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Are Libertarians Confused About Capitalism?

This is what is suggested by Salon.com’s Charles Davis in a recent article entitled “Libertarians are very confused about capitalism”. Davis flashes his collectivist creds right out of the gate with the headline, by grouping all “libertarians” into one collective mass with a singular mind. Libertarians are individuals, many of which may indeed be “confused” about capitalism, while others may not be. But let’s start by looking at just how confused Davis himself is.

“There is no evidence that capitalism exists today”, begins the article with a quote from Ron Paul. Dr. Paul is largely correct in this analysis – much of the “free world” is run in sort of a neo-fascist system, not true capitalism.

So how does Davis view capitalism?

If one defines capitalism as a system designed by and for the interests of those who hold capital (what it is), capitalism is what the United States has today. It is a system based not on principles of freedom and liberty and justice for all, but the accumulation of wealth for people called “capitalists.”

Well sure, “if” one defines a banana as a round fruit that grows on a tree in my backyard, then the grapefruit I had this morning was a banana. But that’s not what a banana is, nor is capitalism “a system designed by and for the interests of those who hold capital”. Capitalism is not a “system” and it is not “designed” – it simply means that the means of production in the economy are privately owned and privately controlled.

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LOL! This never gets old: being lectured to by statist Keynesian

commies about 'economics'...kinda like the oxymoron of "socialist economist," no?

there was only one reason why I used to occasionally check up on Salon.com: when Glenn Greenwald used to post his works there.

now? it's just one more among a myriad of still L vs. R stuck 'liberal' background laughtracks of sitcom of global financial collapse and of the American Republic, who is cheering on their demises, rather gleefully.

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

I found this interesting! Davos without Hookers

By Bill Bonner, Chairman, Bonner & Partners
It is based on a debate over Capitalism and Government. It has a flare of humor as well.

We aren't confused. They are however using a semantic trick

They like to call our fascist system capitalism and then blame all the ills of fascism on capitalism, by which any of us who use the term mean free markets, while at the same time embracing fascism as the 'solution' to the problem.

The only ills caused by the free market are speculative, like 'natural' cartels and monopolies. The actual problems are caused by the government created actual cartels and monopolies.

They don't of course want to discuss the actual thing we are talking about, which is freedom, no matter the term given to it, they instead prefer to fill a term with all the evil their own fascism creates and then paste it onto liberty fold, as if we supported a single bit of fascism, and as if when nailed down, they support every single bit.

If you really support the little guy remove the necessary tool that is the engine of fascism. There is one tool that separates a free market or capitalistic society from a fascist one.

Central banks are the signature of fascism. Central banks are the necessary tool for redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the rich.

If you don't want to end the central bank (regardless if private or public) then you support the current system whether you kid yourself that it is 'capitalism' or you accept what it really is, fasism, the merger of coporate power and the state, nominal private ownership of property, but de facto and de jure control by the state.



I'd like to hear someone explain how a nationalized socialized monetary system, where any competition that is introduced is severely criminalized, is a free market system!

A free market system means that, there could be a central bank, but competing market based solutions are specifically NOT outlawed.

Libertarianism & capitalism are mutually exclusive

One can be libertarian and volunarily socialist. The reason capitalism tends to be embraced by libertarians is it is the system that has the most tenets of liberty and absence of coercion and force (in theory).

In a truly libertarian society, you would be free to have all sorts of private economic constructs, and as long as people were free to leave when they wished (could even include contracts), then I don't see why that isn't perfectly libertarian.

I would, of course, join the private capitalist society :)

Tu ne cede malis.

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Socialism almost always means govt coercion

I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but socialism is almost exclusively a govt enterprise and a coercive one at that.

If people want to get together and commune that is their business. The minute it becomes coerced it is anti-liberty and anti-libertarian.

The problem would then be

that voluntarily collectivist societies will impoverish themselves (compared to you) and some charismatic sociopath is liable to come along and convince them that is was your neighboring capitalistic society which was 'hoarding' all the wealth and thus needed to be expropriated in the interest of 'fairness'.

You can live with socialists, the problem is they probably won't live with you if they remain socialist. Eventually they will probably come for you.

If you're living next to a commune, I would suggest you need to convince people in your community to be very well armed, and hopefully have a stockpile of food ready to feed peaceful refugees when they try to escape the commune.

I try not to use the word capitalism.

Like the word anarchy, it is loaded with too many connotations and results in knee-jerk reactions and mental filters slamming into place. I prefer the phrase "free market." It's a more accurate description of what we are about.

The writer of the Salon article does have a point. A pure free market is not possible with a coercive government. If a coercive government is in place, corporatism is inevitable. Businessmen will lobby for regulations to raise the barrier of entry for new market participants.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus


I thought "capitalism" was actually coined by Marx. I could be wrong.

Free marketeers in renaissance thought called it "Laissez Faire" economics.

Agreed also

As to the apparent magic of words there are few by which the definitions are not changing with the wind.



I have had the same problem with terminology. I have found it easiest to never use the term 'capitalism' and instead 'free market' or 'voluntary exchange'.

'Libertarian' is no longer a viable term (connotations of anarchy/isolation/etc)


we always have to think about what *others* think of when they hear certain terms.

At the same time, how far does it go? Do we run away from every term the mainstream distorts? Do we have to stop being libertarian? Free market?At some point we need to just point out what we really mean and stand our ground with certain terms.

We can't let them redefine banana.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

The corruption of a word usually takes many years

And the meaning of some words is harder to change. For example, I don't see the word voluntaryist being corrupted for some nefarious statist purpose any time soon.

I think this is one of those things we have to roll with. Complaining about the meaning of a word changing or being misused is like complaining about a change in the market of some good. You can't control what other people think a word means. If you want to reach them, you have to adapt to their meaning. Just as if you want to reach a customer with a product, you have to adapt the product to what their needs are.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus


is a den of dimwitted dolts. I don't think I've ever come across anything there that wasn't unbelievably naive, biased and idiotic.

here here good man, couldn't

here here good man, couldn't have said it better
hehehe who knew a liberal rag would spew pure s***? lol

Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers