Capitalism: Peace through Wealth
Capitalism refers to an economic and social system in which the means of production are predominantly privately owned and operated, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a market economy. It is usually considered to involve the right of individuals and groups of individuals acting as legal persons or corporations to trade capital goods, labor, land and money.
Due to the effect of having the means of production privately owned, there is competition and incentive to produce the best quality products at the best possible prices. Thus, it has effectively made nations and people wealthy and as a wholesome consequence there has been less poverty, hunger, and warfare among nations that properly allow for capitalism.
There are many nations that appear to follow capitalism that have much poverty and hunger and civil strife, but if you examine the countries closer, you will find that they are not really capitalist. For example, in many impoverished nations there are no property rights. Businesses and home owners do not own the land under which their house or business lies. If the house or business becomes too profitable, inevitably the corrupt governments seize the home or business or tax them so highly so that the entrepreneur loses everything and a new business person is put in his place.
When the majority of the people are wealthy or living comfortably there is no motive for them to revolt against their governments. There is also little to no reason for them to join movements which call for suicide attacks against another. Most of the suicide attackers have little to live for, with few or no possessions. When people have possessions and private property their concerns are more geared to protecting and keeping their wealth rather than extremist ideologies which deprive others of their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Che Guevara was a Marxist guerilla fighter who killed ruthlessly anyone who did not adopt his Marxist ideas. He has become somewhat of a cultural icon and symbol for the left. He was a mass murderer, very pro-war and a communist. But all of the deaths and killings in the name of communism (probably around 100 million) were wasted (by the communists) because the economic philosophy ended up being proven wrong as it did not work in practice.
The Cold War ended without a single bullet fired, because communism was bound for failure. There was no incentive for factories to compete or produce quality items.
Capitalism on the other hand, has many incentives for competition, quality, and quantity. As a result it employs the most number of people so that the maximum number of products can be produced and sold. Mother Teresa and numerous others have done wonderful charity work for masses of impoverished people. But in terms of hiring people, providing a wage for life, and feeding families, perhaps no charity has done as much good for the masses as Bill Gates and other mogul-capitalists. The mass production of computers and software has employed billions in all parts of the world. These wages are used to feed their families, purchase homes and other goods, which in turn, hires even more people.
On the right, Ronald Reagan said, “peace through strength.” On the left, Dennis Kucinich says, “strength through peace.” Both are excellent points, but I prefer:
“Peace through wealth.”
As capitalism has flourished, there is trade between nations. Wherever there is free trade and prosperity between nations, there has been peace. Very rarely do trading partners go to war against another. As we open up more markets and free trade, there is more peace. President Nixon opened the door to China’s isolationism and China slowly became more capitalist. Today China is virtually a capitalist nation, retaining communism only so that democratic elections are not performed. China trades with almost the entire world and the country has been coming out of poverty at a record rate. In a (year 2009) Newsweek article, Fareed Zakaria of CNN wrote that at least 400 million people came out of poverty during the Chinese capitalist boom shortly after the start of the twenty-first century.