Judging by the large number of thoughtful comments that followed my claim two weeks ago that farming is not a capitalistic venture and never was, I’d say more and more people are realizing how that boring old subject of economics rules over us all. While that remark echoed my opinion, it was almost a direct quote from Dwayne Andreas. Mr. Andreas is not a socialist, not a wild-eyed occupier of Wall Street, not a Zen Buddhist mystic, not a far out, left wing liberal. Now retired, he was the head of Archers Daniel Midland for many years, one of the largest and most successful agribusiness companies in the world. He made that observation about a decade ago and was widely quoted because the press was totally taken aback that a successful businessman like him would say something like that. If anyone could claim to be both a genuine capitalist and an informed expert on industrial agriculture, it was Mr. Andreas. He was also in a unique position to make that statement because he was known as one of the biggest contributors to our two major political parties—mostly to the Republicans but also to Democrats. As all capitalists know, (or socialists or whatever), it is necessary to play both sides of the political aisle to assure favorable legislation no matter which way the wind blows.
As many of the respondents on this website have pointed out, the so-called civilized world stumbles along on economic theories and theorems that partake of both socialism and capitalism. There is just no way in the real world to avoid doing so because whether a country is considered to have a more socialistic economy, like say, Canada or Sweden, or a more capitalistic economy, like the United States, all of the industrial world today practices economies that function on the idea that money can grow in value by manipulative interest rates.
I don’t hear anyone explicitly suggesting that the culprit in our economic woes is money interest even though all of our major religions, particularly Christianity and Islam, insisted for centuries that interest on money was immoral. ALL interest on money was usury. And supporting that view, philosophers and writers from every culture and era cautioned over and over again the folly of borrowing money. Wrote John Ruskin in 1866: “Borrowers are nearly always ill-spenders, and it is with lent money that all evil is mainly done and all unjust war protracted.”