On free markets


I have seen some libertines argue that we should have no government regulations and I think this would include no subsidies nor protections and that each business should be free to enter the market and compete only on merit. No trade unions, no minimum wage regulations and all. Maybe even no employment act as we have in Ke.

The argument is that in such a system, bad business practices will be weeded out naturally and that this may even be beneficial to the environment.

I have also seen some oppose taxation. Since some governments use the bulk of tax money in military investment, maybe this will help the peace effort if there is no money to be appropriated to the war effort.

Is this practical? Is it desirable? Should we demand no control for markets and all?

And from Robert’s blog, capitalism is facing a crisis

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

31 thoughts on “On free markets

  1. Scottie says:

    Hello Mak. I think that is a horrible idea. Basically you are taking the worst desires of mankind and letting them run unchecked using any tatic imaginable to get their way. It would be a paradise for thugs and bullies. It would equate to complete lawlessness. Many a dystopian novels have been set in such a setting where large corporations are the government and control all resources and services. They become rulers enforcing their laws for their own gain with no checks and balances. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      I agree with you Scottie.
      They argue however, that bullies are now protected by the state and without state interference or support, they would quickly collapse. There would be no monopolies for example. Or if you paid your workers badly, they would just move to the next employer until sort of we have an equilibrium?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ubi Dubium says:

    I’m in agreement with Scottie, that this would be a terrible idea. My basic problem with it is the “tragedy of the commons” issue. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
    When each company is acting only in its own interest, with no restrictions, what happens is that shared resources are depleted. Since there is no way to put a stop to bad behavior by one business, other businesses have to follow suit, even if they would prefer not to, just to stay competitive. We wind up with polluted environments and oppressed workers. Any workable solution is going to need some level of regulation, the question is where the right balance is.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think you might mean libertarians, but libertines is much more fun 🙂 As soon as any idiot says “no gov’t regulation” I just point to the Cuyahoga river on fire. http://time.com/3921976/cuyahoga-fire/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m a HUGE believer in no government involvement in ANYTHING whatsoever. This includes, of course, taxation. We all should pay zero taxes and, basically, be left to fend for ourselves, and ourselves only, in EVER aspect of our lives. Businesses will, of course THRIVE under this system, right? Also, since no one pays taxes, we won’t have public roads, the police, the fire dept, or the military. Each person will simply have to fend for themselves. Wanna start a business? GREAT!!! Just make a great product to sell and sell it. And, if people don’t want to buy your product, and you have REALLY big guns and some tough thugs working for you, FORCE them to buy your product and ONLY your product. What the fuck are people gonna do to you, call the cops? HA!! There won’t be any cops cause there are no taxes to pay for them! Each person for his or her self only, I say. Let the best people win and the weak ones die or be enslaved by the strong ones. I can think of no better society and of no place else I’d wish to live. Fuck government! Fuck taxes! Fuck regulations on business of any kind! The only exception to any of this will be we simply MUST live in a Christian theocracy. Without a Christian theocracy, we can have no morals and only bad people will thrive. OK?
    Like Gandhi once said to his dog groomer, Sally Rubmyknees, “Sally, the only thing any of us need concern ourselves with is ourselves. Fuck everyone else.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Swarn Gill says:

    Can markets be over-regulated? Sure. Can people be overtaxed? Sure.

    But to argue that the opposite is better just seems ridiculous to me looking at history. Before unions and regulations, companies just dumped their trash into rivers, lakes, groundwater and exploited the shit out of workers. When was this golden age of laissez-fair capitalism where everything was perfect and government regulations just screwed it all up?

    The same goes for no taxes. When was this golden age of no taxes where infrastructure and services were better than with taxes?

    Liked by 4 people

  6. basenjibrian says:

    I think what would happen is the rapacious and uncaring would weed out the sociable businesses.

    This kind of libertoonian argument is as based in reality as the purist Marxist utopias. There has never been a market based society without social rules, be they states or other more informal structures.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. basenjibrian says:

    I would note that because this situation has never existed and can never exist, largely for the reasons humorously outlined here, that there are alternatives to “states” for organizing human society. In fact, the vast majority of human history did not have organized states and governments. Once climate change has “adjusted” the size and wealth of the human population to “appropriate” levels, we may well return to the kind of local, informal but still very much extant rules of life that were in force for millennia. (Note I am not saying these rules were universally better. But they “worked” for thousands and thousands of years. Not perfectly, not even necessarily better.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seeing_Like_a_State

    A great and balanced review of some of the concepts behind stateless societies here: https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/03/16/book-review-seeing-like-a-state/

    Slate Star Codex is an awesome blog from a rationalist perspective with admittedly some whiff of “reasonable” libertarianism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Reminds me of the argument we have had in the past with you about stateless societies or small communes as an answer to our current madness.

      Like

      • basenjibrian says:

        Well…they are AN answer, once the population has been appropriately…culled. I bet that if one hung out long enough on certain anarchoprimitivist boards, one would find lascivious discussions of the forthcoming population crash. Because THEY will have their bolt holes, their vaccines, their private gun supplies and will do just fine when Mad Max becomes reality. Or so THEY think. 🙂

        Like

  8. All the comments here so far are spot-on. This is a libertarian fantasy that has never existed and could never exist. I’ll sum-up such idiocy with a single word: anarchy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Anarchist though do not eschew regulation, I think

      Like

      • basenjibrian says:

        Some do. Some do not. There is no consistent, monolithic thing as “An Anarchist”. 🙂

        I would argue that their disdain for coercion might make “regulations” a rather difficult thing to enforce, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was referring to societal anarchy, not the ideology of anarchists which varies a lot from group to group. In the U.S., self-described anarchists are typically left-wing while their right-wing counterparts generally self-identify as libertarians. What both share in common, however, is the assertion that government is intrinsically evil and that human nature is inherently good; therefore, humankind would be better off if we just eliminated the governing authority of nation-states. People would be free to do what they want whenever they want, and there would be peace and harmony throughout the world.
        It’s a very appealing ideology, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it is delusional. Human nature is neither good nor evil. It is a complex mix of many different impulses and emotions. For every altruistic thought, there is an egocentric thought. Greed and the lust for power are unquenchable. It is compelled to seek control over others as a matter of course. Politics is but one option among many. Eliminate government and we’ll still have powerful business leaders, wealthy landowners, and regional warlords much like those of the feudal societies of centuries past. To the masses of laborers, peasants, and everyone else subordinate to the ruling elites, their oppression would be assured.
        However imperfect, democratic governance is the only mechanism so far constructed which can limit humankind’s inclination towards social stratification.

        Liked by 2 people

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