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The Healthy Horse

Posted by Ender on February 13, 2009

“Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.”

-Winston Churchill

In which category do you consider yourself?

I’d consider myself to be in a minority of people who fall into the last category listed by Churchill. But why? Why can’t most people see the relationship between private enterprise and freedom? Why can’t people see that Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism?

In the article linked above, Lew Rockwell tells of a story about going out to lunch with friends. The discussion turns to economics and they start bashing Capitalism and Wal-Mart etc. When Rockwell starts defending it they say “Well, I suppose I’m really a socialist at heart.” Why? Why? My blood boils at that statement. Rockwell writes, “In short, the wish for socialism is a wish for unparalleled human evil. If we really understood this, no one would express casual support for it in polite company. It would be like saying, you know, there is really something to be said for malaria and typhoid and dropping atom bombs on millions of innocents.”

No, this is not over dramatic. Just one sample, how many must starve at its hand? Look at the absurdity in the statement by Rockwell’s friends. “You are surrounded by the blessings of capitalism. The buffet table, which you and your lunch partners only had to walk into a building to find, has a greater variety of food at a cheaper price than that which was available to any living person — king, lord, duke, plutocrat, or pope — in almost all of the history of the world. Not even fifty years ago would this have been imaginable.” Within 15 minutes of where you live you have at your disposal more food than the richest king in history had available. It’s not even close.

“We owe this scene to capitalism. To put it differently, we owe this scene to centuries of capital accumulation at the hands of free people who have put capital to work on behalf of economic innovations, at once competing with others for profit and cooperating with millions upon millions of people in an ever-expanding global network of the division of labor. The savings, investments, risks, and work of hundreds of years and uncountable numbers of free people have gone into making this scene possible, thanks to the ever-remarkable capacity for a society developing under conditions of liberty to achieve the highest aspirations of the society’s members.” Did you catch that? “FREE people.”

People are not free under socialism. “Socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state.” Could you consider those living in East Germany under Communism free? Was the Berlin Wall keeping people in or out?

So yes, I consider myself in the last category. I see private enterprise as the healthy horse pulling society towards freedom. I see it pulling us away from hunger. I also see Socialism as the evil wolf from which we must defend our horse. We cannot allow it to succeed. Socialism is unacceptable. Do not let people get away with pretending it is not so.

One Response to “The Healthy Horse”

  1. Shoot McGavin said

    Great article serving as an appetizer for what I’m hoping will be a immenent main course.

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