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Anarcho-Capitalist criticism of "animal rights"

I've been kindly advised to confine controversial political / philosophical debates to the "Food Fight" area of the forum, so I'm going to start this thread, copy quotes addressed to me from other sections of the forum, and reply here instead.

Alex I think you need to look up the definition of Facisim.

Fascism is a strongly statist (opposite of libertarian) form of government that believes a society exists for a common purpose that trumps individual rights.

The pro-government bias in government-controlled education has tried to redefine fascism for its own benefit, placing it on their irrational left-right political paradigm scale, while in reality it overlaps with communism and many other forms of statism (including what many "animal rights" activists advocate) on the bottom end of the authoritarianism vs freedom scale.

One of the main tenents of such a system is valuing property rights over basic human rights.

That is completely false.  Fascism puts the interests of the state above individual rights, including the Natural Right to create, keep, defend, and control your property.  A fascist state dictates who may own property and how it is to be used.  There is a theoretical difference between fascism and communism in that fascism still uses the profit motive to some degree, but in practice the communist ruling classes have always benefited from their political power in ways that are functionally indistinguishable from a fascist corporatist (the polar opposite of a free market capitalist) making an explicit profit.

It also promotes class inequality and prevents individuals from having a say in their government.

No, in fact there is a strong correlation between a government's authoritarianism and the popularity of its leaders, for very obvious reasons.  Places like Nazi Germany and modern-day North Korea are examples of perfect democracy - their governments are very popular and would be reelected in a landslide every single time.  The fact that their government has far more influence over the public than the public has over the government is similarly true in any other democracy in the world today.  The opposite of all those forms of statism (fascism, communism, democracy) is individual liberty, which in the political context is referred to as libertarianism and in the economic context is referred to as capitalism.

Capitalism does not promote an equality of outcomes of people's actions, which would be absurd, but it absolutely requires an equality of individual Rights.  Your capital is your ownership of yourself and the consequences of your actions: your body, your mind, your time, your physical and mental health, your skills, your speech, your reputation, your rights over your children (or any other dependents who don't have full self-ownership), any agreements that you have made with other people, any resource that you have brought into the human economy (i.e. homesteading), and any resource that you acquired from another human being on a voluntary basis.  That means Socrates has a Right to life, no matter how many people may vote for him to drink the hemlock, and the same applies to Michael Vick and his property Rights as well!

I would like to know were you get your information.

Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard have been the strongest of my philosophical influences, but they stand on the shoulders of a libertarian canon that includes Aristotle, Locke, Bastiat, Spooner, Thoreau, and many others.

It seems that you follow no real economic school of thought or any clear social science theory.

My economic theory is firmly based in the so-called Austrian School of free market economics, which I consider to be the only school to be grounded in solid scientific theory - everything else is politically biased demagogy. 

Other noteworthy economic influences have included the three generations of the Friedman family (more David than Milton, and Patri's ideas on intergovernmental hyper-competition played their part as well), and many of the agorist ideas floating around the Free State Project movement, of which I am a member.

(I'll reply to some other posts addressed to me in a bit.)

I have always prefered the New Economic Theory branch of economics.  They address that apart but often ignored flaws that are  inherient in market based theories.  They assume that everyone is or can be an equal player in all markets.  However, for an type of activity to occur in a market there has to be inequality.  You will only trade or work if you do not have all you need.  Also, it assumes that everyone is cognisive of all activities of the market.  However, for their to be profits - an essential market driver - a certain amount of people must be in the dark about the real value of goods and services. 

When I was taking development economic courses in grad school, the Human Capital Theory really struck me.  Human capital is needed to 'activate' land and capital.  Therefore, the focus of development, and all economies, should be on developing human capital. 

I have often reflected on this since my thesis was on women's international industries in West Africa.  It seems that we have tons of inactivated human capital.  Their is a growing uneducated underclass in this world.  This is a group that does not fully participate in our society let alone our economy.  They don't come up with new inovations, create enterprises, add to industries or to the fields of science and technology. 

Our focus should be on maximizing everyone's 'capital' or potential.  I disagree that this would be through complete liberalization of the economy.  Liberalization will inevitably lead to high levels of inequality and massive boom and bust cycles that cause economic ruin.

BTW, Alex there is a very good reason that we have both federal and international regulatory commities and regulations.  The economic boom of the 1920's, depression of the 30's that lead to the rise in Facism and Communism and a horrific war in the 1940's opened up many peoples eyes to the extreme dangers of Lassez Faire economic approaches. 

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There never will be a perfect society, because their are no perfect people.

I never claimed that Anarcho-Capitalism is an instant utopia, but it is a rational ideal that makes the most economic sense moving forward.  The present system does not - it keeps billions of people in poverty, it clips the wings of science and technology, and it squanders away the vast majority of the human potential just to remain in control.

Your idea of an ideal society scares me frankly

Why does having to pull your own economic weight and having to respect the Natural Rights of others scare you so much?  You can still have your pets and your local government (ex. a voluntary neighborhood association), etc, you just can't force your way on others who choose to live outside of your government.  Is that so bad?

even though I know that ours is far from perfect and getting worse day by day.

It's not just "far from perfect", it is built on a rotting socialist / Keynesian foundation that simply cannot function in the long haul.  As modern technology becomes ever more powerful, humanity cannot exit the 21st century the way it has entered into it - it will either be a far freer capitalist society or it will be a tyrannical dystopia similar to 1984 by George Orwell or Anthem by Ayn Rand.

Someone around here said something along the lines of talking about things that will never be is like asking your father for a unicorn.  Hmm.  I live in the real world and not in some fictional society of whatever-you-call-it.

I said that about things that are contradicted by reason.  2 + 2 does add up to 4, even if the rest of the world thinks it doesn't.  Logic -- not chronological snobbery and not the easily-manipulatable mob of voters -- should decide what is real and what is fictional!

I admire that you are trying to be self-sustaining,

In a capitalist system everyone is required "to be self-sustaining": if you want to put 10,000 kittens a day in a giant blender, then you have to pay for it.  If there's a shortage of kittens or giant blenders, then their prices would naturally rise, and some of the thousands of businesses looking for a crack in the market will find it cost-effective to start producing more of those things.  (It's very easy to produce as many billions of kittens as the marketplace will bare.)

