Capitalism is the Only Free System. Governments are the Only Real Problem

Capitalism is nothing but trading goods and services.
Crony Capitalism is when the government has been co-opted by powerful interests to create a rigged capitalist system.
Governments are now the tools of these powerful interests whose goals are to farm our wealth and control us, like a revenue stream.
Government has no right to take people’s stuff or own their labor and socialism is a step in the wrong direction, towards more control by the powerful interests that control government. 

Socialism is like the DMV controlling your existence

Name the State

Jeffrey A. Tucker
THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019

The tendency toward loss of political control has inspired new, more extreme, and more obscurantist forms of selling state control to us. As the dynamics of public vs. private continue to shift, we can look forward to ever more obfuscation about the reality of displacing market forces. But once you see what’s going on, you can’t unsee it. The most effective path toward helping others to see is simple: name the state.

The bitter truth about most public policies being sold by the political class is that they give them more power to control our lives.

Read More: https://www.aier.org/article/name-state

Capitalism (aka Self-Ownership) Is the Only Moral Economic System


04/05/2019

In capitalism (which is actually inconsistent with the government- created or enabled crony capitalism we see all around us), even those who would be tyrants, if given the opportunity, must focus their efforts on providing willing service to others to induce their voluntary cooperation. In contrast, the drive for power that animates these politicians who condemn a capitalism they plainly don’t comprehend would increasingly turn others into their unwilling servants.

Read More: https://mises.org/wire/capitalism-aka-self-ownership-only-moral-economic-system

Globalist, Predatory Capitalism BS vs. Socialism BS

Why be afraid of socialism

How Faux Capitalism Works In America

Authored by EconomicPrism’s MN Gordonannotated by Acting-Man’s Pater Tenebrarum,

Stars in the Night Sky

The U.S. stock market’s recent zigs and zags have provoked much squawking and screeching.  Wall Street pros, private money managers, and Millennial index fund enthusiasts all find themselves on the wrong side of the market’s swift movements.  Even the best and brightest can’t escape President Trump’s tweet precipitated short squeezes.

The Donald mercilessly hits the shorts with a well-timed tweet. But as it turns out, this market is in a really bad mood at the moment. [PT]

The short-term significance of the DJIA’s 8 percent decline since early-October is uncertain.  For all we know, stocks could run up through the end of the year.  Stranger things have happened.

What is also uncertain is the nature of this purge: Is this another soft decline like that of mid-2015 to early-2016, when the DJIA fell 12 percent before quickly resuming its uptrend?  Or is this the start of a brutal bear market – the kind that wipes out portfolios and blows up investment funds?

The stars in the night sky tell us this is the latter.  For example, when peering out into the night sky even the most untrained eye can identify the three ominous stars that are lining up with mechanical precision.

These stars include a stock market top, followed by a monster corporate debt buildup, and a fading economy.  In short, the stock market’s latest break is presaging a corporate credit crisis and global recession.

BofA/Merrill Lynch US high yield Master II Index yield – this looks like a quite convincing breakout, impossible to tweet down. In other words, the corporate debt build-up is beginning to bite back – and rather bigly, if we may say so (ed note, in case you’re wondering: the little poems are from a Spectator competition in which people used phrases from actual tweets to put together Donald haikus and poems). [PT]

The last time these three stars aligned in this sequence was roughly a decade ago.  If you recall, that was when the DJIA crashed 50 percent coincident with a mega credit crisis and recession.  We suspect that the disaster that’s approaching will be much larger, and much more destructive than the disaster of a decade ago.

Bad Habit

Astute readers will be quick to point out that government debt was not identified as one of the three ominous stars lining up in the night sky.  This is not an oversight.  Rather, it is an insight.

Without question, government debt has burgeoned way beyond what even the most doom and gloom pessimists could have envisioned just a decade ago.  In fact, November marked the widest one month budget deficit in U.S. history.

Over a one month period – a month with just 30 days, not 31 – the U.S. government spent $411 billion while it only received $206 billion.  By our rough back of the napkin calculation, the U.S. government spent nearly double what it took in.  That difference, of course, was made up with debt.  Roughly, $6.83 billion of new debt was added each and every day.

At best, spending more than one makes, like smoking or swearing, is a bad habit.  However, spending more than one makes with no intention to pay it back is a moral failing.  What’s more, running up untenable levels of government debt with the implied intent of inflating it away at the expense of the citizenry is downright evil.

