Shapiro: Conservatives Must Make the Moral Case for Capitalism

“The truth is that by the end of the 20th century, capitalism had largely won across the globe. And now it’s beginning to lose again because capitalism was never made a moral issue.”

On the “The Kelly File” Monday, Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of TruthRevolt, argued that the only way for conservatives to push back the growing tide of socialist sentiment in America was to make the moral case for capitalism.

Kelly invited on Shapiro to address a recent Rolling Stone article written by an Occupy Wall Streeter—and specifically endorsed by the magazine—which pushes for a fully communist society.

After reading a passage from the piece calling for the elimination of jobs, Kelly asked Shapiro, “Is this a joke?"

Shapiro: No, it isn’t. This actually how a lot of millennials think. And this is how the Occupy Wall Street people think. This is a group of people who graduated with degrees in Lesbian Dance Theory and then were surprised they didn’t get six-figure paycheck out of college... Unfortunately they were getting a paycheck consummate with their education level. The problem is you have to be productive in a capitalist society in order to earn anything. And this is, unfortunately, a lazy generation that expects things...

After clearing up that while you can take classes in Lesbian Dance Theory, it is, “unfortunately,” not a full major yet, Kelly moved on to a another quote from the piece that posits a society where people were paid for doing only what they were passionate about, like painting murals. When Kelly asked who would pay the millennials for painting their murals, Shapiro turned the conversation to the inherently destructive philosophy of Keynes.

Shapiro: This is the whole thing, passing the buck to the next generation that doesn’t exist yet. And John Maynard Keynes was fond of saying that in the long run we’re all dead. This is that philosophy taken to the extreme: In the short run we’re all dead, so we might as well all paint murals. Who’s going to clean the toilets? Who’s going to do the actual work that needs to be done in this country? Maybe this is why some of these folks want open borders.

Kelly then turned the conversation to how the Rolling Stone contributor imagined creating revenues to pay for it all, which brought Shapiro to the moral component of the argument:

Shapiro: This is the problem with communism and socialism. It is inherently the most selfish philosophy on planet earth. It’s the idea that because I’m breathing, I deserve something. Capitalism is forced altruism. I starve unless I provide something to you that you find useful.... What’s shocking is not that this guy wrote this piece, but that this is a sentiment that’s felt by so many people in the aftermath of an entire century in which these ideas were tried and they failed.

Kelly then contextualized the Occupy Wall Street piece in terms of Obama’s newest campaign against income equality, which is slated to be the centerpiece of his next few years in office.

Shapiro: This is actually a vile and despicable philosophy, it really is. And I think that the conservatives in this country need to start actually making the moral case for capitalism. This is a great failure on our part. The truth is that by the end of the 20th century, capitalism had largely won across the globe. And now it’s beginning to lose again because capitalism was never made a moral issue. It was always turned into a practical issue. Well the fact is that too many people see what’s happened in America as a failure of capitalism rather than as a failure of government. So a lot of folks are turning back to the old discredited idea that didn’t just lead to enormous amounts of poverty across the globe, but it led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people if you take this to its extreme.

Ben Shapiro is the editor-in-chief of TruthRevolt, Senior Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, editor-at-large of Breitbart News, and bestselling author of Bullies: How the Lefts Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America (2012).