Saturday, July 10, 2010

How Capitalism Civilizes Greed 资本主义限制了人对权力的贪婪



真实的资本主义制度是以个体的自由、尊严与幸福作为终极目标的道德制度。 中国当今的以群体、民族和政府的强权为终极目标的现状是法西斯专制制度的定义与写照。 以依附中共官僚致富的中国的所谓“新富”们不过是这种中国特色的官僚法西斯专制制度的受益者罢了。 维护这个以群体、民族、政府为本位的专制经济、政治制度是这些效忠法西斯的“新富”们不遗余力的本能冲动。 幻想这些人们去要求自由与政治改革只说明了幻想者们的病态心理。

Kai Chen's Words:

True capitalism is a moral system based upon individual freedom, individual choices, individual dignity and individual pursuit of happiness (against coercion and oppression from those in power). The current system in China cannot be farther from such a moral system based on individuals. The Fascist Mercantilism in China today is purely based on the collective interests represented by a despotic government (a criminal party-state). The "Newly Rich" (90% of them are sons and daughters of the government officials) in China today is the biggest beneficiary of such a Fascist Mercantilism. And they will do all they can to preserve and prolong such an evil system. Expecting such a "Newly Rich" class manufactured by the ruling communist party for its own self-preservation to want freedom and political reform only exposes our own mental pathology and spiritual and intellectual perversion.


How Capitalism Civilizes Greed


(NPR Commentary)
By Dinesh D'Souza

Suddenly we are hearing the word “greed” again. The 1980s were dubbed the Era of Greed—it was the era of Ronald Reagan and Michael Milken—but wealth in the nineties was perceived as more virtuous, because it was associated with tech entrepreneurs who were making new things. Now in the aftermath of the Microsoft trial, and with Al Gore running for the presidency, we are seeing a revival of the charge of greed.

Most surprising, this accusation is being leveled by some in the tech world. “When greed becomes this prevalent,” telcommunications mogul Craig McCaw says, “something bad always happens.” Kim Polese of Marimba worries about what she calls “the greed factor.” And in a recent article in Fast Company, author Jim Collins complained that Silicon Valley used to be about inventing new things and developing “insanely great” products, but now people mainly come there to get filthy rich.

What this rhetoric proves is that capitalism has won the economic war but it hasn’t won the moral war. The failure of socialist planned economies has convinced most people that technological capitalism is the best way to create wealth. But there remains the long-standing belief that the capitalist is a greedy, selfish person. This is a very old accusation that long predates Marx. It goes back to the Greeks and Romans, who saw the trader as a contemptible, low figure, and to the Bible, where it is written that “love of money is the root of all evil.”

But is this prejudice against money-making justified? Adam Smith, who first made the case for capitalism in his book The Wealth of Nations, acknowledged that capitalism is based on self-interest. The reason for this, he said, is that human nature is self-interested. In Smith’s view, it is ridiculous to expect farmers in rural England wake up at four o’clock in the morning to tend cattle and plant potatoes so that Londoners can have steak and potatoes for dinner. What motivates the farmers is the desire to benefit themselves and support their families. This is not a base motive, it is a decent one. It is rooted in self-interest, but it is self-interest ennobled by filial attachment and responsibility.

Smith pointed out a further paradox of capitalism: although it is motivated by the desire for personal gain, the way that the entrepreneur maximizes his profits is by focusing his everyday attention on meeting the needs and wants of others. So greed leads to empathy. At Wal-Mart, for example, Sam Walton became rich by developing an efficient inventory control system so that he could monitor consumer preferences and satisfy them as promptly and cheaply as possible. The most successful entrepreneurs do not merely identify and gratify people’s wants, but they anticipate desires before people have them. Think about the portable computer, the Palm Pilot and the cell-phone: entrepreneurs figured out that we would want and benefit from these things even before we knew we couldn’t function without them.

The moral argument for capitalism is that it makes us better people by regulating the vices of greed and selfishness. Capitalism civilizes greed in much the same way that marriage civilizes lust. Greed, like lust, is part of our human nature; it would be futile to try to root it out. What capitalism does is to channel greed in such a way that it works to meet the wants and needs of society.

More than any other social type, except perhaps the clergy, the capitalist is, in his everyday conduct, oriented to the task of helping and serving others. There is no reason for entrepreneurs to feel bad about doing well, because their success is proof that they have effectively met the wants and needs of their fellow human beings.

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