and "capitalism without a  
conscience" isn't capitalism.

>> I wish we had more selfishness and greed, properly defined, in the
>> world.
>
> O...kay.
> Thanks for that.
> Not sure what "properly defined" means.

This is about where I have to come to a close.  I don't have time,  
nor is this the venue, for deriving the philosophic case for egoism.   
Interested parties are referred (nay, begged) to consult:

http://www.aynrand.com
http://www.theobjectivestandard.com
and "Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand" by Leonard Peikoff,  
available for cheap at half.com and other used-book stores.

I'll just add that I'll bet a dollar of our inexorably-depreciating  
fiat currency that your econ major was taught by Keynesian economists  
who were/are convinced that the gold standard is of no use in a  
modern economy, that the government must regulate the economy and  
particularly the money supply to prevent depressions, that the Great  
Depression was caused by "excesses of unchecked capitalism", and that  
only FDR's make-work programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps  
and the National Recovery Act kept things going until WW II bailed us  
out -- none of which are true.  If you don't believe even 1 out of  
those 4 points I'll consider the money well spent.  I have a good  
reference for that too if anyone would like to contact me offline.

And with that, I thank the moderators for their indulgence and return  
to The Who.

Cheers,
Alan McKendree
"the average Texan...carries not just a gun but a SHOTGUN."  --Pete  
Townshend, 1967




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