- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Something of an answer, post-weekend.

Posted by: DrCruel on March 23, 1999 at 11:03:04:

In Reply to: Another question for the weekend posted by B on March 19, 1999 at 18:01:50:

: If free markets and capitalism are the natural expression of the human condition, why must so much psychological, emotional, physical, political and economic force be expended to preserve it?

1) By the fact that capitalism is a system that humans use, it is natural to them.

2) A more natural system of exchange was codified by Machiavelli. That is, one gains through force (I take what you have) or fraud (I convince you to give it to me gratis). Trade is a much later development, and is a sign of more advanced cultures.

3) The considerable efforts made to preserve free trade in the face of communism were primarily meant to stave off 'expropriation', i.e. communist looting. One might well ask, 'If the Jews truly did not agree with the Nazis, why didn't they make more of a fuss?' Or other such nonsense to that effect.

Not being one to depend on nature to fill my dishes, I am not particularly interested in what the 'natural condition' of mankind is, whatever that might be. I am interested in what works. In particular, I am interested in what leaves me as undisturbed and prosperous as present conditions might allow. For me, the trade-off of capitalism, i.e. I'll defend your property rights, if you'll defend mine, seems to be paying off rather handsomely. And that, in the grey jungles in which I reside, is about as 'natural' as I want to get.

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