Democratic Socialism = Socialism

Because Socialism is Democratic it is now okay to use violent, immoral Socialism to commit crimes.

by Quinton Figueroa on February 21st, 2016

What is Democratic Socialism? From Wikipedia:

Democratic socialism is a political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system, involving a combination of political democracy with social ownership of the means of production. Sometimes used synonymously with "socialism", the adjective "democratic" is often added to distinguish itself from the Marxist-Leninist brand of socialism, which is widely viewed as being non-democratic.

So basically Democratic Socialism is Socialism that isn't quite Communism. For any of us who have a basic understanding of history that is a bit comical considering that one of the very front men of Communism said:

"Communism is Socialism in a hurry"

Vladimir Lenin

Let me state the obvious that apparently is not so obvious to 3rd graders. Capitalism and Communism are pretty much at opposites when it comes to society. Capitalism is voluntary exchange without force from the State while Communism is involuntary exchange with force through the State. Socialism is a hybrid between the two. Let me say it again. Socialism is a mix between Capitalism and Communism.


Democratic Socialism is not Socialism because unicorns flying over purple bananas eat sandwiches at the mall during vacation in Italy -- and if you disagree you're RACIST!!

So Socialism latches on to an existing means of production since full Socialism is Communism and is not mathematically sustainable. So since Socialism can not latch onto Communism and survive, since Communism is bankrupt, it has to latch onto Capitalism. Capitalism actually creates wealth and innovations which make peoples' lives better. Capitalism is actually self-sustaining and able to grow and expand on its own. So Socialism latches on to Capitalism like a parasite and sucks the life out of Capitalism slowly but surely.

Socialism only grows. Socialism doesn't decrease with time, it increases. And in order for Socialism to increase, the host, Capitalism, must inherently decrease.

"Stealing isn't good. It doesn't matter whether you do it democratically or otherwise"

So why am I telling you all this? Because Democratic Socialism is not different than Socialism. Look at the very definition of Wikipedia. It mentions how Communism is non-democratic and hints at it being authoritarian. Because Democratic Socialism uses democracy it is somehow not Communism.

Okay, first of all, we're not talking about Democratic Communism, we're talking about Democratic Socialism. I've never seen Socialism that isn't democratic. When Socialism is non-democratic it is called Communism. So why the word games? Why not just call it Socialism? Socialism is Democratic Communism. Calling it Democratic Socialism is like me calling Fascism something like Corporate Fascism. Yeah, of course, that's what Fascism is.

But it's not even this. It's that by calling Socialism Democratic Socialism it somehow now becomes good. Stealing isn't good. It doesn't matter whether you do it democratically or otherwise. If 10 people vote to steal the money of 1 guy that isn't good. That's an evil, violent crime. So Socialism doesn't become any more moral by calling Socialism a different name. Democratic Socialism is just as violent, just as wicked and just as morally devastating as itself: Socialism.

Since you can make anything good simply by prefixing it with Democracy here are a few more things you may be into if you like Democratic stuff:

  • Democratic Slavery
  • Democratic War
  • Democratic Violence
  • Democratic Rape
  • Democratic Theft
  • Democratic Revolutions
  • Democratic Anarchy
  • Democratic Racism
  • Democratic Murder

I love Democracy, don't you!?!?

Just another day on Planet Earth listening to some of that Earther Logic.

 Filed under: Politics / Government, Like Communism But Less Communism, Left Logic, Makes Sense To A 3rd Grader, Compassionate Violence, A Softer, Friendlier Thief

About The Author

Quinton Figueroa

Quinton Figueroa

Facebook @slayerment YouTube

Los Angeles, CA

I am an entrepreneur at heart. Throughout my whole life I have enjoyed building real businesses by solving real problems. Business is life itself. My goal with businesses is to help move the human ...

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24 Comments

Cormac Mulhall: "Democratic Socialism is just

"Democratic Socialism is just as violent, just as wicked and just as morally devastating as itself: Socialism."

The USA runs the second largest socialist program in the world, the US armed forces (in terms of people it employs, largest in terms of money spent).

Of course if you said to most Americans that the USA is home to the 2nd largest socialist program in the world they would not believe you. "That isn't socialism! All those state run farms in the USSR, that was socialism!"

So it isn't really surprising that Bernie feels the need to qualify that socialism is not incompatible with America (not without turning your military into a privately funded for profit enterprise)

Quinton Figueroa: So then you'd agree:
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

So then you'd agree: Socialism is violent, wicked and morally devastating.

Cormac Mulhall: Socialism is a system of

Socialism is a system of economic management. Like *any* system of economic management it can be violent wicked and morally devastating. Capitalism can be (and often is) violent, wicked and morally devastating.

So saying it can be is some what redundant. Like any economic theory it depends on how you implement it and how you treat those who disagree with it.

Quinton Figueroa: Capitalism is voluntary.
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

Capitalism is voluntary. Socialism is involuntary. In Capitalism you don't have to give money to any company. In Socialism you are forced to give money to a system. They are at complete opposites morally.

Cormac Mulhall: "Capitalism is voluntary"

"Capitalism is voluntary"

Why would that mean it can't be wicked immoral or violent?

If I purchase the rights to a life saving drug and then decide that I'm going to charge $1000 a pill for it, and half the patients on it die, that is wicked and immoral.

If I buy a block of low income housing and knock it down because I want a better view of the river, kicking the tenants into the night in the middle of winter, that is wicked and immoral (and violent if the police enforce this action to protect my new property)

If I purchase land at the top of a river and decided to build a dam there that causes a drought for the valley below, that is wicked and immoral

Nearly all capitalist societies have recognised the social dangers of completely unfettered capitalism and have put in place laws that limit capitalist transactions if they have an unduly negative impact on wider society.

And that is just another term for socialism. It then becomes simply a question of degrees and implementation

Quinton Figueroa: In voluntary systems you can
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

In voluntary systems you can't force people to do things against their will. The initiation of force on people against their will is more evil that the non-initiation of force on people against their will. Would you not agree?

In Capitalism it is against the law to force anybody to do anything against their will. Under Socialism forcing people to do things against their will is the law. Which is more evil?

Socialism is founded on violence. Capitalism is not. Which is more evil?

Your examples miss the point entirely, of course. Let's look at the life saving pill.

First of all how was this life saving drug created? Did it come about from the free market? Oh yes, of course it did because that's what Capitalism via markets does. It improves the standard of living by allowing people to pursue their own self interests. So without a free market to begin with, the life saving drug would have never come about in the first place or it would take much, much longer for it to finally come. Free markets improve the standard of living better than any other economic system, especially Socialism.

This is why people we call poor today pretty much have all the luxuries that only rich people had 50 years ago. People can fly across the world for really cheap. Almost everyone has a cell phone. Almost everyone has a TV. People didn't even have cars 150 years ago. All this stuff came about not from Socialism, but from free markets and Capitalism. Those crazy people who believe in non-violence and mutual benefit in trade.

So in your case of the life saving pill this would be the same thing. How did this pill come about? Did some Socialist invent it or did it come about through the free market? Did it come about from somebody taking a risk and investing lots of money towards making a pill? Did you take into account the hundreds of other entrepreneurs who lost all their money trying to invent this pill? Did you take into account all the risk that went into inventing it? The pill didn't just magically appear. And the people who created it can do whatever they want with it.

If we had Socialism 100% of the people, instead of 50% of the people, would die because the pill would have never reached fruition. With Capitalism, in another 10 years the price in the pill would come down lower and lower through the market. This is what Capitalism does. It makes things better for less. Things get better and better and cheaper and cheaper until they are free. So in another 10 years the pill would save not 50% of lives but 75%. Pretty soon it would save 90% of lives. And so on. With Socialism 100% of the people would still die and we'd still have no pill.

But I digress.

I'm saying that thievery is wrong. Socialism is thievery. Without thievery you can't have Socialism. I'm saying that thievery is wrong 100% of the time because it is initiating force on another human being without their consent. That is evil and it's a shame anyone could support such ludicrous and regressive behavior.

And then to miss that foundational point and somehow say that any system of economic management can be bad is either intellectually dishonest, or rationally bankrupt.

That's like saying thievery is good because people that aren't thieves do bad things.

Socialism is wrong 100% of the time. Capitalism is not.

Cormac Mulhall: "In voluntary systems you can

"In voluntary systems you can't force people to do things against their will. The initiation of force on people against their will is more evil that the non-initiation of force on people against their will. Would you not agree?"

No I wouldn't agree. There are plenty of times when forcing someone to do something against their will for the the sake of society is perfectly justifiable. Locking up murders in prison until you determine they are not a threat for example.

