All In, Comrade

Joe already gave an adequate response to the amazing Dr. Chris Clarke's first and second infallible methods of inducing brain haemorrhaging among libertarians (at least, the ones not sharp enough to spot really glaring fallacies). I just want to touch on the third.

"The capitalist system of coordination by trade seems to be largely populated by indigestible lumps of socialism called corporations."

You know who said that, Chris? David D. Friedman, anarcho-capitalist extraordinaire. Hey, wow! Somebody started with the same premise you did and arrived at a radically different conclusion! How on earth could that happen? One of you has to have made a mistake in your reasoning, and I know who my money is on.

See, DDF and us Catallarchy people (most of whom would endorse ideas that'd make your hair stand on end, like markets in law) do indeed recognize and dislike the socialistic nature of corporations. Check out this post by Patri Friedman if you don't believe me. We're as suspicious of corporations as you are. But we pay attention to the fact that if you actually watch what corporations do, they're almost always against genuinely free-markets: they always seem to want government intervention to help themselves, and by and large they get it. Like Milton Friedman says (that's three generations of Friedmans referenced in one post!), they want freedom for everyone but themselves, because they know that the market tends to diminish their own security and power. And if there's one thing we don't like around here, it's concentrations of power.

How does a self-described "social democrat" like Chris respond to this observation? I don't really know, but I'd like to. Now here's where we test whether or not Chris is really committed to this whole critical thinking and consistency business: after he's done reading the posts I linked to above, I humbly challenge him to write up a follow-up post wherein he explains why he believes the things he does about democracy and markets, and more specifically why he thinks that socialist democracy would tend to disperse power better than a market would. Either that, or write a short post simply stating that he believes anarcho-capitalism is a credible idea that deserves consideration. I know where my money is on that one, too.

(Just to go for the brass ring and make it four, I bet Tovar Friedman would agree with me if he could.)

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