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Thread: Answering the Left: ""Free market capitalism feels old, tired, and dangerous "

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    Answering the Left: ""Free market capitalism feels old, tired, and dangerous "

    "Free market capitalism feels old, tired, and dangerous (eating up the earth's resources faster than they can be created). not sure what's next, but libertarianism seems a step backwards."
    Feelings tend to distort accurate perception of reality.

    Resources, are as you correctly imply, not nature-given, but created by the act of transformation by humans. Mineral ores, for example, were largely useless to humans until some smart people invented means of extracting and refining them.

    Continuing developments funded by capital enable new and less costly ways of extraction and refining, providing to the market additional resources. In 1980, business professor Julian Simon challenged biologist Paul Ehrlich [Famous author of The Population Bomb] in Social Science Quarterly to a wager: whether or not the cost of chromium, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten would increase in the next decade. Simon bet one thousand dollars that over 10 years they would not go up. Simon won the bet, because instead of humans depleting the resources, the humans harvesting and processing those resources helped create the wealth that a) allowed capital investment in research, exploration, and extraction technology to bring new, and more resources to the market and b) capital investment in other areas of production created new processes that required fewer resources; for example, Aluminum used for soda cans was reduced by a factor of 5, iirc.

    In terms of mineral wealth, the planet is one solid mass of potential resources and we have only begun to scratch the surface of it. What limits our use of them is that most are not economically extractable with our current state of technology. Exactly how much of our brainpower, time, energy and other resources to devote to extracting the next unit of mineral cannot be rationally decided without the price mechanism offered by the free market.

    With respect to arable land and habitats of other species, we have been transforming the wild planet to the garden planet since the dawn of agriculture. This was not a 'policy decision' but the result of individual humans transforming their environment to better suit their needs. I personally value wilderness areas and biodiversity and many other people do too. If I had the money that's been stolen from me, I'd donate to and pay to visit private wildlife reserves, but almost all of my disposable income (that which remains after necessities have been met) has been taken from me by the State.

    What has created all the material prosperity in this world is human intelligence, combined with the freedom to innovate and invent, and the freedom to save and invest, and the freedom to engage in mutually-beneficial trade, and the freedom to decide what uses of scarce resources meet our individual highest-valued goals.

    What we refer to as market capitalism is not old and tired in human history; it only emerged against the historical backdrop of tyranny in the 17th and 18th centuries after Europeans beat back the power of the State and reduced its interventions and looting. This allowed for accumulation of savings and investment in enterpreneurial ventures. By contrast, oriental rulers of the time were more likely to simply grab any significant private accumulation of wealth, thus hindering investment and development of more advanced technologies and capital-intensive means of production. Economic liberty is among the foremost historical reasons why the scientific and industrial revolutions happened in Europe and not elsewhere.

    Libertarianism is a step backwards - from the precipice of absolute tyranny to which we are heading at breakneck speed.
    Last edited by merkelstan; 07-21-2018 at 05:49 AM. Reason: major fixes
    "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." - Thessalonians 3:10
    "I have a strong temperamental attachment to the meaning of words. In the age I find myself in, that condemns me to a daily dose of pain." - John Derbyshire
    "I can find millions of 'social problems' such as: 'Too many red-headed people have hangnails'." - Murray Rothbard

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by merkelstan View Post
    Libertarianism is a step backwards - from the precipice of absolute tyranny to which we are heading at breakneck speed.
    It's not tyranny if everybody agrees!
    Preference falsification - Private Truth, Public Lies

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