Re: Capitalists and coercion

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Wed Oct 04 2000 - 14:39:39 MDT


>I think you have to distinguish between Capitalism at the Macro
>level and at the level of the individual businessman.

I'm trying to distinguish between capitalism, a form of economics,
and the actions of greedy or unscrupulous persons.

>In a capitalist society with a capitalist government no one except
>the government is allowed to initiate the use of force and that
>against only the invader and the criminal after due process.

This is confusing economics with politics again. How or why to use
force has nothing to do with capitalism.

>But nothing in that process says that the individual businessman
>has to be a capitalist in personal philosophy. That individual
>could possibly be member of a number of personal philosophies but
>if they can not get away with using force, coercion or deceit the
>only tools left to them is free trade.

Capitalism isn't a philosophy, it's a type of economics. My point
is that many traits of individuals are erroneously accredited to

>Personally I have worked for individual businessmen that were
>complete scoundrels personally but could not effectively get away
>with that behavior given our laws and courts. He made a business
>of contracting for work and his best workers knowing him would
>demand, and got, pay in advance before they would go to the job.
>The man was still operating as a capitalist even though he really
>didn't want to - he couldn't get away with anything else.

This person may be a capitalist by default, but he/she is also
dishonest, and a scoundrel.

Many people seem to think capitalism implies a certain set of moral
or ethical values (or it should). It does not.

Scoundrels can also be capitalists, so can dictators.


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