My take on socialism is this: Socialism only seems to work when you don’t fully implement it, when you keep enough capitalism around to pay socialism’s bills, at least for a time. It’s the difference between milking the cow and killing it. Socialism has no theory of wealth creation; it’s just a destructive, envy-driven fantasy about redistributing it after something else (and somebody else) creates it first.
The emotional pattern seems to be something like, “[Karl] Polanyi, a person of the left like me, says many true things, beautifully. Therefore his tales about what happened in economic history must be true.
the centre is missing, but we cannot stop searching for it or positing it. It is not that there is nothing there – it is that what is there is not capable of exercising responsibility
The law-abiding citizen by his labor serves both himself and his fellow man and thereby integrates himself peacefully into the social order. The robber, on the other hand, is intent, not on honest toil, but on the forcible appropriation of the fruits of others’ labor.
Robinson Crusoe, the first capitalist hero, is a self-made man who accepts objective reality and then fashions it to his needs through the work ethic, common sense, resilience, technology, and, if need be, racism and imperialism.
Deleuze and Guattari describe capitalism as a kind of dark potentiality which haunted all previous social systems. Capital, they argue, is the ‘unnamable Thing’, the abomination, which primitive and feudal societies ‘warded off in advance’. When it actually arrives, capitalism brings with it a massive desacralization of culture. It is a system which is no longer governed by any transcendent Law; on the contrary, it dismantles all such codes, only to re-install them on an ad hoc basis.
Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.
Society has made it so I have to get paid in order to do basic things like eat and be indoors and not be naked. Once that’s happened, morality’s bound to get slippery.
Here is a principle to use in all aspects of economics and policy. When you find a good or service that is in huge demand but the supply is so limited to the point that the price goes up and up, look for the regulation that is causing it. This applies regardless of the sector, whether transportation, gas, education, food, beer, or daycare. There is something in the way that is preventing the market from working as it should. If you look carefully enough, you will find the hand of the state making the mess in question.
Nada es tan desalentador como un esclavo satisfecho.