What is capitalism?

There is an interesting thread at Powerline on the question What is socialism? The central aim of socialism has always been to rid ourselves of the capitalist system. And what, exactly, do these socialists wish to get rid of? Certainly not the phenomenal flow of goods and services that a capitalist economy provides. If socialists promise anything, they promise that there will be even more for everyone, so it’s not getting rid of the bounty that a properly managed economy brings that they seek.

What the actual aim of socialists has always been is to get rid of the capitalists. But why the wish to rid ourselves of the capitalists who open, own and run the businesses that create the goods and services we consume? Why the resentment against the very people who make this abundance possible? That is the issue, and it is at the heart of the divide between the socialists on the one side and those who support the market mechanism and free enterprise on the other.

Why do socialists see no role for the entrepreneurial class? This is a true puzzle since no socialist has any idea how to run an economy from which capitalists have been removed. No socialist economy, in which its capitalists have been discarded, has ever succeeded. Every such economy has been immediately plunged into poverty. Every economy without an entrepreneurial class of independent individuals to run its businesses, to produce and sell inputs to each other, and to sell consumer goods to everyone, has become impoverished. All this is known with a perfect certainty, yet socialism retains an allure that large proportions in every market economy are unable to resist. Against all the evidence of more than a century of socialist experimentation, there is still somehow the belief that you can replace capitalism with a socialist system and maintain living standards. Some people really do not learn from history.

As a first approximation, the problem that capitalism leads to is the wealth earned by those who have no obvious merit and desert to those who wish to see the market system replaced. Why can’t the government do exactly what the owner of a business does, and without having to receive such a large amount of money.

The owner of a business will typically make far less than any number of star athletes. But those athletes have a demonstrable skill that most people do not have, allowing them to excel at whatever particular sport they play. Everyone can see it, few others can do the same, so there is no resentment at the millions athletes are paid.

Same again for rock stars and actors. Everyone can see what they do, and admire their ability, fame and celebrity. The same in a way goes for doctors, who may be neither famous nor celebrated, but have a skill set everyone depends on and are willing to see rewarded for what they do.

Let us look even more closely at these categories. Whether one becomes a sports star or entertainer, there is an apprenticeship through which their in-born talents are developed. But whatever talent these people have cannot be distributed to others. A football player’s stock in trade is playing football. An actor’s skill is in acting. The skill that has made them wealthy and famous cannot be spread through the entire population. They are just what they are and are unique to the individual.

But those who own, run and manage businesses have no obvious talent visible to the vast bulk of the population who understand little of what is required to run a successful business. Few appreciate it. Many think they could have done the same had they made the effort. And anyway, why should someone own and control millions of dollars worth of assets, even if they did accumulate all of it themselves by building a profitable enterprise?

But there is even more to this resentment than just this. It is the “intellectual” classes – the media, public sector and academia – who are peopled by individuals who had done best in school, who had graduated at the top of their class. Here they are, the smartest people in the country, yet earn ordinary incomes. Meanwhile, these business morons, who couldn’t finish a sudoku, or have no idea who Foucault was or what he wrote, here they are earning large incomes running a factory making bricks or producing shoes.

Capitalism is an ingrained feature of a political system that prizes freedom, in which each of us makes decisions for ourselves about many things in our own lives, which includes how we will earn our incomes. Some individuals will decide to earn those incomes by running a business.

Socialism in contrast is a system where the people who got the highest marks at school think they will make those business decisions instead, even though they are often the first to be put up against the wall.

Capitalism is a system in which those who run businesses have to go through the same process in getting to the top as do athletes, by overcoming the enormous competition of others to achieve their goals by being the best at what they do.

Socialism is instead a system in which the non-talented, without any of the necessary gifts for management, get to run our economies because so many others resent the incomes received by the people who are able to run profitable businesses.

Capitalism is how an economy runs if no one is running it. People just get on and produce, sell and buy.

This is what socialism is: replacing the owners of businesses, either with managers employed by the state, or with government-appointed overseers who direct what the business should do.

In all of the different variants on a socialist system, there is a central plan that each of the state managers must follow. No one in an enterprise reacts to the market, that is, to the demands of people who wish to buy the product, or to changes in the structure of supply. They just follow the plan as best they can.

The people who formulate these plans have no means to make the system work, although they think they do. But by the time everyone, including themselves find out how useless they are at running an economy, they are entrenched behind a row of guns and cannot be removed.

Here is an observation from the Powerline comments thread that captures important parts of these issues.

