Monday, 8 February 2010
A tribute to Johan Norberg
Michael Shermer, the brilliant scientist and the godfather of Modern day Scepticism, makes the case that people are generally hard-wired through evolution to resent those who have more than us. Throughout 99 per cent of our civilizations history, those who have had the power have taken that power from the people through force. Think the Pharaohs, the Kings, the Emperors and such. In the late 19th century, Karl Marx gave a voice for those he felt were oppressed through this method, and suggested his own alternative in "The Communist Manifesto". It became the foundation of Communism and Socialism, and the oasis to which people who still resent Capitalism turn to, sometimes too impulsively.
Thanks to these people, Capitalism has still got the bad name today it had 200 years ago. Enter Johan Norberg, a Swedish Libertarian writer and historian, who, at the age of 28, wrote "In defense* of Global Capitalism", the book which single-handedly not only debunks, but annihilates all arguments against contemporary Capitalism.
Writing incredibly intellectually, honestly and full of wit, Norberg (a man I am proud to call my friend, albeit only on Facebook), presents the case for Capitalism step-by-step, using authoritative sources for his data, empirical facts and water-tight arguments.
The book could´ve easily been too complex for the average layman, too fact-ridden, too stale and boring. But Norberg combines his data with his phenomenal linguistic skills and humour, and writes, to use an old cliché, from the heart.
One of the best reviews of the book truly encapsulates the brilliance of it:
"The particular charm of this passionate essay is that Capitalism would not interest Norberg if it were not such a mighty engine of human liberty." (Rosemary Righter, The Times of London)
Johan Norberg matters because he is truly what modern-day Capitalism is in need of in today's hostile atmosphere towards the ideology of a Free Market Society. Here´s a young, charismatic man with exceptional talent, who eloquently and humbly challenges the myths of the brutality and cold-heartedness of Capitalism, by proving that it is actually the system that provides best outcome for the poor, the weak and the underprivileged. It goes against everything that anti-capitalists claim the system to be. Full of compassion and an unshakeable humanitarian drive for altruism, Norberg is a voice of reason amongst a panic-stricken mass.
Johan Norberg is the living proof that Capitalism is anything but an ideology of the powerful for the powerful, that keeps the weak "in check", that exploits the masses for the sake of the few.
So, next time you find yourself confronted by a Socialist or a Communist, just lend them a copy of your "In defense of Global Capitalism". Ask them to read it with an open mind. Or show them the brilliant documentary "Globalization is good", which you can find online at:
And if you haven´t got the book already... What are you waiting for???
*The word "defence" is spelled with a "C" in Brittish-English, but since the book was first released in America, the spelling is according to American English, which spells it with an "S".