Capitalism. The word alone is enough to conjure images of swanky parties, hustlers, pimps with an assortment of “fine ass hoes”, diamond studded cars, tigers on a gold leash, Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton, and sleazy billionaires who demonstrate a brazen disregard for all human life, other than their own.
Libertarians are often accused of trying to live up to this lifestyle, or at least idolizing those who actually live the life.
As a libertarian business owner and an advocate of free market capitalism, there couldn’t possibly be anything further from the truth; for me anyhow.
Free markets are beneficial to innovation and raising the quality of life overall. (Compare Baltimore homeless people to the homeless in Ethiopia; a country that is still in the process of transitioning to a market economy.)
There doesn’t have to be an abandonment of human compassion in order to be a capitalist. There are many wealthy philanthropists who would agree.
I don’t consider myself a materialistic person, but I do base that on a contrast that relies on my subjective definition of what materialism is.
Materialism, to me, is characterized by a lust for material possessions. It is when an individual begins to value material objects more than the values of humanism, love, spiritualism, or experiences of life.
Being non-materialistic doesn’t mean you can’t own nice things, it simply asserts that those things are lower on the list of things that are important to you.
Some objects, artifacts, or possessions may be of enormous cultural or sentimental value; such as a rare painting or a family heirloom.
You can find out who, in a family, is materialistic and who is not, as soon as a relative passes away and the estate invites family members to claim items.
The materialistic person will ferociously attempt to claim the items with the highest monetary value. They will often fight when they are unable to obtain that item.
The non-materialistic person seeks to preserve sentimental objects; like old photos, high school diploma, army memorabilia, old trophies, drawings they did when they were 5 years old, and various items that reflected strongly upon who that person was. These items almost always have very little or no cash value.
So, although it is still an object or item, there is a deeper, more profound motivation to possess it.
If you’re the type of person that wants a brand new Lamborghini, the finest suits, the most expensive watches, a yacht, a $75 million house, to follow the hottest trends and dine at the velvet rope restaurants, then hey, more power to you. I’m not a hater.
Me, on the other hand, I’ll take the things in life like “when & where”, good people, deep conversation, and real life experience over cold, hollow, overpriced possessions any day.
Just because a Libertarian believes in trade, competition, business and profits, doesn’t mean they’re soulless, materialistic monsters who have lost the fundamental value of human life and worthwhile experiences.