If you're referring to my veganism, however - I'm only a vegan in a descriptive sense, I am not a part of the mainstream vegan movement.  That's why I call what I'm doing "The Tax Resister Diet" instead.  Any region trying to achieve secession should at least try to achieve agricultural independence first - who do you think would have won the American Revolutionary War if 90% of the colonies' food was imported from Mommy England?

but if you do like in a country, then you are bound by those laws whether you like it, admit it, or not.

A person is only bound by Natural Law (including the authority of her parents / guardians if she's still a minor) and by the contracts that she has entered into voluntarily.  The Natural Law is a universal economic concept - it can even be observed in AI entities in a computer simulation and hypothetically even in extraterrestrial societies, as long as they have the similar capacity for rational thought and individual action that humans do.

So why then a person born on one plot of land be a subject of one "government" and a person born elsewhere a completely different one?  I'm a big fan of Singapore, for example, as almost like a giant neighborhood association - almost everyone is there by choice and anyone can leave at any time, but that level of legitimacy fades away as the size and scope of government grows.  Governments do not have a legitimate claim to property, as individual human beings do in exchange for bringing those resources into the human economy, governments only exist through violent force, and that is how ours has spread itself, from sea to shining sea and a thousand military bases all over the world!  Even libertarian projects like Seasteading don't guarantee easy freedom, because if we ever get too annoying the government that has to compete with us will just send its navy to make us disappear, and the tax-victims paying for that navy will have no choice but to support it!

You have a right to your opinion, but don't forget that I have a right to mine.

Your freedom of speech is not in question here, what I am challenging is your alleged freedom to impose fines and other penalties on people who treat their animals in ways you don't agree with.

Just because I don't agree with your opinion doesn't make it wrong.

Initiating aggression against people like Michael Vick is in fact wrong, for the reasons that I will continue to list throughout this thread.

I have no doubt that this society will not stand forever as it, but I'm just as certain that what you describe will fail as well.

We are not asking for anyone's support, just that you stop initiating aggression against us.  You are free to think that free market capitalism will fail, but history has demonstrated otherwise - every single time!

Anarcho-Capitalist is an oxymoron.

You're thinking of Anarcho-Socialism or any other flavor of anarchism that leaves behind the massive power vacuum originally held by the state, which is inherently unstable and very quickly leads to a bloodbath as various fractions fight over who gets to make the rules.  Gradualist Anarcho-Capitalism on the other hand doesn't aim to destroy the state, just compete with it and gradually prove itself superior due to tax competition and an inevitable inflow of brains and capital (read Atlas Shrugged).  An Anarcho-Capitalist society is stable because it is decentralized, the power vacuum of the state is filled with every individual's rights (including property rights, the right to self-defense, parents' rights, contract law backed by polycentric arbitration authorities, etc).  The numerous "Bill Gates will just take over the world" scenarios have been debunked ad nauseum.

Capitalism is at its heart exploitative and any self respecting anarchist would cringe at the thought of allowing others to exploit them or others.  I have no idea where a crazy right wing free market loving libertarian would call themselves an anarchist ( I have always hated the bi-polar ideas  "Anarcho"-Capitalists ) but whatever, labels are labels and while your ideas are valid and welcome in a discussion of the future, freedom and liberty can not coexist with exploitation and capitalism.  I am sure that many anarchists are past the "lets destroy everything" and have realized that we need to create alternative models alongside that can eventually replace it.  For example single mothers might not want to support a sudden revolution that might take away security.  David Graeber talks about building alternative institutions that provide models and create the future we want realized today.  However, replacing crappy capitalism with a possibly more exploitative form is ridiculous.  No Gods, No Masters & No Capitalism. 

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De-hijacking the abortion thread by moving my replies here:

I never said human existence was pointless. Other species exist for their own purposes just as much as we exist for ours. Judging the worth of a living entity on its ability to contribute to a human-created societal structure is, quite frankly, disgusting.

Yes, and dirt exists for its own purpose too - don't you dare step on it.  Where do you draw the line?  The current distinction seems to come from "cuteness" and nothing else!

As human beings have conquered the Earth thousands of years ago, the more successful species have learned to survive by deriving benefit from the human civilization.  If human beings were to suddenly disappear from the earth, the majority of animals would simply starve!  The populations of wild birds are already dwarfed in comparison to the world's 30+ billion domesticated chickens, etc, and that ratio will only continue to increase!  Those chickens cannot till the soil and plant and harvest their own corn, and only so many can survive off bugs and other wild rubbish.  The most successful species have learned to hijack the emotions that nature intended for you to have toward human babies, to the determent of the human desire for offspring of their own!  Their "love" is a mere illusion, if your pets were hungry enough or if you were small enough they would just rip your guts out and play with them while you die.  You might be interested in living in a different reality where all cute fuzzy creatures are your equals, and it is your right to simulate that reality on your own property, but you have no right to impose it on others through the guns of the state!

Wikipedia and your own trolling posts from other forums aren't "facts".

My capacity to debate you rests on the assumption that you are functionally literate.

As for the question of Wikipedia's objectivity - that is one of many advantages that I yield in your favor, because there's only so much socialist bias that they are able to get away with.  I myself was banned from editing Wikipedia some years ago for calling "Global Warming" a hoax, and as my position continues to be proven right by ever more evidence even that lie will not be able to survive forever.

  Could you really imagine living in a world with no beauty? 

It is you who are destroyers of beauty, and humanity's potential to spread that beauty throughout the universe.  Mindless submission to the surroundings your species has evolved amongst is not all that there is, and even if it was then private property would still be be most effective means of protecting it.

  The lack of resect in your posts speaks very loudly for itself. 

You are using my well-justified righteous indignation at the violence you support as an excuse to avoid substantive debate.

Do my comments show a lack of understanding or a lack of agreement?  There is a big difference. 

They show the former, which discredits any claims to the latter.

That usually isn't a problem because people can simply agree to disagree on most things, but the matters of Natural Law are the only exception.  Natural Law is a scientific concept, the unavoidable objective "social contract" that we must all share, and you are violating that Law by supporting government aggression against pet owners whose methods you disagree with.  And its popularity does not make your violence justified!  If the majority of people on your street / city / continent / planet / galaxy "vote" to put you in a concentration camp, does that make it OK?!

