Capitalism: The Individual At The Center Of The State with G. Edward Griffin

TWS 07 | Capitalism


We all have different social and political stands. This normally starts when we’re young and honed by various exposures to different environments. Writer and a documentary film producer, G. Edward Griffin followed his curiosity about these ideological discussions in the ‘60s and found himself attending a communist group. However, the things that he discovered upon reading all these communist books opened his mind to more questions waiting to be answered. His worldview has grown all through the years of studying and research, and he realized that the struggle is being able to simplify the concept of whether the basis of the society is the individual or the mob. He shares sensible insights about individualism and takes us through a deeper understanding of capitalism and all of the powerful and reasonable stands on the real balance of having the individual at the center of the state.

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Capitalism: The Individual At The Center Of The State with G. Edward Griffin

We have a very special guest and his name may be familiar to most of you, his name is G. Edward Griffin. He is a writer and a documentary film producer with many successful titles such as The Creature from Jekyll Island, The Capitalist Conspiracy and World Without Cancer. He is listed in Who’s Who in America. He is well-known because of his talent for researching difficult topics and presenting them in clear terms that all can understand. Ed, it’s a pleasure and an honor to have you on the show, welcome.

Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be back.

Over the years, I’ve had some very enlightening conversations with you. It includes some of the presentations you’ve given at different events. I’m fascinated by how articulate you are and how well researched you are, but also how you present yourself and present these topics, which I believe goes to your character. Maybe before we get into the topic now, which is capitalism, how would you describe your philosophy about life?

I thought we were going to narrow it a bit about life, but that’s interesting. That’s like my favorite speech topic is the world and everything in it. My philosophy about life, maybe we can do that again sometime, but about the social and political aspect of our lives, it’s considerably a narrower field. It’s taken me a lifetime to refine my concepts on that. Now, they’re so clear to me. It’s so obvious. I think to myself, I must have been a blithering idiot most of my life not to have seen it because now that I do see it, it’s like night and day. The old saying is that once you see something, you can never forget it. Sometimes people do, but in terms of a worldview, you never forget that. Once the bell is rung, it can never be un-rung. Once you know, you can never not know.

This is all prefatory to this because I have a great deal of optimism about the world now in spite of all of the negative and horrific things that are going on. I see a great awakening going on. Young people, in particular, are coming to know and they are seeing the truth. They’re hearing the bell being rung. Even though all this turmoil I still going on, I’m aware of this growing groundswell of awareness of young people. They’re going to be here long after I’m gone and they’ve got it. Like you, you’ve got it. I know you have. Once you understand that, you never don’t understand it. Back to the question, what is my view? Like a word or a handle to describe who are you? Are you a conservative? Are you a liberal? Are you a left winger or a right winger? Are you a moderate? What are you? A neocon or whatever, all these words are floating around. A capitalist, a socialist, a Nazi, a fascist, all of these things. I was in that trap for most of my life trying to figure out which one did I want to be.

I picked one that sounded pretty good, then I got to learn a little bit more about it. I said, “Nope, that’s not me after all.” I went through the whole thing. I think every young person starts off being some communist, a socialist, a collectivist is the word. It has so much public relations appeal. The greater good or the greater number. Isn’t that wonderful? We all have to get together and be a team player. These things are very appealing and they’re good in so far as you go, but nobody ever looks at the flip side of the coin. It’s not what you do so much or what you want to accomplish so much. It’s how you do these things and how you accomplish them. I learned that a long time ago because, in the ‘60s, I was very curious about all this ideological discussion. I went down and I said, “I’m going to go down to the communist’s bookstore. I heard there was one in town,” and I did. It was down in Larchmont Street in Los Angeles, practically in downtown. There it’s called the People’s Bookshop. I went in there and I got to know the comrades pretty well.

They thought I was a convert or potential convert. They invited me to their study clubs. Their study meetings, which I knew and everybody knew that this was a recruiting funnel to get me into the party. I played along with it. I didn’t know much about it and I’m here to learn. I told them, “I don’t know what you guys are up to but I’d like to know. Show me what you believe, what are your books and so forth.” I don’t think they expected what happened because I bought their books and I read their books. I not only bought them, but I read them. It wasn’t long after going to a couple of those so-called study groups, I realized that I knew more about the doctrine than they did because they hadn’t read. They had slogans. I’m leading to this. I realized in that early stage that most people are driven by slogans and certainly those on the left and the right too, they’re driven by slogans.

One of the greatest slogans and it’s very appealing for the communist and socialist movement is, “From each according to his ability and to each according to their need.” What is wrong with that? Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that the basis of charity? Isn’t that the basis of all the religions of the world? To help your fellow man in need to the best of your ability. Naturally, it’s appealing but what they don’t tell you is how. You have to think a little bit. Not take this to the next step. How? It’s the argument for world government would bring peace because there would be no nations to fight each other. If there could be no nation, there could be no wars between nations and so forth. Then you’ve got to ask the question, “What kind of world government?” As a kid, you don’t think of these questions. When I was trying to figure out what all this mess is, I suddenly realized that in the Western world, there were only two basic ideologies. If you go outside of the Western world, you’ve got theocracy for example.

The government based on the concept that the leaders are representatives of God. They’ve been empowered by God. In fact, they have some kind of spiritual status that makes them above human. There are many places in the world now that still believe that. In centuries past, it was much more common than it is now. That’s not the driving philosophy in the Western world. Theocracy is not our problem. Our problem is something else. In the Western world, there are only two concepts and they have words. These words were well-known 80 or 100 years ago. I found out in the literature that these words were used to all the time, but I never heard them when I went to school. The words are collectivism on the one side and individualism on the other side. What is that all about? When you take these other words like socialism, communism, fascism, leftist, rightist, moderate and all these things. You peel off the labels of those concepts and all of them are variant of collectivism.

They’re all the same if you understand what the underlying elements of the ideology are. I made a study of that and I came up with about eight. They were quite common such as I mentioned the origin of the idea of what is the ultimate goal. The conflict between the individual or the state or the collective, which is more important. The collectivists, whether they call themselves communist, socialist, fascist, Nazi, whatever, they all believe that the group is more important than the individual. That the individual must be sacrificed if necessary for the greater good of the greater number. That’s that magic phrase and I bought into that when I was in school. I know that sounds good. The greater good for the greater numbers.

It’s a mathematical equation. If you’ve got three over here and they want something and only two are here, well the three get it because it’s the greater good of the greater number. The old cartoon about democracy. The greater good for the greater number. The cartoon shows the wolf and the bear arguing over what’s for lunch and the lamb has only got one vote. The democratic thing is that the lamb has to go. My worldview gradually has grown over all these years of studying this and making a lot of discoveries and frankly finding out how ignorant I was. Even to this day, I don’t think I have any idea that’s completely original with me. Everything I have learned was known by the ancient. It was known by people hundreds of years ago and they wrote about it. I just never read their stuff.

Now that I’ve found some of these things in the old documents and I found books that had been forgotten. Some of them had been buried and deliberately hidden from view. I realized that these ideas are not new but they’re very important. I realized that the struggle is between this concept of what is the basis of society, is it the individual or is it the mob? Once you get it simplified down to that concept, it begins to get easier to straighten out. What is my view? I am what you would call an individualist. I believe that the individual is all there is in human society and hence, the most important thing. I don’t believe that you can vote away a human right.

A human right is yours. If you’re an individualist, you believe this. That you’re born with certain inalienable rights as they said in the Declaration of Independence here in America. Inalienable rights, which means they’re individual rights, they are not group rights. I don’t care how many people there are out there, there’s a mob out there and they don’t like it. Maybe they don’t like your beliefs. Maybe they don’t like the color of your skin. Maybe they don’t like your religion. Maybe they don’t like the way you talk or whatever it is, they don’t like you. As if they can gang up on you and there are three of them and you’re only one or two. In the concept of collectivism, the three or the larger number gets everything. There’s no question of limitations and the power of the group.

Once you get down to that understanding, things began to fall into place. I believe that the structure of society is based on individual rights and that we have them. They come with this. Some people would say that they’re God-given. That makes you nervous, then they’ll say, “Anyway, you were born with them.” They’re hardware, they’re not software. You have these rights and you create the governments. The people create the governments. The governments can do only those things which you as an individual have a right to do because that’s all you can delegate to the government. It’s what you have the power to do. Once you get that concept in place, that’s the next one and they go, “That’s an interesting thought. What can I do against my neighbor and using force and violence against my neighbor? What’s okay for me to do to kill my neighbor? Is it ever okay to kill my neighbor or somebody I never saw before?” The impulse is never okay, but that’s not right. You do have the right to self-defense.

