Markets and capitalism are entirely orthogonal to each other. We can have free market not-capitalism as John Lewis proves. The opposite of free markets is unfree markets, something that historically hasn’t worked out well. The basic problem being quis custodiet etc.

16 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious

    Note to Richard Murphy: Regulated capitalism is actually the norm in capitalist economies these days.

  2. I suspect the intended target of the “level playing field” comment is crony capitalism, but part of the point of having markets is to see in what way things are not level because that’s how you discover the most efficient way of organising things. It might be “unfair” or at least “unlevel” that one farm can produce vegetables cheaper than another, that one factory is able to can them cheaper than another, that one retailer is better at flogging them, but if you didn’t know that then how would you make sure that vegetables are grown, canned and sold in the right places?

  3. If regulations are easier for a large company (with large compliance staff) versus a smaller company, then logically it follows that to have a level playing field we need to get rid of the regulation.

  4. Perhaps the Spuddle should propose a Preservation of Livelihood Law and a Fair Share Law…….oh wait, someone already thought of that………..in 1957.

  5. Capitalism is united with free markets in the sense that capitalism means that there are markets for trading capital goods, so you can’t have capitalism without markets

  6. . . . a wise government ensures that is the case.

    If we’re smart enough to set up that wise government then we’re smart enough to not need it.

    If we’re not smart enough to manage these things on our own then how are we going to be smart enough to choose the right ‘Top Men’ to fill this ‘wise government’?

  7. ‘the opposite of free markets is not communism, it is regulated capitalism where everyone gets a fair chance to compete on a level playing field because a wise government ensures that is the case.’

    ‘Regulated capitalism’ is an oxymoron.

    As Murphy uses it, it means fascism. Strong, autocratic central control of a private economy.

    Fair chance to compete, level playing field, wise government are just fantasy.

  8. ‘The croniest of crony capitalism is called communism.’

    No. Cooperation to the point of partnership between government and business is fascism.

    Falangism – never heard of it.

  9. Gamecock: Just to be difficult, I’d call co-operation to the point of partnership the German version of national socialism.

    You’ll have noted that when China switched from the Great Russian form of national socialism to the German version, its economy immediately began to improve, since it co-opted the capitalists rather than killing them. Of course, anti-colonialism is just another form of German-style national socialism. Its vicious racial hatred of whites and determination to steal their property and bully all other businesses into submission is text-book national socialism.

    Indeed the vigorous and rapidly increasing censorship of any dissenting voices as hate speech is another sign of its triumph. The sturmabteilung of Antifa are an indication that the national socialist revolution is entering its last phase.

    As has long since been obvious, Hitler has won.

  10. As others have pointed out, Germany’s fascists really were socialists in the sense that they were all about country before individual, a common purpose, regulated economy, controlled markets and so on. It’s another of the left’s great cons to equate Fascism with the ‘right wing’ as the right have always been in favour of libertarianism, individual rights, less regulation, free markets.

    The left then go on to squawk about Hitler’s disbanding of the unions, concentration camps, militarism and so on as ‘proof’ that Hitler was right wing. As if Stalin wasn’t doing all that anyway.

    There’s an interesting section in Hayek’s Road to Serfdom about the run up to WWI and how Germany’s ethos even back then was country first, militarism and so on and that they despised what they saw as soft British liberal attitudes. There was as much a clash of cultures in WWI as there was a clash of Empires.

  11. Had a (brief) conversation on Twitter this morning. Someone was claiming Hitler couldn’t have been a socialist, because one of his first acts was to kill the socialists. I had to point out that socialists have been doing this since the movement’s earliest days, offering the shade of Trotsky* in support of the argument.

    * not the first victim, but one of the best known

  12. @Gamecock, “Wise Government” is an oxymoron right up there with Barlady, Devout Atheist (like me) and the Definite Maybe.

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