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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10707/free-economy-and-social-order/

Free Economy and Social Order

September 24, 2009 by

The market economy rests on two essential pillars, not on one alone. It assumes not only the freedom of prices and competition (whose virtues the new socialist adepts of the market economy now reluctantly acknowledge), but rests equally on the institution of private property. This property must be genuine. It must comprise all the rights of free disposal without which — as formerly in Nationalist Socialist Germany and today in Norway — it becomes an empty legal shell. To these rights must be added the right to bequeath property. FULL ARTICLE by Wilhelm Roepke

{ 11 comments }

Stephen Grossman September 24, 2009 at 9:52 am

“Spontaneity” of the market? Does this mean mindless?

mpolzkill September 24, 2009 at 10:05 am

Stephen,

It means mindFUL, far more mindful than a command economy. The minds of millions of actors are set loose to work together in a free market under the law. From afar it may well appear spontaneous, or to be a miraculous. Just as a child’s birth, the sprouting of a tree or a thunderstorm appear literally miraculous to primitive minds.

Barry Loberfeld September 24, 2009 at 10:18 am

mpolzkill, Stephen,

I agree. It simply means uncoerced.

WR: “It is curious and saddening to see how blind the average type of socialist is vis-à-vis the economic, moral, and sociological functions of property, and even more that particular social philosophy in which property must be rooted. In this tendency to ignore the meaning of property, socialism has made enormous progress in our time.”

Being socialists, how could they have a different view of property … or anything else?

What is “social justice”? The abolition of privacy. Its repudiation of property rights, far from being a fundamental, is merely one derivation of this basic principle. Socialism, declared Marx, advocates “the positive abolition of private property [in order to effect] the return of man himself as a social, i.e., really human, being.” It is the private status of property –- meaning the privacy, not the property — that stands in opposition to the social (i.e., “socialized,” and thus “really human”) nature of man. Observe that the premise holds even when we substitute x for property. If private anything denies man’s social nature, then so does private everything. And it is the negation of anything and everything private — from work to worship to even family life — that has been the social affirmation of the socialist state.

From here.

mpolzkill September 24, 2009 at 10:35 am

Argh.

* “From afar it may well appear spontaneous, or to be miraculous.”

Yes, what did you think of this great Roepke article, Barry? Socialism (the textbook kind and the corporatist kind we suffer under) is one great clockwork orange. The market: the rights of private capital and property and free trade, this is the natural habitat of the human being. We are basically in a zoo today. Go to the other forums right now and see the human equivalents of mad lions pacing and chimps tossing feces (dark, eh? ha ha).

Barry Loberfeld September 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

“Yes, what did you think of this great Roepke article, Barry?”

Oh, I liked it.

“Socialism (the textbook kind and the corporatist kind we suffer under) is one great clockwork orange. The market: the rights of private capital and property and free trade, this is the natural habitat of the human being. We are basically in a zoo today. Go to the other forums right now and see the human equivalents of mad lions pacing and chimps tossing feces (dark, eh? ha ha).”

I liked that, too.

fundamentalist September 24, 2009 at 10:55 am

Stephen: “Does this mean mindless?”

It does mean mindless in the sense that there is no single “mind” determining the outcome, as in socialism, but it’s not mindless in the sense of being random. The market economy is guided by the minds of millions, whereas the socialist economy is guided by the minds of a few minds, or even one mind.

John Mac September 24, 2009 at 11:12 am

Are not freedom of price and competition a derivative of private property ?

John Mac September 24, 2009 at 11:21 am

Is socialism not a “social” wolf-pack hoarding necessary ressources and deciding which lamb will have access to those ressources and under which condition ?

Socialism makes it much easier for every group of persons to prey on any individuals.

Being an individual under “social” socialism is not different than being livestock.

How can that qualify as social “justice” ?

And although socialism pretends to abolish classes, it creates a much wider power gap between the ruling class and the ruled class because there is no owner’s class in between to bridge the gap.

Socialism wants to equalize wealth but doing so requires the most unequal distribution of power and priviledge.

How can socialism honestly keep a straight face amidst such hypocrisy ?

mpolzkill September 24, 2009 at 11:26 am

John Mac,

I would say: not in the minds of near enough people. I think most Americans have a healthy love of their own property (they don’t have such reverence for their wealthier neighbors’), but not the faintest clue how it really was that they got so much of it.

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Barry,

Thank you, good sir.

Chicago methods September 25, 2009 at 9:46 am

You see, people quickly assert that the profit motive and the free market encourages selfishness. I would happen to agree with them, yet I would also agree that all action is deemed on a selfish behavior. Even the act of charity.

The act of charity is to see another person who is in terrible shape and recognizing, if you were in their position, the horrors of such a state of affairs. As such, this creates a level of uneasiness in the person giving the charity. So much so, that this level of uneasiness needs to be relieved – so they donate. That’s great! This individual is making a personal judgement call, saying that this is important to him/her; this will make him/her happy. However this act is, at its core, selfish. It is based off of your own individual value judgements in pursuit of your own happiness. You cannot assume your personal values are good for the rest of the world.

You see, as far as we can tell, there is no definable bridge between the mind and the body; science has not proven this (no one can read minds, so we must use Methodological Dualism). As such, we can only confidently assume what is good for us, individually, is only good for us. We cannot force our individual value judgements upon others. This is the essence of the free market. Each an every individual making judgement calls on what they personally want in their pursuit of happiness. Some donate. Others provide jobs. Others simply do what their passion tells them to do. It’s all in a pursuite of happiness – it’s what makes it so beautiful. No one is imposing their values on others. There is no arbitrary judgement calls.

Stephen Grossman October 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm

>[Chicago methods]all action is deemed on a selfish behavior

Youre confusing intention w/effect. A drug addict may intend to benefit himself but the effect is self-destructive. Moral selfishness is of effects. Ie, does an action really benefit oneself, apart from what one intends? See Ayn Rand’s _Virtue of Selfishness_ for a systematic discusson based in the objective requirements of man’s life. Thus, eg, Obama’s politics are anti-egoistic in effect regardless of his intention to increase his power over others’ lives. That power is his selfless lack of concern with his power over his own life.

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