TWS 07 | Capitalism

Capitalism: It’s not what you do so much or what you want to accomplish so much. It’s how you do these things and how you accomplish them.


If somebody is trying to kill you, “Lord, help us,” but it’s desperate if you are the lamb. You didn’t pick the fight. They’re trying to take your life. They’re trying to kill you. Maybe they want what you have. Maybe they just don’t like you. They’re trying to kill you. I don’t think anybody would blame someone for defending their life, their liberty or their property with violence if they had to into the defensive mode. If that’s the only basis for individuals to use violence against another human being, then that is the only basis that this individual can delegate to his state, his authorities, to the police, the military, the judges, the courts and all that.

If they derive their power from the people, as we’d like to say, then that’s all that they can do because that’s all we can give them to do. Once you get that in your mind, you mean the state can only use force, meaning military force, guns and jails. They can kill you in the electric chair. They can punish you and they could torture you and all these things. The only thing they can use any of that for is in the defense of life, liberty and property. That means that 99% of the stuff that our state is doing that supposedly for the greater good of the greater number, they’re doing it without any basis at all. They’re just doing it. They don’t have a right to do it because you and I don’t have a right to tell our neighbor that he can’t sell his candy bars on Sunday. We can’t do that. We can’t tell our neighbor what to teach his kids. We can’t tell our neighbor how many hours a week he must work or whether or not he needs a lunch break and the list goes on and on. We cannot take money from our neighbor that’s got a lot of money and give it to the other neighbor that doesn’t have a lot of money because we want to justify it.

I’m glad you’re hitting on all of this because is it possible to understand the proper role of government? Can you understand what a free market is or anything? Like you’re saying, there are these layers that come on top of this initial idea of individualism versus collectivism. The collectivism idea is an abstract, individuals are all that exists. If you can’t get beyond that, then there’s no sense in getting to the next layers as far as the Second Amendment, as far as other laws, other ideas and other structures. Would you agree with that?

Absolutely. As much as I revere the constitution with the United States, I think it was an inspired document. It’s the best political document that’s ever been written. I also know it was a beta model. It was the first time in history that any men had tried to create a state based on the concept that we’re talking about, limitations on the power of the majority or in the power of the ruling elite. Nobody had ever tried that before. We just assume that if you had control of the guns, that’s it. You’re in charge. You better like me because if you don’t, these are not going to go well for you. I have a great revere for the constitution because it was a beta model to try and instill some of the concepts I’m describing onto an agreement on a printed page. This is what we agreed to.

I also recognize that it wasn’t perfect. I also recognize that if we’re going to be talking about these principles and advocating them on a global basis and we go to some country in Europe or in Asia or in Africa and we say, “The US constitution says,” they look at you like who cares what the US constitution says? I realized quickly that we want to be missionaries on this concept. We had to talk about the principles. Even if they had never been embodied in the constitution, which was almost a fortuitous accident maybe. Even if it had never been written, these principles still needed to be understood and talked about. You’re absolutely right, I think it’s the principles that we have to look at.

It’s interesting if you go back and look at whether it’s John Locke or some of his contemporaries and then the Scottish enlightenment. How all of these very similar ideas, which originated before their time. As they started to converge and even though there weren’t the modern ways in which you communicate, those ideas spread. They spread in parts of Europe and obviously in what’s now known as the United States. I think most people will embrace that fundamental idea. That’s why I wanted to hit on that because if you can’t get your mind around that, then there’s no sense in having a discussion about the ideas that come afterwards.

Let’s go there. Let’s assume that our audience understands that we have inalienable rights, fundamental right and the purpose of our current government structured in the Declaration of Independence then leading into the constitution was to protect these rights. That was the function and proper role of government. Going to the next layer, why is there this draw towards what we currently have now as a very collectivist society? There is this moral backbone it seems into most of these collections of people, collections of individuals. They’re driven by this moral justification and you’re right, it doesn’t matter if it’s Democrats or Republican, there are these groups that have a very similar initiative. How have you come to understand this draw or this positive thing that has come from the collective grouping doing and acting for the benefit of the whole, if that makes sense?

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It makes a lot of sense and I think that the answer is twofold. It’s a combination of the fact that people do not know or have not taken the time to think and study about the questions that were raising the issues. It’s like they’ve never been to school. They don’t know how to read and write. They don’t know what math is all about. They’re not informed. It’s not that they’re stupid, that’s not it at all. It’s that they’ve never been exposed to this information. I’d like to use the word politically illiterate and it’s not their fault because they’re depending on the school system and the society in which they’re born to deliver this information. At the turn of the last century, that information was being delivered at an increasingly higher level in America. The school systems were doing increasingly a good job I thought.

Then with the advent of the rise of collectivism and the takeover of the educational system by the missionaries or collectivism and they started to rewrite the textbooks. Then you’ve got the large influx of money from the Rockefeller Foundations and the Carnegie Groups and so forth. They stated right in their own literature that their goal was to change the attitude of the people in America, their favorite collectivism. They said that openly. That’s what they set out to do and they did it. They did it through, first of all, removing the information from the history books and from school systems that you need in order to come back the propaganda. They’ve been so successful that now you can hardly find any remnants of this history in our educational system.

Unfortunately, the young people going through the school system are denied this background history. That’s half of it. The other half is that there is a class of people who know exactly what they’re doing and they’re the ones responsible for the extraction of this information. For the substitution of a new philosophy or a new point of view, it’s their favorite collectivism. They profit immensely in this situation. Over the years, I’ve never known what to call these people. People call it the elites and the powers that be and all these names. I finally came up with this, I call it now the PP class. What is the PP class? The PP class is those people that are made up of the predators and the parasites. In every cross section of any society, any place in the world, any race, anywhere throughout any period of time, you’ll find that a certain percentage and I’m going to say about 15% or 12% of the population that are predators. Probably another 15% on top of that would tend to be parasites if they were encouraged. If they were given a free ride, that side of their nature would come forth.

Here you have the predators who want to control you. They want to control society for their own wealth and power and they really are predators. They had no sympathy or compassion for the human being at all except to make them their servants and their machines to serve them. They will deceive you and deliberately lie. They’ll even kill you if you get in their way. They’re just predators. Then you’ve got the parasites that get sucked into this thing and they get dependent on the predators. They’ll do what the predators say. They’ve got a pretty good little army there that will work day and night to continue to further their nest at the expense of your work and your liberties. It’s as simple as that and you could go sub-analyze that into different subcategories. Overall, those are the two main forces that we’re facing.

Let’s pivot to this because the theme of our season is capitalism. The discussion we’ve been having and what we’ve been referring to as far as principles and individualism and capitalism. What’s the connection in your mind?

The word capitalism, that’s one of those words that is very hard for people to find in agreement on the definition. If you’re a collectivist, then you’re thinking maybe you’re not one of the PP’s out there, but a student hearing all about this will think, “The greater good for the greater number,” and all of that and so you’re into that. Then somebody says, “These capitalists are all selfish individuals. All they care about is getting to be rich and they’ll just grind you into the ground.” Are you going to be a capitalist? No, that’s the definition of capitalism. It depends on how you define the word capitalism. You get 50 people in the room and ask them to define capitalism, I bet you’ll have at least 35 or 40 definitions.

What’s my definition of capitalist? I like to go to the roots of the word. Capital is a form of property. Capital is property. A capitalist is a person who believes in the concept of privately-owned property and he uses that property for whatever purpose he wants. In an industrial society, the capital, this property becomes a means of production. He invests his personal property into machines, into educational institutions and training programs. He may even have schools they create to bring people to a higher enough educational level so they could work within his factories or his systems. For them to provide jobs and raise their standard of living. He can be a criminal or he can be a bad guy and use his capital for purposes in which we would not object. That’s up to him. If he’s going to use this capital against the laws of the land, then he’s a criminal. He’s a criminal capitalist.

TWS 07 | Capitalism

Capitalism: We cannot take money from our neighbor that’s got a lot of money and give it to the other neighbor that doesn’t have a lot of money because we want to justify it.


Being a capitalist doesn’t make you a good person, except it does narrow your focus to the fact that you believe in private property. That is I believe the foundation not only for prosperity but for personal liberty. If you do not have private property, you cannot sustain yourself. You cannot be independent. You have to be dependent on the group. What’s the group? It’s always the state. You become the servant of the state. You do what the state tells you to do if you do not have private property, which is why people like Karl Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Mao Zedong and all the other great collectivists of the world said, “Private property has got to go.” They teach that in the schools now. They say private property has got to go because it’s not right. It’s not fair. They put a twist on it and they sell it as a humanitarian objective when they know that private property stands in the way of the individual being subjected by the state. My definition of a capitalist is it’s simply a person who believes in private property.

