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Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2005
Socialism vs. Capitalism:
Which is the Moral System
On Principle, v1n3
October 1993

by: C. Bradley Thompson

Throughout history there have been two basic forms of social organization: collectivism and individualism. In the twentieth-century collectivism has taken many forms: socialism, fascism, nazism, welfare-statism and communism are its more notable variations. The only social system commensurate with individualism is laissez-faire capitalism.

The extraordinary level of material prosperity achieved by the capitalist system over the course of the last two-hundred years is a matter of historical record. But very few people are willing to defend capitalism as morally uplifting.

It is fashionable among college professors, journalists, and politicians these days to sneer at the free-enterprise system. They tell us that capitalism is base, callous, exploitative, dehumanizing, alienating, and ultimately enslaving.

The intellectuals


Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2005
Great Article Hugo, though I'm still not entirely sold on capitalism as such.

I am, as of late, vexed over my views an opinions concerning the operation of our world and what changes would best help people. My anarchist stand-point hold less sway on my mind than it has in the past.

I agree that capitalism encourages the individual more than socialism, but at the same time we encounter the dilemma of social contract and the force of the state. Capitalism allows free individuals to choose the market, however this ideal is more suited for machine than man it would seem. There are many people who made the choice of political organization and to freely choose the benefits and functions which are provided by the state. Healthcare for example was decided as a worthy investment by many people in Canada who in turn chose to invest more into taxes to provide this service. However, the formally voluntary creation of a state for protection and regulation does not work well with capitalist ideas of free association because it fails to accommodate the new generations of peoples and businesses which enter into the world.

A freely decided upon partnership comes to control (and influence) those born into it.

Socialism is the more extreme variation of the existence of a state; it flexes the pre-determined muscle more so than most governments. Though this can mean, as a social system, the ideals people of the time hold dear are better met by the state it also means that those ideals becomes entrenched and inflexible, with time they must than break. This collapse is especially quickened because the perhaps higher social values do not lend themselves well to higher economic function, and with economic hardships there comes unrest.

Though ideally, capitalists would include in their calculations all relevant elements in their decision making, such isn’t always the case and tragedy and destruction often result. Wither that means environmental degradation over consumption, because of the human element involved capitalism is inherently flawed. Contradictory, capitalism is also very mechanical in its nature and it is perhaps this element which drives humanity to warp its potential.

Because humans are natural beings and subject to many irrational forces of mind and morality, it becomes undesirable to stick to a capitalist mind set which promotes the increase of capital over all else when, as is often the case, the production of capital is not a motivation which brings fulfillment and happiness to people's lives. To ask a man to become a machine is too unnatural; it is a philosophy which will forever be unabsorbed by the masses. :eek:


Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2005
Let me start with the flaws in laissez-faire capitalism. There are market externalities (what the recently departed Milton Friedman referred to as third party costs in his book "Free to Choose") that require government intervention. Pollution is a good example. There is no natural market mechanism that will cause an industry not to pollute; government intervention is a must. Another problem with a totally free market is the rare cases (and getting rarer) of natural monopolies. Government must once again regulate in some manner. Public utilities is about the only natural monopoly I can think of right off hand. Common sense tells you that it is inefficient to have more than a single gas, water or electrical supply to a home; government is required to regulate.

Your statement:

Because humans are natural beings and subject to many irrational forces of mind and morality, it becomes undesirable to stick to a capitalist mind set which promotes the increase of capital over all else when, as is often the case, the production of capital is not a motivation which brings fulfillment and happiness to people's lives.
Actually we all have different labor/leisure curves. While capitalism will produce more wealth by rewarding work and punishing sloth it does not force anyone to be economically productive. The amount of time you spend in the production of capital in the medium and long run is your decision. You are a free individual; with the rights and responsibilities that come with freedom. IMO, under socialism you are more of a cog in the machinery. You may have to work more hours to purchase the products government forces you to buy for yourself or others (i.e. healthcare, old age pensions, education, etc). The free market, first and foremost, promotes freedom, the material wealth produced is a side benefit.

Milton Friedman Chapter1 of "Capitalism and Freedpm":


I am so strongly influenced by Friedman that I almost feel like I am plagiarizing every time I debate economic issues.

Let me quote one paragraph from the link above.

It is this feature of the market that we refer to when we say that the market provides economic freedom. But this characteristic also has implications that go far beyond the narrowly economic. Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men. The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority. The preservation of freedom requires the elimination of such concentration of power to the fullest possible extent and the dispersal and distribution of whatever power cannot be eliminated - a system of checks and balances. By removing the organization of economic activity from the control of political authority, the market eliminates this source of coercive power. It enables economic strength to be a check to political power rather than a reinforcement.
I miss that guy already.
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