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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

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Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Morality of Capitalism

A great story, never told, never taught.

by StFerdIII

Capitalism and its political – social extension of ‘Orthodox Liberalism’, is the only moral foundation for liberty and civilization. Tyranny, despotism, socialist control, communist totalitarianism, and orientalism in its various forms have all been tried and all have failed. Liberty, premised on Western ideals regarding freedom, individual responsibility, contracts, values and energy is the only way forward. The fact that socialism, government control and bureaucratic inertia militate against liberty is obvious. Churchill correctly summarized the immorality of orientalist and socialist ideals, when he commented, “If I were asked the difference between Socialism and Communism, I could only reply that the Socialist tries to lead us to disaster by foolish words and the Communist could try to drive us there by violent deeds.”

As Churchill knew there is little to choose between the corrupt totalitarianism of entrenched all powerful socialism or communism. The methods might differ but not the objectives. The complete control by the State of the productive and consumptive resources is endemic in today’s left-wing Welfare oriented Socialism, practiced in its apogee by Hitler’s National-Socialists, and by the godless communitarians, under Stalin and Mao. This is why the trend to ever growing Statist regulation in the West is so worrying. Liberalism, democracy and freedom are fragile ideas. There is no permanence in social-political organization. The world of freedom has no claim to ever-lasting continuity. It must be defended and defended ruthlessly with strength.

Governments in Canada, the EU with their left wing liberal friends in the USA have no other means to refute the efficacy of Orthodox Liberalism, other than to question its ‘morality’. Basically the moral arguments for ever more government and statist greed is premised on justice and equality. However the immorality of large, impersonal governmental bureaucracies, tax collectors, regulators and corrupt governmental structures, is clear and obvious. The larger and more active the state – the more opaque, corrupt and in some cases, criminal, will be the nation’s governance. This necessitates a decline in freedom, morality and national wealth.

Unfortunately in our education systems and in the media, the case for Capitalism and Orthodox Liberalism is never made. Touchy feely socialism, self esteem, human and gay rights, peace, love, cultural relativity, and even anti-western precepts are taught and fed to the public. The sheer crass ignorance in the general public regarding Capitalism and Orthodox Liberalism is overwhelming and tragic. What then is the moral basis of Capitalism ?

First let’s define what we mean by capitalism. Its Latin root is caput – meaning, wit, inventiveness, and discovery. It is an appropriate root.

"An economic concept of civilization that is based on the private ownership (and control) of the means of production."

Such an institutional situation permits and inevitably encourages the division of labor, economic calculation, capital accumulation, technological improvement and the voluntary social cooperation of a market economy in which mass production is designed for the consumption of the sovereign masses. Capitalism is the antithesis of statism, socialism and communism which are based on government ownership (or control) of the means of production.

The extension of capitalism into a political and social construct is achieved by the creation of institutions, laws, rights, representative plurality, and the erection of a culture that embeds the Judeo-Christian ideals of responsibility, energy, innovation, profit, charity, and the spirituality of honest living. ‘Thou shall not steal’ is a 3.000 rule protecting private property rights. Capitalism has always been an integral part of Western spirituality and social development. It is one reason why the West came to dominate the world. Such ideals are reflected in Orthodox Liberalism – the political and social extension of Capitalist ideology.

Orthodox liberalism has nothing in common with statist-socialist theories of Canadian, EU or US Democratic party’s ‘liberalism’. The new modern liberalism is anti-capitalist, indifferent to freedom, premised on cultural relativity, and shaped by ever escalating state control, and riven by corruption, deceit and reliant on a pliant media and ‘intellectual’ elite. It is the very antithesis of what allowed Western culture to assume world domination and is blind to totalitarian threats including that of Islamo-fascism.

Orthodox liberalism is a political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties; government by law with the consent of the governed; and protection from arbitrary authority. Economically it favors laissez-faire, the free market, limited government involvement in the economy and low taxes. Such ideals are and have been supported by religious sects. For example in the current modern period we have the Protestant movement which favors free intellectual inquiry, stresses the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasizes dogmatic theology. As well there is a modern element to the Roman Catholic movement which favors political democracy and ecclesiastical reform in spite of theologically orthodoxy.

Socialist, dialectical, statist, and assorted theories of coercive social configuration are a nonsense. They evolve into elitist, corrupt, static and immoral organizations and kleptocracies. Orthodox Liberalism is distinctive because of its dynamism. It creates an array of practical, empowering institutions and practices. The energy of this system is embodied by a creative, rational, intellect, represented in the profit motive and in the virtue of enterprise. What makes capitalism and Orthodox Liberalism so dynamic is its source in this powerful, innovating habit of mind. What gives this creed its dynamism is its morality.

