In person, it can sometimes be tough to jump right into a debate with someone who adamantly defends the status quo, someone who uses extensive bourgeois ideology and “common sense” to defend the capitalist mode of production. We all naturally get frazzled because it’s an uphill battle trying to win people over, away from the safe ideology they’ve grown up absorbing. Not only that, but there’s also a whole set of ideas and facts (noted in the above picture) that probably need to come together for someone of that nature to arrive at socialism. Trying to condense all of the above facts into quick little soundbites is a super uphill battle, and I wish there was some way we could have this process made easier for the lot of us. 

Most capitalism-apologists rely on a few basic ideological points, each of them off-base. Here are eight of perhaps the most important:

  1. Capitalism is about voluntary exchange and it’s pretty much any economic activity that doesn’t involve the state
  2. Capitalism is the end of history and the pinnacle of human development
  3. Capitalism is the same thing as markets
  4. The state is antithetical to the interests of the capitalist class
  5. Socialism is when the government does stuff; the more stuff the government does, the socialister it is
  6. “Small government” and anarchism imply laissez-faire capitalism
  7. There can only be top-down control of the economy by a bunch of separate capitalists (private capitalism) or top-down control of the economy by a concentrated state apparatus (state capitalism)
  8. Imperialism is caused by corrupt politicians, disconnected from an economic system that demands endless growth and capital accumulation among elites

I feel like the above picture covers most of these ideas in a very quick way and puts them to rest; further elaboration on each of the points is necessary of course, but that’s to be expected. Destroying these bullshit claims ought to be of paramount importance if you ever find yourself in some kind of political argument with a cappy. 

All being said, I can totally understand if there are those of you who just have no fucking interest in debating cappies. It’s a draining, disheartening process. Avoiding debate can be a self-care tactic, honestly. I generally only recommend it if you think there is any chance of converting them – if they’re running around in expensive suits handing out Cato Institute newspapers, then our arguments about capitalism being a particular historical development rooted in bloody conquest will probably have little to no effect whatsoever. There are, however, plenty of working-class and middle-class people who may be much more receptive if you meet them where they’re at, point to history, and commit some time and energy to talking to them about the topic; usually this works best with people you already know. 

Any further input on this topic is encouraged and appreciated.

The truly and deliberately evil men are a very small minority; it is the appeaser who unleashes them on mankind; it is the appeaser’s intellectual abdication that invites them to take over. When a culture’s dominant trend is geared to irrationality, the thugs win over the appeasers. When intellectual leaders fail to foster the best in the mixed, unformed, vacillating character of people at large, the thugs are sure to bring out the worst. When the ablest men turn into cowards, the average men turn into brutes.
—  Ayn Rand