Capitalism (A reply to Kenny part two)

in economics •  2 years ago 

You can read this post without having read the posts linked below but it started with me writing this. So, you're an anarchist?

Which prompted my good friend Kenny to write this. As long as it's voluntary & non-aggressive, who gives a damn how others live? (a response to @pomperipossa's "So, you're an anarchist?")

You can read part one of my reply here. We can't afford to be snowflakes, you have to deal with the fact that someone might offend you! (A reply to Kenny part one)

Okay now, let’s get to the post itself. 

“The most important bit of confusion that I (Kenny) see from the an-cap side is that people who promote cooperative, rather than competitive, interaction necessarily oppose free markets.”

I just speak for myself, not all who identify as an-cap, but I’m sure some or a lot of them have this misconception. And as you wrote Kenny, it doesn't necessarily mean you oppose free markets. My questions were aimed at the once that do oppose free markets, which is why I didn’t expect you to answer. I’m glad you did though.   

I believe people can promote cooperation over competition within the frame of the free market. I think you are against economic materialism and I think you are a proponent of sustainability. I think you are against governments and corporations. I don't think you want to tax entrepreneurs or anyone else. 

You wouldn't separate someone from their property using violence even if the person was only interested in hoarding gold in his bunker. Maybe you would try to talk to him and try to make him see that happens doesn't come from having more wealth, It doesn’t matter if you have one billion or two billion dollars. (I think it’s subjective how much money you “need” before you are satisfied, for me personally it’s way less than a billion dollars and I think it’s usually way less than people think. Fear and a lack of community probably make people think that they need more money than they actually do.) You might try to make him see that there are other things in life that matter. You might choose to spend your time with other people who you have more in common with. However, I don't think that you would use force or the threat thereof. 

Like you Kenny, and a lot of other people, I am aware of the problem with labels and words, it’s like you wrote.

“[words that they know come with a lot of connotations & in some cases, centuries-long smear campaigns].”

I think a lot of people add words to other words and equate them with each other, thanks to the smear campaigns. The concept of “the free market” is in many people's minds the same as economic materialism. I think the word capitalism is probably the most smeared word in history. It’s like the meaning of the word has been changed to the meaning of crony capitalism, and most people haven’t even heard of the concept “crony capitalism”. This is used to blame capitalism and the free market when crony capitalism "fails".

The definition of capitalism that I think is useful and accurate is simply capital accumulation that is used to invest in increased productivity. Maybe I’m wrong here but that’s the way I will use the word in this text. For example, the farmer can grow food crops using a plow he drags himself. He harvests his crops and what he harvests is part of his “capital”. He has to eat or “consume” some of his crops to survive. The rest of it he can “invest” by planting it, and/or trading some of it for an animal that can drag the plow, thus increasing his productivity so that he produces more crops or “capital” from future harvests.

Now, if you look at the farmer in the context of “the free market” he has several more options but this post is getting too long so you can read all about that in my next post. It’s almost finished so you won’t have to wait too long. I said I would try to answer what my previous post had to do with the free market in this post. As it turned out I will do so in the next one. Thanks for reading!  


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Here is some etymology on the word capitalism.