The Property Protocol

David Musick (
Tue, 5 Nov 96 16:36:16 UT

Suresh Naidu said, to Ian Goddard, "You say the natural relationship between
humans is trade. I say it's cooperation."

Suresh, if you want food and I want a house, and we each have what the other
wants, when we make a trade with each other, isn't this cooperation? I don't
see how you can maintain that trade isn't cooperation, when it most clearly
is. In a trade, all parties are cooperating with each other for everyone's
benefit. This is cooperation. This is working together to achieve common
goals. I'm not sure why you refuse to see that.

In trading and in the capitalist system, only those who are willing to
cooperate with others can make any money. In the capitalist system, people
don't trade unless they will get something in return that they value at least
as much as what they're giving up. This means that those who don't offer
others value don't profit from the capitalist system. This means that
non-cooperative behaviour is AUTOMATICALLY cast out of the capitalist system,
by its very nature.

In the capitalist system, those who don't pull their own weight don't get a
ride. In other words, unless you help people, they won't help you. Thus, the
capitalist system is cooperative AT EVERY TRANSACTION. Certainly you don't
advocate a system of "cooperation", where a lot of people who are able to work
don't contribute to society but still receive the benefits of other's work.
These people would not be cooperating with the rest of society; they would be
parasites. The capatilist system has a very elegant way of getting rid of
parasites; no one will trade with them because they have nothing to offer in
return. (Although truly helpless people are often given assistance by those
with kind hearts)

The capitalist system is ENTIRELY about cooperation. It is the best system of
cooperation that exists. Every act of trade is an act of cooperation. Those
who aren't willing to cooperate won't be able to find anyone to trade with.
Thus, the capitalist system encourages people to cooperate, and the more they
cooperate with others, the more they are rewarded.

Suresh, you reveal what you truly are against with this sentence: "But I also
hate and fear the business interests which lie to me with their advertising
and poison my water with their pollution."

You are against lies and pollution, according to this statement. Yes, some
businesses do pollute and do lots of other awful things, but that is no reason
to get rid of businesses and the capitalist system entirely. It would be like
killing all humans because some of them do terrible things.

You are not really against the capitalist system, because it is EXACTLY the
type of massive, large scale cooperation that you have been advocating. You
are against people cooperating with each other to pollute and to lie to other
people. Unless you get clear about what the real enemy is, you're like a
blind soldier, wandering around the battlefield, blowing away friend and enemy

The capitalist system is fundamentally a GOOD thing; it is about people coming
together, by mutual agreement, and trading what they have with each other. It
is also a good way of insuring that those who refuse to contribute to society
don't get to benefit from it either (unless someone chooses to give them

Get clear about what you're REALLY against, and attack THAT; don't attack
people for engaging in the peaceful activities of helping each other by
exchanging goods and services. By attacking the capitalist system, you attack
the very thing you advocate; cooperation.

- David Musick

- question tradition -