Comment 52336

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 28, 2010 at 12:26:17

The ideal "free market capitalist" utopia isn't hard to find. Low taxes, few laws, undervalued currencies and cheap and plentiful labour and resources. Just go to Honduras, or Indonesia, or Mexico.

Smith's vision fails for exactly the same reason Marx's did. Both had a very keen understanding of economics and exchange, neither seemed to grasp human nature very well. Both establish a vast managerial bureacratic class, as well as a powerful state to back it up. And in both cases, those power structures tend to lose sight of goals beyond their immediate needs - at great expense to workers, consumers and the rest of the economy.

Any system which creates unchecked power structures like these is bound to fail. Benevolent dictators are a fantasy, and represent a very half-hearted theoretical shortcut. It's very easy to say "we'll make a rule" or "we'll put someone in charge, and he'll make sure it works". What isn't easy is thinking through what a new power structure like that might actually do in the real world. Other writers, activists and politicans made very dire warnings around the time of Marx or Smith that corporations or "Red Bureaucracies" would come to dominate society in ways the Feudal Lords had never dreamed of. And when those warnings weren't heeded, they came true.

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