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What Individualism Is Not • Frank Chodorov

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posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Excellent! This isn't light reading, and I appreciate the time and effort you put into this.

Libertarianism is probably the closest party we have now to the concepts of natural law and rights that our nation was founded upon. When my kids and their friends were coming of age, and were all quite disillusioned with the two-party system, I told them to check out Libertarianism. I also warned them that once the Liberty Party gained enough ground, it would also be corrupted and perverted by those who corrupt and pervert everything!

What's pretty darn sad is that what we call "free market" capitalism today is anything but a free market.... more like crony capitalism.




posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 08:05 AM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire

So there may be some argument of a pristine marketplace based on the free will of the individual but I can only find this to be so from a purely idealistic position.

Though I applaud Mr. Chodorov's well thought out position, I find it based entirely upon late 19th and early 20th century morality and though possibly valuable in an historical context, rather naive by 21st century knowledge.



I agree... but it's only an idealistic position because the free market has been so corrupted via legislation and regulation that attempts to thwart free will and control our economic choices. Our basic nature hasn't changed, only the means of control. We have economic chaos and destruction because of the interference. Left alone, the free market would serve and reflect our needs and consumer choices, not that of those controlling our purse strings.

There is nothing naive about recognizing our fundamental nature and nature's laws. Our needs have not changed. We still need a place to live and work, we still need air and water and food to sustain life, we still need people to love and play with. This is as true today as 200 years ago or 2,000 years ago and on and on. It's only the means and method of control by others that has changed.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: Bone75

Ah, but where was the government that forced them to do this. They did it of their own free will. Socialism is NOT this miraculous Christlike community because many have to be compelled to it. The choice is taken from you. If you haven't chosen to give of yourself, then there is no "good work" you have done.

And so-called faith compelled is actually not faith at all, but sheer, naked force. There is another body of scripture that addresses this but the most basic is in the 10 Commandments - Thou shalt not steal. Backed by Thou shalt not covet.

There are many church groups and bodies like them who do actually get together and share what they have both amongst each other and with others in need. But no one acknowledges this.

Let me illustrate what I was working with above. It costs about $5 to get a drink at Starbucks. So you have $5 and go to Starbucks, but one day, there is a bell ringer at the door. You could either donate your money or get your drink. You have the choice to benefit those who could use the money far more than you or satisfy your own selfish desire. Right there, the choice is yours to make. You know what choice God would have you make, but He won't compel you.

People who interpret scripture in a socialist manner would prefer no one have the choice I outlined above because not everyone will donate. Some will choose to get their drink instead. So, in their perfect world, the government steps in and sees they have that extra $5 to get that drink and the government simply takes it away. Now there is no choice. You are robbed of having to choose whether you will do the right thing and donate or simply satisfy your own selfish desire.

The second path makes people feel good about themselves because they never have to face the true choice. They can feel like they always "gave at the office" so to speak and are thus absolved of having to worry about whether or not they might have to make tough choices anywhere else, but they miss the mark.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 08:50 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn

This article is exactly the kind of simplistic ideology that I find stupid


I'm not sure ideology means what you think it means. Free will is not an ideology. It just is. Trying to control the free will of others for whatever reason is an ideology, whether through economic or social or legal means.


...while the free market is itself a mechanism neutral to values...


The free market reflects individual values... not the ideology of someone(s) trying to control our economic choices. So the free market reflects many, many values according to the various wants and needs of the consumers.


People who say this are like fish in the ocean, they don't question the nature of water because they don't see the water, just like we used not to question the nature of space-time because we were so used to it that it seemed there was nothing to say about it.


If that were true, then people wouldn't question the nature of our air... and yet we do. We question the level of pollution and what effect it has on our health. We question the level of altitude and what effect it has on our breathing. And as one who has studied both astronomy and astrology and many related issues, yes, people have always and will always question the nature of space-time. We would not have clocks or calendars if that were not so.


The free-market ideologists think they know what 'human nature' is, and they believe that the free-market is best suited to accommodate that so-called 'human nature'.


Perhaps you are stuck on semantics? We all have the same basic fundamental needs to sustain and nurture life -- air, food, water, shelter, etc. We all have wants and desires -- just not all the same wants and desires. I prefer to use the term human condition, but human nature isn't wrong.

Who is best to make those choices for me? And according to whose ideology? Who is so omnipotent and omniscient that they should have the wisdom and authority to impose their ideology on the rest of us?


They think 'human nature' needs to own property, they think 'human nature' equals greed. So no, the free-market is not neutral to values.


