Corporations and the Free Market

The Corporation is concept that has evolved over the last few centuries to become the single most important factor and dominant force in our modern lives. There is hardly a human activity that doesn’t involve or isn’t controlled or at least monitored by a corporation. We work for them in their buildings, we walk their streets, our kids play on their fields, we eat their food, we breathe the air they pollute, we sleep in their beds, we watch their TV programs and we send our taxes to a government that makes possible their very existence.

There is a common status quo cliché that goes something like, “we could start all over from scratch and things would turn out exactly the same as they are now”. This infers that the same people would be rich, the same poor and subsequently life with the mega nationals would be just like it is today. We would all be the same big, happy corporate family.

By definition, a Corporation is a group or “body” as opposed to an individual. Individuals consensually organize into larger groups when it is of some advantage to individual members. A Corporation is body organized to achieve an advantage, usually economic, over individuals or over individuals organized as a group in a non corporate manner.

By legal definition, the corporation is much more. While the individual is a product of nature and laws are a product of collective groups backed by collective force, corporations can only exist through laws. Our laws, of course, have not only given birth to the concept of incorporation, but have brought the concept into full maturity with much of our legal system devoted to maintaining the power and even the “rights” of the corporation.

The biggest legal advantage is that of “limited liability”. Limited liability laws have privileged corporation by limiting their liability. Corporations, by law, are only liable for the value of their assets, no matter the amount of liability that they incur through their actions.

Regardless of limited liability law, risk itself does not disappear. When corporations evade their liabilities, someone else must experience the risk and pay the tab it might be a creditor who will never receive payment, an individual or the government.

This spreading of risk is a common thread of Socialism or more precisely, Corporatism. A true free market, a market in which all are free to engage in consensual exchange without force, can never be attained with state franchised incorporation. The force of the state has been used to advantage one form of association over all others. Freedom of the marketplace has been compromised.

Incorporation has always been a franchised privilege, but it was originally constructed to achieve specific goals. When kings or states were challenged with projects that seemed to overwhelm the capacity of normal economic enterprise, a corporation might be formed. The corporation would be allotted the task, whether it is sailing to distant ports to trade or an infrastructure project such as a bridge or harbor, and along with the task allowed exemptions for liabilities or responsibilities that restricted others from accomplishing the goal. These “privileges” were recognized and because of that recognition, incorporation was traditionally limited to a specified time span.

Early Americans were greatly suspicious of the corporations. Many laws were enacted to protect individuals and limit their powers. The American Revolution took place in part as a revolt against the monopolies of the incorporated trading companies. Early corporations required a state approved charter to come into existence.

No founding American could ever conceive that our future laws would consider giving corporations the rights of a person. Yet, that is exactly what has occurred. Over time, through court decisions and copious legal budgets corporations have gained many rights of “personhood”. This is significant when considering they have evaded many of the “responsibilities” of an individual. They have sought and attained the best of both worlds.

We have completely dispensed with the corporate time limitation, but have retained all the original privileges and added many more. One of those fundamental privileges is what is known as the “corporate shield”.

The corporate shield protects corporate officers and investors from the mistakes and wrongdoings they would be responsible for if they were acting as individuals rather than under the protection of incorporation. Instead, the corporation itself may experience the liability but retains the protection of limited liability. Shareholder/investors can lose their investment, but cannot be held liable beyond that. Officers, even when harm and injury have been proven, are seldom held liable criminally or even civilly.

Investment in ownership requires risk assessment. Once you become an owner, you have a vested interest in your enterprise and you assume the natural liabilities of the marketplace. When you able to remove this natural liability legally, you are able to remove much of the risk of investment. This legal advantage opens the causeway for a flood of funding that finds its way to Corporations. This concentration of wealth can only further distort the marketplace.

Corporations, originally formulated under time restrictions, now have the ability to live forever. While a corporation can die a natural death due to poor management decisions, our government works to prevent this possibility with constant bailouts. The combination of liability protected subsidized investment and infinite lifespan has helped foster the unprecedented growth of the corporate business form.

The corporate tax advantages are plentiful. The corporation has the freedom to locate its operations in whatever state or country provides the most advantageous tax structure. New Hampshire is a favorite as half of all American corporations are centrally located there.

Double books, which are illegal for an individual, are common for corporations. One book is kept for tax purposes and another to present a better light to investors. Paper transfers to subsidiaries to defer gain or hide profit are commonplace. Accounting has become more of an art than science.

Corporate subsidies consume an enormous part of government budgets. Bailouts have become commonplace. We are experiencing an era when it is more important to save the existing status quo corporate structures than to give any credence to the notion that the semblance of a free marketplace actually exists. Even the “guise” of a market governed by supply and demand has been forgotten.

An argument that is often heard from apologists of state franchised incorporation is that for a small fee anyone can incorporate. The idea is that without great financial burden, we all have the “opportunity” to incorporate, therefore the legal fiction created by state franchised incorporation is justified. Why would we want to create an incredibly complex legal structure in order to require everyone to jump through a reasonably easy hoop to get everyone to the exact same place on the same playing field? If the playing field is level to start with, why tilt it one direction and then justify the tilt by allowing everyone to get the advantage of the tilt?

And, what if we all did incorporate? Is it even possible for everyone to be privileged with limited liability at the same time? Is it possible for liability to disappear simply because we declare everyone to possess limited liability?

In a free world, in a truly free market, there would be no restrictions to cooperation. Free association would permit any and all combinations of individuals to attempt to attain whatever goals it is they hold in common, whether economic or otherwise. But, true freedom does not allow power and force to favor or subsidize one form over the other, for any reason.

In our world, the line between Big Government and the multinational corporation is disappearing. Elected officials seem to serve corporate interests, who enable their election through contributions, more than the people who voted them into office. This should not be surprising. The entity that legally created incorporation with all its privileges and advantages, the government, certainly shouldn’t be counted on to keep the result of corporate law, the corporation, in check. It will not be until we revert to the natural state of free economics, where all parties stand on equal footing and bear the liability according to the market they act in, that we will see a return to economic justice. It is only then that we will be able to determine if the corporate form can actually survive within a truly free market. Until then, the jury is out.

Gene DeNardo is a freelance writer and jazz musician living in the Pacific Northwest. Read other articles by Gene, or visit Gene's website.

85 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on November 6th, 2010 at 10:38am #

    Mr DeNardo has completely misunderstood the concept of limited liability, which he seems to interpret as extinguishing debts of legal persons which would not be extinguished if they were owed by physical persons. The liability that is limited is not that of the company, but that of its members. They cannot be made liable for the company’s debts beyond the amount they agreed to contribute. All legal persons are creatures of legislation. Their powers, rights, methods of functioning and liabilities are defined by law and can be changed by law if any aspect of their functioning is found unsatisfactory. Mr DeNardo’s views are just too luddite.

  2. gene said on November 6th, 2010 at 11:32am #

    excuse me, but are you saying the liability of the corporation, which has been declared by law a “person”, is not limited?

    both the liability of the shareholder and the corporation is limited by law, which i think anyone can understand to be a “privlege” and advantage over the liability of individual or associated unincorporated persons. by law, there is no liability, regardless of extent of debt or injury cost, to either the corporation or the shareholders beyond the amount invested or assets of the corporation. this obviously is not true for individuals outside of the corporate shield.

    if you do not believe this is a legal privlege and an advantage to incorporation, then perhaps we should agree on abolishing this legal fiction and allowing corporations to “declare” their status freely within the marketplace and allow the market to decide their inherent competitiveness rather than the state?

    surely you would have no problem with this? is that not what a free market is, a market without forced intervention? or maybe you favor market intervention to advantage some and disadvantage others?

  3. Deadbeat said on November 6th, 2010 at 1:48pm #

    There is no such thing as a “free” market. There is only a “fee” market in Capitalism. Corporations are an outgrowth of Capitalism and permits capitalist to organize in a manner that favors them under the law — meaning governments that they influence via their power.

    Markets leads to concentration and inequality which is why the concept of “free” market is no different from the oxymoron known as “perfect competition” which lays the basis for many economic assumptions. This are unachievable “utopian” concepts that are used to conceal the inherent contradictions of the Capitalist system.

    It is time we cease entertaining these contradictory oxymorons and start dealing with reality.

  4. ajohnstone said on November 7th, 2010 at 12:19am #

    I have to concur with Deadbeat’s conclusion.

    Private ownership originally meant the ownership of industry by private individuals. But, while this may have been the case in the days of Adam Smith , this hasn’t been the predominant form of ownership since the introduction and rapid spread in the second half of the 19th century of what in England was called a “limited company” and in America a “corporation”. A limited company is a separate legal entity in its own right. It is the company, the corporation, that owns the assets, the shareholders owning as a collective group not as individuals. This means that they are only personally liable, if the company goes bankrupt, for the amount of their shareholding, not their total wealth. Hence the name “limited liability company”. In the late 1860s, the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution recognised the slave as having human rights, the nascent corporate elite of the time had their lawyers stake a claim to the same rights with the Supreme Court. They fought and won, and the state henceforth recognised the corporation as a human being, a person in law, with the same right to life, liberty and property.

    So, as well as private ownership it would be more accurate to speak of capitalism as nowadays involving company or corporate ownership. And, indeed, some in the anti-capitalist movement take this into account by talking of “corporate capitalism”. Which is OK as far as it goes. Only it doesn’t go far enough. The key features of capitalism is production for profit. The motive for producing things under capitalism is to make a profit. The “Profit System” is another very good name for capitalism But from another angle, capitalism could also be called the “Wages System”. The key market in capitalism is the labour market, where workers are forced to earn their living by selling their labour power to an employer.