I spent an entire year of going through John Locke’s ideas around life, liberty and property and what those things meant and how a very successful society has to understand those principles and how they work together. I look at what you said, which is brilliant, that property or capital is something tangible. It’s the physical world but I haven’t look into these days with the internet and how much is being done there, which is hard to distinguish is that physical or nonphysical? In the end, human beings, the brilliance we have in each of us is that we’re all different. There’s a uniqueness about human beings that’s incredible because we’re all different. We all have different backgrounds. We all think a little bit differently. We all have different ideas. That’s why I think property is an extension of that. Property in and of itself, I don’t know if it has value. The value comes from our ideas and our uniqueness and how it applies to that specific physical resource and what can be done with that.

If it has no value, it’s not property because nobody wants it. If it’s a rock in the middle of the stream and it has some value but not very much. Nobody cared for it unless it’s pretty. If it’s pretty then it has value and somebody wants it, now it’s property.

It either has to be like a relationship between individuals in order for property to have that value. It’s a fascinating idea but at the same time going back to your point of criminal capitalists because there are. The criminal capitalists are those that prey on the individuals but also they violate those inalienable rights. I look at the structure of free market capitalism and how it reinforces and protects individualism and it allows for both the success and also the failure associated with using capital. Tying into the idea of individualism, you have to protect a person’s desire to want to use property to do something and to benefit themselves. Ultimately, it has to benefit someone else in order for it to be determined as property.

The principle of enlightened self-interest is extremely important. Even if you’re a son of a gun and you’re a bastard but if you realized that the only way you can gain wealth and comfort is to build something or do something that serves a purpose in the society, then you’re going to be a constructive human being, whether you like it or not. This is your enlightened self-interest to do it.

If you look at the whole centralized power around what capital is and resource is, it conflicts with the ideas of individualism. I look at the word that’s thrown out there now which is equality where this person has too much money or this person has an unfair advantage. How have you come to understand the drive for equality and what that even means because that’s a word that is defined in a number of ways?

First of all, it’s a word that is very difficult and people have different responses to it. As you said so well that no one is the same to somebody else, exactly the same. Nobody is exactly equal. Thank God for that. Wouldn’t it be boring if everybody was exactly like we are? We’ll be mad at each other most of the time because we’re onto each other. We know all of each other’s tricks and all of that. Thank God there are differences in talent, structure, strength, intelligence, aptitudes and I might even say gender. Nobody wants to be equal in the sense of that context. What we want to be equal and under what circumstances is under the law. We wanted to be treated under the law equally and that’s all we can ask for, all we should ask for. We don’t want any favoritism. We don’t want to be treated as a special group or class.

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Even if our parents were destitute, even if we were poor or if we were denied something, it didn’t have love or something, maybe one of our parents is dead and all of these things. Maybe we were born with a deformation of some kind and maybe we don’t have a hand. Maybe we were in an accident and all these things. All we have to say is that you cannot give any group any favorite treatment under the law, no matter how worthy their cause is or how compassionate you may feel toward them. Once you crossed that line, there is no stopping that. You can always make an argument, if this was true for Matilda, it’s also true for Johnny. His condition is a little bit different. Now you got two exceptions. If it’s true for Matilda and Johnny, it’s also true for Mary. The next thing you know, the whole world has got these exceptions.

All you need to see that is go look at the federal income tax and see all the exemptions and so forth. It just becomes a maze. It’s illogical. It’s unethical. For all we can ask for is to be treated absolutely equally under the law. Most people will say, “That sounds good.” Yet they’re perfectly content with the existing legal system, which I guarantee you 90% of the existing laws on the books do not treat people equally. 90% of them at least are designed to shift favoritism from this group to that group. Give this person a little edge over that edge or to punish this group for that. 90% of the laws are not administered equally and we’ve got to do something about that if we want to create a better world.

It’s one of those things where it’s going to continue to have corrections of the law to compensate for the deficiency that is created by another law. Then it’s this vicious cycle of trying to compensate for something that’s simple.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not just stupidity. It sounds good but they’d made a mistake. They didn’t think it through because it won’t work. What we don’t realize is we’re dealing with predators. They did think it through. They know exactly that it won’t work, but in the process, they know that it puts them in the middle. They are now the administrators of the system. They’re in charge. It helps them a lot. They don’t care whether it doesn’t work. In fact, they’re delighted that it doesn’t work because now it’s an excuse to go back and have another program and more taxes, more regulations and more power to them. It’s not stupidity. We got to remember there is a predator class at work.

I had the thought I had on bullet points to talk about monetary policy. I think a book that is definitely something that you created as this enlightening document to be able to understand what the monetary system of the US is or just a central monetary system in general. Going into that will take another take another few hours. I look at even with that, which is another way of describing collectivism and also the creation of equality in a sense. If you don’t understand the simple principles of what individualism is and also the principles associated with why our founding fathers created the documents that they did and why they did it.

Escaping from the political systems that they were in before, then there’s no sense in getting into monetary policies because it will just be super confusing. At the same time, you look at what is running the world right now, it’s commerce to an extent. Commerce is all controlled. It comes down to the control of a central bank and how they’re able to manipulate certain things, for the interest of some. I won’t even get into what those groups are, but you know where I’m going. Did a lot of what we’re talking about play into the desire that you had to write that book?

I have to think back. I’m rewinding the tape now all the way back many years. I think the honest answer is no, because when I had a desire to write that book, frankly I had no idea what I was getting into. Had I known, I’m sure I wouldn’t have attempted it. It was too much but ignorant though I was, I thought, “This is an interesting thing. How money comes into creation. How they create money out of debt, out of nothing.” Actually, debt is even worse than nothing. I thought, “I’m going to do a little documentary on this one.” That was just the beginning of my learning process. Had I known them, I wouldn’t have gone all the way through. It’s too much. The depth of this problem is something that grew in my awareness as I prepared for writing the book. It was a learning process.

TWS 07 | Capitalism

Capitalism: Young people that are recruited into the left movement are definitely crusaders. They think they’re working for something good.


Looking at where we’re at now. You had said something that hit home, which is there’s optimism. Despite what’s going on in the world around us, which is quite a bit. Where do you derive the energy for that optimism? What are you seeing that makes you optimistic?

That’s a two-part thing. The first part and is the most interesting is where do I derive that energy? Where does that drive come from? I had to stop and think about that. Since we’re talking about the predator class, we might think that at the other end of the spectrum there is a crusader class. I think that’s true. We have about the same percentage or 3%, 10% little group. At the other end, that are born with that drive to shut things right. I’ve discovered late in my life. I was an adult, I was married, I had a job and had a family and everything before my crusader gene kicked in. I had no interest in saving the world or anything like that. My interest was climbing the ladder of success, looking good, living well and all that sort of thing. When I got into some of these issues that we’re talking about now, I realized, “What am I going to do about it?” That’s a problem. Some of us have this insane desire, this insane thought that we can do something about it and we must do that.

The honest boldfaced answer is that I can’t help myself and I have a feeling you’re probably the same way. Probably at this end of the spectrum, there may be 5%, 6%, 7%, 10% of the people who just can’t help themselves. They’d got to rush forward and see what they can do to correct the wrongs. No matter what it takes, we can’t sleep until we figured it out. That’s my drive. I’m not claiming any great honor for it or any praise. It’s the way I am. My crusader gene is always buzzing. That’s interesting because if you look at the world in retrospect, in all history, all the great changes in history were done by 1%, 2% of the population. That’s all.

It’s been 1% or 2% in one end, 1% or 2% on the other end fighting it out and the other 98% were sitting back saying, “I don’t know which side will win but whichever side wins, I was always on that side.” It’s sad in a way, but it’s encouraging too because it means that we don’t have to convince our neighbor next door cutting his lawn. If he looks at us with that glazed look and he says, “Huh?” “What did you think about the Super Bowl?” That’s what he probably wants to talk about. “What about that Dancing with the Stars last night, wasn’t that something?” If that’s the focus of his life or her life, then you just say, “Next.” We’re looking for that 2%, 1% that have this crusader gene.

That’s an amazing way to put the crusader gene. I’ve never heard of that, but that makes sense. I look at a lot of what drives other collectivist groups. They probably think that they’re crusaders too.

A lot of people, especially the young people that are recruited into the left movement are definitely crusaders. They think they’re working for something good. I was that way at first, then I realized the trickery involved in all of these slogans and then that changed everything.

