Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Debunking Myths of American History—2

This is Part 2 of a 4-part series, in which I replied to comments made under the op-ed by Frayda Levin, an Americans for Prosperity board member, titled I'm A Proud Koch Brothers Insider. For a deep, integrated history of capitalism, I recommend The Capitalist Manifesto by Andrew Bernstein.

“The Post Civil War order, which lasted in many places until WWII,  was dominated by robber barons, children working in factories and mines. segregation and lynching, and horrific conditions.”—Get Real

My Reply:

Wrong. This period was the freest era in human history, and the result was astounding progress across society. Jobs, rising real wages, and new occupations abounded. Mostly poor but ambitious immigrants flooded in. Why? To come to the hellhole you describe? Hardly. To live free, and prosper. The middle class was born. It was not a time of robber barons. It was a time of industrial genius and inventiveness. The period started with the horse and buggy and whale oil lighting and ended with electrification, indoor plumbing, automobiles, aviation, skyscrapers, and on and on. Your hellhole is a fiction manufactured by capitalist-hating, socialist-embracing intellectuals, who had to bury the truth about capitalism to pave the way for the “Progressives.”

The whole of the evidence of the past 250 years is that prosperity and societal harmony exist only to the extent that individuals can live and associate freely and government exists to protect their rights to do so.

As to “children working in factories and mines [and] segregation and lynching”:

Child labor existed throughout history, as a necessity of survival. Capitalism inherited child labor, as it did all of the “horrific conditions” it gets blamed for but didn’t create. Capitalist prosperity eliminated the need for child labor, over time, as economies and prosperity grew because of capitalistic freedom.

Segregation is not a product of capitalism (freedom). It is statist. Segregation is legally imposed “separate but equal” doctrine entrenched by the reactionary 1896 Supreme Court Plessy ruling. Separate but Equal is a work-around against the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Lynchings are crimes, for which the government is created to protect against. The widespread use of segregation and lynchings was a failure of government, not freedom.

Related Reading:

The Inventive Period—Andrew Bernstein

Notes, and Myths, on American History - 2

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

The black 'codes', the Plessy ruling, segregation by 'law' and lynchings were REJECTIONS of law & gvt., not failures if it. The goal of the 'intellectuals' you cite is the Dark Ages where a % or 2 on top wields the power of the rest, who are ignorant, to the grand luxury (for the times)of the % or 2 on top.

The worst of them, the radical environmentalists and fanatical religionists, want a return to the lower stone age where a chief who can barely speak rules the rest, who can't speak. How lonely such a chief must be, the only one who can about talk.