    Capitalism is an economic system where, under pressure from the market, profits are accumulated as further capital, i.e. as money invested in production with a view to making further profits. This is not a matter of the individual choice of those in control of capitalist production – it’s not due to their personal greed or inhumanity – it’s something forced on them by the operation of the system. And which operates irrespective of whether a particular economic unit is the property of an individual, a limited company, the state or even of a workers’ cooperative.

    The capitalist system is left unscathed by the article. Nowhere in it is the market-driven profit system as such challenged. Nowhere does the writer lambast the “can’t pay, can’t have” society we have that consigns the greater portion of the population of the planet to lives of abject misery. Capitalism is taken for granted and all that is being asked in the end is the end of corporations. The article is just the demand for wider democracy and fairer trading conditions while allowing capitalism to carry on perpetrating every social ill that plagues us.

    An effective anti-capitalist movement will have to be one that works for ending the impersonal economic mechanism that is capitalism by restoring control of production to society; which can only be done on the basis of the Earth’s natural and industrial resources having become the common property of all the people.

  5. gene said on November 7th, 2010 at 9:48am #

    “The capitalist system is left unscathed by the article.”

    If you think the capitalistic system would be “unscathed” if the corporate form were dissconnected from state protection and were forced to compete within a truly free market, i would just have to say you haven’t grasp the hegemony of state backed incorporation within our control economy.

    The article also does not ask for the “end of corporations”, it asks for the end of state franchised incorporation. Why should there be restrictions on how free people choose to associate? Who is it that would determine these restrictions? That seems a bit fascist to me.

    Your suggestion to shift the “control of production” to “society” doesn’t say much to me. What exactly is your “society”? soviet russia considered the state leaders to be “society”. The germans saw the fascists as their “society”. Is that your idea of a social “improvement”?

  6. ajohnstone said on November 7th, 2010 at 2:54pm #

    I would have thought it wouldn’t have been too difficult to deduce what is meant by my use of the word society since my comment did say the capitalism system “operates irrespective of whether a particular economic unit is the property of an individual, a limited company, the state or even of a workers’ cooperative”….and thus being against capitalism rather precludes being for either soviet state-capitalism or the autarky capitalism of Nazi Germany.

    I see nothing novel in your article, Gene, apart that capitalism is to remain with the rough corners smoothed out, which as Deadbeat says is the utopian aspiration of a tamed capitalism. What is really required is a fundamental change of the economic basis of society and that is missing from the article.

    Capitalist exploitation occurs as a result of the normal operation of market forces. Capitalism is an economic system of capital accumulation out of profits. This is its dynamic. Profits are made by competing firms which, in order to remain competitive, have to re-invest most of them in new, more productive machinery and equipment. The result is the accumulation of a greater and greater stock of productive equipment used to make profits, or capital. Capitalism is the system of capital accumulation and is derived from the surplus value produced by the class of wage workers. It is the workers who produce the wealth, and the capitalists who make their profits from our unpaid labour.

    What is called for is a community (society , if you so please) where each contributes to the whole to the best of his or her ability and takes from the common fund of produce what he or she needs. The Earth can no longer be owned; it must be shared. Its fruits can no longer be expropriated by the few, they must be rendered available to all on the basis of need. Power must be freed from the control of the elites and be redistributed in a form that renders its use participatory. That is “free economics”, that is “economic justice”. Production will be to meet human need, each person or group determining their own reasonable needs in a social context. There will be no buying or selling, but instead, plenty of giving and taking.

    Your idealised world is basically a call for governments not to interfere in the operation of the market, to let market forces operate unhindered – laissez faire – and that the detrimental effects of the capitalist system can be eliminated by taming global corporations. For as long as capitalism has existed state “interference” or state “intervention”, in the economy has always existed. A corporation-dominated government is really the logical outcome of a class-divided society where the state must serve the owning minority.

  7. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2010 at 2:58pm #

    gene writes …

    Your suggestion to shift the “control of production” to “society” doesn’t say much to me. What exactly is your “society”? soviet russia considered the state leaders to be “society”. The germans saw the fascists as their “society”. Is that your idea of a social “improvement”?

    gene clearly doesn’t understand Capitalism and has no idea what Socialism is. Rather than come to terms with the contradiction of his own ideas he’d rather distort ajohnstone advocacy.

    I wish such writers would take the time to read Marx before spewing those obsolete red-baiting Cold War cliches. It’s so … pre-1989.

    If you think the capitalistic system would be “unscathed” if the corporate form were dissconnected from state protection and were forced to compete within a truly free market, i would just have to say you haven’t grasp the hegemony of state backed incorporation within our control economy.

    Listen to the writer … were forced to compete within a truly free market

    It is such phrases that exposes the writer as having no idea of how Capitalism truly works. This lack of understanding and his REFUSAL to learn why his notions are contradictory is a HUGE problem. Then when counter-parties offer rational explanations then EGOS take over. Unless their “EGOS” is a cover for an agenda.

    Here’s a fact about Capitalists. Capitalists ABHOR competition. What gene fails to see is that his notion of a “free” market cannot and has NEVER existed in Capitalism. He is too myopic to and too unwilling to understand that his notion of “free” market is UTOPIAN. That his idea of “free market COMPETITION” is an OXYMORON.

    gene’s failure to understand that basic FACT is why readers who are looking for clarity won’t find it from his writings.

  8. Deadbeat said on November 7th, 2010 at 3:09pm #

    ajohnstone writes…

    The Earth can no longer be owned; it must be shared

    This is the basic concept that is missing from all of these pro-capitalism writers. Especially “Liberals” who are trying to reinstate “Keynesian” ideas or trying to find ways to “repair” the “monetary” system. Money IMO is an obsolete concept but telling people that they can function as human being without money is a “mind-blowing” concept due to the systemic indoctrination and its coercive power.

    Capitalism is a system that promotes inequality and it is inequality that creates coercion. If gene is truly against coercion he’d be an advocate for a society that promotes equality.

  9. Don Hawkins said on November 7th, 2010 at 5:17pm #

    It sure look’s like spaceship Earth is damaged and in need of repair and so far there is no Mission Control.

    By all means let’s go to the moon and then Mars. We learned how to live so well here on Earth it’s time to take our knowledge to Mars. I wonder if they will take a golf ball and club to see how far they can hit the ball? Courses, courses everywhere and……………………..

  10. gene said on November 7th, 2010 at 6:01pm #

    “Capitalist exploitation occurs as a result of the normal operation of market forces”.

    This is an interesting, contradictory statement. If a true free market is that of unforced consensual free exchange, then what are these “market forces” you speak about that exploit? you are confusing “capitalism as it is” with a true free market, which does not exist at present. let’s stick to a “common” definition of whatever term we are talking about or we will get nowhere.

    “Listen to the writer … were forced to compete within a truly free market”

    no one is forced to do anything. those that freely associate as a corporate form choose the corporate form above the individual form, etc. entering into the market as such, the value those who use the services, etc. choose freely to give value to whatever form decides ultimately what form will experience success and what doesn’t. this free choice is impossible with state franchising of one form over another. without free choice, there is no free market.

    “Here’s a fact about Capitalists. Capitalists ABHOR competition”

    you have made a great stride with that statement. i couldn’t agree with you more.

    ” The Earth can no longer be owned; it must be shared”

    this is a funny statement. it basically states one condition and then demands as a solution the exact same condition. the status quo now forces us to accept that the earth will be privately and collectively [the state and corporations] owned. the new status quo will determine how the earth will be shared? “meet the old boss, same as the new boss”.

    “Especially “Liberals” who are trying to reinstate “Keynesian” ideas or trying to find ways to “repair” the “monetary” system. ”

    IMO it is impossible to repair a system that is fundamentally fraudulent. People should be free to choose whatever value system they want or don’t want to use. any system or no system or every system. without that freedom, there is no free market.

    what you share with those you call “exploiters” is the same need to force people to follow your dictates, in the interest of what you believe is a “greater morality”. what you miss is that you don’t strive for freedom at all, simply a new system, obviously utopian even tho you criticize the article as utopian, that mimics the old system just with new elites and new benefactors.

    its the oldest trick in the book, state socialism. forcing the population to act, live and breathe in a particular way for the “common good”, whether it be no money or no private land or whatever. well, we already have state socialism and that is exactly what I write against. you may not like the particular shade of state socialism we currently have, but you certainly don’t want people to be free to choose how they want to live, you want a new coercive system. but, of course, you claim it will be a “better” system, so the end is justified in your estimation.

    what i am against is any system that uses coercion. they will ALL fail simply because people desire, second to their survival, their freedom. allow them a few too many crumbs with your “new” system and they will fight for their freedom.

  11. WG said on November 7th, 2010 at 8:23pm #

    The Earth can no longer be owned; it must be shared.

    I’m going to have to agree with that one.

    Anyway the ensuing comments posted are just about the reason why nothing ever gets done about anything. Intellectuals blabbing and arguing over points, almost seemingly trying to prove who’s smarter. Don’t mix facts with opinion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that something is very wrong with the ways we live and are forced to live. So long as we are fighting amongst ourselves, nothing will be solved. Fudge the capitalist and Fudge the economy, there are plenty of fair alternatives we can implement to get the people what they need. Anything else is extra. I for one am not defined by my possessions. I’m a human not a buisiness decision . NOM NOM NOM.

  12. ajohnstone said on November 7th, 2010 at 10:26pm #

    Sigh….Gene, so many straw men and grasping at straws in your attempted rebuttal.