Maybe we’re going to end with this, how I’ve looked at things over the last couple of years and wanting to understand how important it is to recognize not just the principles associated with individualism, but you yourself. That there’s beauty in all individuals. There’s that uniqueness of where they’re born, that the socioeconomic environment, that political environment. People are driven in very similar ways. What touched me over the last couple of years is understanding more about the hierarchy of what people are driven to do. Maslow has one model. I think it’s pretty simple to understand. We don’t have to worry about in our day and age, food, shelter and clothing. Those are somewhat simple to come by. Then as far as inching our way up the ladder, people are getting very close to this idea of wanting to do purposeful things.

Debt is even worse than nothing. Click To Tweet

That’s where it comes down to the collectivist idea, where it does have, in a sense, a moral foundation. They think they have a moral foundation and they’re pursuing something for the best interest of others. I look at most of those groups and really what it does is it ruins the individuals. Whether it’s giving away welfare and their social programs and giving away this and giving away this, redistributing wealth. It ruins the experience of the individual to grow and to experience life. That’s where I find it very unnerving because I look at how important the experiences I’ve had in life, the difficult experiences. If I had been bailed out, where I would be and not having learned from those lessons. I look at family members, I look at so many different circumstances where individuals are robbed of experiencing life. I think that’s one of the travesties of our day.

You’re certainly right on target with that; the idea of protecting people against the effects of their own folly. I think it was Lord Acton or somebody like that said, “If you protect men from the effects of their own folly, you will fill the world with fools,” and that’s exactly what happens. You realized that if you follow the mantra of collectivism, you do not help people, you actually hurt them. You may give them a temporary meal. You may give them something they need very badly at the moment. That’s charity. I’m all for that. You should be doing that but to build a system around that so that it becomes no longer voluntary, but you have to do it or you’d go to jail.

Now, you’ve created a system, a machine that’s going to destroy the average person. They will not help them at all. I came to the conclusion that the mantra of collectivism is for the greater good of the greater number and if necessary, that means you have to sacrifice the individual. I finally came out the other side realizing that the individual should be the center of the state, protecting the individual. That is the greater good of the greater number. That does help the greater number to a higher degree than collectivism, which professes to have that goal but accomplishes just the opposite.

How can individuals follow you and learn more about what you’re doing? I know you still write quite a bit and contribute in different areas. What are some of the best ways to keep up to speed with what you’re up to?

Thank you for that. Supposedly the first thing I should do and I always forget this, is to talk about our commercial site, That’s where we have a lot of books and recordings, videos and audio tapes on the themes that we’re talking about here. My books are there too but we have about a hundred different excellent items. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking to flush out these ideas and say, “I wonder if this is true,” and you want to dig into the history, the rationale and the logic of it all. Then you have to do a little study. That’s the starting point. You have to put these ideas into action. Knowing that something is a superior idea, doesn’t make it win, especially when you’re up against the PP class. The predators and the parasites are working against you and all of them are looking for laws, the force of the state to compel you to shut up or go away or conform to their point of view, whether you like it or not.

To have this knowledge and a big bookcase full of books and you read them all, “You can’t do anything to me. I understand. No, that’s not it.” You’ve got to get out there and get active and recapture the system and change law if necessary. I’m devoting my attention to that aspect now. For anybody that’s interested in that, I’d like to invite you to come visit us at It’s an organization. It will tell you all about it there on the website. It’s a group of people. We now have members in 85 countries. It’s amazing. This issue of collectivism versus individualism is global, ladies and gentlemen. It’s not just here in the United States. That gets even further advanced in some other parts of the world. It’s more sophisticated here but it’s quite global, let’s put it that way. Then let’s go right to the chase. In order to get the word out to as many people as possible, we’d devise some marketing tactics if you wish to call them that.

We’ve adopted the idea of the Red Pill because you can talk about ideology all you want, collectivism and individualism. Some people will say, “That’s hurting my brain.” If you talk about something more popular like, “Take the Red Pill and break out of the illusion, face the reality.” “I saw the movie, The Matrix. It was a pretty good movie.” All of a sudden, it’s in a more popular frame and not quite so intimidating. We’re having fun now talking about these things in the context of the Red Pill. It’s fun, so I’m getting to the point now. We have a Red Pill Expo. It’s the third one that we put on and it’s scheduled for June. It’s coming up June 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. Put it on your calendar, please. It’s on June 7, 8 and 9 and if you want to know more about it, come to the website which is and you’ll learn all about it.

TWS 07 | Capitalism

Capitalism: The mantra of collectivism is for the greater good of the greater number, and if necessary, that means you have to sacrifice the individual.


It’s a great event. That’s all I can say. It’s a no holds barred event. People come there. We don’t agree with everybody that’s on there. In fact, we have some pretty good debates sometimes. The idea is if you want to break out of the matrix, out of the illusion, you have to open your mind to the fact that maybe what I know or think I know is not true. If you say, “I’m not going to listen to that person because that’s not true.” That means that you already have closed your mind to ever getting outside of the box that you’re in. If everything out there is not true, only what’s inside my box is true and you’ve had it. You’re getting into some great discussions at the Red Pill Expo. I invite you all to come.

I’m from Hartford. Where are you doing it in Hartford?

I should have the name of the conference center, but it’s a big one. Right in the middle of town. I’ll have to look it up. Come to the website and you’ll find out.

We’ll post everything. I was just curious personally.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I got to tell you, we just finished the website and the enrollment process. The man who’s taking care of our Facebook and social media stuff sent that tweet out to a couple of people and several minutes later, we had our first enrollment. It’s a good omen. I know people are going to flood to this thing. It’s something you don’t want to miss.

This has been a fascinating discussion and I know you’re passionate about this. You keep doing interviews and you keep doing videos and it’s a worthy cause because, in our day and age, people are understanding more and more. At least they’re curious and more open-minded. Hopefully, these ideas resonate so that people can start to celebrate what can ultimately change their lives but I think change the world.

These ideas do resonate. That’s the fact. They resonate because they’re the truth. When you hear it, the bell is rung and you think, “I’ve been waiting for that sound all my life.” There it is.

The biggest barrier of the truth is that you may have to be wrong and people don’t like being wrong.

It’s embarrassing but at the end you think, “Now, I’m awake.”

Anything that’s really changed the world is somebody had to step back and question assumptions. Ed, it’s a pleasure as always. Good luck with everything and I’m sure we’ll get back in contact. Maybe we will do a version two about the Federal Reserve.

We’ll do version two, meanwhile, put it on your calendar. I’ll see you in Hartford.

Thanks, Ed.

Important Links:

About G. Edward Griffin

TWS 07 | Capitalism

G. Edward Griffin is a writer, documentary film producer, and Founder of Freedom Force International. Listed in Who’s Who in America, he is well known because of his talent for researching difficult topics and presenting them in clear terms that all can understand.

He has dealt with such diverse subjects as archaeology and ancient Earth history, the Federal Reserve System and international banking, terrorism, internal subversion, the history of taxation, U.S. foreign policy, the science and politics of cancer therapy, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations.

His better-known works include The Creature from Jekyll Island, World without Cancer, The Discovery of Noah’s Ark, Moles in High Places, The Open Gates of Troy, No Place to Hide, The Capitalist Conspiracy, More Deadly than War, The Grand Design, The Great Prison Break, and The Fearful Master.

Edward is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he majored in speech and communications. He is a recipient of the coveted Telly Award for excellence in television production, the creator of the Reality Zone Audio Archives, Publisher of Need to Know News, and is President of American Media, a publishing and video production company in Southern California.

He has served on the board of directors of The National Health Federation and The International Association of Cancer Victors and Friends and is Founder and President of The Cancer Cure Foundation. He is the founder of The Coalition for Visible Ballots, a grassroots organization for the elimination of vote fraud made possible by electronic voting systems. He is the Founder and Chairman of Freedom Force International.


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Capitalism: Its Fundamental Truth And Moral Dimensions with Jason Rink

TWS 2 | Capitalism


Capitalism is one of those esoteric terms in a sense that most people know but don’t understand what it means. Kicking off the year by doing a deep dive into this concept is Jason Rink, award-winning producer and director of documentary films, an author, a marketer, and a self-proclaimed capitalist. Jason talks about capitalism and how it relates to us individually. He also shares how he has come to believe its relevance and the magic it holds when understood properly. Toppling down some perspectives, Jason addresses some of the misconceptions that keep people from having rational conversations with each other about it. He gets down into the entire market economy together with money, trade, and survival as he bakes the fundamental truth and moral dimensions about capitalism that people have to realize.

