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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quote

Truth must be repeated again and again because error is constantly being preached round about us.

ideas > Is socialism better than corporatocracy?

Is socialism better than corporatocracy?
Recently I had a brief conversation with a man visiting Hawaii. During that conversation, he made a statement that I could not disagree more with. He said that he would rather have socialism than corporatocracy. I had never heard the phrase corporatocracy before and so I immediately began thinking about this statement. First, I am an avid opponent of socialism, having read of the brutal murder of hundreds of millions of people caused by the socialist regimes of Stalin and Mao, to name a few. I would argue that the number of people murdered in the name of socialism over the last 100 years eclipses the number of people murdered in the last millennium. The scale of the murder and atrocities committed by men who held complete power over billions of people is unimaginable to most people who have never read about it. So what was a corporatocracy? I thought at first that it might be a clever word for capitalism, because naturally capitalism and socialism are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Capitalism is free markets and freedom of choice. Socialism is government control and limited freedom of choice. In capitalism, the consumer is king. In socialism, the bureaucracy is king. And in the case of Communist China, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and Cambodia, one man was king.

Questions arose in my mind. How can someone who lives in a relatively free country think that socialism could be superior to capitalism, if that is what he meant by corporatocracy? Did he know of all the brutal murders committed in the name of socialism? Did he know that capitalist countries enjoy a higher standard of living than socialist countries? Did he know of the dangers of allowing the government to subsume most of the power? I was and am always amazed when independent, free thinking people make statements to the effect that socialism is better than capitalism. It makes no logical sense. But back to the term corporatocracy. What did it mean? According to Wikipedia, “The term however is more accurately used to describe actions of Corporations interested in maintaining laws they consider positive for their interests and thus makes it a question of resources to spend (it can be cheaper to give money to a few individuals than to bow to strict laws that cost a lot).” or as a “government bowing to pressure from corporate entities.” I, too, do not believe that government should be used to benefit corporations at the expense of consumers. But I also believe that government should not be used to benefit individuals at the expense of corporations and other individuals. Both are forms of thievery. If it is not right for an individual to forcefully take money from an individual or organization; and it is not right for an organization to forcefully take money form an individual or organization; then it follows that it is not right for an individual or organization to have the government do this for them. Both are robbery. Both involve coercion and force. I can understand this man’s dislike of corporatocracy, but where I differ from him is his assertion that socialism is better than it.

Government is a willing participant in corporatocracy. No one forces Congress to pass laws that benefit one corporation, individual, or group of individuals and corporations over another. It is purely a voluntary thing done most likely because the Congress believes it is beneficial to some group or other or in exchange for campaign contributions and political support. So how would further strengthening the government’s control over business by becoming socialist stop corporatocracy. If anything, it would only strengthen it. The government needs businesses to produce things that people want and need. The government doesn’t produce anything. Only in this instance, the government under a socialist structure would be king and would determine what was produced. In essence, the government would be a monopoly organization; whereas, under a corporatocracy, there is no monopoly, but there still are many producers of goods and services that are competing against one another. If you chose the government monopoly of socialism, the consumer has no voice. The consumer will take what the government decides the consumer will take. Under a corporatocracy, the consumer at least has a voice in what is produced. He or she might have to pay more for what they want, but at least there are businesses competing against each other to provide the goods and services that people want, not the goods and services that the government thinks people want. The term corporatocracy really is a politically charged word most likely created by anti-capitalist elements to further their agenda. Corporatocracy is another word for mercantilism, which has been around for centuries. Mercantilism is a form of government where people and businesses go to the government to get special favors or treatment from the government. This is the form of government that the American colonists lived under. The British sought to control the colonies economically by restricting their ability to manufacture goods and export them to Europe because this would harm the British manufacturers. The Revolutionary War in large part was a war against mercantilism and for capitalism and economic freedom. Yet, most people do not know this. Most people do not know that our founding fathers fought the war because of mercantilism or corporatocracy. And here we are, over two hundred years later, with an economy based on mercantilism or corporatocracy; yet most people such as this man fail to see several key points.

