Thursday, April 09, 2015

Why We Love Socialism But Need To Love Free Democratic Capitalism

Free democratic capitalism is, empirically, the best way to help poor people.

No, that’s not right.

Free democratic capitalism is, empirically, the best macroeconomic way to help poor people.

But families are, empirically, the best microeconomic way to help poor people.

And families are very authoritarian and socialist, not democratic and capitalist.

People have been living in families how long? Since the beginning. But free democratic capitialism is a relatively recent invention. We are wired at a very deep level to understand and love authoritarian and socialist families. Free democratic capitialism? Not so much.

The problem comes when people do the very natural thing, and generalize from the wonderful nurture of their family to the creative destruction of capitalism and well…. Understanding and loving capitalism usually has to be taught. It’s not natural for us, like understanding quantum physics.

This is a failure of the schools.

Liberal policies, governed as they are by political institutions, not free choice, advantage the politically well connected (like middle class people) and disadvantage the politically powerless (like poor people).

The combination of these things explains both the popularity of Democratic policies and their failure.