In its most basic sense, “socialism” is CONTROL. Control of the economy, control of society, control of YOU. This is the basic nature of all modern “socialisms” – communism, fascism, progressivism, liberalism. Socialism is the enemy not of “capitalism” – that’s just a Marxist label – but of free markets, a free society, a free people. But it’s worse than just control; it’s invariably very poor control. It doesn’t work. Nobody’s smart enough to dictate every aspect of an efficient economy, and nobody’s honest enough to be trusted to even try. But, poor quality or not, the surveillance and control/police state are vital components of any socialist system; it can’t even theoretically work without control.

Socialists will be our ruin.

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72 Responses to What is capitalism?

  1. Leo G

    The central aim of socialism has always been to rid ourselves of the capitalist system … But why the wish to rid ourselves of the capitalists who open, own and run the businesses that create the goods and services we consume?

    Death cult denialism?

  2. Tom

    What is capitalism? Capitalism us freedom. Those who want to abolish it want to abolish freedom.

  3. stackja

    If socialism is so successful why don’t most people accept it? I know, it fails when there is no more OPM.

  4. It’s quite ironic that those sports and entertainment stars who often decry capitalism and support socialist ideas/ideals, like those of AOC, don’t seem to realise that capitalism, by way of sponsorship created and sustained by capitalist industries is what makes then wealthy. Remove capitalism and you have poor sports people and entertainers.

  5. Tel

    I don’t like to use the word “Capitalism” too much, because it’s a word invented by Marx as an insult, and then re-claimed (similar to “Deplorable” and also “Tory”).

    Marx had a problem with the concept of capital investment, and in particular he disliked the private ownership of capital. However, free markets don’t necessarily obsess over capital investment … capital is merely a means to an end. The market produces consumables, but the most efficient route to achieve that is by using capital goods such as factories, etc. Ideally the free market should produce exactly as much capital as required to satisfy consumer preferences, and no more than that. Since no one can perfectly see the future, there are mistakes made from time to time and some capital is produced that turns out not to be as useful as originally expected, and that gets pulled apart and used for some other task instead.

  6. Tel

    What is capitalism? Capitalism us freedom. Those who want to abolish it want to abolish freedom.

    I think it’s easier to make a basic dichotomy: does the state exist for the purpose of serving individuals within society; or do the individuals in society exist to serve the state?

    Also ask, what are the limits on government and how are those limits enforced?

  7. TPL001

    Good post, Steve.

    What they want is to remove their object of envy – the wealthy capitalists. But they in fact entrench envy (Helmut Shoeck on “Envy” is a good read on how destructive this moral failing can be for individuals and society). Then they substitute this purile morality for a faulty production and distribution system – so called socialism – in an effort to remove what they think is “unfair”.

    They forget or deny that the future involves risk, and someone has to take a risk – invest their hard-earned savings in productive assets, and then produce something of value for their client and in so doing ensure they cover their costs and earn a return on investment.

    The socialists think that you can do this without the price mechanism. Wrong. Mises proved that there is no planning, production or calculation without prices. Then what occurs is the absence of a viable production and distribution system; only the state dictating what is supplied. That then leads to another change – the introduction of tyranny. Look at the poor Venezuelan’s sods in Miami preparing food support for their fellow countrymen, suffering under their enlightened overlords.

    Troy.

  8. Terence Brennan

    I have observed over the years that casting of a “businessman” in the movies is often a miscast.
    Perhaps this is because there is not typical businessman, not a template against which to cast.

    The key descriptor is that they are good business and hard to pick.

    Socialists are the same as the greens, socialist/greens on the outside and totalitarians on the inside.

  9. Biota

    Socialism also hangs on their view of exploitation. The only way capitalists get rich is by taking unfair advantage of (exploiting) the so-called working class. Something like Obama’s ‘you didn’t create that’. This is because they have no concept of wealth creation versus wealth expropriation. Of course the whole thing is a massive case of projection because funnily enough in a socialist system it is the bureaucratic elite who become vicious exploiters, just look at how wealthy the top echelons of these places are. And how poor the supposed masses rescued from the evils of capitalism are.

  10. Trax

    Socialism is instead a system in which the non-talented, without any of the necessary gifts for management, get to run our economies because so many others resent the incomes received by the people who are able to run profitable businesses.

    Socialist leaders (not the same as socialist followers) have a talent for popularity, manipulation, lying and hypocrisy. This is what they use to gain power and then gain control and money. It really doesn’t matter to them that everyone else ends up poor and destitute.

  11. WolfmanOz

    Outstanding article which eloquently skewers the evils of socialism.

  12. Bruce

    As I recall, the term “capitalism” was invented by a raving socialist as a term of great opprobrium. It may be a cute idea to take the enemy’s language and use it against them, but REAL PEOPLE will be starting at least a century behind the enemies of humanity.