Like I said any totally free system such as ultra-capitalism can be used to damage a great deal of other people. You cannot prevent that damage without forcing people to do something against their will, since by definition their will results in others suffering.

"Did it come about from the free market?"

No, because America isn't a free market. Drugs are heavily regulated and are required to pass strict clinical trials before they are allowed enter the market place. This is to protect consumers at the expense of those wishing to make a profit from the drugs.

In a free market the government would have no role in the transaction between the drug company and the consumer, it would be entirely up to them if they decide to carry out the transaction. The problem with that of course is that such a free market is only moral if the consumer has access to all information about the drug, which is impossible. In such a non-free market the government compensates for this lack of information transparency by requiring drug manufacturers to demonstrate to them (not the consumer) that the drug is safe. If you know the drug isn't safe you are in a position to choose not to buy it. But it is not possible to expect a consumer to know that information (the drug company certainly isn't going to volunteer it to them without being compelled). And it is immoral to expect people to just try it and see if it doesn't kill them.

This government intervention is before we even get into the fact that a significant amount of drugs on the market today owe their very existence to government sponsored research as part of public-private enterprise (ie the government funds the research with tax money, the drug companies use the research to make drugs, the sale of the drugs generates more tax money for more research)

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/10/news/la-heb-drug-development-tax...

To say that none of these pills would even exist is ridiculous given that the US government spends $32 billion in medical research each year.

http://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/budget

Certainly it very often hands that research over to drug companies to make more money from the drugs, which is fine. But to say that they wouldn't exist without a pure capitalist drive to make money is clearly not true. Cuba, a Communist country (ie the far extreme end of socialism) was producing life saving drugs regularly through their own research programmes.

To be clear, I'm not advocating Communism here, democratic socialism works far far better and Communism is actually wicked and immoral. But it is clearly not true that health care suffers without capitalist markets, Cuban life expectance is on par with American life expectance.

http://www.wired.com/2015/05/cimavax-roswell-park-cancer-institute/

"I'm saying that thievery is wrong. Socialism is thievery."

Only if you define taxes as thievery and government allocation of those taxes as wicked. Anything else is just degrees of socialism.

And the reality is that if you lived in a world without any forced taxation and without any government protection you would probably already be dead (or living under a Nazi government). You are not in a position to pay for police yourself, or the military yourself, or ambulance care yourself, or even to have your roads fixed. You can hope that others pay for you in some sort of collective charity, but that is a naive assumption to make and they can't be made to so they probably won't. You are not in a position to know if a drug will kill you, if the restaurant you are eating in hasn't just mixed your wine with anti-freeze, if the electrics in your house are wired correctly. You can choose to not eat in the restaurant you hear people regularly die in, but that doesn't help if you are the first customer.

Again free market utopianism is as naive and silly as pure communism. It requires a world that doesn't work the way our reality works. You will never have complete information about every capitalist transaction, thus you can never make a truly informed choice to buy or not buy. As such you are always at risk of exploitation.

Like I said there is a reason that no country, least of all America, has introduced a pure capitalist system. And everything else is just degrees of socialism.

Quinton Figueroa: So you don't agree that the
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

So you don't agree that the non-initiation of force on people is better than the initiation of force on people. That's a very extremist position and something maybe a Nazi or racist would have.

How can ultra-capitalism be used to damage a great deal of other people? I know how Socialism can. How can ultra-capitalism? You easily prevent damage by doing nothing. If nobody is doing anything else to another human they are not creating suffering by their will. The will of others not using force on me has no bearing over my own suffering.

Okay, you're using a hypothetical example and then telling me that America is not a free market. We're talking about your example, not America.

How does the consumer have access to information with the government? How can the consumer not have companies that provide even better information than the government? Oh, I know, because evil corporations won't volunteer that information unless force by the government, right? Well then don't use companies that won't release information. Have you ever stopped to think that all these "problems" can be solved with the market and that the government currently does not solve them? A private company could do exactly the same task the government does. And of course a private company would do a better job than the government for less money.

Of course if we throw a ton of mis-allocated tax dollars at the wall something will stick. But the money would be better spent in the free market. The free market would create better drugs for less money than the state. How do you know that we wouldn't have a cure for AIDS or cancer if instead of throwing all these wasted tax dollars at a broken government medical system we instead allowed the free market to innovate on these problems.

How is Communism wicked but not Socialism? What is the difference? Degree? You'd rather a little cancer than full cancer?

How are taxes not thievery?

Yeah, we are in a position to pay for police, medical and all these other government services ourselves. We already pay for them, except we pay more for them than we would in the free market. Services provided by the government are always more expensive than the free market. I would much rather pay an insurance fee for police protection, medical services, military and whatever else than pay a tax to a state that has a monopoly, allows no competition for improvement and has no incentive to provide a quality service to me.

So let me get this straight, people can't die as a first customer in a restaurant if we have a government? Government is somehow magically able to protect against this? Oh they can equip people with information? So can the market? Oh they can put people in jail for doing a bad thing like this? So can the market. Anything the government does the market can do. And it will do a better job for less money.

Is it Utopian to live non-violently in our everyday lives? How is getting rid of government any different?

Yeah, no country has released a pure capitalist system because majority of people are easily led sheep that will happily pay taxes to their masters because they know no better.

Cormac Mulhall: "So you don't agree that the

"So you don't agree that the non-initiation of force on people is better than the initiation of force on people. That's a very extremist position and something maybe a Nazi or racist would have."

Hardly. All countries apart from maybe failed states like Somalia have police forces, prisons and regulatory bodies, all of which are designed on purpose to limit individual freedom for the sake of social harm reduction.

Walk into a shopping centre with a gun shouting "I'm going to kill every single one of you" to see the limits society puts on your personal freedoms. Or simply set up a stall trying to sell unlicensed cancer medication.

"How can ultra-capitalism be used to damage a great deal of other people?"

By virtue of the fact that a fair, moral and totally free market is a physical impossibility (see reference to utopian thinking), something economists have recognised all the way back to Adam Smith. For a market to be fair and moral all parties to a transaction must have full knowledge of the transaction, otherwise fraud is a significant risk. If you buy cancer meds you must know if they work or not to assess their value and worth to you, not simply that the seller claims they work. To buy stock in a company you must know if the accounts add up, not simply that the company claims the accounts add up. Only a completely transparent transaction is a moral one.

But of course if one person is a massive corporation and the other is a single consumer, the consumer does not have the resources or time to verify that the seller is telling the truth, where as the seller has significant resources to perpetrate a fraud. Again in actually free markets in failed states like Somalia, fraud is rampant because there is no government to act as arbiter in the transaction. That is what a totally free market gets you.

The second significant problem with a theoretical totally free market is the problem of time and production costs. In a true free market if you are trying to sell cancer drug X for more than its market value (more than people are willing to buy it for), we all simple go some where else. You are force to drop your prices to compete in the market and the market self corrects (Smiths invisible hand and the reason monopolies and tariffs are consider anti-market). The problem with that in a completely free market is that physical reality often means market distortions arise because it is simply not possible for others to compete with you. For example the capital required to mine a mineral to produce the drugs is too expensive for anyone else to make it worth while getting into the market. Or all the raw material are already mined and belong only to you. You thus are the only seller with access to the product and you can charge what ever you want for it. This market distortion means that free transactions are not taking place because you have to buy the cancer meds from you, or die.

"You easily prevent damage by doing nothing."

If nobody does anything you don't have a market or economy to begin with and the point is somewhat moot. In any market or economy people will be doing things, you can't avoid that. The question then becomes to what degree is it moral for the government to involve itself in that something and where the balance between individual rights and societies rights as a whole come into play. And that is just degrees of socialism, as I said.

"Okay, you're using a hypothetical example and then telling me that America is not a free market. We're talking about your example, not America."

The FDA is not a "hypothetical example". The FDA regulates drug trials and the selling of drugs in America. Your "it came from a free market" is the actual hypothetical example since drug development and sales in the US does not take place in a free market.

"How does the consumer have access to information with the government? How can the consumer not have companies that provide even better information than the government? Oh, I know, because evil corporations won't volunteer that information unless force by the government, right? Well then don't use companies that won't release information."

Corporations won't volunteer the information unless compelled to by the government if the directors of the corporations feel it will damage profits. They might feel that it won't, transparency is a marketing tool after all. But history is littered with examples of corporations withholding information the general public that they believed would damage sales (the Mercedes Benz emissions scandal being the most recent) And in a capitalist system where the directors only have moral responsibility to their share holders, that is considered the correct position to take, they don't have moral responsibility to wider society.