First, socialism as an economic and political system has been an abject failure both in terms of human suffering and death and in the ability to bring material wealth to its citizens. To a student of history, this point is not even debatable; although hardened believers in socialism will seek to excuse China and Russia as not being true followers of socialism. They will say that they didn’t do it the right way. To Lenin and Stalin and Mao, they did it the right way. They were firm believers in Marxism. The truth is that socialism always ends up in tyranny and blood because eventually one man or a small group of men, delusional in their own power, seek to force their vision of the world upon others and to do so they must use force, power, coercion, and ultimately murder on a mass scale. They are drunk in the illusion that they are superior in intellect, thought, and wisdom to the masses and therefore have the right to liquidate those who oppose them for the greater good of achieving a socialist paradise.

Second, implementing socialism to solve the problem of corporatocracy or mercantilism will only make matters worse. Not only will the consumer have no say in what they receive in terms of goods and services, but they will receive even less of the goods and services that they need. The only solution to mercantilism and corporatocracy is returning to free markets and economic freedom of capitalism. In this system, the consumer is king. As I see it, there are three main players in any economic system. All play important roles. Individuals consume the goods that individuals and businesses create. Government plays the part of the referee. If these three entities all play their appropriate role, then individuals get the goods and services they want. Businesses efficiently produce the things that the people want. The government makes sure that both parties play by the agreed upon rules. But when two of the players gang up on the other one, then the system is thrown out of balance and both profit at the expense of the other. The solution to this problem is not to give all power to one of the groups using coercion and force, but to restore the equilibrium of power by letting them all naturally play their appropriate role. The challenge is making sure that the equilibrium is maintained because there are evil scheming men who will try to exploit the aberrant behavior that exists under any economic situation. They will complain of the relatively small group of chronically poor people. They will complain about the pollution. They will prey upon these things until they achieve some semblance of power and pass laws that are more about increasing the politicians power than protecting the consumer. Every system has its poor. Every system has its pollution. In a socialist system where the government determines all such as the Soviet Union and China, pollution is far worse than it ever was in the United States in the early 1900s. Why is this? Because the consumer has no voice. The only voice is the bureaucracy. The solution to corporatocracy is capitalism or returning the economic system to its optimal balance.

Finally, of these three economic systems, it is clear that capitalism brings about the greatest amount of economic prosperity. It is not perfect, but neither is mercantilism or corporatocracy or socialism. In an imperfect world, one must logically choose the best of the imperfect systems. In capitalism, one has a system that makes the consumer king. In mercantilism, one has a system where the business and government are largely kings with the consumer playing the role of the court or a prince. In socialism, the government is king and the consumer has no voice. When this man made the statement that he would rather have socialism than corporatocracy, I don’t think he really has thought out what he is saying. Most likely he is repeating some half-truth that he heard. In carefully deconstructing what was said, it is clear that the anti-capitalists are working harder every day to misinform the masses about the true state of affairs. Through the clever use of new words such as corporatocracy, the masses erroneously assume that capitalism is being indicted; when in fact mercantilism is the culprit. It is a clever play on words that the socialists have been engaging in for centuries. They realized long ago that their system could never compete economically with capitalism, yet they still continue to want to implement it because socialism really isn’t about helping the masses out or making their lives better, it is really about the egos and vanities of those few such as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao who believed that they knew better how to run the lives of billions than the billions did. In the end, hundreds of millions paid with their lives. They made the tragic error of believing that prosperity could be imposed and so traded their freedom for the promise of security that socialism offered. This allowed Lenin, Stalin, and Mao to consolidate their political power and create secret police that murdered the enemies of the state. When the people realized too late that they had been hoodwinked, it was too late. They did not have the weapons nor the organization to oppose the state machinery of murder and so descended into the hell of full blown socialism. It was a tragedy of monumental proportions and must be used to demonstrate that socialism is the inferior of all economic systems because ultimately the phrase “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is allowed to play out.

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