Capitalism And The Free Market


As I sit here “flying my desk” I continue to receive confirmation notes from Amazon that:

  1. My order has been confirmed
  2. My order has been shipped

These notes come complete with tracking numbers that allow me to view the status of each order and, then, to see where FedEx is in shipping each order.  It’s my hope that in the coming year I will have outdoor cameras/locked delivery boxes that will allow me to view the delivery of each package.

In any event, I am struck by the absolute and sheer awesomeness of a marketplace that is open 7x24x365.  I’m able to shop for goods around the globe at any time of the day.  Most specifically, a time of day that is convenient for me.

In addition to the fact  that the market makes available global goods of all kinds at any time of day, I don’t have to leave my desk, or sofa, or tub or wherever I am accessing that market place from.  I am able to order, pay for and then have delivered to me my goods and never even leave the house.  Depending on my specific state of organization, this may be literally true.  I could order a book and have it delivered to me before I even ever need to leave the house.

And this whole trade I make with the market place makes me richer.

I value having a book delivered to me more than I value the $10.50 it cost me.  By definition, I become more “wealthy” as a result of this transaction.  As each transaction adds up, I become even MORE wealthy.  Bird food delivered to my door?  More wealthy.  Bakugans for the boy?  More wealthy.

And the genius is that Amazon becomes more wealthy too!  They value the $10.50 more than they value the capital it took to establish the infrastructure to facilitate the sale.  Same with FedEx and the imbedded shipping charges.  And the publisher who printed the book.  And the author who penned it.  None of them would have entered into the arrangement had they not felt so.

We ALL become more wealthy as a result.

And it struck me.  If we reject capitalism, that each man is out to obtain the best value for himself, then what we are saying is that we would only desire to read books written by ourselves.  To wear clothes woven and stitched by ourselves.  Eat food grown or raised by ourselves.  And live i houses built by ourselves.

That, or enjoyed at the coercion of others.

Are there losers in capitalism, even as it functions “properly”?  Yes, without a doubt.  But it is the unmistakable sting of failure that drives us to succeed.  It is the joyous sense of success that drives us to avoid failure.

And so it must be.  It is how we evolved from that first strike of lighting in the primordial mud.  A series of experiments where some failed and withered while others succeeded and thrived.  Evolution is, in a sense, capitalism.

To reject the free market is to reject truth.  And instead rely on “faith”.  Faith that all men, or enough of them, will act in such a manner that is contradictory to his nature.

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4 comments
  1. ryan grace said:

    Timely is thy name.

  2. pino said:

    FedEx guy

    THAT was uncalled for!

  3. Well, I don’t think very many people want to reject capitalism. 99% of the Democrats favor market capitalism. The question is just how to regulate it, how to deal social problems that may emerge as a by product, and how to provide collective goods (solve the collective action problem). None of that means getting rid of capitalism. I do think that you touch something deeper there — the information and communications revolution we’re hitting is going to change life on the planet in a fundamental manner. I could see the end of the bureaucratic sovereign state, economic changes, and individual empowerment. There could be real reactionary forces unleashed. We live in interesting times.

    But yeah, with the internet and all this available, I can not only shop from rural Maine for products I’d have to have traveled to Boston for in the past, having them delivered next day if I want, but I can research from a small rural college with resources available I’d have had to travel to big libraries or even overseas (German documents) at my finger tips. It makes me wonder what kind of world my kids will see!

    • pino said:

      The question is just how to regulate it, how to deal social problems that may emerge as a by product, and how to provide collective goods (solve the collective action problem). None of that means getting rid of capitalism.

      So, I think that’s the rub.

      I would expect that consenting individual should be able to cooperate as they see fit without the burden of government intervening. This would include the blocking of the att/tmobile deal.

      But yeah, with the internet and all this available, I can not only shop from rural Maine for products I’d have to have traveled to Boston for in the past, having them delivered next day if I want, but I can research from a small rural college with resources available I’d have had to travel to big libraries or even overseas (German documents) at my finger tips.

      Literally, virtually every single American today can do those things! With the exception of the very very poorest among us here in America, we ALL live better than the richest in the world did just 50-100 years ago!

      Huzzah!

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