Saturday, November 26, 2005

A lesson from Trump

While watching the bastion of highbrow entertainment known as “The Apprentice” another very important aspect of capitalism as opposed to socialism was subtlety demonstrated.

While Trump was visiting one of his new fancy hotels, mugging the whole way he ended up in the bar commenting happily about how pleased he was with its character. “a beautiful bar the people will love”. Now this comment comes from an unabashed teetotaler. Trump has claimed to never have ingested any alcohol in his life so clearly he is principally against its consumption and yet he is very proud of his bar. This is a very important aspect of capitalism. Namely that the “rich capitalist” can only increase his wealth by better serving the public. He is powerless to impose his values onto us. Trump cannot tell us how to live instead he is forced to find out how we want to live and adapt to us; said differently, to serve us.

This is fundamentally different than a socialist regime. In a socialist regime, Trump-- or some other bureaucrat-- would still be in charge of hotels, but this person’s wealth would be guaranteed by the state and he would have no interest in providing the public with what it wants, but in fact the exact opposite. The teetotaler bureaucrat would be free to impose a state edict that declares “consumption of alcohol is detrimental to life and it will not be endorsed by the state and consequently it will be illegal to serve in state hotels.” And the tyrannical bureaucrat will be lauded by other statesmen for his vision and compassion-- as they would always have their own stash of swill. This is the Marxist’s banning religion, this is France banning Muslim headwear and this is Dan McTeague trying to ban 50 cent from performing in Canada.

Similarly the only power Bill Gates has over the general public is to make better computers. This is him serving us. The richest entrepreneur in the world has no ability to tell us how to live, to coerce us into acting a certain way. The only way for him to achieve more wealth is by making better computers that only help the public. Only government can coerce citizens into prescribing to certain value sets.

Collectivists seek to program citizens with their values while capitalists seek to serve the already held values of the public. Collectivists believe that man is a sacrificial animal used to achieve the state’s aim while capitalists claim that man is a free thinking and self determining creature that the state has no right to arbitrarily imprison.

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