    If you must describe normal life with an “ism”, there is an older term; “mercantilism”. Essentially, trade in goods and services.

    Or, it is just REAL people doing REAL things for mutual benefit.

    Once “Gubmint” gets to be an active “player”, things start to get very bent out of shape.

    Of course, the statists LOVE this, because then, the very vermin who wrecked the joint can ride in on their taxpayer-funded white steeds and “rescue” the peasantry, who will then be made an offer they cannot refuse: “Thank us in eternity (ballot box optional) or meet your ancestors, now, or after protracted “attitude adjustment””.

  13. struth

    To be highly technical about it.
    Socialists are thick, and brainwashed.
    The brainwasher, fills the brainwashee with envy, a sense of entitlement, unearned, to make them feel like victims.
    It plays to the worst human emotions.
    But why?
    Cause they wee brainwashed as well.
    It all starts in our schools as Numbers reminds us again and children striking over climate change etc etc.
    A small percentage of the population are twisted sick hard core commos like numbers and we’ve let them at our kids.
    No good scratching your head as to why the left aren’t thinking logically.
    These people have been at it since the Frankfurt school.

  14. Chris M

    It’s the tenth commandment:

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    ie greed, jealousy.

  15. struth

    It is entirely, entirely incorrect to state if you are not a Lefty in your twenties, you have no heart, and if you are not a right winger by 40 you have no brain.
    If I ran a school, how many kids would be coming out voting left wing?

    We lose by not seeing where the real problem lies.

  16. ArthurB

    Socialism is a religion, or a substitute for religion, and so its adherents are immune to reasoning or logic. The same applies to other cults such as feminism and environmentalism. Socialists have rejected religion, but instead they hold apocalyptic visions of a mighty orgasm of violence, after which there will be perpetual peace, and prosperity for all.

  17. Dave in Marybrook

    Maybe that’s why the socialist Left adore their ostentatious intellectuals- like Brown, Rudd and Turdball- and hate the self-made grifters, like A666ott and Dutton and Bolt. It’s a belief in benevolent philosopher kings, and a jealous fear of the independent.

  18. Elle

    What a brilliant read! Thank you, Steve.

    Socialism is a stain. With socialism the govt has too much control. We all drown in bureaucracy as a result.

  19. Stephen

    “There are only 2 places where socialism can work – Heaven where they don’t need it and Hell where they already have it”
    Winston Churchill.
    How true is that.

  20. RobK

    I think Socialism is workable only in a small group in survival mode (where everyone has nothing) and might work for a while until there are sufficient resources for individual self determination.

  21. TBH

    Enjoyed that, Steve, thank you.

    To me capitalism, or the market economy, is all about the freedom of individuals to engage in mutually beneficial exchange (i.e. willing buyer/willing seller) for all manner of things. Whenever anyone extols the virtues of some form of collective control (socialism, communism etc), I refer to measures such as the Index of Economic Freedom and related concepts, as they show the emptiness of the lefty promises for what they are.

    Look at the top 10 nations:
    Hong Kong
    Singapore
    New Zealand
    Switzerland
    Australia
    Ireland
    Estonia
    United Kingdom
    Canada
    UAE

    and the bottom 10:
    Dijibouti
    Algeria
    Bolivia
    Zimbabwe
    Equitorial Guinea
    Eritrea
    Congo-Brazzaville
    Cuba
    Venezuela
    North Korea

    and tell me where you’d prefer to live. Some of those countries used to be much freer economically and they were a lot more prosperous as a result.

  22. Dr Fred Lenin

    Marx was a failure in life , sponged his way through life consummed with envy of those with the ability to rise above the crowd . His writings convey this ,as for compassion for the opressed workers ,rubbish ,he bever did a usefull days work in his life , he only saw workers from a distance and really wanted nothing to do with them , he had the contemp of the class he was born and raised in for them .Now does anyone see any similarity between him as descrbed here and “socialists” of the past and present? Is it any wonder “socialists “ of the present and their beloved mentor marx resemble each other so much . A bigger bunch of ruthless selfseeker s and liars it would be hard to find ,the scum of the lowest middle class.

