Milling on the Perfection of Capitalism

 Posted by on 11 June 2010 at 7:00 am  Activism, Economics
Jun 112010

The June 9, 2010 edition of RealClearMarkets published a powerful essay by Wendy Milling entitled, “No Thomas Frank, Capitalism Is Perfect“.

Her piece was a rebuttal to the snarky anti-capitalism OpEd by Thomas Frank in the June 2, 2010 Wall Street Journal, “Laissez-Faire Meets the Oil Spill“.

Here is an excerpt from, “No Thomas Frank, Capitalism Is Perfect“:

To be perfect means to meet a given standard flawlessly. The standard of perfection for a politico-economic system is that it be in accordance with the requirements of man’s nature. Man is an integrated being of matter and consciousness who exists by the use of his rational faculty. In order to continue existing, he must implement the products of his reasoning in the material realm, organizing things to achieve a material outcome which contributes to his survival. If force is used against this process at any step, that which is needed for his survival cannot come into being.

A concept is therefore needed to denote man’s morally and legally sanctioned freedom of action with regard to his use of materials-the concept of property rights. Since politics concerns the nature of government, and the essence of government is force, the full politico-economic application of property rights is a system in which government protects an individual’s property rights from violation by others, but does not itself violate them. Capitalism is the politico-economic system of private property rights. It connotes a system whereby property rights (and hence, the other rights) are respected objectively and completely.

Capitalism is perfect.

Assaults on capitalism are rooted in a crybaby metaphysics, and they rely on obfuscations, equivocations, and an attitude of militant evasion. One trick is to make inappropriate demands of capitalism, then stomp and pout and denounce capitalism when those demands are not met.

(Read the full text of “No Thomas Frank, Capitalism Is Perfect“.)

Milling spends a significant time demolishing the standard argument that the problem behind the BP oil spill was a problem of capitalism. Instead, she shows how it was an industrial accident significantly worsened by anti-capitalist government policies to become a disaster.

Thank you, Wendy, for speaking out.

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