Quote of Note

"Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states 'Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.' But this noble pronouncement runs smack up against the gospel of capitalism: 'Everyone has the right to a free-market economy.' The problem is, free markets don't have consciences, corporations can't really police themselves, and so loss of human life has become an acceptable by-product of business as usual.

Orion Magazine editorial in the May/June 2005 issue


Roadkill said...


But speaking of human rights running "smack up" against something, lets look at the human rights record of some non-capitalist countries:

Communist China: Estimated 45 million dead from Mao's orchestrated famines and new leap forward mass murders.

Communist USSR: estimated 20 million dead from Lenin's revolutionary purges through Stalin's man-made famines and police state terrors.

Communist Eastern Europe: estimated 1 million dead from starvation and police state abuses.

Communist Cambodia (Pol Pot Regime) estimated 2 million dead.

Communist North Korea: Estimated 2 million dead.

Communist Cuba: Estinated 70,000 dead.

The business of socialism is death.

Yet of course, the excesses of the leaders of these unfortunate countries were perpetrated by idealists like the authors of that Orion editorial, who belived it their duty to rid their countries of the "horrors" of capitalism, and create socialist "Workers Paradises" where nasty free marketeers were not running roughshod over the populace.

I'm sure the hundreds of million dead - and what progeny remain alive - are most appreciative.

Capitalism may not be perfect, but it has no track record approaching the loss of human life deemed acceptable under the its 20th century alternative - socialism - or any other alternative yet extant.

Yet of course, its easy to berate capitalism, here in free countries where dissent is permitted and revolitionary rhetoric is applauded as "courageous." Laughably easy, in fact.

The fact is, in the real world, capitalist ingenuity and initiative - concomitant with true democratic government - has been responsible for elevating standards of living and human rights everywhere it exists. No other economic system in the hisory of mankind has improved life as much as free market capitalism.

In short, that Orion editorial is nothing but abject nonsense.

Whoever believes it must be either ignorant of political economy or so blinded by ideology as to believe anything at all.

That would not describe you, would it, JPN?

Anonymous said...

It baffles me that when conservatives want to really bash the left they pull out all the stops and cite the atrocities of totalitarian dictatorships, then in the next breath will defend the government's right to protect us from terrorism by having the FBI investigating what we take out of the library.
The Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck crowd routinely classify anyone who may favor public education, Social Security, and unemployment insurance in the same category as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini and Kim Jung Il. You know damn well that the left has no intention of plotting a government take over of everything, but if they ask the wealthy to contribute a little more to the society that gave them the opportunity to become wealthy, they squeal like little girls.
It's time to get real in our comparisons here, don't you think?

Roadkill said...


I was just commenting on what the quoted editorial said, to wit:

"The problem is, free markets don't have consciences, corporations can't really police themselves, and so loss of human life has become an acceptable by-product of business as usual."

And I was merely observing that the idea that there is some inherent problem with capitalism that leads to undue loss of human life is abject nonsense, and that the reality is just the opposite.

Captialism improves the human condition, whereas Socialism degrades it, more often than not to the point of mass murder.

Anonymous said...


When you talk about the evils of Socialism, why don't you compare laissez-faire to the Semi Socialist Scandinavian countries. I dare you to find a higher standard of living that seen in Swedan, Norway, Denmark, or Finland. The are some of the most highly educated people on earth, and most like some of the healthiest perhaps because they don't the constant stress over the concern that they will not be able to afford health care.
You might just come up with a different picture that using you comparison of The American "Socialist" model to tyrannical states like Hitler's Germany and Stanlin's Solviet Union.

Roadkill said...


You make a valid point; I often read that the Scandinavians have a high quality of life and relatively stable semi-socialist economies. Perhaps the homogeneity of those societies plays a role, I don't know. I need to look into it more; it may be the exception that proves the rule.

I am familiar with some of Scandiavia's most famous artists, and have seen many Bergman films and Ibsen plays. As you probably know, the most prominent moods in their works are bleakness and despair.

Anonymous said...

Thank your of your acknowledgment. It's very refreshing and conducive to real dialogue, unlike the the Beck, Limbaugh form of tyranny.
You too are correct. I'm not so familiar with Scandinavian Film but in my college days was familiar with painters of that region and as you have noted "bleakness" is indeed the predominant mood. When you look at Munch's "The Scream" happiness and joy are not what the viewer experiences. That said, I think what contributes more to the depressive mood of the region are the long cold winter nights and short winter days. If you're familiar with some of the maladies of Alaska a very similar phenomenon is prominent there as well. So I would hesitate to correlate the grim attitude of the people in the region to their political system. Did you happen to see the 60mins segment on Finland? It was about this very subject.

daniel noe said...

So...the fact that death exists proves that the right to life is not being honored?