In an environment of economic freedom, a man would rather receive a loan on which he must pay 10% interest than to be given 1% for taking a loan, with which he knows not what to do, for he has no economic freedom.
I had this thought while driving back from exercising at the gym. It then segued into a conversation I had with a friend of mine the other day, in which we discussed whether socialism and capitalism are as immutable as the sacred math that defines our universe, i.e., some final form of physics or geometry or some discipline yet to be discovered.
We never exactly arrived at a conclusion as to whether socialism and capitalism are immutable laws of the universe and the societies therein, but the conversation was thought provoking nonetheless.
While reconsidering the conversation today, I considered that, indeed, they are immutable laws. That is, there exists a spectrum, at one end of which lies pure socialism, where no one has economic freedom, and where we are all slaves to each other, or in reality, to the state that governs us in such a society. At the opposite end of the spectrum lies pure capitalism, where those that accumulate are able to purchase their power indefinitely, until there is such a disparity in wealth that men are made slaves to the wealthy "owners" of society.
Often, we think of these ideas as modern day concepts, but in reality, they seem to be immutable laws of the universe and the societies therein. When feudal states existed, they were so because power concentrated due to regulations designed by kings and lords that suspended economic freedoms, and as a result, created reliance on those in power that created the morally just regulations in the first place.
The pendulum swung during the enlightenment in western Europe, during which we saw freedom emphasized, and productivity as a sign of good character. Religions, such as calvinism, began focusing on individual and economic freedoms, as opposed to indulgences (read: regulations) for what made an upstanding member of society.
But oh, how the pendulum has swung back in the direction of the feudal state, especially in the modern EU.
In today's Europe, money can't even be given away, because what use is it to the men and women who have no economic freedom with which to employ the free money. These men and women have in essence become vassals to the bloated bureaucracy of the EU. In such a morbid, ironic twist, policy makers are supplying more free money and wondering why it's not igniting their economy. They've created so many regulations and such a convoluted, hodgepodge of government, that their citizens are paralyzed. They do nothing other than that which they have done for decades. There is no innovation. No dissenting opinions. Just modern day slavery.
They have simply swung too far to the left, that is, towards socialism, for society to function as it should.
I live in the United States, and at our present political juncture, we are witnessing the pendulum swing back toward economic freedom and away from the feudal state via the presidency of Donald Trump.
Whether we end up on either extreme, there will be consequences for that extreme. When gone unchecked, extreme regulation and bureaucratic bloat are a means by which humans' express their innate desire to rule and accumulate resources. Such was the case in feudal Europe, and such is the case in the modern EU, where innovation and business development have ground to a snail's pace.
On the other extreme end of the spectrum, unchecked capitalism creates vassals of us all as well, only we become slaves to corporations and the ultra-wealthy elite.
It's an interesting observation that man is willing to walk openly into slavery. That is, man is willing to walk openly into obscene levels of regulation and taxation that in essence make them slaves. Man only realizes, or becomes enlightened, to the fact that they have become slaves once its too late, and then calls for violent revolution reach a fever pitch.
America's left currently represents the worst that the socialists have to offer. They want to make vassals of us all, dependent on their free school, free meals, free healthcare, free energy, and free transportation; ironically, until we have no economic freedoms left whatsoever. That is, we are unable to use the money we earn as an expression of our own freedom. We are working for 40% of our true productivity. That 40% goes to subsistence while the other 60% goes to our feudal lords, i.e., the government bureaucrats.
While the scourges of unbridled capitalism are no better, let us not forget that America was founded on economic freedom, as that is objectively the most moral way mankind should live in harmony with one another.