TL;DR: The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) released a new rap video, yes rap video, contrasting the philosophies of capitalism and socialism as embodied by Ludwig von Mises and Karl Marx. It’s a fun, rather profound ride through an old debate rearing its head once again in our times. Socialism is gaining popularity, especially among the younger set, while freer markets and capitalism are viewed, at best, as a necessary evils.
Capitalism Versus Socialism Rap Battle Released
No one defends capitalism anymore, not even a billionaire president of the United States — he’s busy “protecting jobs” and starting trade wars, filled with tariffs and protectionist policies. And don’t even ask about the freer flow of goods and people across borders. Yeesh.
Instead, socialism and its variants are the rage, our modern assumptions. Entitlements are considered human rights, from health care to education and even employment. Everyone has a claim on her neighbor’s income, wealth. As long as there is an administrative committee to oversee it, most people do not seem bothered by expropriation, confiscation, and forcible redistribution of wealth.
AIER, of course, leans decidedly anti-socialist, and so it was underwhelming, at first, to consider their making a polemical video on the two economic philosophies and worldviews without tilting the scale in favor of capitalism, … ultimate hackery. Instead, they handed over most of the project to John Papola and Emergent Order, the team responsible for the first iteration on this theme, Fear the Boom and Bust. That team is known for giving both sides their respective dues, steel-manning arguments, allowing listeners and viewers to decide which is more convincing.
It’s a powerful formula, and Fear the Boom and Bust went on to millions of views and wide acclaim. The March of History: Mises vs. Marx seems destined for a similar fate, a way to jump-start an important discussion as led by a 19th-century German philosopher and a 20th-century Austrian economic dean. Bitcoiners will instantly recognize ongoing debates within the cryptocurrency ecosystem about fairness, regulation, how much state intervention is needed (if any), inflation, debasement, the environment and mining, etc. in the rhyme’s bars indirectly — which are not only catchy and toe-tapping but pull no punches in terms of intellectual heft and references.
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