Re: Trader principle (once again)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 21:37:51 -0800 (PST)

> This is so dogmatic sounding, I see many things more beautiful than trade.
> Profit, yeah yeah... dollars, yes please, lots of them.
> Trade is GREAT!!... yet it is not the ONLY thing a happy life revolves
> around, life is about expression. Creativity. Feeling ( oh no ,not feelings
> again!). Joy. Acheivement. Discovery! Social interactions of a relaxed, non
> traderlike nature (sometimes just fun, or romantic love). OH yes, my dear,
> it is true our world needs repair, to respect "Self Empowerment" and life
> supporting memes, and the anti-trade altruism (zero sum game as Ayn Randians
> like to call it) is a poisonous meme. This can be countered by consciously
> embracing, -among other things-, a good , solid, ethical trader principle..
> but there is more to life than this kind of yawn... dollars, work ethics,
> principles, debates, being "right'... yawn...
> You may be right, but then, you may be missing out on something fun!

Not for a minute. Please don't drop the context of the discussion; I
made no mention at all of /why/ I value life, only the principle with
which to interact with others consequent to valuing life. Life is valued
because of all those wonderful things you mention--that are no less
precious to me than to you. Breathtaking beauty, romantic love, sensuous
delights, intellectual challenge, humor, friendship--those are the things
that make life worth living--that give it value. Because it has value,
and because peaceful coexistence with others who have those values is also
valuable to me, I act to obtain those values peaceably and honestly. Free
trade is a /consequence/ of the value of life, not what makes it valuable.

You are making a category error to compare trade with "other things" in
life. It is not competing with those "other" things; it is not in the
same category. Trade is a principle of human interaction, not a value
in itself. You can't compare them on the same scale any more than one
can compare weight and length with "benevolence". It's like I was
discussing what kind of music I like, and someone says "Yeah, Bach is
OK, but what about Fettucine Alfredo?"

Now since obtaining those things generally means interacting with others
(because some involve others, and some we just can't each make ourselves),
it follows that trade will be involved in most aspects of one's day-
to-day life. We're not hunter gatherers anymore. Most societies in the
present era have moved from hunter-gatherer to slave/exploiter. Hopefully
we can progress further to free traders. Perhaps in some long-distant
future in a different technological world, something even better might
be possible (say, immortal non-consuming explorers), but not yet.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>