[FoRK] Do You Belong to The Church?

Joe Fish reverend.joe at gmail.com
Wed May 5 14:43:07 PDT 2010

On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 2:32 PM, James Tauber <jtauber at jtauber.com> wrote:
> When I was 13 at high school in Australia a friend and I came up with an elaborate political system where basically everyone worked for a company and the company provided health and education, allocation of resources, etc.
> We showed our economics teacher who said it was a very nice description of a planned economy. We were very confused. It was a *business* that ran things, there was no government. We were pro-business, not pro-government.
> You see, from the ages of 9-12, I lived in Brunei where my father worked for Shell. I went to a company school, we lived in a company house with company furniture, we shopped at a company run supermarket. Growing up, to me, this was big business.
> So in the last 10 years, as I've gotten more into classical liberalism, I've had trouble with the notion that big business is the pinnacle of capitalism.
> I said in a blog comment in 2005: "large companies have far more in common with centrally planned socialism than free market capitalism". Paul Graham said similar in an essay later that year: " most companies, for all their talk about the value of free markets, are run internally like commmunist states."
> So I view freelancers as a far better example of free markets than big businesses and (heaven forbid) Goldman Sachs!
> In my mind, any n-dimensional political classification needs a dimension where pro-government and pro-big-business are at the same end of the spectrum.  Both Austrians (particular Kirzner et al) and Distributionalists would presumably be at the other.
> James
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Aye.  Reminds me of a quote I read recently (wish I could remember
where, sorry) that went something like: "perfect capitalism is as
laudable a goal, and as unachievable in the real world, as perfect

I think The Church Of The Globalist Free Market which seems to be
rising to ascendancy in this Tea Party age has never lived under
perfect capitalism.

For my own part, I remember at least two deregulation-ary free-market
crazes: the S&L's in the 80's, and the current CDO / CDS mess.

And yet, every republican-cum-free-marketeer i speak to about the
current mess (and the other one I can remember) always seems to think
the source of the problem just HAD to be that we didn't deregulate

This reminds me of the drug war, where every year we spend more and
more money on programs that don't work and then next year we act
shocked and say: "WHAT? We spent all that money this year on searching
bags and locking up drug users and pushers and lengthening terms for
drug offenses and drug use STILL went up?  hmmmmm ... I think I see a
solution: we've got to spend EVEN MORE money next year on searching
bags and locking up drug users and lengthening sentences, that's SURE
to solve the problem!"

I could make a similar argument regarding food production and
overpopulation, but I think I've made my point, and that would be an
even-further-afield digression ...



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