    As Deadbeat told you, read what is being said . Once again , just so it can sink in this time – “capitalism operates irrespective of whether a particular economic unit is the property of an individual, a limited company, the state or even of a workers’ cooperative”

    “no one is forced to do anything.” – Sorry to be impolite but what planet are you on. The working class is forced each and every day into wage slavery or does money in capitalism grow on trees and all people need to do it pluck it from the branches to pay for food clothing and shelter. No , we are, collectively, compelled under the threat of poverty to sell our capacity to work – our labour power – in order to get access to those things

    In 1855, Frederick Douglas, a former slave, wrote:- “The difference between the white slave, and the black slave, is this: the latter belongs to ONE slave-holder, and the former belongs to ALL the slave-holders, collectively. The white slave has taken from his, by indirection, what the black slave had taken from him, directly, and without ceremony. Both are plundered, and by the same plunderers” .
    He understood , why can’t you ?

    The modern slave-owner has no such interest in his slaves. He neither purchases nor owns them. He merely buys so much labor-power – physical energy – just as he buys electric power for his plant. The worker represents to him merely a machine capable of developing a given quantity of labor-power. When he does not need labor-power he simply refrains from buying any. Wage slavery is the most satisfactory form of slavery that has ever come into existence, from the point of view of the masters. It gives them all the slaves they require, and relieves them of all responsibility in the matter of their housing, feeding and clothing.

    i thought when i wrote “Power must be freed from the control of the elites and be redistributed in a form that renders its use participatory.” it was self -explanatory.
    My mistake so to clarify , instead of the pressures that force people to sell their working skills to an employer, people in socialism will work as a voluntary expression of their relationship with others. Needs will replace the drive for profits and the dictates of the market in deciding what must be done. Instead of the authoritarian control imposed by boards of directors and their corporate managers, production units will be run democratically by the people working in them. Instead of the state and its government of people, in socialism, people will contribute to the decisions made democratically by the community. Wage slavery will be overthrown and labour power cease to be a commodity. The workers, being the owners of the means of production, will also be the owners of the wealth produced, each individually enjoying what they have collectively produced.

    Wage slavery has become the only option for the majority to sustain itself. The capitalist system was created through acts of theft and murder. This reality is continually defended by theories of the ideal capitalist model claiming as you do to be a return to “economic justice”, which actually only seeks to legitimise the capitalist’s source of wealth and power – the exploitation of labour for the extraction of profit. It is hypocrisy.

  13. hayate said on November 7th, 2010 at 11:12pm #

    gene said on November 7th, 2010 at 9:48am

    “i would just have to say you haven’t grasp the hegemony of state backed incorporation within our control economy.”

    This seems to imply the state is the dominant force here, over that of monopoly capitalism. The state is a tool these monopoly capitalists use to enforce their rule. They rule the state, it’s not the other way around.

    Capitalism is based upon the predation of one’s own. It can be reformed to “look good” while doing so, but that doesn’t change the fundamental aspect of capitalism which is essentially cannibalism. Socialism is the exact opposite of this. It’s based upon support, rather than predation.

  14. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 2:24am #

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that something is very wrong with the ways we live and are forced to live. So long as we are fighting amongst ourselves, nothing will be solved. WG

    WG and I agree with you. Go to google and type in under new’s Amazon drought. Then you will see Rivers run dry as drought hits Amazon from the Global Post read that and watch the video. If you do that on the video a women with children in her house talking about her world and note her clear thought’s.

  15. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 2:34am #

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/brazil/101102/amazon-drought-climate-change

    There it is and again note her clear thought’s somewhat rare in the age of…………………

  16. Deadbeat said on November 8th, 2010 at 3:08am #

    gene writes …

    what you share with those you call “exploiters” is the same need to force people to follow your dictates, in the interest of what you believe is a “greater morality”. what you miss is that you don’t strive for freedom at all, simply a new system, obviously utopian even tho you criticize the article as utopian, that mimics the old system just with new elites and new benefactors.

    The basis of gene’s rebuttal is that Socialists are “coercive”. What gene is doing is deploying a strawman fallacy and false appeal. He confuses influence with “coercion” and minimizes the will of the people over the elite minority. Clearly power is going to be needed in order to prevent the counter-revolution of the minority once Socialism is in place. You can be certain that I would have no argument against coercion over the former Capitalist/Zionist minority rulers.

    However in gene’s idyllic world he’d be disarm his follow citizens (like all Liberals) and create the vacuum that will permit our enemy to retake control. Thus gene like all psuedo-Leftist are really mere advocates for the status quo.

  17. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 3:51am #

    DB I plan on keeping my arms and leg’s, eye’s and ears and here in the States the talk from these great minds is repeal and replace and tax’s such minds. I mean once you know to see this foolishness is tire ring to say the least. Listening to suit’s talk nonsense oh and I see now you can buy one and get five free such a deal.

  18. gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 9:00am #

    “This seems to imply the state is the dominant force here, over that of monopoly capitalism. The state is a tool these monopoly capitalists use to enforce their rule. They rule the state, it’s not the other way around.”

    Who has the guns?

    “no one is forced to do anything.”

    i noted before it is important to state whether you are referring to theory or practice. i certainly don’t believe that there is “no force” within our existing system. it is the presence of force that prohibits a true free market.

    ” This reality is continually defended by theories of the ideal capitalist model claiming as you do to be a return to “economic justice”, which actually only seeks to legitimise the capitalist’s source of wealth and power –”

    This is so far removed from the “actual” content of the article to be laughable. highlighting that the corporate form would be challenged if not eliminated within a system of free exchange wouldn’t even in the mind of the most deluded soul be taken as a defense of the “capitalistic model”. it seems what truly lies at the heart of your argument is that in a better world you WOULDN”T permit people who wished to consensually engage in free exchange to do so, even if their actions had no effect on your idea of that “perfect socialist society”.

    in other words, you wish to contol the non agressive actions of others, the exact same thing that big state capital does in the world right now.

    maybe you could answer this simple theroretical question? do you wish to control the free actions of other humans even when they are non agressive and free of force simply because they don’t fit in to your views of how the “world” and “society” should operate?

    and how about a “simple’ answer, not some drawn out marxian cliche.

  19. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 9:14am #

    do you wish to control the free actions of other humans even when they are non agressive and free of force simply because they don’t fit in to your views of how the “world” and “society” should operate?

    In very simple terms have you been watching Glenn Beck, maybe reading the WSJ or talking to lawyers, maybe someone on another planet another World might like to answer that question.

  20. gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 9:23am #

    So, you won’t answer the question?

    Here’s my answer:

    anyone or any group is free to act in any way or within any system that they desire as long as they use no agressive force on other humans or intefere with the freedom of others to do the same.

    i have no right, no one has the right to coercive authority over another human.

    sorry, glenn beck would not agree with me. he is big on coercive authority and force.

  21. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 9:36am #

    We need to find answers not more prisons of the mind.

    “Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.”
    - Unknown

    “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  22. hayate said on November 8th, 2010 at 10:32am #

    gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 9:00am

    “Who has the guns?”

    The hit men used by the mafia “has the guns”. So what.

  23. ajohnstone said on November 8th, 2010 at 12:01pm #

    LOL, give people time , you are too eager to answer your own questions it seems , Gene .

    “do you wish to control the free actions of other humans even when they are non agressive and free of force simply because they don’t fit in to your views of how the “world” and “society” should operate?”

    Gene you have consistently failed to acknowledge or have dismissed as irrelevant the fact that the right of private property leads to control by property owners over those who use, but do not own, property (such as workers ). Free-market capitalist system leads to a very selective and class-based protection of “rights” and “freedoms.” For example, under capitalism, the “freedom” of employers inevitably conflicts with the “freedom” of employees. When stockholders or their managers exercise their “freedom of enterprise” to decide how their company will operate, they violate their employee’s right to decide how their labouring capacities will be utilised and so under capitalism the “property rights” of employers will conflict with and restrict the “human right” of employees to manage themselves. Capitalism allows the right of self-management only to the few, not to all. Bosses have the power, workers are paid to obey. Workers are subject to control from above which restricts the activities they are allowed to do and so they are not free to act, make decisions, participate in the plans of the organisation, to create the future and so forth. Thus we have “free” workers within a relationship lacking freedom. Representing employment relations as voluntary agreement simply mystifies the existence and exercise of power within the organisation so created. Gene, you are ignoring the vast number of authoritarian and co-ercive social relationships that exist in capitalist society.In the labour market it is clear that the “buyers” and “sellers” of labour power are not on an equal footing . Under capitalism competition in labour markets is skewed in favour of employers. Thus the ability to refuse an exchange weighs most heavily on one class than another and so ensures that “free exchange” works to ensure the domination and so exploitation of one by the other. Inequality in the market ensures that the decisions of the majority of people within it are shaped in accordance with that needs of the powerful, not the needs of all.

    Kropotkin argued that “The modern Individualism initiated by Herbert Spencer is, like the critical theory of Proudhon, a powerful indictment against the dangers and wrongs of government, but its practical solution of the social problem is miserable — so miserable as to lead us to inquire if the talk of ‘No force’ be merely an excuse for supporting landlord and capitalist domination.” – an indictment of your views also , Gene .
    To defend the “freedom” of property owners is to defend authority and privilege .

    But just to make sure you understand that for socialists, the means and ends cannot be separated . The establishment of socialism can only be established by the working class when the immense majority have come to want and understand it. The machinery of coercion which is The State has to be taken out of the hands of the capitalist class by political action. Industrial democracy is a possibility only when the capitalist class have ceased to rule The State. The struggle for democracy is the struggle for socialism. It is not a struggle for reforms, for this or that political system, for this or that leader, for some rule change or other—it is the struggle for an idea, for a belief, a belief that we can run our own lives, that we have a right to a say in how society is run, for a belief that the responsibility for democracy lies not upon the politicians or their bureaucrats, but upon ourselves. At the moment a small group of people control all the wealth and property, and it is upon their interests that everything hinges. It is only by removing such people, and not by tinkering with the form as you advocate, Gene, that true democracy can be reached .

