Libertarianism vs. Market Anarchy

MustangGT
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Libertarianism vs. Market Anarchy

Its refreshing to see a forum that "leans" libertarian rather than liberal. I guess this post is directed ay anyone here who considers themselves libertarian or libertarian leaning.

 Libertarianism says "less government is better." Market Anarchy takes it one step further and says "no government is best."

 Libertarians generally want government minimized to essential functions and services, like courts and security. Market Anarchists think that every essential function and service, including courts and security, should be handled by the private market.

So here is a question: If private enterprise works so well for the transportation industry, and the medical industry, and the food industry (all of these qualify as essential functions and services), then why WOULDNT the free market also work for the courts and security?

In other words, if the free market is superior in principle, why would it be excluded from these few select segments of society (courts, security, etc..)?

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qbg
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1) Maybe because state

1) Maybe because state justice avoids problems that free market justice would introduce?
2) Or maybe because they might view defense associations as states and thus an oxymoron results.

But then again, they may not accept either of these.

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MustangGT
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qbg wrote: 1) Maybe because

qbg wrote:
1) Maybe because state justice avoids problems that free market justice would introduce?

Problems such as....?

Quote:
 2) Or maybe because they might view defense associations as states and thus an oxymoron results. But then again, they may not accept either of these.

Interesting. Can you explain how a private security/defense force would be a de facto state?

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Zhwazi
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MustangGT wrote: qbg

MustangGT wrote:

qbg wrote:
1) Maybe because state justice avoids problems that free market justice would introduce?

Problems such as....?

Well generally when people say that they're thinking along the lines of "Corrupt courts" and so on, so you should expect that to be it.

The corrupt courts problem applies far better to a monopoly justice system, though. Ya know, like what we have right now. Monopolies have much less motivation to maintain quality than markets do.

Another thing he might be thinking of is enforcement. How would a voluntary society have enforcement? And really there's about as many different views about how that would work as there are market anarchists.

People who like the idea of a monopoly justice system should read "Adventures in Legal Land" by Marc Stevens, which points out massive amounts of stupidity and hypocrisy and absurdity in the present judicial system (he calls it "legal land", and says "it's where the bureaucrats live&quotEye-wink. And here's an mp3 of a reading of Chapter 12 of "For A New Liberty", the Libertarian Manifesto, by Murray Rothbard, which should help.

Quote:
Interesting. Can you explain how a private security/defense force would be a de facto state?

It wouldn't, because they wouldn't have a geographic monopoly, which is part of what makes a State what it is.


Eric Ferguson
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The only reason why those

The only reason why those essential things shouldn't be left to private industry is because it's difficult for a private entity to be neutral.

If an entire country has only private police, the atheists would be in big trouble, for example.

Government should be neutral. But we know it seldom is. Therein lies the problem.

Anytime you put a system in place people that want something bad enough find a way to work the system. So no matter how fair a government is designed it will always be unfair.

At the same time I would be terrified of a private police force, that actually had the power to arrest and/or shoot me for "crimes."

This where the Jefferson idea of replacing the government, the people in positions of power, at any time they overstep their bounds. It forces the government to do its job correctly. Without that, we might as well throw it all out. And I wouldn't be too terribly opposed to that. 

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


Zhwazi
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Eric Ferguson wrote: The

Eric Ferguson wrote:

The only reason why those essential things shouldn't be left to private industry is because it's difficult for a private entity to be neutral.

No it isn't. You just need to find a third party. And as you pointed out, the problem applies just as well to government as to anarchy. I swear if every arguement against anarchy that applied better or at least as well to government could never again be raised, my life would be a lot easier. 

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If an entire country has only private police, the atheists would be in big trouble, for example.

I doubt it. This democratic country only has public police, and since atheists hold almost no voting power, you'd think it would be the same or worse today. 

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At the same time I would be terrified of a private police force, that actually had the power to arrest and/or shoot me for "crimes."

Police serve two roles that need to be distinguished. Law enforcement and protection. A market "police" would not be law enforcement, only protection.

When the customer hires the PDA to protect them, they make themselves accountable for any actions taken within the authority the customer authorized. If the PDA acts within that authority, the customer is held liable for anything. If the PDA acts outside that authority, the PDA or the individual officer is held liable.

It's unlikely that a third-party court would approve of the use of force except in defense, so if the PDA acts within it's "defense" authority, the customer is liable, but since nothing wrong happened, the customer gets off on it. If the PDA shoots you for "crimes" other than violence, the PDA is held liable.

