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@IsaacGage860@IsaacGage860Dec 7, 2016
An Essay Critiquing Socialism/Nationalization Of The Economy And In Defense Of Free Market Capitalism:

Recently I've been thinking a lot about philosophy and a few things occurred to me about government, ethics/morality, and the ongoing Capitalism vs. Socialism debate in the U.S. In this essay I am going to point out the philosophical flaws with giving ever more power to the State and why Capitalism, true Free Market Capitalism is the only real solution. Thank you to those who read through the entire essay. If you are so inclined, please feel free to leave feedback/criticism in the comments. The entirety of the reasoning in this essay comes from my ongoing learning experience from Stefan Molyneux and was originally sparked from the lecture of my Political Economy professor Sherri Lynn Wall. I figure I should definitely give credit where credit is due.

One of the major sparks that prompted me to write this essay is most people's faith in the government. The argument usually goes that humans are inherently greedy and selfish and that we have all of these uncontrollable impulses. The logical solution then is that we need an external force to intervene and curtail the behavior. The argument sounds compelling and is the reason we have the system we have, but there are some major errors in logic that are overlooked entirely. For one, if humans are inherently greedy and selfish then why the heck do we elect an arbitrary group of them together, call it government, and then hand them the power to control trillions of dollars, declare war, and regulate basically every aspect of our lives? It would seem to me that the last thing we want to do is give a group of "evil" humans the power to do all of these things. My use of the word evil here was to point out the hypocrisy in the position of most Statists. Most say that humans are inherently greedy, selfish, out for ourselves. If we assume that axiom to be true, then the last thing we want is to gather a group of them together and give them the power to control our lives. If we can't be trusted with our own freedom, how is bestowing the ultimate power to change the course of history into the hands of other people remotely rational?

And besides, assuming I haven't swayed anyone yet and the argument holds, then we still have the arbitrary classification contradiction. Do people magically become altruistic when they enter government? Do they all of a sudden start to work against their own interests and instead work for the common man? The argument doesn't hold up because a group in society is exempt from the rules everyone else is expected to adhere to and the principles are therefore not universal. In other words, you have an unresolvable contradiction that isn't settled by calling it a necessary evil or the "cost" of living in a civilized society. Why should there be any evil at all? I can't think of anything more un-civilized than giving people the authority to violate other people's property rights on a whim and at the flick of a pen.

Another error that is overlooked in the argument shows up when you say that all humans are greedy/selfish by default. If we take that axiom to be true, then how does the Catholic Church or any charity for that matter exist? Say what you want about religion, but does the pastor hold a gun up to your head and shakedown the money from people through taxation in order to pay for church maintenance? Every church I've been to takes VOLUNTARY donations from people who are able to pay. Opinions on the validity of religion wasn't exactly the point I was trying to communicate here. By saying voluntary and putting it in all caps I was trying to emphasize the voluntary nature of donations to any cause one could think of. Even if you disagree with the fundamental premises of religion, the pastor is not putting a gun to your head to force you or anyone else to pay for the church. They have to get their money through persuasion and arguments that appeal to morality and ethics. The connection between State and religion hasn't been a relevant concept in the West since it underwent a reformation and with the dawn of the Renaissance. Today, in the West at least, you are free to attend church or to abstain. Government and taxation on the other hand are not voluntary associations/transactions and are backed by violent, inflexible coercion. The idea that we need taxes in order to finance economic activity simply doesn't hold up to empirical scrutiny and examination. These are some links to data on charitable giving in the U.S.:

nccs.urban.org/…/charitable-giving-in-america...

m.ncregister.com/…/religious-people-donate-mo...

thenonprofittimes.com/…/2011-giving-estimated...
faithcommunitiestoday.org/…/Insightsintofinan...

If force is a viable way to uphold and teach morals and ethics, then it seems like an awfully massive waste of time, effort, and money to raise our children to be peaceful. The NAP (non-aggression principle) is the foundation of Western philosophy. The NAP is defined as the non initiation of force against other people. This means that you and I and anyone else does not have the right to initiate violence against otherwise peaceful people. This goes for declaring war, for attempting to force morality through legislation originating from either the left-wing or the right-wing, and anything else where the element of force is involved. The NAP has to be universally accepted and practiced by everyone otherwise it has no value or meaning as a standard for behavior. In the case where someone does end up initiating force against someone else, people would have a moral right, if not an obligation to prevent the force from occurring. This is the idea of self-defense. If someone is legitimately threatening the well-being of an innocent bystander or passerby, the use of force in preventing the bloodshed is permissible. The moment any group in society begins to start actively and preemptively using force to get their way is the moment the NAP has been violated and violent resistance to such a violation would be warranted. While we still have all of these arbitrary exceptions to the NAP ( hint: national governments), we will continue to have unnecessary protracted wars of attrition with countries that pose no threat at all. Just imagine if the Department of Defense were actually focused on defense and not aggressive democracy building in foreign countries. There is quite literally no point in teaching Western philosophy to the next generation if we are to continue having governments.

