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The Libertarian Fallacy


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#1
Jimi Thing

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There are more than a few posters on this board who are strongly anti-big government in a way that would make even the most conservative of Republicans go :eek:. Basically, they want a government that does not have the power to infringe on any of their constitutional rights and liberties whatsoever. These people makes claims that relate taxing to thieving and regulation to fascism. New policies, like Michelle Obama's school nutrition program (see the 20 page long shitshow for reference), that seem harmless, reasonable and hardly news worthy to people like myself are an obvious governmental plot to take total control over our lives to these "libertarians".

I admit having government out of my life and out of my pocket sounds like a pretty damn good idea, especially when I consider the fact that I could get locked up for something as harmless as ripping a bong. But then again, Karl Marx makes a pretty damn convincing argument for communism. We all know how that worked out. Libertarianism, like communism, is a simple and beautiful idea. However, it is completely unrealistic. It never has been done and it never will be done.

I When I was first gaining interest in politics, I was strongly attracted to the Libertarian philosophy. It seemed so right. Freedom for all, just like the founders intended! This was the article that brought me down to this brutal place we call earth. maybe it will do the same for some of you.

Successful Libertarianism on a national scale would require all people to be content with strict social Darwinism, with a harsh every-man-for-himself mentality, with a government that can’t offer you a hand up in times of tragedy, a government that doesn’t collect taxes, and, in turn, can’t maintain the infrastructure. A Libertarian society would be a society that feels it is okay if the government has no hand in making sure the trade of fuel, medicine, water, or telecommunications can't be exploited. For everyone to succeed in such a society—for everyone to even have a chance to succeed—everybody would have to be fully dedicated to the free market, everybody would have to be a businessman of some sort. This simply isn't the case; there will always be a population who would rather not invent or innovate; they'd rather work hard and be fairly rewarded for that work. These are the people who would suffer first and suffer the most in a Libertarian "utopia"... but they're certainly not the only ones who would suffer.

Most alarming is the fact that a Libertarian society would be a society of people who take Darwinian concepts—concepts intended to be thought of in the context of biology and the natural world—and try to twist them until they can be applied to the free market economy (an entity that is in no way biological or natural.) A Libertarian society would be a society that does not believe in checks, balances, or regulations when it comes to the “free” exchange of goods and services. As such, it would be a society that believes in monopolies, believes that monopolies have a “right” to exist because a certain corporation was smart enough, or strong enough, or—more often than not—just plain rich enough to do away with all of their competition.

Libertarians want to eradicate big government for fear of totalitarianism, but they fail to see how the gross deregulation of trade would lead to a different, and more dangerous, kind of totalitarianism: market totalitarianism. If the government had no authority to break up monopolies, how long would it be before the biggest telephone company bought out its competitors? Then bought out all the cable companies? Then bought out all the radio stations and magazines? And then how long would it be before the richest oil company bought this mega media/communications company? Eventually, we’re left with a single company that solely controls the distribution all of the things we need and want. They could charge whatever they pleased, leaving one single rich corporation at the top and an entire nation of oppressed masses struggling in the dirt.

The excuse that somebody else could get out in the marketplace and compete is invalid and untrue. The “invisible hand” that magically regulates a free market is a complete fallacy. Even today, it works only
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in theory. A handful of companies already own the majority of the telecommunications infrastructure. Clear Channel, Charter, and SBC aren’t going to let some young, upstart company share their resources. Why would they? And in a Libertarian society, the government would have no way of forcing big companies to share the market with young competitors. The government would have no way of doing anything because—taxes having been cut or eliminated—it would have no resources to fight the corporations or enforce its policies; it would be as helpless as the average consumer.

The main problem is that Libertarians see the free market as an inherently stable entity, something that it regulates itself via supply and demand. This is old and inaccurate thinking. The free market should not be seen as a perpetual balancing act, but as a long, brutal tournament. Producers constantly compete against each other for market share. These competitions are sometimes to the benefit of the consumer, sometimes not. Either way, it is a constant series of battles, and the end result—if left unregulated—would be one mega-powerful winner left standing. This huge "winner" corporation, being the only entity with any significant resources to its name, would in effect become the new government.

