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Not Just Survival; Not Just of the Fittest

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04/04/2008
Wifredo Lam (1902–1982), "The Jungle"
Museum of Modern Art, NY

Opponents of private-property rights and the market mechanisms they give rise to routinely appeal to emotional reflexes in their condemnation of capitalism.

As Murray Rothbard described one of their favorite lines of attack,

The free-market economy, they charge, is "the rule of the jungle," where "survival of the fittest" is the law. Libertarians who advocate a free market are therefore called "Social Darwinists" who wish to exterminate the weak for the benefit of the strong.

While such assertions meet the low standards of proof used by those who wish to override market results with ones they will dictate, anything approaching close logical scrutiny reveals them as baseless. To view capitalism as "dog eat dog" social Darwinism, in which only the very fittest survive at everyone else's expense, is not only erroneous, but in several ways, the exact opposite of the truth. FULL ARTICLE

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