This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Guest Post: Free Market Ecology

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics

Free Market Ecology

These gargantuan global conferences where the emissaries of governments meet in hallowed halls to thrash out a global planning agenda — dressed in the clothes of ecology, or sustainable development, or whatever the buzzword of the day — are a waste of time.

They are a waste of time for the taxpayer, who has to stump up to pay for such efforts. They are a waste of time for the protestors who swarm to such events holding placards and shouting slogans. They are a waste of time for the ecologists who — whether right or wrong — believe that the present shape of human civilisation is unsustainable. Possibly the only group that really benefits are the self-perpetuating bureaucratic classes, who often take home huge salaries they could never earn in the private sector.

And the Malthusian targets of the bureaucracy have a history of missing.

The Guardian notes:

Rio+20 was intended as a follow up on the 1992 Earth Summit, which put in place landmark conventions on climate change and biodiversity, as well as commitments on poverty eradication and social justice. Since then, however, global emissions have risen by 48%, 300m hectares of forest have been cleared and the population has increased by 1.6bn people. Despite a reduction in poverty, one in six people are malnourished.

If these bureaucratic classes knew the first thing about economics or markets, they would begin to question whether such conferences — and all the promises, intergovernmental commissions, and regulatory pledges they spawn — are necessary. The more I question, the more I come to believe that all that is needed to halt any man-made ecological crises are free markets and free speech.

The history of human civilisation has been one of triumph over the limits of nature. While we have had our ups and downs, recent projections of imminent ecological ruin — such as those in the 1970s produced by Ehrlich and Holdren and the Club of Rome, or earlier by Keynes, Malthus and Galton (etc) — have all failed to materialise. But the trend goes back much further, into the distant past. Throughout our history our species has done what has been necessary to survive. Humanity has lived on this planet for upwards of 500,000 years, and through that time, we have survived a myriad of climate changes — solar variation, atmospheric variation, cycles of glaciation, supervolcanoes, gamma ray bursts, and a host of other phenomena.

It will be no different this time. We are dependent on our environment for our life and for our future. That is widespread knowledge, and so as the capable and creative species that we are, we have already developed a wide array of technological solutions to potential future environmental problems. This is a natural impulse; humanity as individuals and as a species hungers for survival, for opportunities to pass on our genes.

As I wrote last month:

If we are emitting excessive quantities of CO2 we don’t have to resort to authoritarian centralist solutions. It’s far easier to develop and market technologies (that already exist today) like carbon scrubbing trees that can literally strip CO2 out of the air than it is to try and develop and enforce top-down controlling rules and regulations on individual carbon output. Or (even more simply), plant lots of trees and other such foliage (e.g. algae).


If the dangers of non-biodegradable plastic threaten our oceans, then develop and market processes (that already exist today) to clean up these plastics.


Worried about resource depletion? Asteroid mining can give us access to thousands of tonnes of metals, water, and even hydrocarbons (methane, etc). For more bountiful energy, synthetic oil technology exists today. And of course, more capturable solar energy hits the Earth in sunlight in a single day than we use in a year.

The only reason why these technologies are not widespread is that at present the older technologies are more economically viable. Is that market failure? Are markets failing to reflect our real needs and wants?

No; those who so quickly cry “market failure!” fail to grasp markets. Certainly, I think GDP is a bad measure of economic growth. But throwing out the concept of money altogether as a measure of society’s needs and wants is completely foolish. Markets are merely an aggregation of society’s preferences. Capital and labour is allocated as the market — in other words, as society — sees fit. As Hayek showed in the 1930s, the market gives society the ability to decide how a good or service should be distributed based on individuals willingness to give money for it. The market gives feedback to producers and consumers through the price mechanism about the allocation of resources and capital, which in turn allows on the basis of individual consensual decisions corrections that prevent shortages and surpluses. Under a planned system there is no such mechanism.

