Writing about Bari Weiss and China, Freddie DeBoer is dead right on this:

What Weiss and other “classic liberals” will eventually have to grapple with is this: you cannot meaningfully stand for human rights if you think that among those rights is the right for corporations to participate in unfettered capitalism. People who espouse these politics love to act as though there’s no space between market rights and civil rights, such as the rights to free expression or association. Many rights-focused people, whether liberal or libertarian, suggest that civil rights and capitalist rights are the same in kind. The problem, among other things, is that those capitalist rights invest ultimate power in profit, including the power to trample those other rights. Under capitalism the profit motive is insatiable. If you think the norms and institutions of “the West” protect us from such corruption, I advise you to consider (for example) that prisoners are forced to labor for pennies an hour while private entities reap the benefits.

I’m less thrilled with socialism than I used to be, but I still know capitalism is a system that brings out the worst in people, and depends on keeping the mass of people poor and addicted to consumption for the benefit of a rich few. Your “rights” mean very little next to the “right” of corporations to do whatever they see fit in pursuit of profit.

We need a better system.

Tell Me What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s