  23. Iampeter

    I don’t think you’ve identified what capitalism is anywhere in this post.
    Capitalism vs socialism is not a question of economics, those are just consequences.
    It’s a question of ethics.
    Socialism is a collectivist system, based on the ethics of altruism.
    Capitalism is an individualistic system, based on the ethics of egoism. Of rational self interest.
    For over two thousand years, thanks to Christianity, altruism has had the moral high ground in our culture.
    This is why socialism was invented in the West. It’s just a secularized and consistent implementation of Christian teaching.
    This is why today’s conservatives, who are overrun with religious altruists, are worse than useless on these issues. This is why any superficial support for capitalism they might have, is undermined by their very deep support for the ethics of altruism. The same ethics as that of socialism.
    That’s why in practice conservatives never implement any capitalist policies, or even REALLY support them, when we get down to it.
    For proof of this, look no further than Steve Kates himself. There’s not a single issue on which he takes the side of the individual over the collective. From immigration, trade, abortion, tech companies, everything really, Steve and those like him, support violation of individual rights, for the greater good, just like socialists. This inconsistency should be glaring, but those with a very superficial understanding of these things, cannot see it.
    Socialists don’t have this problem because their politics are consistent with their ethics.

    To fight socialism, you would need to first reject it’s fundamental, ethical premises and that would require rejecting religion and altruism. Which would mean rejecting conservatism itself.

    Until then, you’re just more confused versions of socialists.

  24. Colonel Crispin Berka, King's Fusiliers Corps.

    This post tells us more about Kates than about socialism and capitalism.

    This is what socialism is: replacing the owners of businesses, either with managers employed by the state, or with government-appointed overseers who direct what the business should do.

    Some types do that, yes. National socialism and communism are like that. The Nazis put a party official next door to the general manager in every major corporation so they could influence the running of legally “privately owned” businesses. They also had price controls, not market prices, and land transfer controls. Which is why the Nazis were left wing on economics, despite all later left wing protests to the contrary.

    In all of the different variants on a socialist system, there is a central plan that each of the state managers must follow.

    Simply false. There is no national plan in Syndicalism, the form of Socialism which is intermediate in scale between socialist workers (what capitalists curiously call the “self-employed”) and the national scale of Communism. Syndicalism is basically what modern day industrial Unions aspire towards.
    As another example, Noam Chomsky sells himself as more of an anarcho-Syndicalist than a communist. It’s unionised workers owning (not just controlling) the means of production, while being socially liberal. How they keep the next Stalin out of screwing everything up is the utopian aspect of the ideology. But it is a variant of Socialism that does not have a state central plan.

  25. Tekweni

    I read an article on Wayne Swan in the Oz just before I read this. I thought how well this described him. Absolutely useless but a legend in his own mind.

  26. Keith Forwheels

    Bastiat answered the question quite a while ago;

    http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html#SECTION_G007

  27. Fess

    A successful entrepreneur inspires miserable, mean-spirited envy in people who lack the wits and enterprise to achieve the same. They want to remove capitalists to vindicate their own failures.

  28. max

    Ludwig von Mises
    Capitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses.

    Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in free market.

    Friedrich Hayek called it “the system of free markets and the private ownership of the means of production,”

    Capitalism is an economic system based on the principle of every individual’s right to his own life, his own liberty, and his own honestly acquired property.

  29. max

    atheism leads to secular humanism; this humanism leads to communism, and communism lead to the deaths of millions.

  30. max

    If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
    – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  31. Nob

    Is capitalism even a system?

    It just arises from people doing what they do.

    You can’t impose top-down it like governments do with socialism/communism.

  32. Iampeter

    atheism leads to secular humanism; this humanism leads to communism, and communism lead to the deaths of millions.

    Atheism doesn’t lead to anything.
    Secular humanism doesn’t lead to communism. Communism is not about being atheist at all. Communism is about altruism.
    Christianity mainstreamed altruism in Western Civilization, which lead to people believing sacrificing the individual to the collective is moral, which in turn led to communism and communism killed millions.
    Not to mention the fact that Christianity killed millions all on its own anyway, caused the Dark Ages and derailed Western Civilization for over a millennia.
    In any case, if you don’t see the causal relationship between Christianity and communism, at the fundamental level of ethics, you can’t even begin opposing socialism. You’ve agreed with it’s ethics.

    Is capitalism even a system?

    It just arises from people doing what they do.

    Exactly this.
    Capitalism is just a consequence of freedom.
    Freedom, is a rights protecting government.
    To the extent your government protects rights, is the extent to which you have a capitalist system.

  33. John A

    Here is an observation from the Powerline comments thread that captures important parts of these issues.

    In its most basic sense, “socialism” is CONTROL

    Which is why the political-economic spectrum of Left-Right should be replaced by a spectrum from ANARCHY to TOTALITARIANISM (aka TOTAL CONTROL).

  34. max

    Rand was correct that Christianity is focused on individual salvation, the highest form of self-interest. What she misunderstood was that the love of others flows from knowing the Love of God.