It’s definitely a tremendous pile of debt… and the slope of the mountain has steepened quite dramatically in recent years…  [PT]

Day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, the U.S. government has racked up close to $22 trillion in debt.  Throw in unfunded liabilities of social security, Medicare (Parts A, B, and D), federal debt held by the public, and federal employee and veteran benefits, and the U.S. government’s on the hook for over $115.8 trillion in debt – or nearly $1 million per taxpayer.  How about that?

Of course, as the population ages, and the ratio of workers to retirees balances, these debt figures will go vertical.  As you can see, government debt is more than just an ominous star.  It’s the essential star.  Moreover, it is a dying star on the verge of collapse.  Quite frankly, it may not have enough energy to backstop the financial system during the next downturn.  Here’s why…

How Faux Capitalism Works in America

Our guess is that the real squawking from investors won’t begin until mid-2019.  That’s about the time corporate America becomes acutely aware that pumping gobs of borrowed money into grossly overvalued stocks was an act of financial suicide.

Just look to General Electric, IBM, and Citigroup for an early indication of the forthcoming catastrophe.  For instance, over the last decade GE spent $46 billion buying back its shares.  In 2016 and 2017 alone, at a time of mushrooming debt, GE pumped $24 billion into share buybacks.

GE wasted $46 billion on buying back its shares – with nothing to show for it except a collapsing share price. This was an astonishing misallocation of capital – very likely the company will eventually have issue new shares  to prop up its equity, at prices far below the prices it paid for buying them back. [PT]

Over this time, the price of these shares dropped from about $30 to $16.  And even with Thursday’s 7.3 percent boost, on word of a surprise JPMorgan upgrade, GE shares trade at $7.20.  In other words, shares GE bought back during the early part of 2016 have lost 75 percent of their value.  What to make of it?

The 2008 financial crisis helped clarify how faux capitalism works in America.  That when the big corporations and the big banks get in trouble, the people on top quickly absolve culpability while appropriating public funds from their friends at the Treasury for the purpose of private bailouts. This, in effect, socializes the losses across bottom rungs of society and concentrates profits across the top.

No doubt, the aftermath of the great corporate stock buyback craze of 2009 to 2017 will be a text book example of faux capitalism in action.  First, massive financial bailouts will be disseminated to crony banks and corporations with purpose and intent.  Then, a colossal river of monetary liquidity from the Fed will be diverted into credit markets, and into direct stock purchases of government preferred corporations.

Bailout progression – it continues until it cannot continue anymore, i.e., until the “running out of other people’s money” moment arrives. [PT]

The size and scope of these fiscal and monetary bailouts will utterly dwarf the TARP, ZIRP, and QE policies of the last crisis.  Assuming this doesn’t blow up the Treasury’s balance sheet, or vaporize what’s left of the dollar’s value, a certain end effect will take shape.  The middle class will be reduced to a notch or two above poverty, and wealth will be further concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

We don’t like it.  We don’t agree with it.  But we can’t stop it.  This is the world we live in.  A world where justice has been debased and rectitude has been sullied.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-15/how-faux-capitalism-works-america

Socialism Always Ends in Destruction

Every attempt at socialism has failed miserably. Venezuela is only the latest country that has tried to implement a socialist paradise, only to inevitably crumble and crash before our eyes. Socialism, and its natural progression, communism, has caused the deaths of 100 million people since its inception 100 years ago.

Just a few decades ago, Venezuela had massive oil reserves and an abundance of other resources. It enjoyed wealth and an excellent standard of living. Today, Venezuelans have no food, no medicine, and the country is driven by corruption and fear. While a starving population is in despair, many are desperately trying to flee paradise. The army, supported by President Madero, is in the street, ready to brutalize any dissenters. Madero and the military are not starving.

Socialism can only survive through corruption and intimidation. It’s a system tailor-made for corruption. And corruption may be Venezuela’s largest industry.

Despite that fact that every socialist paradise on earth has turned into hell, many American politicians, and their supporters are calling for socialism for America. Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris are self-declared proud socialist, loudly singing its praises. Younger newcomers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum are joining the chorus.

Read More: http://www.goldtelegraph.com/socialism-always-ends-in-destruction/

Hitler’s Economics

10/27/2018Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

[Originally published August 02, 2003.]

