- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Show me the books

Posted by: Loudon Head on February 03, 19100 at 17:27:01:

In Reply to: you should go read some history. posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on February 03, 19100 at 14:00:49:

: : Hmm. Congo, a free market? Brazil, a free market? Maybe you should go study some economics.

: No, you should go read some history.

I'm happy to. Point me in the direction of the books.

: I'm not talking about either of these countries today. I'm talking about, for example, the Congo Free State, hailed when it was set up in 1884 as a model of capitalist development. Actually, it was capitalism taken to teh extreme. One man, and a corporation started in his name, owned an entire country as their private property.

Sounds more like a monarchy. How did this man and his corporation obtain ownership of the entire country? From what individual (or corporation) did he purchase it, and what right did the seller have to the property in the first place? I suspect that somewhere in the equation was a government with some kind of "eminent domain" policy.

In other words, a system which was quite the opposite of a system of private property.

: The results of that, involving the deaths of 10 million inhabitants, are well known. Brazil, too, was most definitely a free market in the early part of this century. If you can cite me some examples of collective owenrship or things like minimum-wage laws I'd be glad to hear them. Corportaions were essentially the only law out in the upper Amazon area.

And, apparently, the Brazilian Indians had no private property/rule of law based recourse.

Again, I'm not saying that corporations are incapable of monstrous acts, merely that those monstrous acts are almost always a direct result of some kind of government intervention in private property rights and the free exchanges of people.

: What we have in America is soft-core capitalism, hamstrung by humanitarian reforsm and laws, and thank God for that, because we are only democratic insofar s our laws are anti-capitalist. What they have in countries liek South Korea or El Salvador is real, naked, 'hard' capitalism- the type of system where the laws invariably favor capitalists over workers.

You're assuming that capitalism requires a state, which it doesn't, at least not by my definition. The existence and wide-spread use of the term "state capitalism" would imply that my definition is not mine alone.

: : : Georges Bank Fishery was run into the ground by overfishing by PRIVATE fishermen. Which would explain why cod's suddenly become so expensive. The same thing is happening today with the swordfish. One thing's for certain, leave a resource open to private capitalist exploitation, and it'sll be gone in the blink of an eye.

: : I don't know of this particular case, so please point me in the direction of more info. I can't wait to find out the ways in which the fish market was not free from government intervention and distortion.

: So when you pass alws to conserve the fish, suddenly, magically they all disappear? If you blieve that, I hve a bridge I could sell you...

Again, please point me to the info I need.

: : Not that that kind of evidence would convince an ideologue like yourself. But, there's always hope...

: : : : A publicly-owned water-hole, on the other hand, since it belongs to everybody, belongs to nobody and therefore can often be poisoned without recriminations.

: : : Yes, so that would explain why those societies which lived in a sustainable manner with their envoronment (Pygmies, San, etc) invariably showed COMMUNAL ownership and usage of the land.

: : No one is saying that a relatively small community can't manage a resource AS a community. That is what corporations do when they privately own and manage a resource. Essentially, the Pygmies were acting as a corporation which privately owned and used the land.

: WHAT? That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. The Pygmies used the land for teh common good. Corporations use their resources for profit. That's the most fundamental distinction in existence.

Really? And whose common good were the Pygmies using the land for? The Pygmies? So, the Pygmies profited by their use of the land? Scandalous!

Corporations use their resources for the common good too, primarily for the common good of their investors and employees, and secondarily for the common good of everyone who exchanges with them.

: : : :If the market in water-holes were free, rather than constrained by social government ownership of the water-holes, they would be privately owned and better taken care of.

: : : Fantasy, illusion, nonsense.

: : ...and yet, supported by all the facts of history and economics. Funny, that.

: You really ought to read some history and economics. If you did, you wouldn't say ridiculous things like 'socialism invariably leads to tyranny'. Are you just ignoring all the many examples of democratic communist or socialist governments?

All the evidence of economic science points to laissez-faire capitalism as being the only economic system which preserves individual freedom. If you don't know that, you really don't know economics.

On the other hand, I will freely admit that I could use more reading in history. Please point me to recommended books.

If I did say that socialism invariably leads to tyranny, I was probably upset and prone to exaggeration. I remember saying in one post that it leads to economic stagnation at best and mass murder at worst. This is more accurate.

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