    Jesus Christ taught, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), not in place of yourself, as altruism would direct.
    In Christ’s words “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul?’ Christ appealed to “profit” and genuine self-interest, not altruistic ethics.
    Christ did say that in order to gain life one must lose it (Mark 8:36), but the life a man gives up is his old life; the life he is receives is a new, better life and thus no sacrifice at all.

    Ayn Rand appears to be quintessentially selfish, but I contend that she was not nearly selfish enough. She, like the child in the slum, was content with the immediate life and so failed to find the true selfishness that lies in the benefit of knowing God and living with Him in eternal paradise. It is the Christian, who, in seeking the blessings of God, is truly self-interested.

  35. max

    According to University of Hawaii political scientist Rudolph J. Rummel, the total number killed in all of human history is estimated to be about 284,638,000. Of that number, 151,491,000 were killed during the past 100 years. The single largest killer in all of human history is, by far, atheistic Communism with a total of 110,000,000.

  36. max

    Dark ages:

    period, known to historians as the Early Middle Ages, is still referred to by most laymen as the Dark Ages. In fact the term “dark ages” is almost as ancient as the period itself – it was coined in the 1330s by Petrarch, the Italian scholar, to refer to the decline of Latin literature. It was later taken by the protestant reformers (16th century) and then the members of the Englightenment (18th century) as a derogatory term with much broader implications, because they saw their own “enlightenment” as absent from the earlier period. Hardly a fair judgement on the past. Fortunately for modern students of history, the term is now officially known as the Early Middle Ages – a name which has no connotations at all.

    Universities Are Born:

    Universities which were created in the Early Middle Ages (the first in history). The universities taught the arts, law, medicine, and theology (the study of religion). The University of Bologna (founded in 1088) was the first ever to grant degrees.

    Scientific Foundations Laid:

    ‘Notions such as: “the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science”, “the medieval Christian Church suppressed the growth of the natural sciences”, “the medieval Christians thought that the world was flat”, and “the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages” [are] examples of widely popular myths that still pass as historical truth, even though they are not supported by historical research.’

  37. Iampeter

    It is the Christian, who, in seeking the blessings of God, is truly self-interested.

    So, Christian altruistic teachings are about self interest, because to truly be self interested, you need to be altruistic?
    You still haven’t figured out what happened to that cake you wanted to have, but already ate, have you?

    The single largest killer in all of human history is, by far, atheistic Communism with a total of 110,000,000.

    It’s true communism has the biggest body count, but that doesn’t have anything to do with atheism, because nothing does.
    Communism is the worlds biggest killer because it is the most consistent application of Christian altruism.
    If you think an innocent man being murdered for the sins of others is moral, communism is what a moral world looks like for you.
    Also, the bodycount of communism is nothing compared to the per capita devastation caused by Christianity directly. For example, the thirty year war alone took two hundred years just for the population to grow back, making it the single worst conflict, per capita, in European history by a huge margin. That’s just ONE example from two millenia of Christian slaughterfests.

    Notions such as: “the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science”, “the medieval Christian Church suppressed the growth of the natural sciences”, “the medieval Christians thought that the world was flat”, and “the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages” [are] examples of widely popular myths that still pass as historical truth,

    These are well documented facts, not “myths” or “notions”.
    Denying this is basically holocaust-denial-level of historical illiteracy.

  38. max

    Just as Rand’s philosophy fails at the beginning of life, so it fails at the end. Rand’s view of “rational self-interest” is based on the necessity of man to use reason as his tool to stay alive. But no matter how well a man uses his reason he will still die. He can never be smart enough to live forever. Death is inevitable to man. If he is to live, God must grant him life. Again, it is precisely this kind of life Christ promises in the Bible. Man’s only hope to live is to have life given to him. Just as God made man alive at his first birth, so it is God that gives him eternal life when he follows Christ.

  39. max

    Christianity is frequently linked with altruism, but doing so commits a fundamental error. True Christianity is a personal relationship with God, a covenant that is in one’s self-interest to follow. This relationship is based on understanding that man is saved by Faith in Christ apart from any deeds. The Augustinian/Lutheran tradition teaches that good works follow necessarily from faith but that good works themselves do not provide salvation. An understanding of Christianity as a religion of altruism would be more in line with the heretical tradition of Pelagius who taught that one’s own good deeds affect salvation. Variants of Pelagianism have continued to be prevalent in many church bodies that falsely teach that man is the determiner of his salvation. Perhaps Rand confused the heretical tradition for the accepted teachings of mainstream Christianity, and therefore assumed that salvation in Christianity is based on “good deeds.”

