Posts Tagged ‘Free Market’

A Couple Quick Questions, Ed. 18

Posted on October 3, 2012 at 1.25 pm

Q. Hey, B. Do you think the idea of a third party—or even more than three political parties in this country is realistically possible? Comments/Questions? – Chuck, from the internet.

A. First, I kind of love the title “B” because of its Beyoncé associations, even if that’s not what you meant. Second, yes, I do, but not without some serious structural change—just saying “if we all vote our conscience we’ll get there eventually” is not a realistic approach. See my answers to similar past questions here and here for more details.

 

Q. Given, as you admit freely in your FAQ, a free market has never truly existed, what makes you think it could? Given that in 100% of the cases where capitalism has existed, it has existed alongside state institutions of a wide variety of sizes and capacities, on what evidence can a libertarian (or free-market conservative, etc.) claim that 1. a free market can exist with any size state?; or 2. capitalism can exists without a state? – Dan, from the internet.

A. Well, here’s the thing:  I’m not an anarchist. I’ve been called an “ultra minarchist,” which is pretty accurate (meaning I want a very small state to provide defense and a justice system), but I don’t want to get rid of all state government. I would take libertarian anarchy over what we have now, and I have a lot in common with/love hearing from my anarchist friends, but I don’t share their goal of a stateless society.

That said, I think that arguing that because a state has always existed in our strongest forays into a free market we must have a state for a free market doesn’t work. It’s a bit of a post hoc fallacy at best. It’s not possible, of course, to say with certainty what would or wouldn’t work in such hypotheticals, but suffice it to say that I don’t think this bit of history is a good argument against anarcho-capitalism. We’ve also never had the internet come into existence without government, but that doesn’t mean you had to have a state to get the internet.

 

Q. I know you’ve said you’re not a huge fan of political parties, but given the recent RNC debacle do you believe that US citizens will ever have a better say in their representation? Or do you think money and influence will always win out? – Chris, from the internet.

A. It’s hard to say. Jefferson wrote in a letter that “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground,” and many days I can’t see any other perspective. That said, I’m not sure he’s correct. We have seen some (admittedly very imperfect) advances of liberty in the past—the Magna Carta, the American Revolution, the end of slavery, the trend away from imperialism and toward self-determination of the 20th Century. Moreover, even my job gives me some hope when I stop to think about it; my organization (Young Americans for Liberty) literally did not exist less than four years ago, and now we have a network of more than 100,000 young people, with more beating down the door every day. So yeah, it’s hard to say.

No flag; no country! You can’t have one! That’s the rules I’ve just made up.

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 2.25 pm

Q. “Could you clarify what you mean by imperialism and expansionism? Do you mean military imperialism or just economic interconnection? ”

Well, when I say imperialism, I’m referring to taking over a country’s land and exploiting the indigenous (similar to what we did to the Native Americans but then leaving after taking enough resources and using the land up).

“Also, I’m not terrifically familiar with the history or economy of Indonesia (can’t know everything XD), so could you explain what you’re referring to there?”

I’m just using Indonesia as an example. You can refer to almost any country in South or Southeast Asia and find some evidence of past imperialism. But to answer your question, I’m referring to the mid 19th century when the Dutch East Indies Company exploited present Indonesia to reap profits by forcing the people there to devote at least 60 days of farming cash crops, which would then be export to Europe. This caused a shortage of many food supply (particularly rice) and killed many people in the process.

This is why I’m against the ‘free market’, because it’s never free. It comes at the price of a person, a group and even a country. — pitusim, from tumblr.

A.  (I wanted to quote your original question as well, so that my questions within your current question made more sense, but for some reason I’m having trouble finding it.  Failure.  But anyway…)

Well, when I say imperialism, I’m referring to taking over a country’s land and exploiting the indigenous (similar to what we did to the Native Americans but then leaving after taking enough resources and using the land up).

Ah, yeah, I’m not ok with that.  The fact that people in another culture may not have your technological advancement or skin tone or whatever does not give you the right to just take their stuff, no matter who you are or what government or business you represent.

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Fascinating Video on the Increase in Health and Wealth Worldwide over the Last 200 Years

Posted on December 15, 2010 at 4.25 pm

Not surprisingly, the most colonized countries still have the most catching up to do — but even they are now experiencing, on average, better health and greater wealth than even the great powers of Europe had in 1810.