Category Archives: Capitalism

Unhappy Marxist Thanksgiving, Everyone! By Thomas DiLorenzo

The pilgrims didn’t have much to be thankful for until they discovered that capitalism and free markets work well. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:

In recent years the unhinged Marxist Left in “higher” education along with the hard-Left pop communists in the teachers’ unions have been preaching that Thanksgiving is a celebration of genocide, mass murder, and imperialism.  The Pilgrims murdered all the Indians, they say, and then sat down and treated themselves to big feast to celebrate their feat.  They even invented the elementary schoolish word “Thankskilling” to describe it.  (Send your kid to a university and he, too, can learn to sound like an uneducated Marxist moron for the rest of his life).

In reality, if the Pilgrims had anything to celebrate it was the destruction of an early form of socialism that allowed them to survive and prosper.  When the first settlers arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in May of 1607 they found incredibly fertile soil and a cornucopia of seafood, wild game, and fruits of all kinds.  Nevertheless, within six months all but 38 of the original 104 Jamestown settlers had starved to death.  Two years later the Virginia Company sent 500 more settlers and within six months 440 of them were dead by starvation and disease.  This became known as “the starving time.”  The Massachusetts Pilgrims fared no better.  About half of the 101 people who arrived on Cape Cod in November of 1620 were dead within a few months.

In 1611 the British government sent Sir Thomas Dale to serve as the “high marshal” of the Virginia colony.  He immediately recognized the problem:  The Virginia Company had adopted a system of agricultural socialism under which everything grown or produced would go to a “common store” and divided equally among all  the family groups.  The man who worked hard sixteen hours a day would be given the same remuneration as the man who did not work at all.  Dale’s solution was to establish property rights by allotting three acres of land to each man, who was still required to pay a fee to the Virginia colony (most early American immigrants were indentured servants) but then could keep everything else for himself and his family.

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Bitcoin Is Far More Than An Investment, by Paul Rosenberg

Bitcoin embodies the promise of encryption, a way to free yourself from government. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

Over the past few years, huge numbers of people have come to see Bitcoin as an investment… as a stock. That’s because a significant percentage of the populace – certainly a good percentage of the investing class – knows someone, at least a friend of a friend, who has done very well with Bitcoin. That’s the kind of thing that people notice, and not unreasonably so.

The truth, however, is that Bitcoin is more and better than an investment… much more and much better.

We’ll get to some detail on this later, but before I start on the story of Bitcoin, I should at least say that rather than being an investment (even though its exchange price does rise dramatically), Bitcoin is actually a new societal model. It is fundamentally different from the old model, being both more efficient and morally superior.

It Came From Outside

Now, let’s spend a few minutes on where this thing came from. And the short version is that it came from outside.

Bitcoin, you see, is not an adaptation based on existing currencies, nor can it be understood that way. Bitcoin is from the realm of radicals.

In particular, Bitcoin came to us from the cypherpunks, a group of cryptography advocates. They began to flourish in the early 1990s, as they realized they could “wall-off” areas of cyberspace from the intrusions of governments. Here, to give you some flavor, are a few quotes from these people:

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us.

We don’t much care if you don’t approve of the software we write. We know that software can’t be destroyed and that a widely dispersed system can’t be shut down.

A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!

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The Real Solution to the Coming Economic Crisis, by Mark Thornton

We may have to wait for Laissez-Faire until after economic collapse, but after such a collapse, what else can you try? From Mark Thornton at mises.org:

My previous article demonstrated how the free market solves a boom-bust crisis and is the only solution, its effectiveness depending upon the magnitude of the crisis and, more importantly, how much the government intervenes in response. The bigger the problem created by the Fed, the greater the crisis and the more government intervenes, and the slower the economy recovers.

Here we consider how the market works most effectively, with the efficiency of the process maximized by policy restraint. Like most illnesses, recessions can be “cured” with rest, hydration, nutrition, and fresh air, rather than major surgeries and dangerous medications.

The solution begins with getting rid of the initial monetary causes and allowing market participants, especially entrepreneurs, to adjust to the new conditions. Entrepreneurs will reallocate resources according to current consumer preferences and away from the previous policy allocations. There is no easy, straightforward market playbook for an individual entrepreneur to consult. Should a pizza restaurant stay open one hour later or use in-house delivery drivers? The owner could figure it out, but policy makers would have no idea of where to even begin to answer such questions.

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Instead of “Plenty” . . . by Eric Peters

A political movement that promises you less than you have now has gone astonishingly far. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Communism has always failed – in terms of delivering the general abundance it once promised. The “proletariat” was told that in a communist society, everyone would have plenty rather than a few having everything.

