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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5718/anticommunism-versus-capitalism/

“Anticommunism” versus Capitalism

October 6, 2006 by

An “anti-something” movement displays a purely negative attitude, writes Mises in The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. It has no chance whatever to succeed. Its passionate diatribes virtually advertise the program that they attack. People must fight for something that they want to achieve, not simply reject an evil, however bad it may be. They must, without any reservations, endorse the program of the market economy. We need open and unrestricted support of laissez-faire capitalism. FULL ARTICLE


William Marina October 6, 2006 at 9:43 am

Thanks for the opportunity to read a selection of Mises which I hadn’t done for a number of years. Neocon ‘end of History’ folks might benefit from it immensely.

Brent Davis October 6, 2006 at 11:15 am

Mises is once again incisively aware of the left’s agenda: install communism through euphemism. Why is Fidel Castro hugging on The Venezuelan President and sending 20,000 Cuban physicians to staff Venezuelan medical clinics and why are politicians like Carter, Kerry and Hillary Clinton so chummy with these people. It’s a stepwise installation of central planning and all the central planner crowd join together. Republicans fall into the same trap by handing out political favors for votes. We must keep beating the drum of freedom and exposing the folly of their plans, but we must constantly offer positive solutions and seek to implement them. Talk will not be enough.

Steve Pipkin-Savage October 6, 2006 at 3:54 pm

While I agree, of course, with much of what the maestro says, I would feel remiss not to point out that he posits the debate, fundamentally, between
socialist Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism.

I cannot agree to a struggle between ideas that only exist in theory.

In practical reality, every form of organized government represents the socialist urge in some form or another.

To say we “must” choose capitalism is to beg the question. How can we choose capitalism when the very survival of any freedom of entrepreneurship depends upon socialist government for “permissions”.

Once again, I see this as an argument between warring materialist brothers.

Any system would work with compassion. Compassion is not materialistic, but issues in practical adpatation to economic realities.

Of course, I can opt to run the socialist gamut to acquire the “right” to open my own business and take my own chances.

In the end, if I don’t pay someone for the right to do this, they will shut my business down.

What good is being right in the argument between warring brothers, if, indeed, one can assume the superiority of the capitalist idea, which I can’t.

Neither socialism nor capitalism is the problem; it is what people do with the System that is.

Max October 6, 2006 at 7:43 pm

The conclusion of this article should not be “unrestricted support of laissez-faire capitalism” which clearly failed and impoverished the world.

The article failed to create the awareness that the masterminds behind communism and capitalism are the same forces within ‘Global Governance and their Investmentbankers’. Over the last two hundred odd years they indented to narrow down our attention to only two philosophical concepts which our nation states are expected to subscribe to.

For the Elite is was clear that success and control is only ensured if polarized movements are controlled by the same forces and hence they created the choice between the image of an ‘anti communistic communism’ with conical shortage of funds – and an ‘anti capitalistic capitalism’ with ample funds – both systems totally controlled via their monetary system as if they were the only choice for societies. ‘Global Governance and their Investmentbankers’ are in the process to eliminate all nation states and establish a ‘One-World-Government’ under their umbrella.

The world needs urgently a decentralization of political and economical power via federalism with peoples votes and sovereign debt free money creation to stop the current impoverishment of the world for the benefit of a few. 453 people own 51% of the worlds wealth. Poverty leads to tensions and eventually endless wars. ‘Economic concepts’ is about wealth creation for nation states and the masses and not about benefits for a small selected elite.

The US is the only country where the central bank (FED) is privately owned and since their currency is no longer backed – it can issue confetti endless – long as the world is willing to deliver real goods in exchange. Laissez-faire distorts the harmonies amongst countries since the more countries export in foreign currencies – the more they are impoverished, particularly since the foreign exchange has to flow back into its own economy.

Today’s value of the dollar is not based on the US internal economy but on the fact that 80% of world trade is transacted in dollar. This dollar has lost over the last century 99% of its purchasing power and is continuously destabilizing the world. For more info subscribe to max@mailstar.net for the daily newsletter or read Henry Liu’s link at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/others/trade-war.html

averros October 7, 2006 at 1:24 am

“unrestricted support of laissez-faire capitalism” which clearly failed and impoverished the world.

Only in leftist propaganda, sorry.

banker October 7, 2006 at 3:00 am

Maybe Mad Max is referring to facism versus communism and not capitalism.

