This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Is Free-Market Capitalism Impossible?

Tyler Durden's picture


In a genuinely free market, rich corporations people have both the resources and incentive to corrupt the government in order to make the market less free. In other words, Capitalism only works in a world in which people have integrity and are accountable to others and themselves - which is the weakest link. And so you end up with? America. In short: "there ain't no such thing as a free market" - which is not to say that we shouldn't try. The following clip points out that even seemingly pro-business legislation is not beneficial to society or businesses themselves broadly with the analogy that "what's good for GM may not be good for America after all"; which begs the question: do humans doom capitalism by default?



- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:02 | 2689017 akak
akak's picture

However much your are charging your Chinese Communist paymasters to post all this nonsensical bullshit, it is too much.

Why not just keep endlessly reposting the one exact same comment over and over again?  That is essentially all that you do here anyway.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:21 | 2689077 forexskin
forexskin's picture

he pretty clearly climb in one wisdom time machine, take your suggestion, go back in time, and post same bullshit since number 1 post.

clear proof of genius.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 22:09 | 2689746 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

akak said:

Why not just keep endlessly reposting the one exact same comment over and over again?  That is essentially all that you do here anyway.

AnAnonymous could easily be replaced by an offuscated perl script.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:10 | 2688816 steelhead23
steelhead23's picture

Tyler,  Do you want a free market?  Really?  In a free market NYSE would be free to sell access to its feeds to the highest bidder.  HFT is part of the free market.  How about bucket shops?  What about externalities, like pollution, or drugs that can kill you?  Oh sure, some of that could be constrained by legal action, but answer me this, in an instance when a mugger has a knife to your throat, would you rather a lawyer or a policeman came to your assistance?  There is no such thing as a free market and you should be damned glad there isn't.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:54 | 2689157 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

Yes.  But sometimes I wish they would get one just so everyone could see what it is really like. 

In the meantime, perhaps life in England and the USA in the early decades of the industrial revolution is a good example to consider.  Businesses had plenty of freedom, but it was not pretty for most workers; life was nasty, brutish, and short.  For example,

 Child labor  -- Child labour had existed before the Industrial Revolution, but with the increase in population and educaion it became more visible. Many children were forced to work in relatively bad conditions for much lower pay than their elders, 10-20% of an adult male's wage. Children as young as four were employed. Beatings and long hours were common, with some child coal miners and hurriers working from 4 am until 5 pm. Conditions were dangerous, with some children killed when they dozed off and fell into the path of the carts, while others died from gas explosions. Many children developed lung cancer and other diseases and died before the age of 25. Workhouses would sell orphans and abandoned children as "pauper apprentices", working without wages for board and lodging. Those who ran away would be whipped and returned to their masters, with some masters shackling them to prevent escape. Children employed as mule scavenger by cotton mills would crawl under machinery to pick up cotton, working 14 hours a day, six days a week. Some lost hands or limbs, others were crushed under the machines, and some were decapitated. Young girls worked at match factories, where phosphorus fumes would cause many to develop phossy jaw. Children employed at glassworks were regularly burned and blinded, and those working at potteries were vulnerable to poisonous clay dust.


Wed, 08/08/2012 - 21:03 | 2689569 Noktirnal
Noktirnal's picture

To me, their occupation would not matter. I would attempt to defend any human from this sort of threat if I were present and aware.

I dont think anyone would care what occupation their defender holds, as long as it ends with there no longer being a knife to their throat.


Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:12 | 2688819 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

When you say "Free", you mean "Free of Competition from Mexicans", right?

Everyone likes big government, they just like different parts.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:17 | 2688831 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The blind side: regulation can only come from governments. That is the piece of news.

It is funny how US citizens advocate for things, no matter how compatible they are.

They advocate for competition, which forces the use of regulation so to measure competitiveness.

And they advocate for unregulated societies.

How can both be?

Because the regulations only come from the government.

US citizens are scared to death falling on the wrong side of US citizenism, trying by all means to justify the removal of the State.

Being on the wrong side of a US citizen state apparatus is not a nice experience. It can be understood.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:28 | 2688861 akak
akak's picture

The fecal side: roadside turds can only come from Chinese Citizenism citizens.That is not a piece of news.

