House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says capitalism has failed to serve the nation’s economy adequately and that “it needs to be improved.” Her controversial remarks came on Friday last week.― comments that most media paid no attention to when she made them at the Chatham House in London.
An obvious question is, how can she reach that conclusion at a time of low interest rates, acceptable unemployment rates, and a record-high stock market?
Arguably the most powerful woman in Washington, Pelosi said that “capitalism is our system, it is our economic system, but it has not served our economy as well as it should. And so what we want to do is not depart from that, but to improve it.”
Pelosi went on to make the ludicrous claim that, about four decades ago the U.S. had “stakeholder capitalism.” She described that as an economy in which productivity increases were accompanied by pay increases for CEOs and for workers. Further she stated this has since been replaced by “shareholder capitalism.”
“Productivity rises. CEO pay rises. Worker pay stagnates,” she said. “We cannot have an exploitation of our workforce where the wages have stagnated for decades and CEO pay has soared,” Pelosi claimed.
The major issue with her statement? She’s dead wrong. She knows it, too.
After the devastating housing bubble burst of 2009, wages have increased every year by no less than 2.5 percent and, in 2019 before the China virus again crippled the economy, wages rose nearly four percent over the previous year. The average worker’s wages in 2019 rose to $54,100.
Those weren’t the only irrational comments Pelosi made last week. The day before, on Thursday during remarks at the Cambridge Union, Pelosi said that Joe Biden “knows his foreign policy.”
Her comment about Biden’s supposed foreign policy prowess arrived at a period when many have been lambasting the Biden administration for bungling the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Southern border crisis, undermining a defense deal including France and Australia ― causing France to recall its ambassador to Washington ― and economic moves that have benefited China and Russia, the two biggest foreign threats the U.S. currently faces.
A recent Quinnipiac poll of U.S. adults found that a whopping 65 percent disapprove of the way the president handled the withdrawal of American troops, while just 31 percent approve. His overall popularity rating dipped below 50 percent for the first time in a Gallup poll released earlier this week.
We would argue that those who still approve aren’t paying attention.
Pelosi’s comments on the economy and her failed effort to prop up Biden’s stature before the American people are a continuation of a pattern by the Fascists now running the country. Especially troubling is her deliberate misrepresentation of the effectiveness of our capitalistic system.
It is nothing new, unfortunately, for the now-Fascist Democrats. Joseph Schumpeter once observed, “Capitalism stands its trial before judges who have the sentence of death in their pockets.” Capitalism is to be condemned no matter what, even if the executioners have yet to settle on the specific reason for its condemnation.
The forces of anti-capitalism have long morphed into whatever form best suits them for taking advantage of the zeitgeist ― the spirt of the age. Whatever the latest injustice may be — from a polluted environment to poverty to racism — the solution is always the same: The destruction of markets and market freedom.
In earlier times, the anti-capitalists indicted capitalism for the miserable existence forced on the proletariat, inevitable depressions, and the disappearance of the middle classes. Then, a little later, it was for imperialism and inevitable wars among the imperialist-capitalist powers.
Capitalism was charged with being unable to compete with socialist societies in technological progress. The Soviet Union held out their 1957 launch of Sputnik as the prime example. It was just 12 years later, however, that the United States “won the space race” by landing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.
Then the Soviets claimed they were better at promoting automation. All that did was lead to catastrophic permanent unemployment of the very workers’ class they claimed was the backbone of their political theory.
Both those efforts created a consumer society and its piggish affluence. Yet the communist society proved incapable of extending such piggishness to the underclass. With the ultimate collapse of the Soviet state ― Fascist and communist states always, inevitably, collapse ― our own Western Fascists, communists, Nazis, etc. turned to blaming capitalism for “Neo-colonialism,” with oppressing women and racial minorities, with spawning a deceptive popular culture and with destroying the Earth itself.
Still capitalism streams on, still under attack, still in disfavor with the world’s elites who cannot stand the fact that anyone can acquire the same luxuries and baubles they can acquire.
Now they have turned to racism as the ultimate result of practicing capitalism. Pelosi’s remarks, we can rest assured, will be followed up by more specific attacks stemming from the Fascist viewpoint that free markets, unlimited resources and a strong wage platform is ― what else? ― racist.
if we delve into the Left’s narrative underpinning the current Black Lives Matter movement we find a sizable undercurrent of anti-capitalism. This isn’t to say antiracism has nothing to do with the controversy. Clearly, it is an element of the movement.
Moreover, it may certainly be the case that most of the movement’s rank and file — those who demonstrate in the streets — are animated simply by a desire to end perceived mistreatment by police. But when it comes time to formulate policy responses to their invented crises of police abuse, we’re likely to discover that the Left is demanding a “solution” that goes far beyond merely holding the very few abusive cops accountable, focusing instead on further dismantling what’s left of the market economy.
