Conservative Politics and the Human Condition

Marvin Olasky’s column this week (“How Some Conservatives Hurt Conservatism”) discusses how some folk utterly committed to capitalism can actually hurt the system they hold dear, a sample:

Some Americans devoted to free enterprise and lower taxes actually push policies and lead lives that push this country toward big government. Leftists who want a centralization of power bear sizeable responsibility for governmental growth. But conservatives who don’t understand the importance of religious and community institutions are also part of the problem.

Capitalism’s aim, as far as I understand it, is to accumulate wealth. This is not a bad thing all onto itself, so long as that wealth is used to aid (in a “teach-a-man-to fish” way) those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Of course when a capitalist who cares little for the suffering of his fellow man (this seems to be the natural inclination of human beings) hoards what he makes this can have adverse consequences in the society such as ours, as Olasky points out:

The politics of this are simple: If Americans have a choice between big government and small government, and if Americans think big government helps the poor and small government doesn’t, a crucial mass will often vote for big government. If Americans think the only way to work together on social problems is through government, most will prefer government to giving up.

All in all, another well-written piece by Dr. Olasky (he gets extra points for dropping Nekulturny in the column)

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5 Responses to Conservative Politics and the Human Condition

  1. neilaquino says:

    How many times has the left saved capitalism from itself with government programs? We’ll be coming to the rescue again in the next few years with universal health care which the right and doctors have fought and fought against.

  2. Laz says:

    It could be argued that capitalism saved Communist China’s (a leftist government) economy.

    How many times has the left saved capitalism from itself with government programs?

    You’re right in saying this and the truth in the statement only goes to show that any human conceived system (whether right or leftist)is bound to fail because of, well, the human condition…

  3. Maybe there is a difference between Capitalism – which could be epitomized by Hamilton’s role of government in business and Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, and the immoral use of the 14th Amendment which has given suffrage to corporate entities, or “Corporitism”.

    Corporotism has one goal and loyalty – the generation of wealth for their own interests, not even their stock holders. It is easily as detrimental to extreme Marxism to the wealth of national interests and even more dispassionate about individual wealth of the masses.

    Corportism is based upon the love of money, pure and simple, and is that not the root of “all” which is evil.

  4. Laz says:

    Thank you both for your input.

    Voice:
    What the Apostle (Paul) wrote to Timothy was:

    For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil– 1 Timothy 6:10

    Quite a different statement than what is commonly cited, usually within a polemic against money in general or the wealthy in particular.

    It is to be noted that the context of the above text is in reference to those who want to become rich (above all things), the Apostle writes:

    But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accomplished by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. — 1 Timothy 6:6-9(emphasis mine)

    Truly a sobering text…

  5. Steve says:

    How many times has the left saved capitalism from itself with government programs?
    What a load of rot. The answer would be, let me see, zero?

    Laz, you’re right in saying that human systems are bound to fail, but capitalism has benefitted far more people globally than the tired socialism of the left. Wasn’t it the left’s own John Kennedy who said that “a rising tide raises all boats”? Improve the economy and everyone benefits.

    A capitalist society is better equipped to provide for the needy than a socialist system that simply provides a handout and dependency on the dole. Effective capitalism brings people out off the welfare roles. Look at the decades-long benefit that Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down/supply side economics strategy had. Our poor have a higher standard of living than many middle class around the world.

    Why did Oprah start and support schools in South Africa instead of in American inner cities? Because the greatest needs of the American “poor” that she talked to was not food or shelter, but an iPod or a better cell phone. It sounds ludicrous, but that actually speaks well of capitalism in this country.

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