Protesting “Capitalism”?

While Americans appear mildly unsettled or perhaps “ticked off” about recent government revelations, elsewhere in the world citizens move from “unease” to “unrest” and outright “protest.”

The protests that erupted first in Turkey and now in Brazil and elsewhere are filled with the ranks of the young, not a few of whom have noticed something: They are getting a raw deal.

Many of their issues are meat-and-potatoes: lack of jobs, burdensome student debts and, in Brazil, a bus fare rate increase made ugly in the context of cost overruns in taxpayer support for the World Cup and Olympics.

The young Turks protested, at first modestly, over planning for a park, but a harsh police crackdown led to more widespread marches, sit-ins, and demonstrations — which now often bring up questions of the current administration’s repressive anti-modernist, anti-freedom agenda.

This more heroic theme resonates elsewhere, too.

In Bulgaria the issue most protested appears to be police brutality and the general spirit of repression. In Latin America, opposition to corruption has moved from old stand-by to vital question of the day.

The saddest statement I heard was this appraisal, hailing from the BBC, of the general climate: “today capitalism is becoming identified with the rule of unaccountable elites, lack of effective democratic accountability, and repressive policing.”

Well, that’s not laissez faire capitalism that’s failed, but crony capitalism. Laissez faire’s truly free markets require a rule of law, the suppression of government corruption, and effective public accountability.

But that’s not what’s dominant. America itself serves, today, not as a beacon of liberty but of institutional control, of crony capitalism.

We need to protest that here, again, in the U.S.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jun
    21
    9:30
    AM
    Brian Richard Allen

    …. that’s neither Laissez Faire nor Capitalism that’s failed, but crony “capitalism.” Laissez Faire’s and Capitalism’s Free Markets require Rule of Law, the suppression of corrupt government — and absolute accountability.

    …. But that’s not what’s dominant. America itself serves, today, not as a beacon of Liberty but of institutional control: Of crony “capitalism” ….

    Close. But neither Jumteenth nor Martyrdome of Joseph and Hyrum Smith Boxes for you, this year, Mr Jacob.

    Although Laissez Faire is lovely and I also employ it often, Capitalism requires no adjectives and nor — any better than does white paint the addition of black nor Good its blending with evil — does it survive its meeting with many of those.

    That which you’ve called “crony capitalism” is no such thing. At best it’s statism and/or corporatism and/or it has – if it’s sufficiently (and inevitably) “evolved” – is fascism.

    Brian Richard Allen

  2. Jun
    21
    9:41
    AM
    JFB

    The protesters are reasonably protesting against the fruits of market manipulation, tyranny by the majority, over powerful governments robbing Peter to pay Paul (commonly inter-generationally), capture of the power to tax by limited and selfish interest groups. Those are all the symptoms of national socialism as none them can arise in a truly free market system.
    Although all of the “free” counties leadership claim they believe in the free market, none of them have the true faith and courage to act upon it, including within the United States.
    Therefore the protests are correct, but will only provide benefit if they identify the correct prescription to cause the cure. The youth must define that the cure to the abuses they rightfully complain of is not more government, regulations, subsidies and controls, but radically less.

  3. Jun
    21
    10:34
    AM
    drrik

    “We need to protest”. And we will when the system collapses in on itself under the rottenness that it fosters.
    Which is what the government is getting ready for.
    The people can go to hell. The government will protect itself.
    (Like Argentina did. Citizens were stuck between the roving gangs and the armed military patrols, both of whom were inclined to fix problems with liberal applications of lead.)

  4. Jun
    21
    5:22
    PM
    MingoV

    The crony capitalism label was deliberately created (by socialists who hate capitalism) to inappropriately link the two concepts of cronyism and capitalism. There is nothing capitalistic about getting ahead by lobbying, bribing, or coercing government officials into giving your company favors while making it tougher on your competitors.

  5. Jun
    24
    9:45
    AM
    MoreFreedom

    That “hailing from the BBC” misdirecting the anger from crony crapitalism, to capitalism, is the crony media helping government defend taking money to either a) buy votes via welfare, or b) obtain campaign cash in selling out taxpayers to benefit rich campaign contributors.

    Hopefully, protestors will see who they really should be protesting against: the politicians selling them out. Protesting the rent-seeking rich is misplaced anger: corporations can’t force anyone to do anything, but government forces corporations and citizens to do things all the time.

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