  24. gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 12:34pm #

    “so miserable as to lead us to inquire if the talk of ‘No force’ be merely an excuse for supporting landlord and capitalist domination.” – an indictment of your views also , Gene .”

    i would agree to your comments until the above quote. they use of “no force” must apply to all. there is no true economic justification for what you refer to as landlord and capital domination. force is at the root.

    “To defend the “freedom” of property owners is to defend authority and privilege”

    first of all, I don’t see how you got to this point from the article. but, to address, again, freedom must be applied to all and without the imposition or use of force. i don’t think defending one’s “property” is the defense of authority and privlege. certainly one has the right to the product of one’s labor? freedom from theft of the same?

    “it is the struggle for an idea, for a belief, a belief that we can run our own lives,”

    this, I would certainly agree with as long as it is added that all are free to run their own lives.

    “The struggle for democracy is the struggle for socialism. ”

    the only “democracy” that I would support is consensual. coercive democracy, such as we have, is the tyranny of the majority. tyranny, whether one ruler or many is tyranny.

    “not by tinkering with the form as you advocate, Gene, that true democracy can be reached . ”

    true democracy is what? coercive or consensual? there can only be one or the other, if its coercive, like I said, I can’t support it for any reason. i think you are misunderstanding what removal of the force of the state that created the legal fiction of incorporation would do. you are also may be confusing a “true free market” and completely “free exchange” with the present system. i also think you may be trying to apply an entire world view to one article.

    free exchange is a revolutionary concept. hardly tinkering.

  25. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 1:01pm #

    Gene go to my comment on this article it’s a few up from here the global post and watch the video then remember this is now happening Worldwide and it is not just me who knows this and for some reason never seems to come up when thinking about economic systems from the people who have decided that is there job. Let’s just say it is the truth and we have ten then twenty years before survival is the system. Did you ever see the movie on ABC Earth 2100 because of just the fact’s data from 2010 they might need a remake.

  26. gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 3:46pm #

    Most economists are either apologists or observers, they either apologize for the status quo {and get paid to do that} or they observe the status quo and report that what is is what should be {getting paid to do that}. economists that actually attempt to tell the truth, can’t find work.

    as long as the economic system in place is based on fraud, it can hide anything they want it to. eventually, the books get straightened out or thrown out and something new gets a chance.

    you might want to google this guy……..kevincarson.

  27. Don Hawkins said on November 8th, 2010 at 3:56pm #

    Seriously, if you’re pinning any serious hopes for achieving reform or justice through government, you’re in for as much grief as the Democrats have had this past two years. Like Nader said, we’ve got one corporate party with two heads.

    It’s time to start making our own reforms, living our lives the way we want without waiting for permission from the government. We can build the society we want, cooperate and do business with one another through institutions of our own making, here and now, without having to persuade a majority of the public to vote on it first. kevin carson

  28. gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 4:17pm #

    building the new within the shell of the old…………

  29. ajohnstone said on November 8th, 2010 at 8:31pm #

    Gene , you say “free exchange is a revolutionary concept. ”

    No, free access is revolutionary.

    Until you support and work towards the society that is based upon the principle ” from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”, then you remain fixated upon the status quo of a society constrained by artificial rationing through the market and money system, a “can’t pay- can’t have” society that is inherently co-ercive , that has police and courts and jails to ensure its continued existence . Your defence of freedom makes me think of the famous quote , ” The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. ”

    If you truly seek real liberty then it is free access to goods and services which will deny to any group or individuals the political leverage with which to dominate others which has been a feature intrinsic to all private-property or class based systems through control and rationing of the means of life . This will work to ensure that a socialist society is run on the basis of democratic consensus. Free access to the common treasury and no monopoly of ownership , not even by the producers who call for ownership of their own product ,( such as promoted by mutualists and syndicalists ) can deprive individuals in society of common ownership of the means of production and distribution .

    Goods and services would be provided directly for self determined needs and not for sale on a market; they would be made freely available for individuals to take without requiring these individuals to offer something in direct exchange. The sense of obligations and the realisation of universal interdependency arising from this would profoundly colour people’s perceptions and influence their behaviour in such a society.

    Building a society that is based upon such a system of generalised reciprocity, that is truly a revolutionary concept .

  30. gene said on November 8th, 2010 at 8:58pm #

    build any society you want with those who are like minded. you should know though that free access is also ownership of property. free access by force is ownership by force.

    allow others the freedom to associate as they wish in the manner they wish, whether or not you agree with their actions as long as each system does not restrict the freedom of others.

    what is not revolutionary however is coercion, no matter the end desired.

  31. Deadbeat said on November 9th, 2010 at 4:28am #

    Here gene exposes himself …

    build any society you want with those who are like minded. you should know though that free access is also ownership of property. free access by force is ownership by force.

    Ownership by definition is NOT “free” access. It is FEE access. What gene fears is the confiscation of HIS OWN property. IMO he really doesn’t give a damn about economic justice. To maintain ownership you can better believe that gene will be on the front lines of FORCE. Forcing others to accept his sociopathic explanations dressed up as passivity but is essentially cruelty. He is fooling no one with this “anracho-capitalism” crap. Which by definition is an OXYMORON.

  32. franco_american1962 said on November 9th, 2010 at 8:26am #

    “The Corporation is concept that has evolved over the last few centuries to become the single most important factor and dominant force in our modern lives.”

    Is one to assume the above excerpt to be the central thesis of this article? The Corporation as a “dominant concept” in modern lives? I would have been more likely to read on, however, like an artist who regardlessly slings paint onto his canvas, calling such “art”, I could not countenance reading any further.

  33. franco_american1962 said on November 9th, 2010 at 8:45am #

    Anyone read Lugwig Von Mises’ “Socialism”? He speaks very eloquently of what seems to ail many a socialist and (crypto)-Marxist on this site, namely the notion of the division of labor in a free and open society as the mark of civilization and social evolvement. I cringe when I read of such things as “private property is theft”, as well as the vacuous statement that, “the earth can no longer be owned, it must be shared”. What of economic (distributive) justice? Should the world take its lesson from the likes of Venezuela’s pied-piper, or of North Korea? I regard this respective discussion as fanciful and Marxist sycophancy. There is good reason that Marx has been consigned to the junkpile of history. The onward march of “progress” and “civilization” can do without the thievery of the collective.

  34. franco_american1962 said on November 9th, 2010 at 9:40am #

    “This are unachievable “utopian” concepts that are used to conceal the inherent contradictions of the Capitalist system.”
    There is no longer any form of “pure” Capitalism from which to lauch any meaningful critique. As for this notion of some “unachievable” Utopianism, I think history has borne out the fact that any appeal to a collectivist Utopianism is, itself, impracticable and deleterious. What of the “piecemeal engineering” that might be effected by our democratic institutions? Is everyone on this site so personally disaffected and deluded as to think that our democratic institutions have been bought off?

  35. gene said on November 9th, 2010 at 9:53am #

    it is the very “collectivism” that state socialists critize in our present system that they want to coercively reinstate with a different group of “leaders” and different group of beneficiaries.

  36. ajohnstone said on November 9th, 2010 at 10:39am #

    i was going to let my contributions rest but franco-american’s intervention with his support for von Mises and your uncritical acceptance of those comment and your repeated yet unsubstantiated assertion that the case presented by myself is a state-socialist one , has made me want to add this to what i have said previously, Gene .

    According to von Mises, rational economic calculation is only possible on the basis of prices fixed by the free play of market forces. In other words, the only form of rational calculation that can be applied to the production of wealth is monetary calculation. Von Mises claimed that a socialist society was impossible because it would be unable to calculate rationally which productive methods to adopt. This argument merely amounts to the tautology that only a market economy is able to perform economic calculations couched in market prices’and that it is‘reading into socialism the functional requirements of capitalism.
    In reality it is the wasteful, destructive and exploitative capitalist system that is incapable of rationally allocating resources.

    Although, monetary calculation, will disappear in socialism this does not mean that there will no longer be any need to make choices, evaluations and calculations. In socialism it will be the use value of goods not be their selling price (nor even the time needed to produce them) but their usefulness. It is for this that they will be appreciated, evaluated, wanted and produced. So estimates of what is likely to be needed over a given period will be expressed as physical quantities of definite types and sorts of objects. The operational basis for this system would be calculation in kind (e.g. tonnes, kilos, litres) instead of monetary calculation.
    Needless to say , its impossible to totally refute Von Mises here , so why not read this article :-
    http://www.cvoice.org/cv3cox.htm

    Gene , you should go to the source and forget what the state-capitalist Leninists or Trotskyists say and also ignore franco-american’s ill-informed opinions that don’t even merit a rebuttal and begin to understand that Marx was in favour of the abolition of the state and its replacement by an “association of associations”, i.e. by a co-ordinated network of neighbourhood councils and producer-controlled production units.

  37. gene said on November 9th, 2010 at 3:28pm #

    ” This argument merely amounts to the tautology that only a market economy is able to perform economic calculations couched in market prices’and that it is‘reading into socialism the functional requirements of capitalism.
    In reality it is the wasteful, destructive and exploitative capitalist system that is incapable of rationally allocating resources.”

    It of course, remains to be seen if a “market” economy can accurately calculate prices. your last sentence is certainly valid concerning our existing system. most anarchists believe that “systems” existing in the vacumm of an extinct state will eventually prove their worth to people and the “best” ones will last, the not so good, fail.

    I have read quite a bit of Marx as anyone should who is interested in economics and enjoy some of his writings. I have also read Mises and enjoy a bit of his stuff, although I find Hayek to be too apologetic.

    Any consensual non coercive organization is fine by me. Stay tuned for the next article, its on profit. should tick off some folks, although I think you should like it!

