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Anti-Capitalist Ignorance

What is capitalism? A lot of people don't know. One of them has a video camera and decided it would be a neat idea to interview a bunch of people to ask them to explain what they think capitalism is.

The video self-describes as "a failed attempt to understand capitalism." If you watch the video it's easy to see why it failed. None of the people interviewed has any idea what capitalism is, but only two actually admitted to not knowing. The others babble and ramble, talking about nonessential traits and a surprising number of completely incorrect traits. It's painful and funny.

Nine minutes of painful and funny!

The filmmaker would have done much better to simply pick up a dictionary and read it to the camera. Or if she was determined to do interviews, she should have interviewed an economist instead of a bunch of random hippies. George Reisman, for instance, defines capitalism in this way (Capitalism p. 19):

Capitalism is a social system based on private ownership of the means of production. It is characterized by the pursuit of material self-interest under freedom and it rests on a foundation of the cultural influence of reason. Based on its foundations and essential nature, capitalism is further characterized by saving and capital accumulation, exchange and money, financial self-interest and the profit motive, the freedoms of economic competition and economic inequality, the price system, economic progress, and a harmony of the material self-interests of all the individuals who participate in it.

Aaaahhhh.... I'm basking in the clarity and precision of expression!


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