Charles Bukowski once wrote “Before you kill something make sure you have something better to replace it with.” I hate bloated, cumbersome, ineffective government as much as the next guy. But before you blindly revolt against the oppressive nature of big government, ask yourself whether you’d really be happier living under the rule of unregulated corporations.


Edited by Jimi Thing, 17 December 2010 - 06:54 AM.
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#2
Stewba

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Libertarians want to eradicate big government for fear of totalitarianism, but they fail to see how the gross deregulation of trade would lead to a different, and more dangerous, kind of totalitarianism: market totalitarianism.

ORLY?

If the government had no authority to break up monopolies, how long would it be before the biggest telephone company bought out its competitors?

Who is to say that its competitors would even want to sell their businesses? Even if this company did amass all phone companies under one name, if they start to provide poor service or charge too much they are leaving room in the market for another company to come in and provide a better service. It's not perfect, but neither is it perfect now.

Then bought out all the cable companies? Then bought out all the radio stations and magazines? And then how long would it be before the richest oil company bought this mega media/communications company? Eventually, we’re left with a single company that solely controls the distribution all of the things we need and want.

This is ridiculous. If this company starts buying up other companies and then starts to provide poor service/charge too much then they are just setting themselves up for failure. In a libertarian free-market, there are no restrictions to entering business. Another "evil rich man" could invest in the industry and undercut the crooked business. How hard do you think it would be to maintain a price gouging monopoly when there are no IP laws :cool:?

They could charge whatever they pleased, leaving one single rich corporation at the top and an entire nation of oppressed masses struggling in the dirt.

They could, but they would crash and burn because of competition.

The excuse that somebody else could get out in the marketplace and compete is invalid and untrue. The “invisible hand” that magically regulates a free market is a complete fallacy. Even today, it works only
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Isn't it cute how this guy just tries to shove the whole libertarian argument under the rug with this?

#3
Jimi Thing

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Apparently you didn't pay attention in history class. Monopolies are not some kind of theory. They're the reason we now have anti-trust laws.

#4
Limecat

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Apparently you didn't pay attention in history class. Monopolies are not some kind of theory. They're the reason we now have anti-trust laws.


But we are talking about in a Libertarian society, not our current one.

#5
Spikoli

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how do you propose that a corporation (in essence a legal entity endowed by the government with certain rights above and beyond citizens) would even be able to exist in a libertarian society? it is the state that grants the "corporation" it's legal justification. no state, no corporation, only businesses and people.

and the post makes a few glaring fallacies of its own. first, competition between business always drives down prices, that always helps the consumer. and i cannot see how the poster thinks that a free market is not a natural occurance, it is the taxation and regulation of exchange that is unnatural. trade between individuals existed long before the state did.

Edited by Spikoli, 17 December 2010 - 07:36 AM.


#6
Stewba

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Apparently you didn't pay attention in history class. Monopolies are not some kind of theory. They're the reason we now have anti-trust laws.


In a libertarian society it would be unlawful to forcefully prohibit a business from doing business. In our society the government does this, lol. If a business is doing so well that it isn't even possible for another business to compete with it, then I would gladly patronize that business.

#7
Jimi Thing

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In a libertarian society it would be unlawful to forcefully prohibit a business from doing business. In our society the government does this, lol. If a business is doing so well that it isn't even possible for another business to compete with it, then I would gladly patronize that business.

What's to stop that business from jacking up the prices once other businesses can't compete? If another business tries to enter the market, they buy them out immediately.

You guys are ignoring basic, proven economics.


But we are talking about in a Libertarian society, not our current one.

Okay. Explain why the rules of economics don't apply in a Libertarian society.

and the post makes a few glaring fallacies of its own. first, competition between business always drives down prices, that always helps the consumer.

Competition drives down prices until someone wins that competition. Then they control the price.

Edited by Jimi Thing, 17 December 2010 - 07:46 AM.


#8
Stewba

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What's to stop that business from jacking up the prices once other businesses can't compete?


