Klapauciusl at ix.netcom.com Klapauciusl at ix.netcom.com
Wed May 20 09:16:48 EST 1998

Jeffrey Haber wrote:
> react at ix.netcom.com wrote:
> >
> > Your response may be a misinterpretation of my statement insofar as
> > 'excuse' means an insufficient argument used to justify an action.  I
> > had no intent of implying responsibility.  Now that the issue has been
> > raise, however, what do you mean by 'forcibly'?  If you advocate,and
> > through a political procedure impliment, policy which is detrimental to
> > others, are you 'responsible' for the detrimental effects?  Since your
> > policy in such a case is implemented by law, are you 'forcibly' enacting
> > this policy?
> Yes, I think that if you advocate a policy which violates the rights of
> others that you are morally responsible.
> > I think that you will find, in practice, that in Capitalist economies,
> > no more and no less than in Socialist or Communist economies, the
> > function of protecting the rights of the individual and regulating the
> > exchange of value are inseperable.
> Can you give me an example?  Does that example entail the government's
> telling someone else what to do with their property and lives?

Since what constitute the 'rights' of individuals under different
economic forms arguably differ, it's necessary IMO to keep in mind that
we are discussing the seperability only of protecting those rights and
regulating exchange of value.  Labor may be the most straightforward
example as it involves directly both those whose 'rights' are at issue,
and a commodity which is assigned value.  In a Communist society it is
the right of an individual not to starve.  By supporting the individual
regardless of his capabilities, the value of labor is forced high.  It
is high because industries are required to support people for whom they
have no use, and high because people can do shoddy work yet remain
employed.  There are other implications of course, and the
implementation of Communism, as any other economic system, is affected
by the characteristics of the country's political system which - in
prinicpal at any rate a seperate entity.  However, the individual's
rights and the regulation of value of the individual's labor as a
commodity, are inextricably tied together.

In a Capitalist (and free market) economy the right to employment does
not exist.  Capitalist entities, in the absence of regulation, strive to
minimize their costs hence the value of labor is forced low.  A clear
example is the use of the immigration quota as a tool to increase the
labor pool, and there are other such tools for reducing the value of
labor.  Here, the Capitalists and those representing the labor market
who are cognizant of the effects of policy on labor value, strive to
influence pertinent policy for the benefit of themselves and their
constituency.  As the absence of policy is almost universally
interpreted as no constraints on activity,  the presence/absence and
form of the policy that affects the value of labor, and there appears to
be no escape.

This and similar considerations are why I made the above statement.  As
to the government telling people what to do with their property and
lives, let's take these one at a time.  First, property.  In the absence
of government property will belong to the individual or group that wants
the property and has the strength to take it and hold it.  This applies
to any property, not just land, and has at various times and places
included camels, women, men, Elvis Presley's guitar, and so on.  I think
this assertion is historically evident, for example the European
expansion into North and South America which is particularly pertinent
because the Spaniards, the '49er's, had effectively no government except
what they established for themselves.  It follows that most of us own
property for a very small number of possible reasons: 1) no one wants
our property, or 2) Collectively, small property owners are sufficiently
strong to take and keep our property, or 3) government, by establishing
and enforcing the law, permits us to own property.  All of these cases
are, of course, ideal.  Banks, for example, may want to make it easier
for some of us to default on certain properties and use their influence
to modify the law, or influence the courts in their interpretation of
the law.  Other interests are also active in government with regards to
property.  It is essential, I think, that before promoting a specific
policy, including the elimination of policy, it is very important to
consider all of the implications of those actions.  In our society,
money can legally and illegally influence government and can seriously
affect the value of property,  In the absence of government we could
simply run each other off, if we had the power to do so.

A similar argument holds for the governments influence on people's
lives.  Certainly it is there, and it's absence would also influence

> >  Perhaps this can be made evident
> > without specific example by considering that Capitalism and a free
> > market are distinct entities, in that either may exist without the
> > other.
> You cannot have capitalism without a free market; it is implicit in the
> definition of capitalism that the government is not regulating the
> economy.

No, I don't think so.  Capitalism is by at least one definition  'An
economic system characterized by private ownership of natural resources
and means of production.'  The free market is not implicit in the
definition of Capitalism as far as I know.

I have to pick up my daughter.  I'll respond to the rest in another


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