As for how do consumers have access to information with the government, you can go to the FDA website (or local offices) and query any drug on the market. You can also assume that any drug on the market has already passed the FDA approval processes, which is itself a form of information.

"Have you ever stopped to think that all these "problems" can be solved with the market and that the government currently does not solve them? A private company could do exactly the same task the government does. And of course a private company would do a better job than the government for less money."

But the goals of the government and the goals of a private company are completely different. The goal (imperfect as it is) of government to serve society. People are elected with a mandate to serve society and are kicked out again if they are considered to not be doing a good job. The goal of a corporation is to make money. Often making money and providing a service align (which is why Communism is not only immoral but unnecessary) but some times they don't (for all the market distortion reasons we discussed above). When they don't align the corporation is required to act in interest of profit, not society. It isn't even required to act in its own interest, but in the interest of short term profit, as demonstrated by plenty of corporations that acted with short term profit boosting that ultimately doomed the corporation.

Private companies would solve all the worlds problems over night if we lived in a truly fair and free market. And all the arguments that explain how capitalism will solve these problems assume a fair and free market is possible. But it isn't a fair or free market, that is just the physical realities.

To use another example, in a hypothetical fair and free market private schools would be a great idea. Competition between schools would keep standards high while keeping costs down. Good teachers would be desired while bad teachers would be filtered out of the system.

The problem is that for this to work you need to change the laws of physics. For example if a bad school goes bust (a good thing in a free market as it filters out inefficiency). If the market was fair a new school with better quality would be just across the road, causing no disruption to students. But that wouldn't happen. Eventually you might get a new school, but not before the students have suffered greatly due to their old school disappearing. In the real world geography would restrict the choice the students (ie the consumers) would have to access the best schools, along with the physical impossibility of the best teachers teaching all the students who want to access their classes (ie buy their services)

This is actually one of the things that make internet learning such an exciting area, it offers a way of some what correcting the market distortions that physical reality put in place for schooling. But it is not a magic bullet. You can't have a capitalist private schooling system without lots of students suffering and being left behind as the market slowly corrects (rather than instantly corrects in the utopian theory of moral free markets).

Sure the government public school system isn't great either, but the goal of government is to make it better (even if they mess that goal up more often than not). The goal of private schools is to make money. It is an appeal to Smiths invisible hand to some how improve society as a by product of this profit goal that fails due to the market distortions cause by reality.

"But the money would be better spent in the free market."

Money is money. Money made from selling one pill is as good as money made from selling another pill. There is no free market incentive to invest profit into research in order to develop another pill if you are already making plenty of money on the first pill. By its very nature the free market is short term goal orientated (make money now) where as research requires forward planning and a re-direction of money from profit to R&D. Companies might do this but there is no free market incentive to do it. The idea that free markets encourage companies to expand into other markets is largely a myth, it actually encourages companies to consolidate their existing markets in order to maximise short term profits until the market evaporates and the company goes bust. This is another market distortion, companies cannot instantly expand into new markets, it requires a redirection of profit and investment that goes against the short term goal of maximising profits.

Again history is littered with examples of companies torpedoing themselves through short term profit maximisation who are then unable to move into new markets. There is nothing in capitalist framework that runs contrary to this, it is what capitalism is primarily about. Capitalism is really bad at long term planning.

"How is Communism wicked but not Socialism? What is the difference? Degree? You'd rather a little cancer than full cancer?"

All social systems are a balance between the individual and society. Pure capitalism focuses purely on the individual at the expense of society. Communism focuses purely on the society at the expense of the individual. Both strike a poor balance.

"How are taxes not thievery?"

Because it is impossible for a country to work with entirely private enterprise. The roads you use are public. The infrastructure you use is public. The government services you use are public. You would either have to pay for the privilege of walking out your front door or you are using a public service. If you don't pay for them you are in effect stealing from society by using public roads etc without paying taxes.

"Yeah, we are in a position to pay for police, medical and all these other government services ourselves. We already pay for them, except we pay more for them than we would in the free market."

In a free market huge stretches of America would have no services at all, because it is not economically viable to maintain them for profit. The government can run loss making enterprises in areas that cannot afford to pay for them themselves through collection of taxes. Smith discusses this here

"The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth, is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature, that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual, or small number of individuals; and which it, therefore, cannot be expected that any individual, or small number of individuals, should erect or maintain."

As someone from Nevada you would be well aware of government investment in public works, it is how most people are even able to live comfortably in Nevada in the first place, there is no for profit inventive to provide the state with drinking water.

"I would much rather pay an insurance fee for police protection, medical services, military and whatever else than pay a tax to a state that has a monopoly, allows no competition for improvement and has no incentive to provide a quality service to me."

Two problems with that. If you don't pay the insurance and China invades does the private military just let China take over your little bit of America while saving everyone who was paying insurance?

If not then you are ensured a military service without paying for it. This is a primary justification for forced taxation, the idea that the military isn't going to just not defend you if you refuse to pay voluntary tax, so they are justified in taxing taxes off you.

Secondly, are you happy that if your insurance company, or private military, goes bust due to not being able to turn a profit for what ever reason (companies go bust all the time), China invades a defenseless area of your country before a second private military corporation can come in an snap up your insurance premiums,

The insurance only medical system in the USA regularly lets people die of long term illness, which only affects them and their friends/family. But in your system if your military protection provider goes bust you are defenceless.

"So let me get this straight, people can't die as a first customer in a restaurant if we have a government? Government is somehow magically able to protect against this?"

Governments regularly inspect restaurants to ensure the food in the restaurant doesn't kill you. They enforce with fines and jail time, practices required by restaurants to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Only 5,000 people a year die to food poisoning in the USA, the number is so low thanks almost entirely to safety inspections and regulations.

Without any of this the only incentive for safety standards in a restaurant would be the bad PR of people dying in your restaurant. And again we are back to the problem that a market can only be free and moral is both buyer and seller are completely transparent with each other, but there is no incentive for either of them to be. There is no incentive for the restaurant to tell you that people die in their restaurant due to poor safety. You are expected to have to inspect the entire restaurant before you eat there or risk that the owner is telling the truth about their safety system. Or act as a test subject to warn others not to eat there. You are hoping that the company wants your money less than the long term effect you dying in their restaurant has on their PR

And as history shows companies do cost analysis to figure out is it better to spend the money on fixing the safety issue or PR to pretend it didn't happen, often picking the latter.

Quinton Figueroa: This obviously isn't getting

This obviously isn't getting anywhere.

Your response to how taxes are not thievery is basically, "because we need government to do services that couldn't be done by the market". That's like me asking 150 years ago why we need slavery and you saying, "how are we going to pick the cotton?". Just because you can't imagine a society without government doesn't mean that it's not possible. And it especially doesn't mean that slavery and thievery are not wrong.

Thievery is wrong. It doesn't matter how we have society without thievery. Thievery is wrong. Just like slavery is wrong. I don't care how we have society after we end slavery.

Let me put it to you a different way. Would you be opposed to a group of people living in their own free market society without any intervention from other people? Would you be okay if a lot of people wanted to live in a non-violent free society and did so without you? I'm perfectly fine with people like you living in a Socialist government and paying your taxes. Are you okay with me leaving and paying no taxes in my own society?

Cormac Mulhall: This obviously isn't getting

This obviously isn't getting anywhere

Well you aren't really engaging with any of the points I'm making, so we aren't really going to get anywhere. We are just going to end up repeating ourselves.

Your response to how taxes are not thievery is basically, "because we need government to do services that couldn't be done by the market".

It is quite a bit more than that. The reality is that no man is an island and no man is entirely self sufficient. You will use public services whether you pay for them or not, whether it is the road up to your drive way or the military that stops China invading.

A voluntary insurance scheme to pay for all these systems fails practical implementation, as I pointed out with the private military example. You can't just let China invade all the homes of the people who choose to not pay insurance. You can't just let a wild fire burn down only the homes of people who aren't paying fire fighter insurance.

Saying that it is theft to take without permission taxes to pay for these services could just as easily be flipped around to say that taking public services without paying for them is also theft from the community.

The moral argument for taxation becomes ultimately that it is unfair not to pay towards services that have to exist.

Would you be opposed to a group of people living in their own free market society without any intervention from other people?

That is a tough question because it depends on what you mean by "without any intervention".

Most likely a system like that would result in great harm befalling a significant amount of the population in the experiment due to the reasons we discussed above. You are then put into a position where you sit back and refuse to help them and let the society burn itself to the ground. Or you do help them in which case it is back to the same problems as before, expectation of help without paying towards it.

