Monday, September 18, 2017

There Is No Alternative

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- Who was it that first said, 'There Is No Alternative To Capitalism?'
- Margaret Thatcher?
- Would you agree that behind this claim is a belief that we are never going to form a community that will do without enmity? A belief that there is a limit to our cooperation. Market exchange began in primitive communities exclusively between tribal enemies. Not matter our progress and technology we are never going to get past having enemies. The limited truce of the market we can, it seems, more or less successfully observe, at least in some times and some places.
- I think that is a fair conclusion.
- Now our market exchanges done between enemies are done always under regulation, the agreement of enemies to a truce and certain procedures of making trades. Do you agree?
- Yes.
- What is agreed to under the truce is how, and when, the trade is done. But not what is traded?
- Yes.
- But if it were the opposite? If the rules of the truce decided what is good to be traded, but left the how and when pretty much open to the enemies?
- How would that work?
- Imagine a multitude of companies competing with each other to make and sell products, but in every company the government has a controlling interest to make sure things are not produced that are the not the right kind of things.
- What are the right kind of things?
- Those that provide people with necessities like food and shelter and clean environment. Perhaps the government would by law provide these to all, and allow individuals, now no longer living in fear, to compete for the satisfactions of learning and pleasing others and of creativity itself. The more successful companies would give more creative opportunity to participants and that would be their reward for successful competition.
- Seems utopian to me. Will people accustomed to treating each other as enemies agree to what should be traded?
- Do they presently agree to the how and when?
- They don't. Who made the agreement that trade and thinking about trade should be constant, 24 hours a day?
- We're born into the agreement.
- We are. So here is the question: Is there then an obvious alternative? Can people arrange the exchange between truce management and the market? Can people decide to give into the control of the government the 'what' to produce, and leave to the market the 'how' and 'when'?
- I don't see why not. It's just one more trade.

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