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Thread: Capitalism: A Discussion Piece

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    Capitalism: A Discussion Piece

    I decided to make this thread for any arguments for or against capitalism, but I must define some specifics, or standards, that will be used to base any arguments off of. I'm setting myself in the affirmative that [free-market] capitalism is a better economic process than socialism, communism, National Socialism, or a mixed-economy (or any variation of).

    First off I must distinguish by when I say capitalism I mean unhampered, laissez-faire, free-market capitalism. I must also say that I will be arguing from the Austrian view, in comparison to let's say Keynesian economics. (I'll be defining free-market capitalism in the Austrian view.)

    I'll even go further to define some foundations of capitalism, such as:

    1. Private property is a building block of civilization. Private property rights should be respected, and that private property leads to prosperity more so than communal, or State, ownership of property and resources. Private property is a part of individual freedom and creativity, if one owns their own property, they can do as they wish, and invest, save, or produce.

    The Ethics and Economics of Private Property


    "Human Rights" as Property Rights

    Property Rights and the Theory of Contracts

    2. The division of labor is superior to the organization of labor. The division of labor (with private property) leads to specialization of skills and resources and an interdependence through cooperation in the market. Individuals will specialize in their most productive means.

    Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor

    3. Value is subjective. Compared to an objective view of value, or the labor theory of value, that ensues the value of a product or service comes from the amount of labor put into it, and this is objective. The subjective theory of value embraces individuals own subjective value preferences, that we value commodities differently from one another, and the value of a good does not equal the work put into it.

    This also leads to differences of opinion on value judgments. If value is subjective then what one might view as less one views as more. If one prefers sports to reading, that's a value judgment on their part, if one prefers poetry to detective stories, that's a value judgment, if one prefers black metal to classical music, that's a value judgment, on the part of the individual.

    Principles of Economics - Chapter III: The Theory of Value

    Artwork and the Subjective Theory of Value

    An Introduction to Value Theory

    4. Prices are an important part of the market process. This leads into economic calculation, and that without the formation of prices on the market through the individuals on subjective values that the value of commodities in comparison to the demands of the market are distorted, as no one can really know what their real worth is, and the allocation of resources becomes failed. This would be in contrast to a communist economy where there would be no prices, or prices would be set arbitrarily. Prices are an important part of economic calculation.

    Principles of Economics - Chapter V: The Theory of Price

    Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth

    5. Intervention in the market causes distortions in the market. This can branch off into different sub-topics, such as price fixing of all kinds (minimum wage laws, price fixing on commodities, artificially lowering or raising interest rates), the printing of new money, and a redistribution and confiscation of resources (such as taxation) can hamper a market economy. Yet, intervention can only be caused from the imposing State of a given territory or region.

    6. Competition leads to more innovation, creativity, and better quality amongst goods and services. With competition businesses will compete, and try to keep their customers by constantly trying to provide better goods and services at lower prices. Competition keeps businesses in check, and through competition you will know the best allocation of resources from the least productive to the most productive sectors of an economy. Competition gives choices amongst consumers and producers alike, to pick from a variety of goods and services. This itself can relate to the division of labor, of many people who specializing in various areas of the market competing with each other to meet the demands of the consumers.

    The Meaning of Competition

    7. Central banking is hazardous to an economy. As there is competition in the market so should there be competition in banking, even as far as allowing competing currencies. By having a central banking you are giving a monopoly of the money supply to one group of people, and they are the sole counterfeiters of this currency. This leads to a disastrous policy of inflation. Also, with central banking, the government can get money instantly for whatever means they want, whether it be war or to fund a large government program, they can inflate and devalue the money supply for instant cash, and with this increase in the money supply so goes the value of the currency as it is devalued with the increase. This is a vicious tax on the people as prices will rise, and the value of the currency diminishes. A central bank is a tool of the State, it is a scapegoat for those in business with a central bank, as they can be bailed out for their own bad businesses decisions.

    The Case Against the Fed

    End the Central Bank

    Fractional Reserve Banking

    Abolish The Fed

    These are just a few points I'm making on capitalism. It would be nice to also take a look at the top 10 myths about economics, and capitalism in general.

    Also, as a debate or discussion, I'd like to keep it civil, and stay on topic, that's why I made this thread in comparison of breaking off discussions on capitalism from other threads

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    No debate from me. Captialism works as long as race and nation are entwined....

    IF outsourcing and secretive international banking are considered treason then it should stay stable for a long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oski View Post
    No debate from me. Capitalism works as long as race and nation are entwined....

    IF outsourcing and secretive international banking are considered treason then it should stay stable for a long time.
    On the market you have free association. You can trade with whomever you want, you are not coerced in any contracts against your will. If you only want to trade within your own race or nation, then so be it, if you want to trade with other nations, you can also. There are no restrictions. By upholding property rights this is possible. When someone undermines property rights by having an outside source (the State) imposes quotas and restrictions with who you can and can't hire, and who you can and can't trade with, this undermines property rights.