For today’s generation, Hitler is the most hated man in history, and his regime the archetype of political evil. This view does not extend to his economic policies, however. Far from it. They are embraced by governments all around the world. The Glenview State Bank of Chicago, for example, recently praised Hitler’s economics in its monthly newsletter. In doing so, the bank discovered the hazards of praising Keynesian policies in the wrong context.

The issue of the newsletter (July 2003) is not online, but the content can be discerned via the letter of protest from the Anti-Defamation League. “Regardless of the economic arguments” the letter said, “Hitler’s economic policies cannot be divorced from his great policies of virulent anti-Semitism, racism and genocide.… Analyzing his actions through any other lens severely misses the point.”

The same could be said about all forms of central planning. It is wrong to attempt to examine the economic policies of any leviathan state apart from the political violence that characterizes all central planning, whether in Germany, the Soviet Union, or the United States. The controversy highlights the ways in which the connection between violence and central planning is still not understood, not even by the ADL. The tendency of economists to admire Hitler’s economic program is a case in point.

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development. Proto-Keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that “Hitler found a cure against unemployment before Keynes was finished explaining it.”

What were those economic policies? He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public-works programs like autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national healthcare and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.

Such programs remain widely praised today, even given their failures. They are features of every “capitalist” democracy. Keynes himself admired the Nazi economic program, writing in the foreword to the German edition to the General Theory: “[T]he theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under the conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.”

Keynes’s comment, which may shock many, did not come out of the blue. Hitler’s economists rejected laissez-faire, and admired Keynes, even foreshadowing him in many ways. Similarly, the Keynesians admired Hitler (see George Garvy, “Keynes and the Economic Activists of Pre-Hitler Germany,” The Journal of Political Economy, Volume 83, Issue 2, April 1975, pp. 391–405).

Even as late as 1962, in a report written for President Kennedy, Paul Samuelson had implicit praise for Hitler: “History reminds us that even in the worst days of the great depression there was never a shortage of experts to warn against all curative public actions.… Had this counsel prevailed here, as it did in the pre-Hitler Germany, the existence of our form of government could be at stake. No modern government will make that mistake again.”

On one level, this is not surprising. Hitler instituted a New Deal for Germany, different from FDR and Mussolini only in the details. And it worked only on paper in the sense that the GDP figures from the era reflect a growth path. Unemployment stayed low because Hitler, though he intervened in labor markets, never attempted to boost wages beyond their market level. But underneath it all, grave distortions were taking place, just as they occur in any non-market economy. They may boost GDP in the short run (see how government spending boosted the US Q2 2003 growth rate from 0.7 to 2.4 percent), but they do not work in the long run.

“To write of Hitler without the context of the millions of innocents brutally murdered and the tens of millions who died fighting against him is an insult to all of their memories,” wrote the ADL in protest of the analysis published by the Glenview State Bank. Indeed it is.

But being cavalier about the moral implications of economic policies is the stock-in-trade of the profession. When economists call for boosting “aggregate demand,” they do not spell out what this really means. It means forcibly overriding the voluntary decisions of consumers and savers, violating their property rights and their freedom of association in order to realize the national government’s economic ambitions. Even if such programs worked in some technical economic sense, they should be rejected on grounds that they are incompatible with liberty.

Read More: https://mises.org/library/hitlers-economics

The Truth About America’s Crony-Capitalism: It’s Controlled by Less Than a Dozen Companies

People act like massive inequalities are the fault of capitalism, a system of buying and trading goods and services that goes back to the beginning of human history.

In fact, none of us would be alive today if our ancestors did not partake in trading, buying and selling.

It has been evident through the centuries, that humans flourish the most when allowed to partake in trade, and they flourish even more depending on how free the trade is from central authorities’ taxation and arbitrary regulation.

The problem with blaming our current inequalities on today’s system of capitalism is that it’s not really a free system, but tightly controlled by corporate and government-created cartels. It’s crony capitalism. It’s corporatism. It’s not allowing people to freely trade with one another.

It would be a mistake to claim that we need to replace today’s system of centrally controlled trade with another system of central control, like socialism. You can’t cure an ill by doubling up on the poison that caused the illness in the first place.

No system that allows for human freedom and happiness can ever create perfect equality of outcomes for everyone.