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Initiating aggression?  I hope you never find out what that is. 

So you don't hope that the government will crack down on my agorist tax resistance efforts and doesn't sentence me to decades in prison, and doesn't shoot me if I refuse to be arrested?  How very noble of you - though I do have doubts that you're sincere.

I just know that this is a system that is doomed to fail on many different levels. 

I have a problem with the socialist / Kenseyan system too - that's why I'm here.

I said I admire you for being self-sufficient but that really didn't have anything to do with veganism. 

Self-sufficiency is not my primary motive any more than the American Revolution was about isolationism from the outside world.  I'm a big believer in globalization and trade, but not for the profit of the governments that control it today.  Reason (and thus freedom) must come before prosperity, because if they don't then your prosperity will benefit your enemies much more so than yourself.  Although my motivations are very different, I guess I can be described as a "small-v vegan", because I have various rational reasons to avoid eating meat.  If putting a hundred kittens and puppies in a blender every morning made economic sense, then I'd have no problem with that practice.

I guess my big problem with your proposed society is that there is no room for compassion 

Are you really incapable of imagining compassion that doesn't grow out of the barrel of a gun?

You are free to be as compassionate as you like with what is yours, but the natural price of that freedom is the need to tolerate the people who treat their property differently than you would.  Being compassionate to what isn't yours to have in other contexts is called rape!

And by "tolerate" I only mean non-violence - you don't have to like it or accept it.  You are free to expose the animal abusers, humiliate them, ostracize them, blacklist them with the various reputation-tracking authorities, organize a boycott against them, and otherwise use your Freedom of Speech to make it difficult for them to find or keep employers, customers, and friends unless they repent and make amends (like by donating to animal protection charities) - which is the proportional punishment that they deserve, but you are not free to initiate aggression, or to become an accomplice to others who initiate aggression against them!

Also note that children, mentally ill dependents, prisoners, and contractually obligated individuals are not "property", because they can never lose their Right to life and right to emancipation, but animals cannot logically have this right.

You are making the mistake of assuming we all fit the stereotype.

And yet no one else on this large veg*n forum has spoken out against using state violence in the name of "animal rights", which is why I'm here.

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De-hijacking the abortion thread by moving my replies here:

Yes, and dirt exists for its own purpose too - don't you dare step on it.  Where do you draw the line?  The current distinction seems to come from "cuteness" and nothing else!

As human beings have conquered the Earth thousands of years ago, the more successful species have learned to survive by deriving benefit from the human civilization.  If human beings were to suddenly disappear from the earth, the majority of animals would simply starve!  The populations of wild birds are already dwarfed in comparison to the world's 30+ billion domesticated chickens, etc, and that ratio will only continue to increase!  Those chickens cannot till the soil and plant and harvest their own corn, and only so many can survive off bugs and other wild rubbish.  The most successful species have learned to hijack the emotions that nature intended for you to have toward human babies, to the determent of the human desire for offspring of their own!  Their "love" is a mere illusion, if your pets were hungry enough or if you were small enough they would just rip your guts out and play with them while you die.  You might be interested in living in a different reality where all cute fuzzy creatures are your equals, and it is your right to simulate that reality on your own property, but you have no right to impose it on others through the guns of the state!

Oh, sorry. I forgot that our Aryan chickens are superior to natural biodiversity. Obviously we should sterilise the rest of the world for their benefit, to create a worldwide system of monocultures.

Look, you're just not going to convince me that money=freedom; I barely believe in the concept of ownership at all, and money has never been a motivation for me in any way, shape, or form. My aims in life have nothing to do with fiscal gain; I'd be just as happy living out of dumpsters and reciting poetry on the street as I would be studying mitochondrial DNA in a laboratory (on government funding). But I know I would never be happy working to 'please the market.' I come from a long line of people who have ditched profitable employment for hand-to-mouth happiness. I've seen that communities tend to be happier when they're barely scraping along but are interdependent and supportive of each other without expectation of repayment. Your system would never work universally, because that's just not how humans work. Same reason total anarchy wouldn't work, and equally why communism tends to fall flat on its arse as well. They operate on the assumption that broad blanket statements can be applied to society as a whole, and, well... that just doesn't pan out.

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So that I could watch your civilization collapse with a clear conscience.

That was an extremely violent thing to say.

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(Winding down the insult thread by moving my replies to this thread instead.)

Animals aren't property.  They're living beings.

So are plants, fungus, single-celled organisms, etc.

The government has rules on how you can and cannot treat your children right?

And I disagree with most of those "rules", but children and other dependents (ex. mentally ill) do have a logically-indisputable Natural Right to life and to potential emancipation.  Their other rights (ex. liberty and property) are deferred until such a time when they can be expected to take responsibility for their actions and respect the rights of others.  It is neurologically impossible for any known animal other than a human being to attain that standard of reason.  If tomorrow a species of animals (ex. human-animal hybrids, genetically engineered creatures, AI, extraterrestrials, etc) can be shown to be capable of reason, then members of that species should indeed have Rights.

So I think that if they want to make sure other living beings in your custody aren't suffering, they should be applauded.

You are free to applaud and support any and all private efforts to protect animals, but you are not free to violate the Rights of other human beings in the process.

