Three questions at the heart of “capitalism”
by Vinay Gupta • April 27, 2008 • The Global Picture • 1 Comment
http://bendiken.net/2008/04/26/zero-sum-delusion is Arto’s post on capitalism.
My issues with capitalism as it is typically formed by Libertarians are three fold.
1> Natural monopolies, like railways, networks, and irrigation and other river activities.
2> Creation of property rights over things like land by the State.
3> Limited liability as a subsidy to investors by the State.
My belief is that a close examination of the interface between the market and the State reveals that the State basically tips the scales towards the ever-greater accumulation of property in the hands of a few and, therefore, a state-backed Capitalism eventually uses state power to repress the rights of the poor in favor of the rights of the rich.
In short, my suggestion is that, in many cases, Capitalism is closely equivalent to Feudalism, but rather than the property rights being defended by the personal forces of each Baron, they are enforced by the State.
The right to take food to eat is the right to self-defense.
This has to be understood clearly: to deny a person what they need to live is an act of aggression. The choice of enforcing a property right that results in another person starving or suffering physical harm is an initiation of force, possibly by proxy.
With this in place, I believe that it’s possible to fairly quickly dismantle the normal perspective on property rights which is at the heart of the forms of libertarianism which the Icelanders have taught me to refer to as “propertarian” or even “propertopian.”
I haven’t thought through mutualism enough to know if I agree with it, but Kevin Carson’s work is highly resonant at times.
Thanks for the link, Vinay.
In fairness, I have to say the Rothbardians are pretty good on #2 and very good on #3.
Rothbard and his followers are strict Lockeans, who consider all land titles utterly null and void if they are not traceable to an original act of appropriation by direct occupancy and alteration. So the expensive real estate in SoCal held by the railroads’ holding companies, pursuant to the railroad land grants, belongs to those currently paying rent or mortgage. And all titles to vacant and unimproved land are void, as are (needless to say) the latifundia and other feudal property rights in the Third World.