This is essentially what happened with the banking crisis, where the banks were deregulated to the point that they could do what every they wanted and what happened is that the goal of short term profit, lack of a fair transparent free market (an impossibility as we discussed) and zero social concern lead the banking system to the edge of collapse.

Some free market purists in the US senate insisted that the banking sector must be allowed to essentially destroy itself, but the government ultimately decided that this was too great a catastrophe as without a functioning credit system the harm to society could be astronomical (as pointed out in the book "The Big Short" a collapse of the credit system doesn't just mean people can't get home loans, it means hospitals can't buy medicine, the army can't buy bullets and society grinds to a halt)

So honest answer, I don't know. I wasn't ok with Communists doing it

Quinton Figueroa: We could go back and forth
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

We could go back and forth through examples all day long but if we disagree at the fundamental core of violence vs non-violence then it doesn't matter. If you want to support a Socialist government then I have absolutely no problem with that and I think it's great. I would hope in exchange you would equally have no problem with me supporting a 100% free society and choosing to exist there with people who feel the same way.

You think that because you can't see how roads or police would exist without a State that a State founded on taxes and violence is necessary. That's where we fundamentally disagree. I can explain it to you, but if it doesn't make sense to you I can't change your mind. I have of course heard everything you're saying over and over again by many people. I know your points, I respect your view and willingness to share, but I disagree fundamentally.

Statements like:

The moral argument for taxation becomes ultimately that it is unfair not to pay towards services that have to exist.

are foundational to your ideology. That's an ideology that exists only in your mind. If we always believed that we had to have certain things done a certain way we would never advance as a civilization. If everybody in a free society agreed that those services could be handled better and cheaper through the free market why would it matter to you? Why do you care if everyone knows those services can be handled outside of government and why would it matter to you if everyone was okay with that? Do you still have a problem with that? Again, I respect you doing it the Socialist way. Do you respect myself and others doing it the free market way? People do have preferences you know.

So let me ask you more clearly:

If I choose to live in a 100% free society among other people who all agree to opt-in to that society and all agree to the laws of property and non-aggression, would you have a problem with it? I don't have a problem with you living in your society. Would you have a problem with me living in a non-violent free society that everyone in there voluntarily chooses to be a part of? Because I don't care much for convincing you of my way or you convincing me of your way. I'd rather just live the way I want to live.

Cormac Mulhall: You think that because you

You think that because you can't see how roads or police would exist without a State that a State founded on taxes and violence is necessary.

That is not my argument.

Why do you keep doing that, you keep implying I just can't see how this would work as if my problem with pure capitalism is that I just lack the imagination to see how the pieces fit together.

I know exactly how it would work. It is an economic system that has been proposed many times over the centuries and which countries have been far closer to in the past than any modern country is presently (including America), precisely because of the problems it causes become intolerable to society.

These problems have been known since Adam Smith first properly articulated the advantages of market forces. Have you read "The Wealth of Nations"? If not I suggest it highly, when I first came to read it in college I assumed it would be really stuffy and difficult to parse but it is actually very clear and Smiths examples are very down to Earth, including the famous description of the division of labour using the pin makers.

These down to Earth practical explanations includes his ideas on the role of government and how important government is precisely because free market in all things is impossible to achieve and leads to fraud and suffering.

Plenty of modern libertarians like to quote Smith as if he was arguing for free market in all things, but he was a pragmatist and recognised that this was not possible to achieve. And as I said once one recognises that the discussion then just becomes to what degree should government play a role in transactions (ie degrees of socialism)

I can explain it to you, but if it doesn't make sense to you I can't change your mind

Please do.

So far you have not done very much defending of this position, and you seem to have been ignoring or skipping over the problems I highlight. I've dismissed this ultra-captialists society as a utopian dream because more often than not the answers to these problems is simply a "Oh I'm sure that won't happen" rather than a proper description of how the system prevents it from happening.

Can you start with explaining what happens if a significant amount of people refuse to pay their voluntary insurance that is paying for the private military that is protecting Slayerment-ville when another country comes to invade you?

I know your points, I respect your view and willingness to share, but I disagree fundamentally.

Ok, but do you know why you fundamentally disagree? Is it because you don't believe they will happen or is it because you believe that even if they do happen it is still a more moral position to take to allow them to happen?

That's an ideology that exists only in your mind. If we always believed that we had to have certain things done a certain way we would never advance as a civilization

Case in point - that is not a rebuttal to what I said. Firstly all ideologies exist only in our mind, so that point is rather moot. Secondly I don't believe it because we have always done things a certain way, I believe it because it is the most rational argument (which explains why we have always done it) of the vast array of arguments that have been made throughout history.

Libertarianism always reminds me of that joke "Each generation thinks it invented sex; each generation is totally mistaken."

It seems fashionable when you get to a certain age to believe that everything that has gone before you was stupid and it was only followed because people were not as strong or intelligent or courageous as you are. ie the past is just a bunch of sheep following masters without thinking about things properly, I will be the one who breaks the mould.

I get this, everyone does it, it is part of the process of establishing your own sense of identify. But you aren't supposed to to take it that seriously and it pays to have a bit more respect for the ideas of the past. Very smart people have thought about these topics for a very long time.

If everybody in a free society agreed that those services could be handled better and cheaper through the free market why would it matter to you?

Because, as I explained, a significant amount of those people will end up suffering in such a system, and watching others suffer matters to me.

Libertarianism is split between the naive they won't suffer and the immoral (in my opinion) they will suffer but at least they are "free" arguments.

If I choose to live in a 100% free society among other people who all agree to opt-in to that society and all agree to the laws of property and non-aggression, would you have a problem with it?

It is the same answer to the previous question. Given (and you have offered no serious counter argument to this) that people will suffer in such a system I would have a very hard time sitting back and doing nothing and just watching the system fall apart.

If you think that wouldn't happen please put forward a serious argument as to why that wouldn't happen (or why it is moral not to care when it does), rather than just repeating the claim that I lack the vision to see how it will all work. I know exactly how it will work, that is the problem. I don't think you do, which is also the problem.

Quinton Figueroa: Yes, I am very familiar with

Yes, I am very familiar with Adam Smith and his thinking. His thinking was at a time when Capitalism had never fully been tested. Now with America it has been and we have seen how well it works. Now people like Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard have furthered his foundation.

Can you start with explaining what happens if a significant amount of people refuse to pay their voluntary insurance that is paying for the private military that is protecting Slayerment-ville when another country comes to invade you?

Why are they invading?

Ok, but do you know why you fundamentally disagree? Is it because you don't believe they will happen or is it because you believe that even if they do happen it is still a more moral position to take to allow them to happen?

Yes, because I don't believe in violence. You think it's okay to have a little bit of violence because you think that is needed for society. I don't. You talk about suffering but yet you support theft.

If somebody chooses to live in a free society how are they suffering? If I choose to do something dangerous I accept that risk. The same with the people in a free society. Nobody is there outside of their will. And why do you want to control other people who don't want you to control them? Why can't you just leave people alone?

Cormac Mulhall: Yes, I am very familiar with

Yes, I am very familiar with Adam Smith and his thinking. His thinking was at a time when Capitalism had never fully been tested. Now with America it has been and we have seen how well it works.

America is not a free market society. I keep giving you examples of this and you keep ignoring them as "hypothetical". Smith's 18th century Scotland was far closer to what you consider a free society. They also had child labour and environmental protection meant keeping poor people off rich people's land.

Why are they invading?

They hate your freedom. Isn't that why everyone always invades?

Yes, because I don't believe in violence. You think it's okay to have a little bit of violence because you think that is needed for society. I don't. You talk about suffering but yet you support theft.

So you would be happy if half the country starved to death so long as no "violence" is perpetrated against you by taking taxes off you to pay for a government to help prevent this?

If somebody chooses to live in a free society how are they suffering?

By starving due to not being able to buy food in a society that offers no assured protection against short term (let alone long term) economic hardship. Or being poisoned by food that has no safety regulations. Or being killed by a Chinese bullet after not paying for private military insurance.

And why do you want to control other people who don't want you to control them? Why can't you just leave people alone?

Because most people want to be left alone only when they think that is to there advantage. As soon as they become one of the people who the ideology is having detrimental effect over very few people actually want to be left alone.

That is the problem with utopian ideologies, they appeal precisely because they sound on a superficial level to offer a much better world for the person you are pitching them to. That person will always be the one who benefits from it. Everyone is is a leaching parasite, YOU are the true hero of this brave new world, you will be rewarded. Few people pitch ultra-capitalism to others with the tag like "You will probably starve to death, but at least you will be free"

If you were arguing that ultra-capitalism won't make anything better, it will make things actually much worse and many people, including yourself, could easily die as a result of it, but it is the only moral position to take, I might be able to take your ideological convictions a bit more seriously.

