Monday, September 19, 2011



While I know that the internet is filled with A.) Stupid people and B.) Stupid videos, I don't think I have seen such two items come together along with C.) Stupid Opinions to make the ultimate stupid point.

But hey, enjoy:

The scary part is that it's really a website with way more inside..
Pre-capitalism: Death Never Far
In Western Europe, before the development of capitalism in the late 1700s, life for many Western Europeans was similar to life for nearly everyone else in the world at the time. Merely surviving was an immense struggle, and, on average, people were not expected to live beyond the age of 30. [1]

Famine in Western Europe was common as was the mass death that accompanied it.

Poverty was so severe that the following were considered luxuries usually available only to the upper classes: shoes, clothes without holes, adequate warmth, candles for light, eating utensils, windows, fresh air, bathing more than once a month, healthcare, an education.

Work, assuming one could find it, usually consisted of dangerous, tedious, unrelenting and exhausting manual labor. And preparing a simple meal or performing routine household chores took precious hours. Homes made of dirt and sticks that collapsed on top of people were common as was all-pervading filth, including raw sewage running through the streets. Disease was nearly unavoidable for rich and poor alike.

The children of this unsafe, filthy, and impoverished pre-capitalism world were hit hardest. The mortality rate for infants under one year was at least 30%, and the rate for all children from birth to 19 years was at least 50%. In some areas, child mortality was nearly 100%. And it was not uncommon for surviving children as young as four to work to help ensure that their families did not become gravely impoverished.[2]

Capitalism The Savior
Capitalism ended this nightmare for Western Europeans. In a historical blink of an eye, it virtually wiped out poverty, countless diseases, hunger, child mortality, human misery and the need for child labor — and ushered in, for hundreds of millions of people, unprecedented levels of wealth, health, and abundance. Life expectancy in Western Europe, as a result, more than doubled to at least the age of 75.

Capitalism also emerged in the United States in the 1800s as well as other nations settled by Western Europeans—resulting in similar life-enriching benefits. In the mid- to late-20th century, capitalism spread to Asia, immensely improving life in many nations, such as Japan and South Korea. And, currently, capitalism is responsible for lifting millions from poverty in other parts of Asia, including India and China.

Wherever capitalism has been tried, the result without exception has been a rapid and dramatic improvement of the human condition. The United States embraced capitalism more than any other nation and, as a result, achieved the most progress.

Capitalism succeeds, in part, because it takes scientific discoveries and knowledge and applies them in the form of factories and the goods they produce. Industrialization, which is a product of capitalism, is essentially science and mind power put into practical use for the benefit of humanity.

Industry makes possible mass production which increases the quantity and diversity of goods available. In other words, capitalism and industrialization create wealth. This increased wealth results in easier, safer and better lives. It allows people to afford, for example, adequate clothing, safe homes, transportation, health care, education, leisure time – not to mention the countless life-enhancing and time-saving conveniences of the modern world.

Famine in industrialized civilization is unheard of; industry is vital to producing food in abundance, and it makes possible the storage and transportation systems required to bring it to everyone.

In addition, the wealth produced by industry allows for costly undertakings that were unthinkable in the centuries before capitalism. These undertakings include sewage systems and water treatment that prevent disease and dramatically improve the quality and longevity of human life.

Capitalism also prevents millions of deaths worldwide each year through the development and mass production of vaccines, antibiotics, wonder drugs and medical equipment.
Capitalism, moreover, does not merely take existing scientific knowledge and put it into practice; capitalism also incentivizes additional and ongoing scientific discovery that will also be put into practice, further improving human life.

What Is Capitalism
Capitalism is freedom. In other words, capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, in which all property is privately owned.

In the words of Ayn Rand: “The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.” [3]

Capitalism develops insofar as individuals are free to exercise their rights and choose to exercise them. In addition to being based on individual rights, capitalism is further characterized by the pursuit of material self-interest, saving and capital accumulation, exchange and money, the profit motive, the freedoms of economic competition and economic inequality, the price system, economic progress and a harmony of the material self-interests of all the individuals who participate in it. [4]

More Capitalism = Higher Life Expectancy
Today, capitalism has at least some presence in nearly all nations of the world. It does not exist (and has never existed) anywhere in a full, perfect, and complete form. Wherever capitalism exists, it is mixed with statism. Statism is a social system based on the violation of individual rights because it forcibly subordinates the individual to the state. Statism includes communist, socialist, fascist, theocratic, simple dictatorship and “welfare” type systems.