No, that's what you think. In truth, everyone needs a place to live, because they're here. Owning property is a means to that end. It's ideology which has decided that only people who play the games of the govt/corporate master "deserve" a place to live. And it is that greedy ideology which has totally screwed up our housing market. What would you suggest as an alternative?


Which 'creator' are we talking about here ? Who knows the 'creator', if there is one ? I don't.


THE creator. The source for life. Our lives. We came from somewhere. The same somewhere ultimately. You can define it as you will for your own purposes. And I can define it as I will for my own purposes. As long as I don't impose my definition on you, and you don't impose your definition on me, all's good.


The free-market is of the same nature as religion, it contains dogmas, it refuses to look at reality and at the new possibilities. It is just an old and boring ideology.


No, it's reality. It's natural law. It is ideology that must force their dogmas on others. Hence the legislations and regulations imposed to control the consumer... hence the need for punishments and penalties for those who use their free will... hence the existence of black markets...



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 08:56 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma

originally posted by: greencmp
I wonder if it might be possible to convey the idea of individualism to citizens with a predominantly herd based mindset. I refuse to believe that it is no longer possible.


I couldn't resist the urge to turn my anecdotal references again.
From experience, I have seen that the idea CAN be conveyed to people with a predominantly herd based mindset.
I do this on a daily basis. It is somewhat upsetting for them and has to be approached very,very carefully, wary of their sensitive spots, and with a large part of courage to face your OWN sensitive spots.

The only effective way to actually communicate the ideas of individualism to a socially minded individual is to open your own mind to theirs as well.

In our individualist world view, there are "takers" and there are "givers" (those who pay taxes, and those who reap benefits from them; those who sell, and those who buy: those who provide and those who are dependant, etc. )
Each individual is determined to be, or determines themselves as, one or the other.

In a social minded, or collectivist world view, everyone is both giver and taker. Everything is exchange, and interdependence. Even employer/employee relations. This includes communication. There is not one who gives knowledge while the other takes in and digests it.

So you have to be ready and willing to make it about an exchange- to acknowledge their information and receive it (even if it pushes your repulsion buttons). This really makes a difference. It also shows (to me) that these social minded people, even if a bit inexperienced or clumsy about individual expression, really know a thing or two about relational dynamics! We all have something to learn from one another. Don't go expecting anyone to respect you if you won't respect them.


One of the points that I think needs to be made is that each and every one of us is both a producer and a consumer rather than exclusively one or the other. In an equitable voluntary exchange, each party is more satisfied having realized the transaction than having declined it.

If your student values your guidance and you value your compensation (be it emotional or monetary), the exchange can be considered equitable. If one or the other party does not choose to complete the transaction because of some unsatisfied requirement, they are not obligated to follow through with it and both parties part ways amicably in search of a more equitable exchange.

In socialism (or collectivism), a central planner identifies the approved goods and services and allocates the necessary resources in anticipation of the presumed requirements of the members of the collective. If any party is unsatisfied with the resulting goods or services there is no recourse because no other options are available. All transactions are inequitable and, thus, all parties are dissatisfied.

The precursor to that level of planned economy (socialism/communism) is what is called interventionism. This is what we currently have. A limited level of dictation is performed by a governing body which constrains the options available (though, to a lesser extent) to producers/consumers. While it is possible to decline a transaction under this regime, capital and human resources having been misallocated, some form of bailout is necessary for producers who fail to recoup their costs of production or they would go out of business (a primary feature and a desirable outcome for unsuccessful producers under the free market and a perceived catastrophe under interventionism) and consumers simply go without that product or service having no other options authorized by the governing body. Frequently, the black market (the free market can never actually be subdued, it just goes underground) makes up for the failures of any system which, intentionally or not, fails to supply the needs or desires of consumers.

In short, humanity has invested enormous resources into attempting to make a planned economy work and it has never worked. Usually it results in starvation, depravity and, ultimately, war of the most horrendous kind as was exemplified by the last century.
edit on 15-3-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:02 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

All right. How about this?

If there is something you need that I have, and we make an agreement, then shouldn't you be able to enjoy the fruits of that exchange? Namely, that you now have access to something you didn't previously have that I did that you needed.

In essence, that is the free market. Ideally, you and I have both worked out an agreement that is agreeable between ourselves where we both get things we need from each other. And each of us is ultimately better off for it.