Quinton Figueroa: America is not a free market
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

America is not a free market society.

Agreed.

They hate your freedom. Isn't that why everyone always invades?

What country is invading? What form of government are they?

So you would be happy if half the country starved to death so long as no "violence" is perpetrated against you by taking taxes off you to pay for a government to help prevent this?

Are you just making up numbers now? 1/2 the country starved to death? Just like 1/2 the people would die because they wouldn't have access to a magic life saving pill that some greedy Capitalist was keeping from everyone? How many people are there? Why did 1/2 of them starve?

People won't starve to death in a free society. If democracy really does represent the people, then majority of people want to do something about starving people. Democracy shows us this by all the social programs majority of the people favor. If majority of the people don't care about starving people then we should get rid of democracy since it doesn't represent the will of the people.

That is the problem with utopian ideologies, they appeal precisely because they sound on a superficial level to offer a much better world for the person you are pitching them to. That person will always be the one who benefits from it. Everyone is is a leaching parasite, YOU are the true hero of this brave new world, you will be rewarded. Few people pitch ultra-capitalism to others with the tag like "You will probably starve to death, but at least you will be free"

It's not Utopian. It's a free society without government, nobody ever called it Utopian. If anything, Socialism or Communism in the past would be called Utopian.

Yeah, better technology sounds better to people. It sounds Utopian. When people hear about a way to do more for less with a new smart phone it is Utopian. And when you find a way to do more for less with a society it is Utopian. I get it. We can't find ways to improve things because that is Utopian. When the Founding Fathers decided to start a Constitutional Republic that was Utopian. When they pitched it to their friends their friends were probably like, you guys are just idealists, you're Utopian, 1/2 of you will starve to death. Makes sense.

Cormac Mulhall: What country is invading?

What country is invading? What form of government are they?

China. They are a neo-communist single party government.

Are you just making up numbers now?

Yes, in your completely hypothetical scenario I'm also using a likely but hypothetical outcome.

It is highly likely, for the reasons I've explained already about market distortions, that a significant amount of people in your system will starve to death. Whether that is half, a third, a fifth, is largely irrelevant. The point is that a significant amount of people will starve to death. That is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism, and it has happened many times before.

So the question remains, are you ok with that for the sake of freedom?

People won't starve to death in a free society.

Yes actually they will. What you call a "free society" is a society where no one can be compelled to help someone else through the forced collection of taxes. It is then left to charities and voluntary organisations to help those who, through market distortions, cannot afford food or to feed themselves.

That doesn't work at the best of times but your hypothetical free society is populated almost entirely of people who feel that if you are not surviving on your own two feet you are doing something wrong and it equally wrong to help you lest it rewards dependency.

If you think I'm wrong feel free to explain what system in your free market utopia prevents this from happening.

If democracy really does represent the people, then majority of people want to do something about starving people.

The majority of people want some sort of socialism through government. But you have excluded all those people by setting up a hypothetical where only free market capitalists have gone off to an island and set up a grand experiment to test the ability of the free market to solve problems governments don't.

And by nature of being free market capitalists they don't want the government doing something about starving people because government interference in market transactions is not a free market and compelling people to give taxes to help poor people is "violence".

So how does the free market prevent people starving to death?

It's not Utopian. It's a free society without government, nobody ever called it Utopian. If anything, Socialism or Communism in the past would be called Utopian.

It is a utopian vision because you claim it will do things much better than the current set up but you seem very hazy on how it will prevent obvious problems. And yes the Communists made the same claims about Communism, that it would be a paradise of equality. Of course it wasn't, yet Communists today still speak as if all the problems of the USSR just won't happen the next time we try Communism.

I've confronted you with some of the major problems of free market capitalism (most notably that a fair moral free market is not physically possible and thus market distortions always counter the benefits of the 'invisible hand'). And you seem rather stumped by all that.

Which takes me back to the comment about each generation thinking they have discovered something profoundly new, when in fact they just have no got to same place the last generation got to (and the one before that, and the one before that).

There is a reason why everyone hasn't just jumped over to a ultra-capitalist system, and it isn't as you like to pretend, that everyone is just sheep.

Quinton Figueroa: China. They are a neo
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

China. They are a neo-communist single party government.

Costa Rica does not have a military. I don't see China (or any other country) invading them.

The point is that a significant amount of people will starve to death.

How will a significant amount of people starve to death? Please explain with specifics.

That doesn't work at the best of times but your hypothetical free society is populated almost entirely of people who feel that if you are not surviving on your own two feet you are doing something wrong and it equally wrong to help you lest it rewards dependency.

People in a free society do not believe it is wrong to help other people.

It is a utopian vision because you claim it will do things much better than the current set up but you seem very hazy on how it will prevent obvious problems.

https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=define%3A+utopi...
Utopian: "modeled on or aiming for a state in which everything is perfect; idealistic."

Doing something better doesn't make it Utopian.

Which takes me back to the comment about each generation thinking they have discovered something profoundly new, when in fact they just have no got to same place the last generation got to (and the one before that, and the one before that).

Did the Founding Fathers of America get to the same place as the last generation?

Cormac Mulhall: Costa Rica does not have a

Costa Rica does not have a military. I don't see China (or any other country) invading them.

Neither do I. But we aren't talking about Costa Rica, a country with limited natural resources and strategic importance. We are talking about the USA.

Is your argument why this isn't something to worry about simply that you see no reason why China (or anyone else) would want to invade? That seems again to be utopian thinking.

Also if that is the case why in your hypothetical are you paying for private military insurance in the first place?

How will a significant amount of people starve to death? Please explain with specifics.

Sure. Currently the unemployment rate in America is approx 5%. It would be much higher in your ultra-capitalism system without government as in order to pay for services to help them get a job they first need money to pay for those services. In such a system everything would cost money, so you either have to have the money from your parents, from charity, or some how get a low skilled job first to pay for them.

Significant amounts of people would not be able to do this due to the market distortion we already discussed. For profit services will abandon areas of the country where there are not enough paying customers for these services (Detroit for example), which in turn leads to further problems such as flight of wealthy to areas where the services are.

So what you have left is a system where the money and services are consolidated into pockets across the country, and anyone left outside of these pockets is stick not having enough money to make their areas attractive to these services and enough money to start services in these areas.

Some of these unfortunate people will be able to move to the population pockets where the money and services exist. The rest, due to not being able to move or not being healthy enough to move (another market distortion) will remain and starve to death.

This already happens in China. Despite the claims of the Chinese governments to protect every citizen the reality is that in the rural west many people are simply left to fend for themselves. In rural villages where the healthy workers have left to go work in cities where the money and services have consolidated, it is not uncommon for people to simply starve to death. If this gets enough attention the government will step in and provide relief, but your system isn't a socialist government like China, in your system there is no government system set up to step in and prevent this. It is thus left to charities which historically have had a significant problem keeping up with demand for food, either historically (the Irish famine) or even currently (famine in Africa/Asia)

Care to explain either how that won't happen, or how it happening is ok because no taxes is good?

People in a free society do not believe it is wrong to help other people.

No, they think it is wrong to compel others to help other people. And if your society is relying on these problems being solved through voluntary charity, then a lot of people are going to die. Voluntary charity have never been able to prevent famine like this, only mitigate the effects some what.

Also libertarianism is riddled with the ideas along the line that helping people leads to dependence and prevents people standing on their own two feet by removing consequences.

This makes these people less likely than non-libertarians to want to help people with charity. And your society is made up almost exclusively of these people.

Doing something better doesn't make it Utopian.

Assuming there won't be any problems makes it utopian, assuming the problems will just either not appear or will be fixed by the system. And you don't have solutions to the problems, because the solution to the problems is government. The point you are failing to realize is that all these problems you are either not aware of or believe won't happen, have been discussed for centuries and government was the solution people came up with. But like I said, every generation thinks they have just discovered all this stuff.

Did the Founding Fathers of America get to the same place as the last generation?

Which of the founding fathers. Despite the rights tendency to speak of the Founding Fathers as some unified oracle of freedom and limited government, they were actually a group of men from often very different political and ideological persuasions who argued about fundamental issues constantly.

For every limited government founding father you can find another who argued for centralised powerful government. Almost as if they were imperfect men trying to deal with the issues of the day from the limited perspective, rather than saints to mold to what ever position one wants to support by invoking them.

Quinton Figueroa: But we aren't talking about
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

But we aren't talking about Costa Rica, a country with limited natural resources and strategic importance. We are talking about the USA.