    The Trouble With the '64 Civil Rights Act by Ron Paul.

    As far as outsourcing goes, or hiring illegals, I must take my anarcho-capitalist position and to go as far to say that this is allowed in a free-market. With free association and private property no one is coerced to enter, or from entering, mutual contracts in the market.

    The issue of outsourcing may go deeper (businesses may outsource or even locate outside the country to avoid high tax rates in their own country, more profitable, minimum wage laws makes their businesses unprofitable, etc). Again, this is a subjective value judgment on the parties involved. Yet, if you feel that companies that outsource are a problem, you boycott them on the market by refraining to purchase their products.

    How Outsourcing Creates Jobs

    The Real Nature of Outsourcing

    The Economics of Outsourcing

    Some Further Causes of Outsourcing - A look at outsourcing on behalf of the influence of unions and the State, and why economic intervention has caused outsourcing in the market. This is to be taken in consideration on why a lot of large business has moved their operations outside of the country due to unions (wanting more than their own productive worth), and the government (imposing taxes that make it hard to stay in business).

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    Originally Posted by Paradigm
    As far as outsourcing goes, or hiring illegals, I must take my anarcho-capitalist position and to go as far to say that this is allowed in a free-market. With free association and private property no one is coerced to enter, or from entering, mutual contracts in the market.
    In your anarcho-capitalist utopia would I be allowed to sell components for nuclear weapons to al Qaeda?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    In your anarcho-capitalist utopia would I be allowed to sell components for nuclear weapons to al Qaeda?
    The question itself of owning nuclear weapons seems to be of a most tiresome discussion in libertarian circles. How do we uphold property rights, and allowing people to bare arms, yet outlaw nuclear weapons? Questions like these come up often.

    Since you said "components" I'm not sure exactly how this would go. Components themselves that would be utterly harmless by themselves? Do these components have uses other than for nuclear weapons (such as energy)?

    One of the axioms of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). You can defend yourself with a gun, even a cannon of sorts, to a great extent a tank. You can zero on your aggressors with these weapons with little to no harm to other people or property. What use is a nuclear weapon? You can't simply take down your aggressor with a nuclear weapon without harming others. It's impossible (unless the scenario is that they are the only person(s) in at least a 50 mile radius, but regardless, it doesn't work like that).

    The nature of a WMD is of an aggressive nature. It cannot be used for self-defense. It ensues threat by the person who owns it or who can use it. The answer in an anarcho-capitalist society for individuals to own nuclear weapons would be no.

    Here are some threads about the subject on the Mises forum.
    "If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" - Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradigm View Post
    The question itself of owning nuclear weapons seems to be of a most tiresome discussion in libertarian circles. How do we uphold property rights, and allowing people to bare arms, yet outlaw nuclear weapons? Questions like these come up often.

    Since you said "components" I'm not sure exactly how this would go. Components themselves that would be utterly harmless by themselves? Do these components have uses other than for nuclear weapons (such as energy)?

    One of the axioms of libertarianism is the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). You can defend yourself with a gun, even a cannon of sorts, to a great extent a tank. You can zero on your aggressors with these weapons with little to no harm to other people or property. What use is a nuclear weapon? You can't simply take down your aggressor with a nuclear weapon without harming others. It's impossible (unless the scenario is that they are the only person(s) in at least a 50 mile radius, but regardless, it doesn't work like that).

    The nature of a WMD is of an aggressive nature. It cannot be used for self-defense. It ensues threat by the person who owns it or who can use it. The answer in an anarcho-capitalist society for individuals to own nuclear weapons would be no.

    Here are some threads about the subject on the Mises forum.
    I was basically asking a national security question and pointing to the larger issue of whether the actions of individuals can be restrained by the greater interests of the community at large. I believe they do, as I'm a collectivist, and I hold that individualism does not truly exist, as sooner or later even avowed individualists will admit that there are instances where the needs of the collective outweigh the 'rights' of the individual. You have conceded that point in your post.

    I'll also submit that hiring illegals has the same sort of collective endangerment problems and thus it should not be allowed. Allowing individuals to hire illegals helps enable the ongoing Third World invasion of the US which endangers both the American nation, and the white race collectively.

    So then the question becomes not one of whether the actions of the individual can be limited, but under what circumstances it is necessary to limit them.

    Edit: On a side note, I'm curious what would become of the nukes we have in your anarcho-capitalist utopia? And btw, nuclear weapons can be used for defense, that is in deterring the attack of another state. Most if not all nuclear states have no first use policies, which necessarily implies that they view nukes as a means of self defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    I was basically asking a national security question and pointing to the larger issue of whether the actions of individuals can be restrained by the greater interests of the community at large. I believe they do, as I'm a collectivist, and I hold that individualism does not truly exist, as sooner or later even avowed individualists will admit that there are instances where the needs of the collective outweigh the 'rights' of the individual. You have conceded that point in your post.

