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ThaHoward

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The free market is about competition, right? Survival of the fittest and all that jazz. And the inevitable outcome of such competition is one dominant player in each particular field because that's what happens with competition - eventually something comes along that out-competes everyone else. Either that or you'd see what has happened in so many sectors - a cartel of major companies happily fixing prices to deny consumers choice and maintain the status quo.

Now the free marketeer response to that situation is that competition will deal with that problem as, if you have one big company with a monopoly exploiting it's position then sooner or later a smaller company will come along and compete more effectively and bring it down to size.

Except that, without competition regulations (e.g. a system where there are no external rules enforced by government) then there's nothing to stop the monopoly companies and cartels from using their financial, economic and market clout to strangle competition in the cradle to protect their position. And with competition being prevented from ever being able to compete then the free market itself is no longer free.

That's why there's no such thing as a "free market" - in order for a market to be free the market itself has to have some kind of ground rules and external regulation to enforce those rules in order to make sure that it remains competitive.

In fact, sensible state involvement is the backbone of a healthy market.

^ Fixed.
Only thing that needs fixing is your mental health my dear one. I can't take arguments seriously from one who live in some sort of a fantasy world.
 

LordTempest

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Only thing that needs fixing is your mental health my dear one. I can't take arguments seriously from one who live in some sort of a fantasy world.
On the contrary, Antonine's argument is the most sensible and reasoned pro-free market argument we've had in this entire thread.
 

ThaHoward

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On the contrary, Antonine's argument is the most sensible and reasoned pro-free market argument we've had in this entire thread.
Still he is clearly deluded or something since he talk about events and corporations that didn't happen and exist in teh 1880's :) And if one are putting everyone in prison so they can be "free" - I don't know how free we would be. Of course everyone would get free food, free shelter and free health care and secure from violence, but we woudln't be free. That is the great paradox he is presenting. He want something to be free by chaining it up.
 

LordTempest

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Still he is clearly deluded or something since he talk about events and corporations that didn't happen and exist in teh 1880's :) And if one are putting everyone in prison so they can be "free" - I don't know how free we would be. Of course everyone would get free food, free shelter and free health care and secure from violence, but we woudln't be free. That is the great paradox he is presenting. He want something to be free by chaining it up.
Unfortunately, he's not the deluded one here, and there's nothing wrong with citing precedent. :)

All he's suggesting is that in order for a free market to exist, there needs to be a limited set of regulations designed to combat monopolies and trusts. Monopolies and trusts, needless to say, are insular, stymie competition and are distortions of the free market. How can you possibly disagree with that?
 

Antonine

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Enron = General Electric, IBM = IBM and Microsoft = English Steel - are you not up to date with the latest acronyms? :p
 

Antonine

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Unfortunately, he's not the deluded one here, and there's nothing wrong with citing precedent. :)

All he's suggesting is that in order for a free market to exist, there needs to be a limited set of regulations designed to combat monopolies and trusts. Monopolies and trusts, needless to say, are insular, stymie competition and are distortions of the free market. How can you possibly disagree with that?
Even Milton Friedman called for the state to provide rules and regulations for the market after all.

In fact, this is the big dividing line between liberalism in all its varieties and the madhouse of anarcho-capitalism and other fringe theories derived from flawed understandings of Gladstonian economics. Liberalism of all colours contains a fundamental belief in the free market, with an acknowledgement that at the very minimum there need to be state-enforced ground rules - anarcho-capitalism on the other hand seems deliberately obtuse and blind to the inevitable consequences of the very free-for-all it advocates.

After all, evolution is a free market and look where that has got the varied inheritance of earth when one species, ourselves, have taken the dominant position and used it to eradicate many hundreds of species in order to eliminate competition. Witness, for example, the British wolf and bear - both long gone thanks to our anti-competition measures.
 

LordTempest

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anarcho-capitalism on the other hand seems deliberately obtuse and blind to the inevitable consequences of the very free-for-all it advocates.
I wonder if other illiberal traits: zealotry, dogma, a lack of critical thinking and either an inability to or lack of desire to understand and comprehend other people's arguments (even when they fundamentally agree with you) are also commonplace among anarcho-capitalists? :p
 

Contravarius

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I wonder if other illiberal traits: zealotry, dogma, a lack of critical thinking and either an inability to or lack of desire to understand and comprehend other people's arguments (even when they fundamentally agree with you) are also commonplace among anarcho-capitalists? :p
Actually all of the above sounds EXACTLY like ALL the liberals I know. But that doesn't mean anarco-capitalists can't be as bad or even worse, that's true.
 

LordTempest

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Actually all of the above sounds EXACTLY like ALL the liberals I know. But that doesn't mean anarco-capitalists can't be as bad or even worse, that's true.
There's no such thing as an illiberal liberal - that is a contradiction in terms. :)
 

Antonine

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Furthermore, since I have raised the ghost of Gladstone, let me point out that Gladstonian liberalism was a grand experiment to put into practice liberal theory. He abolished all taxation on the English breakfast and cut income tax to the bone. He minimised state interference as much as possible.

And what were the results? Infringements on liberty by the state were greatly curtailed, this is true. But on the other hand, other infringements on individual freedom - such as the crushing slavery of poverty, ill health and lack of education continued to afflict our nation.

And a child born starving, into an illiterate family living in crushing poverty has precious little freedom at all. They are trapped by circumstances they had no control over and thus freedom from government oppression does almost nothing to free them at all.