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Capitalism: Its Fundamental Truth And Moral Dimensions with Jason Rink

This is one of our first episodes for season one 2019 where we are focused on the theme of capitalism. I decided to have one of my good friends, Jason Rink, to join me for this first guest episode. The reason why I brought Jason on is him and I have interacted and I consider him as an individual who understands the philosophy of capitalism better than most. He is a nonbiased party so there’s no institute behind his title or a book behind his title. He represented the concept of capitalism as far as this philosophy is concerned. All the different activities of his professional life in such a manner that this is going to be an invigorating conversation. Jason, you do so many different things. It’s hard to keep track of you sometimes but why don’t you introduce yourself?

First, I just want to thank you for having me on. I’m super stoked to have this conversation with you. I’m honored because your show has been around for so long. You’ve had so many different guests on it, people that I respect. You were telling me about some of the other people coming on this season and I’m like, “I’m surrounded by some giants.” I’m humbled to be a part of this. Part of my career, I was in commercial banking for years. When the bailout started happening in 2007 and 2008 and the financial crisis started to visit upon the US economy, I was working at Chase Bank in the Equipment Finance Division and in Business Banking. It was along that period of time I got introduced to Ron Paul.

I was not a political person at the time, but Ron Paul had some ideas that resonated with me personally. As I started looking into what he had to say about the Federal Reserve and started to say about Austrian economics, I started to get interested in these ideas. At the same time, I found myself here in the belly of the beast. As things started to go south during that 2008 crisis, I started to see, “Some of these things Ron Paul’s talking about are happening all around me.” I felt conflicted as well because here I am working for the Federal Reserve at the big banks. It was during that season of time that I started to dive deep into Austrian economics and monetary policy and some light reading on the side. That set me off on a course of being personally interested in these ideas.

Fast forward, I have a video production company. I’ve worked with a lot of free market-oriented think tanks and organizations because I support what they’re doing. I have done some work in the infinite banking realm with Nelson Nash. At the same time, I do a lot of work with some big brands like Toyota, Mazda and Aston Martin. I’m out in the world. I’m a business owner and I’m a capitalist. I’m out there creating jobs and generating income for my family. I’m applying the principles that I believe about free-market capitalism, sound money, and being smart with how I invest in preserving my capital and all of that. I’m doing it out in real life. It’s the lab for all the ideas that I’ve embraced.

That’s what’s going to be cool about this conversation. It is to talk about what you’re doing and the drive behind it that has to do with anything. Capitalism is one of those esoteric terms in a sense that most people know but don’t understand what it means. They don’t notice what it means as it relates to them individually. I met you during this same period of time at FreedomFest down in Las Vegas, which is put on by Mark Skousen. You at the time were part of the production team at the Tenth Amendment Center.

You can't take care of other people unless you take care of yourself first. Click To Tweet

It was 2012 because I had made a movie called Nullification with Tom Woods and Michael Bolden of the Tenth Amendment Center. It was all about the Tenth Amendment and the idea that the States have the right to push back against federal legislation that’s unconstitutional. It’s a controversial idea. That was the first feature-length documentary I ever made. I was at FreedomFest. My film was there and that’s when you and I had got connected first.

I was there at the little film festival that they do as part of the conference and I saw you there. It was that next winter in 2013 where we were at an industry event. I was walking along and I saw you. You had a very distinct glasses and you had a Tony Stark goatee. I was like, “You’re that guy.” That’s when we hit it off and then I saw you again at FreedomFest and from there, we’ve kept in contact. You’re part of the Prosperity Economics Movement that I work with. What links us is the ideas that we’re going to be discussing. That’s our backstory and this is where I want to go with the conversation.

From a very general standpoint, I wanted to talk about how you understand capitalism, why you’ve come to certain conclusions about its relevance, and how magical it is if properly understood. Address some of the misconceptions that are out there. It’s a misconception where people don’t understand it or have this idea about it but it’s a third in line behind religion and politics as far as discussion points. People feel so strongly about it where their emotions take over that belief and you can’t have a rational conversation with anybody about it. That’s how strong this topic is penetrating into the language and vernacular of the United States. I want to get into this confused sense of morality as why there’s this big Bernie push as well as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez push. Why is it so appealing but why it’s the same drive as just the pure sense of capitalism? It’s not that there is a tall order to this conversation.

Let’s see if we could solve this thing and get both sides together hand-in-hand.

How do you understand capitalism and what’s the story behind that?

TWS 2 | Capitalism

Capitalism: When we look at human beings and society, we all fundamentally have to find a way to survive and to provide for ourselves and for our families.


The word capitalism, people bring with certain understandings or ideas about the word. You can’t throw the word out there by itself. If you throw the word Trump out there, you’re going to get some polarized opinions. If you throw the word Jesus out there, you’re going to get polarized defendants and then all of a sudden there’s this other word, capitalism, and it’s almost as big of a grenade in a conversation. Digging back into my own understanding, I don’t think I ever had a negative perspective personally on capitalism. I was neutral on the idea.

When I started to dig into learning more about money and government, I started to recognize that a way to define capitalism that worked for me is I started to see it as the market or voluntary exchange. When I say the market, I’m even thinking at its smallest sense. When you go into a farmer’s market in a city where you’ve got all of these different entrepreneurs selling their goods: the vegetables, charcoal, toothpaste, candles and soap or whatever it is. The farmer’s market is the purest form of trade. I don’t think there’s anybody out there who looks at a farmer’s market and they’re like, “That’s an evil capitalist thing.” It is because this idea of the marketplace where people come together as buyers and sellers of their own free will voluntarily exchanging goods and services. That seems very normal. That resonates with this all at a human level. That is what I see as the fundamental truth that’s baked into the idea of capitalism.

There are so many different examples that we can cite but I want to reverse engineer the whole idea of a farmer’s market or a market in general where people come to exchange their goods and services. This comes down to the drive there. What’s the initiating drive for someone to go to a farmer’s market?

When we look at human beings and society, we all fundamentally have to find a way to survive and to provide for ourselves and for our families. The fundamental drive here is how am I going to generate the things that I need to live? When you go to that fundamental level, there are a couple of different ways we can do it. The primary way is for me to go out and try to gather together all of the different things that I need to survive, my food, my water, my shelter, all of those things and create them by myself through my own work and through my own hands. What you see is the way that this is developed throughout society logically when you look at how this all comes together. As people gather together in society, it turns out that some people are better at certain things and other things. We find ways to become more efficient. We find ways to become more effective at creating certain things and not other things.

What we do is we start to specialize in making certain things then we trade to other people for things that they create. This whole market economy or the flourishing of certain people specializing in certain skills and products and other people and then finding a way to exchange those things in the marketplace, that coming to life is a function of just trying to find the most efficient way to survive and to care for ourselves and to generate some leisure. Baked within this whole market thing are concepts of money, trade, survival, craftsmanship, and all of these things. That’s where it comes to life. The farmer’s market is the outgrowth of that development. It’s the development of social technology. If you think about what the marketplace is, it is a social technology. It’s something that makes it easier for us to survive on this planet.

We are much more likely to survive individually if we gathered together with others. Click To Tweet

If you look at the word that keeps coming to mind, what initiates is people want something. What is it that they want? I’m not even asking them what they want, it’s why do they want it? All human beings we are wired. This is going to sound not politically correct, but we’re wired to do what’s best in the best interest of ourselves. This is the nature of it. The politically correct thing which people look at morality is that we have a stewardship to take care of other people. That’s true to an extent. At the same time, you can’t take care of other people unless you take care of yourself first. The first thing is that the initiating drive is self-interest. It’s you as an individual because people are driven to survive but as you go up through the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it’s not the needs of a society, it’s the personal needs. Those are personal needs which start with physiological then they go to safety then to relationships. They go to self-esteem and to self-actualization. These are all personal needs that we are self-interested in. People are out there, they wake up in the morning and they’re the center of attention.

Even us gathering together in tribes, in groups or in societies is about self-preservation. What we find is that we are much more likely to survive individually if we gathered together with others to help us navigate the world that we’re in and nature. Even this idea of getting together with other people, that’s a self-interested drive that drives us there.

