Rasmussen has a new poll out indicating a paltry 53% of Americans believe that capitalism is a better “system.” I believe that if the actual definition of capitalism were explained to the poll’s respondents this percentage would be, sadly, far lower.
Capitalism is a social system, not merely a system of competition (variations of competition exist in many social systems, it is not unique to capitalism). It is principally concerned with fundamental premises, not consequences or, especially, particular outcomes. Moreover, it is premised upon the recognition of individual rights , particularly private property rights, in which all property is privately owned. The only legitimate purpose of government in true capitalism is to protect life, liberty and property from violence. This implies the rule of law, just courts, non-interventionism, and a reliable-sound-medium of economic exchange. The key to capitalism is the autonomy of the traders – two or more parties free to engage in mutually beneficial exchange without coercion or compulsion and free to keep the fruits of their labor.
If the above conceptualization of what capitalism really is had been explained to the respondents, I dare say less than 30% would prefer it over the interventionist, fiat currency funded, economies typical of most Western nations including the United States. Why I suggest this is that there is another aspect to this Rasmussen poll that is worth contemplating. The fact that 53% percent prefer what I believe the respondents understand as a managed economic system, yet refer to it as capitalism, is disheartening when one realizes that here in America we more than likely are approaching roughly 50% (perhaps more) of the populace whose livelihoods are based upon the redistribution of other peoples wealth…
From teachers to snow plow drivers, soldiers to scientists, Americans do not know what capitalism really is, have never lived under it in its full bloom, and frankly have no concept of what things could be like if that were the case. Of course, when you add to this mix businessmen who practice their trade at the trough of government largess the matrix gets even more revealing. The bottom line is that there are just too many of us who have home mortgages, college tuition, car payments, and retirement funding tied directly to redistributionism – capitalism would be a nightmare to these legions of blood suckers.
The flipside of the survey implies 47% of the population either believes socialism is better, or are not sure what is a preferable system. As mind numbing as it appears your average American’s grasp of capitalism, so too is thier conceptualization of socialism. This is the troubling component of the survey because that percentage, coupled with 1/2 of the 53% who likely misconstrue capitalism, means that true capitalism is not understood nor desired; indoctrination into statism and redistributionism has clearly taken its toll at the expense of free minds and its corrolary, free markets .
Folks, capitalism is the only moral social system ever conceived; the only social system consonant with and adequate to supporting free men and free minds. Sadly, Americans do not fully (or at all) understand this and as a result do not perceive the danger and consequences of the path upon which we are clearly now embarked and, truth be told, have been embarked for the last 100 years.
Capitalism is not alive and well here in America, it is dead on arrival.