George Gaskell October 7, 2006 at 7:46 am

453 people own 51% of the worlds wealth.

Would you be so kind as to list them and their assets? A link would also work.

And could you also give us the grand total of the world’s wealth so we can calculate the percentage owned by these 453 people?

Brett Celinski October 7, 2006 at 11:06 am

How does entrepeneurship require a state? The burden of proof is on you, Steve Savage.

Ryan October 7, 2006 at 11:51 am

There is no way that 453 people could own 51% of the world’s wealth. If we trust the statistic from Forbes that the 793 billionaires from all across the world have a combined total of approximately 2.6 trillion, which is about 6% of the World GDP according to the CIA factbook, which means that Max’s claim is blatantly untrue considering that we added 340 extra people.

Walt October 7, 2006 at 6:32 pm

It is an undeniable fact that economies purpose is to create wealth amongst nation states and their people. Instead it seems a vehicle that benefits only a few. Lemmings read http://www.zmag.org/GlobalWatch/Poverty.html
Statistics mean nothing. Amongst the richest people in the world none of the private shareholders of the FED are listed. See http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/whofed.html

Chance October 7, 2006 at 6:44 pm

There are more alternatives than Communism or Capitalism and hence this article fails to address the real issue of global wealth distribution.

The core problems of capitalism — bloated CEO pay, sweatshops, and speculative excess to stagnant wages, corporate welfare, and environmental indifference — all spring from a single source: the mandate to maximize returns to shareholders.

This mandate amounts to property bias, which is akin to racial or gender bias. It arises from the unconscious belief that property owners, or wealth holders, matter more than others. We call the system upholding this belief “economic aristocracy.” We have democratized only government, not economics. Property bias keeps our corporate worldview rooted in the pre-democratic age.

banker October 7, 2006 at 7:48 pm

If you ever decide to save for retirement don’t complain that your savings account shrinks at 5% per year.

“Property Bias”- You are using your computer to type? You have to eat food? Drink water? You need a roof to sleep under? If you don’t own this property or at least have an agreement from someone who does how can a world function without private property?

PS As I heard someone else say the economy is a phenomenom not an institution.

banker October 7, 2006 at 7:48 pm

If you ever decide to save for retirement don’t complain that your savings account shrinks at 5% per year.

“Property Bias”- You are using your computer to type? You have to eat food? Drink water? You need a roof to sleep under? If you don’t own this property or at least have an agreement from someone who does how can a world function without private property?

PS As I heard someone else say the economy is a phenomenom not an institution.

Brett Celinski October 7, 2006 at 8:16 pm

Don’t believe in property rights? Don’t own or use private property, even public property created and maintained by private interests.

Black Bloke October 8, 2006 at 2:58 am

Who let all the loons in tonight? Anyway…

1. In the sentence including. “…by the wager earners hostile to technological improvements and fostering featherbedding and similar practices.” it should be corrected to say, “wage earner” instead of “wager earner”.

2. The 1st footnote should be “Réflexions sur la violence” not “Réflexions surla violence”

Ryan October 8, 2006 at 3:07 pm

“A rising tide raises all boats.”-JFK

The point made by z-mag addresses the third world, which is doing poorly due largely because of a lot of poor policy choices made by those countries. We cannot say that capitalism is responsible for the poverty of countries which have done everything to discourage enterprise and trade. The final point by z-mag is a promotion of protectionist policies which can promote certain industries but are likely to end up in working for the benefit of the countries existing within those countries and preventing competition all at the cost of the populations of those countries and creating the evils that everyone blames capitalism for.

So, your attack against capitalism is that governmental institutions such as the fed are corrupt?

Essentially one can categorize economies as being between strong government interventionism and laissez-faire. Also, some of those things listed aren’t necessarily problems or capitalism. Bloated CEO pay isn’t really bloated if it increases stockholder gains as things that increase stockholder gains are efficient due to how profit motivates the economy to reach efficient ends. Sweatshops are a result of poor economic conditions in foreign nations, so long as both sides freely enter the agreement then there is nothing wrong with it, as economic growth increases all else will get better. Corporate welfare is governmental corruption and interventionism and is really anti-capitalistic as it steals property to give to others. Environmental issues are simply matters of externalities and capitalism can deal with this by making the offending party pay for how he negatively affects others and their property.