I'm not talking about the USA. The USA has no chance at becoming a free society. I am talking about a new country outside of any existing country. I am talking about a country much smaller than Costa Rica, and most likely with less natural resources than Costa Rica.

Currently the unemployment rate in America is approx 5%. It would be much higher in your ultra-capitalism system without government as in order to pay for services to help them get a job they first need money to pay for those services.

Unemployment is just one thing to look at and a pretty arbitrary number. What really matters is the quality of life poor people are living. Are we better off having full 100% employment where everyone does some labor intensive job or are we better off having 50% employment where the unemployed people still live better lives than the 100% employed doing labor intensive jobs? Markets make things cheaper and better than the government. And when things are cheaper and better the money and labor of people goes further. I would much rather replace a human doing a task with a robot. This would make the person doing their job unemployed, but it would also free up a person to be doing something more beneficial. And the more this happens, the higher standard of living people have. If we all started digging ditches we would have 100% employment and all be poor. The more we have automation and things outside of people doing tasks the less money people need to even spend to get food, shelter, clothing, etc. And this is what a free society does because this is what free markets do.

Nevertheless, there would be less unemployment in a free society. Unemployment is caused through a number of Socialist regimes. One is the minimum wage which prices unskilled workers out of the market. If minimum wage is set to $10/hr and your work is only worth $5/hr then you become unemployed under Socialism. In a free market you can work for whatever price you and an employer decide on. So in a free market at least you will be making some money. Under Socialism you can't work if you're not skilled enough for the minimum wage. And don't give me this BS about $10/hr being better than $5/hr. In order for a government to support $10/hr minimum wage they either destroy jobs which is worse for the economy overall, or they take the money from somebody else which is theft and a mis-allocation of resources.

Inflation also causes unemployment, among many, many other distortions. When the money supply increases the purchasing power of your money decreases. And we see this going on all around the world since pretty much all countries have central banks inflating their currency. $20 used to purchase 1 gold coin in America 100 years ago. Today a gold coin costs well over $1,000. This is because of inflation. Dollars become worth less and less money as more are brought into circulation. This is a hidden tax that hurts everyone forced to use the currency, especially poor people. Every year people are losing money simply by being forced to use a currency that inflates. This is another cause of unemployment that would not exist in a free society and can only exist in a Socialist society that believes in the initiation of violence.

Detroit used to be one of the leading cities in America 50 years ago. It was the leader in the auto industry. What happened? Government stepped in. Let's take a recent example. General Motors should have gone bankrupt during the financial crises of 2007, but the government didn't let it happen. We can't let it go bankrupt! It's too big too fail! What about the people who need jobs!

In the case of GM, or any poorly run company, you have a business that is not being run well. When a business is poorly managed in a free society it goes bankrupt. But what about all the people who will be unemployed! Oh noes! When a company goes bankrupt another company buys up the assets for a discount and then reconfigures the company to continue producing again in a more efficient way. These people will continue working for a company that now has better leadership and is producing again. Instead, we give money to the people that ran the company into the ground and encourage them to fail again. Some of that Socialist logic.

So there are more poor people in a Socialist system than a free society. Socialism is violent and has more poor people. The worst of both worlds.

Not sure why you would mention China. According to you they're a neo-communist single party government. If China is a bad place for poor people you're supporting my argument, not yours.

While we're at it, let's discuss market distortions since I keep hearing about this. You originally said:

The problem with that in a completely free market is that physical reality often means market distortions arise because it is simply not possible for others to compete with you. For example the capital required to mine a mineral to produce the drugs is too expensive for anyone else to make it worth while getting into the market. Or all the raw material are already mined and belong only to you. You thus are the only seller with access to the product and you can charge what ever you want for it. This market distortion means that free transactions are not taking place because you have to buy the cancer meds from you, or die.

The first question is how did the company get full control of this mineral? A company doesn't gain full control of a resource out of nowhere without anybody else knowing. They are going to be making money and mining as they go along. People don't just wake up one day and control an entire resource. You have to build towards that. And while they are building they have to be making money. And while they are making money other entrepreneurs are going to be getting into that market and giving them competition so that they can make money too. People don't magically control a resource without anybody competing with them for that resource. And of course, cases where we do see significant ownership and control of a resource is where governments are involved *cough* oil *cough*. Monopolies come about from government, not free markets. So if there are distortions it would be through government, not the free market. If you really are concerned with market distortions you would have to get rid of government. They are the largest culprit of market distortions.

But let's say a company does control a resource through a monopoly that they somehow magically got (not possible in free society). Let's say Standard Oil controlled all of the oil operations. First of all, oil wasn't even valuable 200 years ago. So these guys basically turned an unusable product into something that was usable. So if it wasn't for Standard Oil we wouldn't even care about this resource. We only care about it because they made it useful, and now we want to penalize them for something they discovered. We would still treat oil like garbage if it wasn't for this evil corporation that isn't forcing you to do anything. They actually found a way to make oil useful and make your life better. Shame on them for that though.

Moreover, people will still need to refine oil from them. And then people will still need to buy oil from them. There are lots of people at many levels who will be buying from them. People could stop buying oil from them and now what do they do? Who are they going to sell to if they're charging too much? What is their revenue going to be if nobody buys from them? How do they hold their monopoly? It comes down to supply and demand. If they controlled this entire resource they would have to play their cards right to make sure they were still able to price it in a way that wouldn't hurt them. If they priced it too high and took everyone to the cleaners then nobody would buy it. If nobody bought it how would they sustain all the business expenses required to maintain the business?

Oil won't be important forever. People have other options. We are already exploring other ways for energy. We are already finding ways to do energy outside of just oil. If they controlled all the energy in the world entrepreneurs would start to find other ways to generate energy like coal, wind, solar, water and so on. If they controlled all oil there would be a huge financial gain to the first company to find a way to provide the same level of energy output of oil through some other resource like solar. There are always other ways to do things. If you were to use your government to focus all your energy and time on making sure that they run their business a certain way and making sure that certain regulations and quotas were met we may never experience the very real market distortion of the free market allowing a better clean energy solution to come about.

Oh I know, it's creating a market distortion because the market isn't doing what you want. And how do you know what is the right thing for the market to do? How do you know the exact price it should be? At what point is something considered a monopoly? Is it bad to be big or is it bad to price too high? What if you're big and price low? What if you're small and price too high? At what point do you have to step in and price it rather than the person who created it?

The whole market distortion argument is completely weak. Even with a completely hypothetical example it doesn't make sense. And then when we find that governments create market distortions, not free markets, the argument completely unravels itself. Cool word to use I guess, but not a great argument.

No, they think it is wrong to compel others to help other people. And if your society is relying on these problems being solved through voluntary charity, then a lot of people are going to die. Voluntary charity have never been able to prevent famine like this, only mitigate the effects some what.

It's wrong to steal from people to help other people. It's not wrong to help other people. I don't condone thievery like Socialists.

Every dollar spent in a private charity goes further than every dollar spent in government charity. Governments are notorious for poorly managing money because they have no skin in the game and if they do a bad job it doesn't matter. A private business has to do a good job otherwise people will give their money to a competitor who does a better job. It would be the same with charity.

I would happily give some of my money to charity because I know charity under a free market system would do a much better job at helping poor people than charity through an unorganized, unaccountable government. Charity in a free market would be much more effective than the current government slop we call charity, which is really designed just to make people more and more dependent on the State.

I would happily give money to a charity that is working on teaching people how to fish rather than giving them a fish. And so would most of the people who lived in a free society. You think that people like me don't like giving money to poor people. It's not that at all. It's that people like me don't like giving it to the state because we know around 80% of the money goes to the bureaucracy while only about 20% gets to the actual people who need it. Oh right, and the sad fact that they steal it from us rather than ask for it. So it's not that people like me are against giving to the poor or charity. We care so much about it that we actually want to do it effectively. I care more about poor people because I support a system that will more effectively take care of them.

Assuming there won't be any problems makes it utopian

I never said there won't be any problems.

Which of the founding fathers

The ones who did the exact opposite of what you said. The ones who got people not to the same place as the last generation but who brought people to a new, better place.

---

So I ask, why do you want to control other people so badly that you have a problem with a group of people who all choose to start a free society? What makes you know what's best for other people? Why do you want to control other people? Why do you have a problem with people not being violent and instead support a system that is founded on violence? Why do you choose violence over non-violence and want to control other people who don't want to be violent like you? I know, I know, because poor people will die (unfounded), greedy Capitalists care only about themselves (you can choose not to support any company in a free market, you are forced to support one company, the government, in Socialism). Market distortions (yeah, lol, like the Federal Reserve). Got it. What else you got? What other ways can you bend thievery as good and non-violence as bad?