The fundamental reality of Capitalism is a spiritual reality – positive, open, contractual, and free. Such dynamism premised on a moral and contractual set of codes allows society to generate wealth, jobs, industry. Such ideals spawn prosperity. For example in the past 25 years we have witnessed the rise of completely new industries, generating enormous economic and social benefits. Personal computers; cell phones, biotechnology; the internet; fiber optics, and medical technology are amongst the most obvious examples. Such a dynamic system operates with intelligence, applied insights and morality.

Capitalist philosophers are many and powerful. They would include rationalists, humanists, theologians, economists, politicians and moralists. The morality of Capitalism’s ‘bible’, ‘The Wealth of Nations’, is never taught. But it was its author, Adam Smith, who asked a profoundly moral question never asked by Descartes, Erasmus, Boethius, Aquinas, Aristotle and all the other great thinkers before him.

The question was:
“What is the nature and the cause of the wealth of nations?”

Smith did not ask ‘why is there poverty and suffering?’. This question is the crux of most philosophical, religious and moral ideals. Smith asked plainly, what are the set of social, political and cultural factors that allow nations, societies and individuals to accrete wealth and alleviate poverty? He was the first man in history to conceive of a world from which poverty could be banished, a world of “universal affluence” (his phrase), a world in which every woman, man, and child will be liberated from the prison of despair. That was his goal. That is capitalism's goal. That is a chief source of capitalism's morality.

Columbia University Economist, Jagdish Bhagwati has shown in his brilliant text, ‘In Defense of Globalization’, the enormous creative potential of global capitalism that can best be seen by comparing the trajectories of Africa and Asia over the last quarter century. In 1970, seventy-six percent (76%) of the world’s poor were in Asia, while only eleven percent (11%) were in Africa. By 1998, China and India had lifted so many people out of poverty that those percentages had nearly reversed themselves. Asia now has fifteen percent (15%) of the world’s poor, while Africa is home to sixty-six percent (66%). In the relatively brief period of three decades, China and India have lifted one half-billion persons out of poverty. Trade, investment, capital pools and job creation have done more to eliminate poverty than all the foreign aid, do-gooder handouts and moral hand-wringing from UNO groups will ever do. Such wealth accumulation also leads to democratic reform, middle class power, consumer choice and control and limitations on government power. Such precepts will alter the destiny of China and India.

It is common to condemn Capitalism and Orthodox Liberalism as selfish, un-virtuous and anti-communal. This is nonsense. Such shrill attacks only benefit the elite that want more money, taxes, regulations and power. These elitist managers are hypocrites. They exploit public money to satisfy their egotistical lust for power, yet they condemn others who want improved lives. There is a virtue to being selfish that these elites and their effeminate media friends never discuss. People who are acting selfishly take their own lives seriously, since they are exercising their right to pursue their own happiness.

By contrast, imagine what it would mean to eradicate self-interest, and self-realisation and force everyone to work for goals mandated by the state. Such a system is based on the premise that no one owns his own life, that the individual is merely a tool to be exploited for the ends of society. Since society consists of nothing more than a group of individuals, this means that some men are to be sacrificed for the sake of others – the Orwellian world where all pigs are equal but some are more equal. It is a system of enforced slavery that sacrifices thinking to coercion, and brutality. It is a system without human rights. Natan Sharansky in his great book ‘The Case for Democracy’ calls this a ‘fear society’. This is the essence of any anti-capitalist system, whether communist, fascist, or "mixed" including today's regulatory welfare state. It is the theory of ‘fear’.

Capitalism is premised not on fear but responsible morality. It demands transparency and honest contracts and open records. Those who are not transparent will fail, be found out, jailed or ostracized. It insists upon the rule of law and strict observance of contracts. Criminals are not tolerated and elaborate justice systems are used to punish those who lie, steal and cheat. Capitalism and Orthodox Liberalism reward hard work, inventiveness, initiative, and the spirit of responsibility. Responsibility includes the right to self determination but also aiding those in society that need help. Capitalism is the only system in which private individuals have enough resources to aid those in need. These moral habits of compassion, invention, discovery, hard work, persistence, savings, investment, and moral seriousness transform society. Capitalism brings in its train immense changes, and the root of such change is the applicability of high moral standards.

Orthodox Liberalism and Capitalism have deeply moral aspects to their ideology. In fact the success of Orthodox Liberalism would be impossible if it was not a moral system. History teaches that oppressive, tyrannical, immoral regimes eventually perish. Society and human rights demand a system of virtue premised on rational thought, productive work, and pride in the value of one's own person. The reward for these virtues—and for the political system that protects and encourages them—is an ever-increasing wealth and prosperity.

This is why Statism, Welfare-Capitalism’, ‘Third Way Democratism’, and other varieties of state controlled societal construction must be reduced, limited, reformed and curtailed. They are essentially immoral systems.

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