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Anyone want to disagree with my position on this? I am normally a fan of Calallaxy, but for one of Australia’s premier libertarian blogs I’m disappointed with the quality of the arguments, both in the posting and the comments.


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    Not really. Except to say I’m not entirely happy with the word “capitalism” myself; it seems to me that its use tends to lead to this very conflation of free markets and cronyism, etc. Other than that, I completely agree. If we’re to use the term, then we must be clear that capitalism can exist without the free market necessary for economic progress (not to mention, axiomatically, liberty), and that every word of “free market capitalism” is of equal importance.

    Wreckage’s accusation that by your definition the communist regimes were effectively a form of capitalism is therefore, I’d say, correct: it’s what their apologists always claim, to which the counter-argument is that attempted communism always ends up as “state capitalism”; it’s unavoidable (as those of us who’ve read Eugen Richter know, this was predicted before it had even started). Capitalism, I’d argue, is unavoidable: it’s what people free to own (or control) wealth do; the question is whether all of us should have an equal right to practice it, or whether friends of the state should have greater privileges than the rest. So I wouldn’t disagree with him on that point, but take issue with his dismissal of it: it actually enhances the argument that without free markets, capitalism per se is nothing to shout about.

    Oh, and before 1945, the Volkswagen was built by the state Kraft durch Freude organisation (it’s those crazy right-wing Nazis again), so no, you couldn’t have bought stock. :)

  2. Edward Lud says:

    It’s interesting to me that so many people seem to have lost faith in The Economist, and for the same reason: it betrayed its founding principle (which, I recall fondly, used to be printed on the inside front cover like a very early mission statement) and became just another go-along-to-get-along social democratic house mag. Of necessity, there was dishonesty involved in this transition. They naturally did not want the traditional readership to notice and hoped they could slip it under the radar. Realisation of the fraud makes the sense of betrayal all the greater. And yet, have its overall sales figures suffered? I do not know.

    The tranzi social democrats are really very, very effective. If The Economist’s sales have suffered, the t-s-d crowd can claim this shows a decline in intellectual interest in free markets. If they have not, they can continue their work on undermining the free market reasoning of those too dim to realise what has happened to a publication which supposedly exists to champion that which they hold dear.

  3. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    As a fully committed (Paul) Marks-ist, I find little to disagree with in the article.:-)

  4. Peter Risdon says:

    You’re right, the term ‘capitalism’ is used to attack economic freedom by proxy. It’s easier to be anti-capitalist than to be against people’s right to shop where they want, or to save their income, or to invest it as they choose. It really is important to challenge this usage and to take the debate to the terrain of human freedom.

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