Photo Credit: Davidhar via wikimedia commons

University’s Anti-Capitalism Seminar Unintentionally Promotes Free Market Capitalism

By Haley Blonsky and Christian Andzel, UB Young Americans for Freedom

This week The University at Buffalo’s Intercultural Diversity Center hosted a workshop titled, “Capitalism or Crapitalism.” The discussion was meant to “explore capitalism as it relates to oppression and human rights.” Although the biased presentation implied that free-market capitalism denied people of “basic rights,” the presentation inadvertently promoted free-market capitalism’s outcome: the free exchange of goods between consenting individuals.

The seminar’s presenter showed a clip of the “Boston Ujima Project” that highlighted communitarianism, where struggling individuals banded together and engaged their community to become successful entrepreneurs. The seminar pointed out the individuals’ ingenuity to create products that the community saw as valuable and thus wanted to trade for. The video also displayed capital investment fairs where the entrepreneurs had to sell their product-line in order to cultivate financiers to grow up and coming businesses.

Although the presentation was intent on contrasting this with capitalism, a YAF member quickly pointed out the enormous paradox between the video clip and the presenter’s assertion that somehow free-market capitalism does not meet people’s basic needs. The “Boston Ujima Project” exemplifies how free-enterprise allows for opportunities for all people, especially those with little resources or who feel “shut out by the economy.”

The paradoxes continued as one participant asserted that such free-market trade on a micro level is effective on the local stage but as trade “scales up,” the more impersonal and inhumane the free-enterprise begets even though the most impersonal economic system is one where the detached federal government makes decisions for the individual.

In the beginning of the seminar, while creating the seminar’s “rules,” a leftist in the back of the room attempted to quash any dissent when he proposed that no one could be a “devil’s advocate.” When a different person attempted to be less discriminatory by suggesting that someone had to be a “purposeful devil’s advocate,” the room loudly voiced their agreement with UB YAF’s advisor, Christian Andzel, when he called them out for subjectively censoring speech and the right to dissent.

Also interestingly enough, in the very beginning of the event, the presenter asked each attendee to state their name, preferred pronouns, and social justice issue the attendee was passionate about. After the first four attendees, all of whom are YAFers, stated their top issues being either the right to life, the right to free speech, or religious freedom, all of which run contrary to progressive statism, the presenter asked all attendees to stop sharing their top issue concerns in order to “speed things up.” The attendees laughed as they knew the real reason as to why the presenter wanted to “speed things up.”

Even though the presentation’s goal was to examine the connection, if any, between capitalism and the violation of human rights, our YAF members eloquently pushed back on such charges and advanced the idea that free-market capitalism is the only economic system that preserves the rights of all parties based on consent. It also turned out that the presenter himself, whether he knew it or not, exhibited a sterling example of free-market capitalism.