Some people may be wondering then, who will build the roads? Who will administer the healthcare? Who will work to end poverty? And where will the money to pay for these things come from? Well the short answer is: YOU and anyone who cares enough about the issue to join you through the free market and the Invisible Hand. For example, if providing free healthcare is something you want to see done, what is stopping you from becoming qualified as a doctor and opening your own free healthcare clinic? If you truly care about this, why do you need the violence of the state to force other people to pay for it? Anytime you have to use guns to get people to go along with your method, that method sucks and is not even worth considering. Just think about someone buying a gun, walking up to you and forcing you to give up your money or other resources in exchange for the privilege of living. It's like attempting to rationalize the mafia and that's just plain ridiculous. The argument and position is nonsense and indefensible if you genuinely care about universal morality/ethics.

For example, if providing healthcare is something you want to see done, assuming excessive, burdensome regulations are removed and the free market is allowed to flourish, you could become qualified as a doctor and open your own healthcare clinic. If you do not have the resources to do that, then you could network with people who do know and also have a desire to see the poor and disabled helped. The point here is that you don't need force to solve or address social problems. Humans are quite altruistic, if only our energies were not being inhibited by the State that insists on using force to solve problems. If you truly care about this, and I mean more than to just give it phony lip service and try to proselytize with sophistry, then nobody should need the violence of the state to force other people to pay for it. Anytime you have to use guns to get people to go along with your method, that method sucks and is not even worth considering. Just think about someone buying a gun, walking up to you and forcing you to give up your money or other resources in exchange for the privilege of living. It's like attempting to rationalize the mafia and that's just plain ridiculous. The argument and position is nonsense and indefensible if you genuinely care about universal morality/ethics.

Take a moment and think about how we "address" poverty now. We put central planners and bureaucrats in charge of eliminating poverty in communities with disadvantaged minorities and other groups. The problem is, despite the trillions of dollars that have gone into eliminating poverty over the decades the problems have either not improved or have compounded:


npr.org/…/despite-improving-economy-poverty-r...
myheritage.org/…/simply-increasing-the-minimu...
aei.org/…/tallying-the-costs-and-benefits-of-...
fee.org/articles/the-great-societys-war-on-pove...
independent.org/issues/article.asp?id=3157

This presents a situation of insanity. The definition of insanity being to continuing doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If spending trillions of tax dollars was the solution to ending poverty shouldn't that have happened already? How many more trillions have to be spent before African Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and whomever else finally escapes abject poverty? This same line of philosophical questioning also applies to the idea of sending foreign aid to developing countries, at least the foreign aid where people do not do any follow up to check in on how the money is being spent.

With Capitalism and the Invisible Hand working its wonders spontaneously, we have a much more robust and dynamic system that is able to react to unexpected changes and unforeseen events. With rigid politburo committees and strict planning, any wrench that gets thrown into the system screws everything up and you end up with the Soviet Union, North Korea, Venezuela, various countries in Africa, etc. Anywhere you have a nationalized economy you get the same result: mass starvation, severe repression of political dissent, and sanctioned Pravda to indoctrinate the people into worshiping the State. You have no freedom to do anything because it all has to be planned and approved by the government. Instead of happening naturally and organically through the free market, you tie the fate of everyone within a given geographic area together. One mistake at anytime and the entire system breaks down.

With the free market, where people have skin in the game and an incentive to perform as best as humanly possible you get a flourishing society. Humans run on incentives, so if the incentives are set up to where a business needs to have the favor of a politician and regulations written to favor their company in their industry over others, what do you imagine those companies are going to be doing? They're going to hire lobbyists and have special interests groups whose sole purpose is to rent seek and petition the government for favors. If you want to get big money out of politics you have to drastically reduce the size and power of the state or remove it entirely. If the government is big and powerful and is wasting all of our taxpayer money, how is giving them more authority to spend and waste even more anything near a logical conclusion/solution to draw?
If any are interested in further inquiry into philosophy and how logical arguments are constructed that explain and expose the reality we are all living I highly suggest the book"Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof Of Secular Ethics" written by Stefan Molyneux and available for free on his website: m.freedomainradio.com/
The book is rather academic and somewhat esoteric/abstract, but the arguments and analogies make so much sense once you read them aloud and really think about them. If any of you can, I urge you to donate to Stefan. There is no free lunch, and if you took away anything valuable from his work it only makes sense for you to pay it forward and donate to him so that he can continue bringing philosophical light to an increasingly darkening world. Again, I extend my offer for feedback and criticism of the arguments should anyone feel so inclined. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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