In defense of capitalism
#1
In a short 2 1/2 minutes, Milton Friedman effectively destroys all arguments against free market capitalism:





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#2
Technically, there's no such thing as Capitalism. It's mearly the abscence of government intervention in the economy.
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#3
Right, but there are some variations on Capitalism, such as monopoly capitalism, or what we have at at the moment, where the government uses its power to support larger corporations over small ones. Technically, it's not really capitalism, but it's referred to as such.
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#4
really excellent clip Vincentus....but Im confused....isnt "Chester/Belloc" catholic economics against free market capitalism per se??
For instance Miltons apparent rhetorical question about where to "find these angels who will support economic virtue>>" not actually rhetorical in the sense the answer is they are to be found in Holy Mother Church as arbiter of Christ the King and his militant Church.
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#5
I'm currently reading Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism (Amintore Fanfani), and the beginning of the book stated that capitalism is opposed to Catholic principles. Capitalism doesn't take sin, virtue, law or man's last end into account. Rather, it is based upon a false notion of liberty and it idolizes "freedom."

Here's a quote:

"Modern capitalism 'as it is actually practiced' has caused the once dignified craftsman or tiller of the soil to abandon his privately-owned, productive property in the face of ruthless competition by more powerful concerns, and to settle for a wage exchanged for meaningless labor. Man the laborer is no longer the subject of economic activity, working out his salvation while practicing a vocation or trade important to the community or satisfying to the soul; he is instead a mere commodity" (p. 23).
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#6
SouthpawLink Wrote:I'm currently reading Catholicism, Protestantism, and Capitalism (Amintore Fanfani), and the beginning of the book stated that capitalism is opposed to Catholic principles. Capitalism doesn't take sin, virtue, law or man's last end into account. Rather, it is based upon a false notion of liberty and it idolizes "freedom."

Here's a quote:

"Modern capitalism 'as it is actually practiced' has caused the once dignified craftsman or tiller of the soil to abandon his privately-owned, productive property in the face of ruthless competition by more powerful concerns, and to settle for a wage exchanged for meaningless labor. Man the laborer is no longer the subject of economic activity, working out his salvation while practicing a vocation or trade important to the community or satisfying to the soul; he is instead a mere commodity" (p. 23).

And in that same book he explains how the Catholic notion has always been that vice or virtue is caught up in the money we have so we cannot simply seek to obtain as much as we can without restraint and without concern for anyone else.

Pax Christi tecum.
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#7
But capitalism does take into account virtue and man's end, it recognizes that those things are the Church's province, and the state shouldn't try and take that job away.  The state's job is to preserve the legimate rights to life, and to private property. Capitalism recognizes that people are going to try to steal and kill, and the state is there to stop them.  Socialism , on the other hand, institutionalizes theft, which is why it was condemned in Rerum Novarum. Actually, you could just read RN to get a good view of Church teaching on property and the state; it explains how the Church and working men's organizations should work together to prevent the exploitation of the working man.
Edited to add: we shouldn't expect a reward for virtue in life, hence what the saints and Our Lady have said, "I cannot promise you happiness in this world, but only in the next".
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#8
Vincentius Wrote:In a short 2 1/2 minutes, Milton Friedman effectively destroys all arguments against free market capitalism:




The problem with Milton is that he isn't rejecting the idea of Capitalism based on vice but rather he is arguing that it is the best system we have. So he agrees it is based on greed and that it is based on manipulation but he sees no other way. Virtue isn't rewarded so we must act on vice then. That is entirely problematic to me. He did not, indeed could not, refute the fact that capitalism makes use of fallen human nature to succeed.

Pax Christi tecum.
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#9
Anastasia Wrote:But capitalism does take into account virtue and man's end, it recognizes that those things are the Church's province, and the state shouldn't try and take that job away.  The state's job is to preserve the legimate rights to life, and to private property. Capitalism recognizes that people are going to try to steal and kill, and the state is there to stop them.  Socialism , on the other hand, institutionalizes theft, which is why it was condemned in Rerum Novarum. Actually, you could just read RN to get a good view of Church teaching on property and the state; it explains how the Church and working men's organizations should work together to prevent the exploitation of the working man.

Yes but all the Popes before Vatican II rejected the errors of Socialism and the errors of Capitalism, which is why they called for a Third Way. Chesterton, Belloc and others tried to create a system for this third way and that has been called Distributism. Capitalism has its own horrors, such as pitting brother against brother in the name of profit (i.e. survival of the fittest). Advertising itself was always banned because it lured people to buy something based on fallen human nature, appealing to his weaknesses and trying to contort his will. Capitalism sees no end to greed in that the goal of capitalists, really, is to amass as much as they can (hence their capital) even to the detriment of others who are in need. Neither Socialism nor Capitalism really fits with the Catholic Tradition.

Pax Christi tecum.
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#10
Here's a great article: http://distributist.blogspot.com/2007/02...alism.html

"In Distributism, productive property is owned by the many, rather than the few. In practical terms, it means small business, co-operatives and worker-owned and managed businesses run the day-to-day workings of commerce. Big businesses are encouraged by government to break up into smaller, independent units. Government, in turn, is reduced in size and scale, with local government handling most of the responsibility thus eliminating the need for overregulation and reducing the size and scope of government, as well as the demand on taxpayers. Hence, a true market-based economy arises, one not plagued by the lust for dominance that infests both Capitalism and Socialism.

Chesterton knew that the word Distributism sounds suspicious to the ear. He admitted it so, saying it was “awkward but accurate”. And we are waiting for a better name. But in the meantime, better to be accurate and awkward than to be false and flowing."
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