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“Your Town”: A Defense of Capitalism

Here’s a golden oldie, from back in the day when industry associations stood up for capitalism and the positive social by-products of productive enterprises, instead of apologizing for their existence and bending over backwards to appease environmentalist bullies, corrupt incumbents, and union thugs.

While it veers into the de rigeur hip-deep patriotic cheese near the end (around 9:50, when Gramps Robinson stands up), the rest of the film is surprisingly good and refreshingly accurate. As I’m in the middle of reading Atlas Shrugged, I was struck by how the town in question is the mirror image of Starnesville: a place where the “motive power” of local industry was recognized, respected, and celebrated.

Another interesting element of this film is how toned-down the utilitarian justifications for capitalism are. Sure enough, capitalism is defended to some degree on the basis of its public benefits, but the public benefits are more overtly presented as the natural, emergent effects of the spontaneous organization sparked by Mr. Manson’s initial investment. Gramps Robinson even gets in a dig at the now all-too-familiar “Progressive” mindset which evades the real sources of prosperity, thinking it can tear down industry and still have the prosperity of which productive enterprise is the root.

Pretty sophisticated for an educational film aimed at young teenagers.

[cross-posted at People’s Press Collective]

More here: “We needed Mr. Brown’s weenies! That’s the incentive that makes capitalism work!”

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