These right-wing libertarians (I guess they call themselves ancaps these days) are just too much. They are so ignorant and ridiculous. They don’t really understand capitalism at all. One of their central tenets is market fundamentalism. They think that the capitalist “free” market should decide everything. This is what Marx talked about when he mentioned in The Communist Manifesto that the bourgeoisie reduces all social interaction into a market transaction. Everything is for sale and nothing is sacred. Part of their “free” market mythology (calling it free makes it sound nice) is that competition among a plethora of small and local businesses for market share always and forever leads to the best outcomes in terms of lower prices, higher quality, and everything else. These maniacs decry the monopolies as “crony” capitalism; as if there were ever any other kind.
This particular belief about competition is what I want to challenge with two brief analogies or parables, but before that I would ask a few simple hypothetical questions: If you owned a steak restaurant, would you really be excited about a rival opening up another steak restaurant right across the street from you? What would you do about it? Would you put on the kid gloves and play nice, or would you fight to win by trying to the best of your ability to eliminate the competition?
I thought of the first example when I was weeding my small herb garden the other day. The reason you remove weeds from a garden is because they compete with your plants for resources such as nutrients and water. I suppose one of these so-called ancaps, if they applied their market logic to their garden, would allow the weeds to stay or maybe weed them back just a little bit. Wouldn’t want to be crony monopolist gardeners now would we?
The second analogy comes from 1970’s slasher horror films. If you’ve seen these types of films you know that the victims being preyed upon by the psycho killer will often hit or stab the killer, temporarily incapacitating him, but then they just run away. All the while those in the audience are screaming at the screen: Finish him off! We know that the killer, no matter how grievously he appears to have been wounded, will arise once again to continue the pursuit. Why not finish the fucker off for good? Chop him up into pieces, burn them, and then bury them separately in many different holes?
The moral of these stories is this: Cooperation is best, but when you have to compete, then compete to win. The best way to compete is to eliminate the competition entirely. The competition, outside of sports or games among friends, is synonymous with enemy. Don’t just wound your enemy. Wipe him out.