Now, we can go into the details of how some people are idiots and get taken advantage of and how some people are dicks and take advantage of others ... but that's getting into the weeds, and it's really about how some people are the problem ... not the idea. And isn't the really the issue with the world? PEOPLE?

It doesn't ultimately matter what system we talk about, you are always going to talk about how this or that was because some people did or did not do this or that.

So how about we stop talking about why the system itself sucks and start talking about why WE suck?



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:12 AM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: greencmp

What's pretty darn sad is that what we call "free market" capitalism today is anything but a free market.... more like crony capitalism.



What do you mean the free market of today is crony capitalism? The government has ALWAYS been involved with big business since pretty much we were founded as a country. Crony capitalism (not really a thing to be honest) is as old as our country (actually older considering that was one of the reasons we fought the Revolutionary war). There has NEVER been a completely free market in the United States, and anyone who thinks that, either has a poor understanding of history or nostalgia glasses on or both.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:41 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: greencmp

What's pretty darn sad is that what we call "free market" capitalism today is anything but a free market.... more like crony capitalism.



What do you mean the free market of today is crony capitalism?


I meant just what I said. Crony capitalism: "Crony" as in friends, family and campaign donors... "Capitalism" as in who owns and/or controls the "capital" as in the resources, labor and money. Would you prefer "corporatism?" Or "fascism"? Or "oligarchy?" Or do you actually think we have a true free market driven by consumer demand and choices?


The government has ALWAYS been involved with big business since pretty much we were founded as a country.


True, although I would draw a distinction between business, even big business, which can grow and prosper in a free market without government intervention, and corporations, which are fictional legal entities entitled with special privileges -- the antithesis of a free market.


Crony capitalism (not really a thing to be honest)


Really? Please elaborate...


...is as old as our country (actually older considering that was one of the reasons we fought the Revolutionary war).


Really??? Something that never existed is as old or older than our country??? Again, please -- PLEASE -- elaborate. My mind is spinning.

I would say you're right, that crony capitalism and/or corporatism played a major part in the Revolution, but you told me there is no such thing. So I don't know what to say.


There has NEVER been a completely free market in the United States, and anyone who thinks that, either has a poor understanding of history or nostalgia glasses on or both.


Whew! Good thing I never said that! I simply referred to today. But yes, again, you are right. We have never had a true free market. For example, plantation owners used unpaid labor, under color of law and force, thus maximizing profits with the blood, sweat and tears of others... nothing free about that.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

No, and the COTUS ensures that there will never be a completely free market either. The Federal government is given power to adjudicate trade between the states to make sure they play fair between themselves. That right there means there will be some level of market interference.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Why don't you want to acknowledge the fact that wanting to copy nature is an ideology in itself ? Nothing is forcing you to copy nature, thus it is a choice, a choice that is supported by a certain number of ideas = ideology. It is obvious.

And why do you try to make me look like I am defending government ? I am not, and I didn't even use the word "government" once. It's the proponents of the free-market who are stuck at this level of thinking, because they think the free-market is the perfect stuff and only evil governments are stopping them from attaining their utopia.

I don't believe in any "creator" thus I don't think any "creator" has designed my so called "free-will", which is not really free according to latest science.

The alternative is using 21th century technology to create an abundance of goods in many domains, to automate every production process that can be automated and to free human beings from the archaic struggle for survival.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 09:53 AM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
I meant just what I said. Crony capitalism: "Crony" as in friends, family and campaign donors... "Capitalism" as in who owns and/or controls the "capital" as in the resources, labor and money. Would you prefer "corporatism?" Or "fascism"? Or "oligarchy?" Or do you actually think we have a true free market driven by consumer demand and choices?


I'd say that our market today is a mix of Socialism and Capitalism. This mix allows pure Capitalists to lament the Socialist aspects as "crony capitalism".



True, although I would draw a distinction between business, even big business, which can grow and prosper in a free market without government intervention, and corporations, which are fictional legal entities entitled with special privileges -- the antithesis of a free market.


I wouldn't. Business is business whether it is a corporation or privately owned is irrelevant and just allows you room to make exceptions to the rules and ideology that you proclaim.



Really? Please elaborate...


Because all capitalism requires collusion to succeed. You can't become successful without colluding with other entities to further your wealth. The government is just another entity. This isn't always a bad thing either. That is a fallacy promoted by the anti-capitalists, so don't let my words here rock your boat too much.


Whew! Good thing I never said that! I simply referred to today. But yes, again, you are right. We have never had a true free market. For example, plantation owners used unpaid labor, under color of law and force, thus maximizing profits with the blood, sweat and tears of others... nothing free about that.