And look where we’re headed.

The new variant of communism no longer promises general abundance. It promises general scarcity. You will own nothing – and be happy!

They literally say this.

The saying is much more honest than the bogus promises of the Five Year Plans that communists used to tell the masses would result in more rather than less. Orwell mocked this business in 1984, the story’s characters pretending to be excited about an increase in their ration of Victory Chocolate (and so on) that was always a reduction in actuality. One of the reasons for the fall of communism in the old Soviet Union was the obvious disparity between life in the Soviet Union and life outside the Soviet Union. It was acutely obvious in what was once East Berlin vs. West Berlin – which was literally next-door. East Berliners could see for themselves what communism didn’t deliver.

And they could see – in the West – an alternative to communism.

This was a big problem for communists. Not just because it gave the lie to the promises of communism, leading to sullen cynicism within communist countries, where the “proletariat” – meaning, everyone except those who ran the communist state – knew they were living a benighted existence and others weren’t, which told them that a benighted existence wasn’t the only kind of existence possible. It also presented a possibility – of escape from communism to a not-benighted place, such as what was once America.

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Legal definitions of money and credit, by Alasdair Macleod

The title is dry but the article is not. If you don’t know the difference between money and credit, what’s happening in the world’s financial system and what’s about to happen will be incomprehensible. This is a great tutorial, from Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:

At these times of growing confusion over the future of currencies’ purchasing power, it is time to remove all doubt in the definitions of the differences between money, currency, and credit. This article traces the history and legal background to these relationships.

Despite the failure of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971 and the state propaganda that followed, the position is clear. Both historically and legally money is and remains metallic coin — principally gold — and the rest is credit. 

As a result of statist puffery of their fiat currencies, the public now wrongly believes it is fiat currencies that are money and that currencies have no price, except against each other. I show that this is factually incorrect. However, in financial markets legal money is always priced in legal tender, usually US dollar currency, when it should be the other way round. This inversion of the truth will turn out to be a costly error for those making this mistake.

In this article, I also show that the adverse consequences for prices from changes in the level of total commercial bank credit are significantly less than they are for changes in the level of central bank credit. Now that we are on the verge of a severe contraction of commercial bank credit, governments and their central banks are sure to respond by ramping up inflation of their currencies in a vain attempt to avoid deflation.

The consequences for fiat currencies are likely to be calamitous for them. 

That will be the penalty we all face for ignoring the wisdom and findings of the Roman jurors, thinking that we know better with our economic models, macroeconomic policies, and statist control of markets.

Over two millennia of their careful deliberations, it was the Roman jurors who thoroughly examined and properly defined the difference between money and credit, upon which all economics and modern banking depend. Current monetary and economic fashions are mere ephemera in that context.

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The WEF’s Stakeholder Capitalism Is Just Global Fascism By Another Name, by Brandon Smith

Somehow people who don’t put up a dime are supposed to have the same say in corporations as the actual shareholders. It’s a crock. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

The concept of “fascism” was originally entered into the Encyclopedia Italiana by Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile, who stated that “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Benito Mussolini would later take credit for the quote as if he had written it himself, but it’s important to note because it outlines the primary purpose of the ideology rather than simply throwing the label around at people we don’t like as a dishonest means to undermine their legitimacy.

Despite the fact that leftists today often attack conservatives as “fascists” because of our desire to protect national boundaries and western heritage, the truth is that all fascism is deeply rooted in leftist philosophies and thinkers.

Mussolini was a long time socialist, a member of the party who greatly admired Karl Marx. He deviated from the socialists over their desire to remain neutral during WWI, and went on to champion a combination of socialism and nationalism, what we now know as fascism. Adolph Hitler was also a socialist and admirer of Karl Marx, much like Mussolini. It is actually hard to find where Marx, the communists and the fascists actually differ from each other – A deeper sense of nationalism seems to be one of the few points of contention.

Though Marx saw the existence of nation states as temporary to the proletariat and to the ruling class, he noted that the industrialists were erasing national boundaries anyway. Marx argues in the Communist Manifesto with some optimism:

“National differences and antagonisms between peoples are already tending to disappear more and more, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, the growth of free trade and a world market, and the increasing uniformity of industrial processes and of corresponding conditions of life.”

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Growing to Understand Contemporary Germany and Weep – Part I, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Most Germans are statist and collectivist to the core. From Hans-Hermann Hoppe at lewrockwell.com:

Part 1 Transcript

Growing to Understand Contemporary Germany—and Weep: Part I: Germany: East and West, Reunification, and the US

Hans-Hermann Hoppe

(Based on a speech delivered at the Property and Freedom Society 16th Annual Meeting, Bodrum, Turkey, Sep. 18, 2022, available at www.PropertyandFreedom.org)

So the title of my speech today is “Growing to Understand Contemporary Germany—and Weep.” And it comes in two parts.

