Ever since the feudal system of medieval Britain, the idea of capital has played a key role in people’s economic and political freedom.
In a Britain where the rise of socialist populism is threatening to change the face of the nation forever, it is crucial to take a deeper look at what Capitalism has done for millions of citizens across the UK and the world.
Capitalism. A concept so easily distorted, disregarded, disrespected. In spite of the liberty it consistently offers to its members, in recent decades, it appears that many, including politicians, have begun to take it for granted. Frighteningly, the combination of a brasher far-left and succession of meek, centrist leaders, has led to the growing acceptance of Capitalism being simply ‘a way of doing things’. Easily replaceable and unnecessarily worshiped.
It’s also interesting to note that the vast majority of the new wave of socialists neither hail from a working class background nor have ever lived under a socialist regime.
Returning to the all-important question – what does Capitalism do for us?
Where to begin? Perhaps due to my background, it is easy for me to see the saving grace that is a capitalist economy. Arriving on British shores as peasant migrants, my grandparents fulfilled the ‘nothing but the shirt on their back’ cliché perfectly. They had come, fatigued from a lifetime of poverty, with a dream that seemed hopeless and utterly unattainable. A dream to earn, to save, to progress.
They achieved it all under Capitalism. Contrary to accusations from the Left of failing to serve the poorest, Capitalism did and continues to do exactly that.
We have forgotten, I fear, the perils of an encroaching State. For when the State assumes the role of the omnipotent provider and distributor, its economy implodes and its people become powerless. When the State begins to impose diktats on who can earn what and where wealth can lie, instead of serving its people, it starves them. When the State grows taller, so does its debt. When it grows bolder, its people fall into submission.
Soon, when the novelty of Socialism erodes to show its ugly reality, every worker and his family realise that they have become servants of the State. They no longer work for their own progression but for the progression of the State. They no longer work to feed themselves but to feed the expenditure of the State. Freedom is lost.
Where is the proof?
It would be preferable, perhaps, if one could claim all this to be merely theory. To not know that millions of people have struggled, suffered, died at the hands of Socialism would be easier to swallow. Alas, this is not so. Cunning promises of a ‘kinder, gentler’ socialist system have fooled so many. Look at your newsfeed. Look at the millions marching in Venezuela, where inflation has hit 800%, 80% of its people have been plunged into poverty and parents scavenge in bins to feed their children.
How any politician can advocate this state of existence is beyond comprehension.
My friends, do not despair – rejoice, for we have Capitalism.
We are free to earn and consume as we please. We are free to save for our future and the future of our children. We are free to progress, regardless of what rung on the social ladder we have started from, to as much wealth as we are willing to work for. We have economic liberty in all its glory. We are a people freer than we realise.
So when they tell us to be ashamed, lift our heads even higher. When they say we must despair, tell them to look at Venezuela. When they claim that Capitalism can go on no longer, remember the freedom that our ancestors fought for lest we forget the beauty that is the Capitalist Dream.
May we allow no champagne socialist to take that away from us. Not now, not ever.