Actions have consequences, which can be very different from what your wishful thinking intends.  Your fantasies don't measure those consequences, the objective reality (i.e. the science of economics) does.  Legislating a penalty for "animal rights abuse" has many side-effects that harm everyone:

    Cost of enforcing the prohibition: neighbor-snitching hot-lines, cops, courts, prisons, shelters for confiscated animals, etc.
    Economic losses from fewer people spending their money on pets and animal-related activities, since they can no longer enjoy them on their own terms.
    Economic losses from some people choosing to work fewer hours, because they no longer need extra money for the animal-related activities that they are no longer "allowed" to enjoy.
    Economic losses over otherwise-productive individuals being thrown in prison at tax-victim expense - instead of working, participating in knowledge-sharing practices, and otherwise bringing benefit to the human economy.
    Increased crime over a boost in black market profitability (as happens with all prohibitions), which in turn requires an additional layer of enforcement costs, as well as increased insurance costs, possible loss of human lives, etc.
    A political precedent for passing irrational emotion-driven legislation, including ones you will disagree with.  (If you can impose "animal rights" legislation on others, then why can't Muslims impose Islamic legislation on you?  I assure you, there are a lot more of them then there are of you, and their numbers are growing exponentially while yours are actually shrinking.)
    Massive increases in the costs and lost opportunities in fields like medical research, resulting in unquantifiable amounts of unnecessary human suffering, billions of people dying years earlier than they otherwise might have, and the losses of the additional economic contributions billions of people would have made during their prolonged life-time.  If you are generally disinterested in dying sometime soon, then this should concern you quite a bit
    Ever-more government power which the demagogue politicians that baited you with poor little puppies and kitties can then misuse for their benefit.  All tyrannies in history have one thing in common - they came to power exploiting people's emotions and promising to do good!  The primary motive of government is power for its own sake, regardless if it has to kill millions of animals in the Colosseum, subsidize cheap meat, or throw people like Michael Vick in jail to gain the mob's trust

Given the hypothetical potential for eventual immortality of the human brain through science, those economic losses could make the difference between you living forever and you dying in your 60s, all because humanity couldn't put aside its stupid emotions and think rationally in its own self-interest!

The sad sad fact of the matter some people are cruel and irresponsible with the lives of those left in their care, and because of that, certain guidelines are set in place.

Left to their care by whom?  The reality is that human beings have CREATED the animals that they own - those individual animals exist as a consequence of their benevolent human masters!  Where would those animals live without them?  Would they buy their own land?  Would they grow their own food?  Would they respect the property rights of their neighbors?  Of course not!  You are free to own animals and treat them how you believe they should be treated, but you must recognize that other people are free to do the same!

And if you are going to speak of "animal right delusion" perhaps you shouldn't be posting in VEGAN forums.

It is understandable that you want to stick your head in the sand because you can't win this argument logically, but you are initiating aggression against other people.  You can't steal someone's wallet and then say: "I'm not responsible because I won't want to talk about this, you're boring / annoying, please go away"!  If you want other people to leave you alone to do as you please, then you must recognize the same Rights for them!

How do you know animals don't have rights? 

(Already summarized previously, but I don't mind repeating it dozens of times and from dozens of different angles if that will help it sink in for you.)

Because the concept of Rights must be an objective scientific concept, not an emotional one, which is how you approach it.  If we just leave it up to our emotions then people will never agree on whose emotions are more valid: those who want to eat animals, those who want to outlaw pet ownership, those who want to kill people who don't share their religion, etc, etc, etc.

Modern human beings have Rights because they already are products of the human civilization, and this civilization is only possible if certain universal rulesets are universally obeyed: "thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness", etc.  Those quotations are based on some very old theories which have been much perfected in the millenia since, but they have served a functional purpose as the foundation of a social contract between human beings.  The modern man can look at history and use deductive reasoning to establish which societal rulesets are ideal.  The above list of unintended consequences makes it perfectly clear that any society foolish enough to recognize "animal rights" will have a definite competitive disadvantage compared to a society that only recognizes the rights of rational economic actors (i.e. human beings).

Because people didn't used to think African Americans and dthose of Jewish decent deserved to have rights either, and look how wrong society was then.

That is an excellent example of what happens when you recognize or not recognize Rights on a subjective basis, or permit compromises on the basis of mob rule (i.e. democracy).  The rational approach to Natural Rights would have made those horrendous violations of Human Rights impossible, because it is a scientific fact that all variations within the human species have a fundamental capacity for individual thought and individual responsibility, which animals do not.

Maybe our views aren't the delusional ones, but the rational ones in a time and society where they have not yet been recognized as such.

I'm sorry, but you wouldn't know what rationality was even if I tied you up and forced you to listen to great lectures on philosophy and economics 16 hours a day for a year.  (Which of course I cannot do - it would violate your Rights.)  Rational thought would require you to be capable of reexamining your most deeply held beliefs and admit that you were wrong, as I have numerous times throughout my life.  You have to want to be rational more than you want your prior intuitions to have been correct, and that requires a significant degree of intellectual honesty and even some psychological toughness to be willing to change.  Some people seem to be more willing to do that than others...

There are people with developmental or physical problems whose IQ and level of communication is below that of some smart animals.

And, like children, the mentally handicapped individuals do not have the full Rights of a self-owning adult - their Right to Liberty and Right to Property must be deferred to a Guardian entrusted to act on their behalf.  Such Guardians -- most likely family member(s) or a reputable mental health charity / private institution that specializes in helping such people -- then get to decide how this patient is to be taken care of, where s\he lives, what s\he eats, how any assets she may have are to be managed, etc.  If one of those unfortunate people happens to father a child or get pregnant, for example, then that person will not have the same Parental Rights that a person of sufficient mental health would have.  Etc.  But every living human being has two rights that are not contingent on his or her individual capacity to reason: the Right to Life and the Right to Emancipation.

Those Rights are bestowed in recognition that a helpless baby has the potential to grow up to be a self-owning adult, and a mentally handicapped individual has at least a hypothetical potential to someday show improvement (like through some scientific breakthrough, no matter how improbable).  There is no possibility, however, of an elephant or a primate ever achieving this capacity.  Sure, it may someday be possible to implant a second computer-based brain inside a primate to get it to simulate the behavior of a human being, but that then becomes an issue of AI / robot rights, not animal rights per se.

Where do we draw the line?

The functional (ex. genetic, cybernetic, etc) potential of an entity to be a rational economic actor - that is to think its own thoughts, to pull its economic weight, and to be capable of respecting the rights of others.  I could go on for a dozen pages talking about the various theories on AI / robot rights and extraterrestrial rights, but with all known terrestrial animals it is really very simple - the brain structure that makes humans uniquely competent just simply isn't there.  If you can get a cloned human-chimpanzee hybrid that's say 70% human (going by added human DNA, not the genetic similarity that existed beforehand) to function as a rational economic actor, then you might have a good argument that having any added human DNA automatically gives you Human Rights (we should definitely err or the side of inclusiveness here), but no existing animal currently comes close.

