Guest Post: Is Capitalism Incompatible With Democracy?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Is Capitalism Incompatible with Democracy?

Failure and losses are the essential feedback in capitalism which clears the way for success and innovation. Eliminate losses and failure by changing the rules to protect either an Elite or the majority and you doom the system to collapse.

Is the marriage of capitalism and democracy doomed to discord? The question has been pawed over many times, but longtime correspondent M.M. recently summarized the core issue very neatly:

Isn't capitalism actually incompatible with democracy?


Some wise person said "Capitalism without failure is like Christianity without hell."


I agree. Failures are an essential part of the workings of capitalism. But what happens if a very large group invests in a false or foolish enterprise, for example 70% of the citizens become involved in that undertaking. Democracy allows those 70% to change the rules instead of accepting their failure...

Capitalism can be subverted by either an Elite or the majority. Marx traced out how Capital (wealth) naturally consolidates into monopolies or cartels (shared monopolies). These concentrations of wealth then buy political influence via campaign contributions, armies of lobbyists and the full spectrum of cronyism: sweetheart deals, envelopes of cash, revolving doors between the cartels and their regulators, plum jobs for lazy nephews and so on.

This base corruption of the Central State, which is now the dominant force in the economy, allows Elites to change the rules rather than accept failure (also known as losses). Thus we have Crony Capitalism: profits are private and yours to keep, losses are transferred to the taxpaying public.

This mechanism is well known and catches most of the attention. But M.M. highlighted the way the democratic majority can subvert capitalism. This is generally ignored for the simple reason that most commentators are part of the majority subverting capitalism to benefit their own self-interest.

This leads to a terminal state of self-delusion and self-justification: Half of US social program recipients believe they "have not used a government social program" (via

Two examples that come to mind are the housing bubble and Medicare. Slightly more than two-thirds (65%) of U.S. households "own" a home. (The quotes denote the paucity of actual ownership if the mortgage exceeds the value of the home. In that case, it's more like a lease with a balloon payment.) This super-majority is keenly interested in maintaining housing subsidies and any policies aimed at re-inflating the housing bubble: zero-rate interest policy (ZIRP), government-guaranteed mortgages to marginally qualified buyers, and so on.

The fact that this "changes the rules" so failure (the accepting of losses, bankruptcy, etc.) is voided or transferred to the public ledger is perfectly acceptable to the majority of homeowners pining for a return to bubblicious prices.

Their self-interest is misplaced, of course, because when you change the rules to protect yourself from losses, the market can never clear itself of rot and deadwood, and so the system becomes a zombie market dependent on a steady transfer of losses to the taxpaying public. This transfer of risk to the system eventually leads to systemic collapse.

I have reported on Medicare's fundamental unsustainability in depth: That Which is Unsustainable Will Go Away: Medicare (May 16, 2012). Though nobody knows because only a tiny sliver of transactions are audited, it seems about 40% of Medicare's expenses are fraud--phantom patients, phantom clinics, phantom tests, and so on. Another chunk is squandered on unproductive or even counterproductive tests, procedures and medications.

Recall that Medicare and Social Security are "pay as you go" entitlements: the "trust funds" are pure propaganda illusions, as any shortfalls are funded just like any other government agency, by the Treasury selling bonds.

The typical recipient pays in perhaps 10% ($30,000) of the average payout ($300,000-$500,000) in a lifetime of working. The system only functions in the long-term if the worker-beneficiary ratio is close to 10-to-1. It is now roughly 1-to-1, with 100 million Medicare/Medicaid benficiaries and 115 million full-time private-sector workers.

Once a majority of the voters believe they are entitled to something that is "too good to be true" (housing market bubbles, entitlements that pay 10X what is paid in, etc.) then they will refuse to accept its demise. But that which is unsustainable will go away, one way or another; keep changing the rules to avoid failure and what happens is the "too good to be true" system brings down the entire State, economy and nation.

This leads to a fundamental conclusion: In a sustainable system of democracy and capitalism, the Central State's sole role is to protect the commons and enforce and enable competition, transparency, accountability, open markets and dissent. It cannot redistribute funds, as those disbursement streams will quickly fall under the control of wealthy Elites, nor can it distribute entitlements, as those will soon attract super-majorities that demand the rules be changed to protect their share of the unsustainable swag.

The Central State cannot be in the "business" of "managing" the economy, as the mechanisms of this management will quickly fall under the control of wealthy Elites or demagogue politicians promising "too good to be true" riches to a super-majority.

