Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
How Binance SCAMs Crypto Traders with UP DOWN Coins, Futures, Options and Leverage - Don't Get Bogdanoffed! - 20th Jun 21
Smart Money Accumulating Physical Silver Ahead Of New Basel III Regulations And Price Explosion To $44 - 20th Jun 21
Rambling Fed Triggers Gold/Silver Correction: Are Investors Being Duped? - 20th Jun 21
Gold: The Fed Wreaked Havoc on the Precious Metals - 20th Jun 21
Investing in the Tulip Crypto Mania 2021 - 19th Jun 21
Here’s Why Historic US Housing Market Boom Can Continue - 19th Jun 21
Cryptos: What the "Bizarre" World of Non-Fungible Tokens May Be Signaling - 19th Jun 21
Hyperinflationary Expectations: Reflections on Cryptocurrency and the Markets - 19th Jun 21
Gold Prices Investors beat Central Banks and Jewelry, as having the most Impact - 18th Jun 21
Has the Dust Settled After Fed Day? Not Just Yet - 18th Jun 21
Gold Asks: Will the Economic Boom Continue? - 18th Jun 21
STABLE COINS PONZI Crypto SCAM WARNING! Iron Titan CRASH to ZERO! Exit USDT While You Can! - 18th Jun 21
FOMC Surprise Takeaways - 18th Jun 21
Youtube Upload Stuck at 0% QUICK FIXES Solutions Tutorial - 18th Jun 21
AI Stock Buying Levels, Ratings, Valuations Video - 18th Jun 21
AI Stock Buying Levels, Ratings, Valuations and Trend Analysis into Market Correction - 17th Jun 21
Stocks, Gold, Silver Markets Inflation Tipping Point - 17th Jun 21
Letting Yourself Relax with Activities That You Might Not Have Considered - 17th Jun 21
The Federal Reserve and Inflation - 16th Jun 21
Inflation Soars 5%! Will Gold Skyrocket? - 16th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Inflation Is For Fools - 16th Jun 21
Four News Events That Could Drive Gold Bullion Demand - 16th Jun 21
5 ways that crypto is changing the face of online casinos - 16th Jun 21
Transitory Inflation Debate - 15th Jun 21
USDX: The Cleanest Shirt Among the Dirty Laundry - 15th Jun 21
Inflation and Stock Market SPX Record Highs. PPI, FOMC Meeting in Focus - 15th Jun 21
Stock Market SPX 4310 Right Around the Corner! - 15th Jun 21
AI Stocks Strength vs Weakness - Why Selling Google or Facebook is a Big Mistake! - 14th Jun 21
The Bitcoin Crime Wave Hits - 14th Jun 21
Gold Time for Consolidation and Lower Volatility - 14th Jun 21
More Banks & Investors Are NOT Believing Fed Propaganda - 14th Jun 21
Market Inflation Bets – Squaring or Not - 14th Jun 21
Is Gold Really an Inflation Hedge? - 14th Jun 21
The FED Holds the Market. How Long Will It Last? - 14th Jun 21
Coinbase vs Binance for Bitcoin, Ethereum Crypto Trading & Investing During Bear Market 2021 - 11th Jun 21
Gold Price $4000 – Insurance, A Hedge, An Investment - 11th Jun 21
What Drives Gold Prices? (Don't Say "the Fed!") - 11th Jun 21
Why You Need to Buy and Hold Gold Now - 11th Jun 21
Big Pharma Is Back! Biotech Skyrockets On Biogen’s New Alzheimer Drug Approval - 11th Jun 21
Top 5 AI Tech Stocks Trend Analysis, Buying Levels, Ratings and Valuations - 10th Jun 21
Gold’s Inflation Utility - 10th Jun 21
The Fuel Of The Future That’s 9 Times More Efficient Than Lithium - 10th Jun 21
Challenges facing the law industry in 2021 - 10th Jun 21
SELL USDT Tether Before Ponzi Scheme Implodes Triggering 90% Bitcoin CRASH in Cryptos Lehman Bros - 9th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Prepare For Volatility - 9th Jun 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Which Door Will Investors Choose? - 9th Jun 21
Fed ‘Taper’ Talk Is Back: Will a Tantrum Follow? - 9th Jun 21
Scientists Discover New Renewable Fuel 3 Times More Powerful Than Gasoline - 9th Jun 21
How do I Choose an Online Trading Broker? - 9th Jun 21
Fed’s Tools are Broken - 8th Jun 21
Stock Market Approaching an Intermediate peak! - 8th Jun 21
Could This Household Chemical Become The Superfuel Of The Future? - 8th Jun 21
The Return of Inflation. Can Gold Withstand the Dark Side? - 7th Jun 21
Why "Trouble is Brewing" for the U.S. Housing Market - 7th Jun 21
Stock Market Volatility Crash Course (VIX vs VVIX) – Learn How to Profit From Volatility - 7th Jun 21
Computer Vision Is Like Investing in the Internet in the ‘90s - 7th Jun 21
MAPLINS - Sheffield Down Memory Lane, Before the Shop Closed its Doors for the Last Time - 7th Jun 21
Wire Brush vs Block Paving Driveway Weeds - How Much Work, Nest Way to Kill Weeds? - 7th Jun 21
When Markets Get Scared and Reverse - 7th Jun 21
Is A New Superfuel About To Take Over Energy Markets? - 7th Jun 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Socialist Myths vs Capitalism

