Originally Posted by Pollyanna
There a part of me that would love to see markets replace govt but it's an impossible dream. The first problem is that if you strip the power from government where does it go? Nature abhors a vacuum. You end up with multinationals as feudal lords - defacto government. Distortions caused by economies of scale would run riot even more than it's been allowed to do now. A recipe for instability ... and stability is the plank on which western prosperity was built.
Government is a necessary evil to provide stability by tempering power imbalances (nothing like dealing with a multinational when they rip you off - you get the finger and there's not a thing you can do about it). If we could find a way of getting governments to focus on sensible things like helping to temper the natural excesses to which market will naturally gravitate rather than waging counter-productive wars or imposing their religious dogmas on us regarding what we do with our own bodies, it'd be cool.
Certainly not the first time I've heard this, in 12 yrs. of reading and debating. Impossible? Perhaps, but that doesn't make it a wasted effort and not worth pursuing. I see it as an evolution of society, that has been progressing since ordered society amongst humans began. The US was one step in the progression toward laissez faire, which has now been spoiled by the pursuit of empire, of course. This is, after all, the inevitable conclusion of a successful state.
You make several incorrect assumptions here...let's examine them. I don't believe any degree of "evil" to be necessary
, at all.
: Gov't creates stability.
I fail to see this. In the theoretical stateless society, private property and full personal liability renders large-scale war improbable, if not impossible. Nothing destroys wealth and lives faster than war. It is impractical for small parties to attempt to wage war by way of their own finances, not extracted from taxpayers. To the point, large-scale war is the product of government and no other human institution has claimed lives and property faster, in the history of mankind. War is the antithesis of safety and stability.
: Corporations = free enterprise
Incorrect. The opposite is true. Corporations are state-licenced entities, deriving special privilege from the state. Any power that corporations have over individuals is derived from state-power and cannot otherwise exist, at least not for very long, since it would be self-destructive to even attempt it. I'm not sure what type of "wars" you're referring to, but see #1 (private property prevents frivolous unprofitable pursuits.) Any corporatist abuse you can cite today is a problem with government-granted privilege, not the free market.
: Statism = safety
This is core, of course. States are formed out of fear...fear of our neighbors and xenophobic paranoia of "outsiders". This is the selling point of statists, but the unfortunate irony is; states are to be feared above all else. Nothing compromises your safety and stability more. After all, we are just talking about *people*, are we not? Fear of your fellow man is the *worst* justification for creating a special coercive monopoly in society, allowed to use murder and the threat thereof, to force the will of the majority onto others, I have ever heard.
Wishing that you could get government to be sensible and actually solve problems in society is nothing more than a logical fallacy. I've been accused of being utopian by people who claim such things, believe it or not. On the contrary, because I'm aware that utopia is impossible, I advocate a society that reflects human nature, rather than one that rubs directly against its grain.
Western prosperity was built atop state-capitalism. Think of this as a farm for free-range animals. Free-range animals have the illusion of freedom and thus are more productive. In the end, they still go to slaughter. Since state-capitalism resembles free markets in some ways, it is more productive than say, communism. Both systems are inevitable failures, however, it's just the degree of intervention into markets that determines how long this process takes.