So it only counts as murder and rape if the victim has two legs and theory of mind?

The number of limbs has nothing to do with it, self-ownership does.  The mind is what separates the universe into two classes of objects: those that can own themselves (i.e. human beings) and the natural resources that can be owned by others.

It only counts as harm if the person in question is a cog in your capitalist machinery?

Rational economic actors ARE the "capitalist machinery".  Everything else is just there for our convenience.

Your 'Natural Law' is a joke.

No, it's not a joke, it is a conclusion of a rational scientific approach to the most fundamental questions about how we should behave toward one-another.

Protecting property is a waste of government time.
Protecting lives and safety and health are the real concerns.

Do you presume that one is somehow different from another?

Do you own your own your bones more than you own your blood, or your blood more than a medical prosthesis that keeps you alive, or that more than the food you must eat to survive, or your means of contributing to the human economy so that you could buy your food, etc?  Human beings exist in a material world, and only as a consequence of the materialistic advancements that our civilization has brought, which in turn would be downright impossible without a sufficient degree of Property Rights and Economic Freedom.  You cannot separate our ownership of our bodies from our ownership of anything else: both are homesteaded from nature by our minds for our benefit!

And I'm not arrogant or blind enough to limit my definition of 'life' just to those who can run a business.

I don't know about a business, but I'm sure most animals could run a government better than most human beings - only because they wouldn't get in the way as much.  ;)

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hmmmm......

Well, I've been watching this whole thing unfold and get twisted around and muddied....and have been keeping myself as mere spectator partially out of laziness and partially out of pain impeding my ability to fully complete the thought process required to explain what I am about to attempt.... so if slightly unclear, forgive me and I will attempt to answer/clarify any points that raise questions.

As a follower in Thelema, following the tenants of Liber Oz, I believe I understand your reasoning and philosophy. One does have a right and responsibility to do whatever their Will is. However, they also have the responsibility to accept the outcome it produces. It is this part that hangs so many up I find.

Your reasoning as it is about the 'nanny' government does hold some merit. I refuse to accept one has no choice but to accept/lay victim to citizenship and the rules/regulations that result of it when one can secede, and be free of the laws governing that land/country/state/whathaveyou.

Essentially, one does have a choice.

ETA: Alex, you just posted as I was writing this, and I am unable to read/augment this right now....as I need to lay down with a heating pad again.

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I have always prefered the New Economic Theory branch of economics. 

You can also prefer saying that 2 + 2 adds up to 10, but that wouldn't make it true.

They assume that everyone is or can be an equal player in all markets.

No free market economist I've ever heard of assumes anything close to that.  Capitalism does, however, require human beings to function within the context of economic reality - some of which comes from nature, some from nurture, and some as a consequence of an individual's own choices as an adult.  People have no control over the things they are born into (their nature), they have only a very limited control of how things affect them in their childhood, and no one is omnipotent even as an adult, but there is nothing that can be done about that.  C'est la vie.

However, for an type of activity to occur in a market there has to be inequality.

Yes, we have inequality.  Some people are born taller than others.  Some have parents who raise and motivate them better than others.  Some choose to waste their youth learning English (as a second language) and to program C++, as I have.  Some spend a much happier youth playing sports and chasing girls.  Etc.  We are all different, but we all have the same Inalienable Rights, and that's what really matters as far as social equality is concerned.

You will only trade or work if you do not have all you need.

That's not true - people do many economically-beneficial things because they enjoy doing them, or out of genuine compassion for others, or to impress someone, or to boost their self-esteem, or because they think the world will go to hell in a handbasket unless someone wastes his nights trolling socialist-leaning forums to give them a piece of his mind...  Um, well, you get the idea.

Also, it assumes that everyone is cognisive of all activities of the market.

Can you please clarify what you mean by that?

However, for their to be profits - an essential market driver - a certain amount of people must be in the dark about the real value of goods and services.

That's not true.  First of all, you need to recognize a more objective definition of "capitalism" than the one imposed by Karl Marx!  A capitalist system can function without any profits, if all economic entities are willing to operate without them, as is the case in the open source software industry for example.  Most people don't make a profit from editing Wikipedia or posting on this forum, but people still choose to do that for their own personal self-interest.

Secondly, someone making a profit from an economic interaction with you doesn't mean you somehow lose!  You benefit by being able to participate in that transaction, which you've chosen to participate in voluntarily, while you could have taken your business to somebody else instead.  If you had no one else you could have gone to for a better deal, then that means the profit you've paid was a reward for the other person(s) doing for you what no other person(s) were willing to do.  You can expect other people to give you things for free, but most people cannot do that, and the one thing that capitalism doesn't allow you to do is use violence to get your way (ex. steal).

When I was taking development economic courses in grad school, the Human Capital Theory really struck me.  Human capital is needed to 'activate' land and capital.  Therefore, the focus of development, and all economies, should be on developing human capital.

You need to recognize that human beings are not clogs in an aggregate economic equation, which is what socialist economics (including Keynesianism) try to reduce them to.  Human beings own themselves!  They have individual minds, individual bodies, free will, and the capacity for experiencing individual consequences of their actions.  Any abstraction you may try to impose over them is meaningless, because you do not have the right to act on their behalf.

I have often reflected on this since my thesis was on women's international industries in West Africa.  It seems that we have tons of inactivated human capital.  Their is a growing uneducated underclass in this world.  This is a group that does not fully participate in our society let alone our economy.  They don't come up with new inovations, create enterprises, add to industries or to the fields of science and technology.

We all originated in Africa equally poor.  The most capitalist countries of the Early Modern Era were the first to industrialize, creating the regional inequality we have today.  What makes West Africa and other lagging regions different from the successful regions of the modern world is economic freedom.  They have no shortage of demagogue politicians promising to tax and spend their way to prosperity, who in reality do far more harm than good.  There is no such thing as a successful socialist country (Potemkin Villages of Northern Europe being debunked here), and virtually every country to attempt free market capitalism in the 20th century has reached the first-world status in just a generation or two!

Our focus should be on maximizing everyone's 'capital' or potential.  I disagree that this would be through complete liberalization of the economy.  Liberalization will inevitably lead to high levels of inequality and massive boom and bust cycles that cause economic ruin.

