Foto RBS

Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego es un empresario mexicano, Fundador y Presidente de Grupo Salinas. Es un hombre cuyas convicciones y pensamiento se reflejan claramente en su obra así como en sus actividades empresariales. Es un hombre de familia, forjado en el valor del trabajo, la tenacidad, el esfuerzo y la pasión para alcanzar los sueños. Se considera un optimista nato.

Contador Público por el Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, cuenta con una Maestría en negocios por la Universidad de Tulane; sin embargo, no cree que los títulos académicos otorguen conocimiento por encima de la experiencia. Desde muy joven desarrolló su instinto empresarial en diversos negocios. Imposible es una palabra que no está en su diccionario.

Lector apasionado de la historia, sus personajes, el arte, la ciencia, la tecnología así como los negocios y finanzas, gusta de compartir sus intereses y no duda en manifestar su opinión sobre diversos temas de interés, como lo hace regularmente en su blog. Sus ideas las ha expuesto el Foro Económico Mundial de Davos, en The Young President’s Organization, The Economist Mexico Business Roundtable, el Instituto de las Américas, la Cámara de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, UCLA, TED, CAP, The Aspen Institute, The New York Forum, Universidad de Michigan, Universidad de Georgetown y la Escuela de Negocios de Harvard, donde usualmente trata asuntos relacionados con liderazgo, globalización, gobierno corporativo y las oportunidades en la base de la pirámide.

www.ricardosalinas.com
English Español
Recommended entries
Latest Entries
Ver todas las entradas
Categories

 

The Anti-Capitalist Mentality

La mentalidad anticapitalista

All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out.

Ludwig Von Mises

It’s striking how "capitalism" is a forbidden, almost obscene word for some politicians in Mexico. We continually hear arguments for and against the system, but Ludwig von Mises'  The Anti-Capitalist Mentality provides an interesting view on the sources of the criticisms of the model, without which it’s impossible to explain modern life.

I mentioned in a prior blog how in The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley explains that the survival of the human race is based on trade — an invention that Neanderthals could not aspire to, and as a result, could not compete with Homo sepians. In The Red Queen, Ridley argues that competing is part of our nature. I’ve also mentioned how Milton Friedman, in Capitalism and Freedom, declares trade to be a fundamental freedom of humankind.

Mises' book does not attribute the survival of the human race to trade, but reminds us that because of  capitalism, which is much more than just trade, ordinary men and women enjoy goods and services that were unimaginable in earlier times, even for kings, emirs, and emperors.

Under capitalism, small and large companies produce goods to massively satisfy needs. This allows for continuous improvement in the living standards of average citizens. Consumers determine what is produced, in what amounts, who produces, and with what quality, through daily spending.

The advances in living standards and well-being in capitalist countries are undeniable. Nevertheless, the criticisms of the system are ongoing. I nevertheless think that those in Mexico who criticize this system, praising the virtues of collectivism, would hardly agree to move to Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea, where a key characteristic in maintaining government is to avoid freedom of expression at all costs.

The reason for these criticisms, according to Von Mises, is rooted in the fact that  traditional communities had structures based on rank or castes, with social positions that were fixed generation after generation. Today, in modern economies, an individual’s social status usually depends on his or her own merits.

Many of those who fail to achieve personal life goals are frustrated and have a propensity to criticize capitalism and attribute their personal failures to the system.

In a monarchical system, for example, the aristocracy is not a market phenomenon that is modified by consumers' purchasing decisions. The social status of each person is not subject to individual control and is attributed to destiny or some divine order. Under capitalism, on the other hand, the principle of equality before the law enables personal creativity and determination to define who is able to satisfy the consumer and who controls the means of production. Whoever does this best excels in society — although as I have previously mentioned, a businessperson, however prosperous, is only a temporary guardian of wealth.

Another point of debate is that there are those who fail to acquire all the goods and services offered by the market — this is natural. However, the author argues that it is in the best interest of companies to reach the mass market in the best conditions of price and quality in order to expand their business and profits.

Other critics note that capitalism focuses on satisfying material needs, which distracts the population from creating and appreciating the arts, as manifested in monumental works of the past. Von Mises responds to this criticism by recalling that in other periods in history, the arts were available for only those who had the means to acquire and access them, while today large-scale production brings increasingly sophisticated merchandise to the mass market.