All people own property starting off with themselves, and all rights spring from self ownership. We are not so much fighting for “economic aristocracy” as we are for freedom of a man to what he earns and from the coercion of governments.

greg October 8, 2006 at 10:20 pm

Walt> It is an undeniable fact that economies purpose is to create wealth amongst nation states and their people.

You say it like “the economy” was an explicit “design” of society/people. There is no uniform or clear thing called “the economy.” Since it is not a “thing,” it certainly can’t have a “purpose.” That said, voluntary trade tends to increase the wealth of people, since they wouldn’t trade unless they thought they would be better off after the trade than before. Nation-states are fictional and inevitably distort voluntary trade. There is no point in increasing the wealth of nation-states. Libertarians want nation-states to disappear, not get more wealthy.

wingnut October 9, 2006 at 7:32 am

Ooooh… post intelligent and civil comments only, eh? Stay “in-line”, eh? March to the beat of “professional and appropriate”, huh? Nice click-bias there, kids. Here’s some un-civil for ya!


Now learn about pyramid schemes, children!


And a pretty picture…


Remove capitalism as a survival system and use the one built into your hearts… the one that has never learned the term “pricetag” or “free”. FREE is a given.

Democracy is fine. Pyramid schemes of servitude and rank-by-gouging… instead of rank-by-smarts or rank-by-morals… HAVE TO GO. Get equality back… RIGHT NOW! Profiting causes inflation… and the terms “cooperation” and “competition”… ARE OPPOSITES! Stick with cooperation. Slavecorp parents… PLEASE quit booting your kids into the sharktank of “out there” at age 18, ok? Rich parents don’t do that. Rich = floating, glowing, “eyeball” section of the pyramid seen on the back of the U.S. one dollar bill. SlaveCorp lives below, and fights amongst themselves over trinkets thrown from the fortune 100 families above.

Please… USA slavecorp parents… DO NOT change your parenting policies from SHARE AND LOVE… to COMPETE AND DISTRUST… when your children turn age 18! PLEASE!!! DO NOT SHARKTANK YOUR CHILDREN BY THROWING THEM “OUT THERE” TO FIGHT IN THE US/THEM WARS. Teach them about PEACEMAKING OPERATIONS going-on in the US/THEM wars. Teach them about socialism and Christianity, and about seeing pyramid schemes called AMerica WAY, instead.

MaStars – Pacifist Christian Anti-Capitalists

Peter October 9, 2006 at 8:29 am

wingnut (“nut”, anyway), do some serious reading of the information available on this site, and come back in a couple of years, when you have a fraction of a clue what you’re talking about!

banker October 9, 2006 at 8:48 am

(*In the meantime, wingnut walks across the street to Starbucks and orders a grande caramel frappacino*)

Where does wingnut get his/her electricity from? computer? internet? I suppose people just go to work to serve strangers for no reason at all.

Ryan October 9, 2006 at 8:55 am

Uh… wingnut, are you crazy? All you have done is ranted about how capitalism is evil without actually making a solid point. The reason why we say “intelligent and civil” is because when people post crazy rants like you have, we tend to think that they are complete idiots who intend to waste our time as only by posting intelligent and civil comments can one actually share knowledge.

Anyway, your rant about capitalism is sort of blind but I’ll take a stab at it by saying that human beings have no survival system other than to protect their interests, which is something they attempt to do in all societies, the only difference is that capitalism treats these people as individuals and gives them the freedom to make their choices on how to run their lives as opposed to other systems. Prices always exist and free resources were never a given as scarcity has always existed.

Democracy is NOT fine, at best a semi-democratic system of government is only an imperfect measure to keep government in line with the desires of the majority of the population as opposed to at the whims of a psychotic dictator. Democracy in its purest state is the tyranny of 51% of the population over the other 49%. Equality never existed though because people have always been unequal and if you give them freedom this tendency will express itself as inequality. Cooperation and competition are both a part of the capitalist system, just as different businesses compete to find the best way to get things done, they also must have internal cooperation and must cooperate with the demands of the people. Without both we have economic problems. Finally the idea that we are all controlled by a group of certain families is false given that the top families have changed over time, so there must be something that pushes that, and the thing that drives this is the demands of the people. Walton didn’t used to be rich, however he got there by developing a good business, as did Gates and the people at Yahoo and Google. As well, the classification of companies as slavers is false given that individuals have some choice over the company that they choose to work for, socialism is slavery and that fact can be seen from the socialism in the past as well as the fact that instead of giving individuals the freedom to choose we instead give them a controlling structure over them.