  40. max

    Ultimately a Christian’s charitable action toward others IS a form of self-interest, in that the emotional and spiritual rewards involved in submission to God’s will move the Christian closer to his personal interests of happiness and fulfillment than he would have otherwise been had he NOT behaved charitably. Rand failed to see the invisible “pay-off” of Christianity, and mislabeled it as altruism.

  41. Kneel

    “Freedom, is a rights protecting government.”

    Spoken like the leftist you are.
    Leftist? Peter? Yes, by his own standards – but he is blind to it.

  42. Taking a leaf out of the utterly frightful bore Iampeter book – very few people understand what Socialism is, especially the contemporary version. Marxism is essentially impossible to implement in Western society because (to borrow the spastic leftist phrase) it’s 2019 and not 1848.
    You cannot seize the means of production in a largely service economy.

    So instead you seize the ENDS of production, that being the wealth generated in the economy. It’s far easier to do this anyway. I mean it would actually be hard work adhering to strict Marxist doctrine. Can you imagine Shorten, Wong, Plibersek or a fatcat Union thug sat behind a desk with a pencil and slide rule trying to figure out how much wheat to produce or how to make glass bottles? No, much better to have the smartest and hardest working do that then steal half of everything they earn by promising to give it to the lazy and indolent. Then stealing the other half on retirement and death.

    As for the few large vital enterprises remaining, well you just renationalise them (telecoms-NBN) or regulate them into being virtual Government monopolies (energy) or drive them to catastrophe then take them over (water – that one is on the drawing board). Oh and don’t forget to control retirement (Super – currently being handed over to Unions, thanks franking credits and Banking RC!), health and education.
    Doesn’t anyone realise how far down the Road to Serfdom we already are? I wonder if it will sink in after the victory of the Spivs and Thieves Party who will finish off the job…

    Bollocks, now I’m starting to sound like a reverse Iampeter. Does that mean I’m the opposite of a complete twat?

  43. Kneel

    “Does that mean I’m the opposite of a complete twat?”

    No – the reverse of a complete twat!
    Or maybe an incomplete twat.
    Just a tawt. 😉

  44. Iampeter

    Max, you’re just contrading yourself all over the place.
    Now you’re trying to suggest Christianity is rationally self interested. Setting aside the glaring contradictions in that, you are then adding a whole new layer by rejecting reason as mans means of survival and life on this earth as the primary value, which he achieves via reason. Which means you’ve rejected rational self interest or any need for it.
    In short, your position is:
    Christianity is altruistic, which means its self interested.
    But humans don’t need self interest because they need to live forever, which can only be achieved by submitting to Christianity. Which is in their self interest.

    Do I need to make more jokes about that cake you are both trying have and eat at the same time?

    “Freedom, is a rights protecting government.”
    Spoken like the leftist you are.
    Leftist? Peter? Yes, by his own standards – but he is blind to it.

    Rights protecting government is right wing.
    Rights violating government is left wing.
    There is nothing even remotely left wing in my positions.

    Bollocks, now I’m starting to sound like a reverse Iampeter.

    That’s correct.
    Unlike me, you have no idea what you’re talking about.
    But don’t worry, spouting superficial and confused gibberish is highly prized at the cat.

  45. Percy Popinjay

    Unlike me, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    He’s not the one blathering on about preposterous contradictory concepts such as “a roights protectin’ gubment” you monumental fuckwit.

  46. Iampeter

    He’s not the one blathering on about preposterous contradictory concepts such as “a roights protectin’ gubment” you monumental fuckwit.

    If this was anywhere else I’d assume it’s a troll but because this is the cat, I’m going to assume this is serious.

    You don’t know what a “rights protecting government” is but think you can call others “monumental fuckwit”.

    Only at the cat.

  47. Unlike me, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Nobody knows what you’re talking about Iampeter, most of all you. That’s because you never say anything, just come here and call everyone stupid and ignorant for not being as so thoroughly enlightened as you yet rarely offer up or treat us to you’re oh so enlightened ways. Who the fuck do you think you are? A Jim Jones-esque version of Ayn Rand?

    You’re an insipid, condescending, twat who says nothing of any value and thinks he’s smart for writing shitty witticisms rolled in similes and metaphors.

    How about you write down your top 10 policies under an Iampeter Government and impress us all with your divine ways?

    Otherwise sod off because you’re as boring, dry and withered as Nancy Pelosi’s vagina.

  48. Mark A

    Mr Rusty
    #2939222, posted on February 20, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Well said, agree with you Rob.

    Only other commenter here, who is worse than ImP, is Numbers.
    Not by much!

  49. dover_beach

    Christianity mainstreamed altruism in Western Civilization, which lead to people believing sacrificing the individual to the collective is moral, which in turn led to communism and communism killed millions.