The fact that greener technologies have not yet been widely adopted by the market is merely a symptom of the fact that society itself is not yet ready to make a widespread transition. But the fact that research and development and investment continues to pour into green technologies shows that the market is developing toward such an end.

Solar consumption has gone parabolic:

And so it will continue; as society evolves and progresses, the free market — so long as there is a free market — will naturally reallocate resources and labour based on society’s preferences. Without a free market — and since 2008 when the banks were bailed out and markets became junkiefied intervention-loving zombies, it is highly dubious that there is such a thing as a free market in the West — planners will just end up guessing at how to allocate resources, labour and capital, and producing monstrous misallocations of capital.

The political nature of such reallocation is irrelevant; whether the centralists call themselves communists or socialists or environmentalists, their modus operandi is always the same: ignore society’s true economic preferences, and reallocate resources based on their own ideological imperatives (often for their own enrichment).

My view is that the greatest threat to the planet’s ecology is from the centralists who wish to remove or pervert the market mechanism in order to achieve ideological goals. It is not just true that removing the market mechanism retard society’s ability to evolve into new forms of production, resource-allocation, and capital-allocation based on society’s true preferences. The command economies of the 20th Century — particularly Maoist China and Soviet Russia — produced much greater pollution than the free markets. Under a free market, polluters who damage citizens or their property can be held to account in the market place, and through the court system.There is no such mechanism through the kind of command of economy that the centralists seem to wish to implement.

The answer is not central planning and government control. The answer is the free market.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:18 | 2556084 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

The Careless Whisper SUNDAY Reading/Viewing List & Threadjacking

Robert Shiller: Government Should Sieze Home Mortgages At Fair Market Value Using Eminent Domain

CFR Member: Sinaloa Cartel Has Merged With Sicilian Mafia

Planes Returned To Airport; TSA Was "Unplugged"

VIDEO: Denny's Commercial Celebrates 2nd Amendment

NYSE Asks For Government Bailout; Only Has 24% Of Trading Volume

Money Changes Everything; Cyndi Lauper (Live 1984) MUSIC VIDEO OF THE DAY; In Honor Of Lauper Chosen As Grand Marshall Of NYC Pride Parade Today







Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:46 | 2556279 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Life imitates....Bollywood.

GMO grass mutates and produces cyanide gas.  Cattle drops dead....are humans next?

The grass is a genetically modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel's 18 head of Corriente cattle.  Corriente are used for team roping because of their small size and horns.

"When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that," said Abel.

Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.

"When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something," said Abel.  "But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground.  Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions."

Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.

"That was very traumatic to see, because there was nothing you could do, obviously, they were dying," said Abel.

Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian who specializes in cattle, conducted the 15 necropsy.  Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.

M. Night Shyamalan (yet another globalist NWO pusher) directed "The Happening" in 2008. 

The plot of the movie? Vegetation producing deadly toxic gases decimate global human population.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:46 | 2556285 That Peak Oil Guy
That Peak Oil Guy's picture

John, you say the predictions made in Limits to Growth (Club of Rome) have so far failed to materialize.  This is expected, as their doomsday prediction didn't play out until about 2030 in the scenario they felt was most likely given business as usual.  This does not mean they will not materialize as predicted.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe centralism is the answer at all.  Inalienable rights are just that, inalienable. 

It is unlikely that there is any path that will not lead us to ruin; this is the tragedy of the commons.  But there are those who would seek to enrich their own power and better ensure their own survival at the expense of others, and these people are indeed the centralists.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:14 | 2556394 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Actually, I disagree with his claim entirely. People have been tracking the models in LtG, for example, A comparison to the limits of growth with thirty years of reality. This paper shows that trends are closely tracking what they called their "standard model." At the end of this paper there is a series of charts that compare the various models in LtG to the actual observed empirical data for the last 30 years, and it is clear that trends are close to the standard model.

