Monday, April 11, 2005



The concern, apprehension, and fear of government authority that people (like myself) may have are surely matched on the left by an equally marked concern, apprehension, and fear of business, often qualified by them as, "big" business. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the gripes of socialists knows that they are no friend of any business enterprise, large or small. The very idea of profit in general is a prime evil in their worldview – the thought that anyone would dare seek wealth (or success in general) beyond mere subsistence.

A leftist, of course, sees him or herself above the “materialist” act of striving for monetary success. They are too noble, selfless, and "spiritual" to wallow in such unrefined manners of existence (or so they would have us believe).

I've never been wealthy, and aside from managing restaurants for a few years (for big business chains), I've never been a “businessman.” Unlike Karl Marx or Ted Kennedy, I've never owned stock either. Nonetheless, when I hear of other’s achievements in commerce, I'm actually okay with it. My days are pretty much the same regardless of how much Bill Gates makes. I don't care that there are "rich" people. First off, I have the commonsense insight to recognize that rich people becoming richer does not cause poor people to be poor or become “poorer(link).

Business and capitalism are basically the processes of creating, selling, and buying stuff…freely – so, what’s the problem?

Among the left’s responses to all this random creativity, one will always hear anecdotes of business treachery or deceit. Of course any free society governed by the rule of law incorporates into its fabric laws against force, fraud, and theft but, no matter how well such laws are enforced, natural corruptions by some will occasionally manifest. Injustices of some kind will inevitably occur somewhere at some time and to some degree. The occasional acts of dishonesty that some businesses may commit are no different in spirit than the trivial “crimes” committed daily by many of us – ever had an hourly paid job where you punched out twenty minutes after you were through, or augmented your home office supply stock at the expense of a “greedy” employer? If molecules could think and contemplate their circumstance, like the occasionally cognitive human, they’d no doubt note "injustices" of unequal temperatures, locations, or circumstance. Beyond noticing that the real world is a place of natural inequality, nothing particularly profound or insightful has been “proven” in such appraisals whether the critic is a molecule or an unemployed lit. major.

I have often sought to understand the angry rage the left holds toward business. The specific flaws they address are typically no different than the flaws which may occur in any human circumstance and under any system yet they will tolerate and even support the most horrid of ideals and systems as long as such systems outlaw free business transactions. The left really doesn’t seem to mind corruption, punitive government, or power and wealth in the hands of a few, so long as those few share their hatred for capitalism. A drama queen or “progressive” rock star making millions doesn’t seem to bother them, but the creator of a new product making the same is a mortal sin in the eyes of resentful “progressives” everywhere. Ted Turner, George Soros, or Oliver Stone are heroes for spouting the party line but a factory worker is scum of the earth if he or she dare hold a stance supporting a system of free commerce (and they may even be Christians who watch Fox News proving they are enemies of “the people”).

A co-worker once told me he’d rather live in North Korea than (poor) Latin America, which indicated to me that he either knew little about one of the worst tyrannies on the planet or that he did know but thought absolute dictatorship was fine.

It's no coincidence that those furthest left (and even some of the less imposing strains) still defend states like Cuba and North Korea. They may be total dictatorships of enforced misery but, hey, they’ve eliminated something far worse -- the vicious act of creating, buying, and selling stuff.

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