If that sounds like a stretch, allow me to elucidate.
While the connection between police abuse and the evils of capitalism may not be readily apparent to some, the indictment of capitalism as the ultimate culprit will flow naturally from the fact that the Left has long attempted to connect racism to market economies. We find the evidence in countless Leftist-authored books and articles which claim capitalism and racism are inseparable. The vocabulary used therein employs the usual pejorative term for capitalism employed by the Left: Neo-liberalism.
Although many free-market liberals (i.e., “classical” liberals) and conservatives have tried to reassure themselves that attacks on Neo-liberalism are merely benign attacks on globalist elites, this is a naïve view. The Left has consistently used the term “Neo-liberal” to describe almost any ideology or policy agenda that is even moderately pro-capitalist. In their minds, Neo-liberism is interchangeable with market capitalism.
For example, in an article titled “Black Politics and the Neo-liberal Racial Order” authors Michael C. Dawson and Megan Ming Francis are quite clear that an attack on Neo-liberalism is no mere limited attack on an international elite of central bankers:
“We define Neo-liberalism as a set of policies and ideological tenets that include the privatization of public assets; the deregulation or elimination of state services; macroeconomic stabilization and the discouragement of Keynesian policies; trade liberalization and financial deregulation.”
In other words, Neo-liberalism is any movement in the direction of less government intervention in the everyday lives of business owners, entrepreneurs, and households. To be a “non-Neo-liberal” — and thus ideologically correct (and Fascist) — is to be in favor of Keynesian policies, trade controls, and more government regulation. This is the attitude that dominates Biden’s puppet masters. It is dangerous, as it can only lead to Hitlerian or Stalinist political and economic totalitarianism.
The centrality of racism to capitalism is further reinforced by the relatively recent term “racial capitalism.” The term is employed by Dawson and Francis, who define racial capitalism as “the system that is produced by the mutually constitutive hierarchical structures of capitalism and race in the United States.”
That sentence may be difficult to understand for those unfamiliar with the Left’s view of capitalism: Capitalism is inherently hierarchical and characterized by top-down and bottom-up conflict between the social classes. In this view, capitalism is fundamentally inseparable from state coercion, which must be employed by capitalists to keep workers in their place. Capitalists then employ racial divisions to reinforce this hierarchy.
Numerous examples of this theory are fleshed out in Walter Johnson’s new book The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States. Although Johnson focuses on the city of St. Louis, the book is really his dubious history of how capitalists nationwide have used racism to exploit the middle and working classes over the past two centuries.
It is a history of how “racial capitalism has been one in which white supremacy justified the terms of … capitalist exploitation.” Johnson makes it clear he views the promotion of racism as a necessary tactic in perpetuating capitalism at the expense of the workers. For Johnson, it is possible to control racial and ethnic minorities with shows of physical force. But the numerically superior white workers require a different strategy: Specifically, “white supremacy is necessary to control the white people.”
Consequently, in Johnson’s view, we find that capitalism rests on a shaky foundation in which racism is not just part of the capitalist framework. Racism must be perpetuated by capitalists in order to maintain the capitalist status quo. The conclusion becomes obvious: Destroy capitalism and we destroy racism.
It’s easy to see, then, how a well-meaning opponent of bigotry might conclude that the cause of decency must necessarily demand the destruction of capitalism. According to the Left’s intellectuals, not only is Neo-liberalism (i.e., capitalism) inextricably linked with racism, but the Neo-liberal order is the dominant one.
We might then conclude that the injustices we see around us — presumably a product of the status quo — can only be fixed by overturning that dominant ideology. Moreover, the current ruling class — the ascendant capitalists — employ racism to prop themselves up at the expense of everyone else.
Who wouldn’t want to strike at the capitalists after accepting this narrative?
The problem with all this, of course, is that capitalism is certainly not the dominant ideology of the status quo. If it were, Paul Krugman would not be a media darling, and the U.S. would not be running trillion-dollar deficits each year, funded with government-printed money.
Moreover, capitalism has long been the enemy of caste systems, which tend to find the most support in non-capitalist traditionalist systems of privilege and protectionism. It’s no coincidence, of course, that the slave traders of old vehemently slandered capitalism at every opportunity.
But even if we were to win that argument, the anti-capitalist narrative would simply switch to environmentalism or the moral turpitude of consumerism. This year, the popular anti-capitalist narrative is about race. Next year, it may be something else entirely. The evidence presented at capitalism’s trial will change.
But the presumed death sentence will remain. The forces of evil will never give up until capitalism is dead. That, dear friends, is up to us to fend off for as long as we possibly can.
Mike Nichols is a conservative, a patriot, U.S. Army veteran, licensed professional counselor, political enthusiast, sports fan and writer living with his beautiful wife Liz in the Heartland. He has a regular blog at America’s Conservative Voice on Substack and a Facebook presence at Americas Conservative Voice-Facebook.