Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Capitalism Vs. Terrorism

One of my theories concerning the war against terrorism is that the best way to beat the Osama Bin Laden’s of the world isn’t with missiles or tanks but with a far more potent weapon: decadent capitalism.

If we can get the people in the Middle East more interested in making money in this world maybe they will have less interest in blowing themselves to smithereens so they can get rewarded in the next world.

American author P. J. O’Rourke picked up on this theme in a speech he recently gave to a CATO Institute seminar, entitled "Conquering Terrorism with Capitalism".

As O’Rourke says, “Once people get rich, they just don’t like to fight as much anymore.”


rondi said...

But Bin Laden is stinking rich, as were several of the 9-11 hijackers. This isn't about poverty -- if it were, Haitians would be flying airplanes into buildings. We're fighting a theocratic ideology. It's not that simple.

Gerry Nicholls said...

Rondi, I agree. It isn't about poverty and it is about theocratic ideology. My hope is that capitalism can supplant the theocrats.

fastball said...

Dissagree with Rondi

Yes Bin Laden is rich, But notice how
he is not fighting or blowing himself up. He just pays others to do it instead.

rondi said...

But many of the 9-11 hijackers were rich.

Miles Lunn said...

I think capitalism may help in the long-term, but capitalism doesn't just appear over night. It requires an advanced society and certain institutions which Afghanistan is a long ways from. Things such as tort law and property rights need to exist, which Afghanistan doesn't have.

Secondly Bin Ladin may be rich, but he wouldn't have the following he does if the Middle East wasn't so poor. Also no country likes foreign invaders coming in. Terrorism is largely a response to the fact the people of the Middle East are tired of having foreigners always meddle in their domestic affairs. Sometimes you guys need to look at the other side of the coin. Just saying these people are evil or have a backward system of government won't solve terrorism. One must get at the roots.

Anonymous said...

You should all run, not walk to buy a copy of The Economic Answer to Terrorism by Hernando de Soto.

rondi said...

I've read it already, Anonymous.