While it's true the full measure of the claims awaits to be tested, that is not at all the same thing as being proven wrong. As you point out - the scenarios did not paint a picture of imminent doom, although the hysterical response from cornucopians that there any limits whatsoever would have us believe that. 

So when he says their predictions have failed to materialize, I wonder what evidence he might provide to substantiate that claim?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 18:06 | 2556443 That Peak Oil Guy
That Peak Oil Guy's picture

I feel that the predictions will end up being reasonably correct, but right now it appears the trends are following long-established trendlines.  It's kind of like being in a bus and headed for a cliff, but still 50 yards from it.  You know that if you keep on the road you are on you will reach the cliff.  But if the cliff did not exist ahead of the bus then no one would be surprised to see a bus cruising down the road.

The people who have revisited the data have merely shown that we continue down the road toward the cliff.  It is the existence of the cliff that is debated, and while you and I may see it clearly the fact is no one will know it is really a cliff (and just how far a drop it is) until we go over the edge and hit bottom.

Prior hints that the cliff is real are starting to emerge similar to the scenarios in Limits to Growth.  For instance, the food per capita trend is starting to hit a peak, it appears.  I don't know where one might find data on the industrial output per capita trend, but it also seems to be a developing problem.  When these trends dip convincingly into the negative territory for three or four years in a row then we may be able to see the cliff more clearly and know how much further we have to go before we hit the much more scary trend reversals such as death rate.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:35 | 2556613 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Good points and I have to agree based on most of the evidence to date. One area where I have some uncertainty is with a concern expressed by Dmitry Orlov. He argued, following Tainter,  that failures in complex systems generally don't follow gently declining trajectories, and that certainly matches my experience in analyzing failures in simpler systems. Once they reach a breaking point, all sorts of interdependencies that weren't obvious earlier become painfully clear, and in that kind of breakdown, why should there be the expectation of a slow descent?

Finance is much more susceptible to these sudden catastropic changes because the whole system is predicated on sentiment, and that can change in a heartbeat. Oil will continue being pumped, and food will continue to be grown, but finance is where the real timebomb lies. Hence the massive, unprecented PR campaign to only say good things about the economy. I think that effort is failing though, as the narratives continue to depart from reality and more and more people are developing acute cognitive dissonance.

One cliff indicator on my list is major power outages during heat waves, and the yearly total. Based on this ZH post, the trend indicates somewhere around 700 power outages in 2012, and it's looking exponential. This is more or less what Duncan predicted, if one assumes that we are at, or very close to the knee of the curve, AKA cliff.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 04:56 | 2557130 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

be careful what you westerners wish for.


free market = lower standard of living for most of you unless you have EXCEPTIONAL GLOBAL level skills like an olympic athelete. only the elite of the elite will benefit.


good luck trying to outcompete 2 billion slaves in India and China where 20,000,000 have IQ at genius level and sure are hungry for any hard work.



Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:26 | 2558052 That Peak Oil Guy
That Peak Oil Guy's picture

Fortunately, I do fit into that elite category in my chosen field.  And really, IQ only counts for so much, being a mark of potential which may never be tapped by a global society because those individuals do not grow up with the paradigm of the first world around them. 

Competition is good for us because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 00:17 | 2560556 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I'm not sure where you're getting that we're wishing for anything. I'm just trying to understand what's happening, not based on ideology or wishful thinking, but on actual evidence. I think That Peak Oil Guy is looking at things in a similar manner.

Good luck feeding those billions.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 09:48 | 2561306 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

If you're acquainted w/Myers-Briggs, a really big issue is that "judging" types don't tend to understand "perceiving" types at all.  You MUST be the enemy if you don't share their judgment.

