Capitalism as a Weapon: The peaceful conquest of our enemies without firing a shot

The Wall Street Journal had a wonderful little essay in their Saturday review section that sounded like something one might find at this site every day. The author Hernando De Soto wrote a nice little article titled The Capitalist Cure for Terrorism: Military might alone won’t defeat Islamic State and its ilk. The U.S. needs to promote economic empowerment. It was such a good article I place a portion of it below along with a link to the whole article for further review. In it Hernando talks about his experiences in Peru as communism was moving through South America and Central America during the 80s and 90s and how it was defeated with economic prosperity. He suggests that if the same strategy were employed in the Middle East, that it would be a lot more powerful than airstrikes and “troops on the ground.” The way to beat communism which is always floating around in between the sentences of progressive thought is to advocate capitalism. There is a lot more strength in that economic policy than in any military occupation by force of a people in a remote land. Here is some of Hernando’s article.

By 1990, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization called Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, had seized control of most of my home country, Peru, where I served as the president’s principal adviser. Fashionable opinion held that the people rebelling were the impoverished or underemployed wage slaves of Latin America, that capitalism couldn’t work outside the West and that Latin cultures didn’t really understand market economics.

The conventional wisdom proved to be wrong, however. Reforms in Peru gave indigenous entrepreneurs and farmers control over their assets and a new, more accessible legal framework in which to run businesses, make contracts and borrow—spurring an unprecedented rise in living standards.

Between 1980 and 1993, Peru won the only victory against a terrorist movement since the fall of communism without the intervention of foreign troops or significant outside financial support for its military. Over the next two decades, Peru’s gross national product per capita grew twice as fast as the average in the rest of Latin America, with its middle class growing four times faster.

Today we hear the same economic and cultural pessimism about the Arab world that we did about Peru in the 1980s. But we know better. Just as Shining Path was beaten in Peru, so can terrorists be defeated by reforms that create an unstoppable constituency for rising living standards in the Middle East and North Africa.

To make this agenda a reality, the only requirements are a little imagination, a hefty dose of capital (injected from the bottom up) and government leadership to build, streamline and fortify the laws and structures that let capitalism flourish. As anyone who’s walked the streets of Lima, Tunis and Cairo knows, capital isn’t the problem—it is the solution.

Here’s the Peru story in brief: Shining Path, led by a former professor named Abimael Guzmán, attempted to overthrow the Peruvian government in the 1980s. The group initially appealed to some desperately poor farmers in the countryside, who shared their profound distrust of Peru’s elites. Mr. Guzmán cast himself as the savior of proletarians who had languished for too long under Peru’s abusive capitalists.

What changed the debate, and ultimately the government’s response, was proof that the poor in Peru weren’t unemployed or underemployed laborers or farmers, as the conventional wisdom held at the time. Instead, most of them were small entrepreneurs, operating off the books in Peru’s “informal” economy. They accounted for 62% of Peru’s population and generated 34% of its gross domestic product—and they had accumulated some $70 billion worth of real-estate assets.

This new way of seeing economic reality led to major constitutional and legal reforms. Peru reduced by 75% the red tape blocking access to economic activity, provided ombudsmen and mechanisms for filing complaints against government agencies and recognized the property rights of the majority. One legislative package alone gave official recognition to 380,000 informal businesses, thus bringing above board, from 1990 to 1994, some 500,000 jobs and $8 billion in tax revenue.

Of course President Obama would never consider the types of reforms which took place in Peru because as a progressive—his underlying philosophy is that of Karl Marx communism—the same brand that is behind the Muslim Brotherhood, the tyrants of South and Central America and in general the labor unions of the world. As enemies of capitalism, they are in paralysis to utilize it as a military objective and are thus forced to commit the type of imperialism that America is often criticized for. But that is entirely unnecessary—as capitalism is the best strategic mode of military conquest. Free people to their own economic success and they will have no need for a dictator. Make people wealthy in the Middle East, and they will have no desire to feed the resources of ISIS.

It is wonderful to see such strategic thinking coming out of the Wall Street Journal. New York, even though it was built by capitalism is a hard place these days comprehend such an economic philosophy. Progressivism is the ruler of that city these days. Yes capitalism still speaks loudly in Times Square, but the underpinnings of progressive philosophy are slowly destroying everything that city has meant to America which is a military objective coming from the other direction—from antagonists like ISIS and other Muslim radicals. They wish communism upon the earth and they use religion to hide it. So it is only fair to utilize the strength of the West—capitalism—to crush the enemies of our nation without firing a shot.

You’d think that Obama being the peace-loving old hippie follower that he was and is would love the idea of a peaceful solution to the world’s problems. But Obama is an enemy of capitalism, so he cannot use it to save the world, which is a shame, because it is the most effective weapon that America has against its enemies. And America has enemies not because of what it does to other nations through imperialism, but because it is always a threat to tyrannical control they wish to impose on the world. America because of its capitalism is an example to the world that tyrants hope to extinguish so that promises of a better life do not come from economic freedom, but through the support of the next rulers of a Karl Marx economy where each takes from confiscated wealth according to their need.

The solution to many of the world’s anxieties could be accomplished through the simple embrace of capitalism as an economic force. The continued desire to find the next subtle way to deliver world-wide communism is the root of much trouble that can be seen today whether it is the ISIS terrorism, or the border troubles with Mexico. At the heart of most third world economies and their hatred for America is the old relic of thought started by Karl Marx, the great destroyer. And the best counter measure to Marx and his communism is the fine essence of self-empowerment through glorious capitalism.

Rich Hoffman