The resurgence of compassionate socialism and the criticism, and even straight out rejection of unfair, evil capitalism.
That’s the narrative we’ve witnessed time and time again over the past decade or so.
But, to many in our generation, sadly, that’s the perception we hold to be the truth.[See our “Let’s Get Serious about Socialism” post on why so many millennials see a distorted version of socialism; one that is disconnected from history.]
With so much misinformation out there let’s set the record straight: Crony capitalism is not capitalism.
Much of the more serious criticisms of capitalism are actually directed towards an altered corrupted form of capitalism. Also referred to as “crony” capitalism.
For these critics, any inequality perpetuated by capitalism is inherently wrong—something that a form of socialism can certainly address.
The intention and desire to help the poor, “the least of these,” is not in itself problematic. It’s actually what Christians, are called to do!
Rather, it’s the theory that socialism is a more effective political structure than capitalism in helping to alleviate poverty, and that somehow capitalism is inherently evil.
When we take a careful look at history, we actually see the opposite of what many in our generation perceive: Capitalism has proved time and time again to produce some of the most prosperous countries in the world.
So the question becomes: How can we best help the poor and provide actual solutions to poverty given this fact of life that we know to be true?
Socialism answers this question by attempting to disregard the reality of inequality, trying to alter human nature, and “solving” it via redistribution of wealth and goods.
Good intentions? Maybe.
Good outcome? Far from it.
Socialist governments or socialist programs have demonstrated (either directly or indirectly) that they demotivate the creative, productive human spirit given to us by God.
Redistribution disincentive people to act as productive members of our society, capitalizing on the temptation of apathy and idleness.
Government programs intended or disguised as charity rarely achieve their goal, and often backfire; making the intended beneficiaries worse of then they were before.
History provides us with a stark reminder that over-dependence on a system that discourages productivity negatively affects society as a whole.
Not only does it fail to actually lift the poor out of poverty, it suppresses those who actually do contribute to a productive economy; thus creating fewer opportunities for those who actually need it.
Employment and jobs are created by opportunities, which are most abundant in free, capitalist society.
A free market, capitalist society also fosters innovation, not to mention competition which can benefit society as a whole.
Something like “Better products. Better experience. Capitalism” would be appropriate.
Love or hate capitalism, but you can’t argue with history.
Free capitalist countries help foster a prosperous people while socialist countries (whether it’s blatantly apparent or not) stifle innovation, creativity, competition, and most importantly, productivity.
A non-productive society is not a free, prosperous society.