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Today: Sun, September 25 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Libertarian Theory
28 September 2016
The Experiment: Capitalism versus Socialism
by David Legates
 sub-topic» Capitalism

We could then take this war-torn country and divide it into two parts. It would have similar people, similar climate, similar potential trading partners, similar geography – but one part is rebuilt using capitalism as its base, while the other rebuilds using socialism and its principles. We’d let the virtues of each system play out and see where these two new countries would be after, say, fifty years.

Don’t you wonder what the outcome might be? Well, as it turns out, we have already performed The Experiment. It’s post-war Germany.

27 August 2016
Capitalism’s Just-So Stories – Part 2
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» Capitalism

Any true and honest free market doctrine will acknowledge that the great mass of wealth and property is stolen, and support the claims of the robbed rightful owners over those of the robbers. It will acknowledge that the overwhelming bulk of corporate profits come from rents on stolen land, artificial property rights, and artificial scarcities like “intellectual property,” and demand the abolition of monopolies and artificial property rights across the board. Rather than collusive “privatization” of public services, which amounts to a new corporate enclosure of the commons with the aid of the capitalist state, it will demand that properties and services funded by the taxes of working people be treated as the rightful property of those they serve, and restructured as stake-holder cooperatives controlled directly by those who use them. Rather than backing mercantilist agreements like TPP that enforce “intellectual property” monopolies and continue to enforce title to stolen land, it will demand the abolition of “intellectual property,” and the tearing down of all land enclosures and the restoration of the land to the cultivator.

26 August 2016
Capitalism’s Just-So Stories – Part 1
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» Capitalism

The reason the propertied classes in the 18th and 19th centuries had all that accumulated wealth to “invest” and “employ people” was that they had stolen virtually the entire land of England out from under the people who worked it. And their state had fought mercantile wars to subdue most of the Global South, enslave millions of its people, and enclose enormous tracts of its land the same way it already had in England. The capitalists’ police state, through the early 19th century, criminalized free association through the Combination Laws. The Law of Settlement acted as an internal passport system that prevented people from travelling in search of work on any but the capitalists’ terms. Then the capitalist state — in the guise of the Poor Laws authorities — auctioned off the destitute population, mostly children, from the poorhouses and shipped them by the carload to the factories of Birmingham and Manchester.

28 January 2016
The beauty of entrepreneurship
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» Capitalism

By delivering products which people want, entrepreneurs perform a great service to the economy. But their social value is even greater. They create an environment which approximates to the labour theory of value. And so, they enable many people – and most of all, those who are not self starters or risk takers – to share in the benefits of honest capitalism.

And so, when an honest entrepreneur gets rich, he deserves every single penny he has justly earned.

28 September 2015
Capitalism and the Future of Liberty
by Shane Smith
 sub-topic» Capitalism

Capitalism has no central command, and it metes out neither justice nor injustice. But profit by others creates resentment and loss by others creates sympathy. Profit that we've attained leads to fear that we'll lose it and profit that others receive incites envy. What a fragile thing liberty is in the face of these dark emotions. This leads me to the popular, yet dangerous, refrain of those hostile to the constant change of the market economy: social justice.

11 September 2015
Turning points
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» Capitalism

Capitalism has spread and is spreading its benefits across the world. It is not to Socialism that we owe lifestyles replete with opportunities as well as comforts. By concentrating on the creation of new wealth instead of the mere redistribution of existing wealth, capitalism has set humankind on an upward path of limitless development. In place of envy of those who have more, it provides space or what Adam Smith called “the uniform, constant and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition,” and of course it applies equally to women.

09 June 2015
What’s So Selfish About Capitalism? – Part 4
by Barry Loberfeld
 sub-topic» Capitalism

The confusion of limited government with “selfishness” is reflected in the socialistic thesis that such government comprises nothing but the “class self-interest” of the business (“capitalist”) class. This thesis implodes almost immediately when we begin to ask precisely what concrete policies manifest that specific “class self-interest.” If respect for everyone’s property rights actually favors “capitalists,” why do corporations seek subsidies and “eminent domain” confiscations? If unregulated commerce leads to monopolization by these “capitalists,” why do real-world businessmen look to state regulation to gift them with monopoly entitlements? And if free trade gives an advantage to this class, why do each country’s business — and union — leaders lobby for protectionism?

07 June 2015
What’s So Selfish About Capitalism? – Part 3
by Barry Loberfeld
 sub-topic» Capitalism

The redistribution of wealth in a “welfare” state is not directed by a neediest-recipient or any other principle. It is purely a matter of power. With its rejection of consistent property rights, social democracy forces all people to throw all money onto the table (which some resist more successfully than others) and then allows them to take what they can (with some better able to take than others). That’s right: The money goes from those who are politically unable to hold on to their wealth, to those who are politically capable of grabbing on to that wealth. The former are no more guaranteed to be the “most greedy” than the latter are to be the “most needy.” It would be criminal not to cite Lord Bauer’s denuding of foreign aid: the “transferring [of] money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.” And it would be downright felonious to omit business subsidies. Any redistribution of wealth operates in only one way: from each according to his ability to contract via civil society, to each according to his ability to coerce via the state — a feature applicable (by degree) to both socialist dictatorship and social democracy.