  38. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2010 at 3:39pm #

    Gene I like you your tuff and the next one could you mention Goldman Sach’s.

  39. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2010 at 4:29pm #

    Me Gene I took a shower after four day’s we have 5 cat’s three dog’s and a dove. One of the cat’s gave it to me the other morning you know look what I got did it freak me out a little but it’s doing fine and soon will roam free. I have a back porch and that’s where I go early in the morning to think. It has cat’s, dog’s and an unenclosed hot water heater yes I said unenclosed you can see the pipes and electric a clock on the wall to measure spacetime and the wife and I were sitting there just a few minutes ago talking about m-theory then she came up with human’s will lose intelligent’s if the survival part start’s and this all happens on a mote of dust third planet from the Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy.

  40. Don Hawkins said on November 9th, 2010 at 4:54pm #

    http://c4ss.org/content/4790

    The richer the plutocracy gets by the political means, the greater its resources to invest in the political system and tighten its control of the state, which increases its wealth still further — and so on, and so on, in an endless death spiral. Kevin Carson

  41. Jonas Rand said on November 9th, 2010 at 6:08pm #

    Ludwig von Mises was a fool. That any economist in the 21st century pays attention to him demonstrates quite clearly and succinctly the sheer ignorance that prevails among economists, and why they have no social understanding of the effects of economy on human beings. Our “democratic” institutions have indeed been bought off and there is nothing “democratic” about the capitalist system. In fact, it is a very undemocratic and inherently coercive system in that it enforces the hierarchy of class and imposes it on all people. There is a necessity for poverty in the capitalist system because the bourgeois cannot sustain their unrepentant greed and avarice without the poor’s labor. Therefore, a capitalist market cannot be “free” for everyone – there is totalitarianism, and there is a clear hierarchy. Read Marx rather than just what the right-wing echo chamber cherry-picks from his books. Also, Kropotkin has some interesting things to say about the subject.

    Capitalism relies on theft to effectively operate (that is, with the wealthy maintaining power and domination).As previous commenters have noted, only a society based on sharing and equality would be sustainable for human beings’ survival and comfort. It is inherently required of the system of private property to be based on force, because sharing and the commons are antithetical to it. Something needs to enforce, through coercion, a system of ownership and the negation of community control. Forcing everyone into a monetary and capitalist/trade system does not allow freedom from it. Thus “free trade” is an oxymoron and it is necessary in order to escape “coercion” to move beyond capitalism, a hierarchical system, and into egalitarian, collectively controlled and democratic social governance.

  42. Kim Petersen said on November 9th, 2010 at 10:54pm #

    “Almost the entire world is capitalist and almost the entire world is poor. Capitalist Indonesia is miserably poor and getting poorer; … poverty, poverty, increase in crime, increase in desperation, increase in misery, increase in homelessness, increase in suicides. It’s capitalism at work — moving in. Now not everyone suffers. The capitalists in these countries are doing quite well. These countries are getting poorer as the giant corporations move in and get richer. These [countries] are getting poorer as there is more and more deregulation, more and more so-called free market, which is really monopoly market. It’s a free market if you got money. It’s a market that works for those who have money.”

    — Michael Parenti

  43. Don Hawkins said on November 10th, 2010 at 4:43am #

    Last night on CNN I watched Parker Spitzer and they went to Palin a speech and right there live and in color one of the greatest minds in human history who for about 15 minutes talked about dancing with the Stars. I guess she went on to less important things but my mind had at that point gone somewhat blank. Then CNN went back to regularly scheduled programing and Eliot Spitzer said not exact words that Palin is now a very power force on Earth. My mind came back a little at this point and my first thought was not so much dancing with the Stars but something I had read earlier in the day.

    The richer the plutocracy gets by the political means, the greater its resources to invest in the political system and tighten its control of the state, which increases its wealth still further — and so on, and so on, in an endless death spiral. Kevin Carson

    I wonder what the corporate mind from a few have in mind for the next speech? The dancing with the Stars seemed to work so well and made her a powerful force maybe a cooking show and off to white house or the stars. We are going down people as a few behind the curtain who write those speech’s don’t dance most I have seen are out of step or another way to put it living in the dark ages. When you dance and do it well it’s like spacetime a fabric of space and time woven into one. Far far from home indeed.

  44. Don Hawkins said on November 10th, 2010 at 5:33am #

    Ok I am now 100% certain the people at CNN read DV. I wrote that last comment and then turned on CNN and Rob the weather guy and the other two on this morning I didn’t get there names started talking about working at CNN and you don’t bit the hand that feeds you. Now just on the off chance they do read DV oh Rob that hand that feeds you will probably only be able to do that for a few more years a blink of an eye when compared to just the time we human’s have walked on Earth. Remember in the land of Oz Rob and the balloon heading for the shinning city and it was heard come back come back and the Wizard said I can’t I don’t know how it work’s good by folk’s. Do you know how it work’s Rob not trying to put you on the spot or anything.

  45. jayn0t said on November 10th, 2010 at 7:12am #

    This is an interesting discussion. I ‘took the time’ to read Marx long before I read Ludwig von Mises and other libertarian economists, but when I did, I was frankly impressed by the latter’s clarity in comparison with the former’s mysticism, obscurantism and teleology. Which is not to say Mises was right.

    It is not to say capitalism is good, or the market is free. But if one wants to change the world for the better, one needs a more solid foundation than: “This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the production of the physical existence of the individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production… blah blah blah…” – http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm#a1 – I used to believe these statements were meaningful and true.

    Marx referred to his philosophy as ‘scientific’. Not even close.

  46. hayate said on November 10th, 2010 at 8:48am #

    jayn0t said on November 10th, 2010 at 7:12am

    The problem with many rightwingers judging the work of leftwingers is the rightwingers WANT to find fault with it, no matter what. This predisposition nullifies their criticism.

  47. ajohnstone said on November 10th, 2010 at 1:19pm #

    Jaynot , i would agree that German Ideology is not a text that is easy to read but of course it was not written as an economic treatise for the general public. Written by Marx and Engels in 1845 when they were emerging from Hegelian philosophy and it was published for the first time in 1932 . Its purpose was a polemic to rebut many other obscure philosphers such as Stirner so instead of comparing with Mises , perhaps if you wish to raise issuses of clarity , compare it with the gobblygook of many philosphers past and present would have been more appropriate.
    But Capital Vol1 or Wage Labour and Capital or Wages Prices and Profit would be works that if compared with Mises reveal Marx is a very clear minded and concise writer when it comes to expounding an analyses of capitalism inner dynamic.
    Marx’s approach to history is better read in what is known as the Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy but receives a rather better exposition in the Communist Manifesto
    Marx’s scientific method was to proceed by simplifying concrete and complex manifestations into an abstraction, which becomes less and less complex until reaching the simplest conception. Then, by systematically adding complicating factors there is a return journey towards empirical reality . Marx was a believer in abstraction, systematic analysis, and successive approximations to a reality too complex to grasp directly.“Scientific” was not so much the argument itself but the means by which the argument was first thought out and the habitual mode of thinking of the individual which was both open-minded and sceptical, willing to embrace or drop an idea depending on the evidence, willing to change the theory if the evidence demands it.
    Marx’s motto was to “Doubt everything”.

  48. franco_american1962 said on November 10th, 2010 at 2:40pm #

    My area of “expertise” is not that of the economics, or, for that matter, political science. However, I am discerning enough and well-educated enough to know intellectual lightweight, Statist sycophancy when I read such. With Von Mises’ “Socialism” as a backdrop, what I have come to regard as the “typical” dissident on this site is one of two “socialist-statists” approaches: that of a Marxian, command economy or of a Nazi “compulsory economy”, both of which are fundamentally undemocratic and autocratic. Mises made an important point about Capitalism as the blame for every ill in society, and there is no dearth of interests that are keen on scapegoating. For those of you disaffected, “shock doctrine” alarmists, I say, get an education!

  49. gene said on November 10th, 2010 at 3:25pm #

    Mises
    “Manufacturing and commercial monopolies owe their origin not to a tendency imminent in a capitalist economy but to governmental interventionist policy directed against free trade and laissez faire.”
    Marx
    The state is based on this contradiction. It is based on the contradiction between public and private life, between universal and particular interests. For this reason, the state must confine itself to formal, negative activities.

  50. jayn0t said on November 10th, 2010 at 4:02pm #

    A Johnstone — ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’ is the classic statement of the materialist conception of history. Generally, it is untestable, and therefore unscientific. Where it does make predictions, they fail (see below).

    “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution…”
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1859/critique-pol-economy/preface.htm

    1. Thailand and Malaysia have similar ‘material conditions’. So according to the materialist conception of history, they should have similar cultural superstructures. Thailand has a massive sex industry. Malaysia has Islam. Not at all the same thing.

    2. The Israel/Palestine question. If only the American capitalists’ consciousness was determined by their material interests, rather than by morality and ideology!

    I could go on, but I have more important things to do than criticise Marx. The modern left is led astray more by cultural relativism, political correctness, anarchism and so on.

  51. Don Hawkins said on November 10th, 2010 at 4:02pm #

    Marx,Mises, Soros, Obama, Ben, Murdoch, Bibi, a five star general, all the pol’s, cia one question does the Earth know of these people the planet we live on any idea who they are.

  52. Don Hawkins said on November 10th, 2010 at 4:08pm #

    The global balance of terror pioneered by the United States and the Soviet Union holds hostage all the citizens of the earth. Each side consistently probes the limits of the other’s tolerance — like the Cuban missile crisis, the testing of anti-satellite weapons, the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars. The hostile military establishments are locked in some ghastly mutual embrace, each needs the other but the balance of terror is a delicate balance with very little margin for miscalculation. And the world impoverishes itself by spending half a trillion dollars a year in preparations for war and by employing perhaps half the scientists and high technologists on the planet in military endeavors.

