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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Socialism is anti-social!!

When discussing the effectiveness of a free market economy compared to collectivist approaches many arguments can be brought to bare. The greater powers and adaptability of a spontaneous order are certainly part of that line of reasoning. This post on Cafe Hayek along with the comments is a reminder of a very different point.
This process is flexible and it encourages creativity. It also denies to anyone the power to unilaterally impose his own vision on others.

In brief, to advise "Let the market handle it" is a shorthand way of saying, "I have no simplistic plan for dealing with this problem; indeed, I reject all simplistic plans. Only a competitive, decentralized institution interlaced with dependable feedback loops -- the market -- can be relied upon to discover and implement a sufficiently detailed way to handle the problem in question."
A commenter states:

It is easy to comprehend the selfish motive of a rotten king, but much more difficult to perceive the complex of selfish motivations in the hypothetical "collective".

So they have rejected the idea of being subjected to the selfish rule of kings, but not the idea of being ruled. Or rather, they believe that others must be ruled to restrain their selfish impulses.

What is the market?

It is the venue where people satisfy their selfish needs and desires by satisfying the selfish needs and desires of others through trade.

Selfish can justifiably be described as self-interested. This leaves us with an order in which people need to make an effort at providing goods and services which other people need and desire, a very social order. Alternatively, central authorities or elites can decide many things. This is less social and in an extreme enough form, downright anti-social.

1 comment:

Bret said...

"Alternatively, central authorities or elites can decide many things. This is less social..."

Maybe. I have the feeling that many or even most people in society need the comfort of having central authorities and elites decide things for them. I think that may be part of the appeal of a republic - we elect the elites and then give them a pretty free rein to tell us what to do.

I'm not sure I'd say it's necessarily less social. I would agree that it is almost always less good at producing overall wealth.