Gary Gibson is the managing editor for Whiskey and Gunpowder and he speaketh gospel.
This is a newsletter I received this morning. You know, waking up after after a peaceful sleep only to realize we are focked. I encourage you to check out the above link for Whiskey and Gunpowder. They focus on the crossroads of liberty, finance and moral philosophy and regard state intervention as the danger it is to healthy free markets.
Gary Gibson, somewhere between Orlando and Minneapolis…
“Government does not sell things,” a reader reminds us. “It provides them without charge — i.e. it raises no money through sales. Therefore it must raise money through another means: taxation.”
We’d argue that that is precisely the problem. The government has no profit and loss statement like business does to tell it when consumers want more of something and less of something else. The government is naked force that extracts money at gunpoint and throws it away on destructive activity like war and regulation.
The reader continues:
“Or do you think the government should bill citizens for its armed forces? How many of us would pay that bill? How about snow removal on the Interstate highways? Or law enforcement officers? These things are the foundation of a sustainable civilization, but they cannot be “sold” like a service or commodity produced by a private company. They must be paid for through mandatory collections from all citizens able to pay.”
Oh, we laughed at this one, good patron. Fix yourself a drink and settle in. We are going on a bit of a tear today…
We are told that the Russians used to ask, “If the state did not make the cars, who would?” (We don’t know how true that is, but it’s a cute anecdote that serves our point.)
This question reminds us of that limited, state-brainwashed thinking. If the government doesn’t provide something for “free” (nothing is for free…the costs are merely hidden), then no one would provide the service??
And we wouldn’t call a standing armed force the foundation of every civilization. Maybe if your civilization highly values warfare. A more peaceful civilization concerned with wealth creation as opposed to imperialism and wealth-stealing might decide that the armed forces were NOT in the list of foundation materials.
Law enforcement? We note that “laws” are often just well-armed prejudices. And when “law enforcement” replaces honest-to-God “peacekeeping” your civilization is in trouble.
We’d much rather foot the bill for private security that actually protects us….instead of paying half our income in part to fund thugs who enforce unjust laws.
That is to say, we don’t like it that money is stolen from us in order to pay the local gendarme to kidnap people for smoking a plant that “the law” says is bad. Or for
And the socialized road system sucks. It’s that simple. So many of our dear readers understand why socialized medicine sucks, but they can’t seem to get it through their heads that socialized roads must inherently be worse than privately run roads.
We don’t think there is a single thing governments provide that the markets couldn’t provide better. Unless you’re talking destruction. Unless you speak, that is, of war and welfare. Those two things turn capital into waste. So there the state surely excels!
Look at the top of the page. This is “The Free Market e-Letter”. Not “Kind of Free Market”…or “Free Market Except for Stuff Most People Have Been Brainwashed Into Thinking Can Only Exist Because of the State Thanks to Early Indoctrination”…
“THE Free Market e-Letter.”
Does this free market stuff start to look an awful lot like anarchism?
Absolutely, good patron! That’s why the term “anarcho-capitalist” has been coined. (Plus something had to distinguish market anarchism from that bloody socialist anarchism that refuses to see that socialism and communism require a state.)
We wish people had to pay for the military and police “protection” they get. Maybe then they’d get more actual protection instead of “extras” like illegal wars, wars of aggression, terrorist-creating foreign occupations, the drug empire-creating war on drugs, and cops aggressively harassing people for non-crimes like drug use.
If people actually had to pay — and if they could take their business to a competing provider — the monopoly providers of “protection” services couldn’t mutate into an empirical army abroad and a predatory cadre of abusive overseers at home.
“Anarchism? That won’t work. We need LAWS!”
Ah, yes. Laws. Like the little ones that criminalize personal actions that are nobody else’s business? The laws that extend the will over the majority into the living rooms and bedrooms of the minority?
How much “law” does there have to be anyway? The U.S. Code is up to some tens of thousand of pages.
How much “law” do you need beyond the common sense of don’t aggress against people or their stuff? Really?
And how is it to enforce this simple law on a commercial level? Would you do business with murderers, rapists and thieves? Hell, you don’t even need prisons! Conviction in private court could result in economic ostracization…which could be tantamount to a death sentence. It would surely mean poverty since a high standard of living is built upon division of labor, specialization and exchange. You know. A market economy.
You don’t even need violence and kidnapping and rape to punish violence, kidnapping and rape. That is, you don’t need taxpayer-funded prisons to punish crime. You just have to withhold voluntary economic interactions.
Private courts would demand that aggressors repay victims monetarily since they’d have no power to imprison. This is infinitely better than aggressors paying “society” while getting room and board in a rape-and-torture camp (prisons) funded by loot stolen from taxpayers.
For crimes for which there can be no real reparation (murder and rape), the aggressor would be forced to the margins of commercial society and languish there, capable of attaining only the lowliest, most grueling and dangerous labor. He’d be forced to pay his own way, instead being roomed and boarded with tax dollars. But his economic position would be fixed at the low end for the rest of his life.
Of course, there’d be a hell of a lot less crime in a truly free market anyway. Prices would be lower, employment would be more plentiful. People wouldn’t be made into criminals for enjoying their own pleasures that harm no one else’s person or property. Levels of wealth would more equal all around. (Capitalism does not create an entrenched class of rich people. The state does that. Just as it creates an entrenched class of welfare dependents.)
There is a cost to all this of course! People would be free to do things with their bodies and property that you might find objectionable. Economic freedom means prosperity…but it would also mean personal freedom that sets the busybody moralist’s teeth on edge.
That’s the horrible truth about democracy. It’s just mob rule. It’s the tyranny of the many against the few. It uses violence both to extract and redistribute money…and to enforce codes of conduct. It turns every man into a petty but politically sanctified bully and thief, living at the cost of his neighbor and making sure his neighbor personal life stays within very narrow bounds despite his neighbor’s preferences.
We rant about freedom from politics because politics gums up the ability for all of us — except the psychopath bullies who run for office — to enjoy our lives.
Politics also gums up the ability to generate wealth and raise standards of living sustainably (rather than just temporarily doling out what wealth exists to favored groups).
In response to our writing “Keynesianism is in a death spiral. So is populist socialism. So is fiat money fascism,” a Bar regular (and frequent dissident) writes:
“No argument there, but so is Predatory Capitalism (thank God). Any system built on injustice, exploitation, militarism and imperial wars eventually self-destructs.”
So now we get to play at words again, good patron. We have to define our terms. Predatory capitalism is state capitalism…but the minute the state gets involved, capitalism ceases to exist!
Capitalism is a free market phenomenon. A market is not free when it is enslaved by politicians. The market IS human action, free of regulators and money monopolists. Regulations and fiat currencies are the very tools of this enslavement.
The regulations are the offspring of entrenched corporatists and the state. The fiat currency is the abominable spawn of the state and a banking cartel. Where is the freedom in that? Where, we ask in earnest, is the capitalism?