Finally, parents should teach their children whatever virtues they think will work, however, competition is a necessity in a world where multiple people need the same material to achieve their goal, and mistrust is a necessity given the imperfections of morality as in all societies there will be those who seek to gain more at the expense of others at the very least in a capitalist society supporting their way of life is a choice.

George Gaskell October 9, 2006 at 9:12 am

You are spinning your wheels, Ryan. This Wingnut character has been thoroughly indoctrinated.

You really don’t need to read beyond the part where he says “profiting causes inflation.”

I mean, really. It’s not hard to figure out that all the rambling about not throwing your kids out to work at age 18 means that this guy is in his early-to-mid 20s with no real job and no prospects, living in his parents’ basement.

Ryan October 9, 2006 at 11:45 am

Yeah, that is true. All that person did was rant incoherently and the “evil” of capitalism is simply that it allows people freedom.

Tristan October 13, 2006 at 11:16 am

I may not be an austrian (largely because I don’t have enough understanding of the issues perhaps) but I am a capitalist and a big fan of FA Hayek (Von Mises’s works are harder to procure in the UK).

I enjoyed that article, I assume that the laissez-faire in the conclusion was along the lines that Hayek defined it (ie not the devil take the hindmost characature which the socialist attacks it with).

There is one thing which depresses me more than anything in the following debate- that people are still parroting the ‘capitalism didn’t work’ and ’1% of the world owns 99% of the wealth’ (or whatever figures are in fashion right now.

These people have no concept of historical reality – the west grew rich on capitalism, free trade and liberalism (of the liberal sort, not the socialist sort of the Democrats). Living standards rose extremely fast. It was the rise of collectivism and socialism which caused the interwar and postwar troubles. If we allow the rest of the world to pursue liberal capitalist policies then they too will grow richer. This is already happening.

Also, who cares if a few people are a lot richer than others? Economics is not a zero-sum game, capitalism gives everyone the opportunity to grow richer. We see it today, countries which embrace the rule of law and capitalism are reducing poverty – the poverty which is the natural state of mankind which only capitalism can eradicate.

The left (at least in Britain) once understood this, they fought against the conservative protectionism for free trade and liberal capitalism and laissez-faire for the benefit of the poor. Today the left seeks to conspire to keep the poor poor and wrap it up in the language of altruism.

Roger M October 13, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Tristan, Good Post! At the heart of socialism is the ancient belief that wealth is limited and to gain more one must take it from another, making the other poorer. The left has claimed that the West is rich because it took the wealth of poor nations. Wealthy individuals have taken the wealth of the poor individuals. That’s how they justify taking from the rich to give to the poor. The left has no understanding of how much wealth we have created in the past few centuries.

Dan Coleman October 13, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Tristan, if you’re having a hard time getting Mises’ works over in the UK, try here:


Almost every book that Mises wrote is made available by the Institute for free. His books are in a readable (and searchable, with your browser) HTML format. As a poor, recent university graduate, I have made great use of these eBooks, and I plan on continuing to do so until my ‘real-life’ library is a bit more substantial.

Steve Pipkin-Savage August 13, 2007 at 8:48 am

To clarify, the state as reality has always controlled entrepreneurial enterprise to some degree or another.

My point was that all government, including those proposed by libertarians, are to some degree socialist, meaning that the community has a say in what fees are charged to start a business legally, where one can have certain businesses, etc.

Any time there is community interest in what can happen economically that is a socialist limitation on business.

So, as long as we have some form of government, even if only at the community level (and I am in favor of more autonomy at the local level and less fed and state control), there will be socialist dimensions to our enterprise.

To liberate small business to the greatest degree possible has always been my goal.

Having been a successful entrepreneur, I know what I am talking about when I say that if you do not bend to government/socialist policy they will shut your business down, sooner or later, at some level of government or another.

The chief offender in all this is the IRS. We need to abolish the IRS and allow community self-government to return to local people–what I call the extended family nation(local)–and then socialism will be limited to the necessary for a free, responsible community life.

What we have now is the product of a forced choice: submit to the Feds/State or go illegal and , eventually, out of business.


Steve Pipkin-Savage

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