It is funny how Chinese Citizenism citizens advocate for shitty things, no matter how compatible they are.

They advocate for blobbing-up, which forces the use of sweatshop slave labor so to measure competitiveness.

And they advocate for unregulated roadside shitting. How can both be?

Because the philosophical underpinnings for both only come from the Chinese government.

Chinese Citizenism citizens are scared to death falling on the wrong side of the roadside, trying by all means to justify not falling into their own foul nightsoil.

Being on the wrong side of a Chinese Citizenism shat-up roadside is not a nice experience. It can be understood as a dive into the mind of online Chinese Citizenism trolls.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:36 | 2688890 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Avocating for what?

Chinese citizenism is the product of US citizen imagination, in a desesperate quest for symetry.

Keep up the good job though, the more 'Americans' there are, the merrier and the easier.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:39 | 2688919 akak
akak's picture

Your lame and laughable pro-authoritarian, anti-American propaganda is pathetic and inept.

Go spread your hate and lies elsewhere, troll.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:51 | 2688966 forexskin
forexskin's picture

uh, may i suggest its a FUCKING TROLL? ok, thanks.

and yea, all judgement, but no one know what standard shitshine uses to judge.


Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:59 | 2689001 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Here? once again, the most basic logics and the most straightforward facts.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:23 | 2689082 forexskin
forexskin's picture

idiot facts only clear to idiot.

you win!

i stand humbled

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 22:12 | 2689752 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

Chinese citizenism is the product of US citizen imagination, in a desesperate quest for symetry.

No, you are wrong, and that is beyond all dispute.

It's a fact.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:34 | 2688880 Crabshack
Crabshack's picture

It can't exist because we know how to 'game' it now.  Most companies now are just versions of the same ponzi the government taught us how to run.

Any legit company has to do whatever it can to stay alive which doesn't bode well for a sustainable operation.  You can keep the jobs in the town but you won't make the margin your shareholders expect.  If we go offshore we can make the numbers work, but you won't have a town left in 5 years.

Our civil servants in Congress being paid $170K per year and always working for the Gov somehow all have hundreds of millions of $$$ on either side of the political spectrum.  Who knew with a disposable income of $30K per year you could parlay that to $225Million.

We were told all we have to do is build a better mousetrap and we can have our piece of the pie.  Now when you get close to finishing your mousetrap you will find your competition hired lobbyists to have you shut down for an EPA/SEC/DMV/HumRights/ violation.

The only plan for retail that works is the "to the moon Alice" plan.  As long as we can fill every BestBuy/WalMart located every 1/4 mile with 500 shoppers per hour we can keep making money.  Expansion is the only way with no ability to ever stop.  The final 7-11 built in deepest darkest Africa will be the end of the world.  No grow, no go.

Limit every business to 5 employees and maybe you could have something.  Better mousetraps can't get outmuscled by excess capital and economies of scale.  True competition with only the strong surviving.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:39 | 2688913 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

So, if monopolies arise in a free-market system, like Standard Oil in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and AT&T in the 1940s, '50s, '60s, and '70s, should the government break them up or no?  If so, does it mean a free-market system cannot function without some level of government control?  If not, then how do we defend ourselves from the tyranny of giant corporations?

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:00 | 2689005 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Get on the page: in free markets, monopolies, oligopolies can not exist.

So your question is moot.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:33 | 2689105 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

Prove it.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:18 | 2689063 r00t61
r00t61's picture

You do realize that corporations DERIVE THEIR POWER FROM THE STATE?

Without a government enacting "legislation" that gives corporations their powers - chiefly, the ability to create shell corporations, to engage in dodgy accounting, to deflect liability - a "corporation" could not exist.  It's entirely a legal fiction that only has power because the state backs up its existence with men with badges and guns.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 18:11 | 2689202 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

I'm not sure what you are advocating.

If the state did not exist, would it not be possible for businesses to still exist and to have power over workers and even customers in certain situations, maintained, when need be, with their own guns? 

Do not all large businesses these days have their own private, armed security forces?  In the absence of the state, what would restrain them from exercising power as they wished?


Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:45 | 2688940 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

'Free Markets' without regulation [limited?] is an open-ended paradox in a neo-globalization world?

Perhaps Mitt romney can jump start his counter attack against "King Obama's Regulated, 'Centralized Government'!"

Who is this President to have the audacity too label Romney: "It's a Romney Hood"!

'The Mitt is wax'd enough,... it's time to shed his Machiavellian Ways. But how? Never gonna do it opposing 'O`bambi's BS', and his so-called impenetrable [ me thinks... he thinks?] Chinese firewall, period! So what then... should this humble Mormon do? Simple... change the narrative.

Capitalism is a dog-eat-dog environment --cut throat and highly competitive, where the wheat is instantaneous separated from the chaff. To sum it all up in today's words... ya gotta have a thick skin, and the willingness to accept adversity and a lot of defeats along the way. 

Bureaucrats such as O`bambi and his entourage of suckling can criticize the Mitt all they want by painting him in a dark draconian esoteric financial universe if they so choose --but, only at their own peril. You see, a bureaucrat is not an entrepreneur, an innovator of invention,... one who has creative ideals and brings them into reality. No indeed, the bureaucratic hierarchy is but a parasitic plague that sucks from free capitalism their lifelong labor of freedom to have tangible dreams fulfilled. Casting and canvassing the evils of 'Machiavellian's Ways' as maladjusted despots, ironically via survival-of-the-fittest ala Darwinianism dwarfs!

In business it is ingenuity and the willingness of hard work that placates wishful, 'Hope and Change'! It is turning dreams and ideals from those dreams outward into a visible and tangible, very real reality.

Once again I must reiterate that 'Raw-Capitalism' is a metaphoric ritual of 'Do-or-Die', with a lot of sweat, blood and tears. But, it is that of 'Free-for-All' raw capitalism's stark reality, that makes the inventurous idealist... destiny's pragmatic stalwart fiscal pioneer for futures to come!

I hope Romney is listening,...

thankyou Tyler                 

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:54 | 2688985 forexskin
forexskin's picture

are you saying Obamney is different from Robama?

uh, nope, don't think so.

otherwise i don't know what the hell you're saying.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:01 | 2689013 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

in a word


Wed, 08/08/2012 - 17:29 | 2689100 forexskin
forexskin's picture


*props feet up on sofa, and cracks a cold one*


(can't wait for this blue pill ingredient list)

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 21:41 | 2689673 ghenny
ghenny's picture

Please learn to write English and while your at it get a proper education political economy.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 16:52 | 2688971 Silver Exterior
Silver Exterior's picture

question: do humans doom capitalism by default?

Yes as we do with all other systems, the lazy/evil/crazy do a power grab, then horror happens and the sheep restore some sanity... More reason to bind government/mob action. Less horror, more revolting sheep you see.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 18:28 | 2689236 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the only question now, in post 2008 capitalism/democracy crisis, as then in post 1929 capital crisis, is that we are living a REPEAT situation with the same root causes : capitalistic greed of a powerful minority in society. This resurgence now condemns this model for the ages to come. We can't go back to pre 2008 capitalism. This must be considered as a given. That world is over; broken, twisted beyond repair, its governing institutions now unrecognisable. 

It therefore begs the question; as MArx predicted the industrial machine gave inordinate power through capital leverage to the elite class. He also correctly predicted that such power would coalesce by convergent interests into corpocracy control of markets via oligarchies and monopolies. He was right on BOTH counts. He therefore concluded that statism run by a dictatorship of proletariat (the people, 99% ers), would solve the power inequality, class imbalance, and abolition of private property would make class war meaningless. He was right in theory. But he forgot the most powerful element in human society : human nature. Whence the USA and the evolution of 20 th century, as his ideal world imploded in USSR concoction as a solution that was worse than the perceived problem. 

Now the 21 st century has to review the problem all over again. As BOTH statism and capitalist oligarchy lead to the same end game : central oligarchy control of all levers of power and exclusion of people from their own inherent rights, being reduced to serfdom as in the feudal age. 

