Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Socialist Misconception

I found this statement at “Without government involvement, we would live in a "jungle" where only the powerful survive. The right's opposition to "big government must therefore be rejected" More socialist tripe...

This is one of the biggest and most common misconceptions about capitalism. You hear it in one form or another all the time. “A jungle where only the strong survive” or the tenant “what about the losers?” As if the successful people are immorally sucking the blood from less successful humans. The myth goes back to the emergence of Darwinism (survival of the fittest), Nietzsche’s nilhism (will to power) and early capitalist theorem (Ricardo? and Malthus.) For 200 years socialists everywhere have linked the capitalist credo of competition to the biological theory of evolution which is also dependent on competition. Leftists link the extinction of species to the inevitable demise of economic losers. But this entirely manipulative and false.

In a free society survival of the fittest doesn’t exist. Losers aren’t ostracized from society, condemned to poverty. In fact it’s the exact opposite. In a free society losers adapt the virtues and techniques of the winners to eventually become successful themselves. If tire company A discovers that transporting tires by air as compared to rail is cheaper thus lowering transportation costs to a third of any rival, then tire company B will lose their market in the beginning, but eventually tire company B will transport their tires by air (thus eventually lowering the cost of tires to consumers across the board).

Leftist cry for regulators because they want to do the regulating. So create vulgar images of fat rich white capitalists drinking wine with pig snouts dancing on the back of well meaning peasants. Capitalism is the mechanism for innovation and innovation comes in the form of new knowledge and new knowledge is available to anyone that seeks it.

Need another example... The first Neanderthal? (I don’t know a damn thing about anthropology) that discovered fire soon started cooking his food. Cooked food was safer, tastier and could be preserved longer. It was an advantage over tribes that still ate food raw. But knowledge isn’t exclusionary. Soon word of cooked food traveled to other tribes. And then what happened? Did these tribes die out. Did they claim cooking food was futile. No they simply chose to cook their food as well thus adapting the virtues of the other tribe’s innovation.

Capitalism is not survival of the fittest, but instead it “adapt the strategies of the fittest.


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