None of this talk really matters. Supporting violent behavior is one of the main fundamental problems of Socialism. Here is another fundamental question for you that will erase most of your arguments: Is the government or the free market better at doing more for less? We need to first determine which system is better for creating products and services for less money. Do you agree that the free market is better than the government at creating better products and services for less money?

And also foundationally important, do you believe it is possible for there to be a better system than Socialism for society? Will there ever be anything better than Socialism?

Cormac Mulhall: I'm not talking about the USA

I'm not talking about the USA. The USA has no chance at becoming a free society. I am talking about a new country outside of any existing country. I am talking about a country much smaller than Costa Rica, and most likely with less natural resources than Costa Rica.

So let me get this straight.

You claim you would much rather pay an insurance fee for private military protection rather than forced taxation to pay for state run military force, and you are not concerned about the problems I highlighted with this system because in this hypothetical the country you are paying this insurance in is so undesirable no one would ever invade it?

That is not a solution to the problem of voluntary insurance vs taxation, you just skipped over the problem by making your hypothetical only work for countries no one cares about. You are basically saying that this system can only work in countries that no one would ever want to invade or take any military action against.

Unemployment is just one thing to look at and a pretty arbitrary number. What really matters is the quality of life poor people are living. Are we better off having full 100% employment where everyone does some labor intensive job or are we better off having 50% employment where the unemployed people still live better lives than the 100% employed doing labor intensive jobs?

If every person in New-Costa-Rica has to have money they earned themselves to purchase food and heating, you are better off with 100% employment, because anyone not employed will either have to hope for voluntary charity support, or starve to death.

I'm not sure how that is a "better" life. Are you taking the position that it is better to starve to death "free" than to eat while under a "violent taxation" regime?

The more we have automation and things outside of people doing tasks the less money people need to even spend to get food, shelter, clothing, etc. And this is what a free society does because this is what free markets do.

I agree. But unless you make the food free then it won't matter if the food costs 1 cent a day or 1 dollar a day, a person with no income will still starve to death in a capitalist society. You require someone to pay for this food, and if you don't "violently" take taxation from one person to pay for the food of another person who cannot afford it due to not having an income you are relying purely on voluntary charity with no reason to suppose that charity will provide the necessary funds.

Also we are decades away from a farming industry automated with robots (though I have no doubt we will get there), and land available will always be a limiting factor in providing ultra cheap food so you will probably never get food down to a 1 cent per day.

In a free market you can work for whatever price you and an employer decide on. So in a free market at least you will be making some money.

That thinking assumes that there will always be a job that pays enough to live on. That clearly is not the case, and this produces a market distortion from a perfect fair market where a person can always find employment.

If the job that pays $5 an hour (or a day) does not cover the cost of working that job (housing, food, heating) then it doesn't matter what amount the person is paid the job won't be worth it. In a perfect market a person will always find a job at the level of worth and that will translate to always having someone willing to sell him or her goods for living at the price they can afford. But as we have discussed there will never be such a perfect market, reality (geography, labour, min-cost of living, transport costs etc) always get in the way of such a perfect market.

This problem only gets worse with automation that you mention above. Why would any employer pay a human who has to eat, sleep, rest, travel etc money to do a job that a robot can do? Robots will only increase unemployment, and create a entire class of unemployable people, people who are able to work and want to work but which there are literally no jobs for.

In an ultra-capitalist society with no taxation these people will have no income and thus be unable to afford food and heating, no matter how low the cost of food and heating lower due to the automation that made them unemployable.

So we are back to hoping that charity provides for them.

But what about all the people who will be unemployed! Oh noes! When a company goes bankrupt another company buys up the assets for a discount and then reconfigures the company to continue producing again in a more efficient way. These people will continue working for a company that now has better leadership and is producing again

That is a contradiction. If the company is run in a more efficient fashion (and I agree entirely that GM and the other motor city companies were inefficiently run) then most of these people won't have new jobs in the new restructured company.

Even if you assume that the new company stays in the area where the workers live (and the financial reasons for producing cars in Michigan are long gone) by definition a more efficient and stream lined production system will require less workers.

This new system could theoretically produce cheaper better cars (though it is debatable since this requires knowledge and skill that the new parent of GM cannot simply purchase), but there is no way it will give everyone previously working in the industry jobs.

Not sure why you would mention China. According to you they're a neo-communist single party government. If China is a bad place for poor people you're supporting my argument, not yours.

The Chinese government is more than happy to leave parts of the rural country side alone to run themselves because it doesn't have the money or the political will to provide services to the entire population. They didn't all move to New-Costa-Rica to get away from the government, the government was happy to abandon them.

These rural communities end up being run very similar to the system you are proposing, mostly based on basic barter systems. And what you have is not the emergence of a magical capitalist system that solves unemployment through the invisible hand re-equalising all transaction. You get instead mass starvation, for all the market distortions we have discussed.

Speaking of market distortions lets deal with your questions -

Monopolies come about from government, not free markets.

Where did you get that idea? Monopolies are a natural product of free markets.

You buy an oil field and I buy an oil field. My oil field makes slightly more money than yours, and I invent a more efficient drilling system. I slowly make more money than you to the point that I have enough to buy your oil company. Your share holds have no moral concern about this, they just want the money that my purchase will give them. I now own all the oil fields in our local area. I then swallow up all the smaller oil companies in the country.

Eventually, since oil is a limited commodity, I own enough oil fields that even if another company wished to get into the market there isn't enough oil owned by anyone other than me to make that economically viable for them. This decreases the cost of the oil I don't own due to lack of interest, and I get to buy it up at an even cheaper price.

I now own all the oil.

The reason this doesn't happen is because the government's anti-trust laws would stop me doing this precisely because the government attempts to fix broken markets like this. There is nothing inherent in the capitalist system that stops this happening, it requires government intervention to stop this happening. Which is the sort of government interference that you are not allowing in New-Costa-Rica.

But let's say a company does control a resource through a monopoly that they somehow magically got (not possible in free society).

This seems to be crucial to your argument but you don't explain why this is impossible in a free society. In fact this is inevitable in a "free society" so I'm very curious how you arrived at this bizarre conclusion.

People could stop buying oil from them and now what do they do? Who are they going to sell to if they're charging too much? What is their revenue going to be if nobody buys from them? How do they hold their monopoly?

Perfect in theory, but not in practice. Again a market distortion is that the buyer often does not have the luxury of simply not buying the product.

If you require oil to run your machinery, heat your home, or prepare your food, you cannot simply not buy oil until the oil barons decide to low the cost. You have no alternative means to do all the things you need oil for.

A billion dollar oil company can afford to wait out a poor farmer.

Oil won't be important forever. People have other options. We are already exploring other ways for energy.

We are (mostly funded by governments btw). But we are decades away from providing energy to replace oil.

So we are back to the question, are you prepared to let people starve to death while the market rebalances?

A private business has to do a good job otherwise people will give their money to a competitor who does a better job. It would be the same with charity.

How will you know the charity is doing a bad job? That would require that you are in position of perfect information, a fallacy of the perfect market (buyer and seller know everything about the transaction)

Most charities are forced, through government regulation, to provide transparency to people donating. In a system without a government you would be relying on either the charity to be truthful, or relying on another private company to provide independent verification of the charity. And industry self regulation is notoriously prone to risk of fraud (look at the problems with the ratings agencies and the banks in the financial crisis, where banks were gaming the systems the rating agencies had in place, and the agencies did not make enough money to keep up with the banks in terms of intellectual ability and numbers of staff.

I would happily give money to a charity that is working on teaching people how to fish rather than giving them a fish.

What does the person eat while the charity is teaching him to fish?

Also what happens if a company buys the lake the person fishes in? Will the charity teach him to do something other than fish? What will he eat while he is being retrained. You seem to have spent very very little time thinking this through other than the most vague rhetoric about freedom is always better than socialism.

I never said there won't be any problems.

But every time I point out some major problems you have some reason why this won't happen, even going so far as saying that robots and alternative energy will provide solutions and no one will ever invade your country.

Let me ask you this, you say you accept there will be problems. What is the worst outcome you can imagine in your ultra-capitalist society and what systems are in place in that society that stop this getting any worse than the worst thing you can imagine.

For example, you say people won't starve to death. But you don't explain what will stop this other than vague calls to charity. You say there won't be mass unemployment, but you don't explain the mechanics of how that wont' happen. You say there won't be monopolies, but again what stops them happening once you remove government.

If you can't answer these questions but still insist they won't happen, that is utopian thinking, the idea that it will all just work out in the end.

