Creed of Freedom
Analysis © 2008 by G. Edward Griffin
Published 2008 April 25.
On April 22, 2008, we received an email from a new subscriber to our news service who was having trouble with the concepts of collectivism and capitalism. This is a common problem for those who are newly introduced to these concepts, so we are reprinting the email and my reply below:
SUBSCRIBER: I just watched an interview with Mr. Griffin about the federal reserve and immediately signed up for the newsletter. As I was browsing, I began to realize that some of the principles held by the organization seemed contradictory to the sentiment expressed in the interview. Specifically about collectivism. Is there any place, any resource, the water supply, anything that belongs to all of us?
REPLY: It depends on the definition of belong. In one sense, nothing ever belongs to anyone. In another, everything belongs to those who have the physical or military strength to claim it. In yet another sense, things (including natural resources) belong to those who develop them and make them accessible to others. Each society has its own view of this. In a society of individualism, there is a right of ownership for those who offer added value to the natural resources. In other words, copper in the ground is useless until it can be mined and refined. If people were not allowed to own the land and the raw resources, there would be no incentive to do the mining or refining, and it would stay in the ground forever.
SUBSCRIBER: What gives the people who own huge amounts of the pie the right to keep it forever and pass it on to their children?
REPLY: What gives people who own small amounts of the pie the right to take it from those with large amounts? Theft is not justified by the envy of those who steal.
SUBSCRIBER: How is that any different than Kings or Dictators?
REPLY: Stealing from the rich is no different from stealing from the poor and no different from stealing by kings and dictators.
SUBSCRIBER: Some people simply don't have the tools to run in the economic rat race.
REPLY: Correct. We should help them if we can but that does not justify coercing others to be generous if they don’t want to be. If we grant that principle, then we have no complaint when others coerce us to do things that we do not care to do. Coercion in the name of good causes is the foundation of modern tyranny.
SUBSCRIBER: Capitalism is fine for capitalists.
REPLY: There are two kinds of capitalism: Competitive capitalism and monopoly capitalism. The first is good for everyone. The second is good for only the monopolists. Incidentally, monopoly capitalism is the foundation of collectivism. All monopoly capitalists forge partnerships with government as the way in which they maintain their monopolies. They love socialism, communism, neo-conservatism, and all other variants of collectivism, as you no doubt have observed from present-day elitists, all of whom are collectivists.
SUBSCRIBER: But look what capitalists are doing in the world...buying up mineral rights and water rights and stomping on any nation that dares to nationalize their resources so they can take care of their citizens.
REPLY: These are not competitive capitalists. They are monopoly capitalists who are partners with politicians and who use government to enforce their monopolies. They hate competition. None of them seek free-enterprise competition. They are the ruling collectivists partnered with government to enforce their monopolies.
SUBSCRIBER: Social agreements do not necessarily have to be corrupt.
REPLY: Agreed. But eventually they always do become corrupt when they allow coercion for redistribution of wealth. In other words, collectivism always corrupts.
SUBSCRIBER: How about roads...should every road become a toll road?
REPLY: Not necessarily. This question tells me that you have not read my essay entitled The Chasm in which I addressed this issue in a footnote at the bottom of page 16. You will find The Chasm at the bottom of the Issues section of the Freedom Force site. Here is the link: The Chasm. Thank you for your interest.