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 19:24 | 2566804 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I'm aware of MB, as well as Keirsey's "Please Understand Me" and you are absolutely correct. I've run into more problems with judgmental types than any other. It's frustrating because more than anything, I enjoy the process of discovery, and judgment typically ends discovery and critical thought. I do have my opinions, but I definitely lean towards keeping the door open for new information and ideas, and I have changed my mind from time to time based on new information. Thanks for pointing this out, because like most people, I fall into the trap of assuming everyone is more or less like me, and tend to neglect the fact that different folks have different temperaments. I should know better, being a type represented by only 1% of the population, and also because I know about MB and Keirsey's work, but it's an easy trap to fall into.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:21 | 2558021 That Peak Oil Guy
That Peak Oil Guy's picture

I like that, looking at aggregate power outages for signs of the complexity crash.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:01 | 2556375 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

A rebuttal from another forum:


"Prussic Acid Poisoning of livestock is a well known phenomenon that has been killing herbivores in times of drought since there were grasses and herbivores.

Tifton 85 bermuda grass is in no way a GMO.

Tifton 85 is an F1 hybrid (like a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey) between PI 290884 and Tifton 68. It is a sterile pentaploid, therefore hybrid seed must be used to plant each new stand. The grass is a perenial though and can grow in perpetuity in the absence of hard freezes. Tifton 68 is a F1 hybrid between PI 255450 and PI 293606. All three accessions in this hybridization scheme are of African origin.

I swear, nothing makes my blood boil like misinformation.

Grass Biologist
Formerly USDA-ARS
Currently The University of Texas at Austin."

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:58 | 2556649 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

There's nothing like annoying facts to wreck a good story.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:35 | 2556411 vast-dom
Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:19 | 2556087 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

The answer is not central planning and government control. The answer is the free market.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:45 | 2556153 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

'free market" in an utopian ideal that will never exist. Humans are social animals with social contracts and social hierarchy for long term stability.


all the "free market" proponents are fake conservatives with government jobs in industries that are heavily subsidized: military industrial complex, banking, agriculture, educational industrial complex, energy industries.....



Sun, 06/24/2012 - 16:06 | 2556212 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture


all the "free market" proponents are fake conservatives with government jobs in industries that are heavily subsidized: military industrial complex, banking, agriculture, educational industrial complex, energy industries.....


Sure about that?  Or is wolf in sheeps clothing accurately called a sheep?  There are many who beckon the words 'liberty', 'freedom' and 'free markets' as shrouds for their underlying collectivism.  True market anarchy is indeed utiopian, but the only way out of this mess is for collapse of the current system into markets flavored with much more lawlessness.  In time, yes, human nature will corrupt again..

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 16:50 | 2556363 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Yeah, i'm sure. Glad it's still taking you this long to figure it out though. Oh, look! The Bailout Brigade has arrived...AGAIN!

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 10:28 | 2557724 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Is it Opposite Day?  Missed the memo..

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 03:17 | 2557069 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

There are many who beckon the words 'liberty', 'freedom' and 'free markets' as shrouds for their underlying collectivism.


Those many are US citizens and such is their nature.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:41 | 2558114 akak
akak's picture

There are many, many more who beckon with the words "jobs", "security" and "dictatorship of the proletariat" as shrouds for their underlying and bigoted, xenophobic collectivism.

Those many are roadside-shitting Chinese citizens, and such is their doglike nature.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:16 | 2556216 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

But we're *greener* than command economies.  (*please ignore that we exported the means of production to our Asian labor colonies so that we can all mow each others lawns and make home made porn-we are green and like it)

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:43 | 2556624 CH1
CH1's picture

'free market" in an utopian ideal that will never exist.

You are channeling MDB, I presume?

"Free markets" are simply what people do when they are not forced to do otherwise.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 04:48 | 2557124 fiddy pence haf...
fiddy pence haff pound's picture

I tend to agree with the stuff Aldous writes.

All of a sudden, old-fashioned slash and burn manufacturing capitalism has been made the 'God of old' and thus perfect.


" Under a free market, polluters who damage citizens or their property can be held to account in the market place, and through the court system.There is no such mechanism through the kind of command of economy that the centralists seem to wish to implement."