Those in the super-majority are delighted to blame the Elites for everything rotten while holding themselves blameless in the subversion of capitalism's key mechanisms (transparency, accountability, failure, loss and clearing the market) to protect their share of the "too good to be true" swag.

I cover these topics more in depth in my latest book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change.

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GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Crony-Capitalism is imcompatible with the rule of law.

LawsofPhysics's picture

+1 for you sir.

Restore the fucking rule of law and contracts. Nothing else matters now.  Prosecute the fraud, execute the perps and restore a monetary system with real fucking consequences for bad behavior and THEFT OF VALUE and WEALTH.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Once you have a majority benefiting from the theft and corruption (or a minority claiming to speak for a majority) the only way out is collapse.

Or enlightenment.

But I won't hold me breath waiting on that.....though it is the preferred method of healing.

Chris Jusset's picture

Charles Hugh Smith says:

Failure and losses are the essential feedback in capitalism which clears the way for success and innovation. Eliminate losses and failure by changing the rules to protect either an Elite or the majority and you doom the system to collapse.

Absolutely, 100%.  Bravo!  We now live in a completely DYSFUNCTIONAL non-democracy.

AldousHuxley's picture

democracy = power to majority = power to workers = socialism/marxism


republic = power to selected elites = power to owners of capital = capitalism


Theory is that efficient use of capital is good for capitalists as they get richer and also to workers who gets to share the increase in productivity via increased standard of living.


What US has become: never was a democracy, no longer a republic, corrupt state-capitalistic = fascism.


Irony is that real innovation  comes from military, where greed of the rich to keep their wealth safe funds all kinds of scientific breakthroughs (GPS, Internet, automobiles, paved roads, microwaves, atomic energy, etc)



LULZBank's picture

Irony is that real innovation  comes from military,

That is because we have been living in a constant state of war for past couple of centuries.

Rule of law went out because there cannot be a law, that will protect both creditors AND debtors. One will have to take the loss, and the richer and more influential would make the law i.e. creditors.

You never had "creditors prisons" who lend money to a debtor, who lost it all, but the creditor refused to forgive the loan.

fockewulf190's picture

Quotation: "The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."

Thomas Jefferson

swmnguy's picture

That's actually a fake quote, made up (apparently) by a fellow named Matt Carson in a book he wrote in 2007.

But it's a worthy sentiment.  Just that Tom never said it, is all.

narnia's picture

Democracy (aka majority tyranny) is only compatible with socialism.  

Monopolies are not compatible with a free market:

MiguelitoRaton's picture

Fortunately, we live in a Republic (not a democracy) governed by the rule of law...I crack myself up with that "rule of law" part, that went out the window long ago.

Nukular Freedum's picture

Brilliant as ever, a ray of light in the darkness visible. But the tyranny of representative democracy (or even plebiscites) is not the most advanced form of govt as Charles hints:

downrodeo's picture



healing is absolutely what we need. i've discoverd after much evasion that it all begins with the individual (as you've oft stated);

time to shed that old skin

Freddie's picture

Hope & Chains

Endless bailouts by Hussein, Hairy Reid and Pelosi.

UAW, California, Chicago, Detroit, Fannie & Freddie, the banks an dthe list goes on.

BTW - we supposedly live in a Republic NOT a Democracy but the whiny little union bitches keep screaming about losing Democracy.  This is because these MF'ers want mob rule.

gaf12's picture

I really like ZH but I don't like the anarchists and Marxists that frequent the site and make comments that infer (or blatently call for) violence toward a particular group or class (bankers, politicians, etc) or that assume that with no government, we'll all get along just fine.  I'm not sure which is more dangerous - when I look at Marxist governments vs. anarchy, it seems like the Marxist are more efficient killing machines, but since you usually get there from anarchy, I could see the argument that anarchy is worse. 

It's been said before, but we're not a Democracy, we're a Republic.  Unless you're trying to forward some Marxist agenda, don't talk about America the Democracy - it doesn't exist yet.  When/if it does, it will look a lot like Egypt does right now and I'll be clamouring to get out of the country, with few prospects for a better life in any target nation. 

