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Written by Winter Trabex

In response to mounting income inequality, an increased number of poor people with a decrease in the number of government services to look after those who are down on their luck, a new trend in America has emerged. It is now fashionable to blame capitalism for all the ills of society. Capitalism, it is said, is the author of humankind’s misery. Capitalism is a system that enables the rich to become richer while the poor to become poorer. It is a system in which the few exploit the many. So it is said.

The problem, of course, is that government restrains capitalism every chance it gets. With its imperious not-to-be-questioned authority, governments all over the world are helping corporations entrench themselves in marketplaces, thus making it more difficult for competing businesses to do well. The best example of this is the American tax code, written largely by rich people for the benefit of rich people with law degrees and lawyers-for-hire.

The average American citizen is overburdened with any number of taxes, many of which are unnecessary, some of which are downright foolish. There is the sales tax, the income tax, the estate tax, the inheritance tax, the death tax, the hunting tax, the accounts receivable tax, the building permit tax, the gasoline tax, the cigarette tax, the liquor tax, the marriage license tax, the septic permit tax, utility taxes and vehicle sales tax….just to name a few.

Meanwhile, some of the world’s largest corporations not only rig the law in their favor so they don’t have to pay taxes- many of them get tax subsidies instead. Boeing, General Electric and Verizon were among those who did not pay any federal income taxes from 2008 to 2012. This does not mean that they did not pay local or state taxes, or one-time only tax fees. It merely means that the biggest eater of money, the federal government, got nothing from those companies- along with 23 others.

Accordingly then, those who want to do away with the influence corporations have upon the government only see the result, not the cause. Those who wish to want to shut down wall street and shutter the doors of all the country’s corporations for good will not necessarily create an equitable society. A utopia of peace, love and happiness does not await at the end of a road which begins with the abolition of entrepreneurship.

The social experiment known as the Occupy movement can attest to this. In trying to create a world in which everyone was equal and no one wanted for anything, people were only stripped of their incentives to improve themselves. The creative energies of individuals, freed from the need to work for a living, were supposed to be turned towards the common good- enriching the lives of everyone around them. Instead, the Occupy movement only attracted homeless people without offering them any real solution on how to improve their lives.

A world in which corporations are abolished might look exactly like an Occupy encampment: people sleeping in tents, riding exercise bikes to generate energy, sharing books and food with another while bathing is optional. Such a world does not even come close to achieving anything resembling social equality; for the government is still there, still ready to conduct a pre-dawn raid upon an encampment, still ready to haul people off to court for imaginary crimes. Or, even worse, ready to ship people off to gulags out west where people deemed expendable criminals by the government must work to cleanse the Nevada desert of all its radiation.

Such a world would not have currency. An inefficient barter system will have taken the place of money. Gold and silver might not even mean anything anymore. In a world without corporations, nuclear, hydroelectric and solar power might be a thing of the past. Electricity might be hard to come by. Certainly, a world without corporations would mean an elimination of all medical advances, thrusting humanity back into the age where a black boil on the skin has the potential to kill hundreds of thousands. Automobiles and jets will be gone, replaced by horses, some of whom will likely be eaten as billions of people go hungry. There would be no grocery stores.

All of this is the end result of a rejection of the capitalist system, a system which hasn’t ever really been let loose in this world, free to do as it pleases. There has always been the guiding hand of government, always presuming that it knows best, always deciding what is best for other people, always presuming to hold the ultimate moral authority by reason of its existence. There has always been the police officer kicking a woman in the face, or the army soldier torturing a prisoner, or the petty bureaucrat taking his revenge on the world by drowning everyone in a mountain of paperwork. There has always been the tax collector, demanding his due in ever increasing amounts until the taxed finally have enough, breaking loose in a torrent of violence that consumes everyone around them.

If anything resembling an equitable, fair society is to be created, these are the things which must eliminated. It is government, not business, that is the enemy of progress, peace and justice. To presume otherwise is to invite danger not only upon oneself, but upon everyone who enjoys the certainty of regular pay and the comforts of planned investment. A world without capitalism is an uncertain world in which the only winners are those who steal the most. That is the world that today’s fashionable activists seek to create.

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