By a Brit. In an article about the G20 conference this week, Janet Daley speaks a few home truths to the power of the mob: G20: If capitalism is ‘overthrown’, we’ll lose our political freedom
Some of the demonstrators in this week’s G20 protest jamboree are demanding the “overthrow” of capitalism. Well, there are lots of things than can be done to “capitalism” – it can be undermined, suppressed, sabotaged, even outlawed – but it cannot be “overthrown” because in itself, it has no power.
It is the very opposite, in fact, of a tyranny. It is simply the conglomeration of all the transactions made between individual and corporate players in an open market. Some people may gain power through those transactions but that power is transient and contingent on their own financial success: they are not installed in immutable positions from which they can be forcibly removed in a coup d’etat.
The question we are wrestling with now – and which the G20 will certainly fail to resolve – is how much the bodies which actually do have power should undermine, suppress, sabotage or even outlaw the practice of capitalist exchange.
Getting to the real issue:
When we make the case for capitalism, we are defending the political principle of freedom, not arguing for one kind of rigid economic organisation over another. The debate is being hopelessly muddied by those late converts to free enterprise – politicians like Mr Brown who believe that markets should only survive if they can be made to serve Left-wing purposes.
So the idea that the arguments which will dominate the summit are purely economic is quite wrong: this is about politics. The fundamental disagreement between the United States and Europe amounts to nothing less than the question of whether the great 200 year old experiment in national democracy – government of the people, by the people, and for the people – will survive.
Read the rest of this excellent article at the link.