If you ask me what was the most important year in world history, I would have to say it was 1949, because that was the year when I was born. And then there occurred also a few other important events such as Mises’ magnum opus, Human Action, which was published in 1949, and coming closer to the topic that I want to talk about: East Germany and West Germany. West Germany, called BRD, and East Germany, called DDR, were also founded in 1949, as was NATO.

I grew up in the West, but my parents were refugees from the East, both of them, and my mother’s family had been expropriated by the Russians in 1946, and they were expelled from their estate that they had. Most of my relatives, however, lived in East Germany.

As a child, we were extremely poor. My parents had absolutely nothing as refugees, but only in retrospect would I say that I was poor. Then, I thought that was all perfectly normal. And at the time, too, I thought it was perfectly normal that things would get better from year to year, not only for my family but also for the village in which we lived. I did not understand the reason for this. I simply thought that was perfectly normal. That’s how things go.

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Why the World Economic Forum’s Plutocracy Should Be Dissolved, by J.B. Shurk

The WEF is a collectivist organization dedicated to implementing changes that will give more power to collectivists. From J.B. Shurk at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • No matter how noble its stated intentions, the “Great Reset” is at its heart a program for driving political power away from individual citizens and toward the controlling interests of a small international class of financial elites…. For citizens to reclaim power, they must not only embrace the basics of free markets once again but also rekindle a fondness for questioning the motivations of political authorities.
  • It is not just kings, generals, and popes who possess great power. Wherever a person, group, or institution is capable — through enticement, coercion, or brute force — of bending an individual’s free will, the structures and instruments of power exist. A local school board, after all, may well have more immediate and intimate influences over a person’s family than the United Nations Human Rights Council and its revolving door of despots who tend to promulgate international resolutions shielding their own crimes.
  • Limited regulation keeps the costs of market transactions low. Respect for private property and fair and impartial application of commercial laws encourage capital investment. Refraining from taxing the fruits of an individual’s labor fosters an exponentially more productive labor force. Providing populations with the tools to pursue and obtain knowledge and skills at minimal expense promotes not only an educated workforce but also politically competent citizens.

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Wait for It… “It’s Capitalism’s Fault!” By Max Borders

Whatever is left of capitalism usually suffers some sort of pollution by governmental bodies. Yet, this quasi-capitalism is blamed for most of the world’s ills. Governments are rarely called to account. From Max Borders at aier.org:

Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all. – John Maynard Keynes

An economic crisis looms. When the brown matter hits the proverbial fan, the blue-check commentariat will blame “capitalism.” So we have to remain vigilant.

In fact, they’ve already started.

I use scare quotes because so few clearly define what “capitalism” is, and fewer still know how it works. Particularly when they use the F word.

As with neoliberalism, “capitalism” is more or less a smear used by those who hate that which they neither understand nor have a hand in creating. Ignorance as a rhetorical strategy works mainly because the masses have become more credulous and ignorant with each passing year. Critics simply have to indicate some socio-economic phenomenon they don’t like and blame the c-word.

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The “Great Reset”: A Blueprint for Destroying Freedom, Innovation, and Prosperity, by J.B Shurk

Totalitarianism such as that embodied in the Great Reset destroys everything that makes life worth living. From J.B. Shurk at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Notice that no nation has managed merely to print money and tax its citizens on the path to prosperity. Real wealth cannot simply be conjured from thin air. There must be recognized value in what a nation and its citizens possess.

  • More than any other source for national wealth, however, one towers above the rest: innovation. The ability of the human mind to create something new and valuable provides society with endless wealth creation…. Innovation is the magic sauce for generating wealth.

  • Humans struggling merely to survive in the world do not waste time, labor, or resources on projects that offer no prospect for future reward. Humans working as servants to the state under centrally controlled economies have no incentive to innovate. Only when private ownership and personal liberty combine can human innovation flourish. Freedom is the secret ingredient to innovation’s magic sauce for increasing wealth.

  • A country whose institutions do not respect property rights or whose customs do not value freedom will remain a barren desert for human innovation. In this way, nations have a great incentive to liberalize over time. Should they not, they quickly become financially and militarily vulnerable to more innovative and wealthier nations. Observing this simple truth, classical liberals have always understood free markets as the gateway to human emancipation. Economic self-interest, in other words, ultimately leads to expansive human rights and liberties across the planet.

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