Thursday, November 15, 2007

Capitalism Without Property Rights Is Not Capitalism

Amit Varma has a good column, as usual, about Nandigram, describing the horrors there as acts of gangsterism by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its cronies, who have twisted the meaning of free-markets and capitalism to meet their own ends by trampling on the rights of property holders. Key graph:
It is shocking that defenders of such theft try to justify it by invoking free markets and capitalism. True free markets depend on the sanctity of property rights. What Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government has been up to is cronyism of the worst kind, colluding with big companies at the expense of the common man. Ignorant journalists describe him as free-market-friendly, which is ludicrous. His disregard for property rights makes him as totalitarian as the orthodox Communists who criticize him for moving away from their faith.
Remember, communists do not believe in the sanctity of private property. It doesn’t exist in their reality: everything is owned by the state, to do with it what it pleases. The CPI-M crows about giving land to the landless—after all, in their book, it is there most significant achievement in over thirty years of rule—but what they don’t tell the recently landed is that they can become landless just as quickly, simply by government fiat. Whatever this is, it’s not capitalism.

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