Capitalism Creates Social Justice | Opinion
DINESH D’SOUZA , AUTHOR AND FILMMAKER
ON 5/20/20 AT 12:02 PM EDT
Capitalism has been under assault in recent years, with many on the left advocating that it be replaced by democratic socialism. In this coronavirus epidemic, we’ve gotten a nasty preview, on a temporary basis of what we’d experience permanently under socialism: empty shelves, limits on purchases, economic meltdown and an alarming degree of government control over our lives and curtailment of our basic civil liberties, such as our freedom of assembly and our right to worship.
Yet surely champions of socialism like Nathan Robinson and others would insist that this is not the socialism they have in mind. What they really want is free college, free healthcare, free universal basic income and free retirement benefits. Since none of this is truly free—professors and doctors, for example, don’t work for free, and university and hospital buildings cost money to maintain—what socialists mean is that someone else should pay. Socialism, viewed this way, is robbing Peter to pay Paul. It seems to be a form of theft.
Theft may be legal, but how can it be moral? For American socialists today, the moral thrust of their ideology comes from the idea of democracy. “To me, socialism means everyone has a seat at the table and everybody gets a slice of the piece,” Michael Moore recently said. “We have to believe that if it’s a democracy.” The socialist writer Irving Howe has written, “We believe that the democracy more or less prevailing in our political life should also be extended deeply into economic life.”
The basic idea here is that socialism is vindicated through its roots in popular consent. If a majority of people, working through their elected representatives, declares this or that to be a public entitlement, then they are justified in extracting resources from the rich or the productive class in order to pay for it. As Nathan Robinson argues, both in his book Why You Should Be a Socialist and in his Newsweek article, the moral imperative is to place the economy under the control of “the people.” . . .
. . . In authoritarian socialism, a single dictator seizes the fruit of your labor; in democratic socialism, a majority does. The latter would seem to differ from the former in the same manner that gang rape differs from individual rape. In both cases, the victim is violated.
The fundamental problem with democratic socialism, however, is its underlying assumption. The assumption is that in a free market system, the economy is not under the control of the people. I contend, on the contrary, that under capitalism, it is more under the people’s control than in any replacement system the socialists could institute. My argument, if valid, would refute the socialists on their own terms. . . .
I don’t know of any leftist that is against capitalism so that is a fundamental strawman. However as Pope St John Paul II noted…
“Would that these words, written at a time when what has been called “unbridled capitalism” was pressing forward, should not have to be repeated today with the same severity. Unfortunately, even today one finds instances of contracts between employers and employees which lack reference to the most elementary justice regarding the employment of children or women, working hours, the hygienic condition of the work-place and fair pay; and this is the case despite the International Declarations and Conventions on the subject and the internal laws of States. The Pope (Leo XIII) attributed to the “public authority” the “strict duty” of providing properly for the welfare of the workers, because a failure to do so violates justice; indeed, he did not hesitate to speak of “distributive justice””
"…In this sense, it is right to speak of a struggle against an economic system, if the latter is understood as a method of upholding the absolute predominance of capital, the possession of the means of production and of the land, in contrast to the free and personal nature of human work. In the struggle against such a system, what is being proposed as an alternative is not the socialist system, which in fact turns out to be State capitalism, but rather a society of free work, of enterprise and of participation. Such a society is not directed against the market, but demands that the market be appropriately controlled by the forces of society and by the State, so as to guarantee that the basic needs of the whole of society are satisfied. CENTESIMUS ANNUS Pope JPII 1991
This is not socialism Communist style.
I know you deleted your post but having read the edit, I allege that the author of the opinion piece is not aware that by nature, democratic socialism is not communist socialism but social reform of capitalism that’s become toxic. It’s a push back philosophy against ‘unbridled capitalism’. My favourite examples of it’s successes are Corazon Aquino’s Philippines and Angela Merkle’s Germany.
So that’s the replacement system that could calibrate the United States as well.
That was a very interesting google search!
Instead of the standard Alinskyite Tactics attacking D’Souza, why not just deal with his arguments?
i.e. D’Souza said in paragraph 4, such and such.
Here’s what D’Souza never seems to consider . . .
This seems like an intellectually dishonest way to “argue”. At least if the argument is limited to ad hominems.
I’m not saying you are being dishonest.
This way of “arguing” is pervasive so we almost pick up bits and pieces by osmosis.
If you are aware of it, you will be less likely to fall victim to that sort of thinking again.
Well Federal Rule Of Evidence 609 does allow admission of felony Convictions to impeach credibility. It is a Codified exception to the general rule( 608) because it’s probative value outweighs prejudice.
@Thbolt . . .
I tend to disregard political arguments made by convicted . . .
Yeah. I believe you.
