Ancap / Right-Wing Libertarian Foolishness: “Free” Market Competition

Free Market Fish Pond

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.

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Buy My Book: Against the Rich

I have just published my first book! It basically explains the class struggle by analyzing the history and nature of the bourgeoisie. At just under a hundred pages, it is meant to be a quick and easy introduction to socialist ideas in a somewhat indirect way. I hope it can find its way into the hands of curious left-leaning proles who may benefit from it and find many of their questions answered about the nature of capitalist society. I also have a chapter including my own disconcerting but enlightening personal experiences with rich folks as someone from a working class background myself.

Even longtime socialists should find this account interesting. Read/buy my book and share it with anyone you think might actually benefit from it! Below is the brief description from the Amazon page. Thanks, comrades! – Joseph Waters (Prole Center)

“Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality. For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many.” – Adam Smith

This book examines how great wealth is really acquired, challenges the notion that the rich deserve their wealth, or if they deserve the adoration they inspire among the masses.

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A Story from East Germany: Proletarian Doctors (No More)

1200px-State_arms_of_German_Democratic_Republic.svg

May 11, 1990

The Berliner Zeitung carries a straight-faced account of a meeting of doctors from East and West. Four hundred doctors were invited by a private firm, a bank providing loans to doctors, on a boat trip from Tegel to Wannsee. The West speaker is quoted as telling his East German (woman) counterpart, “Stop acting like an ordinary worker in an ordinary trade, you’re not a baker or a shoemaker, you’re a professional. For heaven’s sake get out of the trade union, you should have a professional association. Stop considering the health insurance program as your partner; start figuring out how to make money out of each injection. Then the new equipment you need will take care of itself.”

Classic: in other words, change what’s best in the system now.

Source: Missing Marx by Peter Marcuse

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A Story from East Germany: Healthcare

1200px-State_arms_of_German_Democratic_Republic.svg

February 8, 1990

Last night Frances suddenly developed pain in her knee and could hardly walk. We decided to call a doctor; but how? The telephone book has five full pages of different medical facilities: clinics, polyclinics, medical practices, hospitals, emergency services, nurses stations, local health centers, and neighborhood medical offices. If they all exist, the health services must be terrific and/or very bureaucratic. I call the nearest “medical practice” and ask if they make house calls. For what reason, I am asked. I say that we live on the fifth floor and my wife can hardly get from one room to another. The nurse says that we should call the emergency service. I demur, but then call, explain, say that it’s not urgent. No matter, we’ll be glad to come. When? Within two hours, depending on what other calls we get. I’m astonished, and even more so when, in about an hour, a young doctor with an emergency service shoulder patch and a substantial bag arrives and climbs the four flights of stairs to our apartment. She examines Frances carefully and thoroughly, writes out three prescriptions, and explains their purpose and how to use them. She answers our questions clearly and competently before leaving. Never a question of who we are, where we’re from, are we covered, will we pay.

I take the prescriptions to the pharmacy up the street. The pharmacist gets the three medications out of different drawers. As she hands them to me, I am not sure if I have to pay or at least show my passport and identify myself, but she has already turned away to do something else. Hardly a bureaucratic procedure!

Source: Missing Marx by Peter Marcuse

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The war on Iran has begun. Russia must end it.

We are of one mind, Mr. Glazebrook. – PC

Dan Glazebrook

Things are escalating again in one of Syria’s many wars. Last Sunday, 29th April, two massive strikes – presumed by Israel – reportedly hit the Syrian Arab Army’s 47th Brigade military base and arms depots near Hama, as well as Nairab Military Airport in Aleppo. The attack, thought to have been carried out using powerful ‘bunker-buster’ missiles, created a fireball which could be seen for miles, and triggered a shock measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale, felt as far as Turkey and Lebanon.  It is thought the strikes targeted Iranian surface-to-surface missiles intended for deployment in Syria, and killed 26 – 38 people, including 11 Iranians.