I don't f%&*king think so, Aziz. Back in the old, simple days (pre the fascist oligarchy) when I was complaining about pifling things like governments turning a 'blind eye' to corporation pollution, I saw there

the roots of what we have now. Full-on the-rich-fuck-everything political economy. The environment never stands a chance without good government oversight. Otherwise rich folks will always gain while the rest of us lose do to worsening health and higher likelihood of losing our home to flooding, for example.


Remember Greenpeace?

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 08:09 | 2557170 Voluntary Exchange
Voluntary Exchange's picture



'free market" in an utopian ideal that will never exist. 


Nonsense! Overall on the individual level, a free market exchange is more common than cooertion, but  to have it you need voluntary exchanges without theft, fraud, or initiation of force, not just upon the contracting parties but also upon any other non-contracting 3rd parties that are not agreed to or not compensated, (those are called "negative externalities").


A Negative externality invalidates an otherwise valid contract, in other words hiring a hit man, or buying something from a polluting factory without all injured party's consent/compensation is not a true "free market" transaction as someone's life, liberty or property has been violated without their consent. The externality issue is also why forced taxation by political decree to provide "services" is subobtimal to a free market for those services; often, what a statist claims is a "positive externality", (an uncompensated benefit to non-participants of a contract), will turn out to actually be a negative externality from the perspective of many outside parties. Very sub-optimal solutions start occurring when some "authority"  tries to decree that for example: some uncompensated pollution is permissible for the "greater good", we must give up some liberty for "security", or that some "vital" firm/institution is "too big to fail",  or that "limited liability" results in net "social benefits", or that fiat money/fractional reserve banking/legal tender "laws" are needed for a modern society, and on and on it goes. 

A truly free market solution will consistently provide something better and cheaper from a global (human) perspective than the statist non-voluntary solution. And that especially applies to those areas where statist attempt to argue that certain key services will become impossible due to the "free rider" problem, (a tern for uncompensated "positive externalities"), such as policing, fire abatement, primary "education", environmental protection, conflict resolution, enforcement, defense, adjudication, "law", or "justice".


Regarding Authoritarian/statist thinking and whether it can ever be overcome and allow us greater free market freedoms: it is a form of mental disorder strongly correlated to physical abuse in childhood. Violence such as spanking, when used in child rearing causes neurological and personality damages that tend toward impairment of  cognitive ability, actual lowering of IQ scores, much higher criminal activity, sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies, and either dependence toward or aspiration to becoming an authority figure or political leader. Please study child development research to verify this.  Stephen Molyneux's Freedomain Radio site:  is a particularly good resource for this type of information. 


So when you refer to "social hierarchy" as some kind of universal human nature, you are actually mislabeling a human developmental disorder that is highly correlated to early physical child abuse. Authoritarian parenting techniques are usually paired with such physical abuse. It is a tragedy that so many people in so many societies still practice this physical and mental child abuse. Truly violence begets violence. And contrary to the example of bad parenting, might does NOT make right. Hierarchical/authoritarian/statist thinking is usually either from ignorance, personality disorder and/or a feature of impaired cognitive ability strongly correlated to mental and violent child abuse. It is not normal "human nature".  


But overall, the majority  of normal human ecconomic conduct is of a "free market"  form, otherwise humans would not be so successful.  

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:12 | 2556156 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

No such thing as a Free Market - getbrid of the guv and it allows corporate monopolies to use their huge size and financial power to overwhelm the average citizen.

So a corporation pollutes and an average citizen has to sue in court?

They'll be overwhelmed by the giant Corp in court.

And the wealthy give to elect their judges and their politicians with their cash - aka free speech -

So a free market soon Turns into a guv controlled by the richest who use their cash to buy off and manipulate the guv and courts into doing their bidding.

Which the predator corps use to erect barriers to entry and other onerous regs that affect the little people - aka the muppets - only.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:17 | 2556220 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Without a government there is no one to coerce society to use the products of the corporation. There are no guranteed contracts. There is no socialization of costs that the coporation would pay to get its' goods to market. 