    How would we explain all this to a dispassionate, extraterrestrial observer? What account would we give of our stewardship of the planet earth?

    We have heard the rationales offered by the superpowers. We know who speaks for the nations; but who speaks for the human species? Who speaks for earth? Sagan

  53. ajohnstone said on November 10th, 2010 at 7:21pm #

    Your critique is basically the one of accusing Marx of economic determinism which makes men puppets in the hands of economic forces and thats not particularly a novel one.

    Man makes his own history. Man is not somebody who has everything predetermined for him. That is not Marxism. The Material Conception of History does not deny the influence of ideas and it sets out to explain where ideas come from, as against those idealists who say that ideas have an independent existence, and are the primary cause of social change. Marx presented a theory of social change that locates the ultimate causes of change within the material and economic conditions of life that we have to examine the underlying economic factors. This does not commit Marx to a form of economic determinism which falsely argues that only the economics is of significance, nor does it mean that he denied the importance of ideas in social change but it does mean to understand the complexity of any society, to understand the complex pattern of development of that society, then an understanding of its economic development is crucial to an understanding of its politics, its culture and its social development.

    From the Preface to the Critique : “In the social production of their life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production which correspond to a definite stage of development of their material productive forces”.
    Engels was asked a question in 1894 about the “relations of production”, and he answered it on 25th January, 1894 by listing what constituted “the relations of production”. First, the entire technique of production and transport. Second, the geographical basis in which they operate. Third, the survivals of earlier stages of economic development. Fourth, the external environment which surrounds this form of society. Engels was saying that economic relations must not be interpreted narrowly, that they go into a whole field, that they take in not merely the technique of production, but a number of other things as well. In the same letter, Engels emphasised the point that whilst it is the economic conditions which ultimately condition historical development, it should not be overlooked that all the derivative factors, political, juridical, philosophical, religious and artistic, not only interact with each other but also “react upon the economic basis”. Engels is saying that it should be recognised that there is an economic basis and that it produces a superstructure corresponding to it, but these various aspects of the superstructure interact with each other, and all of them react on the economic basis itself, so things are not simply in a watertight compartment like economic basis and the rest, nor should it be thought that the rest is simply the result of the economic basis.

    Engels in 1890 “We make our history ourselves, but in the first place under very definite assumptions and conditions. Among these, the economic ones are ultimately decisive, but the political etc., ones and even the traditions that haunt men’s minds also play a part, though not the decisive one…In the second place, however, history is made in such a way that the final result always arises from conflict between many individual wills of which each in turn has been made what it is by a host of particular conditions of life…Marx and I are ourselves partly to blame for the fact that the younger people sometimes lay more stress on the economic side than is due to it. We had to emphasise the main principle vis-à-vis our adversaries who denied it, and we had not always the time or the opportunity to give their due to the other elements involved in the interaction.”
    Here Engels is far from being a determinist.

    Nor did Marx ever made the assumption that capitalists and their governments always understand what policies are really in their best interests. The situation facing the capitalist class is obviously confused and certain sections come into conflict ie protectionists and free traders.The Material Conception of History explains how basic ideas develop, and that once the ideas have been developed, the individual who has accepted them can take on family, group or class ideas which may lead them to act against their own material interest.In the Communist Manifesto it is pointed out that in every revolutionary period, some sections of the old ruling class come over to the side of the revolution. Marx and Engels also argued that individuals in the capitalist class who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole, can go over to the socialist movement. These people can hardly be said to have been acting out of their own personal individual interest such as Engels the factory owner. During the Spanish Civil War a call went out for an International Brigade, and workers from all over the world set out for Spain. To suggest that they were doing this out of monetary interest is, or course, absurd. But it presents no problem for the MCH. They had developed an idea of working class solidarity against oppression.

    Marx says “the tradition of all past generations weighs like an incubus upon the brain of the living”, meaning, of course, that the ideas of the last social system persist into the new social system. Marx gave examples of the way in which old ideas carry on into the minds of new generations, and he dealt particularly with the way revolutionaries themselves do it. When a revolutionary comes forward, aiming to revolutionise society, the first thing he has to do is win the support of the masses of the population, peasants, workers or others. Revolutionaries, whether they think this out clearly or not, invariably hark back to some previous revolutionary situation. The point being that ideas, once they have been developed, attain a semi-independent existence of their own, and persist in their influence for quite a long time. As Marx always emphasised, you cannot judge a movement by its slogans and banners. In the course of economic development, ideas are brought forward and when these have developed, people can hold them quite passionately apart from their economic basis.

    Yes , some of the predictions never came to be. Engels looked at the development of capitalism. Looked at what was going on and attempted to say where it would lead. He laid down a general proposition that the development of great combines, trusts, and monopolies would force The State to take them over and that no capitalist nation would put up with production being conducted with bare faced exploitation of the community, by a small band of dividend mongers, organised in Trusts. This looked a quite reasonable proposition at the time , but it has not worked out in the way Engels thought. A point that is pertinent to Gene’s article before we stray too far off topic.

    So jaynot , i bow down to your no doubt superior historic knowledge and your study of why a predominantly Buddhist country like Thailand which was one time host to tens of thousands American servicemen ( who were also based also in Catholic Philippines) became a sex tourist spot and Islamic Malaysia did not.

    Also, jaynot , i believe the American decision to diplomatically and militarily support Israel was not made until the mid-50s , after the Suez Canal War. Until then, Nasser and Egypt could have been the American proxy middle-east policeman.

  54. gene said on November 10th, 2010 at 7:34pm #

    all politics are economic

  55. bobo said on November 11th, 2010 at 1:53am #

    Von Mises is a fascist sympathizer. In his Liberalism: A Socio-Economic Exposition (Mission, Kansas, 1978), he wrote:

    “It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.”

    and

    “The deeds of the Fascists and of other parties corresponding to them were emotional reflex actions evoked by indignation at the deeds of the Bolsheviks and Communists. As soon as the first flush of anger had passed, their policy took a more moderate course and will probably become even more so with the passage of time”

    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2010/10/mises-on-fascism-in-1927-embarrassment.html

    That’s why the Mises institute haven’t punished this book online.

  56. bobo said on November 11th, 2010 at 2:33am #

    If my understanding is correct, the most important constituent of libertarian’s philosophy (economics) is self-ownership or in other words, the right to own property.Thus i think Von Mises was very consistent to his philosophy cause Fascism allows to preserve private property as oppose to Socialism in which aims to abolish it.

    Likewise, Friedrich von Hayek considered Pinochet as the avatar of true freedom.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/grandin11172006.html

  57. Don Hawkins said on November 11th, 2010 at 2:38am #

    Corporatized a new word in the language of human’s. Yes for all of you at CNN, CNBC, FOX, NBC all of you the one’s we see and hear on our TV’s it’s ok you no longer have to think use imagination it’s all done for you now your minds your very thought’s are Corporatized and remember the golden rule don’t bit the hand that feeds you even if the hand is crazy no no no. Yes this invisible hand is now in control there is no need to adjust a thing it’s ok to talk of the greatest minds in human history the Sarah Palin’s of the World the Mitch McConnell’s, the John A. Boehner’s and on and on almost all we see and hear. There are some other stories and so far you all are doing a great job for the invisible hand like the Amazon no story there or the Arctic no story there and so many more and that’s right it’s winter and cold oh so cold. Now just on the off chance any of you want to break free of the invisible hand maybe we could set up some reeducation camp’s. We would want you all to feel at home and comfortable so how about Aspen or say the French Riviera and at first we will put light’s and camera’s and heck the red cross maybe pour oil in a lake car chases and yes the greatest minds in human history giving grand speech’s then slowly very slowly bring you into the real World where everything is as it seems and yes it is real and this will all be done on the third planet from the Sun how quickly we forget.

    “The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering—a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting—three hundred million people all with the same face.” Orwell

    The one bit of data that sticks in my mind is a reference I saw recently to a 500% increase in campaign spending over the 2006 midterms. I think the real increase in influence is not so much capital at the expense of non-capital, but in the responsiveness to the most short-sighted demands of short-term profit maximizing capital at the expense of the long-term, collective interests of capital. It’s like the capitalists’ state burnt out the part of its brain that weighted short-term impulse gratification against long-term interests.– Kevin Carson

  58. jayn0t said on November 11th, 2010 at 6:35am #

    A Johnstone says: “Your critique is basically the one of accusing Marx of economic determinism which makes men puppets in the hands of economic forces”… I didn’t accuse Marx of anything, I quoted him. He proposed “a theory of social change that locates the ultimate causes of change within the material and economic conditions of life”. Either these conditions cause change, or they don’t. The weasel word ‘ultimate’ implies their effect is so indirect, the theory is untestable.

    When I propose tests, Johnstone replies with special pleading. I said that the difference between Thailand and Malaysia is Islam, not material conditions. He/she implies that, if US Imperialism tried, it could turn a Muslim country into a recreation hotspot like Thailand. Again, we can test this theory. Fancy a sex holiday in Iraq, guys? How about Afghanistan?

    As for Israel/Palestine, my case against the materialist conception of history reduces Johnstone to incoherent gibbering.

  59. Don Hawkins said on November 11th, 2010 at 6:45am #

    Timothy Franz Geithner the 75th and current United States Secretary of the Treasury he passed and got a big A+. He is fully Corporatized and it was when I think he said he never worked at Goldman Sach’s that did it for me. Good one Tim don’t have to call the thought police that I might add Goldman Sach’s is part of no no no and just think as we all go down the drain in not such slow motion after you leave from high on the hill you could get a job the old revolving door at the place you never worked at and have a front row seat and remember people who live in glass houses should not throw rock’s even if they are the head of the Crony capitalists.