If the PDA deferred all liability to the customer, then the customer wouldn't hire a PDA that would shoot people wrongfully. Such a PDA would lose customers out the ass in a big way.

Besides, even if those cops *did* shoot you for such stupid laws, and the courts for some reason actually held that it was justified, you have to consider that there would be fewer such laws. If the customers had to pay an extra $60 a month to get the police to arrest everyone they found with drugs, they'd be a lot less likely to pay to have that done, so it just wouldn't get done. But that's assuming the most fascistic/sadistic/crazy PDA that still had to keep it's customers happy. Even in that case, which is the closest you could come to a government without it being a state, you still have a lot less enforcement of stupid laws than you have today.

I don't think you have a lot to worry about. Even the worst case scenario is better than the best we see today with government.


Yellow_Number_Five
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MustangGT wrote:

MustangGT wrote:

Its refreshing to see a forum that "leans" libertarian rather than liberal. I guess this post is directed ay anyone here who considers themselves libertarian or libertarian leaning.

Libertarianism says "less government is better." Market Anarchy takes it one step further and says "no government is best."

Libertarians generally want government minimized to essential functions and services, like courts and security. Market Anarchists think that every essential function and service, including courts and security, should be handled by the private market.

So here is a question: If private enterprise works so well for the transportation industry, and the medical industry, and the food industry (all of these qualify as essential functions and services), then why WOULDNT the free market also work for the courts and security?

In other words, if the free market is superior in principle, why would it be excluded from these few select segments of society (courts, security, etc..)?

 

Great question, and a question you'll probably find division within the more ardent advocates in this forum.

I, personally, tend to advocate courts and government, if they are to be had at all, on a community level only. I routinely say that even as a libertine I advocate public courts supported by the public - but let's look at what that actually means. I see no need at all for world or national or even state governments. Communities ought to police and govern themselves, I simply advocate a community supported judiciary that adjudicates contract disputes, personal violations and contract resolutions.

That, afterall, is what courts do most of the time. The courts, in my view, is the Town Hall - the people who represent the community and the contracts they've imposed.

I suppose it really boils down to what one deems "government".

 

I.e. - are a dozen home owners on the same block getting together to buy salt and sand to maintain their roads in the winter a government? In a sense it is, but it is a far cry from what we currently employ.  

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Zhwazi
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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I.e. - are a dozen home owners on the same block getting together to buy salt and sand to maintain their roads in the winter a government? In a sense it is, but it is a far cry from what we currently employ.

Not in my opinion. It would have to be involuntary and claim territory other than the legitemately owned property of the people constituting the government to qualify as a government as I use the word. 


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Zhwazi

Zhwazi wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I.e. - are a dozen home owners on the same block getting together to buy salt and sand to maintain their roads in the winter a government? In a sense it is, but it is a far cry from what we currently employ.

Not in my opinion.

Nor mine. 

Quote:
It would have to be involuntary and claim territory other than the legitemately owned property of the people constituting the government to qualify as a government as I use the word.

The more we talk, the more we seem to be on the same page other than sematics. 

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Eric Ferguson
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Zhwazi wrote: Police serve

Zhwazi wrote:
Police serve two roles that need to be distinguished. Law enforcement and protection. A market "police" would not be law enforcement, only protection.

Good point. 

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


deludedgod
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The idea of market

The idea of market anarchism is interesting. The problem is that a capitalist society run by private goods invariably needs a check and balance from an organization who isn't going to make money from the transaction, hence has a counter-incentive. That is what a government, however loose, does.

If that did not exist, zoners would simply build wherever they felt like it, people would strip mine wherever they felt like it, nuclear plants would just dump waste next to schools. This is dictated by the economic theory of externality. Whereby something you do as an individual has an effect on others. But in a market anarchism, there would be no check to the externality. From an economic standpoint, this is a grave problem.

Im still libertarian LOL

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deludedgod wrote: The

deludedgod wrote:

The problem is that a capitalist society run by private goods invariably needs a check and balance from an organization who isn't going to make money from the transaction, hence has a counter-incentive.

I disagree.

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If that did not exist, zoners would simply build wherever they felt like it,

You mean developers would build without respect to zoning? Because there's nothing wrong with that.

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people would strip mine wherever they felt like it,

They could only do it to their own property.

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nuclear plants would just dump waste next to schools.

No they wouldn't.

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This is dictated by the economic theory of externality. Whereby something you do as an individual has an effect on others.

Externalities only exist in the case of invasions of property rights. I'm wierd economically. I deny the existance of all sorts of things like "public goods", the normal idea of an externality, I drive people nuts. I'm an Austrian, economically.

