I’m continuing my reporting on the current installment of Conservative Estimate, the recently founded website that is devoted to demolishing Conservatism.
Yesterday, Mr. George began his consideration of the the seventh and last Major Myth of Conservative thought, the Myth of Capitalism, which holds that Free-market capitalism is an unquestionably beneficial and moral economic system. He indicated that the reason this belief is utterly mistaken is that Capitalism is an intrinsically immoral system.
Today he shows why Capitalism is based on an injustice that cannot be eliminated.
We take up his argument after the dueling orange fishlines.
Mr. George begins by pointing out that Capitalism is rooted in an act of force on which the whole system is founded. The worker, he says, goes to the marketplace to sell the only commodity he has, his labor. There he meets the capitalist.
The worker names a price for his labor, a price he calculates will feed himself and his family while still providing good value to the capitalist.Mr. George then notes that this use of economic force is usually overlooked by believers in the Myth of Capitalism. But it is characteristic of Capitalism, and it is the origin of the hatred between management and labor.
The capitalist, however, is not on an even playing field with the worker. The capitalist can support himself, without working, on the money he has accumulated. So he sees that he can afford to offer the worker less money than he requests, because if the worker says No, the capitalist can just scuttle the deal and wait until later.
But the worker cannot wait as long as the capitalist, because he cannot support himself. Eventually he has to give in to the demands of the capitalist. This is a form of force: the capitalist can make the worker do something he doesn’t want to do by making him fear for his survival.
This is the violence at the heart of capitalism.
Every capitalist holds a gun to the head of every worker, whether or not he chooses to use it, and whether or not he even realizes it. If he doesn’t use his advantage, he’s not going to make as much profit as he could. So he probably will use it.You can read the whole post here.
On Monday, Mr. George will show that Capitalism’s inherent injustice can nevertheless be mitigated by people of good will.
I’ll be reporting back each day as a new installment appears.