Quinton Figueroa: You claim you would much
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

You claim you would much rather pay an insurance fee for private military protection rather than forced taxation to pay for state run military force, and you are not concerned about the problems I highlighted with this system because in this hypothetical the country you are paying this insurance in is so undesirable no one would ever invade it?

You have failed to highlight a problem. You assumed I was talking about the US and I wasn't. You assumed all countries had militaries and they don't. And then you assumed a country would invade another country without a military. We don't even need to talk private military since you've failed to substantiate who would invade and why. You then call it a hypothetical, and you're the one who started the hypothetical.

If every person in New-Costa-Rica has to have money they earned themselves to purchase food and heating, you are better off with 100% employment, because anyone not employed will either have to hope for voluntary charity support, or starve to death.

I'm not sure how that is a "better" life. Are you taking the position that it is better to starve to death "free" than to eat while under a "violent taxation" regime?

So unemployment = death by starvation? Great argument.

Unemployed people don't starve to death. You could have a savings from when you were employed. You could move in with family. You could move in with friends. You could be part of a community that helps each other. And on and on.

But unless you make the food free then it won't matter if the food costs 1 cent a day or 1 dollar a day, a person with no income will still starve to death in a capitalist society.

If things are cheaper in general then the money and labor people do will go further. So charity in general would be cheaper so it will be even easier for people with money to take care of poor people if they wanted to. If things are cheaper it is much easier for unemployed people to live with other people and have their money go further. If charity costs somebody $10 vs $1,000 more people would pay for it. If 3 people can share living expenses for $1,000/mo instead of $5,000/mo they would need to make less money and work less. This isn't obvious?

This problem only gets worse with automation that you mention above. Why would any employer pay a human who has to eat, sleep, rest, travel etc money to do a job that a robot can do? Robots will only increase unemployment, and create a entire class of unemployable people, people who are able to work and want to work but which there are literally no jobs for.

The problem goes away with automation. We want automation. We want people replaced with more efficient tools. It's a net gain for society when more efficient, automated ways to do things are found. Somebody may lose their job, but their money purchases more in other parts of society and they live an even better life. And the more this happens the cheaper things get. This is what markets do and one of the reasons I champion them over government.

That is a contradiction. If the company is run in a more efficient fashion (and I agree entirely that GM and the other motor city companies were inefficiently run) then most of these people won't have new jobs in the new restructured company.

Even if you assume that the new company stays in the area where the workers live (and the financial reasons for producing cars in Michigan are long gone) by definition a more efficient and stream lined production system will require less workers.

So if companies are run less efficiently we have more jobs?

They didn't all move to New-Costa-Rica to get away from the government, the government was happy to abandon them.

More arguments against government.

Monopolies are a natural product of free markets.

Define monopoly.

How will you know the charity is doing a bad job? That would require that you are in position of perfect information, a fallacy of the perfect market (buyer and seller know everything about the transaction)

The market can provide services to inform customers on how good businesses are doing their stated goals. How do you know the government is doing a good job at this?

And industry self regulation is notoriously prone to risk of fraud (look at the problems with the ratings agencies and the banks in the financial crisis, where banks were gaming the systems the rating agencies had in place, and the agencies did not make enough money to keep up with the banks in terms of intellectual ability and numbers of staff.

So Amazon reviews are bad? Reviews on ebay are bad? Reviews on IMDB are bad? Online information is prone to fraud? I'll take my chances.

The banking crisis (and continuation to this very day of exacerbating the problem) was created through government so once again you're arguing for my point again.

What does the person eat while the charity is teaching him to fish?

Chicken.

Also what happens if a company buys the lake the person fishes in?

Why would the charity sell it?

Will the charity teach him to do something other than fish?

If the government runs it they won't even teach that.

What will he eat while he is being retrained

Oatmeal.

---

You should consider changing your metric from jobs or unemployment to quality of life. Jobs and unemployment is such a bad measurement for the points you're trying to make. You equate unemployment to starvation. And you equate jobs to a successful society.

Cormac Mulhall: Market Distortion

Oh I know, it's creating a market distortion because the market isn't doing what you want.

I just wanted to deal with this in a separate post because it is probably more vital to the discussion than hypotheticals about China not invading Costa Rica

Market distortions are nothing to do with the market "not doing what I want".

A market distortion is anything that prevents the market from acting as a "perfect market" or at "perfect competition". It is the difference between a theoretical free market and the realities of implementing that free market.

Most of the benefits of free market capitalism only work really well when you have a perfect market. For example a free market will drive efficiency and competition to perfect balance when people are completely free to make decisions and have at their disposal perfect information about each an every transaction.

But this can never be achieved.

Take the most common market distortion, asymmetrical information.

It is impossible to be sure that you have the same information as the person selling you a product has, about that product. In a perfect market you would know exactly the same as the seller knows about that product and thus you can accurately assess its value. Is the car I'm buying road worthy. Is the pill I'm buying going to cure my cancer. Is the food I'm buying safe to consume.

The goal of the seller is to sell the least value for the highest price. This produces the greatest profit for the seller. The goal of the buyer is to get the most value for the lowest price. This produces the greatest value increase for the buyer.

Both of these motivations are diametrically opposed to information symmetric. Neither the buyer nor the seller wants the other to know everything they know about the product.

As a seller you don't want the buyer to know what the product is really worth to make, for example. You want the buyer to think the product is worth more than you paid to purchase it yourself, or construct it yourself.

As the buyer you don't want the buyer to know how badly you want the product or not. You don't for example want the seller to rise the price to a point where you are still prepared to buy it rather than say shop around or travel to another destination to purchase a similar product.

So we have a market distortion that arises naturally in a free market system due to human nature. You could say that human nature itself is the market distortion.

Other market distortions are things like geography. Simply by the way the Earth has formed it is not possible to fine all material everywhere. If you want to sell fish in your supermarket that will cost you more if you live in Ohio than if you live in New York. That is a market distortion, because in a perfect market the cost of selling fish would not be dependent on where you are.

It is very important that you understand and appreciate the problem of market distortions, because they are what stop ultra-capitalist government free societies from making the jump from "nice in theory" to "works well in practice"

I appreciate entirely that the theory of ultra-capitalism works, but that is because the theory is entirely hypothetical and based around perfect markets.

Economists since Adam Smith have recognised this fact, that perfect markets don't exist in real life, and have thus seen a strong role for government in market regulation. After that it becomes just a matter of degrees of how much the government should regulate markets. And then we are back to degrees of socialism.

Quinton Figueroa: What does a perfect market
@Cormac Mulhall (view comment)

What does a perfect market look like? With all this talk about a perfect market please describe exactly what a perfect market looks like.

For example a free market will drive efficiency and competition to perfect balance when people are completely free to make decisions and have at their disposal perfect information about each an every transaction.

But this can never be achieved.

Government takes this information away form people. People are less free to make decisions and have less information with government.

It is impossible to be sure that you have the same information as the person selling you a product has, about that product. In a perfect market you would know exactly the same as the seller knows about that product and thus you can accurately assess its value. Is the car I'm buying road worthy. Is the pill I'm buying going to cure my cancer. Is the food I'm buying safe to consume.

The market can provide this information better than the government.

The goal of the seller is to sell the least value for the highest price. This produces the greatest profit for the seller. The goal of the buyer is to get the most value for the lowest price. This produces the greatest value increase for the buyer.

Both of these motivations are diametrically opposed to information symmetric. Neither the buyer nor the seller wants the other to know everything they know about the product.

As a seller you don't want the buyer to know what the product is really worth to make, for example. You want the buyer to think the product is worth more than you paid to purchase it yourself, or construct it yourself.

As the buyer you don't want the buyer to know how badly you want the product or not. You don't for example want the seller to rise the price to a point where you are still prepared to buy it rather than say shop around or travel to another destination to purchase a similar product.

So we have a market distortion that arises naturally in a free market system due to human nature. You could say that human nature itself is the market distortion.

So.

But even more fun, how does the government solve this non-problem?

Other market distortions are things like geography. Simply by the way the Earth has formed it is not possible to fine all material everywhere. If you want to sell fish in your supermarket that will cost you more if you live in Ohio than if you live in New York. That is a market distortion, because in a perfect market the cost of selling fish would not be dependent on where you are.

Why wouldn't it? So somebody traveling 1,000 miles to deliver fish should be paid the same as somebody traveling 1 mile to deliver the same fish?

It is very important that you understand and appreciate the problem of market distortions, because they are what stop ultra-capitalist government free societies from making the jump from "nice in theory" to "works well in practice"

Oh please. Tell me which real-world businesses you've started and what real-world experience you have outside of these theories.

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