05 June 2015
What’s So Selfish About Capitalism? – Part 2
by Barry Loberfeld
 sub-topic» Capitalism

To be capitalist or to be socialist?— that is the question. Precisely what is the mix of the mixed economy? When is it capitalist and when is it socialist? When does it protect property and when does it confiscate it? When does it leave people alone and when does it coerce them? When does it adhere to the ethics of individualism and when does it obey the code of collectivism? And just which is the metaphysical primary — the individual or the collective (e.g., the nation, the race, the class)? The fundamental truth about the mixed economy is that mixed practices imply mixed principles, which in turn imply mixed premises — i.e., an incoherent grasp of reality. With socialism, the chaos was economic; with “social democracy,” it’s epistemological. Ultimately, the latter can no more generate rational policies than the former could generate rational prices. The mixed economy doesn’t present us with a mosaic portrait of the just society, but with a jigsaw of pieces taken from different puzzles.

03 June 2015
What’s So Selfish About Capitalism? – Part 1
by Barry Loberfeld
 sub-topic» Capitalism

The fear that freedom of charity — ending redistributive taxation, thereby completing the separation of state and charity — will mean not a diversification, but the utter death of charity, proceeds from the premise that the one thing everyone will do under capitalism is nothing — for or with anyone else. But this contention that individual liberty entails an abject disregard for others corresponds to no social reality. Does freedom of assembly mean that people will never assemble — in any way? Does freedom of trade mean that everybody will in fact stop trading? Does freedom of speech and of the press — an unregulated market in ideas — mean not that we will have a rich and engaging culture, but that nobody will exchange any ideas about anything?

09 July 2014
Capitalism = great, Crapitalism = disgusting
by John Stossel
 sub-topic» Capitalism

Government has no business handing out loan guarantees to companies. Corporations can pay their own way. The Agriculture Department's Market Access Program gives millions of dollars to affluent groups like the Pet Food Institute, the Wine Institute, Sunkist and Welch Foods. In return, politicians get campaign contributions. It's disgusting crapitalism.

03 July 2014
The Avarice of Corporate Power
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Capitalism

If it seems to be too easy for we libertarians to assert that markets simply regulate themselves, consider that in fact it is competitors who are continually regulating each other. Doubtless in a free market these competitors could band together, voluntarily forming monopolistic trusts in order to squeeze consumers. But free and open competition sans coercive barriers to entry disincentives this at every turn, whereas the arbitrary power of central government agencies virtually guarantees that the politically connected will use agencies’ rule-making authority to destroy potential competitors and accordingly form cartels.

06 June 2014
Why income inequality is really very good for us indeed
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» Capitalism

And class and status have never, in Britian, been entirely about money. Even today they're not. But given the alternative sets of status markers that have been used over the centuries, aristocracy, theocracy, race (useful in discussing the Saxons, Danes and Celts) wouldn't we all start to prefer that they were? That one can gain status by having proven that you are producing something that a lot of others would like to have? For that's what this capitalism lark is at root about. You can only accumulate if you're performing a community service. Which sounds like a pretty good method of assigning social status to us.

01 June 2014
Compulsion is Not Cooperation
by Gary M. Galles
 sub-topic» Capitalism

Scarcity means competition cannot be avoided, no matter how society is organized. In capitalism—voluntary cooperation based on private property (in turn based on the principle of self-ownership)—it creates wealth out of otherwise-latent abilities in others. The key to its success is its limitation to voluntary activities, barricaded against political compulsion, because under “cooperative” decision-making, competition for political power destroys wealth and hamstrings society from vast areas of true cooperation.

10 May 2014
Krugman in the 1 Percent
by Michael D. Tanner
 sub-topic» Capitalism

So, while Krugman enters the realm of the 1 percent, I actually see that as a very positive sign that even those who condemn the affluent and actively attempt to tax them out of existence still have the opportunity to join them. If that’s not a sign of capitalism’s mobility, I don’t know what is.

17 April 2014
Inequality in a Crony Capitalist World
by Samuel Gregg
 sub-topic» Capitalism

In political markets, the focus is no longer upon prospering through creating, refining, and offering products and services at competitive prices. Instead economic success depends upon people’s ability to harness government power to stack the economic deck in their favor. While the market’s outward form is maintained, its essential workings are supplanted by the struggle to ensure that governments, legislators, and regulators favor you at other people’s expense. In that sense, crony capitalism certainly constitutes a form of redistribution: away from taxpayers, consumers and businesses focused on creating wealth, and towards the organized, powerful, and politically-connected.

02 November 2013
In Praise of Capital and Free Enterprise
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» Capitalism

It may seem strange,
But every change
Just leaves as leaders
The same old bleeders.
Don’t bullshit me.

We’ll never fix
Damned politics;
It only works
For crooked jerks.
So, loose that fetter!
Make something better!