Capitalism and Consumerism

The Christmas shopping period – one of the busiest in the year for the retail industry – has begun with a starter pistol on so-called “Black Friday”, with the culmination due in the January sales. The period of celebration, feasting and gift-giving is critical to the annual revenue and profits of hundreds of consumer-facing industries, with the volume of spending increasing by more than 50% according to some estimates.

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Optimism for Liberty

Browsing through a single day’s worth of articles on the libertarian website lewrockwell.com is enough to confront one with a smorgasbord of despair:

  • The bankruptcy of Western nations and their collapsing economies;
  • Increasing wars and overseas intervention;
  • Desperation to maintain Western-led hegemony;
  • Increased state censorship and invasion of privacy;
  • The dangers of state-sponsored medicine and disease control;
  • Digital enslavement;
  • The lack of integrity of the political class; official lies and corruption.
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Freedom – the Law of the Jungle?

It is often asserted that a system of free market capitalism reduces everyone to the level of animals, subject to the “law of the jungle”. Similar emotive epithets accuse capitalism of being little more than a “dog eat dog” or “winner takes all” economic system. However, as we shall see now, nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Freedom – The Real Third Way

The economic history of the twentieth century is often summarised as some kind of big battle between unfettered capitalism on the one hand (as supposedly demonstrated by the United States) and full blown socialism/communism on the other (as the Soviet Union was supposed to have been).

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