    Dear oh dear. Not again with this unhistorical tosh. IamMengele wants you to believe that Greece and Rome were ‘secular humanist paradises’ prior to Christianity. He apparently doesn’t know that both Greece and Rome where heavily communitarian cultures with religion at the centre of their public rituals. He doesn’t know this because he has never read any literature on classical antiquity, leave alone any primary works by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Herodotus, Tacitus, or Pliny, for example.

  50. Iampeter

    And the triggering commences, as it suddenly dawns on idiots that have spent years reading about politics, fancying themselves informed, that they don’t even know the first thing about it.

    Only at the cat, do people reject individual rights, rights protecting government and capitalism, still think they are not leftists and think they are opposig socialism, for some reason.

    Pretty sure no one at GetUp is this confused.

  51. Kneel

    Hi Peter,

    Just a quick clarification, if you would.

    Your view is that unless people support libertarianism, they are not right-wing, but left wing, is that right?

    Thanks!

  52. Kneel

    Oh dear – “is that right” of course means “is that correct” – just in case you wondered. 😉

  53. dover_beach

    The only time IamMenegele appears at the Cat is to support open borders, abortion at any stage and for any reason, infanticide, and the like, or to denigrate the aesthetic, intellectual and moral patrimony of Western civilization.

  54. Kneel

    True enough Dover.
    I am curious, because if what I asked is true, there is a gaping hole in Peter’s logic that he is right-wing and the rest of us are left wing, but before I point that out, I’d prefer to hear from Peter – wouldn’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth…

  55. Iampeter

    Your view is that unless people support libertarianism, they are not right-wing, but left wing, is that right?

    No, LOL! Not at all. LOL. I couldn’t make this up.

    You simply know nothing about politics and like the other hillbillies here, have no business on a politics blog.

    LOL, I’ll be laughing about this one for a while.

  56. dover_beach

    hillbillies

    Everything IamMengele pretends to understand he’s cribbed from a for Dummies booklet. Oh, for the common sense of hillbillies; at least they keep their mouth shut when the topic is beyond their understanding. No such luck with Iambeggingthequestion. He jumps right in, leading with his chin.

  57. dover_beach

    Oh, I forgot add, as CL has in the past reminded us, ‘pagan’ literally meant hillibily in Latin.

  58. Kneel

    ” Your view is that unless people support libertarianism, they are not right-wing, but left wing, is that right?

    No, LOL! Not at all. LOL. I couldn’t make this up.”

    Odd.
    You suggest that rights are all that should matter WRT what’s legal. Ethics, you have made clear, are irrelevant where rights are concerned. Obviously you have some very libertarian views in some matters. Clearly, you are not further right in the anarchist range, so you are left of libertarians, let alone anarchists.
    So you’re what? – soft right? What happened to “go hard or go home” – you know, where you denigrate others for not being extreme enough.
    But that doesn’t fit either – you’re clearly Authoritarian as well. After all, we’re all clueless, we need someone smart like you to tell us how to think – you’ve made that opinion quite clear. How very left of you – I’m sure it’ll be done right thus time, your communist paradise where you ensure we all labour for your benefit – after all, we can’t let anything bad happen to our Fearless Leader, can we chaps?
    Yes, it’s far from clear which side of politics you look towards – not least because, with two faces, you can look both ways at once!

  59. Kneel

    Ah! Got it now.

    Iampeter is right-wing alright – right-wing labor!
    Think what matches here:
    Rights are gifts with no attendant obligations – tick;
    Rights over-ride ethics – tick;
    “whatever it takes” – tick.

    I’m sure you can find more, but three should suffice to show that, by his own standards, such commonality of thought with the left means he is of the left.

    Which makes his reason to be here plain – not to discuss, or argue, but to sabotage.

    Either that, or he’s just an argumentative dickhead – but despite the evidence of this, I’m prepared to be generous and stick with the labor stooge explanation.

  60. Percy Popinjay

    roights protectin’ gubment

    This utterly ridiculous contradictory fantasyland concept that iampeta keeps drooling on about merely displays beyond any doubt what an appallingly ignorant ahistorical imbecile it is.

    There is no such entity as a “roights protectin’ gubment” nor has there ever been at any point in human history, you fucking cretin.

    Governments have existed through the centuries with the sole purpose of removing or destroying peoples’ “roights” and have never at any point sought to protect them. Certainly there have been temporary aberrations where individual agency and the “roight” of people to be spared the most egregious excesses of governments and tyrants (often the same thing) have been recognised, but these outbursts of sanity have always been subverted, if not by war and conquest, then inevitably through the concept of “gradualism”, which we have clearly seen practiced by collectivist imbeciles such as yourself in the West throughout my lifetime.