    Crony capitalism is a term describing an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between businessmen and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.
    Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals. Wiki

  60. bobo said on November 11th, 2010 at 7:38am #

    jayn0t wrote:
    “Thailand and Malaysia have similar ‘material conditions’. So according to the materialist conception of history, they should have similar cultural superstructures. Thailand has a massive sex industry. Malaysia has Islam.”

    When I propose tests, Johnstone replies with special pleading. I said that the difference between Thailand and Malaysia is Islam, not material conditions. He/she implies that, if US Imperialism tried, it could turn a Muslim country into a recreation hotspot like Thailand. Again, we can test this theory. Fancy a sex holiday in Iraq, guys? How about Afghanistan?
    ————————————-
    That’s not accurate. Malaysia is much more affluent in term of GDP (PPP) than Thailand is (14000 $ to 8500$). According to the Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation there are 142,000 or more prostitutes in Malaysia and it is also a destination for sex tours.
    http://www.catwinternational.org/factbook/Malaysia.php

    Even economic crisis, sex industry is booming in Malaysia. The reason for this under-reported fact is Malaysia’s government does not compile information concerning this matter.
    http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2009/05/malaysia-sex-sector-does-not-need.html

  61. franco_american1962 said on November 11th, 2010 at 10:49am #

    “Thus i think Von Mises was very consistent to his philosophy cause Fascism allows to preserve private property as oppose to Socialism in which aims to abolish it. ”

    What sort of logic is this? You seem to be asserting that Von Mises, who is a classic liberal economist, is being consistent with the likes of Hitler? What utter rubbish. And by the way, not all forms of Socialism aim to abolish private property; just look at present-day Socialistic states, where only “major” industries fall under the sway of state administration (not ownership, as it is often fallaciously assumed). What complete, naked ignorance of the facts, and such falsehood!

  62. gene said on November 11th, 2010 at 11:06am #

    The comment above linking self ownership and private property is extremely inaccurate.

    “Self Ownership” is the concept that we own our own bodies. Because of that we own the products of our labor.

    The only valid link to private property is that self ownership validaties that we own the products of our labor that result from land. So, if you plant and tend ten apple trees, your labor has given you the right through self ownership of your body and your labor to the apples and trees.

    Both state socialists and state capitalists have tried to link self ownership to the right to private property on any account, not simply one’s labor, but this is extrapolation based on conjecture rather than reason. It does point out how they seem to agree on many issues and definitions, though.

  63. bobo said on November 11th, 2010 at 11:58am #

    What sort of logic is this? You seem to be asserting that Von Mises, who is a classic liberal economist, is being consistent with the likes of Hitler? What utter rubbish. And by the way, not all forms of Socialism aim to abolish private property;
    —————-

    Please read the passage in my post. Von Mises actually lauded Fascism for saving European civilization. That’s the fact. I did not state Von Mises’s philosophy in pair of Hitler. I implied his “classic liberalism” logical outcome in which centered on the concept of self ownership would be supportive of fascism over socialism.

  64. bobo said on November 11th, 2010 at 12:09pm #

    gene wrote:

    “Self Ownership” is the concept that we own our own bodies. Because of that we own the products of our labor.

    The only valid link to private property is that self ownership validaties that we own the products of our labor that result from land. So, if you plant and tend ten apple trees, your labor has given you the right through self ownership of your body and your labor to the apples and trees.
    —————
    Who own the land?

  65. gene said on November 11th, 2010 at 2:01pm #

    self ownership gives the right to our bodies and the fruits of our labor.

    self ownership would include the right to “access” the land we use to apply our labor to.

    self ownership in no way justifies any specific form of land “ownership” other than the right to the product of our labor, of which land plays a part, but land itself is not the “product” of anyone’s labor, so no direct claim could be made for “ownership” of land using self ownership as an axiom, simply the “use” and products that resulted, freedom from theft and slavery.

    my opinion would be that “self ownership” suggests a system of land rights that allows for all to own the product of their own labor, other than that, it is open to interpretation.

  66. Deadbeat said on November 11th, 2010 at 2:50pm #

    gene writes …

    Both state socialists and state capitalists have tried to link self ownership to the right to private property on any account

    There is NO such creature as a “state” socialist. Those are KEYNESIAN Liberals. So please gene get your definitions straight and stop with your distortions.

  67. gene said on November 11th, 2010 at 3:14pm #

    Keynesian liberals are slanted towards fascism, not socialism. the actual directly funded social welfare state is a very small portion of keynesian economics. the majority, including warfare is corporatist, with funding directly to corporations in the manner of the fascists. the central bank concept of the keynesians, where it is distributed directly to selected corporations is also fascist rather than socialist. while some of the euros deal with “national” banks and larger direct welfare programs, they could be considered more “socialist” leaning.

    i am referring to “state socialists” as those who favor the use of the coercive force of the state [or a state like apparatus backed with force] to achieve the goals of socialism in contrast to non coercive systems. fair enough?

  68. Don Hawkins said on November 11th, 2010 at 5:43pm #

    Gene thank you for the Kevin Carson post I am now giving him idea’s and hope he will give me some knowledge.

  69. Deadbeat said on November 12th, 2010 at 12:46am #

    gene writes …

    i am referring to “state socialists” as those who favor the use of the coercive force of the state [or a state like apparatus backed with force] to achieve the goals of socialism in contrast to non coercive systems. fair enough?

    No it is not fair because it MISSTATES Socialism. Socialism is ANTI-statists. Recall from Marx that the “state withers away”. The State upholds Capitalism and for Socialist the purpose is to take over the state, since that is where Capitalist power is, in order to smash it.

    Socialist also stand against private property. There is a tendency of people who are ignorant of Socialism or anti-Socialist to conflate personal possession with private property. A “state socialist” is an oxymoron and such a creature is not a Socialist.

  70. Deadbeat said on November 12th, 2010 at 1:06am #

    i am referring to “state socialists” as those who favor the use of the coercive force of the state [or a state like apparatus backed with force] to achieve the goals of socialism in contrast to non coercive systems. fair enough?

    My previous response really didn’t address your fetish against POWER. You use the term ‘coercion” as a false pejorative towards the struggle for power. You constantly misstate Socialist and Socialism. Socialist use RATIONAL ARGUMENTS in order to make their case to the working class not coercion like what you and other anti-Socialists do. Your semantic misuse of “coercion” is deceptive and deception is coercive.

  71. gene said on November 12th, 2010 at 9:00am #

    ” towards the struggle for power. You constantly misstate Socialist and Socialism. Socialist use RATIONAL ARGUMENTS in order to make their case to the working class not coercion like what you and other anti-Socialists do. ”

    why do you need “rational” arguments? are you saying that the working class is irrational? you must be their “soon to be leader”?

    I am not against socialism or any ism that is non coercive. being against “agressive force” is not a fetish at all, the fact that you see it that way, says a lot.

    It is the belief that humans won’t get anywhere until they accept that forcing others to follow their own particular beliefs and way of life or those of “their” group is the fundamental barrier to peaceful living and freedom.

    Pretty simple stuff, most kids get it until “grown ups” who see it as their ism mission, convince them otherwise.

  72. Deadbeat said on November 12th, 2010 at 4:23pm #

    gene writes …

    why do you need “rational” arguments? are you saying that the working class is irrational? you must be their “soon to be leader”?

    That your fallacy gene. How to you conclude that the working class is “irrational” if you make rational arguments to them. Rational arguments are argument that are clear, non-contradictory and free from fallacies. Rational arguments RESPECTS the audience and does not require DECEPTION, or other semantic gymnastics in order to persuade its listeners.

    I am not against socialism or any ism that is non coercive. being against “agressive force” is not a fetish at all, the fact that you see it that way, says a lot.

    Then Gene it is you who either lives in a bubble and being either unrealistic or at worse — deceitful. I guess then gene one should conclude that you support slavery, fascism, despotism, capitalism and tyranny since you are against “aggressive force” used to fight against these despotic aberrations. What this says about you gene is that your rhetoric is designed to DISARM the struggle for a better world and you have the luxury of engaging in IRRATIONAL arguments. Since that is exactly what you are doing.

    The reality is that the ruling class uses force and they only understand POWER. If you are not prepared to seize power then your agenda is none other than the of use sophisticated jargon to confuse people.

    It is the belief that humans won’t get anywhere until they accept that forcing others to follow their own particular beliefs and way of life or those of “their” group is the fundamental barrier to peaceful living and freedom.

    What you don’t get gene is the following:

    [1] Socialists do NOT force anyone to see their particular world view. The offer ARGUMENTS. It is up to listeners to then to process those arguments. In other words to think for themselves. It is the living in the real world of Capitalism and especially the current Capitalist crisis that is now strengthening Socialist arguments. IMO you see that as threat and that is why you’ve developed a rhetoric where you can smear Socialism with the Capitalist taint.

    [2] The ruling class use force and they don’t respect anything other than POWER. If you don’t seize power gene then you are living in a fantasy world because that is not how you deal with tyrants. Your rhetoric is actually insulting to everyone who has lived and struggled against the injustices of tyranny.

    Pretty simple stuff, most kids get it until “grown ups” who see it as their ism mission, convince them otherwise.

    I’ve heard this anti-ideology rhetoric before. It is total BS. The only one who is childish here is you gene. You need to grow up and face the reality of POWER.

  73. gene said on November 12th, 2010 at 5:01pm #

    You seem to not realize that aggressive and defensive force are two completely different animals. Refraining from agressive force has nothing at all to do with fighting injustices such as slavery, etc. or with the use of defensive force.