Politics / Social Issues Jan 14, 2008 - 02:29 AM GMT

By: Gerard_Jackson

Politics I am forever getting emails from ignorant socialists accusing capitalism of all manner of heinous crimes. Clearly the socialist view of economic history is deeply rooted in Western society, a view based on facts that turn out to be nothing but socialist myths derived from political prejudices deeply hostile to the classical liberal order. This, I believe, accounts for the staggering ignorance of leftwing critics. The contents of one particularly stupid email immediately brought to mind an especially bigoted anti-capitalist tirade by Bryan Patterson that he wrote some years ago.

Patterson is the Herald Sun's religious writer. Now you might wonder what a religious writer would know about economics, economic history or the history of economic thought. In the case of Patterson, the answer is absolutely nothing. He made his ignorance abundantly clear by trotting out a number of socialist calumnies (Herald Sun 22 February 1998). Using his paper as a secular pulpit he attacked as vulgar the advice of eighteenth and nineteenth century ministers to their congregations "to work hard and be thrifty," making the absurd assertion that this advice drove the "poor into hands of greedy monopolists and financiers."

Exposing the unrepentant Patterson's phony critique is to expose leftist ignorance. According to Patterson's left-wing thinking, the advice was fallacious if not actually callous because it assumed that work is something done for money or power, rather than being an expression of man's creativity etc.

This is the thinking [asserted Patterson] that allows fruit and wheat to be burnt by the tonne, and fish to be used as manure while whole populations stand in need of food. [All of which allows] consumerism and the violence of militarism to dominate the world.

Needless to say, Patterson did not provide a skerrick of historical evidence to support what was nothing more than left-wing propaganda. It would have been clear to any reasonably educated person that given the economic circumstances of the time, the advice of work hard and be thrifty was basically sound (though there is no virtue in hard work per se but only in work done with a purpose.) Those were hard times — the times that preceded them were even harder — and mass poverty was the natural order of things, as it had been throughout history.

Urging people to be thrifty was the same as advising them to prepare for hard times, to try and provide for an uncertain future, not to spend what little they had on gambling gin and thus avoid the poorhouse. (This is the kind of "vulgar advice," incidentally, that lifted millions of Asians out of poverty in a comparatively short time). The growth of friendly societies, cooperative societies, self-help organisations, though slow in the eighteenth century, demonstrates that many among the masses had a far better understanding of the benefits of thrift than Bryan Patterson. (Incidentally, I am still at loss to understand how saving can make one a victim of monopoly.)

Now these ministers were not making any assumptions about work, power or creativity. They knew, as did everyone else at the time, that work for the mass of people was their only means to acquire goods, the rest was secondary. Only a comfortable middle class intellectual could suggest that work as a 'creative' activity could have any meaning in such societies. Where labour's productivity is low so are living standards. Extremely long hours engaged in monotonous labour have to be endured to obtain, by our consumerist standards, even the most meagre of goods. This is how the nineteenth century reformer Francis Place described conditions:

I know not how to describe the sickening aversion which at times steals over the working man and utterly disables him, for a longer or shorter period, from following his usual occupation, and compels him to indulge in idleness. I have felt it, [he was once a breeches-maker] resisted it to the utmost of my power, but have been obliged to submit and run away from my work. This is the case of every workman I have ever known. . . . (Dorothy George, England in Transition, Penguin Books, 1962, pp. 60-61).

