Why Capitalism Rules and Often Fails

The School of Life makes great videos about a lot of subjects, especially philosophy. I don’t always agree with their conclusions, but I wanted to talk about their history of Capitalism which is mostly great. Here’s the video ad then my response.

Where I disagree is their analogy of Jesus being anti-business which is not quite true and then comparing him to modern age anti-globalists who are often incoherant Marxists who don’t even understand what they are really angry about.

The fault is in ourselves, not Capitalism. Humans are creatures of desire. Human nature rules all human endeavor. Why capitalism is a success is it best anticipates human nature and works with it. Anything that is against human nature leads to failure and disaster. Your mention of East Germany is a perfect example. You could throw in Cuba, North Korea, Lybia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Syria, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, all socialist experiments that turned to horror shows. They were all critics of capitalism and they were or are hells of their own making where human rights are squashed while they blather on about their free education (aka indoctrination and propaganda). A free society offers education also, and often the choice of schools. A much better deal.

It isn’t capitalism’s fault that there are poor people. Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system. The problem is the wealth capitalism produces makes rich countries magnets for people from poor countries, who flock there and sap the economies by sucking their social programs dry. Government regulation in those countries also limits the growth of companies, thus hindering opportunities. Crony capitalism, where corporations buddy up with government, block smaller companies for succeeding. The government, working with corporate lobbyists get laws passed to hold smaller business back, which in turn hurts the economy over time by limiting growth and employment options.

Human nature is the enemy. Capitalism is the best system we have to date, but yes, it can be improved. It will not be improved by trying to end it. It will only be improved by letting it breathe more while working on ways to enrich our culture. Right now the world culture is rotting. Until we work on making society better, it won’t matter what kind of economic system there is. But capitalism, at least, offers a way out of poverty.

In a way their video about Saint Augustine drives this point home. Society is the fault. A greater empathy is needed if we are to truly advance.


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