Maybe they will want to remain competitive? If they jack up the prices other businesses will be able to compete again.

If another business tries to enter the market, they buy them out immediately.


You say it like it's an absolute. Yes, they could buy out the competition, but they still remain vulnerable to another business simply out performing them and offering a better service at a lower price. It's called competition, and you're committing a fallacy by acting as if it doesn't exist

You guys are ignoring basic, proven economics.


Lol

Competition drives down prices until someone wins that competition. Then they control the price.


You can't win the competition, it never ends. The door always remains open for competition.

#9
Jimi Thing

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Maybe they will want to remain competitive? If they jack up the prices other businesses will be able to compete again.

You say it like it's an absolute. Yes, they could buy out the competition, but they still remain vulnerable to another business simply out performing them and offering a better service at a lower price. It's called competition, and you're committing a fallacy by acting as if it doesn't exist

You can't win the competition, it never ends. The door always remains open for competition.

Chainstore paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Once a monopoly is formed, there is little to be gained from entering the monopolized industry, and the chances of gaining any significant portion of the market share are virtually non-existent.

#10
Buddy Dink

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What's to stop that business from jacking up the prices once other businesses can't compete? If another business tries to enter the market, they buy them out immediately.

You guys are ignoring basic, proven economics.



Okay. Explain why the rules of economics don't apply in a Libertarian society.


Competition drives down prices until someone wins that competition. Then they control the price.


There is one reason that I am an anarchist.

It is not that anarchy solves the world's problems, it is that it wouldn't presuppose that there is any kind of justifiable violence or coercion. Right now we have large amounts of coercion because states have the ability to persuade individuals that they are morally obligated to do the things they do.

The other justification for why things would be no worse off under a period of statelessness is that evil people are evil with or without law. Just like good people are good with or without law. You don't kill people, and you wouldn't start because there was no law prohibiting it.

My opinion? I think statelessness could provide many benefits. It may not, though. I honestly believe that this is the ultimate realization of statelessness, I believe it is a cycle. The founders were the folks with the gonads enough to say, "We're making a country." This is an audacious action that only comes from those with the pioneer spirit. Resources were ripe for the picking, growth was powerful, the population was small (relatively). These are ideal conditions for those willing to grind out a good life full of hard work and happiness. The next generation becomes less attached to this work ethic and start utilizing their parents efforts. The next generation even more so, etc.

This is when those people with nothing better to do decide what music your children can listen to or what television is acceptable at what times. These are completely arbitrary because there is no way to legislate against stupid.

To close I would like to say that any argument other than statelessness contains the fallacy because I guarantee that in every state that has ever existed there has been at least one action that would be found morally unacceptable. Trying to justify these actions in anyway is a fallacy. Killing innocent people, an attribute the state has displayed for its entire existence, is never acceptable. Trying to justify this is the fallacy. If killing innocent people is wrong, it is wrong when the state does it. No way around it. :)

I agree with the rest of the free market advocates here as well. There are countless benefits to statelessness in just this simple idea.
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#11
jollydawg

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jimi thing, i dig your name. :P

i would like to say that i am not looking to get involved in this argument, but i am reading the back and forth on this thread and i am seeing particular fallacies being committed again and again, mostly by jimi thing.

thang, start looking more at the big picture of your arguments, you keep focusing too highly on particular specifics and overlooking logical errors in your argument. these are easy to point out by opposition and you leave yourself open to sounding pretty dumb. just a debate suggestion.
advice: smoke a blunt, open your mind just a little bit more and take in the big picture.
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#12
Stewba

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Chainstore paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Once a monopoly is formed, there is little to be gained from entering the monopolized industry, and the chances of gaining any significant portion of the market share are virtually non-existent.


How exactly does that link support this conclusion? And how exactly does that statement even seem reasonable to you? If a business is overcharging or providing sub par service another business absolutely can compete, grow, and take over their market share. To say that it isn't possible would be plain false.

