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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 29, 2002

Adam Smith, a capitalist cur!

By Robert M. Rees
Moderator of 'Olelo Television's "Counterpoint" and Hawai'i Public Radio's "Talk of the Islands"

When Congress passed its "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists," none of us imagined that this carte blanche for waging war would be used against an evil axis of capitalism right here in America.

However, most of us by now have come to realize that capitalism is terrorism. It was no accident that Enron's energy plans for California were code-named "Fat Boy" (after the first atomic bomb) and "Ricochet."

The al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center sent the Dow tumbling to 8,235, but the capitalist assault on honest accounting sent the Dow to well below that. Americans have lost trillions of dollars in 401(k) equity as a result of what money guru and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan calls an "infectious greed" that blights our corporate structure.

Our wartime leader, President Bush, has demanded "a new ethic of personal responsibility in the business community." However, this courageous proposal, like Bush's repeated pleas that Yasser Arafat retire, is likely to go unheeded.

Why? Because the devils of capitalism, like the terrorists of Islam, are driven by religious belief. The Muslims have the Quran, with its injunction to "fight for the cause of God against those who fight against you."

The titans of industry have their Bible of Capitalism — Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" — with its postulation that the greedy, such as those who employ child labor, are guided by an "Invisible Hand" to promote the common good.

The primary ethic of capitalism, the Protestant Work Ethic, is a doctrine that preaches deferral of pleasure. These guys mean business, and one of their intolerant religious practices is to demean women by paying them only 71 percent of what men earn. As First Lady Laura Bush has said, America's war on terrorism is a form of women's liberation.

Because capitalism is a religion, we must bring to its eradication what we have brought to bear in our war on Islamic terrorism: the systematic abrogation of the Bill of Rights. Why should people who seek to destroy us have rights?

Rounding up the devils of capitalism won't be difficult. Airport profiling of white males age 50-plus wearing business suits and traveling first class will yield quick results.

All foreign capitalists on special work visas will be turned over to the INS for secret proceedings. Most will be deported. Even those who are innocent will be held indefinitely as material witnesses.

A few will be detained at military brigs so they can't do what they have been insidiously trained to do: use the legal system in their own defense.

The FBI, no longer burdened by the need for probable cause, will place all capitalists under surveillance. We need to find out what books, if any, they are reading. We need to pursue them into their houses of worship, the banks.

All patriotic citizens will be involved in the war. CALLS — our new Capitalist Alert Location Log System — will encourage every American to report suspicious activities. If your neighbor engages in conspicuous consumption, or criticizes America's War on Capitalism, report it.

As we proceed, don't be fooled by the shell game to transfer blame. Postmodernists argued that those killed in the World Trade Center were asking for it. Now the puppets of capitalism like Rush Limbaugh are proffering that stock market victims have only themselves to blame.

Oh, by the way. In preparing for inevitable war on Iraq, prepare also for a first strike on Scotland. The birthplace of Adam Smith, Scotland is a hotbed of laissez faire capitalism. It has harbored the Protestant Work Ethic long enough.