Alot of people are selfish in this world. They may appear to be kind and understanding but when push comes to shove, they look out only for themselves. This is the dirty little secret that is in the hearts of many. It appears in the world disguised as racism, sexism, xenophobia but it is selfishness. “I want things this way because I like it and it works for me” and the heck with anyone else. I observed a lot of flaws in this system though and I’ll tell you later because my wife is calling me now to do something. Be back…
Let’s not forget that you dealt with none of his points.
Thbolt . . .
I generally don’t waste time refuting points made by convicted felons. They tend to lack the character to formulate a political argument worth considering.
I’ll remember you said that the next time I hear your guys saying felons should be voters.
It is reasonable to question the character of felons.
Is universal health coverage considered socialist?
When you couple health coverage to employment then you devalue people like my wife who chooses to stay at home for the kiddos. You are telling her that she has no economic value. You also do a double whammy on people that just lost their jobs to COVID-19 at a time when it is dangerous to lose health coverage. Whether it is through the market or through my employer it costs 8-10% of my gross income to provide full health insurance for my family. Is that capitalist social justice?
So Catholic. . . .
So D’Souza is a convicted felon?
I couldn’t really pick up a response from your post Catholic.
Yes of course.
Now about his arguments . . . .
The socialist writer Irving Howe has written, “We believe that the democracy more or less prevailing in our political life should also be extended deeply into economic life.”
The basic idea here is that socialism is vindicated through its roots in popular consent. If a majority of people, working through their elected representatives, declares this or that to be a public entitlement, then they are justified in extracting resources from the rich or the productive class in order to pay for it.
(Irving Howe identifies as a ‘democratic socialist’ and as previously established that is not a rejection of capitalism but a reform of it.)
The common people have a legitimate voice in the common wealth. The majority of people don’t want to be millionaires. They want the opportunity for financial security in order to raise their families free of poverty. If we want to really promote capitalism as a better path than communist socialism, we all need to have a vested interest in the common wealth. Not just accept that a disadvantaged ‘class’ is an exceptable product of it.
Some of the people that complain the most about President Trump, are some of the same people trying to get him MORE power (although they try not to put it that way).
They frequently use partial truths to push their socialist nanny state agenda.
I really don’t believe capitalism creates social justice, at least not the way it is working in our society today. In fact, I’d be willing to say the opposite, that it creates social injustice for many. Maybe not as much as socialism or communism but we’ve had capitalism in this country since the start of it (I think but not absolutely sure) and we still have the poor (maybe not quite as many), the middle class blue collar person still works his/her butt off for a so so wage while the owner rakes in the big bucks. I don’t mind the fact that the owner rakes in the big bucks but the worker needs to make more money (without having to do twice as much work or getting another job) for his/her labor. We can do this but we choose not to because of ignorant people who don’t see the plight of the blue collar worker.
Look at the restaurant business, they don’t hire enough people to keep the place clean and orderly. That doesn’t help them sell their food so they keep their restaurants so so clean. Same with hotel changes. Look at places like Amazon, Wal-Mart, UPS, the Airlines, Government organizations, fruit farms, meat industry they keep the least amount of people staffed to do the work for the day. Custodial work goes by the wayside because it doesn’t sell their products. Secretarial work goes by the wayside because it doesn’t sell their product. Human relations goes by the wayside because it doesn’t sell their product. The more you sell and the less you have to hire, the more money we make, right? Wrong. Because everyone is in fear of the next market crash or pandemic, or disaster. So we hoard (mainly those at the top). The trickle in trickle down economics dries up because we remember the previous disaster for a long time coming.
I’ll say it once again - we need to separate peoples pay from the profit of the company or organization. You economist please get to work and stop worrying about inflation. You guys are smart enough to come up with a better solution for our day and age.
In order to answer to the usual diversionary tactics of Leftists, here’s the first thing:
D’Souza, 57, pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud after donating $20,000 to New York politician Wendy Long, a Republican, during her Senate race in 2012. He was indicted two years later, in January 2014, for using a “straw donor,” a person who makes illegal contributions to a campaign in the names of others, to make the donation.
As a result, D’Souza was sentenced to five years probation, eight months in a “community confinement center,” weekly counseling sessions and given a $30,000 fine.
He and Long have been friends since their college days.
D’Souza had written negative books about President Obama, “Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream”, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”, and others prior to being indicted during Obama’s Presidency.
No, capitalism does not create social justice. Social justice is an effort of people for the common good of society. Read the social encyclicals.
Capitalism respects property rights, freedom to choose what you want to buy, and incentive to produce. Free markets are the best known weapons against poverty.
Socialism and communism, on the other hand, never work, like in Venezuela, Soviet Union, Cuba… They disrespect property rights, and the government controls the source and means of production. The ruling class becomes wealthy, but there is a large class of the poor.
(Normally, I would be all over this topic, but I can’t be everywhere.)