Contrary to column, capitalism is threat
This is in response to a Dec. 19 column in the Mirror by John Stossel titled “Some gifts to help keep your liberty.”
In this column, Stossel, who is a fanatical libertarian, attempts to convince us that we should give certain books to friends, even socialists, as gifts this holiday season.
Almost every book he mentions is a one-sided glorification of capitalism.
One of the books mentioned, “Atlas Shrugged,” more aptly titled “Atlas Drugged,” was written by notorious Ayn Rand, an atheist and a worshipper of the dollar bill and unbridled capitalism.
Rand, besides being a writer of propaganda disguised as literature, attempted to pawn herself off as some sort of philosopher. Her so-called philosophy, called objectivism, claimed that selfishness was a positive human attribute.
He also mentions “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, a short novel critical of Stalinist Russia, but not necessarily a pro-capitalist one. In fact, Orwell considered himself to be a socialist.
As was mentioned, most of the books mentioned by Stossel were uncritical defenders of the capitalist system and hostile to anything resembling socialism. This is not really an original notion. It is quite common in this country.
However, if we look at the history of American literature, we would find works by our greatest writers that were critical of the capitalist system.
One such novel, “The Jungle” by socialist Upton Sinclair, gives us a glimpse of what unregulated capitalism meant for workers in the meat packing industry. It was not pretty.
Another American writer, Jack London, also a radical socialist, wrote a prophetic book about how capitalism bred fascism. This novel was titled “The Iron Heel.”
There are many other left leaning American novels, “The Grapes of Wrath” and “In Dubious Battle,” both by John Steinbeck, come to mind.
A more recent novel, “The Breaker Boys” by Jan Kopicki, deals with the young boys, many of them from immigrant families, who worked in the coal mines in earlier times. It’s a great read.
I would conclude by stating that, contrary to Stossel’s views and the books he recommends, capitalism, unregulated and unbridled, is the system that threatens our liberty.