Friday, June 02, 2006

Explaining the Free Market

In one of the best blog essays I've read recently, Francois Tremblay over at the Radical Libertarian takes on a State-Worshipping critic, who insists that without big, activist government, baaaaaaad things will happen. He pulls out three main principles that are very common among Statists:

1. Without the state, "the rich" would take over.
2. We need the state because the state protects "the poor" against "the rich".
3. In a market anarchy, we would be ruled by giant corporations.
I often find myself running up against these principles, argued mostly by Liberals, but also by Conservatives to a frightening degree. (I might even go so far as to say that Conservatives are the ones who are MOST passionate about big, activist government.) After dissecting each one of these arguments and tossing them down the garbage disposal, Francois delivers the final blow in his closing paragraphs:

The root cause of these errors is the belief that power is a constant in human relations, and that we are simply arguing over who gets to hold that power. This is a statist mode of reasoning, made to marginalize all criticism of the state as a human construct. They desperately want you to take the state as a given, because their legitimacy depends on it, and without legitimacy - without the important-sounding names and the uniforms and the rituals - it is quite easy to realize that they are nothing more than a parasitical gang of thugs. And class warfare is just a smokescreen designed to hide that fact. Right or left, liberal or conservative - their leaders all partake of the benefits of the monopoly of force.

As long as there is a ruling class, as long as there is a concentration of power that exists for powerful people to exploit, there will be class warfare and social warfare. People like the anonymous coward quoted above think that politicians, financed by big corporations and activist organizations, who can raise as much money and manpower as they want, even send people to be killed in foreign countries, with little impunity (as long as they can build a propaganda campaign the months before), are somehow interested in the well-being of people who can contribute absolutely nothing to their success, apart from a captive audience.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a "sucker".

Read the full post:
The Radical Libertarian: Using "the poor" as a moral totem


Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

I'm glad you appreciated my entry. To think I started by writing a straightforward refutation. I guess inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources sometimes.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Jack Matheney said...

Perhaps I'm missing something here. The author of this article says that the argument over who or which group gets to exercise power is a statist argument.
It seems self-evident that there exists at all levels of government, especially at the federal level, enormous, near absolute, illegitimate, extra- constitutional power. This same power, by its nature, corrupts almost every well-meaning public servant.
For years a co-worker and I argued whether the problem in Washington was a problem of money or a problem of near unbounded power. Power does not necessarily follow money but money certainly follows power. Perhaps the author, like most Americans, vastly underestimates the power of power.
The only substantial difference between the Democrats and Republicans, collectivists and conservatives, and left and right is the answer to the question,"How are WE going to use the enormous power of government to force every American to do what WE want them to do.

6:39 AM  

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