Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

Comments Policy: I'm not moderating comments, so keep it sane and go away with the spam. Government officials please read disclaimer at bottom of page.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Again: Capitalism is Not a Zero-Sum Game… One for the Unionists. The Gulag of Redistribution & Equality.

Several days ago Julie Fairey – ‘Feminist, blogger, unionist, leftie, local body politician’ - tweeted:

Are we ok with being a society where some people can buy $27 ea velvet covered coathangers & others can't afford to eat? :(

I replied:

@juliefairey #Disconnect One's who can afford the coathangers r not the cause of the one's who can't eat. Redistrib. does not fix problem.

Or, to translate tweeterese to my farming readership:

You have a disconnect in that statement, Julie. Those who can afford coat-hangers are not the cause of those who can’t afford to eat, there is no connection, and so a forced redistribution from the coat-hanger buyers, because that's what you're really advocating in this tweet, will fix none of the underlying problems that gets someone to a point they have no money for food.

A capitalist transaction, a voluntary transaction, as with a capitalist relationship (employer/employee), is never mutually exclusive, that is, if one gains, the other doesn’t lose. Both parties gain value. Moreover, when that value is a mismatch, then either party is free to walk away, unlike when dealing with statists and government. If I buy a car, the vendor gets his profit, and I get the value a car gives me. If I work for an employer, I get my wage, she (see what I did there? Julie’s a feminist ;) ) gets my service. If I have $27 I can buy a coat-hanger with, far from denying someone $27 to buy food, I've given a coat-hanger vendor a profit to feed themself with.

Unfortunately, those against the free market, and thus myself, or you, living a free life, do not understand this most basic point about capitalism, and worse, use this misunderstanding to then sanction state force and a society built upon the immorality of ‘a’ theft repeated over and over daily against every producer. It always takes my breath away at how casually and glibly statists just sail right over that crucial theft.

‘Look, that man,’ they emote, ‘has two dollars, and that man has nothing: it’s self-evident, we can ignore context, that ‘rick prick’- so says our former finance minister - must be forced to give that other bloke a buck.’

It’s the bloodied altar of the common good again, and the social contract .

Café Hayek has a great Thomas Sowell quotation up today:

For the currently less fortunate members of society, the costs of envy can be especially high when it misdirects their conceptions and energies.  Where poorer people are lacking in human capital – skills, education, discipline, foresight – one of the sources from which they can acquire these things are more prosperous people who have more of these various forms of human capital.  This may happen directly through apprenticeship, advice, or formal tutelage, or it may happen indirectly through observation, reflection, and imitation.  However, all these ways of advancing out of poverty can be short-circuited by an ideology of envy that attributes the greater prosperity of others to “exploitation” of people like themselves, to oppression, to bias, or unworthy motives such as “greed,” racism, and the like.

Charity and benevolence are noble, if I choose to voluntarily give that man a buck, fine, and in doing so note how I will be motivated to find out more of his circumstances, and what has led him to this so I can perhaps help him fix the underlying problem. However, if that man knows the government will extort from me by force his buck, then he may well feel no compunction to change his life, for he has a free lunch, on me, for as long as he likes. There is nothing more evil than state created dependency, and my next post will show how quickly, and how viciously, such dependency turns into entitlement.

But for this post, I only want to say that Julie’s redistribution, far from solving poverty, by destroying voluntary relationships, and by distorting free markets - that mechanism that has raised the living standards of the West more than any other civilisation in history - will make poverty worse by promoting a lethal, degrading dependency, and lead us all down the road to our serfdom in the Gulag of Force Altruism: to this extent, Julie belongs to that Arrogance of Altruists who believes they know how to spend your hard earned money better than you do, and that they have the right to do so.

Mr Sowell is correct about the envy at the heart of this, and envy truly is the route of evil in our society: our modern day mobocracy turns on it – and will turn on you, if you don’t cough up your alms.

And I might have thought your feminism, Julie, would have found the type of oppression you promote, repugnant. Cast aside those shackles you would place your sisters in, and walk toward the reasoned light of an individual’s freedom from you.  [Fade out to 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman', by Shania Twain ...]


  1. Mark, perhaps another song by Twain - "That don't impress me much"?

    Our local Green candidate has a somewhat different take on the feral rich.

    I have invited him to your post here also.

    1. I've never listened to Twain :)

      Thanks for inviting Mr Green ...

  2. Good post Mark, the left has never understood free market economics 101, or the difference between compassion and coercion. The reality is that market economies do not produce enough wealth to satisfy the aspirations of the redistributive left. Unfortunately hardly anyone in our political system seems able to grasp this.

    1. Yes, regarding your comment on compassion versus coercion. By definition there is no compassion in the welfare state, and as stated in my piece, they have this complete moral black hole regarding property and theft.

      Cheers for reading my blog ... I keep up with your's also. (Which makes me think I've been remiss on my blogroll: I'll add your's over the weekend.)

  3. I don't give a shit whether capitalism is "zero-sum" or not - frankly I think it is, or if you include transaction costs, less than zero.

    But none of that supports the leftist myth of equality, or the libertarian myth of freedom.

    A few are deserving. Most are scum. Those who deserve should be rewarded, and the scum should starve.

    1. I don't really understand what you're saying, other than:

      You're not for the Left, nor do you believe in freedom.

      I have no agreement with that, agreeing, rather, with Ludwig von Mises that:

      'Either capitalism or socialism: there exists no middle way ...'

      As for 'scum should starve': well, that's not me either. Those who would let 'scum starve' are no better, I suspect, than the supposed scum of the first part.

      I believe a free society, a laissez faire society, is a prosperous society, and that charity, voluntarily given - and many do and would - exists to help those few who will still fall through the cracks. The problem with the welfare state it has first created dependency, and second, has gone a long way toward destroying empathy (and hence charity, benevolence, and so on).

  4. Good ol' DPF on KiwiBlog has a great post on how well Sweden has done since it adopted a number of free-market policies (from welfare to health to education - right through the economy).

    The left's so-called "policies" have been *utterly* discredited. Welfare doesn't work. State education (indoctrination) sucks. State health care too can be improved.

    The free-market WORKS.

    1. Yes. But Labour/Greens take out 2014. The disconnect I speak of in the post belongs to the majority in our mobocracy, unfortunately.