Reply to YouTube comment about Capitalism

yet pure capitalism means unsafe work conditions, low wages, and no workers rights because the government plays no role in regulating the system As they choose, this only changed when the government made laws protecting workers, broke up monopolies that controlled entire industries, and labor unions became common. The idea that capitalism is somehow a perfect system that doesn’t need improving is dangerous. Look at the third world, large corporations pollute the environment at will to increase profits and the government’s do nothing to protect the health, safety or even lives of its citizens. That’s why a system like in Europe, or Canada is best, balancing a capitalist system with social programs to help those the system would otherwise abuse, and protecting workers so everyone has the opportunity to succeed, because in a capitalist system most people need to end up at the bottom of the totem pole, someone has to do the hard dirty work in a society, and they should always at least be able to live a decent life.

Dylan Haugen

I’m not defending anarcho-Capitalism. Of course there needs to be a state guaranteeing the individual rights and „putting the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control“ like Ayn Rand put it.

The problem with terms like „decent“ is though that it’s highly subjective. In Germany it isn’t considered a decent living standard to live in a trailer park and you are not allowed to have it as your official address – even if you wish to. I, as a trainee, would love to have my own little trailer and only have to pay 100-150€ a month for a small spot to place it. But no: other people have decided that it’s „not decent enough“ for me to live that way. Instead, I have to pay 470€ for an Appartement and beg the state for money to even be able to pay for it. Money that it has stolen me in the first place. Money that I’m not getting back because the social security office and the employment office both told I’m not entitled to it. And then I read about some guy with 13 kids and 3 wifes living completely off of tax money. Very decent, right? That’s what happens when the state plays the “good Samaritan”, which is not his job.

Regarding Pollution: I once saw a documentary about jeans production in China. There was a father and his son, who lived next to a river near a jeans factory. They lived there for years before the factory started dumping all their toxic waste in it, so they were suddenly robbed of their livelihood (the fish they were selling on the market were dead). Such reports are often used to make us feel bad for our consumption. Yet, in reality, it only shows what happens in a collectivist system like China, where individual rights are either not sufficiently formulated or simply ignored because the collective matters more than the individual. The Chinese government, as far as I can tell, doesn’t give a shit about those people. Quite the opposite: They arrest reporters, when they point out these or similar conditions in factories. They sacrifice these two men for “the common good“. In western countries the two men could sue the hell out of the company.

https://mises.org/wire/when-pollution-violation-property-rights

It is, by the way, a common misconception that capitalism allegedly promises everyone to get rich or to become anything one wants. It promises only that neither the state nor other people will hinder you by force in trying. Also: “because in a capitalist system most people need to end up at the bottom of the totem pole“. That’s wrong. History has shown that this is total nonsense. Millions of people were lifted out of poverty, since China opened their markets. In my country, the ownership of a television is considered a subsistence*. A device that only wealthy people could afford half a century ago. People are so spoiled today that they won’t see how incredibly high the living standards for poor people have risen since the industrialisation.

“someone has to do the hard dirty work in a society”

  1. What is „dirty work“? Who decides what this is? One mans „dirty work“ is an other mans dream job.
  2. Nobody has to do anything. In a free society, nobody is forced to take any job.

“Productive work” does not mean the unfocused performance of the motions of some job. It means the consciously chosen pursuit of a productive career, in any line of rational endeavor, great or modest, on any level of ability. It is not the degree of a man’s ability nor the scale of his work that is ethically relevant here, but the fullest and most purposeful use of his mind.

Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

*At least that’s what I thought. When I googled it, I found out that there was only a woman filing a lawsuit for money to get a TV, but it was dismissed by the court. So a TV is not considered a substinence in germany. Unfortunately many other things, too many things, are.

Mises: The Essence of Economic activity


“All human action, so far as it is rational, appears as the exchange of one condition for another. Men apply economic goods and personal time and labour in the direction which, under the given circumstances, promises the highest degree of satisfaction, and they forego the satisfaction of lesser needs so as to satisfy the more urgent needs. This is the essence of economic activity — the carrying out of acts of exchange.”

Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis

“Alles menschliche Handeln erscheint, sofern es rational ist, als ein Vertauschen eines Zustandes mit einem anderen. Die zur Verfügung stehenden Gegenstände des Handelns – die wirtschaftlichen Güter und die eigene Arbeit und Zeit – werden in die Verwendung gebracht, die den höchsten unter den gegebenen Verhältnissen erreichbaren Grad von Wohlfahrt verbürgt. Auf die Befriedigung weniger dringender Bedürfnisse wird verzichtet, um dringendere zu befriedigen. Das ist das Um und Auf der Wirtschaft. Sie ist die Durchführung von Tauschoperationen.”

Ludwig von Mises, Die Gemeinwirtschaft – Untersuchungen über den Sozialismus (1922)

Picture source: wiwo.de/politik

Mises: The welfare state and socialisms goals


“No longer should individuals by their buying or abstention from buying determine what is to be produced and in what quantity and quality. Henceforth the government’s unique plan alone should settle all these matters. ‘Paternal’ care of the ‘Welfare State’ will reduce all people to the status of bonded workers bound to comply, without asking questions, with the orders issued by the planning authority.”

“To abolish private property in the means of production, to make the means of production the property of the community, that is the whole aim of Socialism.”

Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis

“Nicht mehr sollte der Einzelne durch seinen Kauf oder Kaufverzicht bestimmen, was in welcher Menge und Qualität produziert werden soll. Fortan sollte der einzigartige Plan der Regierung alle diese Angelegenheiten regeln. Die “väterliche” Betreuung des “Wohlfahrtsstaates” reduziert alle Menschen auf den Status eines Schuldners, der verpflichtet ist, die von der Planungsbehörde erteilten Anordnungen zu befolgen, ohne Fragen zu stellen.”

“Das Privateigentum an den Produktionsmitteln abzuschaffen, die Produktionsmittel zum Eigentum der Gemeinschaft machen, das ist das ganze Ziel des Sozialismus.”

Ludwig von Mises, Die Gemeinwirtschaft – Untersuchungen über den Sozialismus (1922)

That is the ultimate consequence of socialism. Whether you like it or not. Therefore, it can not work and will never work, because people have free willand reason. And they have to use them to sustain their lifes. A system that reduces people to drones is EVIL, out of touch with reality and can not work – no matter how much the oh-so-social left writhes. It is stupid and paradoxical to even call this system “socialism” because it is the exact opposite of social.
No offense, but people who defend something like that either have no idea, are cowards or just hungry for power.

Picture source: wiwo.de/politik

Nathaniel Branden: Why Capitalism works

“Der große Verdienst des Kapitalismus liegt darin, dass er die Erfordernisse des menschlichen Überlebens und die Notwendigkeit von Wachstum erfüllt. Dadurch, dass er dem Menschen die Freiheit lässt, zu denken, zu handeln, zu produzieren und das Neue und Unversuchte zu versuchen, funktionieren seine Prinzipien in einer Weise, die Einsatz belohnt und Passivität bestraft.”

– Nathaniel Branden, Die Tugend des Egoismus

“The great merit of capitalism is its unique appropriateness to the requirements of human survival and to man’s need to grow. Leaving men free to think, to act, to produce, to attempt the untried and the new, its principles operate in a way that rewards effort and achievement, and penalizes passivity.”

– Nathaniel Branden, The Virtue of Selfishness

Picture source: latimes.com