by Ragnar Danneskjold
editor-in-chief – http://www.LibertyImpact.com
Reporter, editor – http://PlanetGold.com
I have been reading stories in the mainstream media, blaming
capitalism for the current market woes. It’s the greedy
capitalists, they say, that are responsible for the faltering
economy. “The bottom line is the only thing those capitalists
think about, without any consideration for the long-term
economic outlook, employees, or social welfare,” says one
reporter. “Capitalism gives the executives of companies such
as Global Crossing, Enron, and WorldCom incentives to cook the
books,” states another.
True, executives pay attention to the bottom line. That’s
their job. And some of them commit fraud by cooking the
books. But why indict capitalism? That’s like blaming gun
manufacturers for violent crimes. Oh, but wait. That’s the
whole point. We like to blame everything or anything other
than the individual. The first thing the mainstream media
does is blame everything else, and the individual is a side-
story, an unimportant tangent.
The devil made them do it or, rather, the capitalist system.
Why blame the executives when they are just pawns of
capitalism, doing what capitalism tells them to do? Why put
all the blame on the murderer for the murder, when there are
larger social issues involved? Why blame anyone for anything?
When we play such blame games, we diffuse the issues. We make
the subject irreconcilable. If there is no one person to
blame, but many, or even a whole system, or society as a
whole, why blame anyone? Our attention is diverted. The
issue is diffused to the point of irrelevancy.
Rational people should understand that responsibility must
rest on the person pressing the trigger, or the accountant
signing a financial statement knowing it is false, or the
executive who looks the other way. Fraud is fraud under
capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism, or any other
economic or political system. The real issue, therefore, is
fraud, committed by unscrupulous executives. And they must be
punished. It’s as simple as that. There is no need to look
anywhere else to complicate matters. Sure, the reporters and
columnists like complication. Who wants to write a boring
story centering on another instance of fraud. Let’s spice it
up, make it look like there’s a problem with the entire system
or society as a whole. Nationalize or globalize it. That’s
the ticket. Confuse everyone and muddle the issues.
In reality, however, all we have are a bunch of people who
thought they could get away with cheating. They are no
different than credit card fraudsters or pick-pockets.
Sometimes the simple answer is the correct answer, even if it
does not sell as many newspapers or magazines.
Capitalism is a system that allows people to pursue life,
liberty, and property. Blaming this system for the acts of
duplicitous executives is an insult to all business people
everywhere. I am a capitalist, but I do not cheat people. Do