There are many Capitalists who boast a “free-market”. But what is it they mean by this phrase? What is “free” in their eyes? Surely they will tell you that it a system void of coercion, one of voluntary exchange. I am here to challenge that. Challenge, that is, that this “free-market” they espouse is really anything of the sort.
Even as a former Capitalist, the understanding escapes me how such an evident coercion could at the same time remain so well hidden. An infrastructure which, when recognized, makes even the Ayn Rand’s Minarchist state or the Ancap utopia to be known as an obvious planned and centralized regime but is also a central a theme to Socialism and other such ideologies beyond Capitalism.
I speak of the rule of property. So much bickering, there has been, between which form of this tyranny to have that none have found time to question the very underlining idea.
And I can hear the supposed “free-marketeers” now with their jeers of chaos. “There would be no order!”, they say “Shops would be looted every day with nothing to stop the looters!. Oh the shame. Are these not the same ones who herald the invisible hand of the market? Are these not the ones who, when confronted with an economic woe, would say that the market needs to be let to guide itself, to arrive at it’s naturally emergent balance out of the seemingly unguided chaos? I only offer you the same principle but to it’s actual ends. The degree to which the system has become decentralized and irregulated is the degree to which the natural evolutionary order may emerge. Now, I don’t know for certain how a Nonpropertarian economy would function but I have some fairly confident ideas of which I may discuss in this thread if the questions which require their discussion are posed.
Property is an inherently authoritarian concept, whether with it’s platform as labor, as needs, as collective ownership, or any other such formula for control. No “right” can be had without limiting the freedom of others to impose upon it, surely this is recognized. So the question is whether such a limitation is being imposed upon something which is anti-liberty. For if the liberty which the right limits is not anti-liberty than the right itself which limits this thing is in actuality the thing which is anti-liberty. So what does it mean posses something which has a claim by another, does it limit the liberty of the claimer? Surely, a person may find a reason to say that it does, for most objects have a political power of some kind when possessed. To take possession of water which one claims is to limit their freedom in consuming that water. So the Capitalist may take the tactic of pointing this out but it is really a half-witted move for they are blind to the fact that it is same vice-versa. The very person claiming the water in the first place is limiting the freedom of others to consume it, so this too is anti-liberty. So both sides are anti-liberty? That, too, is only half the story. For if a person were to claim something while no one else feels a need to do the same, who’s liberty is he infringing upon? Vice-versa, if one has a claim to a thing but has does not use it, what liberty is infringed by another taking his claim? But if both sides may be at some times anti-liberty and sometimes not, how are we to know how to maximize freedom? If only there were a way for the system to balance itself. Perhaps if we did not have this rule of making a claim to be imposed upon others, a solution might develop.
“So what..”, you say, “just get rid of property?”. “Ok, I’ll just go to your house and take all your stuff, how bout that?” To suddenly switch off the rule of property would indeed cause instantaneous disorder, panic and destruction. This is not the fault of this new Nonpropertarian environment, it is the example of something much more dangerous in a state of decay–the crumbling of the old and the construction of a new. Out of this chaos would evolve a new infrastructure for the allocation of resources, an infrastructure which can truly be called a free-market.