Janet Daley from The Telegraph wrote a great article a couple of days ago that everyone should read. This article gets to the heart of the income inequality/fairness meme currently being peddled by the Left and I’ve stated before that this fairness argument is a direct result of America failing to educate its youth on the benefits of Capitalism.
I’ll highlight a few paragraphs below but read the full article here.
“But in spite of the official agreement that there is no other way to organize the economic life of a free society than the present one (with a few tweaks), there are an awful lot of people implicitly behaving as if there were. Several political armies seem to be running on the assumption that there is still a viable contest between capitalism and Something Else.”
“If this were just the hard Left within a few trade unions and a fringe collection of Socialist Workers’ Party headbangers, it would not much matter. But the truth is that a good proportion of the population harbours a vague notion that there exists a whole other way of doing things that is inherently more benign and “fair” – in which nobody is hurt or disadvantaged – available for the choosing, if only politicians had the will or the generosity to embrace it.”
“Can I suggest that you try the following experiment? Gather up a group of bright, reasonably well-educated 18-year-olds and ask them what world event occurred in 1945. They will, almost certainly, be able to give you an informed account of how the Second World War ended, and at least a generally accurate picture of its aftermath. Now try asking them what historical milestone came to pass in 1989. I am willing to bet that this question will produce mute, blank looks.”
“The failure of communism should have been, after all, not just a turning point in geo-political power – the ending of the Cold War and the break-up of the Warsaw Pact – but in modern thinking about the state and its relationship to the economy, about collectivism vs individualism, and about public vs private power. Where was the discussion, the trenchant analysis, or the fundamental debate about how and why the collectivist solutions failed, which should have been so pervasive that it would have percolated down from the educated classes to the bright 18-year-olds? Fascism is so thoroughly (and, of course, rightly) repudiated that even the use of the word as a casual slur is considered slanderous, while communism, which enslaved more people for longer (and also committed mass murder), is regarded with almost sentimental condescension.”
“Is this because it was originally thought to be idealistic and well-intentioned? If so, then that in itself is a reason for examining its failure very closely. We need to know why a system that began with the desire to free people from their chains ended by imprisoning them behind a wall. Certainly we have had some great works of investigation into the Soviet gulags and the practices of the East German Stasi, but judging by our present political discourse, I think it is safe to say that the basic fallacies of the state socialist system have not really permeated through to public consciousness.”
“Communism’s fatal error was in thinking that morality resided in the mechanisms of an economic system rather than in the people who operated them. There is no way of avoiding the need for individual responsibility, which lies with citizens, not governments – or with bankers as people, not with the “banking system”. Some political leader (David Cameron?) needs to have the nerve to say this or we shall be talking nonsense forever.”