2. Capitalist economies are based on free exchange
The author says, in the first paragraph, that even in the capitalist society we have now (which it is not true capitalism but corporatism, the beast spawned by the very central planning the author is advocating for), that we have all of these competing pressures and life is really hard. We are lonely and feel as though we don’t have “control of our lives” (leave it to a progressive to argue with emotion rather than with logic and facts). So clearly the solution to this problem where there is a “lack of control in our lives” is to have central planners plan for us and our lives. That way, we feel more empowered to… Wait… If someone else is planning for you, like they do in socialist and communist economies, you definitely don’t have control over your life.
The author then claims that the market is in control of our lives. This is a laughable assumption as there are multiple factors for the kinds of choices available on the market. Economics is first and foremost the study of human action, or praxeology. Only individuals act and make economic choices regardless of whether they are working as a collective (or a collection of distinct individuals) or by themselves. A good economist would say that since the fundamental principal of economics is human action, the struggle for the individual is coordinating his actions with others in order to achieve is subjective ends. Therefore, good economists will not actually use mathematics in their theories simply because human action and subjective value, which varies from individual to individual, are not quantifiable values making any mathematical theorem in economics arbitrary and useless.1
This means that there are two options that can be taken in order to solve this problem of coordination. There is the method that we at Logical Anarchy subscribe to vis-à-vis capitalism. This is because capitalism, specifically Anarcho-Capitalism, allows the individual to make those economic decisions for themselves and engage in voluntary relationships with those they choose. The other option is to force people, through the violence of the State, to work with people they do not want to or take a portion of their property through taxation in order to reach the coordinated economic goals dictated by the central planners. One respects human dignity and individuality, the other tramples on it.
The author continues though and makes a few sweeping claims. They claim that capitalists support violent and detrimental regimes. Unfortunately, this is the typical confusion most statists, specifically the progressives, make. As stated above, they confuse “capitalism” with “corporatism”. Corporatism is “the control of a state or organization by large interest groups.” This would not happen in a voluntary society simply because their would be no monopoly on force, namely government, through which special interest groups could work and enforce their ideology on the populace. There are other economic systems that create a state of corporatism and fascism though. Socialism and communism. Since there is a powerful central planner controlling the economic decisions of it’s people through violence, you can be sure that there will be those that seek to manipulate the socialist and communist machine to suite their ends. They have solved the problem listed above about coordinating with others. Unfortunately their methodology involves using violence in order to enforce their will on others. In a truly capitalist society, which respects property rights, this would not happen.
You then have to love the final statement the author makes on this point about free exchange:
“And that’s just the principle of the system. The US’s particular brand of capitalism required exterminating a continent’s worth of indigenous people and enslaving millions of kidnapped Africans. And all the capitalist industry was only possible because white women, considered the property of their fathers and husbands, were performing the invisible tasks of child-rearing and housework, without remuneration. Three cheers for free exchange.”
Really? These progressives are getting better at calling you racists, greedy and sexist in the fewest and least factually cited amount of sentences possible. Slavery is not a tenant of true capitalism, especially the anarcho-capitalist strain that respects human rights and individuality. I’d like to point out that they call the capitalists the slavers all the while advocating for socialism and communism, systems with large central planners that enslave their entire population in order to achieve the economic goals of a rich few. Just look at Soviet Russia or any other socialist or communist regime. Look at the United States with its taxation and rapidly socializing economic policies. If, as the author above claims, it is slavery to take 100% of someones income at what percentage is it no longer slavery but “taxation”? Who is really advocating for slavery here? Certainly not the one advocating for the freedom and respect of the individual.
Walker, Deborah L. “Austrian Economics.” , by Deborah L. Walker: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/AustrianEconomics.html>.