That is why modern liberals realise that it is not enough merely for the state not to oppress freedom - it is in fact essential for the state to enable freedom by ensuring that, just as a level playing field is provided for the markets, that a level playing field is provided for people. This means that the circumstances of birth should not be an obstacle to health, to education or to the basic necessities of food and shelter so that all people are in a fit condition to compete with each other on their own merits rather than being held back by unearned handicaps.

And that is why I am a Liberal party member and not a National Liberal party member. The former has learned this lesson. The latter seems to have learned nothing of any consequence whatsoever if the rantings of a few are to be taken to represent the whole.
 

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There's no such thing as an illiberal liberal - that is a contradiction in terms. :)
Well, every human being is the most goddamn inhumane creature there is. It's just that both words, "illiberal" and "inhumane", are just inherently wrong.
 

LordTempest

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Furthermore, since I have raised the ghost of Gladstone, let me point out that Gladstonian liberalism was a grand experiment to put into practice liberal theory. He abolished all taxation on the English breakfast and cut income tax to the bone. He minimised state interference as much as possible.

And what were the results? Infringements on liberty by the state were greatly curtailed, this is true. But on the other hand, other infringements on individual freedom - such as the crushing slavery of poverty, ill health and lack of education continued to afflict our nation.

And a child born starving, into an illiterate family living in crushing poverty has precious little freedom at all. They are trapped by circumstances they had no control over and thus freedom from government oppression does almost nothing to free them at all.

That is why modern liberals realise that it is not enough merely for the state not to oppress freedom - it is in fact essential for the state to enable freedom by ensuring that, just as a level playing field is provided for the markets, that a level playing field is provided for people. This means that the circumstances of birth should not be an obstacle to health, to education or to the basic necessities of food and shelter so that all people are in a fit condition to compete with each other on their own merits rather than being held back by unearned handicaps.

And that is why I am a Liberal party member and not a National Liberal party member. The former has learned this lesson. The latter seems to have learned nothing of any consequence whatsoever if the rantings of a few are to be taken to represent the whole.
Then you are an evil Stalinist who wants to turn Britain into a living, breathing replica of Airstrip 101 and therefore you must be imprisoned without trial and summarily executed, all in the name of liberty and freedom of course! :p
 

Andrzej I

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I wonder if other illiberal traits: zealotry, dogma, a lack of critical thinking and either an inability to or lack of desire to understand and comprehend other people's arguments (even when they fundamentally agree with you) are also commonplace among anarcho-capitalists? :p
Such truly seems to be the case, though I wouldn't limit it to the anarcho-capitalists alone. Radicals rarely listen to reason, I fear.
 

Enewald

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best way to win argument:

-call others radicals
-???
-win?

Someone disagrees with your world-view and does not support the welfare state, surely such individuals must be insane! :eek:
If you could actually make good arguments against our liberalism... ;)

You demand fix this and fix that, let the state handle everything; the ultimate price will be the loss of individual liberties.
Have you ever thought how much socialist thought has influenced your way of thinking?
 

LordTempest

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Someone disagrees with your world-view and does not support the welfare state, surely such individuals must be insane!
The rigid dogma puts people off almost as much as the stupidity behind it does. ;)
 

99KingHigh

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Bah, more pointless arguments.

Restore the Feudal system. Much better.
 

Contravarius

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Bah, more pointless arguments.

Restore the Feudal system. Much better.
Well, the British Neo-Feudalist Party has my vote, if it ever decides to pop out.
 

etranger01

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Furthermore, since I have raised the ghost of Gladstone, let me point out that Gladstonian liberalism was a grand experiment to put into practice liberal theory. He abolished all taxation on the English breakfast and cut income tax to the bone. He minimised state interference as much as possible.

And what were the results? Infringements on liberty by the state were greatly curtailed, this is true. But on the other hand, other infringements on individual freedom - such as the crushing slavery of poverty, ill health and lack of education continued to afflict our nation.

And a child born starving, into an illiterate family living in crushing poverty has precious little freedom at all. They are trapped by circumstances they had no control over and thus freedom from government oppression does almost nothing to free them at all.

That is why modern liberals realise that it is not enough merely for the state not to oppress freedom - it is in fact essential for the state to enable freedom by ensuring that, just as a level playing field is provided for the markets, that a level playing field is provided for people. This means that the circumstances of birth should not be an obstacle to health, to education or to the basic necessities of food and shelter so that all people are in a fit condition to compete with each other on their own merits rather than being held back by unearned handicaps.

And that is why I am a Liberal party member and not a National Liberal party member. The former has learned this lesson. The latter seems to have learned nothing of any consequence whatsoever if the rantings of a few are to be taken to represent the whole.
Antonine, I had a moment of serious temptation to vote Liberal in the next election. It passed, thankfully, but your arguments are very persuasive and well-reasoned.

Ultimately, Labour is the party working toward the establishment of the most possible freedom, whether social or economic. That includes removing areas of vital national interest like healthcare and transportation from profit-driven motives and making them available equally to all regardless of income. The Liberal party has some good ideas and I think there needs to be a voice for those who want to resist the natural tendency toward absolute centralization without also being batshit crazy, so I congratulate you on being that voice!
 

99KingHigh

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Well, the British Neo-Feudalist Party has my vote, if it ever decides to pop out.
Aha! At last someone has pronounced my true political leanings. Neo-Medievalism and Neo-Feudalism is the only path to avoid this mad world of leftist 'freedoms.'
 

Contravarius

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Aha! At last someone has pronounced my true political leanings. Neo-Medievalism and Neo-Feudalism is the only path to avoid this mad world of leftist 'freedoms.'
Well, I guess this "High Tory" corner in this Great Rightist Alliance is the closest we have to that right now and I'm quite alright with that, really.
 
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