Humans are messy creatures, we don’t appreciate any centrally-forced solution that reduces our freedoms.

The best we can hope from a system is to provide an equal playing field for freedom of trade… which is exactly the opposite of what we have going on today in the United States, where eleven companies control every consumer good, while five companies control all mainstream media, and a central bank, owned privately by global conglomerates controls our money policy.

11 companies control everything you buy

11 companies control everything you buy – wikibuy.com

The Myth Of American Capitalism Exposed: Competition Is Dying As The Biggest Corporations Gobble Up Everything

Vibrant competition is absolutely essential in order for a capitalist economic system to function effectively.  Unfortunately, in the United States today we are witnessing the death of competition in industry after industry as the biggest corporations increasingly gobble up all of their competitors.  John D. Rockefeller famously once said that “competition is a sin”, and he was one of America’s very first oligopolists.  According to Google, an oligopoly is “a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers”, and that is a perfect description of the current state of affairs in many major industries.  In early America, corporations were greatly limited in scope, and in most instances they were only supposed to exist temporarily.  But today the largest corporations have become so huge that they literally dominate our entire society, and that is not good for any of us.

Just look at what is happening in the airline industry.  When I was growing up, there were literally dozens of airlines, but now four major corporations control everything and they have been making gigantic profits

AMERICA’S airlines used to be famous for two things: terrible service and worse finances. Today flyers still endure hidden fees, late flights, bruised knees, clapped-out fittings and sub-par food. Yet airlines now make juicy profits. Scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $15.5bn in 2017, up from $14bn in 2016.

What is true of the airline industry is increasingly true of America’s economy. Profits have risen in most rich countries over the past ten years but the increase has been biggest for American firms. Coupled with an increasing concentration of ownership, this means the fruits of economic growth are being monopolised.

If you don’t like how an airline is treating you, in some cases you can choose to fly with someone else next time.

But as a recent Bloomberg article pointed out, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do…

United, for example, dominates many of the country’s largest airports. In Houston, United has around a 60 percent market share, in Newark 51 percent, in Washington Dulles 43 percent, in San Francisco 38 percent and in Chicago 31 percent. This situation is even more skewed for other airlines. For example, Delta has an 80 percent market share in Atlanta. For many routes, you simply have no choice.

And of course the airline industry is far from alone.  In sector after sector, economic power is becoming concentrated in just a few hands.

For a moment, I would like you to consider these numbers

  • Two corporations control 90 percent of the beer Americans drink.
  • Five banks control about half of the nation’s banking assets.
  • Many states have health insurance markets where the top two insurers have an 80 percent to 90 percent market share. For example, in Alabama one company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, has an 84 percent market share and in Hawaii it has 65 percent market share.
  • When it comes to high-speed Internet access, almost all markets are local monopolies; over 75 percent of households have no choice with only one provider.
  • Four players control the entire U.S. beef market and have carved up the country.
  • After two mergers this year, three companies will control 70 percent of the world’s pesticide market and 80 percent of the U.S. corn-seed market.

I knew that things were bad, but I didn’t know that they were that bad.

Capitalism works best when competition is maximized.  In socialist systems, the government itself becomes a major player in the game, and that is never a desirable outcome.  Instead, what we want is for the government to serve as a “referee” that enforces rules that encourage free and fair competition.  Jonathan Tepper, the author of “The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition”, made this point very well in an excerpt from his new book

Capitalism is a game where competitors play by rules on which everyone agrees. The government is the referee, and just as you need a referee and a set of agreed rules for a good basketball game, you need rules to promote competition in the economy.

Left to their own devices, firms will use any available means to crush their rivals. Today, the state, as referee, has not enforced rules that would increase competition, and through regulatory capture has created rules that limit competition.

Our founders were very suspicious of large concentrations of power.  That is why they wanted a very limited federal government, and that is also why they put substantial restrictions on corporate entities.

When power is greatly concentrated, most of the rewards tend to flow to the very top of the pyramid, and that is precisely what we have been witnessing.  The following comes from the New York Times

Even when economic growth has been decent, as it is now, most of the bounty has flowed to the top. Median weekly earnings have grown a miserly 0.1 percent a year since 1979. The typical American family today has a lower net worththan the typical family did 20 years ago. Life expectancy, shockingly, has fallen this decade.

