In recent years in the United States, capitalism has come under attack. The primary opposition or “solution” presented to capitalism is socialism. I am here to explain why socialism is not only impractical but utterly greedy and inherently evil. The fact is, no single economic system in the history of the world has provided a society with sustainable prosperity in the same way as capitalism.
From the standpoint of practicality, Steven Crowder, host of “Louder with Crowder,” sums it up best: “Over time, the greatest enemy of socialism is reality… The tensions between the makers and the takers always, always leads to socialism’s inevitable collapse.”
One key problem with socialism is the system was designed in a way that misreads human nature. The general consensus among the world population is that human nature is sinful; socialists especially tend to agree with this statement, thus they believe a centralized government is required to regulate society to ensure the fairness of everything, to ensure no exploitation of any sort occurs. My qualm with this thinking is that socialism itself is exploitive.
One overlooked yet critical point is that the government is made up of sinful-natured people. So, is it not a rational thought to maybe question the power that this government has, considering it is made up of people, just like citizens? Is it not reasonable to suggest that when sinful-natured people are given near complete control of a society, the tumultuous fall of this society is undeniably certain?
As John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, better known as Lord Acton, a renowned historian, puts it: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Allowing a larger government to have a stranglehold on the economy is a very dangerous thing. Just for starters, socialism asphyxiates innovation and productivity in society. There is no incentive to work hard. See, the whole idea of capitalism is that humans act out of self-interest, not to be confused with selfishness. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, says, “Self-interest—unlike selfishness—will often lead one to commit acts of altruism… To put it another way: pursuing our own good can advance the common good.”
A key aspect of capitalism is that the system is set up to take advantage of humans’ natural self-interest. When humans act out of self-interest, the ramifications are generally beneficial to society. This is how a free-market economy works: transactions are only made voluntarily, only if both sides feel they benefit from the said transaction. Thus, companies have incentive to provide better product. The consumer may select which company to approach for business, therefore businesses within the market are forced to compete with each other. This competition fosters betterment and innovation of product, as well as a decline in prices. Socialism does the opposite, eliminating competition, and aiming to federalize nearly every single market. This drives quality down, and price up, leaving society far worse off.
I could rattle off many more practical reasons to oppose socialism and support capitalism, including citations of examples of socialist societies that have collapsed due to the very system of socialism, as well as the practical benefits of capitalism, such as astronomically higher literacy rates, access to advanced medical care, greater access to clean water, and many scientific innovations that have bettered society. But, this will not change a socialist’s mind, for they have heard this onslaught of facts from rational-minded beings many times before. Socialists ignore the reality of socialism and its horrors. Socialists stand their ground, rooted in their beliefs, for they believe that socialism is morally above capitalism. Thus, the most effective method of combating this vile weltanschauung is on a moral level. I am here to tell you that capitalism is not only more practical than socialism, but it is the most morally sound economic system.
One common thought process among socialists is that capitalists are greedy pigs. Nothing could possibly be more untrue and hypocritical. The entire concept of socialism is that every single person deserves something because they simply are living. The idea is that income inequality is unfair, no matter the work put in. I have some serious qualms with this on a moral level. Not everyone deserves the same lifestyle. Some have contributed far more to society than others, some work harder. Not everyone deserves to be as fortunate as Bill Gates because not everyone founded groundbreaking technology that has bettered society in the same way that Microsoft has. Income inequality is one of the stupidest and most senseless issues discussed in the United States today, as well as one of the greediest. Out of the entire American population, 90 percent are in the top 50 percent of the world population financially. Considering the scope of that statistic and the overall prosperity of our country, this number is astounding. Everybody is rich in America by global standards. What people really should be worrying about is combating poverty, as this is a real problem. The bottom line is that some income inequality is ok; the true issue at hand should not be a question of how can we strike the rich people down to everyone else’s level but rather how do we make the poor richer.
Finally, capitalist nations are by far the most successful in guaranteeing basic human rights for their citizens. The free market system and political democracy go hand in hand. Arthur Brooks sums it up best by saying, “Capitalism is not only a friend of economic and political liberty; it is a friend of what many people believe to be the first of all freedoms: religious liberty.” Due to the nature of a government’s restricted control of society in a capitalist system, there is a clear connection between the free market and freedom of speech, religion, expression, and numerous other basic human rights that we Americans many times take for granted.
The war on capitalism in our country is very real. Nearly half of millennials in the United States say they would support socialism, per a Daily Mail survey. The fact of the matter is, no economic system in the history of the world has provided countries with more prosperity, lifted more people out of poverty, and guaranteed human rights to all in the same way as capitalism. Make no mistake, the current rise of socialist ideals must be extinguished, or else the consequences will plague our nation for years to come. Even one of the more progressive presidents in history has voiced his opinion in favor of a free market system.
“Americans have always pursued our dreams within a free market that has been the engine of our progress,” said Barack Obama. “It’s a market that has created a prosperity that is the envy of the world, and rewarded the innovators and risk-takers who have made America a beacon of discovery, technology, and discovery.”