Who is this Mr Everyone that you refer to, and when did he sign his life over to you to think and act on his behalf?  Centuries of economic history clearly demonstrate that you maximize human achievement by recognizing that this capital is not owned by Mommy Government - the individual human beings own themselves and the consequences of their actions!

Business cycles are almost entirely caused by monetary expansionism and other consequences government interventionism, and if not for that would be mild asynchronous corrections when various industry patterns play themselves out.

High levels of inequality are a good thing.  (Or do you honestly believe that killing all the rich or all the poor people would make the world a better place?!)  Inequality is a natural result of civilization: people living through subsistence agriculture will continue to decline in their relative productivity, while the brightest minds who create ideas that have the greatest benefits to the human economy will continue to be ever-more valuable.

Stealing from the rich to give to the poor makes for good Machiavellian tactics, but it benefits no one but the ruling class in the long run.  The incentive to produce diminishes, human beings become ever-more dependent on someone else to do their thinking for them, government corruption inevitably grows, top brains and capital run away if they can, taxes grow as the tax base shrinks, and either the whole socialist scam collapses or it turns into a dystopic blood bath like in North Korea.  If you treat human beings like cattle, that is exactly what they'll be worth!

BTW, Alex there is a very good reason that we have both federal and international regulatory commities and regulations.  The economic boom of the 1920's, depression of the 30's that lead to the rise in Facism and Communism and a horrific war in the 1940's opened up many peoples eyes to the extreme dangers of Lassez Faire economic approaches.

It is clearly recognized by actual scientific economists (not to be confused with the corrupt yes-men financed and controlled by the state, as most so-called "economists" are today) that the Great Depression was caused by government interventionism, prolonged by government interventionism, and only in 1946, when government controls started to decline, did it dissipate - contrary to the cries of Keynesian kool-aid drinkers, who predicted total collapse!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XbG6aIUlog

And, just for lulz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

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Wow, I responded to this fella ONCE and he called me a Marxist.

I'm not a Marxist or a communist. I was born in Soviet Russia and lived there for 6 years right before the fall of communism. I know perfectly well, through first-hand experience, about how much communism sucks, thank you.

It's all about BALANCE. Total socialism and total capitalism are both flawed. I'm fine with a capitalist system under which social programs exist. Such as Medicare, food stamps, and lots and lots of taxes to pay for those things.

What bothers me about these so-called "anarcho-capitalists" is that they pretty much believe that the less skilled/ less fortunate members of society deserve to die. And as someone who was raised on food stamps, I've gotta say, that offends me.

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And furthermore, the idea that less fortunate members of society don't deserve support is WAAAAAY more violent than fines/taxes what have you. Come on now.

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(Still importing conversations from other threads so as to not hijack them any further.  Will reply to pending posts on this thread in due time.)

Can you post one thing without injecting google search results into a conversation?
How do you talk to people in real life?  You're quite scary.

Yes, I am in fact very scary.  Boo.

I'm not saying this as a threat, only as an acknowledgement that you have nothing but antipathy for someone like me, and would probably want to avoid dealing with me at every opportunity.  But what you need to recognize is that you can avoid dealing with vile scary people like myself by simply leaving us alone, just as we agree to leave you alone.  The next time some of your friends try to get you to support violent actions against people you don't want to deal with, simply don't give them your consent.  Just tell them that you think it's wrong to impose your subjective emotions on others through government force - it's as simple as that.  You can still use non-violent methods like ostracism to express your opposition, but violence is a no-no.  Is that really so hard?

  I'm assuming you're still a kid -- actually, hoping. 

Nope, I'm 28, but you are welcome to think that my arguments are childish.  (Same as above.)

If you try to use government force against me, however, then we do have a problem.

The only alternative to using animals for human purposes is killing them.

How is that supposed to make sense? First, killing animals IS using them for human purposes...one is just a means to the same end. Second, allowing animals to flourish in their natural environments, free of harrassment, is the only true alternative to using animals for human purposes. We do not have to destroy everything we touch, believe it or not.

How do you define the "natural environment"?  If you mean an environment where animals can exist in their wild state but man does not, then such a place does not exist.  Animals exist on a planet that is conquered by man and is still needed for man's well-being.  Animals exist only if and where the individual human property owners allow them to exist.

And man does not mindlessly destroy (unlike the other animals) - man is the most creative force in the known universe!  Let's see elephants try to clone their extinct ancestors out of extinction (or even comprehend the most basic sub-concepts of that proposition)!  Let's see dolphins synthesize water in the asteroid belt or build atomically-heated aquariums in interstellar space!

How the would your precious capitalism work if no one voted?

The same way a cell phone works when no one hits it with a hammer.

Bringing back old threads is unnecessary.

My mistake - I looked at the top of the Food Fight section and failed to notice that after a handful of recently active threads the next threads down the list were quite old.

Haha, the right to "bare" arms?  I will back that, I'm wearing a tank top.  :D

I was wrong, and I apologize for any confusion or distraction my spelling error has caused.

(English is not my first language.)

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Capitalism is at its heart exploitative and any self respecting anarchist would cringe at the thought of allowing others to exploit them or others.

No, what you are describing is socialism.  Capitalism is a system built upon the recognition that individuals own themselves and the consequences of their actions.  It doesn't offer you free cheese, but there's no mousetrap attached either.  Socialism is a collectivist system built on the oppression of individual rights by the politically-empowered class.  It exploits the most competent by stealing the fruits of their labor, it exploits the least competent as well by depriving them of the trickle-down benefits of a much more capitalist economy that would have existed in its stead, and it must rule with an iron fist to make it all happen.

I have no idea where a crazy right wing free market loving libertarian would call themselves an anarchist ( I have always hated the bi-polar ideas  "Anarcho"-Capitalists ) but whatever, labels are labels and while your ideas are valid and welcome in a discussion of the future, freedom and liberty can not coexist with exploitation and capitalism.