    Anyway, enough. I have always maintained that you are, by a very long way, the most pathetic ignorant dullard disgracing this blog and it’s pointless arguing with you, mainly because you are above all a preposterous juvenile narcissist who is never going to be capable of recognizing what an embarrassing and irredeemable idiot you truly are.

    Now fuck off.

  61. Iampeter

    Kneel, I’ve clearly explained to you the differences between left and right in two threads now, including this one. The confused crap you keep spouting means you’re not serious about this topic, clearly don’t understand it and don’t want to understand it. Don’t know why you’re on a politics blog.

    This utterly ridiculous contradictory fantasyland concept that iampeta keeps drooling on about merely displays beyond any doubt what an appallingly ignorant ahistorical imbecile it is.

    I can only imagine what you must think of capitalism then.
    This is supposed to be a political blog for Libertarians and right-wingers, not politically illiterate morons like you, who are on the left wing side of politics, but too clueless to realize it.

    It’s you who needs to fuck off.

  62. Percy Popinjay

    Exactly the sort of pathetic response I expected, you stupid ignorant narcissistic little poofter.

    The fact that you repeatedly use terms such as left and right wing displays beyond any doubt what a fucking moron you are.

  63. Iampeter

    If you don’t know what “rights protecting government” is, then you don’t know what capitalism is.
    You have no business on any political blogs, mouthing off, as if you know anything.

    The fact that you repeatedly use terms such as left and right wing displays beyond any doubt what a fucking moron you are.

    Correctly using political terms on a political blog demonstrates the opposite of what you conclude.

    Like I said, you don’t belong on political blogs, are incredibly stupid and should piss off, not double down on your stupidity.

  64. Percy Popinjay

    I am not getting into an argument with you, you staggeringly stupid pig ignorant inbred fucking cretin.

  65. Iampeter

    No ones arguing with you, you clueless leftist.
    I’m just pointing out, given your total politically illiteracy and the fact that you are so triggered when your ignorance is pointed out, means you have no business on this blog.
    This isn’t a role play website for morons to pretend to be talking about politics.

    So, you should piss off.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  66. max

    R. J. Rushdoony:
    Humanism gives us a religion in which either man or the state play god, and man, playing god, comes closer to being the devil himself.

  67. dover_beach

    If you don’t know what “rights protecting government” is, then you don’t know what capitalism is.

    IamMarx has entered the building.

  68. Kneel

    “Kneel, I’ve clearly explained to you the differences between left and right in two threads now, including this one. ”

    Indeed you have attempted to convey your idea of that, yes. So? It’s not responsive to where you sit, is it?
    You’re not responsive to any questions that matter – questions that can’t be answered with a simple binary response. Faced with such questions, you make no comment on the ethics of the situation, instead hide behind your “only logical” response, as if no-one else understands the logic – I do, it’s just that in my view, and I believe many other too, this is not all that matters.
    If you’d rather site on the sidelines and yap your inanities at your betters, instead of engaging in a discussion about the matter, then you are free to do so – stop acting surprised that “no-one gets it except me”; that’s not because you get it, it’s because the “it” you got is your own confused and distorted version of what the sane grown-ups are talking about.

    It is very sad to see someone who is clearly intelligent and logical refuse to acknowledge that, while it may not matter to you, it does matter to others, perhaps even the majority. That refusal does you no favors, even undermines what might otherwise be a reasonable position – you see Peter, your position is logical, it’s just not reasonable. And that, I suspect, you will never understand – to your eternal confusion.

  69. Iampeter

    you see Peter, your position is logical, it’s just not reasonable. And that, I suspect, you will never understand – to your eternal confusion.

    Lol, this is something nobody who thinks clearly will ever understand, because its a contradiction.
    All I’ll say is, facts don’t care about your feelings. I suspect you will never actually understand this, to YOUR eternal confusion.

    that’s not because you get it, it’s because the “it” you got is your own confused and distorted version of what the sane grown-ups are talking about.

    This and the other crap like it, is a description of you and the other kooks here, not me.

  70. dover_beach

    facts don’t care about your feelings.

    Which is why IamMengele continues to ignore the facts.

  71. Kneel


    you see Peter, your position is logical, it’s just not reasonable. And that, I suspect, you will never understand – to your eternal confusion.

    Lol, this is something nobody who thinks clearly will ever understand, because its a contradiction.

    So there you have it – no comprehension of the difference between logical and reasonable.

    I urge all cats to consider this point before attempting to argue with Iampeter – might save you some frustration.

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