Going through the Hierarchy of Needs, it’s physiological. You need to eat, have some shelter and then you need some safety. What’s after that is relationships. Start with intimate relationships and then going to the communal type of relationships. Other people are a part of our makeup. It starts with us. It starts with our drive and everybody is this way. Everybody’s wired this way. What’s also fascinating is that we all are wired slightly different as to what we think is our best interests. That aligns with unique strengths, unique abilities, talents and so forth. The purest sense of capitalism is what provides us with the opportunity to go out there uninhibited and pursue what is best for us. It’s not like the capitalism word is in the Bible or the ancient scripts. This word came about right as the birth of our modern era toward the Scottish Enlightenment and around the Adam Smith period of time. Also, the Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who wrote The Communist Manifesto. This is where the idea of capitalism started to be demonized. Also, you have some of the purest writings as far as societal morality with a lot of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Those thinkers gave birth to this idea of what happens to humanity if there is this structure in place in which people can take who they are, what they’re best at and operate for their self-interest. The end result is what provides people what’s best for them, the most selfish thing possible has to be able to provide the best thing for somebody else first. That’s where the confusion is where people are naturally self-interested. We want preservation, we seek all of these needs that I went through. What you pointed out is that as we have a community, most people are self-interested and get what they want. Other people are involved in that process. They’re benefited just as much as the initial individual with they’re trying to meet their self-interest.

TWS 2 | Capitalism

The Communist Manifesto

We’re self-interested, we’re moving through the world in a way where we are looking after our own interests. However, it turns out that the best route to that is to find how we can create the most value for others in this marketplace. It’s an interesting design. For me, it’s a spiritual concept because I’m like, “This is incredible.” It’s this irony that like, “Here we are breathing out CO2 which is like poison. By the way, there are these things called plants that suck it in and then they generate this oxygen thing out of it. By the way, that’s what we need.” This whole market economy that’s based on, “How can I best serve other people that are going to bring the greatest amount of good back to myself?” It’s a paradox on one hand and on the other hand, it’s like, “Society in humanity has been engineered to function in this way.”

Once you start to see it that way, it becomes a beautiful thing. The Bernie Sanders of the world, they’re not out there railing against the farmer’s market to be clear. They’re railing against a more “complicated form of capitalism.” As our society has changed as it seems, it’s gotten much more complicated. In reality, the same fundamental principle is still at play. There are some new factors that have been introduced. Now we’ve got to navigate around in this marketplace in order for us to achieve those two basic goals and provide the most value to provide the greatest good for ourselves.

I’m going to go to a couple of principals then move to that point. This is where the most confusion exists in regard to the conflict of morality. Adam Smith is most known for his book, The Wealth of Nations. His first book is The Theory of Moral Sentiments. This is where he breaks down that people have a natural drive to understand and be moral. He calls it the impartial observer where there’s this angel on our shoulder when we’re tempted to do something that may be immoral. We think and we ask ourselves. It’s as if we have this observer on our shoulders looking at us and we’re caught in between, “Do I make this decision to do something dishonest or do I be honest and do the right thing?” How do we know it’s the right thing? There’s no board that says, “This is the right thing to do.” It’s like we have that wiring inside of us and then we have this compelling force to do the right thing that he calls the impartial observer.

Most people demonize capitalism because it exploits others where it takes advantage of others where a person benefits by making others worse. That’s where the biggest disconnect. The true nature of a capitalist is going out there, taking a risk and doing it because it meets some level of self-interest but other people have to benefit more so than the person that is creating whatever that goods and services in the first place. When you inhibit that, you inhibit human nature. You look at what stagnation occurs when you don’t allow a person to think and when you don’t allow them to figure things out.

When a person has removed from them the opportunity to figure things out, to survive and to figure out their life, it is one of the greatest harms cause on an individual. It is done all over the place with the banner of doing it as morality and as the right thing to do. The right thing to do is to give this person food and housing. Give them a structure and safety net. That’s not what makes us thrive, even though this confused sense for morality puts us in this where it makes sense. We need to give to them so that it helps them. Giving hand out, safety nets, food and whatever the case may be is where the biggest prevention of where human beings thrive. Maybe we gravitate toward that because you brought up this idea of what capitalism has become, which is more corporatism. Is that capitalism?

The further you go, the more there is the to unpack sometimes. On the one hand, we’ve got this idea at play where people don’t always act morally. People’s self-interest can be directed into a way that generates some negative results in culture and society. This has been a problem that’s been with us for a long time. There’s this balancing act where people left to their own devices will just run roughshod over everybody. If you can be powerful, you can dominate others and you can take advantage of others then, of course, you will. There is this other force at play and it’s from that, that this whole moral argument comes up. How do we best act together as a society and ensure that certain people are taken care of and other people aren’t taking advantage of others? It’s in that context that these discussions about government and the outgrowth of government end up being things like corporatism. Whether or not the government can serve as an impartial entity that can help take care of certain people or certain things. As we start peeling the layers of the onion, there’s all different social dynamics here.

The purest sense of capitalism is what provides us with the opportunity to go out there uninhibited and pursue what is best for us. Click To Tweet

One of the books I found most helpful in navigating this whole terrain was The Law by Bastiat. What was so useful about that book and why it’s one of the most important pieces of philosophical writing that I’ve come across is because it forces us to look at this idea of whether or not we, as individuals, can carry out certain actions as moral actions and whether we can delegate the immoral actions to another entity to carry them out on our behalf. When we start talking about this whole idea of morality and whether or not capitalism’s moral or whether or not we’re going to go about taking care of the needs of the less fortunate and things, you’ve got to wrestle with this idea. It’s because most people won’t look at carrying out theft or violence against another individual as a moral idea.

If I were to be violent against you to take something that’s yours and give it to somebody else, as a society we don’t see that as a moral good. Yet there is something that takes place when we take that same activity through a process of democracy or voting. We put it into this thing called government. It is run by people which are populated by flawed individuals. We’re worried about taking advantage of other people and being self-interested in running roughshod and then we just create this thing called a government. It’s supposed to become a neutral good entity that can then carry out what is the same thing, theft, and violence against others.

Somehow there’s a magic that occurs in that process that makes that moral. That feels a little bit of a rabbit trail but what I’m pointing to is this idea that we have a lot of people with different ideas about what government is and what force and violence is. Also, what the role of government is. When we start getting into these ideas about capitalism and the government gets involved in all these things, we start getting into a question about morality. We have some people on the side of the moral argument that says, “We can’t trust people and businesses to be moral. We can only trust the government. People are people and businesses are groups of people and governments are just groups of people.”

We’ve got the same problems all throughout that. What I hear going on in our society around this discussion of capitalism is that it’s more a discussion about who is moral, what institutions are moral, and what institutions have the incentives to be most moral. When we get into that discussion with this dance of me being self-interested yet having to serve and provide the most value in good for my fellow man, that’s accountability and an incentive structure that’s built into capitalism that generates the best out of me. What I see over here in this design of government is that that same accountability doesn’t exist because the government is based on a force. It’s extracting resources from this area and moving them over to this area, which is fundamentally an immoral activity.

TWS 2 | Capitalism

The Wealth of Nations

You said it was a rabbit trail and I followed every piece. This is the crux of it. In the end, we all have to have an agreement that we as human beings, we’re all here trying to figure out the same thing. We all have flaws and we all make mistakes. The idea is do you try to create a system in which mistakes aren’t possible? That’s where the government goes and that’s where stagnation can be proven time and time again. Do you allow individuals to make those mistakes and then have the structure of the environment in which they’re making a mistake done in a way where the rights of others are as protected as possible?

The system now is very difficult to get away with doing something immoral, especially in a business sense. It’s being done quite often whether it’s hacking or cybersecurity issues or certain fraudulent businesses. Those don’t last very long and are weeded out very quickly because of how we’ve been able to share information. There’s a restaurant that I liked going through on the way into work and also going home instead of Chick-fil-A or other fast food type of restaurant if I have to get something on the fly. It’s like a health food store. I went in there and the Department of Health was in there doing their inspection.

It’s one of those things where it’s like, “If this place served in a dirty way and people got sick from it, they’re going to be out of business.” You have Google, you have Yelp and the word is going to spread quickly. It’s one of those things where the government is trying to play this role of the moral authority saying, “This is good and this is bad. You have to do what we say because we’re protecting people.” I would say, “I get that. It is a good intention but is there a better way to do it where you’re not taking away the rights of others?” I see the intentions of the government in that authority, but I also see the intention of individuals and special organizations. It comes down to what is the best structure to make the most amount of progress and create the most happiness and prosperity possible for humanity?

Maybe there was a time in which there needed to be certain government or some oversight or some protection or whatever. I’ll grant that to somebody. The question is whether or not anything’s changed. What is interesting is when you point to the things such as Yelp where there’s a mechanism for us to govern ourselves. When you think about what hierarchical government emerged out of it was because it was looked to solve some deficiencies in governing ourselves and holding ourselves accountable. I just want to look at how much has changed. You look at something that’s happening with Uber. The normalization of getting into cars with strangers to get rides, which is bizarre. I took an Uber in Uruguay. Years ago, I never would have thought of getting into a foreign country into a stranger’s vehicle, but the mechanism exists now that I can have total comfort in doing that. It’s brought the costs of transportation down. It has granted access to transportation to people who didn’t previously have it. It’s granted opportunities for employment to people who didn’t previously have it. It’s brought together all of these different things and it’s provided a solution. What’s interesting is who’s angry about it.

