A place where capitalism thrived until late

By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Capitalism is defined as “an economic and political system in which the commerce and industry of a country are controlled by private for-profit owners, rather than by the state”.

Capitalism created the largest economy in the history of the world (ours) and lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system in the history of the world. The success story of the United States is economically based on capitalism. Today, many minimize or outright despise capitalism.

Socialism is on the rise, even here.

Yet, whether the currency of the kingdom is points or speed, capitalism is flourishing all over the world. Sports of all stripes are capitalist in nature. Their build is a coach or a manager, and there is a team. Yes, at some higher levels (like the NFL or the NBA) the governing body may have socialist leanings, but at the center of the game the action is capitalist. And this is true for all sports – baseball, football, basketball, auto racing, swimming, horse racing, football and horseshoes. Table games, like chess, also fall into this category.

Socialists and Communists in the everyday world, when it comes to their favorite sport, behave like capitalists.

The greatest softie you have ever known when it comes to social issues, charity, and other benevolent pursuits, will be screaming for the head of the coach when it comes to responsibility in sports. Of course, these high standards often extend to individual players as well.

In Highland County, since Coach Bill Atsalis left in 1966, one of the most dangerous jobs to hold has been as a Hillsboro High School football coach. Many left before the first snowflake fell in Highland County, in their first season, and sometimes they are gone in the middle of the night.

Sports fans everywhere have been the most demanding “owners” of a business. In recent years, sports organizations have made the mistake of engaging in social issues, issues far removed from their raison d’être. Colin Kaepernick’s name, along with others, comes to mind when we let our thoughts wander into these areas.

I think the sport got hurt by straying so far from its capitalist roots. However, now comes a new twist, only a few years old. Lia Thomas, formerly Will Thomas, who swims for the University of Pennsylvania, quickly becomes the star of this new issue. Thomas, between 2016 and 2019, swam as a man for college. Now, as Lia, Thomas swims like a woman, breaking records in women’s swimming right and left.

As an observer of raw capitalist sports, you might think that’s good – bring in the best players we can find and let them compete. If that’s where we’re going, I would advise all genetically gifted, female-born people to hang up their wetsuits (in any strength-related sport) and go home.

However, as an alternative, I suggest that we do what we did in economic society when raw capitalism gets out of hand – introduce regulations. In this case, I think a simple blood test might be able to tell real girls from real boys (hint: look for testosterone). You don’t even have to pull their pants down.

This does not apply to all sports. I think auto racing, horse racing, chess, and other sports would be better if more people took part in it, and I don’t care if they wear a dress or pants or whatever.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, graduated from Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Georgia, and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He can be reached at [email protected]