The right-left paradigm you reference is completely meaningless.  That term originates from a European parliament where Fascists and Communists were asked to sit on the opposite sides to reduce the risk of heated debate turning into fisticuffs.  And it's not like they had much to fight about, they were just more prone to it - they actually voted together on most of the authoritarian issues, except one side was mostly Jewish and internationalist while the other mostly racist / nationalist / antisemitic.  The term libertarian is also pretty much meaningless.  The most meaningful political distinction that separates us is the difference between individualism and collectivism; with the former being based on the recognition of man as a rational being, and the latter based on treating humanity like a herd of beasts to be manipulated and exploited by the ruling elite.

Capitalism is an economic system where men essentially rule themselves without an artificial power hierarchy - the less government involvement the better.  Capitalism with significant levels of government involvement is a completely different animal, and is called fascism instead.  Some capitalist philosophers were Minarchists - like for example Ayn Rand believed that an ideal government is so small that at peacetime it can be funded entirely through voluntary contract insurance.  Murray Rothbard, the founder of the Anarcho-Capitalist school of thought that here I represent, took it one step further to utilize concepts like polycentric law and private defense agencies to get rid of the state power monopoly completely.

Anarchism and capitalism are mutually complementary - one is unstable and impotent without the other!

I am sure that many anarchists are past the "lets destroy everything" and have realized that we need to create alternative models alongside that can eventually replace it.

I don't believe in destroying anything, I believe in individual rights and competition.  You want to worship your government - fine, knock yourself out!  But you cannot impose that government over me without my consent; and, as the most competent people tend to like government the least, pretty soon your government will simply run out of people it can tax!

For example single mothers might not want to support a sudden revolution that might take away security.

No one is talking about quitting all government cold turkey overnight!  It takes a child 15-20 years to reach adulthood - even under the best of circumstances the transition toward full Anarcho-Capitalism would take far longer than that, giving people plenty of time to adjust, learn new skills, re-enter the workforce, adjust their career path so that it doesn't depend on the state, and so on.  And then there's also private charity.

David Graeber talks about building alternative institutions that provide models and create the future we want realized today.  However, replacing crappy capitalism with a possibly more exploitative form is ridiculous.

I'm not familiar David Graeber specifically, but it's pretty safe to assume that he's another one of those taxvictim-subsidized so-called intellectuals spewing feel-good Utopian ideas that are completely detached from objective economic reality.  He probably intends to subvert or destroy the government and replace its power vacuum with nothing - just like a hundred other socialist movements that predictably have resulted in economic collapse, a bloodbath, and an inevitable dictatorship that is absolutely guaranteed to follow.  Ask him how one might go about manufacturing a cell phone or a space-station in his property-free Utopia and his head will explode.

No Gods, No Masters & No Capitalism.

If you are your own master, then you have capitalism.  If you are not your own master, then someone else probably is.

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Oh, sorry.  I forgot that our Aryan chickens are superior to natural biodiversity.

Ah, aryanism - a concept so moot it is etymologically linked to countries as distant as Ireland and Iran.  But as far as I can tell, it has absolutely nothing to do with chickens.  You probably just like to pepper your equally moot environmentalist accusations with buzzwords to make them seem more important than they really are.

Those 30+ billion chickens are allowed to exist by their respective property owners because they bring value to them.  Rare birds can have great value as well, and there are plenty of people interested in protecting them.  As the rarity of a bird increases, so does a specimen price, and birds breed ridiculously quickly in captivity.  If Amazon.com can deliver any of the several million products to your door in a matter of days, a similar company could do the same to birds as well.  As humanity's economic resources expand exponentially, protecting all 10,000 or so species of birds native to this little planet will become ever-easier, and we can always use DNA to resurrect a particular subspecies if we wanted to.  But using government force to "protect" huge areas of wilderness just for the sake of those silly things is extremely stupid and economically harmful.  How many Red Lories does this universe really need, given that we can clone as many as we like at any time and even genetically engineer new species of birds that are much better looking.

Obviously we should sterilise the rest of the world for their benefit, to create a worldwide system of monocultures.

You have it perfectly backwards.  The universe is sterile in our absence, and humanity (and any other rational beings that may exist) are what gives it value.

Look, you're just not going to convince me that money=freedom;

Money does not equal freedom, freedom equals freedom.  Money is just a standard means of exchanging materialistic value, and most things that human beings need to survive and be happy are indeed materialistic in nature: food, clothing, shelter, security, medicine, nail clippers, Web-servers, Firefly-class spaceships, spotted owls, etc.  Without the material advances that took place thanks to man's conquest of primitive nature, your chances of ever being born are very close to zilch, and even if you were then your life would be very nasty, very brutish, and very short.  Thus material things are very important, and since bartering condoms for apples or whatnot is somewhat inconvenient, it very much helps to have one standard unit of value to measure all things.

I barely believe in the concept of ownership at all, and money has never been a motivation for me in any way, shape, or form. My aims in life have nothing to do with fiscal gain; I'd be just as happy living out of dumpsters and reciting poetry on the street as I would be studying mitochondrial DNA in a laboratory (on government funding). But I know I would never be happy working to 'please the market.'

Eating out of the dumpster most often constitutes trespassing and/or theft (and who will pay to have your stomach pumped?), and receiving government funding definitely constitutes theft.  You don't have to work to "please the market", but you do need to pull your own economic weight, and you are free the rest of the time to do as you like.  As the economy advances, the amount of work an average human being needs to do to pull his own weight continues to decline, and access to education to advance your career qualifications and thus be able to work even less continues to improve.

I come from a long line of people who have ditched profitable employment for hand-to-mouth happiness. I've seen that communities tend to be happier when they're barely scraping along but are interdependent and supportive of each other without expectation of repayment. Your system would never work universally, because that's just not how humans work. Same reason total anarchy wouldn't work, and equally why communism tends to fall flat on its arse as well. They operate on the assumption that broad blanket statements can be applied to society as a whole, and, well... that just doesn't pan out.

You are using incorrect definitions of terms.  "Anarcho-Capitalism" is not "total anarchy", it is "total capitalism" (a "chickpea" is not a "chicken").  In a capitalist society you are perfectly free to start or join a commune (as long as it is on legitimately acquired land and all adults are there voluntarily), and live there on your own terms with like-minded individuals who share your vision of what an ideal community should be like.  But you are not free to steal from people outside of your commune, violate your fellow communists' "Right to Free Exit", or to otherwise initiate force.

So that I could watch your civilization collapse with a clear conscience.

