Monday, April 2, 2018

Reasons for Anti-Capitalism: Ignorance, Arrogances, and Envy

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

My latest article on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation is on, “Reasons for Anti-Capitalism: Ignorance, Arrogances, and Envy.”

In spite of the dramatic improvements in the human condition over the last two or three centuries, including the lifting from poverty of tens of millions of people in our own life times due to market-based and –oriented societies, the capitalist system continues to be criticized, condemned and disliked by many, particularly among intellectuals and academics.  Why?

I discuss three of the reasons for anti-capitalism: ignorance, arrogance, and envy. Many in society criticize or even reject the free enterprise system due to lack of knowledge and understanding of the basic principles, logic and workings of the market economy.

The second reason is arrogance, especially among many intellectuals, who believe they know better than most people how those people should live, act and work for the creation of a “better” or more “socially just” world. Their influence is imbedded in modern society due to their control of the educational process through government run and mandated schooling, as well as at the college and university level.

The third reason behind anti-capitalism, I suggest, is envy. This is not merely jealousy that one wishes that one had what another has, whether fairly gained or not. It is the wish that the achievements of others be denied them, that opportunities for betterment be restricted for them, that the destruction of what others have created is worth it, even if it hurts the person experiencing such envious emotions. This is one of the most harmful elements in the human psyche, both for that individual and for the society as a whole if such states of mind are set free upon the world.

The cure for all of these causes behind anti-capitalism is a restored and renewed philosophy of individualism and the defense of the free market capitalist system. Otherwise, society may continue down a harmful path.




  1. For crony capitalism the critiques are correct. Crony capitalism is exploitative and so forth. However the power to do that comes from the state. Which makes the preferred systems of the critics even worse since they want the state to have more power.

    It is the connection between state and private exploitation that rarely gets any play. Thus it is all blamed on "capitalism" instead of the state which is the only player that had the power to exploit people. The only player that could limit people's choices. The only player in charge of managing the commons (air, water, etc).

    1. "Jimmy,"
      Yes, you are right, in that most of the complaints about real world market economies can be shown to be due to "crony" privileges, favors and perks provided by government to special interest groups.

      But, nonetheless, even if the market was not "rigged" in this fashion, almost all that I say about the attitudes and beliefs concerning anti-capitalist attitudes by some in society would still be the case. Many of these people would still criticize and dislike a fully free market capitalism, unfortunately.