Perhaps the greatest criticism of capitalism is that it leads to unsatisfactory living standards and poverty for workers. However, Mises reminds us that with competition, (i) generally speaking, members of society benefit from products at affordable prices, (ii) capital accumulation leads to greater productivity, that is, with more machines, more goods are created per worker, which eventually translates into higher salaries, and (iii) it is in the employer's interest to have the best employees, with the best salaries in the market so that they contribute to maximizing the company’s profits and not go with his or her competitors. Furthermore, in a robust economy the employee is free to seek the job that is most advantageous to him or her.

It’s clear that the market economy has imperfections. However, the system allocates resources according to what economic agents choose — and not according to the whims of a bureaucrat. This represents a basic economic freedom that we should value.

Government has a key role to play for this system to prosper. This consists in designing legislation that promotes competition, entrepreneurial culture, the rule of law, security, and education, all of which translates into opportunities for personal development for all members of society.

Even though Mises does not explicitly mention it, I am also convinced that companies, in addition to improving society through the creation of jobs and the production of goods and services under competitive conditions, must maintain a solid social commitment.

This implies contributing to better health, education and the environment, as well as promoting freedom and leadership with values through actions that promote prosperity and better living standards.

We can fight for better capitalism. However, to think that collectivism is a better economic system is inconsistent with the history of humanity.

Related Posts:

Comments [3]
Comentar

Commenting Blog: The Anti-Capitalist Mentality

Show / Hide Rules to comment

Do you agree with the publication rules?

Name  
E-mail address  
Location  
Comments  

19.May.17
David, Ciudad de México:

Ricardo, excelente y oportunísimo fijar tu posición en este tema. Un abrazo. David

19.May.17
Alejandro Gomez, Ciudad de México:

Es un texto interesante, creo que refleja mucho la mentalidad del señor Salinas Pliego. Sí, el capitalismo ha traído una reducción de la pobreza como jamás se ha visto en la historia de la humanidad (ejemplos aquí: http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.mx/2016/05/the-incredible-miracle-in-poor-country.html). Sin embargo, creo que el señor Salinas ignora las contrapartes importantes del capitalismo argumentando bajo la ideología de la economía austriaca representada por Mises. Omite la parte de la desigualdad abismal (ejemplos en el mismo link de arriba) que creo que los ricos han desestimado a pesar de los potenciales beneficios que les podrían traer. Es falso que en este país uno pueda sobresalir por méritos propios, todas las encuestas de movilidad social muestran que los condicionantes de vida de los individuos son las condiciones de origen. Es decir, alguien muy pobre, probablemente se quede pobre por nacer en un hogar con esas características; en contra parte, los hijos del señor Salinas es en extremo improbable que lleguen a conocer algo que no sea la riqueza, dado su origen. Texto muy interesante que ayuda a conocer cómo piensa el 1% más rico de este país.

18.May.17
HUGO SALINAS PRICE, Ciudad de México:

Hola Ricardo. Buen artículo y correcto lo que dices. Lo que faltó decir es que los problemas en que se encuentra el mundo, derivan del imperio que desde 1500 en adelante, ha tenido el GNOSTICISMO sobre las mentes de los que dirigen el mundo. El Gnosticismo es la raíz de todos nuestros males, y se define así: "La revolución Gnóstica tiene como su propósito un cambio en la naturaleza del hombre y el establecimiento de una sociedad transfigurada": Eric Voegelin. De aquí nace la "mentalidad anti-capitalista", ya que el Capitalismo responde a las necesidades naturales del ser humano, y los Gnósticos no aceptan eso -quieren cambiar la naturaleza humana. Los Marxistas son Gnósticos y su intento por cambiar la naturaleza humana en la URSS dio por resultado un gran fracaso. Maduro en Venezuela, es un Gnóstico -ve los resultados. Fidel Casto -Gnóstico por excelencia. Cuba lo padeció y sigue padeciendo. AMLO seguramente es Gnóstico -¿qué nos espera si alcanza la Presidencia? Los Keynesianos también son Gnósticos, y por eso insisten en darnos dinero de papel, cuando el dinero natural son el oro y la plata. ¡Sepa Dios cuándo nos libraremos de los Gnósticos! Saludos. Hugo Salinas Price.

CERRAR

Enviar