Monday, March 2, 2009

Capitalism/Free Enterprise vs Socialism

I found a very interesting report online, The Australian Achievement: From Bondage to Freedom, authored by a Dr. Mark Cooray.

Dr. Cooray was at one time a socialist. You can read his philosophy here. It is very interesting reading!

The third chapter of the report is titled, The Rise of Western Civilisation, and I found it very relevant to the discussions going on here in the U.S. I'm going to pull out a few quotes to share. I'd really like to reprint the whole chapter here but I don't think I can do that without permission.

A detailed examination of the great breakthroughs and inventions provides interesting data. It is significant that during the past one hundred and fifty years almost all of them have taken place in liberal societies. The reference is to the pioneering inventions which involved exponential advancement in science and technology. There have been developments in the Soviet Union and in other communist countries but these countries merely adopted the scientific discoveries made in the free world.

The great achievement of private enterprise over about two centuries has been to reduce levels of inequality and to improve standards of living. In feudal times there were relatively few privileged and wealthy persons. The "masses" were exploited and lived in near poverty or absolute poverty. The great achievement of private enterprise was to bring into existence a large middle class — and to reduce very significantly the areas of inequality.

Most of the benefits of western technology and capitalism have endured primarily to the benefit of the less privileged sections of the community. Poverty and injustice, which critics make much of, exist and will exist in any human society. Jesus Christ said, "the poor you will always have with you". However, the perspective which radical and not so radical reformers overlook is the extent of the change that took place under freedom.

Critics refer to the "crisis of capitalism" today. But if by capitalism the reference is to a system of free enterprise, such a system does not exist anywhere in the western world. Private enterprise has been so gradually strangled by government regulation and taxation that from about the 1960's onwards it has been incapable of reducing levels of poverty and inequality. Over a period of a few centuries limited government and private enterprise had been responsible for the gradual reduction of poverty and inequality.

It would really be worth your time to read what is contained in the links above!

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