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But in a market anarchism, there would be no check to the externality. From an economic standpoint, this is a grave problem.

Ever heard of a tort?


riverrun
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Hi all, Interesting

Hi all,

Interesting discussion. I tend to appraise various market systems  from a gestalt or holistic qualitative approach, that necessarily includes the social and political implications of all participants. I find case studies useful. For example, looking at attempts by anarchists during the Spanish Revolution.

In light of this, and only having a fairly basic understanding of the Austrian school and / or a libertarian economics, are there any examples of a real world application out there worth looking at?

 


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Eric Ferguson wrote: The

Eric Ferguson wrote:

The only reason why those essential things shouldn't be left to private industry is because it's difficult for a private entity to be neutral.

That is not true. Private arbitration is all the rage nowadays, and you likely have PA clauses in your credit card contracts for starters. They are more efficient and tend to produce judgements that satisfy both parties more consistently. Ask any practicing attorney about arbitration vs. gov courts.

In addition, its a lot easier to get away with bribing a gov judge than a private arbitration judge. Private markets, even in arbitration segments, are more vulnerable to burning themselves if they dont play nice. This is because, if one arbitration court or company sucks and is corrupt, it loses business. The same simply DOESNT HAPPEN with a monopolized government court system. 

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If an entire country has only private police, the atheists would be in big trouble, for example.

I disagree. And I also have no idea how you came up with this.

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Government should be neutral. But we know it seldom is. Therein lies the problem.

Government is always and forever on one side and one side only: its OWN side.

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Anytime you put a system in place people that want something bad enough find a way to work the system. So no matter how fair a government is designed it will always be unfair.

Totally.

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At the same time I would be terrified of a private police force, that actually had the power to arrest and/or shoot me for "crimes."

Why? And a corrollary question: why are you NOT "terrified" of our current public police force? I sure am!

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This where the Jefferson idea of replacing the government, the people in positions of power, at any time they overstep their bounds. It forces the government to do its job correctly.

A mafia is still a mafia, regardless if its run by Don Luigi or Big Tony or whoever is at the reigns that day.  

Quote:
Without that, we might as well throw it all out. And I wouldn't be too terribly opposed to that.

Throwing it all out is exactly what I am proposing: I am a market anarchist. And Im glad to hear that you arent too terribly opposed to that Smiling

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I.e. - are a dozen home owners on the same block getting together to buy salt and sand to maintain their roads in the winter a government?

If these same people own said roads, then no. If someone else owns the roads and they are commandeering them, then yes. Basically its like this: coercion = government, consent = private market.  

Its funny how often the example of a road comes up in government/anarchist discussions. I happen to be helping a good friend of mine publish a pro-market-anarchy book, and the title of the book is "But Who Will Build  The Roads?"   Smiling

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qbg
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What about laws? In a free

What about laws? In a free market, one would expect multiple law vendors to pop up. These vendors may have contrasting laws. How would disputes be resolved?

Some might believe that standards would arise, but whose standards? I wouldn't be surprised if it was those who have superior market force (the rich). If so, the laws would not be in the interests of the poor. What are they supposed to do then?

Same thing applies to trials; the rich (because they have more market force) would be able to get the superior resources than the poor. From this, injustice may (and I suspect, will) arise.

About defense organizations becoming de facto states, if an business or group of businesses provide most of the jobs in an area and makes its employees use only a certain defense association, you could see an effective geographic monopoly in an area (not to mention the area on the owner's land on which the workers would be spending a considerable portion of the day!). Also, such actions may cause oligopolies of defense associations.

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qbg wrote: What about laws?

qbg wrote:
What about laws? In a free market, one would expect multiple law vendors to pop up. These vendors may have contrasting laws. How would disputes be resolved?

Negotiation

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some might believe that standards would arise, but whose standards?

Not "who" but "what," and the answer is: realitys standards. Whatever works best.

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I wouldn't be surprised if it was those who have superior market force (the rich). If so, the laws would not be in the interests of the poor. What are they supposed to do then?

You make more money selling Honda Civics than you do selling Lamborghinis, my friend.

Quote:
 Same thing applies to trials; the rich (because they have more market force) would be able to get the superior resources than the poor.

If that were the case, then the poor would quickly catch on, and refuse to deal with -or sign contracts with- rich people, and then the rich people wouldnt be rich much longer.

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From this, injustice may (and I suspect, will) arise.

Injustice will always exist. The difference between a state and an anarchy is that only the anarchy REFUSES to LEGITIMIZE injustice, while the state embodies injustice completely.