But your referral of today's economic climate came with an assumption that at some point in the past this wasn't the case. If that isn't what you meant, then you needed to word it better, because that is how it is read.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 10:07 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: Boadicea

No, and the COTUS ensures that there will never be a completely free market either.


Technically, very true. However, the purpose of the commerce clause was to protect and ensure free trade among the states, and otherwise protect and ensure a level playing field for both consumers and businesses. It is not "free trade" if states can impose different standards or regulations for different states. Likewise, it is not "free trade" if a business misrepresents its products or services so I am not "free" to make informed choices with the facts -- not lies.


The Federal government is given power to adjudicate trade between the states to make sure they play fair between themselves. That right there means there will be some level of market interference.


Perhaps this is just semantics, but while regulation is necessary to ensure all parties know and adhere to the same rules, there should be no adjudication of trade between states, because all states should be on the same level playing fields. Only violation of those equal standards would need adjudication.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
I'd say that our market today is a mix of Socialism and Capitalism. This mix allows pure Capitalists to lament the Socialist aspects as "crony capitalism".


It is corruption which defines crony capitalism.

If I am on the town committee and I pass an ordinance which precludes children from shoveling snow for "safety" reasons but, it is discovered that my son in law happens to possess the only means of snow removal, you can say that I and the governing body which I have influence over is corrupt and crony capitalist.

Socialism really has very little to do with corruption/crony capitalism other than the fact that it too is severely handicapped by corruption and to a much greater degree because even the slightest failure to correctly allocate resources results in a cascade failure.

Interventionism presents a de facto state of corruption in which only state approved participants may compete in a controlled environment all but guaranteeing that special interests will be preferred.

Interventionism is the antecedent philosophy to socialism but, it is not yet actually a fully realized form of socialism. It simply causes so much damage to an economy that it becomes easier to sell totalitarian control once the populace is put under great stress from the failure of what had once been a functioning free market now bespoiled by the manifest effects of economic interventionism.
edit on 15-3-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
a reply to: Boadicea

Why don't you want to acknowledge the fact that wanting to copy nature is an ideology in itself ?


I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here. If I paint a picture of a rose, I am copying nature. But to say that roses -- like us -- need water, air and soil to grow, and then giving them the same, isn't copying nature. And when I grow roses, I am not "copying nature" by understanding that they need what they need to live and grow and sustain life. That's not an ideology. It just is what it is.


Nothing is forcing you to copy nature, thus it is a choice, a choice that is supported by a certain number of ideas = ideology. It is obvious.


The only thing obvious to me is that trying to defy the laws of nature will bite me in the butt every time, sooner or later, one way or another. I did not create the laws of nature and physics and mechanics. The best we can do is recognize, understand, and utilize them.


And why do you try to make me look like I am defending government ? I am not, and I didn't even use the word "government" once.


I sincerely apologize for giving that impression. That thought seriously never entered my mind. What did enter my mind, and hence my introduction of govt into the equation, is that it is government who interferes with a free market. You and I can't tell each other force each other to buy or not buy something. That's government interference.


It's the proponents of the free-market who are stuck at this level of thinking, because they think the free-market is the perfect stuff and only evil governments are stopping them from attaining their utopia.


Actually, I was trying to point out how even despite government interference, free will in the marketplace will occur. Hence, black markets...


I don't believe in any "creator" thus I don't think any "creator" has designed my so called "free-will", which is not really free according to latest science.


This is not directed at you in any way, but science is full of crap.


The alternative is using 21th century technology to create an abundance of goods in many domains, to automate every production process that can be automated and to free human beings from the archaic struggle for survival.


I actually agree here in principle. While the human condition and our needs has not changed, the means of providing for those needs have changed drastically. There is much we can do to change that dynamic for the better. I would love to see that happen. But in any system developed and established, we will always have to be wary of those who would corrupt it for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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originally posted by: IvanAstikov



"That government is best which governs least."

-Thomas Jefferson


That'd sound nonsensical if government was instead called "management." What Tom seemed to overlook is nobody really likes being "governed" - it is always going to come across as a bit authoritarian when it is framed like that. What government really needs is a brand rename.


I'm not sure how to respond to that. I don't think Tom overlooked that fact at all, indeed it seems to be at the heart of his argument.

Besides the fact that our government is not supposed to manage the lives of Americans, even if I was to accept that specious comparison, light touch management is actually what tends to work best.

If you were to give government a new euphemistic brand, what might it be?

