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Reply #213: I like your worldview [View All]

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Tech 9 Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-08-07 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #205
213. I like your worldview
Very centered. You reject conspiracy theories and so, ergo, it follows that nothing is ever done in a conspiratorial fashion. You think the dialectic could be alright in the abstract, but you don't really agree with it, so it follows that there is always some flaw with anyone trying to apply it. You know that political philosophies must have a historical development through fluid process of debate -- certainly not plucked from thin air -- so even when some things demonstrably are made up on the spot, you're ready to prove they aren't.

But, there is a slight problem in connecting the dots here. Did Burke influence Hayek, Popper, and others? Is that really in question or would you just like it to be since its such a ready-made "flaw" you can jump on. The truth is that your laissez faire crap was magically resuscitated by Hayek, Friedman, von Mises, etc and this article is the story of how.

But lets go back and talk about it in the 19th century if thats what you want:

The nineteenth century is commonly described, alike by paternalistic liberals and social democrats, and by the kinds of vulgar "libertarians" who engage mainly in pro-corporate apologetics, as an age of "laissez-faire." But to use such a term in reference to that period is an utter travesty. We have already seen, in our previous chapter on primitive accumulation, how the capitalism of the nineteenth century reflected the violent reconstruction of society by a statist revolution from above. In addition, it was of the allegedly "laissez-faire" nineteenth century that Benjamin Tucker wrote, when he identified the four great forms of legal privilege on which capitalism, as a statist system of exploitation, depended. We will examine those four privileges, central to the structure of "laissez-faire" capitalism, in this chapter. In addition, we will examine a fifth form of state intervention largely ignored by Tucker, even though it was central to the development of capitalism throughout the nineteenth century: transportation subsidies.

Both state socialists and corporate welfare queens, for nearly identical reasons, have a common interest in maintaining the myth of the laissez-faire nineteenth century. The advocates of the regulatory-welfare state must pretend that the injustices of the capitalist economy result from the unbridled market, rather than from state intervention in the market; otherwise, they could not justify their own power as a remedy. The apologists of big business, on the other hand, must pretend that the regulatory-welfare state was something forced on them by anti-business ideologues, rather than something they themselves played a central role in creating; otherwise their worst fears might be realized, and the interventionist state might actually be pruned back. "Laissez-faire" is, therefore, what Albert Jay Nock called it: an "impostor term."1

The horrors of England's industrial life in the last century furnish a standing brief for addicts of positive intervention. Child-labour and woman-labour in the mills and mines; Coketown and Mr. Bounderby; starvation wages; killing hours; vile and hazardous conditions of labour; coffin ships officered by ruffians--all these are glibly charged off by reformers and publicists to a regime of rugged individualism, unrestrained competition, and laissez-faire. This is an absurdity on its face, for no such regime ever existed in England. They were due to the State's primary intervention whereby the population of England was expropriated from the land; due to the State's removal of land from competition with industry for labour.... Adam Smith's economics are not the economics of individualism; they are the economics of landowners and mill-owners.2
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