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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Friday, July 21, 2006

Crispin Sartwell on Our System of Free Market Democracy

The American state and the American corporation are intertwined from the top down, as they swap lobbyists for congressmen, regulators for board members. The global economic situation is governed by trade agreements performed by government officials, most of them no doubt about to return to industry.

Essentially, we're in a command economy, whether it's run by "Democrats" or "Republicans," who differ at most on the details of how to manipulate the economy by tax or monetary policy. God only knows what "capitalism" is supposed to mean these days, but it surely doesn't mean free markets....

As Thomas Friedman and many other transcenders of the past have argued, what separates the Chinese from the American system is that American education is insufficiently rigid and centralized to be "competitive in the global economy." This problem is being rapidly addressed in the only way it could be: by massive bureaucratic regulation of every level of the life of every child. Another term for this is "excellence."....

Everyone pervasively applies state power for economic purposes. And everyone, to one extent or another, regulates expression both by economic and political means.

And the overall movement is toward a convergence of all these systems in centralized polities dedicated to rapid and regulated economic expansion. The Chinese and American systems grow more similar at every moment, but neither one of them is becoming more free-wheeling, more open to criticism, more entrepreneurial, or more creative.

They compete with one another to dominate global markets, but they cooperate to manufacture the profoundly unfree future.


Blogger Sheldon Richman said...

An unfree future is right, but people are willing to take it because living standards can rise for most under these circumstances. A little market orientation goes a long way, providing cover for the planners. The masses don't see that they can have freedom and high living standards without the rulers, privilege, and exploitation.

July 22, 2006 5:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well, someone has to take the brunt of these policies, lest inflation rip the "first world" to shreds.

There's a reason why so many corrupt and vicious regimes are supported by the US Govt.

So that's a factor too. People don't see as much of the horror, because it's exported to places like Africa and southeast Asia.

This may be one reason why radical Islam is becoming popular. The Islamic regimes, for all their problems, are not beholden to the superpowers.

In this sense, China may be a wild card, as they don't necessarily have an issue with radical Islam (yet). A new Cold War may be forming up, in which "Islam" is the new "Communism" and China plays both sides off each other.

July 23, 2006 10:43 PM  

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