Total Posts:11|Showing Posts:1-11
Jump to topic:

A Reply to All Free Market Purists

charleslb
Posts: 4,740
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 1:10:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
To Cody_Franklin and all apologists for the real-world failure of capitalism I have these few words to say, all of your standard defenses are based on the theory of capitalism, and your tried-and-not-so-true tack seems to always come down to simply asserting that the only unfortunate problem with capitalism is that we haven't operationalized its supposedly brilliant theory in a pure-enough form. But, heresy of heresies, perhaps the defects of our economy are not due to the tampering of people and governments that are insufficiently dedicated to the theory of capitalism, perhaps the reality of our national and global system is the predictable mess that you will always slide into once you foolhardily get on the seductive slippery slope of capitalism.

That is, perhaps it's impossible to reach the free-marketeer's ideal, pure, utopian form of capitalism because capitalism is a system that allows more effective and money/power-hungry individuals and business entities to take over the game and modify it in their own private self-interest.

Yep, perhaps the vaunted principle of self-interest that capitalism is predicated on ironically is itself not conducive to pure capitalism or pure anything, because people driven by selfishness will do what profits them, and if this means rigging the system they claim to believe in then capitalists won't flinch about rigging capitalism and the "free market" to the point that the reality we end up with would make Adam Smith turn over in his grave.

What I'm saying is that it's the real nature of capitalism and capitalist theory to undermine itself when implemented, therefore you're never going to have a working example of "real capitalism" if by "real capitalism" you mean something that conforms to its theory. But we do have real capitalism if by real capitalism one means what a society really gets when it adopts any degree of capitalism.

Just as "Stupid is what stupid does", to quote Forest Gump, so too is capitalism what capitalists do, and what they make of capitalism. And what we have today is what capitalists have made of capitalism, it's what capitalism inexorably degenerates into. But of course conservatives and the defenders of capitalism's imaginary honor will always try to shift the blame to their favorite bogey man, the government, and the policies of those within it who are not free-marketarian purists.

But then big government is largely the cat's paw of big business and finance, the mechanism of a power elite that consists not only of politicians, but of plutocrats, of the system's super capitalists. The doings of government vis–à–vis the economy are largely the doings of the biggest players of the capitalist system, which takes me back to capitalism is what capitalists make of it. In actuality it's not government that has ruined the capitalist dream, it's capitalists operating through the government who have done so, because that's how capitalists roll, and that's how capitalism rolls. Again, what we've got on our hands today is what capitalism leads to.

Alas then, capitalism will never deliver on its ideological promises, but it can be counted on to deliver results that reflect the greed it touts. The catch-22 for capitalism though is that greed will always trump ideology for practicing capitalists, therefore capitalism in practice will never match up with ivory-tower capitalist theory.

Pathetically, rather than come to terms with all of this, true believers in capitalism retreat into a kind of circular reasoning that I touched on in a previous thread. They argue that capitalism/the free market is a potentially perfect system, and if it was only put into practice in a perfectly pure form, by perfect adherents of its principles then we'd have a perfect economy. Essentially they're arguing that perfection practiced perfectly by perfect people results in a perfect outcome. This is laughably circular and something that will never happen within the realm of possibility, and if this is the best argument that conservatives and libertarians can muster they need to either abandon their staunch pro-capitalist stance or really strain their brains to come up with a better case for capitalism. But of course they'll do neither, they'll just remain in ideological denial and fall back on the knee-jerk intellectual stonewalling they're accustomed to.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 4:56:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/24/2010 1:10:46 PM, charleslb wrote:
To Cody_Franklin and all apologists for the real-world failure of capitalism I have these few words to say, all of your standard defenses are based on the theory of capitalism, and your tried-and-not-so-true tack seems to always come down to simply asserting that the only unfortunate problem with capitalism is that we haven't operationalized its supposedly brilliant theory in a pure-enough form. But, heresy of heresies, perhaps the defects of our economy are not due to the tampering of people and governments that are insufficiently dedicated to the theory of capitalism, perhaps the reality of our national and global system is the predictable mess that you will always slide into once you foolhardily get on the seductive slippery slope of capitalism.

1. Capitalism hasn't failed. The period of time in which America was closest to capitalism is responsible for jump-starting a period of scientific and philosophical advancement so great that it challenges the advancement of the entire last millennium. A society closest to capitalism now--Hong Kong--is a bustling, state-of-the-art hub of international trade and material progress. China, as it frees up its economy, is quickly setting the stage to pass the United States as the economic top dog.

2. I already explained, quite clearly, that, as government intervenes, thereby taking us many steps away from capitalism, the economy gets worse. That's what happens with the FDIC, the housing market, fiat currency, artificial interest rates, bailouts, economic stimuli, and so on. The list is pretty long.