So what is the solution?

Read More: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-myth-of-american-capitalism-exposed-competition-is-dying-as-the-biggest-corporations-gobble-up-everything

These 11 Companies Control Everything You Buy

wikibuy.com

Is freedom of choice an illusion?

The rapid rise of variation in everyday goods and services, from which cereal we eat in the morning to which toothpaste we brush our teeth with at night, gives the perception of unlimited choice. For example, if you’re deciding which bottled water to buy, the possibilities range from budget brands, like Deer Park or Ozarka, to higher-end options, like Perrier or S. Pellegrino. But this appearance of choice is actually manufactured. All of the aforementioned brands are owned by one company: Nestle.

Despite the amount of choices in the consumer market, several big companies own a large majority of major brands, effectively controlling everything you buy.

So, how much of “choice” is really controlled by big business, and how well do Americans understand which corporations have a stake in the goods and services they rely on every day? To find out, we took an in-depth look at the major companies that own a majority of America’s food and consumer goods. Then, we surveyed 3,000 Americans about their understanding of which big businesses own which major brands. Check out our full visual below, or skip ahead to see our survey findings.

Read More: https://wikibuy.com/blog/b8b9

 

Trump Seems to be Trying to Remove the US From the Globalist Death Cult

Enough is Enough Child Trafficking Ends Now

What Donald Trump is preparing

After having observed Donald Trump’s historical references (the constitutional compromise of 1789, the examples of Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon) and the way in which his partisans perceive his politics, Thierry Meyssan here analyses his anti-imperialist actions. The US President is not interested in taking a step back, but on the contrary, abandoning the interests of the transnational ruling class in order to develop the US national economy.
The problem

In 1916, during the First World War, Lenin analysed the reasons which led to the confrontation between the empires of his time. He wrote – Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In this book, he clarified his analysis – « Imperialism is capitalism which has arrived at a stage of its development where domination by monopolies and financial capital has been confirmed, where the export of capital has acquired major importance, where the sharing of the world between international trusts has begun, and where the sharing of all the territories of the globe between the greatest capitalist countries has been achieved ».

The facts confirmed his logic of the concentration of capitalism that he described. In the space of one century, it substituted a new empire for the precedents – « America » (not to be confused with the American continent). By dint of fusions and acquisitions, a few multinational companies gave birth to a global ruling class which gathers every year to congratulate itself, as we watch, in Davos, Switzerland. These people do not serve the interests of the US population, and in fact are not necessarily United States citizens themselves, but use the means of the US Federal State to maximise their profits.

Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States on his promise to return to the earlier state of Capitalism, that of the « American dream, » by free market competition. We can of course claim a priori, as did Lenin, that such a reversal is impossible, but nonetheless, the new President has committed to this direction.

The heart of the imperial Capitalist system is expressed by the doctrine of the Pentagon, formulated by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski – the world is now split in two. On one side, the developed, stable states, and on the other, those states which are not yet integrated into the imperial globalist system and are therefore doomed to instability. The US armed forces are tasked with destroying the state and social structures of the non-integrated regions. Since 2001, they have been patiently destroying the « Greater Middle East », and are now preparing to do the same in the « Caribbean Basin .»

We are obliged to note that the way in which the Pentagon looks at the world is based on the same concepts used by anti-imperialist thinkers like Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi or Samir Amin.

The attempted solution

Donald Trump’s objective thus consists both of reinvesting the transnational capital in the US economy, and turning the Pentagon and the CIA away from their current imperialist functions with National Defense. In order to do so, he has to withdraw from international commercial treaties and dissolve the inter-governmental structures which consolidate the old order.

Undoing the international commercial treaties

From the very first days of his mandate, President Trump removed his country from the trans-Pacific partnership agreement, which had not yet been signed. This commercial treaty had been conceived strategically as a means of isolating China.

Since he was unable to cancel the signature of his country on those treaties which were already in force, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he began to unravel them by imposing various customs duties which were contrary to the spirit, but not the letter, of the agreement.

Re-framing or dissolving the inter-governmental structures

As we have often written here, the United Nations Organisation is no longer a forum for peace, but an instrument of US imperialism within which a few states continue to resist. This was already the case during the Soviet policy of the empty chair (Korean War) and, since July 2012, it is once again true.