The extent to which a nation embraces capitalism, as opposed to statism, is the extent to which it is free, prosperous, modern and peaceful—that is, supportive of human life. One need only look at life expectancies around the world to see that this is true.[5]
Current life expectancy in nations where capitalism has (or recently has had) a significant presence -- abbreviated list.
82 -- Australia
78 -- United States
82 -- Japan
81 -- Israel
80 -- Italy

Current life expectancy in nations where capitalism has only modest presence -- abbreviated list.
71 -- Philippines
66 -- Russia
70 -- Honduras
65 -- Pakistan
72 -- Egypt

Current life expectancy in nations where capitalism has little or no presence -- abbreviated list. (It should be noted that these nations receive significant aid from capitalist-leaning nations and would almost certainly have even lower life expectancies without this aid.)
59 -- Senegal
53 -- Nigeria
62 -- Cambodia
48 -- Zimbabwe
64 -- North Korea

Capitalism Is Benevolence
The engine behind capitalism’s ability to generate economic progress and the longer life expectancies that result is the division of labor and the protection of individual rights. When individual rights are protected, each person is free to pursue his or her own self-interest and own benefit—as long as he or she respects the individual rights of others.

This means that, under capitalism, a person can only obtain the cooperation of others voluntarily through trade, not through force. In other words, a person under capitalism, according to economist George Reisman:
“…must show [others] how cooperation with him is to their self-interest as well as his own and, indeed, is more to their self-interest than pursuing any of the other alternatives that are open to them. To find customers or workers and suppliers, he must show how dealing with him benefits them as well as him, and benefits them more than buying from others or selling to others.”[6]

For example, Henry Ford did not force people at gunpoint to buy his Model T. He attained customers, and thus benefited himself, because his automobile appealed to the self-interest of consumers because it was superior to other options open to them, such as the horse and carriage. Voluntary exchange for mutual benefit, which this is but one example of, is institutionalized under capitalism – helping to result in continuous improvement of people’s well-being and standard of living.

Under capitalism, there is only a harmony of rational self-interests because a person is only able to benefit himself by showing that he can benefit others. In other words, capitalism is benevolent.

Protects Link Between Reason and Survival
More fundamentally, capitalism leads to economic progress and longer lives because it is based, not on faith or fantasy, but on reality and facts—specifically the objective requirements of proper human survival.

Capitalism recognizes that virtually everything that human life requires is ultimately a product of human reason. A capitalist society protects this link between survival and reason by upholding one’s liberty to act upon one’s own rational judgment.

Therefore, it’s no wonder that the countless achievements that make human life secure and enjoyable were created in nations where capitalism had significant presence. To name just a few of these achievements: air travel, refrigeration, radio, television, nuclear power, medical cures, indoor plumbing, the motion picture, the telephone, the light bulb, the computer, and the automobile.

And it's no wonder that life under capitalism becomes increasingly secure and enjoyable. When human reason is free to operate, it is limitless in its ability to solve problems of human survival and to continuously improve the quality and longevity of human life.

The development and spread of capitalism raised the expectation of life at birth in the world from roughly 26 years in 1820 to 66 years in 2000. And assuming capitalism is not thwarted, life expectancy will likely rise to at least age 75 by 2050.[7] Capitalism clearly makes the earth more and more habitable and friendly to human life, not less so.

It’s also no wonder that, under capitalism, human reason thrives in the form of economic planning. Capitalism, indeed, represents the opposite of chaos in that it is characterized by an immense amount of projection and preparation. For example, every day there are countless businesspeople who are planning to expand or contract their firms, who are planning to introduce new products or discontinue old ones, and who are planning to open new branches or close down existing ones. And every day there are countless workers planning to improve their skills, change their occupations or places of work, or to continue with things as they are. And every day there are countless consumers planning to buy homes, cars, computers and how to use the goods they already have.[8]

From its rational foundation to the limitless and remarkable achievements, advances and economic planning that take place under it, capitalism is clearly the system of reason and for reason—and, therefore, the system that makes most of human life possible and worth living.

Capitalism Is Justice
Capitalism’s critics often say that capitalism is “cold” and “unfeeling.” This criticism is unintended praise because what it really means is that capitalism is just.

Justice is granting to each individual that which he deserves. Capitalism is the system of justice because it requires that every person must pay his own way. In other words, under capitalism, no one deserves something from others (via the government), such as health care, housing or a bailout, because he needs it. Under capitalism, a person deserves only what he has earned through trade (mutual and uncoerced exchange) with others.

