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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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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Richard Candle on Increasing Wealth

Richard Candle directed my attention to his Increase Happiness self-help site, and in particular the "Increase Wealth" page.

WEALTH is anything which has value to you. In its simplest forms, Wealth includes food and shelter. All living things require Wealth for Physical Survival.

Wealth can sometimes be found, but more often must be created. To create Wealth requires a transformation from CHAOS into ORDER.

  • A farmer transforms a Chaotic plot of earth into Orderly rows of crops.
  • A tailor transforms a Chaotic collection of cloth into an Orderly garment.
  • A homebuilder transforms a Chaotic pile of building materials into an Orderly dwelling.

The process of transforming Chaos into Order involves both technology and skill. You can improve your skills, and knowledge of technology, through EDUCATION. Education is the process of creating Order from Chaos in your mind.

What about money? To earn money, you transform Chaos into Order for others.

  • Employees produce Order needed by their employers.
  • Professionals create Order for the benefit of their clients.
  • A business provides an Orderly product for its customers.

When you create Order for others, you add to their Wealth. In many cases, they offer “Thank You” notes for your efforts. Those “Thank You” notes are called MONEY....

The source of Wealth morality is FREEDOM. Free people engage in VOLUNTARY transactions. In Voluntary transactions, people only give up their Wealth when they perceive they are getting something more valuable in return....

When you engage in Voluntary transactions with others, you help them while you help yourself – both parties get something more valuable to them. The more transactions you desire, the more you seek to help others. In fact, the Wealth you accumulate through Voluntary transactions can be a measure of the Happiness you have brought to others.

Why does Wealth have such a bad reputation? Because not everyone tries to Increase Wealth through Voluntary transactions. Instead they use FORCE (stealing) or FRAUD (lying). Any transaction involving Force or Fraud is an INVOLUNTARY transaction.

Those who take your Wealth through Involuntary transactions deprive you of the Freedom to choose what you want to do with your Wealth, which is the same as depriving you of the time you spent to accumulate your Wealth. It is as if you were enslaved for that portion of your life required to create your Wealth, and slavery is immoral.

The statement of the principle of voluntary exchange for mutual benefit, and of exploitation as the result of force, is excellent.

One thing I'd stress, in addition, is the role of indirect force: rigging the rules according to which we're expected to engage in "voluntary" exchange, in ways that benefit one of the parties at the other's expense. The problem with the present system is that so much of what we obtain is exchanged under conditions where the seller is enabled to charge what the market will bear, because the market is rigged to prevent price from gravitating to an exchange ratio at which effort is exchanged for effort, and cost for cost.

Such forms of indirect force include restrictions on competition in the credit market, restrictions on monetizing one's labor directly as a source of exchange value or obtaining advances against future production through barter networks and credit clearing systems, "intellectual property," and the whole host of licensing and zoning regulations that artificially inflate the capital outlays and overhead for small-scale production. They all artificially increase the cost in effort required to get a given consumption good, increase the revenue stream required to service the overhead costs of daily life, and thereby make people artificially dependent on selling their labor on whatever disadvantageous terms they can find a buyer. The lower the cost of undertaking independent production, and the lower the overhead cost of daily subsistence, the freer the individual is to live comfortable without anyone else's permission.

Also, I would quibble about the focus on money, rather than on the underlying reality that money is one way among many of symbolizing: productive effort as a claim on the efforts of others.


Anonymous James said...

"To create Wealth requires a transformation from CHAOS into ORDER."

That's a really novel way of putting it, I like it!

As usual, this is excellent. Keep up the good work.

April 14, 2010 10:37 AM  

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