That is, perhaps it's impossible to reach the free-marketeer's ideal, pure, utopian form of capitalism because capitalism is a system that allows more effective and money/power-hungry individuals and business entities to take over the game and modify it in their own private self-interest.

Actually, capitalism divorces the government from the economy. Businesses and government have nothing to gain from each other in a free market.

Yep, perhaps the vaunted principle of self-interest that capitalism is predicated on ironically is itself not conducive to pure capitalism or pure anything, because people driven by selfishness will do what profits them, and if this means rigging the system they claim to believe in then capitalists won't flinch about rigging capitalism and the "free market" to the point that the reality we end up with would make Adam Smith turn over in his grave.

People are always going to be driven by selfishness, unless they have a death wish. This isn't an indict of capitalism--this is just a bitter rant about a handful of corrupt businessmen taking advantage of a system in which the government happily meddles more and more in the economy.

What I'm saying is that it's the real nature of capitalism and capitalist theory to undermine itself when implemented, therefore you're never going to have a working example of "real capitalism" if by "real capitalism" you mean something that conforms to its theory. But we do have real capitalism if by real capitalism one means what a society really gets when it adopts any degree of capitalism.

Alright, let's assume that to be true for a moment, if only for the sake of argument. How is your system any more realistic?

Just as "Stupid is what stupid does", to quote Forest Gump, so too is capitalism what capitalists do, and what they make of capitalism. And what we have today is what capitalists have made of capitalism, it's what capitalism inexorably degenerates into. But of course conservatives and the defenders of capitalism's imaginary honor will always try to shift the blame to their favorite bogey man, the government, and the policies of those within it who are not free-marketarian purists.

1. Capitalists get to define capitalism.

2. How can you say that capitalism degenerates into anything? The government imposes more rules and regulations every day, which drags us, clawing and snarling, away from a free-market society. You act like our social problems are solely the fault of the businessman. Sure, there have been some who take advantage of the system. Unfortunately, the only reason that they could act that way is because of economic intervention by the favor-granting, trust-busting state.

But then big government is largely the cat's paw of big business and finance, the mechanism of a power elite that consists not only of politicians, but of plutocrats, of the system's super capitalists. The doings of government vis–à–vis the economy are largely the doings of the biggest players of the capitalist system, which takes me back to capitalism is what capitalists make of it. In actuality it's not government that has ruined the capitalist dream, it's capitalists operating through the government who have done so, because that's how capitalists roll, and that's how capitalism rolls. Again, what we've got on our hands today is what capitalism leads to.

If they were capitalists, they wouldn't be acting through the government, because government--in a capitalist society--has no power to exert influence over the economy.

Alas then, capitalism will never deliver on its ideological promises, but it can be counted on to deliver results that reflect the greed it touts. The catch-22 for capitalism though is that greed will always trump ideology for practicing capitalists, therefore capitalism in practice will never match up with ivory-tower capitalist theory.

Actually, it can. You just need to go tell the government to get the hell out of the economy.

Pathetically, rather than come to terms with all of this, true believers in capitalism retreat into a kind of circular reasoning that I touched on in a previous thread. They argue that capitalism/the free market is a potentially perfect system, and if it was only put into practice in a perfectly pure form, by perfect adherents of its principles then we'd have a perfect economy. Essentially they're arguing that perfection practiced perfectly by perfect people results in a perfect outcome. This is laughably circular and something that will never happen within the realm of possibility, and if this is the best argument that conservatives and libertarians can muster they need to either abandon their staunch pro-capitalist stance or really strain their brains to come up with a better case for capitalism. But of course they'll do neither, they'll just remain in ideological denial and fall back on the knee-jerk intellectual stonewalling they're accustomed to.

Actually, we don't argue that at all. We argue that, in a free market society, you won't have to worry about "bad" businesses so much. Market forces have a way of excluding those businesses from the economic arena. There will probably be recessions here and there, bad business practices there, and the occasional odd fluctuation. Thing about the market is, it's self-regulating.

Point is: capitalists never argue that the free market is perfect--we argue that it doesn't have to be.
OrionsGambit
Posts: 258
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 5:15:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Wait, wait, wait. The "jump-starting a period of scientific and philosophical advancement" started at the height of mercantilism in late 18th century England. America being behind England and using them as an example to spur the same growth in America has nothing to do with capitalism outside of the rantings of the delusional Karl Marx (who defined capitalism, no 'capitalists').

And how does any of this point to government being "bad"? "Free-market" businessmen, seeing the opportunity, took control of the government and used and continue to try and use it to maintain their own wealth and power, at the expense of individual people and competition. Removing government doesn't solve the issue of said individuals, it merely removes a puppet they are using to hide behind.
Noblesse Oblige
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 5:27:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/24/2010 5:15:00 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
Wait, wait, wait. The "jump-starting a period of scientific and philosophical advancement" started at the height of mercantilism in late 18th century England. America being behind England and using them as an example to spur the same growth in America has nothing to do with capitalism outside of the rantings of the delusional Karl Marx (who defined capitalism, no 'capitalists').

And how does any of this point to government being "bad"? "Free-market" businessmen, seeing the opportunity, took control of the government and used and continue to try and use it to maintain their own wealth and power, at the expense of individual people and competition. Removing government doesn't solve the issue of said individuals, it merely removes a puppet they are using to hide behind.

I agree . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 5:28:42 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/24/2010 5:27:40 PM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 11/24/2010 5:15:00 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
Wait, wait, wait. The "jump-starting a period of scientific and philosophical advancement" started at the height of mercantilism in late 18th century England. America being behind England and using them as an example to spur the same growth in America has nothing to do with capitalism outside of the rantings of the delusional Karl Marx (who defined capitalism, no 'capitalists').

And how does any of this point to government being "bad"? "Free-market" businessmen, seeing the opportunity, took control of the government and used and continue to try and use it to maintain their own wealth and power, at the expense of individual people and competition. Removing government doesn't solve the issue of said individuals, it merely removes a puppet they are using to hide behind.

I agree . . .

http://www.debate.org...
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 5:54:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/24/2010 5:15:00 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
Wait, wait, wait. The "jump-starting a period of scientific and philosophical advancement" started at the height of mercantilism in late 18th century England. America being behind England and using them as an example to spur the same growth in America has nothing to do with capitalism outside of the rantings of the delusional Karl Marx (who defined capitalism, no 'capitalists').

1. Europe industrialized before we did. I was talking on strictly American terms, but if you want to bring Europe into it, the same argument applies.

2. You say that we used Europe as an example as if we did nothing on our own. The massive percentage of patents held by the United States seems to suggest that, though a European model was a basic template, the end result was that, in terms of development, we definitely outclassed our brethren across the Atlantic.

And how does any of this point to government being "bad"? "Free-market" businessmen, seeing the opportunity, took control of the government and used and continue to try and use it to maintain their own wealth and power, at the expense of individual people and competition. Removing government doesn't solve the issue of said individuals, it merely removes a puppet they are using to hide behind.

1. My second response detailed the problems of government intervention. You ignored it.

2. If businessmen used government control to their own economic advantage, you can be quite certain that they aren't supporters of free-market economics.

3. Government isn't a "puppet" that those businessmen hide behind: it's the critical mechanism required for the maintenance of those individuals' social, political, and economic power. Take the government away, and you take away the favors, the subsidies, the regulations, the market distortion, and the perpetuation of terrible business models (all among other things).
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 5:56:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I don't care about your ideals, charles, the actual practice of your system (whatever that is) is what this rapist over here is doing. Why? Because I said so.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Sam_Lowry
Posts: 367
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/24/2010 8:54:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/24/2010 5:15:00 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
And how does any of this point to government being "bad"? "Free-market" businessmen, seeing the opportunity, took control of the government and used and continue to try and use it to maintain their own wealth and power, at the expense of individual people and competition. Removing government doesn't solve the issue of said individuals, it merely removes a puppet they are using to hide behind.

This is a nonsensical definition of free market. If free markets are conducive of force, then every system is a free market. Whatever you think current economic policy should be would still be a pure free market regardless of how much the government intervened. So you're basically disagreeing with yourself.

It's easy to win augments when you just define away all concepts that challenge you're point of view.
Sieben
Posts: 2,736
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/25/2010 6:42:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/24/2010 5:27:40 PM, SuperRobotWars wrote:
At 11/24/2010 5:15:00 PM, OrionsGambit wrote:
Wait, wait, wait. The "jump-starting a period of scientific and philosophical advancement" started at the height of mercantilism in late 18th century England. America being behind England and using them as an example to spur the same growth in America has nothing to do with capitalism outside of the rantings of the delusional Karl Marx (who defined capitalism, no 'capitalists').

And how does any of this point to government being "bad"? "Free-market" businessmen, seeing the opportunity, took control of the government and used and continue to try and use it to maintain their own wealth and power, at the expense of individual people and competition. Removing government doesn't solve the issue of said individuals, it merely removes a puppet they are using to hide behind.

I agree . . .

The government is a puppet with all the guns that everyone thinks is legitimate and externalizes costs onto every single citizen.

So it drastically changes the way you can operate...
Things that are so interesting:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...