On second thought, what you said would be true if you were speaking about a monopoly that came about from a business out competing it's competitors. There would be little to gain from trying to compete with a company that could bring products/services to customers at a better rate than you could. It would be basically impossible to get a share of the market too. But, this would benefit consumers the most out of anything, and currently government breaks up these kind of monopolies.

I would be glad for you to explain what you mean with that link and statement though, because I looked at the link and it seemed somewhat related, but not really. And anyway, it was said that the reasoning of that theory is shaky and not even considered rational in game theory lol.

#13
Jimi Thing

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How exactly does that link support this conclusion? And how exactly does that statement even seem reasonable to you? If a business is overcharging or providing sub par service another business absolutely can compete, grow, and take over their market share. To say that it isn't possible would be plain false.

On second thought, what you said would be true if you were speaking about a monopoly that came about from a business out competing it's competitors. There would be little to gain from trying to compete with a company that could bring products/services to customers at a better rate than you could. It would be basically impossible to get a share of the market too. But, this would benefit consumers the most out of anything, and currently government breaks up these kind of monopolies.

I would be glad for you to explain what you mean with that link and statement though, because I looked at the link and it seemed somewhat related, but not really. And anyway, it was said that the reasoning of that theory is shaky and not even considered rational in game theory lol.

How else would a monopoly come about? I'm not saying these companies would gain majority market share and immediately triple their prices/lower the quality of their products. They do that gradually and only to an extent so that possible competitors (who would have far less resources) could only afford to beat their price by minimal amounts.

I posted the link to give an example of how a coercive monopoly can prevent the competition from entering the market by buying them out without losing money in the process.

#14
Stewba

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How else would a monopoly come about?


Government granted monopolies, and monopolies that come about through government interventions in the market.

I'm not saying these companies would gain majority market share and immediately triple their prices/lower the quality of their products. They do that gradually and only to an extent so that possible competitors (who would have far less resources) could only afford to beat their price by minimal amounts.


So the uber company keeps selling at reasonable prices, and competitors can feasibly beat these prices by a little. Then the uber company buys them. This is just business, prices will rise and fall as battles are won in the competition "war". Competition is still keeping prices down and allowing for innovation in this scenario, is it not?

I posted the link to give an example of how a coercive monopoly can prevent the competition from entering the market by buying them out without losing money in the process.


I really don't see how you are talking about coercive monopolies (where's the coercion?). Furthermore, you did not show an example of how the competition can be prevented from entering the market because the scenario you explained involved companies entering the market, competing with the uber company (this competition keeps prices down), and then being bought (which probably makes for a good life for the owners of the company that got bought).

#15
Jimi Thing

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I don't know why I'm arguing with you. If you don't believe that monopolies are real then go open a history book or simply google the name Rockefeller.

#16
Stewba

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I don't know why I'm arguing with you. If you don't believe that monopolies are real then go open a history book or simply google the name Rockefeller.

Why you gotta straw man me? When did I ever say that I think monopolies don't exist? I did mention a bit about how I think some monopolies (monopolies gained through efficiency) can be beneficial to consumers. Maybe that is what spawned this knee-jerk straw man accusation.

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#17
jollydawg

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Why you gotta straw man me? When did I ever say that I think monopolies don't exist? I did mention a bit about how I think some monopolies (monopolies gained through efficiency) can be beneficial to consumers. Maybe that is what spawned this knee-jerk straw man accusation.

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perfect example of the fallacious arguments i was referring to.

#18
Jimi Thing

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What is your point then? Monopolies are good?

#19
jollydawg

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no thats not what hes saying. you're over simplifying and putting words in his mouth. the only time i saw him say that monopolies are good is when he talked about a monopoly that was beneficial to the consumer. and in that case yes, if they are beneficial to the consumer, monopolies are good.

but

then you spun him pointing out a single pro for monopolies and blanketed his entire argument in two very poignant sentences.

can you say fallacy?
i knew you could

#20
Arteezy

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Couldn't get past the first sentence of that article. Too early in the morning for that kind of bullshit. I'll go through the article line by line later today.

For now, I would like to know: who is that article written by and where did you come across it?




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