Behold an idiot standing in front of a Soviet flag babbling on about capitalism being a religion:
Why do I link to this video? Because I feel like decimating an idiot Maxist for personal amusement. First let me say that the advertisement that plays before this video is a great way to make some quick cash… you know like a dirty capitalist (but hey you have to fund that capitalist produced video camera somehow). Next let me urge the videographer to iron his Soviet flag, those creases are distracting and show a complete lack of professionalism. I’m also going to throw out the obvious point that having a flag of a country that killed millions of its own citizens hanging in the background doesn’t send a very positive message. At least most Marxists I talk to have the decency of disavowing the Soviet Union for the violent acts it unleashed upon the people unfortunate enough to live within its borders.
Honestly those are just petty complaints and avoid the message he’s trying to portray, which is the idea that capitalism is a religion. I’ve not actually heard the argument that Marxism is a religion before. In fact that seems a bit odd considering Marx was a self-proclaimed atheist and considered religion to be “the opiat of the people.” Still I will humor this accusation for the sake of quality argumentative decimation.
The videographer, who I’ll now refer to as Marxy Marxist, is claiming that capitalism is a religion because its proponents believe that some “magical” thing call the market will fix all ills in the world. This right here demonstrates Marxy Marxists’s complete ignorance on the capitalism economic system. Namely proponents of capitalism do not believe the free market will fix all ills in the world. For instance Marxy Marxist mentions inequality, a phenomenon the free market makes no attempt to correct.
The free market is nothing more than a system that allows individuals to compete in the providing of goods and services to consumers. Those who properly fulfill the needs of consumers are rewarded for their efforts, usually with money. Their reward is then reinvested to provide for additional consumer wants. Thus those who properly fulfill the wants of society are granted control of more resources as they have demonstrated a socially desirable use of those resources. The only problem a free market attempts to solve is providing consumers with the products and services they want.
It is true that free markets can have a hand in solving other social issues such as racism. For example a businessman who refused to sell his goods or services to a hispanic person loses out on their money. In addition to that many other people will boycot the person’s business because he’s being a racism asshole. Strictly speaking though, voluntary association dictates any person may chose to or not to interact with any other person. While the free market does punish an individual who refuses to do business with a specific group it does not force them to associate with anybody.
Marxy Marxist also brought up the name Adam Smith. Smith was an important early figure in free market economic theory but certainly wasn’t the be all end all. Smith, and later Menger, both missed a crucial piece of the free market puzzle, which is the understanding that value is subjective. Unfortunately Smith followed the labor theory of value limiting the potential of his works. It was Ludwig von Mises who first articulated the idea of subjective value so I would argue if you’re going to talk about capitalism it would be best to use Mises as the poster child as he was the one who provided the crucial missing piece of the puzzle. Again this demonstrates Marxy Marxist’s ignorance of the development of free market economic theory.
Marxy Marxist continues to refer to the free market as a magical being that can not be controlled. I can see how a Marxist would have a difficult time grasping the concept of something not tyrannically controlled. Truth be told the free market is controlled by the consumers. As stated above producers who fulfill the wants of consumers are rewarded. There is another side of the coin, producers who do not make products or provide services consumers want will fail. We as consumers control the market and producers are at our mercy (unless of course a violent state intervenes on the producer’s behalf, but that is not capitalism).
Right around the 2:10 mark Marxy Marxist makes his most ignorant claim, that those of us calling ourselves capitalist really aren’t because we don’t own any means of production. Guess what I’m writing this post on? A fucking computer. Guess what I, as a programmer, use to produce? A fucking computer. Holy shit I own means of production! Marxy Marxist is also a capitalist because he owns a video camera and a computer, which he uses to make money by producing advertisement supported videos on YouTube. Even a so-called Marxist can make money in a capitalist system.
Finally Marxy Marxist closes by accusing capitalists of not wanting to fix society’s problems but to profit from them. Interestingly enough by profiting off of society’s problems capitalists solve them. Case in point medical technology used to save millions of lives every year is developed by medical companies to generate profit. Automobiles solved a problem of personal transportation over long distances than horse drawn buggies could not and Henry Ford was certainly in the business to make money. Computers, a device that have helped solved an almost uncountable number of social issues, are built by profit seeking companies. Profiting off of society’s ills is not mutually exclusive to solving them regardless of what Marxy Marxist claims.
In closing I leave you with a question: why do all these Marxists wear military fatigues? If I was going to go on camera to preach about something I’d have the decency to wear a suit and tie because people are more apt to listen to a well dressed individual than a tactic-cool Internet commando.