This article starts by referencing a Marx conclusion.  Thanks, but there are dozens of non-communists I'd rather take my philosphy from before I turn to Marx for answers.  Is America screwed up?  Absolutely.  Are we screwed?  More than likely.  Is capitalism the problem?  Nope.  You can call it crony-capitalism or you can call it greed or whatever, but capitalism is not why we're broken.  The problem is that the people have become something that we were not, just a few generations before. 
Man is fallen - you're not going to get Utopia (even when Marxists are starving you into it for the greater good), but we've been better (with other documented problems) in the past.  We've had monopolies in America that did not utterly tear us apart.  Government seizes them or breaks them up.  Is Amtrak good?  Nope.  We've had corporate greed that did not do us in.  The government puts regulations into effect to minimize.  Halts on shorting stocks a positive?  Nope. 

We're being pitted against one another and we're blaming our problems on captialism, classes, wealth, undeserved success... anything but the actual issues:  We no longer put value work ethic (we're increasingly devaluing life itself), there's little personal responsibility (emphasis is on rights), we covet our neighbor's possessions rather than being content or working toward our own achievemnt, and we've driven faith and God from our lives even though 92% of Americans believe (Gallup poll, 2011). 

It doesn't have to all burn down and if it does, you're probably not in as secure a position as you think you are when the real power elite engage their reset plans (Soros, et al).  After a meltdown, you don't get the U.S. Constitution - you get Egypt... or Rome.  We didn't even get the Constitution - we got the Articles of Confederation - which didn't work.  Be careful what you wish for, anarchists - the grass on the other side isn't greener, it's red.

fnord88's picture

Clearly you understand neither Marxism or Anarchy. Marx may have been wrong, but he was undoubtedly a genius, and anybody who has not read his works ( which you clearly have not ), is not qualified to criticize Marxism. Likewise Anarchy. Read some Rothbard. Educate yourself, before you come to a site like ZH and make a fool of yourself. Anarchy and capitalism are not mutually exclusive you know, but the argument could be made that government and capitalism cannot co-exist. 

Totentänzerlied's picture

State capitalism is not capitalism, the two are fundamentally incompatible. Marx actually understood this and his main insight here was that this fact could (theoretically) be profitably exploited by the proles. In the final analysis, the differences between Marx and Rothbard boil down to: the former came down on the side of the state, the latter, the side of the market. The rest of Marxism is Hegelian fluff.

[Rothbard ftw]

gaf12's picture

Clearly.  By educate, you clearly mean agree with you, since I gave you no descriptive reason to assume that I do or don't know anything about Marx.  I'm not an expert in Marx or anarchy and I wear that as a badge of honor.  One thing I have consistently seen is that if you disagree with a Marxist or an anarchist, you're ridiculed or called an idiot.  It's a tactic used by revolutionaries - Saul Alinsky comes to mind (identify, isolate, freeze, and escalate).  Educate myself before I come to ZH? That's an incredibly elitist thing to say. 

Show me a current working model where capitalism works with no government that is also less violent than America and I'll show you a leprechaun riding a unicorn. 

RichardP's picture

... there are dozens of non-communists I'd rather take my philosphy from before I turn to Marx for answers.

Yet you claim I'm not an expert in Marx or anarchy ...  If you are not an expert in Marx, how can you realistically claim that someone else has a better answer?  You don't know what Marx's answers are so how can you know that someone else's answers are better?  And how can your disagreement with a Marxist (if you do disagree) be taken seriously when you state I'm not an expert in Marx or anarchy ...

It is not enough on ZH to have an opinion.  You need to have an informed opinion (hence the advice to educate yourself).  Otherwise, if you disagree with someone's position (e.g., Marx) when you don't really know what that position actually is, you will be ridiculed.  And rightly so.  Our forefathers granted us freedom of expression, expecting that this expression would be informed expression.  That is the only expression that is of any value.

Nukular Freedum's picture

Your self advertised lack of knowledge has led you to construct a strawsman argument. What Charles and others are arguing for is not zero government or anarchy but a government restricted to the task of using coercion to counter coercion and fraud. The extension of govt beyond this necessary task (for example to include income redistribution) is illegitimate and generates not anarchy, but something far worse - chaos.
This is the gun whose barrel we are currently staring down btw, not even minimal govt. Thanks to the destructive encroachment of your beloved superstate.
Try to grasp these subtle distinctions, they are important.

Gully Foyle's picture

Lets get this party started!

Something for everyone, even the faux Libertarians out there.

Read it and weep children, read it and weep.

FREE MARKET: That condition of society in which all economic transactions result from voluntary choice without coercion.

THE STATE: That institution which interferes with the Free Market through the direct exercise of coercion or the granting of privileges (backed by coercion).