    I'll also submit that hiring illegals has the same sort of collective endangerment problems and thus it should not be allowed. Allowing individuals to hire illegals helps enable the ongoing Third World invasion of the US which endangers both the American nation, and the white race collectively.

    So then the question becomes not one of whether the actions of the individual can be limited, but under what circumstances it is necessary to limit them.
    On the disarmament of nuclear weapons? I think the mass of individuals against one who imposes a threat does outweigh that one.

    All collectives are made up of individuals. Society itself is just a blanket term thrown over all the individuals who make up the "society". Individuals are the building blocks of all collectives and societies. If you want to build a house, you must have many parts, starting with the foundation. You add brick on brick. You constantly add more materials, different materials. As a whole, you have a house, but one can easily say at a given brick "that's part of the house" just as much as I can say "it's a brick". By itself, it's a brick, being part of the house, it's a brick, it doesn't change it's status.

    The problem (or situation) with the collective is that all entities in this must consent to be a part of the collective. If an individual wants to secede from this collective, it should do so, it should not be coerced into being a part of a larger entity that's just made up of more of the same as himself.

    My example in nuclear disarmament is not that it's not just the interest of the rest of the individuals, as a collective whole, that outweigh the interest of the individual with a nuclear weapon, but that individual with the nuclear weapon, the weapon itself, imposes a threat on all individuals. It's a threat to both individuals acting alone and together.

    Your question at hand which is "whether the actions of individuals can be restrained by the greater interests of the community at large" is based on whether those actions violate the interest of other individuals? An individual can threaten the interest of a collective, or of "society", or better yet countless other individuals, but this is just as much as a collective, or "society", or even a democracy, can threaten the interest of one individual.

    "So then the question becomes not one of whether the actions of the individual can be limited, but under what circumstances it is necessary to limit them." The circumstances are when the rights of other individuals became threatened or endangered by the actions of others.
    "If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" - Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    Edit: On a side note, I'm curious what would become of the nukes we have in your anarcho-capitalist utopia? And btw, nuclear weapons can be used for defense, that is in deterring the attack of another state. Most if not all nuclear states have no first use policies, which necessarily implies that they view nukes as a means of self defense.
    Currently nuclear weapons would be disposed of, and broken down. Be put to other usages (maybe energy), etc. I don't know much about nuclear weapons themselves, so I don't know exactly how this would go about, if the parts can still be used for other things.

    Nuclear weapons can only be used in defense if the attack can be zeroed in specifically to the aggressors. If you decided to send a nuclear missile towards another country, it would only be legitimate if everyone in the area of it's blast zone was an actual threat (every individual was an attacker to your country). It's almost impossible to not have innocent people killed and collateral damage done.

    Also, on the subject of States, it's generally just that, the State, not the people. When the United States went to "war" in the Middle East (I don't know what they were looking for, I'll use Iraq in this example), we weren't actually going to "war" with Iraq, we were going to war with Saddam and his regime (his military). Thus, could we launch a weapon that would only disarm and/or kill only those who are actual attackers and aggressors and not innocent civilians?

    Most wars tend to be political and it's between the leaders. I didn't go to war in the Middle East, our leaders and military did.

    How would we deter the attack of another State? We first have to figure out who is attacking us, and who they are attacking.
    "If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" - Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

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    Originally Posted by Paradigm
    All collectives are made up of individuals. Society itself is just a blanket term thrown over all the individuals who make up the "society". Individuals are the building blocks of all collectives and societies
    I agree with you, but I'm pointing to the question of individualism vs. collectivism. A collectivist is one who believes the good of the collective ultimately trumps the rights of the individual. I'm not one to put undue restrictions on human actions, but I do believe things like illegal immigration should be curbed.

    The problem (or situation) with the collective is that all entities in this must consent to be a part of the collective. If an individual wants to secede from this collective, it should do so, it should not be coerced into being a part of a larger entity that's just made up of more of the same as himself.
    A person gives tacit consent to the laws of the nation he lives in by living there. I don't believe that individuals should have an unlimited right to secede from the jurisdiction of said laws, if that is what you mean. The end result of such a principle could only be chaos, which would outweigh any benefit it might entail.

    This discussion sort of reminds me of what Pascal said about revolutions. However ideal things may not be, revolutions usually end up making them worse. I can see where the sorts of ideas you're offering could present the same sort of dilemmas.

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    Originally Posted by Paradigm
    Currently nuclear weapons would be disposed of, and broken down
    Unilateral nuclear disarmament in the face of nuclear armed hostile foreign states then?

    Nuclear weapons can only be used in defense if the attack can be zeroed in specifically to the aggressors. If you decided to send a nuclear missile towards another country, it would only be legitimate if everyone in the area of it's blast zone was an actual threat (every individual was an attacker to your country). It's almost impossible to not have innocent people killed and collateral damage done.
    I'm saying part of defense is deterrence. Nuclear weapons are often used by states, notably Israel, to deter aggression in the first place. This is an element of self defense.

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