: Gotcha! And here's the kicker--I don't agree with this essay. I wholly oppose the positions I stated, and did so to put up a representation of the mental realities of what some bright pro-capitalist would say. That is, I directed it at Gee and David, two guys with whom I'm in total disagreement but whose styles and intellect I respect.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
: 1) Be like Archer-Daniels Midland and et the government to pay her to make sandwiches then throw them away.
: 2) Be like Boeing, Raytheon, Motorola and other "defense" industries and get the government to give her half of all the government's discretionary funds to make sandwiches that nobody will ever eat. (Or, to switch metaphors, to make poison sandwiches.)
: 3) Be like Ford, GM and Chrysler and sell sandwiches in which she suspects might rotten meat but then she calculates the cost of removing the meat or warning the customers is more than the likely lawsuits, so she leaves the meat in. Then Betty will get the government to tarry in enforcing its own consumer safety laws.
: 4) Get the government infiltrate her employees' unions and, if necessary, to beat up any of her employees who try to stop Betty from hiring scab workers.
: 5) Give Betty tax breaks while increasing the taxes on her employees.
: 6) Get the government to look the other way when Betty pollutes our air, rivers and oceans. After all, cleaning up the environment is expensive, and Rush Limbaugh says there's no problem anyway.
: Betty isn't a capitalist, and her little story isn't the story of capitalism. But this image is what capitalist societies inculcate into their people, even though the reality is the opposite of this case. Betty incurs risks, but capitalists don't. They have the media, the legislature and military force on their side, and Betty is safe only as long as she behaves herself.
: History shows that capitalists court the Betty's of society because the shopowners and merchants are a good buffer between capitalists and the poor. It's the "self-made man" image again, with the accompanying narrative of "anybody-can-do-it which serves as one of capitalism's major sources of ideological mystification.
: I posted this in an effort to aid future debates with the hope of making the different definitions people have more clear to all.
But you see, if I were to go strictly by the definition of capitalist, than Betty would indeed be one. For you see, what she did was take a limited amount of capital that she owned and started to produce a product. That product was bought by consumers and she was then able to reinvest into her business and allow it to grow. So, in actuality Betty is a capitalist. She has invested capital in order to realize more capital.
In your attempt to "clear up different definitions" you added your own bias to them by essentially stating [above] that to be a capitalist one must have an incestous relationship with the government, screw consumers, not take responsibility for your business, and harm the environment. Are there any other conditions you would like to add? For instance you could also state that all capitalists must attend the joint Illuminati/New World Order/Pave the Earth/Chrome the moon committee every year to think up new ways to pave Walden and screw the proletariat. You could also add that they must also have Ronald Reagen altars etc... etc...
Anyways, my point is that unless you adhere to the barebones definition of capitalist than dialogue will get nowhere. It is for this reason that I do not characterize (or at least try not to) all socialists as bleeding heart liberals/ivory tower academics who believe that all of mankind can't function without their copyrighted master plan that they intend to have published which due to their infatuation with a thesaurus and lawyer-style (herein, heretofore, wherefore, thence, etc...) writing only similar minded academics will understand, thus leaving the people they are trying to "emancipate" in the dark.