December 07, 2011
life in financial markets & general: the many isms
Communism, capitalism, socialism, fascism, libertarianism, ancharism are all isms that many of us choose to categorise themselves in. As an aside, even criticism has an ism but it is not a category we would like to impose on ourselves!.
Anyway, when I was in my early 20s (during the early 1990s), I was recommended, like hundreds of young adults before me also were recommended, to read Ayn Rand's two radical novels, 'Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged'.
In her time, Rand popularised the essential principles of capitalism, like no one had ever done before, through her fictional and non-fictional works. To be sure, capitalism has dominated the working of most countries on our planet in the past 100 years.
They were works of fictions and I, like many others before me, was highly inspired by the heroism of the characters and ended up empathising with their disdain for government regulations.
Immediately thereafter, I read about and understood more other isms and became clear that communism was the biggest enemy of capitalism while the middle path seen in socialism was seen by capitalist more as a terrible nuisance than an enemy.
Over the years, however, another ism creeped up on me and this time it was realism. Today, I do not see the core principles of capitalism being followed in their sincerity in capitalistic economies across the planet. The lovers of capitalism do not blink an eyelid when they support government bailouts of private companies. It never occurs to them that forced, or manipulated, acquisition of privately-owned lands by governments, on behalf of non-government industrialists and entities, from remote or semi-urban areas for private industrialisation and development violate the core capitalism principle of 'right to property'.
This realism comes when you dig deeper into the real-life happenings around you and seek to sift the chaff from the wheat. Of course, there are justifications for everything and there is no universal consensus on any ism.
Personally, now, I believe that ultimately its about the greed and excessive ego of people in power and people with influence that determines whether this ism or that ism will bring more good or more harm to Earth and its inhabitants. Which means it boils down to humanism!