That was an extremely violent thing to say.

Um, wow...  Trying (through online debate) but eventually failing to stop people like you from destroying yourselves and others is... violence on my part?!  Yikes! 

(From the "How Vegan Are You?" thread.)

I don't think he talks to people in real life... isn't it obvious?
I think people would run screaming once he opened his mouth and started spiting his typical crazy garbage

Once again, your failure to understand something does not make it "crazy".  And if people who started out as wanting to initiate aggression against me end up running away screaming, well, mission accomplished.  Sorta...  The point is - if you don't want to have to defend your political positions logically, then don't support government action, period.

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Why are you still here. Ugh.

And

Is this you? Just wondering.

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No, that's another 28-year-old Anarcho-Capitalist guy named Alex Libman with same peculiar grammatical habits using his real name on a forum that I often link to from here.  :winktongue:

(Will catch up with the rest of the replies tomorrow night.)

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Ah, aryanism - a concept so moot it is etymologically linked to countries as distant as Ireland and Iran.  But as far as I can tell, it has absolutely nothing to do with chickens.  You probably just like to pepper your equally moot environmentalist accusations with buzzwords to make them seem more important than they really are.

Well, it's a shame you aren't as well-versed in English as you are in Googling semi-relevant links to try and make your posts look legit. Perhaps if you spent more time on the former and less on the latter, you'd realize that far from referencing the Indo-Aryan group of languages or attempting to be inflammatory, I was drawing the comparison between eugenics and breeding animals to be 'ideal' for human purposes. We could breed people so that there are no genetic disorders or even aesthetic imperfections, and leave the inferior human beings to the mercies of collectors who think them amusing curiosities, but that would be point-blank wrong. There, is that simple enough for you?

How many Red Lories does this universe really need, given that we can clone as many as we like at any time and even genetically engineer new species of birds that are much better looking.

If you actually think this is about birds being 'pretty,' then you're even more of an idiot than I thought.

You have it perfectly backwards.  The universe is sterile in our absence, and humanity (and any other rational beings that may exist) are what gives it value.

Look at me! I think I'm important! I have no concept of the idea that maybe human intelligence is not the most important thing in the world! I don't have the breadth of mind to envision the possibility that something I don't understand and cannot put into my own terms has any value!

Money does not equal freedom, freedom equals freedom.  Money is just a standard means of exchanging materialistic value, and most things that human beings need to survive and be happy are indeed materialistic in nature: food, clothing, shelter, security, medicine, nail clippers, Web-servers, Firefly-class spaceships, spotted owls, etc.

I believe it is a great social injustice that such basic necessities as food, clothing, and medicine are commodities to be bought and sold. I've lived in the US, in Canada, and in the UK, and I know first-hand - as much as people complain about taxes, the second they find out they need a heart transplant, they're suddenly very, very grateful that the government is willing to pay for it. I've watched my mother die, slowly, and seen the frustration and the futility of privatized healthcare. I've also rushed into the ER while visiting my family in the States, and felt the immense relief of my anxieties as I realized that my provincial healthcare would be willing to cover that.

Eating out of the dumpster most often constitutes trespassing and/or theft (and who will pay to have your stomach pumped?), and receiving government funding definitely constitutes theft.

No, no it doesn't. You threw it in a dumpster, you obviously don't want it. You've given up possession of it, so it's free for the taking. And trust me, with what gets thrown away by the megacorporations in the interest of earning a greater profit, it's not an issue of stomach-pumping, it's an issue of finding thirty people with whom to share the feast.

You are using incorrect definitions of terms.  "Anarcho-Capitalism" is not "total anarchy", it is "total capitalism" (a "chickpea" is not a "chicken").  In a capitalist society you are perfectly free to start or join a commune (as long as it is on legitimately acquired land and all adults are there voluntarily), and live there on your own terms with like-minded individuals who share your vision of what an ideal community should be like.  But you are not free to steal from people outside of your commune, violate your fellow communists' "Right to Free Exit", or to otherwise initiate force.

Oh, sorry - I keep forgetting you have no idea what you're on about. I never said anarchy and anarchy-capitalism were synonymous, just that they were doomed to fail for the same reasons. Genius.

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  As a follower in Thelema, following the tenants of Liber Oz, I believe I understand your reasoning and philosophy. One does have a right and responsibility to do whatever their Will is. However, they also have the responsibility to accept the outcome it produces. It is this part that hangs so many up I find. 

Thank you.  :D

I have mixed feelings about Aleister Crowley and the various movements he's influenced.  On one hand his philosophy does come pretty close to recognizing Individual Rights, but it doesn't always do so for the most rational of reasons.  Many aesthetic aspects of such movements can be very appealing, especially when you're young and like to experiment with all that this world has to offer (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but as people grow older they tend to discover that they get more substantive fulfillment from things like wealth and family instead, and some Satanist ideas do seem to be somewhat incompatible with that...

I am particularly interested to learn what you think about this debate on the issue of "animal rights", keeping in mind the distinction between subjective morality and objective Law that needs to be backed by force.

  I am unable to read/augment this right now 

Never a problem - no substantive conversation should ever be reduced to a race to get your words out before someone else does.  I would appreciate any contributions that you would make to this debate at your convenience.

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Dude, the free-state people you linked to and said you were a part of say they are libertarian, and all the ideas you are putting forth are generally labeled libertarian. If that makes you uncomfortable, so be it. I now I didn't put a link into David Graeber's name, but you're a big boy, you can check it out yourself. Maybe in a book and not on wikipedia(gasp!) But dissing something you don't know anything about doesn't make you sound as smart as you think it does. I agree that just proclaiming that without rule we would be in a utopia is silly. I'm not saying that. I just don't agree with the use of the term anarchist to describe free-market economics. Milton Freeman didn't refer to himself as such. Neither did Keynes to my knowledge. It just seems like a semantic trick to make it seem less greedy. Sorry.

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Keynes was not a free-market economist.  He encouraged FDR to implement programs to jumpstart the economy during the Depression.  The main tenent of his argument was that the economy COULD NOT restore itself after a sharp economic downturn without a large boost from the government - as in spending for job creation.  He also believe in regulation.  A market could not work properly without controls. 

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