Just as need, whether it be your need or the need of others, does not permit you to rob your neighbor, need under capitalism permits you no handouts from the government. Government handouts are made possible by forcibly taking through taxation your neighbor’s property. Capitalism makes no distinction between such wealth redistribution by the government and theft committed by a private citizen. Both under capitalism are prohibited because both are unjust and violate individual rights. (People in need under capitalism would have to rely on charity voluntarily provided by others.)

Being the system of justice, capitalism rewards virtue, not vice. Rationality, self-responsibility, achievement, initiative, creativity, productiveness, competence and other rational virtues are all ultimately rewarded under capitalism. Irrationality, dependence, idleness and incompetence, among other vices, are not.

Given that rational virtues are practical, it should be no surprise that capitalism is the system, not of stagnation, but of upward motion resulting in economic progress, rising living standards and increasing life expectancies for every level of the population.

Why Controversial?
If capitalism benefits humanity so spectacularly, then why does it have so many enemies? There are two main reasons why capitalism is controversial.

The first reason is ignorance. The American educational system has generally failed to provide students with a basic understanding of all subjects, including the subject of capitalism, its actual history, characteristics and accomplishments. Elsewhere in the world, educational systems generally teach capitalism from a Marxist or post-modern perspective, resulting in a warped and even outright false view of capitalism. One widespread consequence of this ignorance is that the failures of statism are often attributed to capitalism, and the successes of capitalism are often attributed to statism.

The second and more fundamental reason that capitalism is controversial is the influence of religion. Religion, particularly Western religion, tends to hold that a life of poverty is ideal, that profit is sin, that money is the “root of all evil,” that self sacrifice and suffering are virtuous, that humanity is basically bad and does not deserve well-being, that liberty is undesirable because it unleashes man's corrupt nature, that one should serve God and or others as opposed to pursuing personal happiness, that creating the goods upon which human life depends is “materialistic,” that the mind/soul and body are in conflict, that this life on earth is a “veil of tears” and a prison to be escaped, and that one should turn off one's mind and have unquestioning faith in some higher power.

Capitalism, by contrast, is based on a non-mystical, rational worldview. This worldview holds that wealth and abundance are desirable, that earning a profit is a virtue, that humanity is basically good, that liberty is a requirement of humanity’s rational nature, that the pursuit of happiness, rational self-interest and personal success is moral, that creating material values is heroic, that the mind/soul and body can be in harmony, that this life on earth when lived properly is good and even heavenly, and that fully using one's own mind and independent rational judgement is proper.

The worldviews and values of capitalism and religion are clearly and fundamentally irreconcilable.

It should be no surprise then that capitalism was born in and is a product of one of the least religious and most secular, rational periods of history: the Age of Enlightenment (1700-1800).

If a person today is non-religious, however, or even opposed to religion, this alone is not sufficient to make him an advocate of capitalism. The reason for this is that religion has existed for thousands of years. Its worldview, as a result, has had time to permeate and influence every part of life and every person to at least some degree. Even people who are non-religious or opposed to religion often do not escape religion’s influence and consequently accept key tenets of religion into their belief system. Their rejection of religion, in other words, is often superficial. As a result, these individuals often reject capitalism and embrace statism.

Statism and religion both ultimately share the same basic values; both enshrine and demand self sacrifice (for religion, self sacrifice for God; for statism, self sacrifice for others or the state) and unquestioning faith (for religion, faith in God and His word; for statism, faith in the state or ruler).

Capitalism will not be broadly accepted until (1) ignorance about capitalism is replaced with knowledge and (2) the religious worldview is replaced fully, not merely superficially, by a rational worldview.

Capitalism is the greatest social system both ethically and economically. It lifts people out of foulness and into prosperity. It is based on the recognition of individual rights. It is inherently and profoundly benevolent and just. It is in harmony with humanity’s rational nature. It makes most human survival and happiness possible. Capitalism is, in short, one of the most beautiful words that can be spoken.

Everyone on earth should fight for capitalism as if his or her life depends on it because, in fact, it does.

Further Reading
Two Cheers For Capitalism?
Capitalism and Economic Growth
Answers -- Life Expectancy
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Atlas Shrugged
The Capitalist Manifesto
Economics in One Lesson
Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (large file)
Why yes, we searched long and hard through the slums of Lagos and the vast oilfields, but only turned up meager traces of capitalism. It's almost as if someone is hoarding it all. Oh if only there were a way of fairly distributing the capitalism so that everyone can share it... If only.

I really don't have much to say about this entry. I mean, what's there left to say or what do I even need to dispute in their wild statements that the stupidity oozing out of them doesn't do for me already?

Well, besides that I think they might have confused "Capitalism" with "Industrialization". But hey, that's an easy mistake to make.

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