We have to find a new balance and it has to be in the context of post industrial world; aka with the ecology and material limitation constraints thrown in along with the demographic imbalance in runaway mode in a very finite and shrinking world.

We've never been in such dire straits before as our ability to destroy the planet and our own existance is now a proven reality facing us like our morphed nemesis, conceived by our own greed. 

We have to change our perception of reality to account for this cataclysmic mulitdimensional evolution which goes WAY beyond the dialectic conundrum of state vs private oligarchy capitalism. 

By using this limited prism we are trying to understand tomorrow's problem in terms of yesterday's perception of what the problem is.

Its happened before : WW1 was fought by people who thought they were in a Napoleonic war. They thought it would end quickly like at Waterloo. They didn't realise that technology had moved the destructive potential of society way beyond that perception. It led to the demise, over two WWs, of imperial Europe and its colonial global architecture.

The next misperception of world reality, if it leads to another Armageddon, will be even more costly to the current empire! 

Time is what lacks most to people sitting on a runaway roller coaster; once they realise where they truly are! 

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 20:20 | 2689459 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

Bravo!!!   falak

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 18:42 | 2689268 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

" do humans doom capitalism by default?"

 No, but luckily our ability to count does doom socialism by default. 

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 19:36 | 2689396 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

If there is a monopoly on force and violence then people will never be free. Government is the problem.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 21:38 | 2689662 ghenny
ghenny's picture

Repeating a simplistic and childish mantra does not make it true.  Without a monopoly of force by someone we live in a world of all against all - vigilantes, gangs, tribes etc. that pray on each other and everyone else.  The key is to have democratic control of the force monopoly.  That is difficult in crony capitalism and crony socialism.  In crony capitalism the banksters and other corporate Kleptocrats buy the people's representatives and/or the legal system unless there are very cleverly designed safeguards. In crony socialism they buy the bureaucracy and the agents of force directly.  The problem we have today in the US is the reality that we are running 18th century safeguards against 21st century criminals.  Not a very even playing field.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 19:36 | 2689397 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

If there is a monopoly on force and violence then people will never be free. Government is the problem.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 20:18 | 2689437 Gadfly
Gadfly's picture

Wrong.  People are the problem -- greedy, ego-driven, never-have-enough people.  That's why you need government.  So you can have rules and referees for the game we call civilization.  To keep these greedy selfish pricks from breaking all the rules and eventually owning everything, lock stock and barrel.  They used to just take stuff by force.  Now they've figured out how the system works and then they bend and break the rules and pile up fortunes until they own everything.  And they still want more.  And they want us to take less, so they can get more.  That's where this whole thing is headed.  Keep singing your simpleton's song that government is bad.  The Founding Fathers created a government with three independent branches and checks and balances because they had no illusions about human nature.  Apparently we have an entire generation that thinks human nature is all good, that there's no evil there, that the only evil is in Government.  How did we ever come to believe such childish nonsense.   

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:43 | 2691043 Coreadrin
Coreadrin's picture

That's some hilarious stuff, right there.

In essence, your argument is boiling down to "human nature is horrible, so let's create an institution, give it authorization to use violence against other people with no accountability, and stuff it full of humans".  Oh, wait.  You're one of those statist religious people who believe that if you check a box with someone's name on in a couple of million times, it completely revokes all of the negative aspects of human nature.  Sanctification by ballot.  Gotcha...

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 20:51 | 2689518 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

The premise is absurd. This is utter garbage. Tylers are pullin' a fast one like that 'Hottest July Ever' post earlier. First the AGW fanbois come out, now the Hobbesian cocksuckers. Bravo, it seems they've taken the bait.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 21:33 | 2689650 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

Any one actually living in the real world and not the world of theory or day trading knows that free markets always end up as Monopolies/Oligarchies given enough time, unless they are "forced to be free".  Free markets work on a very small local level, but don't scale up well at all and never have.

Free market purists are utopians in the same way that Marxists are....for the theories to work, they require a pure set of circumstances that has never actually existed.  Any proof shown to them that their theories have been proven wrong every time when it comes to the global economy say that it is because the markets weren't free enough, that there was some kind of government interference.  Marxists say similar things about why Communism didn't work, it's never been tried anywhere in "pure form", there was corruption/interferance.  Well folks there's never going to be a world where there aren't governments, special interests, resource shortages and national interests to interfere with these precious models.  

