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Capitalism, Socialism, and Michael Moore is an idiot

2010/05/31

We may have new technology and somewhat new ideas (racial rights, women’s rights), but society plays out the same old story.  The rich get more, the poor get less.

I saw Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” and while he has some interesting ideas, for the most part he’s quite naïve.
On the one hand, he’s right. People worship greed.  They may not like it when it makes them poor, but they surely do worship it, and they worship it because in America, they have a hope to get, I quote, “a piece of the pie”.  “For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.”  It says, “boasts”.  American rich are probably the least ashamed of being rich, even with jealous people clamoring and screeching “Shame on you!”
On the other hand, Michael Moore thinks the magic solution is socialism.  He denounces capitalism as an evil, so I guess in his mind, of course the alternative is socialism.

The problem with this is Moore’s comparing the practical application of capitalism to the ideal application of socialism.  In the case of socialism, who’s going to implement it?  I believe it would be someone with a lot of power—if not socioeconomic, then charismatic (Think Hitler, Mao, MLK).  The whole point of socialism is that the persons only have power over themselves and thereby hold each other in check but when, in history, has that actually played out?

I liked that bread factory Moore showed but that kind of change can co-exist with a pro-capitalism government.  Capitalism is not at fault, human greed is.  If you read one of my older entries, you’ll know what I mean by the Why Not argument, so I’m going to skip that bit of my logic.  The purpose of ideal capitalism is to allow competent people to challenge each other in the market, and their greed for money will force them to somehow compete with, well, the competition.  Progressive innovation powered by greed—I think it was genius. The bread factory didn’t try to overthrow capitalism: the workers took the idea and ran with it. If everyone has a heavy personal stake in the factory, they’ll work harder, they’ll pay themselves well (and they won’t let others cut their pay), and voilà.

The problem is that very often in real life capitalism, things like monopolies emerge. I don’t want to talk about this too much so do me a favor and read Fast Food Nation.

Frankly, I think the less regulated the market is, the better. There needs to be certain ethical regulations in place, such as anti-Dead Peasants provisions. However, we don’t need the law or the union to take care of us anymore. We don’t need to take crap lying down: we have the right to walk out and move on.
Like my Zoology-Botany teacher says, “What are they going to do? Fire me?” He’s joking because he’s retiring anyway but in this recession time, we’re in this weird limbo between a need for workers and a need for money. For example, CA public schools firing experienced workers aren’t reducing fund usage because, realizing that humans aren’t machines that just take up the slack, they’re forced to hire n00bs who have to be trained and back to square 1 they go. Good grief.

We can take advantage of corporate stupidity (if we enlighten ourselves to their vulnerabilities) by quitting jobs at places we don’t like and either working for ourselves or fighting for jobs at places worth working at. As flash mobs have proven, we can get people, the world over, worked up for our causes and get them to support us (rather, I should say we can support each other)… and we can turn the possibilities towards creating our own successful businesses. Maybe I’m also being naïve at another level, but I really think that true capitalism works.

I think capitalism been polluted by all the socialist ideas like subsidies and welfare. I’d really hate to be unemployed and on the streets, and I’d be happy to have a free meal from someone charitable, but I don’t want to take the money of a stranger who thinks his money’s going towards public projects and education. I think it’s very fair of the government to award benefits to veterans, but I don’t think it’s fair for them to hand out abortions, food, money, and shelter to just anyone, no questions asked. Seriously, I should be allowed to attach a lock to my taxes, saying, “You can take this out of my income, but you can’t spend it on anything I don’t O.K. first. I’m not paying for illegal immigrants, vagrants, Octomom’s vacation home… you can take my money, but it’s coming with my will still attached.”

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