Thursday, 12 June 2003

A socialist and his money are easily parted

The characteristic feature of modern capitalism is mass production of goods destined for consumption by the masses. The result is a tendency towards a continuous improvement in the average standard of living, a progressing enrichment of the many. Capitalism deproletarianizes the "common man" and elevates him to the rank of a "bourgeois."
Thus starts The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality written by Ludwig von Mises in 1956.

The misguided souls identified by von Mises are alive and well here in Scotland:

THE Scottish Socialist Party’s leading benefactor is the son of a wealthy industrialist who has used a family legacy to further Tommy Sheridan’s political cause, The Scotsman has learned.
Mr McGrail describes himself as a "committed socialist", presumably unlike his father who was a public benefactor by virtue of founding a company that continues to satisfy customers and which now employs 240 people.

As the Mises Institute puts it:

He (von Mises) stresses that under capitalism, one's economic position largely depends on one's ability to satisfy the needs of the mass of the consumers. Many, unable or unwilling to do so, prefer a society of status in which position depends on birth rather than individual responsibility.
Sadly, McGrail has not followed in his father's footsteps but has instead given financial support to the Scottish Socialist Party. What a waste of his inheritance, for socialism is the ultimate "society of status".