The attack appears to have been coordinated with the USA, coming just hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left Jerusalem – where, according to Haaretz, he had “thrilled Netanyahu with hawkish talk on Iran”. That same day, noted the Times of…

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My reflections on interviewing Noam Chomsky about Libya

I completely agree! The genuine anti-imperialist left needs to abandon Chomsky and his ilk for good. I was much less kind to him in a short blog posting I wrote some time ago.

https://prolecenter.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/noam-chomsky-is-a-charlatan/

Dan Glazebrook

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(Write up of my original interview here

I interviewed Noam Chomsky in October 2011, but it was not published for two months, because none of the newspapers, magazines and journals who usually print my work wanted to run it. This was despite the fact that several of them were initially very enthusiastic – at least,that is, until they saw it. In the end, having been rejected by all the major publications of the Western left, it was published by Al-Ahram Weekly, an Egyptian newspaper.

It was controversial because Chomsky is such a popular figure amongst the British and American left, and my article was critical of Chomsky’s position on Libya.One person even refused to believe that the interview was real, and accused me of having made the whole thing up! Some saw it as sectarian, dividing the anti-war movement by…

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Another Beautiful Soul: Counterpunching the Global Assault on Dissent

Gowans is on a roll. If you only have time to tune in to one leftist blog, this would be the one.

what's left

April 25, 2018

By Stephen Gowans

I was recently alerted to Sonali Kolhatkar’s Truth Dig article, “Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria?”, which Counterpunch found important enough to republish under the title, “The Left, Syria and Fake News.” Kolhatkar’s article was introduced to me as the work of a “beautiful soul.”

There’s certainly reason to believe the Truth Dig columnist fits the description. She urges us to consider “nonmilitary alternatives to ending the complex [Syrian] war”, but can’t think of any, much as Mehdi Hasan, in his rant against supporters of the Syrian government’s struggle against the aggressions of what he concedes are rapacious US foreign policy, Saudi extremism, and Israeli opportunism, can’t think of the benign alternatives the Syrian government should employ to defend itself (but thinks Assad should come up with some, all the same.)

http://www.barakabooks.com/ And like…

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Mehdi Hasan, beautiful soul, and his diatribe against the consequential Left

No one breaks it down better than Gowans.

what's left

April 21, 2018

By Stephen Gowans

If it wasn’t already clear, The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan, wants us to know he’s a beautiful soul. In an April 19 diatribe against “Bashar al Assad apologists,” Hasan professes his distaste for war crimes, torture, and dictatorship, no matter the source, but devotes particular attention to the violence and restrictions on political and civil liberties attributable to the Syrian president. Assad, Hasan concludes, “is a war criminal even if he didn’t gas civilians,” and leftists should stop defending him. The journalist, who also works for the Qatari monarchy’s mouthpiece Al Jazeera, then proceeds to recite a litany of charges against Assad, some undeniable, some unproved or unprovable. One gets the impression that he’s peeved that the latest chemical weapons allegations against the Syrian government, ridiculously thin to begin with, and now largely demolished by Robert Fisk’s reporting, have failed to stick.

At…

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First Step to Resolving Syria Crisis: Distribute Copies of the UN Charter to Washington, London and Paris

what's left

April 15, 2018

By Stephen Gowans

A draft resolution, defeated at the UN Security Council on April 14, demanded that the United States and its allies immediately refrain from the use of force in violation of international law.

“It also would have expressed grave concern that such acts had taken place at a time when the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)” had begun a fact-finding mission “to collect evidence in the Syrian city of Douma” of an alleged chemical weapons attack, which formed the ostensible basis of the US, UK, and French (or tripartite) aggression on Syria of the day before.

Syria’s representative to the UN, Bashar Ja’afari The representatives of Russia, China, Bolivia and Syria argued for the resolution. Since Western media have given ample coverage to the views of the representatives of the three aggressor states, but only token, superficial coverage of states in opposition…

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Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | Aeon Essays

echo

Another good article on critical thinking and how to navigate your way through the shitstorm of ignorance, deliberate propaganda and general insanity. – PC

via Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | Aeon Essays

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