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View Diary: The Other Road to Serfdom and... (10 comments)

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  •  Seeing as how literal serfdom meant totalitarian.. (4+ / 0-)

    control of the lives of commoners by the aristocracy, the notion that any restraints on the power of billionaires and giant corporations will lead to serfdom is quite literally perverse.

    Up is down; black is white; ketchup is a vegetable; and we have always been at war with Oceania.

    •  Excellent point (0+ / 0-)

      And I like the reference to Orwell.  The middle east, apparently, is our Oceania.

    •  I have always thought Hayek's thesis is a reductio (0+ / 0-) absurdum of slippery slope arguments, the ideological  equivalent of McCarthyism.

      Never bothered to read the book - could not take seriously an argument that is absurd on its face and clearly contradicted by experience.  Welfare states and social democracy have expanded both the life chances and real freedom of many millions of working class and poor people.

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:04:10 AM PST

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      •  "absurd on its face" (0+ / 0-)

        I know what you mean.  And yet  a lot of people take it seriously, so I thought it worth controverting.  Also, I do a bit of ju-jitsu, taking the force of the argument in the book and turning it to a different purpose.  If centralized planning leads to totalitarian oppression, well, you don't escape that with free markets.  This (I hope) will be a new, provocative, and convincing thought to all those Hayekians out there....

        •  Wage slavery = freedom, pace Orwell (0+ / 0-)

          some reasons for my tag line:

          markets depend on rules, with an enforcer, ie some form of governance;
          all but the most primitive barter markets require a medium of exchange, and barter markets narrow consumer choices so much that there is very little positive freedom of choice;
          transactions between willing buyers and sellers impose external costs on third parties who have no free choice in decisions that affect them; today external costs (eg climate disruption, mass extinction) can dominate direct costs and benefits;
          market exchanges depend on many public goods (which they didn't build) as preconditions and inputs: public education, transportation systems, traffic cops, public R&D, sanitation etc etc;
          successful competitors increase market share, so over time competitive markets become oligopolistic;
          long before that, exchanges between corporations and individual workers and consumers tend to be grossly unequal in bargaining power, especially when the latter are in the market for necessities.

          There's no such thing as a free market!

          by Albanius on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:33:49 AM PST

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