A Journal for Western Man

 

A Review of Dr. Robert P. Murphy's

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism

G. Stolyarov II

Issue CXVIII - August 12, 2007

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Principal Index

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Old Superstructure

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Old Master Index

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Contributors

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The Rational Business Journal

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Forum

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Yahoo! Group

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Gallery of Rational Art

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Online Store

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Henry Ford Award

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Johannes Gutenberg Award

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CMFF: Fight Death

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Eden against the Colossus

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A Rational Cosmology

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Implied Consent

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Links

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Mr. Stolyarov's Articles on Helium.com

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Mr. Stolyarov's Articles on Associated Content

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Mr. Stolyarov's Articles on GrasstopsUSA.com

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Submit/Contact

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Statement of Policy

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            Of all the so-called “social sciences” today, economics is by far the best-developed and most essential to the future prosperity and progress of civilization. However, it is also the least widely understood and most frequently scorned and even despised. It would be accurate – though politically incorrect – to say that one of the greatest social problems in the contemporary world is the public attitude toward economics. The majority of ordinary people, on the one hand, are utterly ignorant of its insights. The bulk of the intelligentsia, media, and politicians, on the other hand, are blatantly venomous with regard to this time-tested, theoretically solid, and empirically validated discipline.

            The double-pronged attack on economics in the form of ignorance and contempt is a key factor in the continued growth of government, the veritable black holes of governmental foreign aid and support for international economic organizations, and the continued existence of totalitarian states and their murderous treatment of their own citizens. Anybody who can bring sound economic insights to additional audiences deserves the highest praise as a benefactor of the civil, tolerant, peaceful, and uplifting aspects of human existence.

            Dr. Robert Murphy, in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism (Regnery Publishing, 2007) performs just this service. This book is not an academic treatise meant only for those who have already studied economics for years. Rather, it is intended for every kind of reader – from the layman who is just becoming introduced to sound economic principles to the long-practicing economics purveyor who will enjoy seeing repeatedly-validated truths presented in an original and creative manner. The easily accessible style of this book suits it for overcoming the general public’s ignorance of economics – and perhaps for directing the justified rage of readers toward the political and cultural elites who have long defied its principles to the peril of everybody else.  

            In applying the insights of such great thinkers as Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, and Murray Rothbard to current subjects of heated debate, Dr. Murphy demonstrates that virtually all of the rhetoric fed to the general public by the establishment media and leftist academia is simply wrong. The so-called War on Poverty in fact exacerbates poverty; outsourcing does not destroy jobs and actually raises everybody’s standard of living in the long run; Franklin Roosevelt exacerbated the Great Depression instead of remedying it; and government intervention, far from encouraging the conservation and prudent use of resources, actually facilitates appalling waste.

            Furthermore, Dr. Murphy performs a great service in showing the morality and justice of free-market outcomes. Rather than apologizing for inequalities in wealth or for “obscene” profits of corporations and salaries of CEOs, he illustrates how such outcomes are in fact desirable and conducive to the long-run prosperity of everybody else.

             It is essential for the public to recognize that the free market is not the lesser of two evils; such an attitude inevitably leads to the search for a “Third Way” wherein the mechanisms of the market are hampered by piecemeal government interventions. Instead, Dr. Murphy offers his readers sound advice: “Before condemning a market outcome as unjust, first understand why it occurs” (186). It may turn out – and it actually does – that widely condemned phenomena, such as the inflow of cheap foreign imports, the “price markups” of middlemen in commercial transactions, and “speculation” in securities and derivatives actually serve useful economic functions and enable the ordinary person to experience far less risk, uncertainty, and ignorance than he would have otherwise.

              The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism is highly recommended for all individuals who understand English (or any other language into which the book might be translated). The book is a quick read, and its engaging style renders it a page-turner. In the course of a mere few hours of enjoyable immersion, readers can discover a potentially life-changing insight: that the voluntary, mutually advantageous free-market process is the most powerful engine of good, while the coercive apparatus of government is history’s greatest perpetrator of destruction.

Order The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism here.

G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, contributor to Enter Stage Right, Le Quebecois Libre,  Rebirth of Reason, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Senior Writer for The Liberal Institute, weekly columnist for GrasstopsUSA.com, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. Mr. Stolyarov also publishes his articles on Helium.com and Associated Content to assist the spread of rational ideas. His newest science fiction novel is Eden against the Colossus. His latest non-fiction treatise is A Rational Cosmology. His most recent play is Implied Consent. Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at gennadystolyarovii@yahoo.com.

 

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This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

Click here to return to TRA's Issue CXVIII Index.

Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here..

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.