Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday. “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day. Chavez, who also holds capitalism responsible for many of the world’s problems, warned that water supplies on Earth were drying up.

This quote stimulated a Facebook conversation that I thought I’d share excerpts of. The conversation started off innocently enough, 

D.K.”He could be right. Capitalism sure does work on overdrive to destroy our planet.(and he continued that since it is our planetmore reason that the people fighting over resources have no reason to claim it as theirs. All while the poorest people in the world pay for the rich’s catastrophe.

After reading the Chavez story, thinking this was hilarious, I deeply opined “Wow P. That is hilarious. More evidence that leftists are morons.” An unkind choice of words to be sure, but to which D.K. respondedCan you prove him wrong?

My comments prefaced with “J.M.”

J.M. “If they think capitalism destroyed Mars….. Seriously in all the history of the world, this is the most affluent society we have ever seen and they (leftists) have such a lack of insight to blame capitalism for destroying a planet! The lack of logic is stunning.

[A leftist] is a good thing not to be, so I hope you are not. Sorry if the term moron offended you. I just think it was apropos of an ideology void of logic.” 

D.K. “He said “may” have ended life on Mars not that it definitively happened or that there was a civilization there.

But even if you ARE a capitalist you can’t deny the astronomical amount of waste and environmental devastation that it has brought on the planet.” 

J.M. “I have seen the waste and devastation under tyranny. Capitalism is the best allocator of the planets resources. Socialism, leftist statist control is a disaster. Look anywhere in the world and at anytime in history and an honest person would have to agree.

Regarding your defense of Chavez, that is pathetic. He is a man oppressing his people and destroying his country and with a theory like he proposes he should be laughed off the stage. Unfortunately too many people like dictators and give him an audience. That includes our President. It is shameful.”

D.K. “All of them are bad, but capitalism allocates whatever makes the most money no matter what the impact is. It allocates resources away from the poor. There is a reason we get things from the southern countries for so cheap. It’s because …they are getting screwed over! It may be better at allocating resources, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t massive waste involved.

No I’m not saying that State Socialism is the answer it shouldn’t even be called socialism.

As for our president being a dictator, he’s as much a dictator as any other president we’ve had”

J.M.I did not say our President was a dictator just that he gave an audience to Chavez. That may not have been clear. Actually though his actions are far more dictatorial than any President we have ever had. He has ignored court rulings when he did not like them and he is appointing many unelected and unconfirmed policy czars to implement policies that do not reflect the will of the people or other branches of government. Many people would call him a dictator. I would not but he is far closer to acting like one than we have ever seen.”

Of course no system is perfect in a fallen world but it is wrong to say the poor have resources allocated away from them. There are other factors involved other than ‘what makes the most money regardless of the impact’. That is an overly cynical view.

This is also the kind of thinking that gives rise to a strongman to stop the greed. The poor in the U.S. are rich to most of the world and that is because of the resource allocation enabled by a free capitalistic society. Much of the world’s poverty is due to corrupt governments in those places not exploitation of greedy corporate interests.

Now I don’t mean to be harsh. It is normal for folks to see greed and oppose it and to see poverty and want to relieve it and some kind of government control seems appropriate but it just never works.

It is better to advocate for a change to the greedy mans practices rather than a confiscation of his property and to implement programs and economic and government systems to enable the poor to work their way out of poverty {see America at its founding} than to just give them handouts which is what socialism does.

P.K. “John, I must say that a socialist, meritocratic, communist, or capitalist economic system is void due to the world we live in.

I also concur that regardless of a nations government or the economic policy they apply, that capitalism is the only way in which people are given a freedom to choose. The fallacy is in the unchecked allowance to have money beget money for the sole purpose of accumulating wealth by means which are legal but probably not the most ethical.

I consider capitalism the way in which people have the freedom to choose; now whether you utilize that freedom to take bread from the mouths of the masses for no other reason than to pad your own pockets is legal, but ultimately your Ebineezer type ways will be judged…whether it be a court of law, personal relationships or whatever God you believe in you will eventually be judged in life.

My point in all this is that I defend D. not because I always agree with him but I do not attack him for what he believes. I think at the root of it all the left-right argument is probably ill-conceived and used as nothing else than to pit the middle class against one another utilizing ideologies that are stereotyped about each other to the point of hatred, as is evidenced in your “moron” statement.

Is Chavez a strange one? Yes, but even Marx was not a raving lunatic. I don’t agree with him, but I can recognize by reading his work that he was a very intelligent man. It is when the socialist-capitalist complex is driven into us by way of self interested politicians, media, unions and corporations that any economic system fails due to the duality of man; both evil and righteous about 50% of the time, throughout time.

 

J.M. “Paul you probably do not intend it but you are leaning toward a moral equivalency argument, neither is perfect, there is some good in both so let’s just try to be nice to each other. I reject moral equivalency arguments. There is right and wrong and good and evil – you even spoke of judgement so you obviously agree with that.

The fact there is no perfect system in a fallen world does not then mean that all systems are equally flawed. Someone who hates his neighbor may be in the wrong but he is not the same as someone who oppresses and kills his neighbor. Likewise a economic system that allows for the private ownership of goods {knowing some will abuse that} is far better than giving control to an authoritarian government where individuals have little or no control over goods and services.

Evil people can be intelligent from an IQ perspective – see Marx, but their ideas are diabolical and should be called out as such. Those ideas have led and will lead once again to the deaths of 100’s of millions worldwide. There is nothing to be civil about. The term moron might offend your senses but it is mild compared to the results these ideas lead to.

Way too many young people and especially Christians are toying with these ideologies and they should be called out. I hope I do not offend you or D. but these are important issues and our ambivalence is handing power in this country, and by extension around the world, to people who are very dangerous. Much better to deal with the abusers of free market capitalism in this country than the despots in control of guns tanks and bombs etc around the world and if we are not careful right here in our own backyard.”

At this point the back and forth ended, but I think it is important to end this by underscoring again that our toying or experimenting or dabbling in socialist or leftist thinking is extremely dangerous. The gulags in Russia, the concentration camps in Germany, the killing fields in Cambodia and the purges in China were all undertaken on behalf of statists who wanted to control private property. We foolishly entertain this kind of thinking.

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