- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Revealing Gee's straw figures

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on August 24, 1999 at 14:42:36:

In Reply to: Law posted by Gee on August 24, 1999 at 12:36:27:

: : SDF: Just the use of the word "corruption" implies the endorsement of the rule of law,

: Implies the acceptance of its existence.

SDF: No, if you didn't BELIEVE in the rule of law (or in some stricter, pure uncorrupt notion of rules for ethical politics), you wouldn't call "corruption" corruption. You would call these activities by their descriptive names -- payoffs, cocktail parties, campaign donations, junkets. You revealed your hand with the "corruption" name. "Corruption" is corruption of some pure "uncorrupt" state where political actors follow the rules.

Interestingly enough, one of the main justifications of Smithian capitalism is that its actors don't need to follow rules, they only need to embark on the quest for profit. The "invisible hand of the marketplace" is supposed to take care of the problems. So why isn't it operating here? Is capitalism "corrupt" merely because it commodifies something YOU don't want to see commodified?

: : And who's using any "force" in the lobbying industry? What a straw figure!

: Lobby for farmer to be subsidised - wouldnt lobby if it never happened. If it happens then someone must pay. If that someone doesnt want to they must be coerced.

SDF: No, force is physical force. Where's the physical force? By the above logic I must pay for food, clothing, and shelter. I don't want to, so obviously someone is forcing me.

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