There is true competition, that allows new products to enter the market unhindered. 

Corporations can own a police force, but it has no legitimacy. Therefore a community can defend itself without government to stop it. Courts that are privately funded must please the consumers or they won't be used. Corporations couldn't buy courts. 

The giant corporation would have to cater to consumer needs or die. Which is as it should be. 

The rich depend on the State to provide protection for their actions. Once that is removed, the corporation is nothing but another market entrant. 

Go back to your centrally planned cubicle and find a better troll line.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:30 | 2556251 Matt
Matt's picture

"Without a government there is no one to coerce society to use the products of the corporation. There are no guranteed contracts. There is no socialization of costs that the coporation would pay to get its' goods to market.

There is true competition, that allows new products to enter the market unhindered. "

Because without Government, General Motors wouldn't have bought up and bankrupted the Red Car Line? Because drug dealers embrace free competition, and like having other people selling competing products in their area? Neither coerces others into using their product over another? I don't think you understand human nature at all.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:46 | 2556283 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

Power abhors a vacuum and where the guv cedes power corporations will swoop in to gather more......

It's a cycle that needs to be constantly fought - the 4th turning as the book says.....

I'd also mention that the very same people who hate the guv also hate unions But mega corps engaging in monopolistic behavior is seen as alright and 'in a free market' would be lessened?

Faulty analysis.

And every revolution becomes the guv power to protect their revolution leading to guv empowering itself over us muppits.

Hence the best and only laws by guvs should be those that limits IT'S power And the Corporate power to influence at the same time.

The problem is that the people behind the corps who control the guv are certifiable sociopaths and Will Not change without major bloodshed.
During the us revolution we tarred and feathered them.....the ruskies lined them up against a wall and shot them ...... The French invented a nifty little toy called the guillotine and the aloes forces hung them from the nearest lamppost.

FDR and Eisenhower lessened their power by taxing them at 93% on incomes over 3 million in today's $.

The choice is theirs - id bet they won't pick the Eisenhower way and hence will push the people too far and a nice mob will enforce one of the other choices.

Hope I'm wrong but these are sociopaths we're talking about.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:36 | 2556799 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Without government, corporations cannot exist. 

I am not a corporation, but I hate the unions as well. They have been co-opted by government and now function to control labor- keeping it from organizing in a way that will yield real results. Perhaps if you READ the history of unions you would realize this.

Monopolistic behavior is not the problem, monopolistic behavior backed by government power is. That is what we have without a free market. It is protected markets by government for corporations that is the problem. Your inability to differentiate between the two just puts your ignorance on display.

If every revolution creates the same government, why is not government the problem? 

And who determines what these "best" laws are? Have you been paying attention? Government is run by a minority that empowers itself to transfer the wealth of the subjects. They write the laws. They judge the laws. We give the laws legitimacy by our votes.

FDR was the first president to create the foundation for the fascism we live in today. Tax rates had plenty of loopholes that allowed people to escape the tax rates. Please study tax rates over historical periods. Then pluck your head out of your ass and realize, NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO PAY TAXES. 

It is the structure of government that promotes and protects sociopaths. Power that resides within the community is not a vacuum, it is a strong defense against the wolves that will always howl outside our doors.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 04:30 | 2557109 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

government has shown to be effective in the early and late cycle of innovation:

protected infant industries and nationalizing near monopoly industries to promote competition elsewhere.


but we are entering age of state sponsored capitalism. US cannot sit on a high horse of free trade when 3rd world countries are practicing state sponsored capitalism protecting their interests first and the engaging in creating trade deficits for the other party.


government certainly has a role in society as competition at a huge scale is too costly (you can't create more then one rail road path)


Mon, 06/25/2012 - 06:59 | 2557194 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Only because we haven't tried using similiar "innovations" without government. These innovations were merchantilist inspired methods of guaranteeing trade. Government has nothing to do with it. 

