Our target market

Recently I wrote an article on a strategy for establishing capitalism. What I want to do in this article is to suggest our most important target market. It is, in my opinion, the youth. Below are 3 reasons why I think this is:

  1. Envisaging capitalism in the current era where interventionism is the status quo requires imagination, thinking outside the box, being brave and adventurous, willing to learn new ways and broaden one’s scope and also be rather rebellious. These characteristics are much more possessed by the younger generation than the old.
  2. Youth are much more accessible. They are much more accustomed to the modern ways of communication and can also be approached in education institutions e.g. university societies/events.
  3. They are the future! The more we invest in educating the youth in understanding why capitalism works despite it being counter-intuitive the more of a chance we have establishing capitalism in the near future.

As such, our resources and energy should be spent more on the youth. One way we could do this is by starting a capitalist university society which is active in various universities. Usually these societies are run easily without much costs as they get support from Student Union and the members themselves. A good idea for a weekly activity, which I think would be quite popular, is to summarise the weekly political affairs and discuss the way these problems will be addressed under capitalism. These sort of activities are not sufficiently done by libertarian university societies (not even those associated with Liberty League) and if they have, they weren’t marketed well enough. I have studied in two institutions part of University of London and I was not made aware of any libertarian activities. On the other hand, I have always seen socialist societies being active in marketing their events and activities.

The most important reason for starting these societies, it should be remembered, is that it trains pro-capitalist youth in debating against the status-quo.

2 Comments

  1. If (and it is a big “if”) you manage to defeat the raiders (out to loot, rape, burn and kill) and establish your realm, “establishing capitalism” is easy.

    Just do as the laws of Bavaria did in the time of Charles the Great (the first “Holy Roman Emperor”) did and declare that the only “just price” or “fair wage” is one that is established voluntarily (by supply and demand) between buyers and sellers (including the buyers and sellers of voluntary labour).

    Defend property rights (civil society) and the rest takes care of itself. Otherwise the loot-rape-kill (“Krugman and Stiglitz for ever”) forces win.

    However, the “defeating the raiders” bit is the hard part – after all Bavaria failed to defend itself against Charles the Great and his statism.

    The later Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald (late 800s) – accepted that no one (even himself) could justly take land from one family and give it to another family, and that the Church and civil society generally should have some independence from his rule – including the right of armed self defence and the defence of others (the latter point is vital – even Thomas Hobbes accepted the right of people to SELF defence, it is the right to defend OTHER PEOPLE that is vital), including against a government that had violated the basic laws, which the King, himself, did NOT have the right to change. The same is true of Parliaments – such students of the Common Law of England as Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke and Chief Justice Sir John Holt (of 1688 and all that), would have been horrified at the idea that any ravings of Parliament are “law” and that no basic right is proof against the ravings of Parliament (or the King).

    However, Charles the Bald only accepted these things because he was in a desperate situation – endless Viking raids (and invasions), endless Islamic raids (and invasions), civil wars within his own family….. and so on.

    He had to accept that landholders had the right to their own castles and professional armed men – or his realm would have collapsed totally (and thus “feudalism” was born – it was really a military, not an economic system). Even as late at the war of 1812 between Britain and the United States, the backbone of the resistance in Canada was landholders taking up arms (as they had sworn to do) to resist the American invaders – ironically most of the people who took arms against the United States were themselves born in the United States.

    How does all the above apply now?

    Well if things collapse (and I know of no evidence that they will not – after all where is the reform?) things will have to be relearned – and in a hurry.

    Things may well develop into a high tech version of the time of Charles the Bald. But without either a strong Church or a strong hereditary monarchy to provide a focus for some degree of basic order. The young may welcome the lack of such things – but it is a mistake to welcome their decline, as nothing has taken their place. For example I would much rather be in Utah (although I am NOT a Mormon) if the ….. really hits the fan, than I would like being around here in secular land. There are cultural institutions (Councils of Elders and so on) in place in some parts of the world if the Social Democratic State collapses – there are no such cultural institutions (any more) around here.

    The young “naturally rebellious” – actually, as Mises pointed out, student “rebels” (and so on) are intensely conformist – taking what their teachers and university lecturers (and the media) teach them to its “logical” conclusions. They seldom doubt the “facts” they are taught – as the ancient philosophers pointed out, the young are naturally optimistic (the young are naturally “credulous”). There is a massive difference between taking what you are taught to its “logical” conclusions – and actually doubting what you are taught is true at all.

    It is middle aged men who are “naturally rebellious” – in the sense of actually disputing whether the dominant ideas in the system are really true. We do not like the world – in much the same way that we do not really like the person who stares back at us from the bathroom mirror.

    It is called being an “grumpy old man”.

    Still it is a generalisation – and like most generalisations there are many individual exceptions.

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