Intelligence and Subversion of Intelligence
Camille Paglia, in addressing socialist tendencies of some American university students, said that the toilets in which they graffitied their slogans came from capitalism. There is a problem with that argument. There were toilets in the Soviet Union as well; and there are also toilets in places, such as Sweden and Netherland, that practice the democratic socialism that these students actually find attractive (as opposed to state socialism - known in the West as Communism - that very few if any of them want).
Having attended university in Virginia and having majored in economics, I was never one of those students. I know enough about market economics to see merit in it; I also recognize the vast extent to which capitalist prosperity is owed to non-capitalist entities. These include, but are not limited, to: Science that is at the root of everything that business sells; education that makes people employable; and projects such as the Interstate and the Internet that have created an infrastructure for business to do its work. I look toward an intelligent optimization scenario in which people get the benefit of both the market and the government while minimizing the flaws that come with both. And that means: Freedom for business to produce prosperity, and recognition of, and respect for, the non-business entities that also do worthwhile work.
But returning to the original point. When a person - any person - lives in an order - any order - everything that he has around himself would be a result of that order. The Soviet Communists could have said just as easily to capitalist sympathizers in the Soviet Union that they owed what they had to state socialism, and that their adoption of market economics was a betrayal of what they had. Similarly, we see many Christians denigrating accomplishments of atheists (Ayn Rand comes to mind especially) because most of these atheists have had Christian influences. The problem with that argument is not a difficult one to spot. In a Christian society, most people are Christian, and these are the only people that one has around oneself - either to help oneself or to hinder oneself. And I am sure that Ayn Rand, for one, had many negative experiences with Christian-affiliated people.
Rather than engaging in such mind-suffocating argumentation, therefore, it is of merit that the ideas compete with one another on the basis of their quality. If some American university students find democratic socialism attractive, then they should be able to look at places that practice democratic socialism and see if they like them better. Similarly, if someone who lives in a socialist country prefers the way that things are in Queensland or Texas, then he should be able to go to Queensland or Texas and try his luck there.
There is intelligence, and there are practices that subvert intelligence. Intelligence, when allowed to exist, creates real solutions and arrives at real benefit. The less subversion of intelligence, the greater the understanding and the more informed the solutions. And that means: More informed people, better decisions, and better world.