? Capitalism – The Unknown Ideal?

? Capitalism – The Unknown Ideal?

We start by addressing an important question:
What is politics? There are numerous definitions. One encyclopedic definition states:
“According to political philosophy politics is a strife to implement the idea of The Good
(Plato), to achieve happiness understood as eudaimonia (Aristotle), to gain, maintain,
and strengthen power (Niccolò Machiavelli), to introduce and maintain a state of social
peace (16th century’s French les politiques), or to realize common good (modern republican
tradition); politics is also acting as a collective entity when faced with a threat of an enemy
(Carl Schmitt), or the ability of groups that influence society to reach a compromise.” To put it simply, politics set the rules of
interpersonal behaviors, thus defining both the ways in which a person can treat another
and the institutions that guard these rules. If there were only one individual in the entire
world, they would not need politics. There is no government nor the governed on
the asteroid called B 612. Only the little prince lives there, so he
is completely free and can live as he pleases. After all, his life is his own and he can
best decide how to live it. The little prince does not care about politics. It is true that he should still care about
morality in order to know good from evil for his own life’s sake, but concepts such as
‘rights’ are useless to him. Even obvious laws as the right to life or
the right to property are relational, and as such have meaning only when other people
who can respect these rights (or not) are involved. And only when other people are around the
stage is set for the concept of political system governing the norms and principles
of cohabitation in society that consists of interacting individuals. Simply speaking, people interact in two ways:
voluntarily and coercively. Voluntary interactions are those made by consenting
parties: when a baker employs a helper;
when a couple in love gets married; when you buy a used car found through an ad. Each party believes that their decision was
good for them and will improve their life. Otherwise they would not do it. Coercive interactions resort to violence to
enforce decisions on other people without their consent:
when a slave is forced to work; when parents threaten to use violence if their
child does not marry a person they chose; or when a thief steals your car. In all such cases one party uses or threatens
to use violence against another party. This is what makes these interactions coercive. Many people claim, however, that there are
some NECESSARY coercive social interactions, such as taxes, obligatory history courses
in schools, or bans on public drinking. Political systems that adhere to this notion
are called interventionist, as their proponents expect that the government will intervene
in private choices of its subjects, limiting their freedom to act. We will not discuss here neither the purpose
of such intervention, nor whether it is appropriate. But let us think about something here: Is there any political system that is based
entirely on voluntary interpersonal interactions, under which a citizen has complete and utter
control over their own life? A Political system that does not envision
neither lord nor servant, neither owner nor slave? Under which a person has the individual right
to separate good from evil, and be free just as the little prince? Let us turn to philosophy for answers: According to Ayn Rand, the American philosopher
and well-known theoretician of freedom, each and every (adult) individual has the same
full right to their life, and neither government institutions nor other people regardless of
their needs can exert power over the individual’s decisions, body, nor property. In other words, no person can further their
own goals against the will of other individuals by treating them as objects or tools. Any person inherently has natural rights to
right to life (which is obvious), accompanied by the necessary right to property, and the
right to freedom, i.e. to choose their own way of striving for happiness. So what can violate natural rights and limit
individual freedom? Only physical force or its credible threat
can do that (no, we are not capable of paranormal activities like telekinesis!). Therefore, an ideal political system that
protects individuals as much as possible so that they can live freely and according to
their will should eliminate physical violence from interpersonal relations. According to Rand: “In a capitalist society
[that recognizes individual rights], 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.” Freedom is the key concept in the capitalist
system. A man living on an empty planet is free — there
is no one else to prohibit him from lighting a fire or digging a tunnel to the other side. In a free society in which politics has its
place certain activities must be prohibited, so that everyone can enjoy the same rights. VIOLENCE (or rather, its initiation! — it
would be unwise to prohibit defensive actions against one’s attacker) should be prohibited. And, according to many supporters of capitalism,
this rule is the only appropriate role of politics and the only appropriate role of
the government — making sure that all relationships between individuals are, according to their
own will, judgments, beliefs, and interests, voluntary and nonviolent. Freedom is not the ultimate value, nor does
it guarantee universal good; but it makes achieving moral goals and being good possible. Paraphrasing the words of Lord Acton: “Freedom
consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” Morality can emerge only when people are free
— where violence reigns, there can be no good. Is capitalism then… the perfect system? It is hard to know — capitalism as radically
defined is still an ‘unknown ideal’. Never in history has any state consistently
adopted a policy based on the principle of non-initiation of violence (i.e. the ethical
basis of pure capitalism). But there are countries that can boast more
voluntary interactions (like Switzerland, Denmark, Hong Kong, or the USA), and then
there are those that intervene in people’s lives a lot (such as Iran, Venezuela, Congo,
or Russia). Experience shows that the more freedom a society
enjoys, the higher development rate and higher standard of living it has, because free people
are able to utilize the full potential of their reason, thus “subduing the earth”;
and when threatened with violence people stop to reason. The categories of violence and reason are
contradictory. It’s trade, investment, exchange of goods
and services, freedom of employment and business that over the last quarter of the century
have reduced world poverty by 75 percent, illiteracy by almost 60 percent, child mortality
by 55 percent, and pollution by 65 percent. What term would you use to separate most easily
the world before the end of the eighteenth century from the contemporary one? North Korea from South Korea? China in the 70s and China today? Poland before and after the ‘economic transformation’? It’s Capitalism. “Good system for bad people” — misunderstood
and attacked, its label is constantly being pinned to its antitheses, like governments
printing money, saving banks, or introducing regulations to protect big business. Try to imagine a world in which the laws of
economics were discovered 200 years before their times. Or a world in which propaganda would be replaced
by facts, power by free choice, war by trade, and in which politics would be limited to
the bare minimum. Try to imagine a world ruled by reason, not
by fist. Would it be a utopia? Pure capitalism has never existed, so does
it mean it cannot exist? One can be hopeful — for hundreds of years
people could not imagine a world without hereditary class divisions or slavery (“utopia!”
— they agreed). Yet gradually the scope of freedom increased,
and today we celebrate equality of people before the law regardless of gender, race,
or religion almost all over the world. Maybe someday in the future we will achieve
pure freedom and complete ownership? There are many reasons both theoretical and
empirical for claiming that such a direction is and would be beneficial. However, we must keep two things in mind:
– That kind of change is not automatic. Both ‘spiritual’ and material development
is not set in stars nor is does it lie in some sort of geological nature of the planet. It is knowledge and ideas of men that can
result in both the Third Reich or the United States. Therefore, guided by facts, logic, and conclusions
drawn for example from the history of political systems we should reevaluate our beliefs constantly. – We must also remember that the goal is not
some social system, but human life; thus we must aim for conditions that best foster it. As for the little prince, if he cared about
politics, what system would he consider the best for himself? One based on coercion and ultimately leading
to food shortages, propaganda, or labor camps, where an individual’s life belongs to others…? Or one based on freedom, one that produced
modern technology, medical care, diversity and availability of goods, amusement parks,
vehicles and electronic gadgets, where an individual’s life belongs to themselves…? Tomek Kołodziejczuk from Obiektywizm.pl is
the author of the idea and
the script.