President Trump has directly attacked the two main imperialist tools within the UNO – the peace-keeping operations (which have taken the place of the observation missions which were originally planned by the Charter), and the Human Rights Council (whose sole function is to justify the humanitarian wars waged by NATO). He has deprived the former of their budget, and withdrawn his country from the latter. However, he has just lost the election for Director of the International Organisation for Migration, leaving the road open, for the moment, for the world traffic in human beings. Of course, he has absolutely no wish to destroy the UNO, but only to refocus its activities and bring it back to its original function.

He has just torpedoed the G7. This meeting, initially intended as a moment for the exchange of points of view, had become, as from 1994, a tool for imperial domination. In 2014, it transformed itself into an instrument for anti-Russian activity – thus conforming to what had become the new strategy of the Anglo-Saxon nations, aimed at « cutting our losses », in other words, avoiding a World War by limiting the empire to the borders of Russia and thereby isolating it. President Trump took great care during the meeting in Charleroix to show his confused allies that he was no longer their overlord, and that they would have to make it on their own.

Finally, after having tried to use France to dynamite the European Union, he turned to Italy, where he sent Steve Bannon to create an anti-system government with the help of US banks. Rome has already concluded an alliance with five other capitals against Brussels.

Reinvesting in productive economy

Via diverse fiscal and customs measures, rarely voted by Congress and usually adopted by decree, President Trump encouraged the major companies of his country to repatriate their factories back to the USA. There immediately followed an economic recovery, which is about the only thing for which the Press will recognise him.

However, we are a long way from noting a financial decline. World finance is probably continuing to prosper outside of the USA, or in other words, continuing to suck up the wealth of the rest of the world.

Read More: http://www.voltairenet.org/article201778.html

SO has Capitalism Failed, or are we Actually Living in a Fascist State?

“Capitalism Has Failed”

Today, more than at any time previously, Westerners are justifying a move toward collectivist thinking with the phrase, “Capitalism has failed.”

In response to this, conservative thinkers offer a knee-jerk reaction that collectivism has also had a dismal record of performance. Neither group tends to gain any ground with the other group, but over time, the West is moving inexorably in the collectivist direction.

As I see it, liberals are putting forward what appears on the surface to be a legitimate criticism, and conservatives are countering it with the apology that, yes, capitalism is failing, but collectivism is worse.

Unfortunately, what we’re seeing here is not classical logic, as Aristotle would have endorsed, but emotionalism that ignores the principles of logic.

If we’re to follow the rules of logical discussion, we begin with the statement that capitalism has failed and, instead of treating it as a given, we examine whether the statement is correct. Only if it proves correct can we build further suppositions upon it.

Whenever I’m confronted with this now oft-stated comment, my first question to the person offering it is, “Have you ever lived in a capitalist country?” That is, “Have you ever lived in a country in which, during your lifetime, a free-market system dominated?”

Most people seem initially confused by this question, as they’re residents of either a European country or a North American country and operate under the assumption that the system in which they live is a capitalist one.

So, let’s examine that assumption.

A capitalist, or “free market,” system is one in which the prices of goods and services are determined by consumers and the open market, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority.

Today, none of the major (larger) countries in what was once referred to as the “free world” bear any resemblance to this definition. Each of these countries is rife with laws, regulations, and a plethora of regulatory bodies whose very purpose is to restrict the freedom of voluntary commerce. Every year, more laws are passed to restrict free enterprise even more.

Equally as bad is the fact that, in these same countries, large corporations have become so powerful that, by contributing equally to the campaigns of each major political party, they’re able to demand rewards following the elections, that not only guarantee them funds from the public coffers, but protect them against any possible prosecution as a result of this form of bribery.

There’s a word for this form of governance, and it’s fascism.

Many people today, if asked to describe fascism, would refer to Mussolini, black boots, and tyranny. They would state with confidence that they, themselves, do not live under fascism. But, in fact, fascism is, by definition, a state in which joint rule by business and state exists. (Mussolini himself stated that fascism would better be called corporatism, for this reason.)

In recognizing the traditional definition of fascism, there can be no doubt that fascism is the driving force behind the economies of North America and Europe.

In addition, the concept of any government taking by force from some individuals the fruits of their labour and bestowing it upon others is by no means free-market. It is a socialist concept. And, in any country where roughly half of the population are the recipients of such largesse, that country has, unquestionably, settled deeply into a socialist condition.

However, this is by no means a new idea. As Socrates asked Adeimantus:

Do not their leaders deprive the rich of their estates and distribute them among the people; at the same time taking care to preserve the larger part for themselves?

So, which is it? Are we saying here that these countries are socialist or fascist?

Well, in truth, socialism, fascism, and, indeed, communism are all forms of collectivism. They all come under the same umbrella.

So, what we’re witnessing is liberals, rightfully criticising the evils of fascism, but failing to understand it for what it is—a form of collectivism. Conservatives, on the other hand, do their best to continue to operate under their countries’ socialist laws, regulations, and regulatory bodies, whist continuing to imagine that a remnant of capitalism remains.

And so we return to the question, “Have you ever lived in a country in which, during your lifetime, a free-market system dominated?”

Such countries do exist. It should be pointed out, however, that even they tend to move slowly toward collectivism over time. (After all, it’s in collectivism that they gain their power.) However, some countries are “newer,” just as the US was in the early nineteenth century and, like the US, the governments have not yet had enough time to sufficiently degrade the economies that have been entrusted to them.

In addition, some citizenries are feistier than others and/or are less easy to convince that, by allowing themselves to be dominated by their governments, they’ll actually be better off.

Whatever the reasons, there are most certainly countries that are far more free-market than the countries discussed above.

But, what does this tell us of the future? What can be done to turn these great powers back to a more free-market system? Well, the bad news is that that’s unlikely in the extreme. To be sure, we, from time to time, have inspired orators, such as Nigel Farage or Ron Paul, who remind us what we “should” do to put these countries back on track, so that they serve the people of the country, rather than its leaders. But, historically, such orators have never succeeded in reversing the trend one iota.

History tells us that political leaders, in their pursuit of collectivism, never reverse the trend. They instead ride it all the way to the bottom, then bail out, if they can.

However, it is ever true that, in some locations in the world, there have always been free-market societies. Over time, they deteriorate under the hands of their leaders and, as they do, others spring up.

The choice of the reader is to look upon the world as his oyster—to assess whether he is more or less content with the country he’s in and confident that it will continue to be a good place in which to live, work, invest, and prosper, or, if not, to consider diversifying, or even moving entirely, to a more rewarding, more capitalist jurisdiction.

Editor’s Note: There are practical ways to maintain your financial freedom, even as your home country takes a dive to the bottom. Find out more in our free Guide to Surviving and Thriving During an Economic Collapse.

Read More: http://www.internationalman.com/articles/capitalism-has-failed

Capitalism—A New Idea

Capitalism—A New Idea by Jeff Thomas – International Man

Capitalism, whether praised or derided, is an economic system and ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and operation for profit.

Classical economics recognises capitalism as the most effective means by which an economy can thrive. Certainly, in 1776, Adam Smith made one of the best cases for capitalism in his book, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations(known more commonly as The Wealth of Nations). But the term “capitalism” actually was first used to deride the ideology, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in The Communist Manifesto, in 1848.

Of course, whether Mister Marx was correct in his criticisms or not, he lived in an age when capitalism and a free market were essentially one and the same. Today, this is not the case. The capitalist system has been under attack for roughly 100 years, particularly in North America and the EU.

A tenet of capitalism is that, if it’s left alone, it will sort itself out and will serve virtually everyone well. Conversely, every effort to make the free market less free diminishes the very existence of capitalism, making it less able to function.

Today, we’re continually reminded that we live under a capitalist system and that it hasn’t worked. The middle class is disappearing, and the cost of goods has become too high to be affordable. There are far more losers than winners, and the greed of big business is destroying the economy.

This is what we repeatedly hear from left-leaning people and, in fact, they are correct. They then go on to label these troubles as byproducts of capitalism and use this assumption to argue that capitalism should give way to socialism.

In this, however, they are decidedly wrong. These are the byproducts of an increasing level of collectivism and fascism in the economy. In actual fact, few, if any, of these people have ever lived in a capitalist (free-market) society, as it has been legislated out of existence in the former “free” world over the last century.

So, let’s have a look at those primary sore spots that are raised by suggesting that collectivism will correct the “evils” of capitalism.

Read More: thedailycoin.org/2017/08/28/capitalism-new-idea/