by Herbert Salit
" All Western societies are based on large-scale oppression and systematic theft, much of that dependent on the use of, and the threat of the use of, force, that is, armed robbery." So, why all the fuss and worry about the decline of the West?
Roots of Evil: Capitalism
by Herbert Salit
" Most of the "American way of life' that the professor cited actually was then and has always been stolen."
Western Capitalism clearly has failed, that's the meaning of the ongoing non-recovery of Western economies following the bursting of Western real estate bubbles, circa 2006-2007, and the open outbreak of Western financial collapse on 15 September 2008, the date it was announced that Lehman Brothers Wall Street investment bank could not be saved. The US Empire's government has admitted to pouring-in over $10 trillion since then in an effort to "restore" the economy to its pre-bubble-burst configuration, but that has proved to be impossible.
Moreover, even giving guarantees totaling more than an additional $20 trillion, and with a third round of Quantitative Easing already underway (another $500 billion, per annum of new money creation, and, thus, new debt, as the private banksters of the Federal Reserve system actually create the money and then lend it to the Treasury Department), the US economy, as revealed by weak full-time job creation, retail sales and manufacturing numbers in November, is going "back down." So, too, of course, are those of the Eurozone.
What's the import of all this? During my first year of Business School, 1976-1977, at the University of Chicago, I took and also audited a number of graduate economics courses taught by none other than the great guru of Western Capitalist Academia, professor Milton Friedman, who had then just been awarded his Nobel prize. Professor Milton used to enjoy the lively debates I would offer-up on a regular basis. His thesis: 'free' markets, by which he meant 'ideal' markets, work, are the best system possible, and promote maximal freedom and overall prosperity. His evidence: "just look at the (1976) US economy," by far the world's largest and strongest and which also supported the world's highest material standard of living. My counter-argument: most of the "American way of life" that the professor cited actually was then and has always been stolen, from domestic slaves, actual and economic, and from the citizens of nations, world-wide, effectively conquered and colonized by Western and, in latter centuries, especially, US, military force.
" The US economy, as revealed by weak full-time job creation, retail sales and manufacturing numbers in November, is going "back down."
Professor Milton did agree with me, however, that if it ever should come to pass that the US economy and American corporations hit the skids long-term, such as they now have, this unprecedented new empirical evidence would overthrow his ideas on markets and "unfettered" Capitalism. I'm quite confident that professor Milton now is looking down in amazement as his much-cherished ideas about how economies, especially 'free' market economies, actually work have been exploded and shredded. I'm confident, as well, that one of Professor Milton's idols, the 'philosopher' Ayn 'greed-is-the-only-good' Rand, also is looking down in total bewilderment. Another of Rand's prote'ge'es, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, said it nicely while testifying in front of Congress in late 2008: "I was wrong. I always believed that markets were self-regulating." (He also then famously observed that the 2003 Iraqi invasion "was all about the oil.")
Professor Friedman was wrong, Ayn Rand was wrong and Alan Greenspan was wrong. They weren't the only ones, either. Adam Smith, the 18th-century English economist who wrote tomes of lies in order to apologize for the growing and increasingly-brutal British Empire, was, of course, equally wrong in hypothesizing that there exists an "Invisible Hand" that regulates markets and keeps them "optimally efficient" and in good working order; the best order possible, actually, even though these markets were and are composed only of ruthless, greedy individuals, striving hard to maximize their own gains at everyone else's expense, and operating under no rules, that is, total free-for-all conditions. So much for the intellectual and "theoretical" superiority of Western Capitalism.
If Capitalism is a system where Capitalists ideally are free to look-out for their own interests only, and none other, and also are completely free from any responsibility to restrain any of their actions, then, what is a Capitalist? As explained, a Capitalist is a person who thinks only about themselves; thus, a Capitalist is the opposite of a person who follows "The Golden Rule." It's a type of personality; a species of personal character. A Capitalist is a person with no sense of responsibility for anyone or anything else. A Capitalist is someone who believes that their individual rights and wants, only, are what counts, and a Capitalist never wastes time looking at things from another person's point-of-view, because to them that would be meaningless and "inefficient!" Being a Capitalist is about the person, not their property; therefore, it has nothing at all to do with having money (capital) to invest, or with owning or running a business, or with whatever a person does for their livelihood. A person is molded into, raised as, a Capitalist, with or without money, wealth or property. Capitalism's fundamental ethos, is "me first, me second, me last." It's all about me!
" A Capitalist is a person who thinks only about themselves."
But, then, isn't everybody really a Capitalist? No! Not at all! This is made clear by much of the everyday experience of most people -- in every Human society there are plenty of people who do care about right and wrong, The Golden Rule and the impact of their actions on other people. On the other hand, everybody also knows a lot of people, especially here in the West, who are Capitalists -- totally self-absorbed in "me, me, me" -- even though many of these people may lack capital, or any other wealth. A society that tries to raise all of its people to think of such complete self-interest as "natural," "good" and "the highest and most ethical system possible" is ripe for true super-greedy Capitalists to run and own everything. Indeed, the fundamental ideas of the West, its basic ideology, which is Christianity, lends itself exactly to supporting this philosophy. For in Christianity the most important thing is for one to have "faith" in order reap "Salvation" -- individual goals only attainable by each individual for themselves, nothing "group," "social" or "society-wide," here, no matter how big the society gets to be. It's "me, me, me," given full "blessing" from "on high," and that's how Capitalism got started.
In other words, the West, through its Christianity, always has praised, lauded, even worshiped, the individual, ideally unfettered by anything, free to pursue their interests, and has propagandized that such 'wonderful' Human beings will form the foundation of the best of all possible societies, totally in concert with "God's will." This mendacious mythology, the basis of The West, spawned in the latter-day Christianized Roman Empire, which, later in its collapse, quickly evolved into Medieval Feudalism, and, since 1492, into Western world-wide militarist empire-colonialism, that still exists today. In reality, it never was or is possible for all of a society's members to have "maximum freedom," and this was never intended, either. The few individuals whose freedom was to be maximized were a handful of rich and powerful people, everybody else being considered a lower form of life, thus, without Human rights, and whose only purpose was to fulfill their serfdom and toil away as wealth-producing engines for the capital-holding ownership class of Feudal lords.