This set of essays is a work in progress and predicated on the idea that an ounce of understanding
is worth a pound of opinion. Since it is inconceivable to me that it can't be improved, I would invite
you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions. Please don't try to involve
me in a monologue, though. What I need are statements formatted as: you are an idiot BECAUSE. .
. If all you have is the first part, I am happy to agree that I am frequently wrong, but it does me no
good if I can't see HOW.
My overarching goals are global peace, generalized prosperity, and a pervasive sense of meaning.
We are at a stage in our history when I truly believe we have a choice between Goodness, as
embodied in continuing freedom, and Evil, as embodied in the totalitarianism some of our thought
leaders keep calling for.
To make some terms clear, Capitalism is in my view an economic system within which moral
narratives operate. In its basis, it is people making things and selling them. People keep the results
of their labor, which is how it should be. It doesn't matter what religion, race, or ethnicity someone
is. It is buying and selling. In my last essay, though, I propose how we can perfect this system.
Conversely, Socialism is a moral narrative that wants to impose an economic system, and which in
turn HAS to impose a political regime as well. This point was made well by Hayek in "The Road to
If we take as our ideal some tribal people--think "Dances with wolves", or "The Last Samurai"--what
we see is that everyone pays their own way, if they are physically able to do so. This is the only
primary demand of Capitalism.
Capitalism can be an outflow of creative energy which need not be tied to greed. Facebook, initially,
was not intended as a source of wealth. Countless inventions that went on to build fortunes arose
from private projects that simply happened to be useful to many people at the right time.
Socialists offer no cultural alternatives to what we have today. Their method is one of taking away
individual attributes, not adding them. Their goal is to take over the economy to force equalities not
just of income, but identity. If the only good is equality, then inequality--culturally or
economically--can be the only evil. This is a necessary conclusion. Given this, all cultural attributes
whatsoever must be eliminated. Women must equal men. The talented must equal those lacking in
talent. Religious belief must be destroyed.
Thus my intention here is to offer a core agreement with critics of our current system, and yet
rather than rejecting it in favor of a murky utopian idealism that has failed every time it has been
tried, to offer up concrete suggestions for reform. In this sense, I want to maintain a connection
with Burke, who in effect suggested that the two paths of "revolution" are gradualism (one could
argue the American Revolution was in fact a civil war in which we, paradoxically, best upheld
English ideals) and what might be termed "catastrophism", as seen in the vast piles of bodies and
economic wastelands that began with the French Revolution, and only got worse with time.
To the topic, there are five expositions here. Since I suspect most people who start this series don't
finish it, I have recently moved the final piece--"How to fix our financial system"--to the top. The
underlying data and reasoning is contained in the following pieces, which are intended to be
sequential. The piece on Keynes is not strictly necessary to my argument, but is included since it is
generally difficult to discuss economics without running into his ghost.
Just click on the picture next to the topic, and be prepared to read critically and with focus. When
you are done, just close the window, and click on the next picture.
How our financial system works, what is wrong with it, and how to fix it
What is money?
An Introduction to the Federal Reserve
How our Financial System is Stabilized
How to Fix our Financial System
Last edited (twice) Nov. 8, 2010
The Disaster of Keynesian Economics