TAX: That form of coercion or interference with the Free Market in which the State collects tribute (the tax), allowing it to hire armed forces to practice coercion in defense of privilege, and also to engage in such wars, adventures, experiments, “reforms”, etc., as it pleases, not at its own cost, but at the cost of “its” subjects.

PRIVILEGE: From the Latin privi , private, and lege , law. An advantage granted by the State and protected by its powers of coercion. A law for private benefit.

USURY: That form of privilege or interference with the Free Market in which one State-supported group monopolizes the coinage and thereby takes tribute (interest), direct or indirect, on all or most economic transactions.

LANDLORDISM: That form of privilege or interference with the Free Market in which one State-supported group “owns” the land and thereby takes tribute (rent) from those who live, work, or produce on the land.

TARRIFF: That form of privilege or interference with the Free Market in which commodities produced outside the State are not allowed to compete equally with those produced inside the State.

CAPITALISM: That organization of society, incorporating elements of tax, usury, landlordism, and tariff, which thus denies the Free Market while pretending to exemplify it.

CONSERVATISM: That school of capitalist philosophy which claims allegiance to the Free Market while actually supporting usury, landlordism, tariff, and sometimes taxation.

LIBERALISM: That school of capitalist philosophy which attempts to correct the injustices of capitalism by adding new laws to the existing laws. Each time conservatives pass a law creating privilege, liberals pass another law modifying privilege, leading conservatives to pass a more subtle law recreating privilege, etc., until “everything not forbidden is compulsory” and “everything not compulsory is forbidden”.

SOCIALISM: The attempted abolition of all privilege by restoring power entirely to the coercive agent behind privilege, the State, thereby converting capitalist oligarchy into Statist monopoly. Whitewashing a wall by painting it black.

ANARCHISM: That organization of society in which the Free Market operates freely, without taxes, usury, landlordism, tariffs, or other forms of coercion or privilege. “Right” anarchists predict that in the Free Market people would voluntarily choose to compete more often than to cooperate; “left” anarchists predict that in the Free Market people would voluntarily choose to cooperate more often than to compete.

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy


“Well I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that’s only because most people don’t know what anarchist means. Most people hear you’re an anarchist and they think you’re getting ready to throw a bomb at a building. They don’t understand the concept of voluntary association, the whole concept of replacing force with voluntary cooperation or contractual arrangements and so on. So libertarian is a clearer word that doesn’t arouse any immediate anxiety upon the listener. And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.”

Robert Anton Wilson


Rand on Libertarians



For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultanteously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.

“Brief Summary,”
The Objectivist, Sept. 1971, 1

Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements, in order to “do something.” By “ideological” (in this context), I mean groups or movements proclaiming some vaguely generalized, undefined (and, usually, contradictory) political goals. (E.g., the Conservative Party, which subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.) To join such groups means to reverse the philosophical hierarchy and to sell out fundamental principles for the sake of some superficial political action which is bound to fail. It means that you help the defeat of your ideas and the victory of your enemies. (For a discussion of the reasons, see “The Anatomy of Compromise” in my book Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.)

“What Can One Do?”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 202

The “libertarians” . . . plagiarize Ayn Rand’s principle that no man may initiate the use of physical force, and treat it as a mystically revealed, out-of-context absolute . . . .

In the philosophical battle for a free society, the one crucial connection to be upheld is that between capitalism and reason. The religious conservatives are seeking to tie capitalism to mysticism; the “libertarians” are tying capitalism to the whim-worshipping subjectivism and chaos of anarchy. To cooperate with either group is to betray capitalism, reason, and one’s own future.

Harry Binswanger, “Q & A Department: Anarchism,”
The Objectivist Forum, Aug. 1981, 12

... Libertarians because assholes don't read just parrot the phrASE

Libertarianism refers to the group of political philosophies which emphasize freedom, liberty, and voluntary association. There is no general consensus among scholars on the precise definition. Libertarians generally advocate a society with a government of small scope relative to most present day societies or no government whatsoever.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines libertarianism as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things.[1] Libertarian historian George Woodcock defines libertarianism as the philosophy that fundamentally doubts authority and advocates transforming society by reform or revolution.[2] Libertarian philosopher Roderick Long defines libertarianism as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals", whether "voluntary association" takes the form of the free market or of communal co-operatives.[3] According to the U.S. Libertarian Party, libertarianism is the advocacy of a government that is funded voluntarily and limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.[4]

Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced. Anarchistic schools advocate complete elimination of the state. Minarchist schools advocate a state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some schools accept public assistance for the poor.[5] Additionally, some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead.[6][7][8] Another distinction can be made among libertarians who support private ownership and those that support common ownership of the means of production; the former generally supporting a capitalist economy, the latter a socialist economic system. Contractarian libertarianism holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement, though this can be seen as reducible to consequentialism or deontologism depending on what grounds contracts are justified.[9][10][11] Some Libertarian socialists reject deontological and consequential approaches and use historical materialism to justify their political beliefs.[12]


pods's picture

Not sure why we should weep Gully?

