Dog-eat-dog Capitalism

The Utopian dreams of Communism abound with adolescent attacks against free markets and trade.  For example,  "A dog-eat-dog struggle for goods will give way to a family of humanity." 

Ayn Rand was fond of saying that the "dog-eat-dog" description of capitalism didn't aptly apply to either dogs or men.  As a broad general statement of course, this is true.  However it goes far beyond that.  Capitalism, or volunteerism, or free markets, or whatever you want to call it is precisely the opposite of dog-eat-dog.  It is dog-please-dog.

Take the infamous and much hyped Cola Wars waged between Coke and Pepsi.  Despite the moniker, this "war" was waged over the opportunity to bring you the cheapest, sweetest, carbonated beverage imaginable and was waged without drones, planes, bombs, guns, whips, chains or military prisons.  I doubt so much as a fist fight broke out between the two sides, and I am not aware of a single unkind word officially spoken by either side about the opposition.  Yet to hear the enemies of capitalism tell it, you would think that two companies, engaged in a violence-free "war" to give you pleasure, were starving hyenas snapping at each other while ripping the flesh from  your cooling carcass.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.  The essence of capitalism is voluntary exchange.  The goal is an improved standard of living, and the means to achieve that goal is to provide it to your neighbor according to your ability and his needs.  But, and here's the big "but", you must do it without the aid of a knife, or a gun, or a mob, else you are a thief. 

If dogs were able to negotiate the trade of physical objects for  services rendered (think two chew toys for one dead bird), we would instantly transform into giggly 9-year-old girls, reflexively declaring "how cute" the exchange was.  Yet, when this is the behavior of men are we to believe it should be curtailed, that it must be bridled or else we will be strapped with run-away, free-wheeling, dog-please-dog capitalism?  The horror! 

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