    Those who don’t believe in using agressive force take different stands on defensive force. if one is a pacifist, then they also don’t believe in defensive force, etc {ghandi, etc}. Fighting slavery, fascism, etc. would certainly fall under defensive not agressive force. You should know that taking the stand of not using agressive force also includes the belief that NO ONE has the right to use the same. I would think that would be obvious to most anyone.

    In the future, if you wish to comment or dispute specific points in the articles, i am more than willing to discuss them but I am not interested in replying to comments that are overburdened with misunderstanding, accusations and really, uninformed blanket statements.

    If you find it difficult to read articles that don’t necessarily follow your line of reasoning and that upsets you, it is probably best to read those more in line with however it is that you see things.

  74. Deadbeat said on November 12th, 2010 at 8:41pm #

    gene writes …

    Fighting slavery, fascism, etc. would certainly fall under defensive not agressive force. You should know that taking the stand of not using agressive force also includes the belief that NO ONE has the right to use the same. I would think that would be obvious to most anyone.

    Then why do you place Socialism in the same camp which is what you’ve been doing throughout this discussion and your article.

    In the future, if you wish to comment or dispute specific points in the articles, i am more than willing to discuss them but I am not interested in replying to comments that are overburdened with misunderstanding, accusations and really, uninformed blanket statements.

    I’m not the one who said the following …

    This spreading of risk is a common thread of Socialism or more precisely, Corporatism.

    i am referring to “state socialists” as those who favor the use of the coercive force of the state

    its the oldest trick in the book, state socialism. forcing the population to act, live and breathe in a particular way for the “common good”

    Therefore I’ve been very SPECIFIC in my critiques and you’ve contradicted yourself several time in this discussion and in your article about your view regarding Socialism.

    Your comment, gene, was not about “aggressive force” it was about “coercion”. Coercion and aggressive force are not the same things. Coercion can be extremely subtle like your misstatements about Socialism which I’ve challenged herein. And will continue to challenge all those who desire to misrepresent Socialism.

  75. Deadbeat said on November 12th, 2010 at 8:44pm #

    gene writes …

    If you find it difficult to read articles that don’t necessarily follow your line of reasoning and that upsets you, it is probably best to read those more in line with however it is that you see things.

    It appears to me that you are fearful of debate and having your misconceptions challenged.

  76. Hue Longer said on November 12th, 2010 at 10:15pm #

    the irony

  77. Don Hawkins said on November 13th, 2010 at 6:46am #

    Gene I sent Kevin Carson James Hansen’s web site and asked him to read and to take his time. I also wrote about Hansen’s plan of taxing carbon and return that tax back to the people no money for dear old Goldman. Below is Kevin’s response and so far what could he be missing. If you do think about this you can’t vaporize China.

    Don: Thanks for the link. Not yet having explored Hansen’s site, I’ll restate my provisional view that the price effects of Peak Fossil Fuel will pretty much duplicate the effects the Greens seek through assorted carbon taxing schemes. I think we’re either at or very close to peak extraction of fossil fuel and peak emission of CO2, and that both values will probably begin to decline rapidly pretty soon and fall by half or more in the next few decades. So geology will solve the problem regardless of what government does. K Carson

  78. Max Shields said on November 13th, 2010 at 9:52am #

    The notion that markets don’t exist or are the invention of Capitalists is an over-statement, and a barrier to addressing the problem head-on. If through some form of currency, not necessarily one based purely on a monetary system as we know it or not, exchanges or trades occur, these occur within a market, or marketplace.

    How markets are used or mis-used has to do with the effect of their use in a universal sense of health and wellness or quality of life. An economics as if people matter, and therefore the health and well being the most vital support system – the planet.

    I would simply submit that like the air, water and all natural resources, the market exists. It can be exploited, misused and abused or it can work for people and do so in away that is sustainable. What we have is unsustainable and on a every increasing trajectory of doom. It does no good to blame a market for this. The market is simply an exchange socially, culturally (arts and music), politically, economically between and within the human community.

    Corporations as they’ve been conceived and grown to the detriment of human existence, is an aberration to the market and should not be seen as defining it.

  79. gene said on November 13th, 2010 at 10:15am #

    Hi Don,

    you might also check out some of the “Georgist” stuff, if you haven’t already. they propose various resource fee and citizen dividends.
    my friend, Jeffery Smith, is one of the guys and he is at the “Progress Report” or some of the other Henry George sites.

    Hi Deadbeat,

    I welcome any comment free of misrepresentation or personal indictments and welcome debate.

    Coercion has absolutely no power {or really definition} without the use or threat of force behind it.

    For instance, let’s take deception without insinuating what my views might be on handling the outcome {in return, I will do the same}. deception, in its simplest form, involves no force. Say, your neighbor was a lying slug and got you to hand over your car in exchange for something he “promised” to you but never intended to come through with. He has been deceptive and fraudulent.

    but, he hasn’t used any form of force to take your property, you consented to handing him the keys and title. you haven’t been coerced, but you have been cheated. whether or not to use force to repossess your car and whether it would be considered agressive or defensive, has been up for debate forever. but, there is no debate that he did not use actual physical force to take your car. we will leave “metaphysics” to the moralists, since we are defining not moralizing.

    On the other hand, the banking system is blatant coercive fraud and deception and I am sure we don’t have to go into detail.

    I think you a confusing the basic concept of the articles. writing about true free exchange does not oppose any non coercive socialist idea, in fact, there are many non coercive socialist proponets of absolute free exchange and true free exchange is looked upon by some right libertarians as socialism and it rightly could be without any harm done to either it or socialism. Ancaps are often at odds with mutualists, for example, although it is often a theroretical debate involving definitons rather than core assumptions {aside from land policy, that is!}.

    Whatever their beliefs, anyone including myself, who is a proponet of non coercion or non agression has to believe that any association of consenting folks is a viable form {as long as the right of others to do the same is respected} and has its place on the table.

  80. Max Shields said on November 13th, 2010 at 10:33am #

    Gene, I’ve been espousing HG here. The arguments here dwell on undermining the quality of thought and total adherence to a weakly thought through Marxist ideology (much as you’ve received here). In other words, some here have looked passed what George says (and many before him, and than even Marx after him regarding land) to attempt to deride HG because he was a man of little academics and formal approval by the neoclassical elite who rule today’s universities. Marx has been allowed to enter, not because he has a better way foward but because his arcane dialectics fills hours of student thesis papers, and allows for endless meaningless publish or perish periodicals to ramble on with no effect on humanity what so ever.

    HG provides in his 7 or so volumes (starting with P&P) straight forward, beautiful prose. A refinement of what he says to the inclusion of a zero growth ecological economics makes for a practical and vital response to the world’s current crises.

    Interesting you mention Jeff Smith. The idea of land value capture to pay for infrastructure and smart growth is a very practical use of Georgian economics.

  81. Don Hawkins said on November 13th, 2010 at 5:03pm #

    “There was a sense that economic growth in China would tighten all of the commodity markets,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “Anything that reduces growth there pulls the rug out from under the huge run-up in prices.”
    Global oil demand will climb by 2.3 million barrels a day to 87.3 million this year, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in a monthly report today. That’s up 200,000 barrels from the projection in October. Chinese consumption will climb 800,000 barrels a day to 9.2 million in 2010, the report showed.
    Bloomberg

  82. Don Hawkins said on November 13th, 2010 at 5:51pm #

    Drill baby drill fight baby fight slowdown and use reason and imagination.

    Then of course;

    China’s passenger car sales climbed 55 per cent in from a year earlier in February, despite a long national holiday, on strong demand for smaller cars and sport utility vehicles, an industry group reported Tuesday.

    Sales of cars, commercial vehicles and SUVs rose to 942,900 units, while sales of all vehicles including trucks and buses rose 46 per cent year-on-year to 1.21 million, according to the government-affiliated China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. cbc new’s March 2010

    Then of course coal. I can’t see the hand in front of my face. This to shall pass. In the States what was it I heard people like big cars and truck’s.

  83. Don Hawkins said on November 13th, 2010 at 6:00pm #

    2008 R 21.91 R 4.05 R 2.38 2.59 2.17 9.26 2.68 2.39 R 32.48 R 2.60 3.79 2.79 2.18 – – 9.36 1.39 R 4.95 R 41.21 R 73.69
    2009P 20.40 4.04 2.39 2.35 2.21 8.25 2.41 2.24 30.65 2.56 3.80 2.60 2.07 – – 9.50 1.33 5.31 41.61 72.26

    That last number DB is 72.26 million a day. Heck let’s be bold 80 million a day. Remember who speak’s for the Earth.

  84. Don Hawkins said on November 13th, 2010 at 6:47pm #

    Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems. So heck let’s go with it and;

    Mr. Gabrielli, the CEO of Petrobras, gave a presentation in December 2009 in which he shows world oil capacity, including biofuels, peaking in 2010 due to oil capacity additions from new projects being unable to offset world oil decline rates.
    Gabrielli states in his presentation that the world needs oil volumes the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every two years to offset future world oil decline rates.

    Piece of cake and some say only two more Saudi Arabia’s by 2020 wanted I mean needed. Again let’s remember coal that not as many people talk about it will be coal, “Who speak’s for the Earth”? I did the math 2020 that’s ten year’s and no wonder BP was in a hurry in the Gulf.

  85. jayn0t said on November 14th, 2010 at 11:59am #

    @bobo – despite what ‘the Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation’ says, there is an enormous difference between Thailand and Malaysia, and its not reduceable to economics. When Muslims say that, to some extent, their culture protects women, Westerners find it hard to believe, but it’s true, and worth pointing out. I would recommend travelling from Thailand into Malaysia as cures for both materialism and Islamophobia.