Capitalism is peaceful

Capitalism is a system based on trust and mutually beneficial trade. You trade time and productivity to your employer for money. You trade that money with a business for a product you want. The money you trade has no real value unless you and the person you are trading with agree that it has value. The money itself is either a piece of metal, a piece of paper with a design on it, a number in a computer, or a signature promising to pay.

Since capitalism is based on mutual benefit and trust, it is a system that is incompatible with violence. A trade implies non-violence. If someone doesn’t like the offer you make to them, you don’t get to force them to accept it; you either have to make a better offer or you don’t make a trade at all.

How many wars were started by corporations? How many were started by governments? It’s no contest; government wins hands down. Governments have the threat of force behind many of their actions. Corporations cannot initiate force against you without the consent of government. If Starbucks all of the sudden announced they would punish people for not buying their coffee, their sales would collapse and they would go out of business. Capitalism operates in the realm of choice, whereas government operates in the realm of compulsion.

In Canada and the other democracies of the world, we place checks on the power of government. Democracy and capitalism are two sides of the same coin; if a government fails to serve the people they can choose a new government. If a company fails to serve the people, in the form of customers, the people can buy from another company. The common thread between democracy and capitalism is choice, and no other economic system provides the freedom to choose that capitalism does.

This is why capitalism is the most peaceful economic system in the world. It empowers all of us to choose our own path and make our own decisions, and it provides the abundance that allows us to take care of those who need a hand up.

Spencer Fernando is the Comment Editor of the Manitoban.

10 Comments on "Capitalism is peaceful"

  1. Alex Paterson | September 22, 2011 at 2:57 am |

    Seriously, what rock have you been living under?

    Have you heard of colonization and the concept of primitive accumulation, or imperialism for that matter?

    We clearly don’t inhabit the same world.

  2. Alex, it sounds like our Mr. Fernando is talking more about a market free of monopoly and oligopoly, as opposed to corporate capitalism. It’s a distinction that’s lost on many ideologues of both sides.

  3. This is a joke right? Like a piece of swiftian satire? Please?

  4. I’m surprised that a university student would write this drivel. The academic literature clearly shows that there is no causal or symbiotic link between capitalism and democracy. Capitalism functions profitably under dictatorships and social democracies alike. Capitalism’s latest success story is China and I don’t see the democratic side to the Chinese Yuan. It’s disturbing to see the naivete displayed by the Comment Editor of all people. The Manitoban’s hiring committee should have done a better job and the Editor-in-Chief should have sent this piece back for a reality rewrite.

  5. Alon Weinberg | September 22, 2011 at 6:59 am |

    Methinks it is the role of junior Conservatives such as Mr. Fernando to write such provocatively ludicrous pieces such as this one during election campaigns in hopes that his progressive opposites waste oodles of time crafting responses and posting on Facebook so as to slow down their movements, thus gaining his side a tactical advantage. And hence I am done wasting my time. Just google Fenix Nickel Project or Schnoor vs. Canada and keep going from there.

  6. My friend, responding to a CBC The Current piece about Harper’s Conservative government’s support for asbestos, wrote the following letter that is a clear and concise rebuttal of Fernando’s Willy Wonka World:

    “Today, the lady dying of ‘asbestos’ said it clearly: Harper is just as callous and dispicable as any murderer! But not only because of the export of asbestos.

    Harper is just the modern equivalent of the ‘slave boss’, slightly advantaged because he delivers his brothers and sisters quietly to the work place.
    While Harper distracts us by speaking of jobs, in e.g. asbestos and Tar-sands, (the list is endless), telling us The Economy is doing good for the people, he conveniently forgets to mention that people, their health, safety, and the health of their environment are just collateral dammage in a system (the Neo-Capitalist System) designed to concentrate all wealth in the hands of a very few…metaphorically… ‘plantation owners’.
    Slavery, with all its ugly and hateful details exists today, exactly as it did in the past. Today, unfortunately there is nowhere to run, the “land owners” own the world and they employ our own democratically elected representatives to do the same job that the slave bosses did in the past.
    ‘Citizens’, Jobs, The Economy, Democracy, The Environment’ (that sustains life on the planet) all wonderful, sacred words, but all controlled and manipulated for profit!”

  7. Glad to see lots of discussion. For the record, the comment section is a place for people to express their ideas (where the other sections are generally for facts). We will publish any opinion so long as it is not homophobic, sexist, racist or widely offensive. Spencer’s opinion was none of these things, so I was happy to print it.

    If you disagree with it, why not submit an article or a letter refuting it? or

  8. benjamin clarkson | September 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm |

    Well Spencer, you’re wrong. Blatantly. You obviously don’t know alot about world history and what caused world war 1, the british – chinese war, or pretty much most wars throughout history. Or really the nature of empire. You’ve recycled some dogma that’s all. I’ll write you a nice rebuttal.

  9. Alex Paterson | September 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm |

    “Glad to see lots of discussion. For the record, the comment section is a place for people to express their ideas (where the other sections are generally for facts). We will publish any opinion so long as it is not homophobic, sexist, racist or widely offensive.”

    Its sexist, racist and widely offensive to suggest that capitalism is non-violent. It ignores chattel slavery, genocide, and land theft. Experienced by black and indigenous peoples throughout the Americas.

    Its sexist to ignore the fact capitalism is supported by the oppression of women by the control over the reproduction of labour power. So by that I mean abortion and population control and how men try to control women’s bodies is directly linked to capitalist population management policy, like immigration policy is as well.

    Lastly, its pretty widely offensive to pretend that the outcomes and supports for capitalism are not violent. Sorry, I’ve personally been assaulted by the gang in charge of protecting capitalism, called cops, or more appropriately called pigs.

  10. Alex, maybe you should live as a woman for a week before you start running your mouth about sexism. We don’t need any defense from you. In any event, sexism/racism/homophobia in the context Leif used refers to the blatant, irrefutable kind, i.e. “God hates fags,” so the point is moot.

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