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 About defense organizations becoming de facto states, if an business or group of businesses provide most of the jobs in an area and makes its employees use only a certain defense association, you could see an effective geographic monopoly in an area (not to mention the area on the owner's land on which the workers would be spending a considerable portion of the day!). Also, such actions may cause oligopolies of defense associations.

And why exactly would some employer demand its employees use one defense company? And why would an employee want to work for a company that requires the use of a defense company if the defense company is not a very good one?  

Even in your worst case scenario, the situation would still be markedly better than the current government-monopoly police and military forces. For today in the US, everyone is FORCED to "work" for a "company" (the US Government) which, in turn, FORCES them all to purchase their sole defense firms services (the police and military). So really, your doomsday scenario is actually an argument AGAINST governments, if anything.

And dont forget that in an anarchy, one can defend oneself; the populace will no longer be forcibly declawed.

 

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qbg
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Going a bit off topic:

Going a bit off topic: Would there be a group of people that depend on the sale of their labor to survive under market anarchy? If so, then it isn't anarchy.

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
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qbg wrote: Going a bit off

qbg wrote:
Going a bit off topic: Would there be a group of people that depend on the sale of their labor to survive under market anarchy? If so, then it isn't anarchy.
Care to explain your statement? I dont quite understand it. Anarchy is a negative term (like the word atheism) because it simply means "no rulers".

Incidentally, everyone depends upon their labor to survive. Even homeless panhandlers are "laboring."

Care to identify a social framework that DOESNT involve the trade of one's productive output for survival?

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UN report on wellbeing

I first saw through Ayn Rand at about the same time I gave up on religion, I guess 12 or 13. I'd certainly been inspired by her heros, but something seemed wrong: children never get mentioned.

Many years later I read John Rawl's A Theory of Justice (a flawed but brilliant exegesis of the ideal society as viewed from behind a "veil of ignorance", ie: you have to choose what kind of a society you would like, with out any a priori knowledge of your future position within it).  Based on this formula a useful thought-experiment emerges.. Simply to ask how, for example, would an artist, a labourer, a mother and a child do within model x, y or z?

Just this week the UN published a report on the well being of children. Both the US and UK (I'm in the UK) rank at the very bottom: From drug addiction to economic indicators to mental health, if you're young you don't want to be in the US or UK.

"The reason our children's lives are the worst among economically advanced countries is because we are a poor version of the US. We copy their labour market flexibility, their love of the free market, their worship of business leaders, but have none of the natural resources they are blessed with. So, the US comes second from bottom and we follow behind. At the top are the nations who are prepared to tax, regulate and create the conditions for a strong society and so get the best of all worlds - a strong economy and increased wellbeing" (source)

It seems to me that we on one extreme we have the "tyranny of small decisions" and on the other the "tyranny of collectivism / centralisation." The neo-liberal reforms of Britain have acted as a solvent over human and social capital... I've seen it happen across my life time (being born in the 70s). 

 If liberalisation *within* a minimalist state capitalist society has such negative effects on the direct reproduction of human wealth (children et al.. a necessary but insufficent precondition for any 'economic' model) it remains to be seen how and with what it can be effectively removed without destroying the fabric of current society.


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Riverrun, nothing you

Riverrun, nothing you mentioned had anything to do with a free market except the last sentence. Rand was not a market anarchist. She even hated the word "Libertarian" and never described herself as such. Rand didn't discuss children much because her worldview revolves around people as rational agents, and children aren't necessarily rational agents or irrational agents, so it would only have confused her message. The US and UK do not have a free market or "minimalist capitalist state". If you have been told otherwise you have been lied to or told so by someone who hasn't the foggiest clue what a free market is.

Unless you can specifically say *how* the government is helping children, you can't rightfully say that it is at all.  Correllation does not prove causation. Overall your post does nothing to rebut or refute market anarchism or libertarianism, you basically made a complicated "Won't somebody think of the children" arguement.


riverrun
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Zhwazi wrote: Riverrun,

Zhwazi wrote:

Riverrun, nothing you mentioned had anything to do with a free market except the last sentence.

My question was posed in such a way as to illucidate precisely why free markets don't and probably never will ever exist (unless one includes the late Victorian attemptd, that werequickly killed off).

Zhwazi wrote:
Rand was not a market anarchist. She even hated the word "Libertarian" and never described herself as such. Rand didn't discuss children much because her worldview revolves around people as rational agents, and children aren't necessarily rational agents or irrational agents, so it would only have confused her message.

 Precisely my point. Thanks for adding to it. Theorists and theists share a common comittment to rhetoric over reality. The rational actor model is... silly.