We are in the age of fascism as a means of social control and debt slavery from state induced debt and entitlements. There is nothing beneficial about the tyranny of the police state.

Why can't you create more than one railroad path? If it wasn't competitive, it wouldn't be done. The argument for government monopoly and regulation is a loser. Utilitiy companies are white elephants without the means to modernize nor direct energy and water where they need to go.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:05 | 2556756 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Because someone else would have been free to produce a red car line. Without a local government to buy off and create local ordinances to protect them from new competition. How can drug dealers embrace free competition when government intervention creates a restricted market.  I don't think you understand markets. You ignore the influence of government at all levels. 

I've read your comments, you can do better.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:42 | 2556274 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

That didn't happen in the days of the company town. Piss the company off and you get kicked out of town. Want to buy something - have to buy it from the company store. Want to drink? Not if the company boss doesn't like it - home subject to inspection. That was in the free USA.


Privately funded courts would not favor the rich who fund them? Not that that doesn't happen already but only 99% of the time...

The rich would have a private army before the state collapsed.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:12 | 2556764 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

People were free to choose where they could work. If they chose the company town, that was their free choice. They owned nothingf and sold their labor. Piss off the company and go somewhere else, many people did. That was the reality of life at the time- under a constitution that provided freedom and opportunity, but life doesn't gurantee prosperity- you have to work for it.

If the court favored the wealthy, who would use them? You would find new courts, that competed for your business on a fair judgement. When you lose government, you lose the one set of courts option. Not that they have NOT favored the wealthy as it is.

The US military was incapable of controlling three Iraqi cities, you think a private army could defend itself against whole communities? Is that chance not better than the goosestepping military we face today or the insufferable police?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:37 | 2556615 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Without government, there is no Corporation.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:45 | 2556625 CH1
CH1's picture

Holy shit - where did all the insane comments come from today?

(Not yours Nanny Mouse)

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:39 | 2556707 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

You (We) have entered the twilight zone

Beyond this world strange things are know...

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 22:09 | 2556847 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

Well said Sean7k and Nanny Moose.


The only monopoly is a Government created one.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:28 | 2556244 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Indeed, exactly - the key flaw in the above 'free market' hype, and the whole libertarian view.

The 'courts' and 'justice' - on which any system depends - are, in the majority of societies, generally bought and purchased and controlled by the dominant powers ... the bigger the cult of law and lawyers and paper 'constitutions', the greater the legal oppression. This happened in the USA, where people are terrorised by courts and lawyers and there is no justice (except in Hollywood movies).

There is no substitute - None! - for people power, people in the streets ready to go on general strike and close down the government, tomorrow.

Unless the courts fear populist power, they will be agents of the bankster - gangsters or similar oligarchs.

That is why - for all of Europe's failings - for all the fact that Europeans have only around 100 million private civilian guns vs the 300 million privately owned guns in the US -

That is why Europe is still a much better place to live today, with much less oppression by government, by law or  lawyers, by police or prisons. (Very few people here in jail in Europe compared to the US, which has 7x as many per population.)

The reason it is still semi-paradise here in Western Continental Europe, is that governments here, still fear people in the streets, ready to close down the government, and even burn it down if they get angry enough.

But that ability of common people to strike fear into the government's heart, has been long gone in the USA.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:53 | 2556439 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

"There is no substitute - None!"


It depends on the type of legal system that is in place. What do you think is more corruptible? A "top-down" monopolistic legal system based on statutory law, or a "bottom-up" Polycentric legal system based on Customary Law?

Tom Bell and David Friedman have done much work on how a Polycentric legal system might function in today's society.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 02:19 | 2557036 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

^^ This is why I keep coming back ^^

Thanks for the link.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 03:20 | 2557070 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

But in the end, it does not compare to a monoextrememum illegal system based of the unicity of law.

