Trying to think Independently

Why do we think independently? As the world looks like now we have nothing to win from it. Adjustment is the zeitgeist. We have to adjust ourselves to the huge World Economy. The free market moves things to the right place for the right price. Everyone can benefit from market adjustment, so why think independently?

Although the market in some respects is fantastic, it does not solve all needs. At the market we are free to choose, but maybe we want to do something more important in life than just buy or sell things. What do we do then? Thinking about it is difficult because we drown in marketing information that suppresses our freedom of thought. If we want something that isn’t for sale we need to think independently.

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Politics is about decision-making. After the Climate Conference in Copenhagen in 2009, it is clear that our global political system has almost no control. The World Economy rules despite that noone affects more than a fraction of the free market. How can it work so much better than politics? What does the free market system have that the political system lacks?

The market distributes information through consumer choice, and we are free to choose. Every time we buy something, it can be considered as a small voting. All voting together give the market the information it needs to adjust. The free market is decentralized. People’s limited sets of information overlap sufficiently to transfer data to those who need it.

The political system differs from free market, due to the ambition to direct and control. Competing in politics differs from competing in the market. In market competition all actors are involved in decentralized decision-making. In political competition only the winner is involved in the centralized decision-making. It can be compared with a controlled market system.

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8 Responses to “Trying to think Independently”

  1. Darren Says:

    Hello Per,

    Interesting to read about your experiences.
    This post made me think of Takis Fotopoulos’s (an economist and proponent of direct democracy) analysis of free markets – of which he is critical. One of his arguments is that consumers loose the ability to choose if they do not have enough money to easily cover their needs.

    I put a link on my blog to a video of one of his talks that I’m sure you would find interesting.

    https://www.hive.coop/blogs/My-Blog/?userId=91&entryId=640

    Alternatively you could look him and his Inclusive Democracy project up on Wikipedia.

    Best

    Darren

    • lobobreed Says:

      Darren et al. — Without wasting more time listening to the views of wrong economists as the world seems to love to do, let’s look at the fundamental facts.

      Fotopoulios, who sounds like a believer in “direct democracy” — a formula for pure looting if conducted without a Jeffersonian Bill of Rights to defend private property against government spoliations — is obviously getting it wrong when he criticises the free-market. His argument that consumers loose the ability to choose if they do not have enough money to easily cover their needs actually shows the dire need for a free market, for under it not only must the consumer earn capital and spend it on his needs, but he must also SAVE, or gain an excess of capital. This excess reflects his excess marginal productivity, as described by Prof. Rothbard in “Man, Economy, and State”,which is not consumed but capitalized and placed in a bank. This marginal excess productivity will be lent out to purchase capital goods that will produce consumer goods in the end, helping to keep prices down for consumers. Soon the saving consumer will have a large capital reserve to cover all his needs, assuming that the government doesn’t (or can’t) inflate the currency. So while Fotopoulos may be right in his principle that lack of money is the root of economic evils for consumers, he fails to see that it is only the free-market that can provide to each consumer a system whereby, through savings his excess marginal productivity, he can always fulfill his consumer needs. Note that those consumers who save will have their needs fulfilled; those who do not will suffer. It is not the free-market that is the problem for those consumers, but their own personal profligacy and character. A beautiful argument FOR the Free market and capitalism. — Silverwolf

      • pernor Says:

        Thank you Silverwolf for this comment. Let´s concentrate on what the political system can learn by the market and how these two systems can complement each other.

  2. pernor Says:

    Hi Darren,

    Thank you for the tip on Takis Fotopoulos! Free markets are far from perfect, for instance the freedom of choise is unequal, depending on income as you mention. But the distribution of information through consumers choise works well.

  3. lobobreed Says:

    pernor — Regarding your comment above. I don’t think the political system can learn anything from the free market, or complement it at all, because the two are antithetical. Non-Jeffersonian governments want control, and the free market is about an anarchy, controlled solely by the weights of gold, silver, and copper in the coinage, fraud laws, and the brains of millions of individual human freedoms — fortunately!. Governments instinctively hate freedom, since their aim is to impose their judgments on the people via laws. Only a minimalist government, that protects property rights and with a bill of rights (rights which Rothbard accurately points out are all ultimately property rights), would be needed under the free market, and any extension of that government into other areas would start the process of decay. Thus the idea of private enterprise and government “cooperating” is a bogus concept, and a formula for graft. Just look at America under the last nine presidents, and even before.

    Many valid points in your initial post. Good piece. — Silverwolf

  4. Erdem Says:

    @ lobobreed: the problem with access to wealth in free market economy is that people are starting from wildly different points to their wealth accumulation.

    Intergenerational wealth transfer is the big issue we are struggling with. If individuals indeed received equal opportunity up to the point of establishing themselves, free markets would function easier.

