Friday, September 02, 2005

Capitalist Evidence

Objectivists often state that certain false ideas are so obviously false, that no honest man can hold them. In my opinion, a basic rejection of capitalism is one of those ideas. These two paragraphs, exerpted from Andrew Bernstein's book, capture what to me is the almost perceptual level evidence that one must evade if one is to reject capitalism -- and I just can't see how one can do so honestly:
"Capitalism, the system of individual rights, has brought increased freedom to men all over the world. In Europe, capitalism ended feudalism, the dictatorship of the aristocracy. In America, the principle of individual rights impelled the British colonists to throw off the rule of the monarchy and establish history's freest nation – and the logic of the country's founding principles led, in less than a century, to the abolition of slavery, a practice that existed everywhere in the world through all of history, and one still practiced widely today throughout the non-capitalist world. In post-World War II Japan, under America's influence, a semicapitalist, vastly freer society replaced the military dictatorship that preceded it. In Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, the freedom of their capitalist or semi-capitalist systems enabled those countries (or colonies) to become havens for millions of refugees fleeing Communist oppression.

More broadly, it is to the capitalist nations across the globe that immigrants come, millions of them, both historically and currently, often fleeing political and/or religious persecution in their homelands. They come on rafts to the United States from Cuba. By the millions and for 15 years, the Vietnamese "boat people" fled for their lives from Communism – and today, more than 1.6 million of them have found freedom, mostly in the West. Muslims seeking religious and political freedom flee to the Western capitalist nations from all over the Islamic world. And, of course, for more than 150 years, America has been the hope and the chosen destination of persecuted peoples from around the globe, including from Ireland, Jews from Eastern Europe, Sicilians suppressed by the 19th century remnants of aristocratic rule, and Chinese and Koreans oppressed by the Communists."
(As an aside, one could amplify this second paragraph by noting that the flow of people was, and continues to be, strictly uni-directional, i.e. one never hears of American Marxists or leftists saying: "That's it, I've had it with the semi-capitalist West, I'm emigrating to North Korea".)

Please also note that the quotes above are taken from a much longer excerpt published at Capitalism Magazine, and based on it, I've added Andrew's book to my reading list.


Blogger Gus Van Horn said...

Your parenthetical comment near the end is choice.

Thanks for what, to me, has amounted to a very good book recommendation.


8:44 AM  
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Blogger Gideon said...

Well, one does find the occasional Marxist sympathizer who moved from the U.S. or Europe to the USSR but they are rare and tend to become quite realistic after a few years there.

1:04 PM  

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