24 June 2019

Quote for the day -- economic freedom

This quote articulates something I've been meaning to post about for some time.  In a feat of terminological ji-jutsu that not even Orwell could have imagined, libertarians have re-defined "economic freedom" as the removal of any laws or regulations that prevent the ultra-wealthy from shitting all over the rest of us as they see fit.  In reality, there is such a thing as economic freedom -- and like any other kind of freedom in reality, it's not some default situation that things revert to when laws are removed; it's a condition which can only exist when the state guarantees and defends it.

With no state and no laws, freedom of speech would not exist, for nothing would stop the thugs of the majority from beating the crap out of you for saying things they found offensive.  With no state and no laws, freedom of religion would not exist, for nothing would stop the majority from persecuting you for believing differently.  With no state and no laws, there would be nothing to prevent slavery, nothing to prevent pollution of common resources like the air and water, nothing to stop capital from stealing all the increase in wealth generated by the growth in productivity of labor.  And with no state and no laws, there would be nothing to re-distribute the wealth of society from the financial parasite class back to the masses who created that wealth, to guarantee true economic freedom as Bernie Sanders defines it above.

In the US today, the parasite class has hijacked the state to prevent it from carrying out many of these functions, to the detriment of our freedom.  The solution is to take it back.


Blogger Mary said...

You are correct. Economic freedom sounds and is wonderful but the only way to have it, is to have legal protections against those who’d take it away.

On a little side note, I’ve been reading that the suicide rate in the US is among the highest of the developed countries. And I think it has a lot to do with lack of government protections and security in life. These other countries have free or mostly free healthcare, education, better gun control laws and not the fear for older people or veterans of war running out of money due to high medical costs. They have a sense that their life in general is more secure. And of course, the tax structure is more balanced than here and people are willing to pay more taxes to help insure a better life for all. A much more cooperative mindset, if you will.

Ties into your post because it is laws and government policies that make this possible in other countries and not so much here.

25 June, 2019 05:26  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I'm familiar with Bernie's quote, good point, and straight. Economic Freedom? ... I think you sum it up well. I know several folks that are libertarian, and several that are simply pro- market, and also several that are Democratic Socialists, and regular centrist types, this is an issue, that effects all, whichever party, religion, gender, race/ ethnicity, etc. There is a mindset (a manufactured one, by folks like CATO), partly because of some governments faults, that government is evil, and the root of all evil ... growing propaganda sayz to let markets (corporate multinational monopolies, in particular), fix it all and make us all "free", and we'll all be in prosperity heaven. We have tried it, it's not working for the overall good, and there has to be better way. When I have talked to folks that are libertarian or hardline right types on government spending, I try to point out things that makes them question, and look at another view. I feel it's importante to do this, because of how so MUCH has been twisted and redefined too. I feel socialism, and frankly, most people left or right, is something that we all enjoy and actually cherish as part of our democracy. I think it simply adds some balance, is all ... and that letting greed dictate everything, is even dangerous to capitalism, and it's proven. Enough from me, because I can't shut- up at times.

25 June, 2019 06:34  
Blogger Adam said...

But Republicans want you free to buy a Mercedes, even if it would take you 865.23 years to do so.

25 June, 2019 09:46  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

The libertarians' "economic freedom" used to be more accurately called "social and economic Darwinism." Heartless, conscience-less "survival of the fittest."

25 June, 2019 10:28  
Blogger Martha said...

Yes, totally agree! You've written well what I believe but have a hard time putting into words. (And I like what Debra wrote in her comments!)

25 June, 2019 13:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mary: I'm sure you're right about the suicide issue. Living in the US, for a non-rich person, involves stresses and worries that don't plague people in countries where the safety net is more comprehensive.

Ranch: The flaw in libertarianism is that they see the government as the only real threat to individual freedom. Actually any major concentration of power can threaten people's freedom, and that includes concentrations of wealth.

Adam: Indeed, a lot of people seem to side with the rich because they dream of being rich themselves someday, no matter how unlikely that is.

Debra: That's pretty much it. Their vision is more an arena than a society.

Martha: Thanks!

27 June, 2019 09:53  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

"Concentration of power" ... I feel similar ... we can see clearly by now (unless you ignore it), what concentrated wealth is doing, but we seen it also in past history too, remember the not long ago Gilded Age. I feel the same way about the church too, and sometimes worse with the church even, because people with faith cling to the institution looking for hope in pipe dreams (they will f*ck your mind up). I feel that government (democratic type), is one of the last pieces of peoples input and voice ... when all of your money is taken and ratholed, and the churches can't do anything for you, it's our responsibility to do for ourselves, we do that through a government/ peoples body

27 June, 2019 10:04  

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