    Without equal opportunity to networks, education, and resources, individuals struggle moving vertically in their economies.

    Ensuring an acceptable level of equal opportunity (as defined by laws or social contract) is a way of balancing the power of markets (I will call this meritocracy) with equity (or equal opportunity). Without the second, the individuals that start from a “low” position will find no reason to obey the social contract and become violent. You can see a direct correlation between social welfare and violence, if you will. – Erdem

    • lobobreed Says:

      Erdam — I don’t buy your arguments at all on the different starting points for wealth being a problem, or the “problem” as you put it of intergenerational wealth transfer.

      As far as the equality of opportunity and access to various commodities, be they education or resources, I agree that all should have equality of property rights, as put in the American Bill of Rights — equality of Rights under a free-market, capitalist system. That is the only equality that is necessary. Now, in America, except for brief periods, we’ve never had such an equality of property rights, not because of any alleged abuse coming from the free markets, but precisely because we have not had truly free markets (except on a local, microeconomic level, as the traders in the Old West were). We have government meddling, and mercantilism, and rules favoring government bureaucrats and their corporate friends.It’s Socialism, corporate socialism. So the abuses have all come from government rules, not from pure free-market capitalism within a framework of minimalist government (the police, a mint producing standard weight coins, fraud courts and jails, and a very few other things) and a Bill of Rights.

      By the way, who is the one who decides what is an “acceptable level of equal opportunity” ? And if that “acceptable level” requires looting another man to accomplish it, hasn’t it destroyed in the process the whole necessary concept of private property? Remember that when Jefferson wrote of the inalienable Rights of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, he was changing a formula that had usually read up till then “Life, Liberty, and Property”. He made the leap that Mr. Norback is discussing in his post — the end condition of all this free-market capitalism, which is really for the individual to discover, and is immeasurable.

      Your “ensuring an acceptable level of equal opportunity” is actually an opening for government coercion, and once you go down that slippery slope you are lost. Your government is then corrupt, and a thug. You have then destroyed the equality of opportunity warranted to each individual in a document like the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, haven’t you?

      As far as intergenerational wealth, starting from different wealth levels may have an effect on the length of time it takes a person to achieve wealth, but I don’t think it matters one iota, if they are financially educated and determined. And financial books are available in stores and libraries, for all to peruse. Are you aware that most of the millionaires in America are blue-collar guys who never wasted time going to college, but went right from high school into some lucrative but “dull” field like auto repair, construction, metal plating, etc. They save a few years, start a business, buy a modest home, and 10 years later they’re millionaires because they were very frugal and kept working hard. And they continue to work and be frugal. Compare this to the perpetual graduate student in the humanities who finds themselves with a worthless M.A. at 28, virtually broke and with a student loan to pay off, and complete ignorance as to his own financial education, or the mechanics of money.

      And what about the many cases of millionaires who would not give their kids a red cent on principle, or until they were forty, or who disinherited them? Why is it that so many of those children end up becoming millionaires, starting completely from scratch, never taking any welfare. Those people are actually starting BEHIND someone receiving social welfare benefits, aren’t they, but still they manage to become wealthy in a decade or two on their own. It’s their attitude. And because even in these rotten socialist societies we have in America and Europe, there is still enough microeconomic freedom that these individuals financially succeed.

      You also completely exonerate the violent looter who you say has no “reason to obey the social contract” if he doesn’t have what you or he consider “equality of opportunity”. Well, how about morality, is that not a reason? Is a man justified in stabbing another man, because he was “made violent” by some supposed inequality of opportunity. What of all the poor people who did not become violent and attack another? Why didn’t they not “see no reason”? Your proposing a pure abnegation of moral responsibility on the party of a violent thief or any violent criminal. I don’t share such a proposal.

      Also, huge inheritances are no problem, and actually a blessing for the poor because those inheritances get passed on to others who dissipate the capital through foolishness, or through becoming spoilt as children. They will be spendthrifts, and redistribute the wealth via the free market. Again it is the government tax laws that screw this process up. Inheritance taxes discourage the most talented and productive people from continuing to work, which makes the whole society poorer, and the fact that it pays them to transfer their wealth by giving money to their children breeds a whole generation of parasital children of entrepreneurs who think of money as just a number, instead of blood, sweat and tears.

      Better the money be in private hands, I say, that in the hands of government bureaucrats who will funnel it to the military-industrial complex or one of the other corporate-socialist cartels that suck off the taxpayers of N. America, Europe and Australia. — Silverwolf

  5. Ideas as Energy « A failure or success? Says:

    […] movements. If we can improve the ability to find and distribute new good ideas, then we are safe. To think independently is the way to […]

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