Thanks for the post.

I think this one describes me the most:

“Well I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that’s only because most people don’t know what anarchist means. Most people hear you’re an anarchist and they think you’re getting ready to throw a bomb at a building. They don’t understand the concept of voluntary association, the whole concept of replacing force with voluntary cooperation or contractual arrangements and so on. So libertarian is a clearer word that doesn’t arouse any immediate anxiety upon the listener. And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.”


pods's picture

Thanks for site john!

Love the writings of Spooner.


Clampit's picture

I want the internet to provide, as Gandhi put it, “the tiger's nature, but not the tiger."

Ghordius's picture

Can it work? I'll join as soon as you prove it can...

Anyway, for me both capitalism and liberal democracy need rule of law, sound constitutional setups and a popular will to fight corruption to even exist.

Too much blue OR red thinking, it's all a matter of degrees, dear radicals...

Totentänzerlied's picture

Democracy is the notion that your 2 neighbors should have the option of having total control over you, by writ of the state. Pretty f'in radical, man.

What state capitalism and liberal demoncracy need in order not to degenerate rapidly into ... America circa 2012 ... is exactly what de Tocqueville said they need: an ethical public. While waiting for that to come along, don't hold your breath.

RichardP's picture
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  John Adams

BooMushroom's picture

It seems you have beef with people calling themselves libertarians because they still want some government? I have always been of the opinion that someone calling themselves an anarchist believes that I should have every right to find them, kick their ass, and take all their stuff. And that nobody, anywhere, will take advantage of that right.

Mr Joshua's picture

" I have always been of the opinion that someone calling themselves an anarchist believes that I should have every right to find them, kick their ass, and take all their stuff. "

Why? That's the exact opposite of what an anarchist believes. Anarchists believe that noone has the right to initiate coercion - precluding government. Its as simple as that.

pods's picture

Well maybe if you read what Gully posted you would see that your opinion is wrong?


Matt's picture

From what I can see, many under the Libertarian label should actually be labeled 'Minarchists', believing in:

"the state is necessary and that its only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggressiontheftbreach of contract, and fraud, and the only legitimate governmental institutions are the militarypolice, and courts. In the broadest sense, it also includes fire departmentsprisons, the executive, and legislatures as legitimate government functions."

At least, it would be a more specific subset under the Libertarian superset.

blunderdog's picture

   I have always been of the opinion that someone calling themselves an anarchist believes that I should have every right to find them, kick their ass, and take all their stuff.

The people who are going to TRY will do so regardless of the existence or non-existence of some "higher authority" you'd call government.

Only lil babies are afraid of what happens when DADDY comes home.  Heh.

Clashfan's picture

Interesting and helpful, Gully. Thanks. :)

AnAnonymous's picture

FREE MARKET: That condition of society in which all economic transactions result from voluntary choice without coercion.


Lets deal it the US citizen ways. Economic deals that do not result from voluntary choice without coercion are not transactions.

JOYFUL's picture

...Lets get this party started!....

the balloon party is over, Mr. Klown. Please return to the dressing room.

Yu posted a similar toxic swill of mindless quotes for the last CHS outing, a buffet of bullshit so vacuous as to cause me to caution yu [] that in the absence of a reasonable explanation for presenting serial disinfo of the kind only a shill of the moneypower would insert here, I would to consider yu xactly that.

This ain't baseball...yu don't get a third wack at the ball Bozo.

That ball of b.s is so tightly wound that there is no point in spending a lot of time or effort unraveling I'm gonna just defuse the most obvious offensiveness and leave it to the discerning reader to pursue the rest of the autopsy of Bozo's Roadkill Roadshow.

