Re: economics

Charlie Stross (
Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:01:44 +0000

On Fri, Jan 23, 1998 at 06:38:20PM -0800, Anton Sherwood wrote:
> Gee, I can still remember when freemarket economics was a blazing
> novelty to me.

Sarcasm will get you nowhere.

What keeps me going, which I assume is what's forced you to rise to this
heights of biting wit, is the prevalent assumption around these parts
that not-black == white, at least in economic terms. (Gee, if it isn't
pure market capitalism it MUST be Stalinism!) Ignoring fine distinctions
such as free trade based on barter [direct exchange of goods] or money
[an indirection layer for goods and services] or other systems [LETS?],
it assumes that any market system is always good, and any non-market
system is always coercive and, of necessity, bad. Which makes about as
much sense as declaring that families are evil because they are
tantamount to a communist dictatorship; after all, in an old-fashioned
nuclear family there tends to be a coercive relationship between parents
and children, there may well be a degree of economic dependency enforced
by law or custom between the adults, and they hold property collectively.

I guess I just don't like the way that people who claim to be committed
to dynamic optimism seem to be so afraid of the bogey-man. Massive
exercises in irrational behaviour tend to reap the seeds they sowed
to begin with.

-- Charlie