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Ten Varieties of Anti-Capitalism

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pepperonikkid

Ten Varieties of Anti-Capitalism

 

https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/

BY RICHARD M SALSMAN

JUN 29, 2020

 

Article:

 

auschwitz-1066283_1280.jpg

The ten varieties of anti-capitalism are anarchism, medievalism, nationalism, socialism, communism, fascism, populism, racism, environmentalism, and subjectivism.

 

 

Whereas truth is singular, falsehood is multiple. When we define something, specify a principle, or explicate a theory, we must strive to get things right and avoid getting them wrong. Black is not white (or other colors); nutrition is not poison (or anything non-nutritious); liberty is not tyranny (or anything illiberal); and the law of gravity is not supernatural (or illusory). There are many ways to get things wrong. To get things right – to validate our thoughts, to be correct – we must be intellectually curious, honest, and objective; we must learn the facts of reality and apply the laws of logic.

What is true of definitions, principles, and theories is true also of social systems, which are akin to habitats – the environments in which species try to live and flourish. Ant colonies and beehives may be social systems but are not created (or sustained) – as are human social systems – by the faculty of reason. Only one human habitat can be optimal for humans. Only one can be the best one. I have written previously that

To live best, [humans] must know what social system is best. Every living organism has an optimal habitat, a setting in which it best survives and thrives; an opposite or inhospitable habitat can prove harmful, even lethal, to a species (think: “fish out of water”). Humans are no exception to this general principle. Our specific nature decrees that we too have a preferred habitat. Aristotle distinguished man as both the rational and political animal; our best habitat allows the free exercise of our mind and inter-personal relations. Call it a habitat for humanity. Capitalism has proved to be the most hospitable habitat for humans. But what is capitalism, exactly? Why do so many humans, oddly enough, oppose it? Should it not win wide acclaim? Humans have free will and, equipped with reason, they can elect to achieve great things and scale great heights, surpassing all other species. But having no pre-programmed guide to good living they do not automatically choose what is best. Unlike other species, humans can choose to be self-destructive. Instead of being rational and cooperative with their own kind, they can enslave, rob, or destroy them.[1]

Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which government’s sole purpose is to preserve and protect those rights, and its only proper functions are national defense, policing, and adjudication (law courts). Functions are confined to those that serve the sole purpose; functions beyond these three necessarily violate rights by compelling some to serve others.

Capitalism is a relatively new and radical social system, originating in the 18th century Enlightenment when the power of reason was most respected, individual rights were first identified, and men began to conceive of (and fight for) constitutionally constrained, representative government, throwing off authoritarianism. Being new, radical, and reasonable, capitalism could not easily withstand or survive the counter-Enlightenment, as spread by the likes of Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Marx.

Few anti-capitalists would contest my definition of capitalism: that it’s a social system – that it institutionalizes rights (especially private property rights) – that it uniquely depends upon and embodies egoism, individualism, the profit motive, and the pursuit of happiness. What critics detest is any portrayal or defense of capitalism as good – as either a productive or moral social system. They view capitalism as either amoral or immoral, either an unethical but efficient wealth creator (the religious-conservative view)[2] or an evil, unjust system of exploitation prone to crises, “overproduction,” and depressions, which must eventually collapse (Marx’s view).[3] A derivative of the latter critique – cultural Marxism – insists that capitalism’s exploitation is systemic and ineradicable, that it extends beyond capital’s assault on labor to victimization within races, ethnicities, ages, genders, and a host of other supposedly antagonistic classes.

If capitalism’s meaning is not disputed, its critics must oppose its rationality, egoism, individualism, and inequality (the latter a by-product of human diversity).[4] To the extent capitalism protects rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, critics also must oppose these values to some degree. Capitalism creates technology, prosperity, vitality, and longevity, so perhaps critics also reject these values. Such latent malevolence, verging on misanthropy, might seem unimaginable (especially to those who are benevolent), but what else can explain such hatred for capitalism?

A survey of history reveals six anti-capitalist social systems and four distinct ideologies which feed those systems.  Of course, fights (even wars) will occur occasionally among anti-capitalists, but they remain united in their hatred of capitalism because they share anti-capitalist premises; each devoutly desires a “fundamental transformation” of capitalism, if not its termination. Remember, truth is singular, while falsehood is multiple.  Only one human habitat can be optimal for humans. Only one can be the best one.  These are superlatives. Capitalism, I argue, is precisely that highest of all social systems – the supreme habitat for humanity.[5] Alternatives may be classified as mere variants of inferior habitats or ideologies, although some are worse than others.

The ten varieties of anti-capitalism are anarchism, medievalism, nationalism, socialism, communism, fascism, populism, racism, environmentalism, and subjectivism.  Below I summarize and assess each in turn.

 

 

 

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Natural Selection

From the article:

"Fascism is both a collectivist and nationalist social system characterized by private ownership but public (state) control of the means of production, for the benefit of the state. Private titles to property are merely nominal; owners must produce what the state requires, hire, fire, and compensate those the state commands, and trade as the state decrees. Larger firms are promoted at the expense of smaller ones because they are more easily and directly controlled. Fascism is not a “version” of capitalism; it originated in Italy as an explicit rejection of capitalism.[16] In Weimar Germany (1930s) nationalism and socialism were combined to generate national socialism, under the sociopath Hitler."

This is why Antifa is illogical. They claim Trump is a fascist but Trump's economic policies don't match the description of Fascism. If anything, Socialism is closer to Fascism than Capitalism.

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Severian

The majority of them have no idea what socialism, fascism, etc. actually mean, they just sling the words around in a derogatory fashion (or dare I say it, faschion). I suspect the leaders may know the truth meanings but why let the lemmings in on it, and most people today are very uneducated. And easily led/manipulated, the "useful idiots" of the Left. If/when society crumbles and is replaced by a brutal totalitarian state, they are always shocked when they get stood up against the wall.

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MontyPython
5 hours ago, Severian said:

The majority of them have no idea what socialism, fascism, etc. actually mean, they just sling the words around in a derogatory fashion (or dare I say it, faschion). I suspect the leaders may know the truth meanings but why let the lemmings in on it, and most people today are very uneducated. And easily led/manipulated, the "useful idiots" of the Left. If/when society crumbles and is replaced by a brutal totalitarian state, they are always shocked when they get stood up against the wall.

(First off....."faschion".....LOL! I love it.)

As for the rest - Yup. They obviously have no freaking clue about socialism, I mean the actual facts. They just wanna do what all the "cool kids" are doing.

<_< 

 

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