Ah for the days when the socialists believed in material progress! That is no longer the case. Now they propose poverty and advocate government regulations to bring it about — and expect us to be grateful for it. Whereas socialism could not actually work to bring about greater productivity, it can do what the “postmaterialist” socialists desire. Socialistic means can work to bring about lower standards of living.
Somewhere along the way, during the last 50 years, the critique of capitalism changed from condemning its failure to spread the wealth to condemning the very opposite. Suddenly the great sin of capitalism was that it was producing too much, making us all too materialistic, fueling economic growth at the expense of other values, spreading middle-class decadence, and generally causing society to be too caught up in productivity and too focused on the standard of living.
De “The Decivlilizing Effects of Government.”, en la que Jeffrey A. Tucker habla sobre cómo la regulación gubernamental en Estados Unidos hace cada vez más imposible disfrutar de los placeres de la civilización, desde dormir sin bichos en la cama hasta tomar duchas largas. Por supuesto, muchos considerarán esta nota como exagerada, pero algo de razón hay detrás. Tantas personas he conocido que consideran a la pobreza como una virtud, la muerte temprana por enfermedades curables como algo aceptable y el crecimiento urbano como algo horrendo. Concluye:
Joseph Schumpeter said that the great tragedy of capitalism is that it produces riches so abundant that people tend to take them for granted, imagining that they can hobble and destroy its productive machinery without great economic and social consequence. This is precisely what is happening today. This tendency to romanticize poverty and simplicity and a world without modern technology is an ideology that is animating the antics of many of today’s intellectuals, politicians, and bureaucrats who have set themselves up as enemies of all that makes life grand, which is to say that they set themselves up as enemies of freedom.
Especially now, our taxes are paying not for civilization but rather for its destruction.