Patterson's assertions about "greedy monopolists and financiers" are just left-wing hogwash. Monopolies exist where the state owns the firm or protects a firm or industry from competition. The same goes for financiers. Patterson completely ignored the fact — as do most socialists — that the nineteenth century saw an unprecedented rise in living standards. (Something not unrelated to genuine liberalism that was totally opposed to monopoly, tariffs or state granted privileges).

This was a period in which real wages quadrupled, even though the workforce grew by 400 per cent, and the output of consumer goods expanded by 1600 per cent. However nineteenth century conditions compare with today's, they became an incredible improvement on anything that had previously prevailed. For the first time in history production was for the masses and not an aristocratic elite.

The stupidity of his assertion that eighteenth and nineteenth century advice to people to save and work hard created the kind of thinking that wilfully destroys food while others starve is so bizarre that I reread it several times to make sure it was not my reading of his material that was at fault. (And to think he and those like him get paid for this nonsense.) Every single instance of food being wilfully destroyed has been on the instructions of the state.

This has been entirely due to the politicisation of food production, which in turn created surplus stocks that were later destroyed to maintain agricultural incomes. The market did not do this, Mr Patterson, politicians and bureaucrats did it because they defied the market. One of those politicians was the Sainted F.D. Roosevelt. (Amity Shlaes The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Harper-Collins, 2007, pp. 270, 275-77).

Like many critics of capitalism, Bryan Patterson accused it of "consumerism" without making the slightest effort to define it. If by consumerism he meant materialism he should have said so and left it at that. But materialism means to value material things in themselves rather than for the services they provide. Why capitalism should be more materialistic than any other society beats me.

Consumerism is an invidious concept used to attack capitalism, the most productive economic order ever known to man, something even Marx cheerfully admitted and welcomed. Despite its emptiness as a concept, consumerism conveys to the impressionable and the unthinking the vague feeling that capitalism is not quite moral, that there is something in it that is profane and hostile to basic human values.

As Ebenezer Scrooge once said: "Bah, humbug!" But this, unfortunately, is what we have come to expect from our intelligentsia. Only arrogant intellectuals would condemn an economic order that showered society with an unprecedented abundance of material goods and services, sanctimoniously condemning it as "consumerism". As I do not feel particularly charitable toward socialists, I shall call this attitude by its proper name — rank hypocrisy.

This brought Patterson to the charge that these ministers' advice could result in militarism. Once again, not bothering to define his terms. A militaristic state is one in which the armed forces are supreme; it is they who dominate political life. In such a society it is expected that the citizens obey the government just as troops obey their officers. There is no real freedom only discipline and obedience. Prussia and pre-war Japan stand out as typical examples of militaristic societies. To even hint that capitalism gives birth to these types of societies is completely absurd and reveals a lamentable lack of historical knowledge. Capitalism, as the military elites of these societies well knew, is subversive of militarism. They are deadly foes. As Keynes said of capitalism:

. . . dangerous human proclivities can be canalised into comparatively harmless channels by the existence of opportunities for money-making and private wealth, which, if they cannot be satisfied in this way, may find their outlet in cruelty, the reckless pursuit of personal power and authority, and other forms of self-aggrandisement. It is better that a man should tyrannise over his bank balance than over his fellow-citizens (italics added). (John Maynard Keynes The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Macmillan, St Martin’s Press for the Royal Economic Society, 1973, p. 374).

This observation was amply confirmed by the tyrannical history of communist states. But that never stopped anti-capitalist critics like Patterson. Quoting Dorothy Sayers we were told that lawyers now work for money instead of justice. Do this pair think it was once otherwise. What do they think paid for pro bono cases? He then approvingly quoted ex-priest Matthew Fox's silly suggestion that catholic schools should try to reconnect mysticism with science. (Yes, it got worse.)

