No capitalism? No wealth.

Over at Salon, I argue that libertarians who insist we do not have true “capitalism” today — and believe that’s a bad thing — should then logically support the radical redistribution of wealth, as money not made on a “free market” is money made in contravention of their own libertarian ethics.

Go ahead and give it a read. It’s more fun than it sounds.

 

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About Charles Davis

A writer and producer with whose work has aired on television and radio and been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, The Nation and The New Republic.
This entry was posted in Capitalism, Libertarianism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to No capitalism? No wealth.

  1. You missed a major component to the anti-Capitalist argument in your ill-conceived Salon article. Capitalism uses the pooling of money to voluntarily purchase the labor and goods from workers in exchange for their access to efficiency and resources. This voluntary exchange between employee and employer is done with capital, not threat of force with deadly weapons.

    The government uses force, the law and it’s armed enforcers, to take your capital and pool it against your will. This is theft of your labor, without a voluntary agreement. As an adult, you should be smart enough to know, that when you write a poorly directed opinion piece, that Salon voluntarily gives you money for your labor. Unless I am unaware that the Editor in Chief has threatened to jail you for not producing this writing, and may terminate your life if you resist imprisonment.

  2. Maud says:

    Looks like SOMEbody doesn’t understand that starvation is a deadly weapon. Perhaps the commenter thinks hunger is just something you solve with a quick snack.

    Also… I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that writers get paid for posting online.

  3. My naive thoughts on this essay:

    First, as a libertarian advocate of free-market capitalism, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I know the end-game society I envision isn’t perfect, but I believe it’s better. I’ve been confused all my life, which is why I enjoy reading intelligent counterpoints from writers like Charles. Rather, I refer to my libertarian principles as a basis for deciding what the proper position to take might be on current policy questions. (Eg. Principle: “A crime is a violation of someone else’s life, liberty or property.” -> Policy: “Don’t put people in jail for so-called ‘victimless’ crimes.”)

    Second, I would disagree with the premise of the essay that we should support “radical wealth-redistribution” for a few reasons. One of my libertarian principles is, “Taking money from one group of people and giving it to another group of people is immoral,” and another is, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I can’t say how best to return the ill-gotten gains back to the people who were defrauded, but my knee-jerk means for free-market redistribution is usually “auctions!” (have I mentioned my naivete, yet?)

    If we were going to redistribute all the world’s mixed-economy wealth, how would we decide who is more deserving than others? Surely dividing the spoils equally might seem fair, but would it be worth it if we were destroying real value in the process? Wouldn’t that actually make everyone’s lives worse off?

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