Thursday, September 08, 2005

FREE MARKET CAPITALISM ? NO SECH THING!

Unfortunately some people on the left, like Murray Dobbin
still refer to the present state capitalist system as a free market system, without those telling quotes around the term “free market.” A little thought about how the present capitalist system works – with its corporate laws, government subsidies, patent laws, monopoly banking charters, injunctions against unions and other anti-worker legislation, not to mention imperialist wars – and this notion of “free markets” as well as “free enterprise”, “individualism”, and the “self-made man” are revealed as a load of bollocks.

Look a little deeper into the history of capitalism and you find the state virtually everywhere. Try the Enclosure Acts which destroyed the English peasantry, and the slave trade built on the strength of the British Navy, the destruction of the Indian textile industry, the Opium Wars… I could go on and on. All capitalism is essentially state capitalism, or to put it another way, capitalism is the state socialism of the rich. For anyone who wants to read of the statist origins of capitalism no better place to begin is the chapter on
primitive accumulation
of capital in Kevin Carson’s “Studies In Mutualist Political Economy”

4 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Beer N Hockey said...

"A load of bollocks" is right Mr. 'Bone. When I see the words free market I think Cesspool. Oh well, at least the heaven sent authorities know how to take care of people after a similarly heaven sent disaster occurs. The Free Market, like the FEMA, is an apparition - cesspool gas.

8:01 PM  
Blogger freeman said...

Larry - Good post, as usual.

mr. beer n hockey - To be fair, a distinction needs to be made between the free market and the "free market".

What Larry addresses here are people who advocate the "free market", which is a fraud. I agree that cesspool is a good word to think of when dealing with such people and their state capitalist advocacy.

Then there are the real free market advocates. These people, such as myself, are opposed to the state capitalism that is falsely equated with the free market. My vision of a free market would include the types of institutions that people like Larry and Kevin Carson advocate.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

As usual it is the word free and its meaning that is of consequence. For now freedom equals slavery as far as the mass market is concerned. i.e. how free are you after you have emptied your wallet to fill your car with gas; or, to dig deeper into freedom's grave, after you have paid for the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan? Freedoms just another word for another war to lose...

9:26 AM  
Blogger eugene plawiuk said...

The bone I have to pick with free marketeers is that they confuse community with marketplace. SEIII and his agora suffers a similar problem.
If we use Polyani as a critique of the market, then when you or Kevin refer to the market you are actually talking about the economics of the community, that is community control, social being and social instititutions rather than statist institutions or capitalist market institutions.
Communes, cooperatives, the ideal of neighbourhood, where we share, ala a potlach economy are not markets or marketplaces (agora) but communities.
I think this is where the vulgar liberatians or liberaltarians as I call em get confused. In their adulation and idealism of all things individualistic, they forget the commune-ity.
The commune is not the market, the market is the village square.

4:59 PM  

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