Who’s the moral authority?

It’s two-fold. On one hand, there is a company called Uber that’s got some things that they’ve developed. There’s also a function that empowers me as the rider and the driver to rate each other about that experience. There are a series of different checks on what’s happening within it. It’s not been put together by the government. The only thing that I’m seeing that’s top down in it is the company and they can only carry out the function if they’ve got the margins to do it.

The further you go, the more there is the to unpack. Click To Tweet

The moral element too is that if Uber wasn’t doing the right thing, they’d be out of business but they’re also providing a service. The reason why you were comfortable with it is that of the internal makeup of the feedback system, of that feedback loop. If you are in Uruguay and all drivers have one star, are you going to get a ride or are you going to go in a taxi or are you going to walk? There’s a built-in impartial observer that is saying, “You have to do the right thing. You’re not going to kidnap Jason and take $100 out of his wallet because the cost of doing that is so much more. What you gain from it is so much less than what you would gain by doing the right thing.”

You touched another aspect of this moral dimension, which is competition. Uber’s had a little bit of a rocky road because their CEO has run into some allegations about sexism in the workplace and some other things. Those may or may not be true or whatever. I don’t know the details but what I do know is that he was removed or stepped down as CEO. Lyft, on the other hand, started picking up a whole lot of more share in the marketplace. Here’s this other company that holds the whole thing accountable. They see an opportunity where like, “We can be better. We can be better people. We can run this company different.” That is not something you have to hold government accountable frankly.

You don’t because there’s no competition.

At the heart of capitalism is this other thing that’s brutal and it’s called competition. It is a force of nature. It eats the company’s and people’s lunches. It’s a force of moral good to make sure that the greatest value for the greatest number of people in the way that the market demands it.

TWS 2 | Capitalism

The Law

There’s such a strong presence of what humanity is capable of but there are so much wisdom and potential in our minds. The issues and the challenges that exist now, whether it’s healthcare or nutrition, you can start to list all the different calamities that are out there. If there’s a problem, you would assume that there is a solution but in order to accomplish that solution, another person has to come up with that. The structure to best do that has always been the incentive a person has to do what’s best for themselves by first doing and figuring out a way to be of value to somebody else. The more of that exists and the quicker, we’re not only going to solve the existing problems that we have. There’s going to be more overall prosperity but here’s the deal. What did we solve in regard to problems? You solve the problem of people dying when they’re 35 or 40 years old and you created industrialism where you started to have more progress in society but there are other problems that occurred despite that. Those problems were solved and then there were more problems once those problems were solved and so on and so forth.

It’s always going to be part of the human experience. There are always going to be difficulties. There are always going to be challenges because we’re humans and we have that side of us. At the same time, the ultimate solution to that is right up in the mind of an individual. It’s the ideas they come up with and the incentive that they have to bring those ideas to the marketplace. When you inhibit and stifle that incentive, that is where the system breaks down. I’ll cite one example and then we can get into the other side which is the confused sense of morality. One of the examples I saw is when Facebook was put on trial. They went to Congress and had to explain to Congress certain elements of how Facebook worked. For better or for worse, has Facebook done some stuff they shouldn’t have done? Yes. They’ve done a tremendous amount of good. That wasn’t celebrated.

The good that they did as far as connecting the world wasn’t celebrated. What they were able to do as far as connecting families and connecting businesses and creating community accountability, that wasn’t celebrated. It was, “You’re taking people’s data and you’re taking private things,” which granted, that’s something that they did. The lack of understanding of what Facebook does was so surprising to me in the questioning. It was going back and forth of Zuckerberg not explaining what the whole privacy issue was about but having to explain what his business was. It just shows the complete disconnect of those type of individuals in that they’re not coming up with solutions. They are playing the role of God telling people what they should and shouldn’t do coming from a fallible place. That’s the idea of this morality. Is it moral for one infallible person to tell another to do or for an infallible person to figure out ways in which to provide value for others?

When we look into the different areas where most people are going to say that capitalism has failed or where we’re experiencing the negative impact of capitalism, when you start looking into most of the sectors that are being discussed, they tend to be the sectors that are most heavily regulated or that government has created the strongest cartels. You start getting into this whole other dimension of things that people don’t talk about which is this idea called regulatory capture. This idea that government or a body that oversees something, there’s an incentive to then capture that governing body and influence it for your own purposes.

This is one of the things that we saw when the mortgage crisis started to unfold. It turned out that the entities that were supposed to be rating the different bonds were paid off. They’re receiving fees from the people they’re supposed to be overseeing and that creates some other outcomes. In America, it’s been a long time since we haven’t been the richest nation on the planet, at least on paper. I don’t know what the P&L looks like. When you go to places where people have been living on under $1 a day and you start looking into the transformation and the human flourishing. The access to opportunity and capital that is happening in places where people had been living on under $1 a day and now those people and nations are rising over the last years.

The data shows that it has everything to do with the loosening and the expansion of opportunities that we’re defining as capitalism marketplace, being able to voluntarily exchange. In most of those places, it’s been the forces of government or cartels or the destruction of the value of the money that’s been making that prosperity be nothing but a dream. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, they can talk about how bad we have it here in America and how bad capitalism is and something needs to be done because of the 1%. Everybody having that conversation in the United States is in the global 1% and always has been. It’s only because we’re so rich and prosperous and the fact that capitalism and human ingenuity can outperform and out create the forces that try to keep it at bay. We have the luxury to even talk about these ideas while the rest of the world is trying to figure out how to get out of those first couples of stages of the hierarchy of needs.

Life is always going to be challenging because we're humans. Click To Tweet

Why are the emotions so high than when it comes to these ideas? Why do yelling and screaming and emotional tirades seems you can’t have a rational conversation? Why are they so high?

Part of it is because they’re as good as it is. There is a problem and I do believe that there is an unlevel playing field in America and people see it. Some people are feeling that maybe in some areas it is more difficult to become wealthy to achieve the American dream and all of these things. Most people are not informed and they’re not educated. Most people are busy trying to work their jobs, care for their families and get a little bit of leisure time on the weekends. They’re not diving into Mises, Hayek, Bastiat and Adam Smith.

When the capitalism label is placed on the most visible people in organizations that are the richest in the nation, the label is misapplied. Most of the richest in America have taken advantage of regulatory capture in ways that aren’t necessarily good. People see that but they don’t see how it’s happened. The capitalism labels misapplied. It’s used by people in the media who have an agenda to try to demonize it and who wants to empower the government for certain other things. It’s an uneducated population in my estimation that doesn’t know the difference. That’s where the emotions get high because some people are struggling and envy is at play.

There’s nothing easier than us to look at somebody who’s got something we don’t have and for us to think that they’re doing something to get it. At the same time, there are things at play that have shifted the playing field away from the average person and the middle-class individual that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t need to be addressed to redistribution through government because that’s where the problem originates. People don’t want to look there. It’s easier to look at the corporate boogeyman than it is to look at the ballot box or it is to look at democracy, which we hold in such high regard.

The danger of this topic is you can go in so many different directions. I want to recap what you said and make a few comments. I want to pivot some influential things. You’ve already mentioned The Law by Frederic Bastiat and have some influential whether it’s books, people, podcasts that help you understand some of these principles. You’ve come to have a belief in a perspective of things that are atypical. You talked about playing field and also where things seem unfair and I look at the opportunity and also what people have. The opportunities that people have now are a lot more even than they’ve been in the past because of what people have access to.

TWS 2 | Capitalism

Capitalism: The more personal the problems we have as a society are, the more local the governance and the policies are.


I was watching something where this guy, he wasn’t a trained chemist or physicist. He spent years doing it, he discovered how to extract sugar from plants that would replace the sugar that we have but also would create biofuel. He spent years doing it and came up with it and felt so strongly about it. It took him a number of years to get very prominent people on his board. Here’s a guy who didn’t graduate from MIT or didn’t graduate from Harvard and get an MBA or have a doctor or PhD behind his name. He went out and figured things out and used the resources that were available to him and created something amazing. They’re saying it’s going to revolutionize just food, fuel and emissions. My point is people are all wired differently. If we agree to that, not everybody’s going to have the same life. Why would you want the same life? It’s all different. I see some of the things that come from us being in this communication-rich society where we see others, we see their life, and we see what they have. We see the things that they do and there’s envy there. The thing is there’s never going to be equality when it comes to what people have. The equality is always going to be in the environment in a sense, but people are all different. How you’re wired to bring value to the marketplace isn’t who you are right now but it’s who you develop yourself into.

