Sunday, May 6, 2007

May 6, 2007 – Some Thoughts on Economic Theory vs. Economic Reality

Brad Spanger put up an interview of Samuel E. Konkin III on his blog wherein he describes the difference between anarcho-capitalism and agorism. I recommend you read it even if you aren’t especially interested in the arcane nuances of economic theory. (A category that includes me for the most part.)

Some paleo-conservatives, anarcho-capitalists, and Libertarians conflate free-market, laissez-faire economics with the state-capitalism that we actually have now when they defend capitalism. But what we have now certainly isn’t a free market at all, is it? The state continually interferes in markets to the detriment of voluntary human interaction and activity.

The Marxoid’s view of capitalism (i.e., an economic system wherein wealth accrues based upon ownership) is largely true in the society we have today. And many defend the privileged position of the ownership classes as free-market economics. Read the LvMI blog, the Tech Central Station website or the Wall Street Journal some time for some glaring examples of this false consciousness.

“In theory,” explains Konkin, “those calling themselves anarcho-capitalists … do not differ drastically from agorists; both claim to want anarchy (statelessness, and we pretty much agree on the definition of the State as a monopoly of legitimized coercion, borrowed from Rand and reinforced by Rothbard). But the moment we apply the ideology to the real world (as the Marxoids say, “Actually Existing Capitalism”) we diverge on several points immediately.”


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zrated said...

AHHHH!!! what do all these labels mean!? the truth is, after reading this (assuming these people know what the hell they're talking about) i don't know what i am. all i know is, "state bad, market good". if some An-caps say that the current state of the market is good - well, it is better than pure communism. it's just far from free. the current market does work wonders, just not nearly what a free market could. i love the agorist's revolutionary stance, i just don't really see that much use in differentiating on any other issues relating to overall free market anarchism.

The Anarchist Flamethrower said...

I think the Konkinists or agorists see economic reality a little clearer than the an-caps do (i.e., “Actually Existing Capitalism”, & etc.)