It's not either or, neither of these views "works", neither theory reflect the world we inhabit.


Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:42 | 2691036 Coreadrin
Coreadrin's picture

Please, good sir, do provide me the evidence of this claim (which must be EVERYWHERE, since you claim it's an "always" situation).  Go get me some history and show me these monopolies.  I have one caveat:  They cannot have used government power to retain it or create it, because that's fascism, donchaknow.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 22:07 | 2689741 Coreadrin
Coreadrin's picture

I haven't even read through a single one of the comments, but I'm going to call out this childish article for what it is.

This is blaming the vultures for showing up when you toss a body out into the Mojave.  Capitalism is just fascism if you have no morality and a government that the established players can circle-jerk with.  You think banking is the insane parasite that it is without the legal tender monopoly, fractional reserve legality, and no government deposit insurance?  I could write a thesis length paper listing the sparest details of these shenanagans that have taken place over the last 6 months, and here you are talking about human nature and all its cuteness.

Every human nature argument made against free markets applies in triplicate to government.  Customers can walk the f**k away when a company pisses them off, and never turn back.  Try telling government how displeased you are with those municipal trash pickups, how the frequency keeps dropping YoY but the cost keeps going up, and you're now buying bag-tags for each bag of refuse you still have to haul out to the side of the road (like they did 80 years ago - some development).  Tell them you want to negotiate a better "service" plan or switch to a "competitor", and that you won't pay them for their shoddy service anymore.  You'll be eating a gun barrel in no time as you fight to keep them from kidnapping you from your house so they can take it and sell it to claim what's "owed".

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 22:22 | 2689780 Noktirnal
Noktirnal's picture

is it impossible for a person to take care of his own trash?

I can compost food and paper waste

I can recycle paper, plastic, glass, and metals, or repurpose for other uses.

Some I can trade for products I need or want.

If you are unhappy with govt services, don't utilize them. There is always a choice. Only you control your actions

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:40 | 2691027 Coreadrin
Coreadrin's picture

If I decline to pay for this "service", in my city, and decide to haul my own shit out to the private dump, my house will be stolen at gunpoint.  I have to pay those public union wages whether I put a single can of trash out for them to pick up or not....

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 07:42 | 2690370 Gadfly
Gadfly's picture

I agree government will try to accumulate too much power.  Once again, this is a function of human nature and the drive and urge to accumulate power, which all organizations tend to do, whether private or public.

However, I disagree with the premise, "Customers can walk the f**k away when a company pisses them off, and never turn back."  This is true only if the company has not acquired a monopoly, which virtually all companies will try to do by means of buying out their competitors or undercutting all of the competition, or by buying up and owning a particular resource.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 23:18 | 2689938 chaos is my life
chaos is my life's picture

Nice little piece.  It really makes you wonder about all the claims of free markets and anarcho-capitalism.  Seriously, I really, REALLY enjoyed this.

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 23:18 | 2689940 chaos is my life
chaos is my life's picture

Nice little piece.  It really makes you wonder about all the claims of free markets and anarcho-capitalism.  Seriously, I really, REALLY enjoyed this.

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 04:51 | 2690258 liszt
liszt's picture

Take any business you want, it produces more offer than demand. Aggregate demand is based on wages essentially, while benefices stay inside banks or markets, for now. So, Demand can never absorb all Offer, technically, even if the system is run by angels. The benefices are not enterly used to acquiere machines and increase productivity, and every Dollar staying inside the banking system is missing on demand, as Keynes said. This monney never returns to economy.

Any time you don't consider Offer and Demand, you'r not writing about economy as this are the main forces of trade.

Oh, so Offer and Demand are not economic clues ? Oh that's new.

Also beside the economy is made of businesses, you never look at them. Continuing that way you can believe capitalisme is sustenable.

Can your baker buy all of his breads ? No he can't, and the same is true for every business in the world, so how you think this system can reach an equilibrum ? It can't.






Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!