Steven Crowder released a video rebutting a seemingly innocent look into Marxism. I suggest you watch it.
Let me explain some things from my viewpoint. First, here is why Marxism is not only wrong, but evil.
- Marxism treats people like machines. It doesn’t account for the fact that people have free will and can choose for themselves. It assumes that all people are alike, or react similarly, or are equally hopeless or whatnot. If you believe in diversity, then you cannot believe in Marxism. If you believe in freewill, then you cannot believe in Marxism. If you were to believe in Marxism, then you could not believe in freewill. This alone makes Marxism evil.
- Marxism assigns people to roles in society, and then judges them not based on their actions, but on their roles. This entirely absolved people of guilt and reduces them down to labels. That is, whether I do good or not is irrelevant in Marxism. Only my role or label matters. This is completely contradictory to pretty much everyone’s understanding of morality, and if you think of it this way, exposes why Marxism is evil. For instance, it never gives anyone a chance to change or redeem themselves.
- Marxism builds a wall between people in different roles rather than bringing them together. For instance, it pits business owners against employees as if they were locked in mortal combat or eternal enemies. The truth is that neither would enter into an agreement if they did not feel they were getting some benefit out of it. While Marxism focuses on the gains that business owners get out of hiring people to work for them, it does not explain the gains that employees get from working for an employer, and it does not compare the alternatives, which employees obviously find less beneficial. Marxism, in short, sets people up as enemies and does not show why they are really working together. Marxism causes war and fighting and discord, and so it is evil.
- Marxism sponges off of the success of capitalism, but does not restore what it takes. It’s a nice idea that people can own their own work, or that some central actor can plan things out, but in no case does Marxism provide any material benefit over capitalism. Marx does not propose that his reforms will make people wealthier. Instead, it says quite the opposite: it intends to eliminates one of the “evils” of capitalism: surplus wealth.
- Marxism labels the act of creating wealth as stealing. That is, when someone creates wealth out of practically nothing, it calls such a person a thief. If I went out into the middle of nowhere and built a successful farm, then Marxism would label me a thief. Profit is, in short, every good that ever was in the world. Even Jesus himself in the parable of the talents explains that we must turn a profit, meaning, we must take what we have and double it or more. If we do not profit, in Jesus’ eyes, then we will have what little we have taken from us and given to those who profit the most. Marxism calls good evil and so it is evil.
- Marxism labels the act of theft as good and desirable. That is, taking something you did not create by force and living off of it, which in any other context is obviously robbery and banditry and thievery of the worst sort, is the ultimate ideal of Marxism. This also makes it evil.
- Marxism cannot work without government to force people to comply, often involving things like emotional, mental or physical abuse, torture, imprisonment, enslavement, or murder. This is also obviously evil.
It isn’t very hard to see the evil within Marxism, even when people try to dress it up. It is obvious to those who value freedom why Marxism is evil, as well as obvious to those who have at least a rudimentary understanding of basic moral issues and rights.
Because of the way Marxists argue, I cannot attack Marxism without defending capitalism. I don’t know why this is; perhaps they feel that Marxism is less than or equal to the evil of capitalism. But let me defend the morality of capitalism.
- Capitalism is freedom. You own what you own, and you do with it whatever you think is right. No one can force you to do things you don’t want to do with your things. Some argue that capitalism forces you to go to market to get things you want, but this simply isn’t the case. You are free to obtain those things however you wish, as long as it doesn’t involve taking it from someone else without their permission.
- Capitalism has a proven track record of producing real wealth. Capitalism has given us every modern invention and lifted us out of poverty into insane wealth. Capitalism is so successful everywhere it is tried that the only complaint people have is people get too rich or have too much surplus. Since capitalism produces things that people need, even to excess, it cannot be considered evil.
- Capitalism empowers people. At the heart of every transaction in capitalism is free will on every side of the transaction. You are free to barter away your things, but you don’t have to and no one will force you to. Instead, you are free to find those transactions that will benefit you. Indeed, if people act in their own self-interest, then every transaction will be mutually beneficial. IE, the baseball bat manufacturers will trade their bats for the baseball manufacturer’s balls, so everyone can play baseball.
- Capitalism is the only real solution to poverty. Poverty is caused by people being incapable of producing enough to sustain themselves and to prosper. Capitalism says people get what they make and what they trade for. This may seem to unfairly advantage people who are better than others at producing the things people want, but in reality, comparative advantage means that it is in everyone’s best interests to give work to those that are best at doing that thing, no matter how unproductive they are compared to everyone else. That is, everyone, no matter how unfit for productive labor, has a use in a capitalist society. As long as they do those things they are best at and that are most productive for themselves, everyone benefits maximally. Again: The poor, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the disabled, everyone who has every advantage, no matter how severe, will be productive under capitalism because of comparative advantage.
- Capitalism doesn’t preclude any other form of economic interaction, provided that it relies on free will and not coercion. If you want to form a charity and spend all your hard-earned money on helping the less-advantaged, capitalism says “Cool!” Indeed, because capitalism is so wildly productive, people do have surplus that they can either use to make ever more stuff, or they can spend on charity.
- Under capitalism, everyone can be insanely wealthy. For instance, take a look at the poorest of the poor here in America. They have access to things that simply didn’t exist a few hundred years ago, making them wealthier, by far, than anyone living in that era. A hundred years from now, if we continue with capitalism, the poorest of the poor will be far wealthier than the wealthiest among us. We might complain about the fact that one person has a billion times more stuff than someone else, but we cannot deny that the poorest among us have much more than our ancestors ever could dream of having.
I don’t know what the “ideal” economic system will look like. However, I do know a few things:
- Forcing people to do things they don’t want to do is wrong.
- Forcing people to not do things that won’t hurt themselves is wrong.
- Calling people evil because they belong to a group is wrong.
- Calling people evil because they create wealth is wrong.
- Allowing people to choose their own life is right.
That said, the next complaint I can already hear is: “What about the poor?” To those who have ignored everything else I wrote, let me call this out specifically.
- Under capitalism, there is a lot of surplus wealth that can be donated for the benefit of the poor. Under Marxism, there is no surplus wealth to use to help the poor.
- Under capitalism, even the poorest among us has some economic use due to comparative advantage. Because they have use, they get paid. Under Marxism, they have no freedom to find the thing they are best at and so don’t necessarily benefit others. Indeed, it is in Marxist systems that people talk about eliminating the undesirables.
- Under capitalism, the poor are free to invest and save their wealth. Those who start out poor don’t end up that way. Under Marxism, there is no hope of ever becoming wealthy. The wealthy are considered evil.
One more note: Families and such. Under capitalism, people have a self-interest to get married, raise their kids properly, save for the future, and do other “boring” stuff that makes society a nice place to live in for all involved. Even the greedy and selfish find that there are powerful economic and personal reasons to join themselves together. Under Marxism, there is no such motivation. I think this is why we find that hard-core Marxists have no moral compass and seem to be involved in all sorts of perversions and don’t seem very interested in raising the next generation.