There is no connection between Anarchism and Libertarianism, (*just as there is no connection between free economic activity=entrepeneurial production models and "Kapitalism") unless yu subscribe to the kind of (il)logic that posits....hmm

street walkers are women, therefore a woman is a street walker...

just as the more, ah, worldly amongst us know that is an untruth, and indeed that in socio-economic theory, as well as with street walkin 'women' all is not what it may be presented as, so the jejeune peddling of a cartel capitalist revisionism of anarchism called 'libertarianism' is unlikely to satisfy the desire of the eager dupe who goes home with the Randian style of street bitch and earns a house of pain for his $ & time.

There is, of course, an endless supply of dissimulationism in yur smorgasborg of silliness, but this is a comments page, not the NYTRoB...suffice to say, all of those balloons of 'objectivist' and other infantile philosophical pablum yu posted can be popped by the careful reader, one by one...

and now, to the sound of poppin corks and deflated pretensions, let's all drink a round to the end of Bozo's birthday bash!

Clashfan's picture

Joyful, I can't make any sense of this or see how it contributes anything to the discussion. Sorry.

JOYFUL's picture

...contributes to the discussion?

No, I suppose it doesn't, unless we be bold enough to widen the discussion to include actually thinking about the topic discussed...

but then thinking is no longer part of a general education, in which people are trained like seals to respond to certain key words or phrases that ring a bell or press a button inside the cortex.

Here's a good example: people are trained to hear the words nazi, and antisemitic and respond on an emotional level that ascribes negatives to one group that is assigned the role of being bad, and positives to another that is good...a script so easy to read that it doesn't require any thinking...

and we therefore can avoid the messy business of asking why the people who are actually antisemitic are the ones who invented and bankrolled the 'bad' actors in the play, and actually did the most harm to the 'good' actors...

wait, that doesn't make any sense! So let's not think about it, and instead carry on with our discussion as scripted! Then my brain won't hurt!

Kapitalism = free enterprise.

Anarchism is a variation of Libertarianism.

Freedom is slavery...

Fiat is money.

Gold is a bubble....

I am a number.

cutting and pasting a random collection of misleading quotes from other people is much more creative than contributing a thought of my own...after all, who has the time and the energy anymore to access that internet thing and do their own research?

that's better....much let's continue our discussion.



Clashfan's picture

Let me try to be more clear, then: I think that your responses are creative and interesting, but I am not sure how or why you find fault with the post you criticize. I am not against original thought, but clarity and specificity certainly help. :)

Debugas's picture

capitalism is a society which allows individual members to own capital and the income it generates

RichardP's picture

... a society which allows ...

How does such a society allow?  And how is this allowing paid for?  Given that the alpha male's primary preoccupation is stealing all he can from those weaker than himself, and then passing part of the plunder to his cohorts in an effort to buy their loyalty.

Cathartes Aura's picture

I'll leave it to others to argue the fine points of distinction between "beliefs" and labels, this is core for me,

And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.”

we don't need more laws to enforce, we need to unpick the webs that trap us all, and act as if in all of our hours.

great stuff Gully!

LongSoupLine's picture

Is Capitalism Incompatible With Democracy?



How the Fuck do we know?!  We don't have either fucking one!!

Kayman's picture

It's a rough day when you realize the Emperor has no clothes, he's a pedophile, and you just got your invitation to the Palace.

Clowns, naturally, excepted.

Tyranny by any gussied-up "ism" is still tryranny.

midtowng's picture

Anti-trust law enforcement is necessary for capitalism and democracy to both exist.

However, anti-trust laws haven't been enforced since Reagan took office.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Restore the rule of law and contracts and 90% of all this fixes itself.

Wake the fuck up, we have neither democracy or capitalism, what we have now is fascism.

NotApplicable's picture

In a democracy, rule of law can be whatever a tiny minority decides upon any given day.

malek's picture

Yes, that is exactly the point made in the article.

The interesting question is are there any "untouchable" rules in a democracy, rules that cannot be changed by majority or super majority?

BooMushroom's picture

No. Even when a rule is written in plain language as the founding document of the system of law, with ridiculous effort required to change the rules, it will still be changed. Either by changing the meaning of the words, or flat-out ignoring them.
For example: "infringed"

LawsofPhysics's picture

That is not a democracy, period.  Might help to know what a republic  is too.  Either way, you need a monetary system that has real consequences for bad behavior at ALL levels and the rule of laws and contract must be enforced, period.  Only those who know the value of their labor is zero will fear the rule of law.  It puts an end to thier paper-games and theft.  Based on the down arrows it would seem there are some fearful paper-pushers on ZH today.  LMFAO!!!!