This guy spent years doing it. He just didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly he’s going to become a billionaire. There was so much that went into that. The development of his passion and skills and strengths, his drive to go out there and create an organization and create community and hire people, there was so much effort behind that to provide value in the marketplace. That’s where I would say there’s this use of equality where the rich have all of this and you don’t, and you’re entitled to that. They shouldn’t have that, you should have that. This goes to politicians and people playing God that they’re not fallible and they’re going to come to figure out the best way to distribute all the different resources. It’s such a toxic thing where you lob humanity in a sense and that goes on because it is occurring. Money is taken from people involuntarily and distributed to different programs, which in a sense looks so inhumane. Why wouldn’t we give them food stamps or why wouldn’t we provide housing for them? I agree that there are certain circumstances but at the same time, people are wired to figure life out. They’re not wired to have things done for them where they just sit in their house and do nothing.

There are exceptions for this. The best thing that’s happened for me is being on the brink of poverty, being on the brink of bankruptcy. Being on the brink of not being able to feed my family. If everything was taken care of for me, I would never have learned anywhere near the lessons that I’ve learned. This is where we all have to as far as capitalism understand how powerful it is. We all have to understand that we’re all fallible. We all have to understand that there’s no such thing as perfect in this life. This doesn’t exist and it’s never going to exist in government’s and it’s never going to exist with pure capitalism.

At the same time, what is the most humane thing to do and what is the fairest? The fairest is to protect people from their natural rights, the life, liberty and property but at that same time, the problems are not on the shoulders of government to figure out. Problems in the purest sense when it comes to capitalism are for individuals to operate in a system where their mind works. They can come up with ideas and there’s friction in that process. Look at what we have seen in humanity over the last 50 years or even the last ten years and how much that’s improved our lives. It all originated from an idea in a person’s head and them acting on that idea. There are these principles of capitalism wired into our society but at the same time, there’s a big force against it which is trying to rob some of those liberties. That was how I looked at some of the things that you said. You have some of the final comments and words and then talk about some of the more inspirational things that have helped you understand this perspective that you have and we both share.

I saw an article where it was like, “Fidel Castro’s grandson’s Instagram feed was felt like leaked.” He’s on yachts and hanging out with babes and he’s living in Europe. What’s been generally true is that in societies where these more collectivist, socialist type of economic policies have taken root, there’s almost always a class of people who sit on top of that system. They live exactly like the people that were being demonized in order to get that system put together. We’ve got a lot of examples we can look around at in the world with what’s going on in Venezuela, Cuba, or whatever. We’ve got the ability to see what’s happening in other places. I just hope that we can see and look at the lessons of other countries and other times and use that to discern where we should go as a society.

There's nothing easier than looking at somebody who's got something we don't have and think that they're doing something to get it. Click To Tweet

It brings us full circle back to the film I made, Nullification. When we start getting into these issues, Nullification was very much about this idea of federalism. The more personal the problems we have as a society are, the more local the governance and the more localized the policies are. We should wrestle through those problems instead of looking to establish one-size-fits-all legislation and policies to go over 330 million people in one country. In that whole process, as more and more power has been sucked up to Washington DC, we’ve lost a lot of community and humanity in our own cities, neighborhoods and towns.

The front porch communities of old don’t exist much anymore. We don’t know our neighbors, and this is all related to the idea of how we are designed to be our brother’s keeper. It is for us to take care of one another and to look after one another from a voluntary sense and not only through capitalism. Capitalism is the way but there is something in us that we are wired to care for those in our tribe. I see a lot of what’s going on as a result of a breakdown in that. I see the tribalism that’s happening on the national political level and the ugly politics. All of that comes back to remind me that ultimately we are responsible for our own humanity. We’re responsible for the way in which we carry ourselves and demonstrate the moral code that we would like to see demonstrated by others. It’s the most fundamental idea.

I’m on the board of an organization called the Libertarian Christian Institute. We have a podcast as well and we’ve had 100 episodes. Part of what’s driven us as an organization and me to be a part of it is because we want to talk about the ideas of capitalism from a very moral Jesus-centered perspective. When I think about what’s influenced me, I am very influenced by the Bible in the treatment of money and in the treatment of capitalism. The word doesn’t appear but a lot of principles of capitalism are very evident. If you had Larry Reed on, he could say about that. The book that he puts out, Was Jesus a Socialist? is a great little book to read on this idea.

The other things that have impacted me are talking with other entrepreneurs. As I become an entrepreneur, as I’ve seen what that takes, I’m a believer that not everybody is designed to be an entrepreneur. We’re all wired differently. I’ve talked to more and more entrepreneurs and learned more about who’s out in the world creating businesses. I echo your sentiment that there’s never been more opportunity and I also believe that the more entrepreneurs you’ve talked to, the more you can see them as true heroes. Entrepreneurs are creating value, they’re creating jobs and new ideas that as a society and as a world, we are solving all of the problems together for one another. That’s what’s inspiring me to spend time looking at, reading about and talking to other entrepreneurs. Also, the people who are capitalists that are out in the world to see what they’re up to and the problems that they’re solving in society.

TWS 2 | Capitalism

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

One of the things that you said that resonated is echoed from The Theory of Moral Sentiments, that original work by Adam Smith where people are driven. That’s this innate thing that we have to take care of one another. However, doing it involuntarily, being forced to take care of somebody else, you don’t have that same drive and it goes to Christianity where are the two greatest commandments. Those commandments of loving, it’s loving others but also loving others as we love ourselves. It incorporates the idea of understanding ourselves and our role in society and humanity. Capitalism is not this high-level thing that’s associated with a society or a country. It’s very individual and if you understand what those principles are, it could give you a different perspective on what you do on a day-to-day basis. Understand your relationship with yourself but also understand your relationship with others and how others help you but how you could potentially help others.

From a group side of things or a bigger picture, understanding these principles and then aligning yourself with other individuals does help our community and our society adhere to them on a higher level more so than there exists now. People are not reading, they’re not thinking, they’re not having conversations around these types of macro topics. It’s around the very superficial thing that allows the creeping in of the ideas of being forced to be moral. It’s that Robin Hood mentality where you rob from the haves to give to the have nots because they don’t have, and we should take care of them. We won’t go down that rabbit trail, but I’ll give you the final word.

Patrick, I’m going to take an opportunity to plug you a little bit. One thing that needs to be true is people need to take responsibility for their own financial autonomy. People need to surround themselves by other people who can help them to become more autonomous and more in control of their own financial future, destiny and access to the capital that they need to be able to fulfill on whatever the dream, the idea or the mission is that they’ve got out there. At the heart of all of what we’re talking about, I would see it as very immoral for me to ever throw up an obstacle in the way of somebody else trying to fulfill on what they believe their mission, purpose and calling is in this world.

It turns out that often that has to do with the work that we do in the world because we’re wired for service. The work that you’re doing in the Prosperity Economics Movement, the work that you’re doing through Paradigm Life, I see that as something that empowers and grants people the tools. Not only the tools of knowledge but real financial tools to be able to achieve those things and to become an entrepreneur, to become a steward of the resources they have. Whether it is to give, to solve the world’s problems through entrepreneurship or whatever it is, they can be the captain of their own destiny. That’s all I got to say. I enjoy the time we can speak together. I wish you the best.

Thank you. We’ve known each other for several years and you have some incredible creative talents and you’ve been able to own it. You were doing a little freelance stuff here and there when we first met but mostly working for others. You’ve taken the entrepreneurial calling that has been inside you for a long time and you owned it. You took some risks and went out there and you’ve been incredibly successful. If anyone wants some video or marketing work done, Jason’s your man. It’s and they can follow you in your social media where you’re very active. Jason, you’re the man. Thanks a ton for being on and having this cool conversation with me.


Make sure you stick with us because we have some more scintillating information and conversation about capitalism. Take care.

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About Jason Rink

TWS 2 | CapitalismJason Rink is an award-winning producer and director of documentary films, an author, a marketer, and a self-proclaimed Capitalist. Prior to starting his own company, he spent 10 years in commercial banking, and four years as a producer and director at Emergent Order, a creative agency in Austin, Texas. Jason has worked with Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, Congressman Ron Paul, Senator Rand Paul, and brands such as Aston Martin, the Charles Koch Institute, and Mercer.


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