Zhwazi wrote:
The US and UK do not have a free market or "minimalist capitalist state". If you have been told otherwise you have been lied to or told so by someone who hasn't the foggiest clue what a free market is.

 A "minimalist capitalist state" does not exist, and also has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote. State capitalism is a common and accurate phrase used in the mainstream to describe the existing synergy between state regulation and coporate freedoms in many western governments. The US's 'military industrial complex' is most certainly a combination of state and capital. 

Zhwazi wrote:
Unless you can specifically say *how* the government is helping children, you can't rightfully say that it is at all. Correllation does not prove causation. Overall your post does nothing to rebut or refute market anarchism or libertarianism, you basically made a complicated "Won't somebody think of the children" arguement.

Interesting that you assume I am pro-government. I'm actually an anarchist. My point is much more subtle but has been evaded or perhaps it's considered irrelevant.  


qbg
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MustangGT wrote:qbg

MustangGT wrote:

qbg wrote:
Going a bit off topic: Would there be a group of people that depend on the sale of their labor to survive under market anarchy? If so, then it isn't anarchy.

Care to explain your statement? I don't quite understand it. Anarchy is a negative term (like the word atheism) because it simply means "no rulers"

Incidentally, everyone depends upon their labor to survive. Even homeless panhandlers are "laboring."

Care to identify a social framework that DOESNT involve the trade of ones productive output for survival?


First, you have confused selling ones labor and selling ones product of labor. The former is seen in the capitalist production in the form of wage labor (the worker sells their ability to labor). The latter is seen in artisan production (the worker sells what they produce).

Now, wage labor has been historically been called wage slavery. This is because the ability to labor can not be seperated from the owner of that ability -- the worker. Therefore to sell/rentt that ability for a part of the day, the worker must sell/rent himself, and in doing so, give up their liberty for that part of the day to live under a dictator (the boss). The worker becomes a slave. Workers in the US understood this when they pushed from artisan production to capitalist production.

Quote:

Many workers understood, resented, and opposed their increasing subjugation to their employers ("the masters", to use Adam Smith's expression), which could not be reconciled with the principles of freedom and economic independence that had marked American life and sunk deeply into mass consciousness during the days of the early economy. In 1854, for example, a group of skilled piano makers wrote that "the day is far distant when they [wage earners] will so far forget what is due to manhood as to glory in a system forced upon them by their necessity and in opposition to their feelings of independence and self-respect. May the piano trade be spared such exhibitions of the degrading power of the day [wage] system." [quoted by Brecher and Costello, Common Sense for Hard Times, p. 26]
...
The difference between selling the product of one's labour and selling one's labour (i.e. oneself) was seen and condemned ("[w]hen the producer . . . sold his product, he retained himself. But when he came to sell his labour, he sold himself . . . the extension [of wage labour] to the skilled worker was regarded by him as a symbol of a deeper change" [Norman Ware, The Industrial Worker, 1840-1860, p. xiv]). Indeed, one group of workers argued that they were "slaves in the strictest sense of the word" as they had "to toil from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same for our masters - aye, masters, and for our daily bread" [Quoted by Ware, Op. Cit., p. 42] and another argued that "the factory system contains in itself the elements of slavery, we think no sound reasoning can deny, and everyday continues to add power to its incorporate sovereignty, while the sovereignty of the working people decreases in the same degree." [quoted by Brecher and Costello, Op. Cit., p. 29]

Thus, if a class of people existed who depended on wage labor, it would not be anarchy for them.

Because markets are a mode of exchange and not a mode of production, you could have a form of anarchism with markets as long as hierarchy is not present.

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


Zhwazi
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riverrun wrote: My

riverrun wrote:

My question was posed in such a way as to illucidate precisely why free markets don't and probably never will ever exist (unless one includes the late Victorian attemptd, that werequickly killed off).

They exist today. They're called black markets.

Quote:
Interesting that you assume I am pro-government. I'm actually an anarchist.

And I didn't assume you were pro-government, I just said that your criticism did nothing to refute market anarchism or libertarianism (the actual topic of the thread). You said that free markets aren't good for kids, which seems to me like an attempt at justifying the aggression that is prerequisite to not having a free market. If you're a market anarchist, then your arguement was either irrelevant or in contradiction to libertarian ethics, if you're a socialist anarchist, it's actually not in contradicton to what I've seen of many socialist anarchists supporting economic regulations and such until the state can be done away with.

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My point is much more subtle but has been evaded or perhaps it's considered irrelevant.

Then state it clearly and I'll have a go at it.