The purpose of this post is to get people’s ideas on the most effective way to change our society towards being more and more capitalist.
A theory that I’ve come across over the last few years (I think Nicholas Gray was fond of this one – but feel free to correct me) was that people around the world needed to see first hand the negative effects of increasingly socialistic economic policies as precursor to them rejecting these gradual increases in socialism.
In basic terms the idea can I think be summarized as follows: The shit has to hit the fan before we would do anything about it. The idea is that a generation or two has past since the disastrous communist regimes implemented full blown state ownership of business, and that people have forgotten just how bad socialist central planning is to human prosperity at all levels.
Before I go on, it is indeed true that around the world, the trend is that governments are again growing as a % of GDP. This has been true for most western countries since about the year 2000 or so. (My source is Hamish McRae’s recent presentation, “What is happening to the world economy and what this means for global business” but if you have another source please share).
I tentatively agree with the shit needs to hit the fan hypothesis. I definitely agree that empirical observation of the catastrophic failures of central planning are valuable and necessary for showing people that government intervention into their lives is harmful.
But when our politics are as mixed as they are today (capitalist/socialist/I’d even say facist to a degree), simply sitting back and watching the shit hit the fan is not enough. People need the relevant information to make sense of the confusion. Defenders of capitalism need to be out there to educate and explain.
George Carlin once said “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that”. Add to that the fact that most people were brought up to despise “greedy”, “exploitative” capitalism, the fact that many people have little interest in politics and economics, the under-achieving standards of modern education, especially public education and the fact that many people place trust in their authorities and experts (as they should be able to do in an ideal world).
The task towards achieving a free capitalist society is not an easy one and will require work one way or another.
However, the latest economic crises has arrived with most of the world in recession. Now is the time to increase your pro-capitalism efforts. The fight is on for those willing to do their bit to make the world a better place.
We have probably all come across many media commentators attempting to blame the current crises on capitalist greed. This is the line our own Prime Minister takes in his condemnation of “extreme capitalism” in his 7700 word essay published in the Monthly.
Personally my view is that of the Objectivists: that a moral defense of capitalism is required and that capitalism cannot be logically defended on altruistic based ethical theory, but that does not mean I don’t see the value in some political activism.
I believe a good responsible person has no option but to fight for what they believe to be important and right. I believe the alternative is to let yourself whither and slowly die.
Also, campaigning on political issues has value apart from the specific issue itself. Getting debate started, challenging people’s erroneous assumptions, offering different ideas and perspectives to those commonly appearing in the mainstream media.
So the purpose of this post was to hopefully get ideas on what people think the best strategies are to advance capitalism?
Perhaps, artistic avenues such as books, movies? Perhaps business groups speaking out? What should they ideally say? Internet comments? Letters to editors? What political activism are you involved in? What type of political activism do you think is the most effective? Do you think a political party such as the LDP is the key to change? Do you think group action is more effective than individual action?