Private Property and Capitalism

John K Clark (
Sun, 13 Oct 1996 21:28:10 -0700 (PDT)


On Thu 10 Oct 1996 Suresh Naidu <> Wrote:

>in low-skill menial labour, which is usually allocated to
>people based on geography or class, not skill.

If companies "usually" have people with great skills digging ditches, then
the few that don't do this are the ones that will be successful and become
huge corporations, the foolish prejudice companies will end up in the very
ditch it asked the genius to dig.

>Most of our crap jobs are given to people in other lands

Yes, and that's because most people in advanced countries don't want those
crap jobs, I see absolutely nothing immoral in giving them to those that do.

>Okay, call me one of those crazy idealists, but what about
>if people worked to better each other rather than only
>themsleves. Everybody is working for the benefit of all.

In other words, if everyone was a nice person it would be a better world.
So what else is new? One (of many) problem with Socialism is that it assumes
that everyone is a saint, it expects people to adapt to it, The Free Market
on the other hand, adapts to people. I think the fundamental question you must
ask yourself is, what do you intend to do with the people who disagree with
you? Millions of people, like me and the "evil" men running corporations,
don't like your ideas at all. Would you let us heretics do our own thing and
permit people to choose which camp to join, or will people like me end in
re- education camps until we see the error in our ways and make a public
recantation of our views.

>The farmer supports the builder of houses with food, while
>the builder of houses builds for the farmer

I'm a farmer, I grow rhubarb, I give it to the house builder, he loves
rhubarb. I already have a good house, my car however is broken. A good car
mechanic I know hates rhubarb, but he needs work done on his house, so I
tell the builder to fix the mechanic's house not mine and tell the mechanic
to fix my car. Everybody is happy and if there were just 3 of us on a desert
island that would be the end of it, but in a modern society with billions of
people in complex relationships things get very complicated very fast. We
need something to keep track of all this, fortunately we have such a device,
its called money.

>My fundamental moral principle is that all forms of coercion
>are bad

I can't say I agree with that. If you were chasing me with a bloody ax,
I would feel very little guilt about using quite strong coercion to stop you.

>Noam Chomsky, definitely on my most admired list.

I've read a little of his work as a social criticism, well...
he's a fine linguist.

>I think cooperation can produce the best item for the lowest

Fine, you have a perfect right to think that and act on it. I presume
everyone on this list believes in the Scientific Method, so let's put it to
the test, start your socialist commune today, I'll stick with business,
and we'll see which one turns out to be freer and more prosperous. I have no
desire to stop you, and anyway I have a pretty good idea which one of us
will win the contest, but by all means, try to prove me wrong. If you do then
you will have beaten me fair and square in the marketplace of ideas.

I get the impression that our positions are not symmetric, that you do have a
strong desire to stop me. If I'm wrong about that then I apologize and we
have no disagreement over morality, only over the technical points of
economics, and there is no need to worry about that, nature will let us know
which one of us is correct, no doubt about it.

John K Clark

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