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Why the Capitalist?

Why the Capitalist?

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Excerpt from Why the Capitalist?: A Refutation of the Doctrines Prevailing in Conventional Political Economy

John Stuart Mill, in the preliminary remarks to his "Principles of Political Economy," says:

"It often happens that the universal belief of one age of mankind - a belief from which no one was, nor without an extraordinary effort of genius and courage, could at that time be free - becomes to a subsequent age so palpable an absurdity, that the only difficulty then is to imagine how such a thing can ever have appeared credible."

Turgot spoke of the art "of those who set themselves to darken things that are clear to the open mind." He said: "This art consists in never beginning at the beginning, but in rushing into the subject in all its complications, or with some fact that is only an exception, or some circumstance, isolated, farfetched or merely collateral, which does not belong to the essence of the question and goes for nothing in its solution. Like a great geometer who treating of triangles should begin with white triangles as most simple, in order to treat afterwards of blue triangles, then of red triangles, and so on."

Add to the foregoing the thought that the writers on political economy, like the generality of mankind, are all constantly influenced by their own desire to attain pleasure and avoid pain; in other words, are swayed by material interests, and we shall have all the reasons why political economy is still spoken of as the dismal science.

I am actuated by the same motives that actuate the generality of mankind. I avow my amenability to the same influences. Besides all that, I claim that the experiences of my own life have given me an incentive to pursue an uncommon course of study in such an uncommon way as to enable me to see farther, and to distinguish more clearly the things that will afford me real pleasure and shield me from pain.

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