Patterson finished his sanctimonious left-wing sermon with the assertion "that some people consider fulfilling work and ethics more important than profits". The fallacy here is the left-wing assumption that profits are unethical and never involve self-fulfilling work. This is typical self-righteous socialist drivel. Like all socialists he obviously has no understanding at all of the vital role that profits play in raising living standards and allocating resources. As for fulfilling work, this is something that only seems to obsess left-wing intellectuals.

Virtually the whole of human history has been one of lengthy backbreaking toil. It was capitalism that finally freed masses of people from this tyranny, not intellectuals. It was capitalism that generated economic growth and created unprecedented opportunities and wealth for the masses. And it was capitalism, unfortunately, that created masses of intellectuals like Patterson whose activities, to judge from their writings, appear to be totally superfluous to society's needs. Yet affluent left-wing intellectuals have got the bloody nerve to treat capitalism's achievements with contempt.

What is capitalism? It is not an ideology and it is not a system. It is a process the heart of which is voluntary exchange based on the principle of private property and the inalienable rights of the individual. Eliminate capitalism and you get tyranny: Mussolini understood this and this is why he stated: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state ".


Like the vast majority of leftists Patterson is extremely soft on Marxist thugs. Back in 1997 he wrote a generous piece on Hanoi's murderous regime. Readers can determine for themselves what kind of journalist Patterson is by the fact that he refused to condemn the 1968 Hue communist massacre in which thousands of South Vietnamese civilians were murdered by an occupying force of North Vietnamese troops and Viet Cong terrorists.

But readers must bear in mind that to socialists Marxist regimes can be excused their atrocities because they only commit mass murder and torture in pursuit of social justice and equality. If you think this is an outrageous exaggeration, allow me to draw your attention to the economic historian and committed Marxist-Leninist Eric Hobsbawm. He was interviewed by Michael Ignatieff for The Times Literary Supplement, 28 October 1994. The following is an extract:

Mr. Ignatieff: "What that comes down to is saying that had the radiant tomorrow [a successful Soviet Union] actually been created, the loss of 15, 20 million people might have been justified?"

Hobsbawm: "Yes."

No wonder Martin Amis was moved to call Hobsbawm a "disgrace". (Martin Amis, Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million, Talk Miramax Books, 2002, p. 274).

By Gerard Jackson

Gerard Jackson is Brookes' economics editor.

Copyright © 2008 Gerard Jackson

Gerard Jackson Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


14 Jan 08, 11:40

Yes, it was capitalism that is the Masonic pyramid scheme infested with servitude... that folks bought into. It was capitalism that caused the massive inequality. It was capitalism that causes our 18-yr-old children to be forced to "get a job" and thus forced into a religion called the church-of-competers (free marketeers). Yes, it is capitalism that is just like the childhood farmyard pyramid of stacked children, where the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world's knees in their backs. It is capitalism that condones competing, which is the opposite of cooperating. it is capitalism that is based upon taking and fear, instead-of giving and love (Christianity socialism).

It is capitalism that holds the exclusive on the TYPE of certificates (money) accepted in supply depots. It is capitalism that kills 5000 for every person who makes it to "set-for-life". It is capitalism that puts up fences, borders, and security systems of all kinds. It is capitalism that is the toybox tug-o-war over luxuries and supplies... where something ALWAYS gets broken... either the tuggers or the tugged-over. Yes, it was capitalism that brought all this wonderful stuff. While we grew financially, we have totally flopped on efficiency, intelligence, logic, love, and general morals. Yep, it was capitalism that caused that flop.

What a fine system. AmWay - American Way. The pyramid scheme symbol is right there on the back of the USA one dollar bill. Its a join or die organization. Cute. That's felony extortion. Pay up or lose your wellbeing. Join, or starve. Nice. You're all going to federal prison if you keep participating in it. And I won't even START to mention what might happen to capitalists in the afterlife. I don't want to even think about it. Too gruesome.


MaStars - Mothers Against Stuff That Ain't Right


Bessemer MI USA

Randolphe Palmer
18 Aug 08, 10:48

capitalism is proof of just how low we can stoop..! Closely associated with crime,- organized crime (the Mafia and similar groups), the huge world drug problem, the trade in pornography,.(inc' the sexual exploitation of children), arms deals and arms trading, junk fiction about king and country, - in short, all that makes humans small and wretched!

We need to fight against it for a better world...

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in