I am a little afraid to hear your response.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
There might be a confusion here, I am not defending socialism, I am not defending any ideology, any -ism that doesn't take into account reality.

Step 1 : we recognize we are humans.
Step 2 : we recognize human beings have needs.
Step 3 : we recognize that we have the technological means to satisfy those needs.
Step 4 : we do it.

That's how any intelligent life form should take care of the members of its species, be it on our planet or any other planet of any other galaxy. Any other plan is retarded ideology.


What do you do with a machine that is broken and cannot be fixed?
What, then, do you do with unproductive people who 'retard' progress?

You're perspective on 'things' is intriguing ... and I am genuinely curious.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

I'd say that our market today is a mix of Socialism and Capitalism.


I agree in part. And I don't have a problem with that. In the spirit of the social contract, government's job is to do what is best for the people, and there is strength in numbers, so what we can do collectively is often much greater and beneficial than what we can do alone. But I think it's still a little more complicated than that.


This mix allows pure Capitalists to lament the Socialist aspects as "crony capitalism".


That may be true but I haven't noticed it. When I refer to crony capitalists, I refer to the legislation and regulations that give some businesses an advantage over others, or that forces the consumer to purchase certain products/services, or that forbids the consumer from purchasing certain products/services, usually "for your own good."


Business is business whether it is a corporation or privately owned is irrelevant and just allows you room to make exceptions to the rules and ideology that you proclaim.


Unfortunately, there is a big difference, or there would be no corporations. Ask any mom and pop business that's been regulated right out of business while their corporate counterpart gets special privileges and entitlements by govt.



...all capitalism requires collusion to succeed. You can't become successful without colluding with other entities to further your wealth.


Cooperation, yes. Collusion -- which, by definition, is illegal and deceitful -- no. A dear friend of mine is a well known, successful, and very wealthy artist. There was no collusion required. Only her talent to create art, the means to purchase the necessary supplies, and someone who can and will pay her price.


The government is just another entity.


No, the government has too much power to ever be "just another entity."


This isn't always a bad thing either.


Of course not -- when they act for the good of "we the people," in accordance with the social contract.


That is a fallacy promoted by the anti-capitalists, so don't let my words here rock your boat too much.


It's not always a good thing either, as promoted by the crony capitalists... but don't let my words here rock your boat too much either.


But your referral of today's economic climate came with an assumption that at some point in the past this wasn't the case. If that isn't what you meant, then you needed to word it better, because that is how it is read.


That was apparently your assumption. Unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to word anything in such a way that people will not read what they choose to assume.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

You make it sound like corruption doesn't occur in the business side of things either. To me, it is all collusion. Yes, I'd like to minimize corruption, but it isn't JUST the government or businesses that deal with government that can be corrupt.



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 11:55 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: greencmp

What's pretty darn sad is that what we call "free market" capitalism today is anything but a free market.... more like crony capitalism.



What do you mean the free market of today is crony capitalism? The government has ALWAYS been involved with big business since pretty much we were founded as a country. Crony capitalism (not really a thing to be honest) is as old as our country (actually older considering that was one of the reasons we fought the Revolutionary war). There has NEVER been a completely free market in the United States, and anyone who thinks that, either has a poor understanding of history or nostalgia glasses on or both.


I hear this claim all the time, that there has never been a free market in the US.

The whole of the western part of the country was founded by people operating in a totally free market with almost no government oversight.

Most people thrived and traded with the native population as well as each other.

When violence occurred, it was frequently between varied alliances of natives and settlers vs other alliances of natives and settlers much like Ireland when the vikings arrived. There was no overarching norse or celtic command structure and people made choices which resulted in relatively peaceful integration and relatively limited violence.

There are many other examples here in the US and elsewhere in the world but, in case the point is lost, even if a truly free market hadn't existed on our soil in the past, what makes you so sure that it couldn't exist now?



posted on Mar, 15 2015 @ 12:00 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: greencmp

You make it sound like corruption doesn't occur in the business side of things either. To me, it is all collusion. Yes, I'd like to minimize corruption, but it isn't JUST the government or businesses that deal with government that can be corrupt.



You can't minimize corruption, it is a function of human nature and exists wherever humans exist. That includes individuals, government and any other associations or businesses. However, you can provide ideal circumstances for it to thrive.

Knowing that it is inevitable is what makes free markets the best mechanism to drive production because only the least corrupt producers will prevail when all are allowed to compete.

I am shocked that these basic premises are lost on you as you have frequently claimed to be a libertarian.



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