  1. More people need to watch your videos. Pure capitalism never existed. Yet whenever there's an economic crisis, it is very convenient to just ignore bad government interventions and blame it all on capitalism.

  2. Nice way to show introductory topics to the audience, I like how you guys animate concepts! Capitalism is a pretty complicated issue and how you feel about will largely depend on what country you're living in. In general, though, the precepts that should apply is that individuals should have absolute freedom so as long as they're well educated and have rational skills. Otherwise, it's easy to exploit less knowledgeable parties.

    Great video!

  3. I love my freedom man, but day by day, I increasingly feel like it's in jeopardy. Thank you for the video.

  4. little correction .. Denmark is not a free country .. we are taxed so no one has the recursors to make and create what they dream of. ?

  5. Hogwash misrepresentation of history as apology for domination and exploitation. Quite as mad as Ayn Rand's rants.

  6. do children voluntarily go to school , to bed , eat what you want them to eat , use the language you want them to ?
    no they don't . so why do we force them to do these things ? answer , because they are inferior of mind and experience .
    therefore them that are inferior of mind and experience (all people below average intelligence) should be controlled …. END OF .

  7. You forgot to talk about greed, ego, market manipulation, protectionism, individualism, ressources exhaustion, and that continuous growth year after year is impossible in a finite planet/world. Oh and climat change is capitalism made. Get rid of all that and yeah, maybe capitalism could be an ok system. Nice try 😉

  8. Here's a little more to add to the video. Capitalism's primary goal was always to kill itself. To foster and promote ever greater invention and ingenuity, until finally, at long last, the final product is produced and sold. This final product is of course an amalgamation of other products, but it will primarily consist of a very powerful computer and a 3D printer which is far more advanced than the ones that exist today. At which time, no other product or service will be necessary. This device will can be likened to a replicator from the tv series Star Trek the Next Generation. The current 3D printers are the model T Fords of these replicators. And they're advancing rapidly. The year that capitalism dies, is 2045. That is the year of the technological singularity, where all predictions about where technology is going break down because any technology you can imagine will be possible and will be able to be constructed with very little difficulty. This is because the computers will be so powerful by that point, that they'll be able to model the entire universe inside them down to the very last atom. When you combine that ability with artificial general intelligence, you can basically do anything. Design anything, build anything, in a very very short time. So you can see, that the end of capitalism is in sight.

    Of course its the end of all other forms of government as well, since no government will be necessary any longer. There's no need for taxes when nobody needs anything, they just make it on the spot in a few seconds. Food, water, vehicles, housing, clothes, tools, intergalactic space ships, whatever. The exact date of 2045 has already been calculated because of the doubling of processing power every 1.8 years. In 2045 it will have doubled so many times since the early 1900's, that you now have artificial human intelligence and star trek replicators. And that's all she wrote, no more capitalism, and no more government, and no more human need. The next step for human evolution.

  9. Whoah. That comes across as propaganda. I mean, like pathe news style. I guess when you try to cover something so broad in such a small amount of time, some over-simplifications are going to be inevitable.

  10. i had to dig trough most of youtube to see a non-negative video about capitalism, and i'm glad i did found this great video. Now i'll have to read more about Ayn Rand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *