Life, Liberty & Levin: Capitalism vs. Socialism

Written by Staff Writer

George Gilder - Cortesy Gage SkidmoreCapitalism vs. socialism: economist George Gilder weighs inLife, Liberty & Levin/Fox News
"MARK LEVIN, HOST: Hello America, I'm Mark Levin. This is 'Life, Liberty & Levin.' We have a great guest, George Gilder, how are you? GEORGE GILDER, CO-FOUNDER, DISCOVERY INSTITUTE: Great to see you, Mark.
LEVIN: You pioneered the formulation of supply side economics when you served as Chairman of the Lehrman Institute's Economic Roundtable. Program Director for the Manhattan Institute, you're the author of 'Men in Marriage,' 'Visible Man,' 'Wealth and Poverty,' which was a big book that had a big influence on me. 'The Spirit of Enterprise,' 'Microcosm,' 'Telecosm' and 'The Silicon Eye.' And now your newest book, 'Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy.' All right, there's a lot to unravel here, but let's get started this way. Capitalism versus socialism. Explain.

GILDER: Well, capitalism derives from the Latin word for head, caput, and capitalism is the mind-based system and the key characteristic of the human mind is that we're creative, and as Albert Hirschman, the Princeton economist once put it, creativity always comes as a surprise to us, and if it didn't, planning would prevail and socialism would work. Creativity is the foundation of capitalism. And this is -- and socialism is based on planning. It's based on the assumption that we'd already know all we need to know in order to plan our future, and so it leads to tyranny, and that's really the difference. Liberty versus tyranny as someone once put it.
LEVIN: Isn't this the general problem with progressivism, across the board. That is they think they know all they need to know, and now it's just a matter of redistributing ideas, redistributing wealth, redistributing -- it isn't part of the problem, that's easy for people to understand whereas the future is difficult for people to understand.
GILDER: Learning is the heart of capitalism. Learning is finding out things you don't already know. And that depends on openness to creativity, to surprise, and surprise is really crucial to capitalism. You can't predict the products of a really creative process.
....LEVIN: Isn't that not grand irony, then, that the progressive mind-set claims that their decisions are based on science and knowledge, when in fact, it's not based on science or knowledge, it's based on an ideology?
GILDER: It's definitely based on doctrine and dogma. It's really -- in my new book, 'Life After Google,' I do a criticism of what I call Google Marxism.
LEVIN: What is Google Marxism.
GILDER: Well, Marx, his great error, his real mistake, was to imagine that the industrial revolution of the 19th Century, all those railways and dark satanic mills and factories and turbines and the beginning of electricity represented the final human achievement in productivity. So in the future, what would matter is not the creation of wealth, but the redistribution of wealth. Well, Google comes back today and says that it's search engines, it's machine learning, it's artificial intelligence, it's robotics, it's biotech is the ultimate human attainment, and in the future, most of us will be able to retire to beaches while Sergei Brynn and Larry Page of Google fly off to remote planets with Elon Musk in a winner-take all universe. Full program transcript