As it does not exist, it can be told to be immune to corruption.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:24 | 2558040 akak
akak's picture


But in the end, it does not compare to a monoextrememum illegal system based of the unicity of law.

And THIS is why I keep coming back --- for the laughs!

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 06:20 | 2557158 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"What do you think is more corruptible?..." Sorry, here I have to agree with BGFB and disagree with you. The "top-down" statutory laws we have here are made and changed in the context of coalitions of parties that can be shut off from power (and know it) in representational-system democratically elected Parliaments.

You are defending Customary Law, also called English Law - fine, it's more robust as a system, at least in theory, and it appeals to your views and customs (good) but in the US case it's failing, miserably. I'm not saying that the one or the other is better!

Nevertheless, please have a look at the US prison population - we have not changed much our prison population percentages vs population since Napoleon (the last big "top-down" legislator - your system is reverting to the UK levels of very, very old times that, among other things, shipped huge populations of convicts to Australia.

Both systems need hard work, in our european case up to the willingness to bring dissent or even revolution on the street. That's one of our way to fight corruption. What is your way? Except - and please pardon and don't take personally my sarcastic approach - dreaming up how your system would work if this and that would be changed?

You have a nice system - clean up the high levels of corruption in it, instead of claiming that it is superior.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:19 | 2556775 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Terrible argument in favor of government. You merely reinforce my point.

Europe a utopia? Guess all those police in jackboots with rifles with an unarmed population means it is all rainbows and lollipops.

Semi- paradise? Provided by debt, that now it is being withdrawn, life is getting a little tough. Watch the collapse become an avalanche of misery from austerity and German clawbacks. Or were you excluding Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy from Europe? 

Get off the jingoistic jukebox. 

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:34 | 2556607 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

"getbrid of the guv and it allows corporate monopolies to use their huge size and financial power to overwhelm the average citizen."

Ummm....The Corporation = legal fiction created by government. So...if corporations only exist because of government, then how would corporations monopolize, and gain leverage over the average citizen in the Free Market?

That which you ascribe to the Free Market, is what we have now, with the largest, most instrusive government humanity has ever known.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 00:00 | 2556948 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

So a corporation pollutes and an average citizen has to sue in court?

They'll be overwhelmed by the giant Corp in court.

Yup, and that's why Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, and other 'giant' corporations have NEVER lost a lawsuit, and never PAID a penny in damager. Owens-Corning's Pink Panther ads still grace the airwaves, and Erin Brockovich is only famous for fellating every one in the jury.

Honestly, why do you trolls come here with such patent nonsense that can be refuted by anyone with a decent memory, let alone access to Google?

Since I'm more than a little familiar with the 'capture' theory of regulation, I'd rather take my chances with wilder and freer markets backed up by robust courts than with a cosy government regulator, bought and paid for by the industry s/he 'regulates'.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:59 | 2556306 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

Free Markets cannot co-exist with The Fed and central bank central planning. Sorry.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:17 | 2556679 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

so we haven't had a free market for the past 80-90 years, in any way?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:20 | 2556777 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

There has NEVER been a free market. It is a concept without example.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 07:34 | 2557232 Bob
Bob's picture

Likewise for "true socialism." The wonderful thing about bankrupted philosphies, economic and otherwise, is that their true believers can always--to their own minds at least--use even the failures as proof that, wah, wah, it just never got a real chance, it was corrupted

Free marketeers should man up, imo, and admit what is so obvious to the great unwashed and ignorant masses: It was destined to be piloted by successful sociopaths and crashed upon the rocks.

Doubling down on bad maps ain't gonna cut it for most people when TSHTF. 

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 08:24 | 2557323 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The only thing piloted by "successful sociopaths" was socialism. Like the unwashed masses, you haven't the training to see the benefit from the discussion of ideals and where they could potentially lead us. You merely wait for reality to crush you- will that be your wah-wah moment?

Accepting the staus quo, never making distinctions, taking what is given: all the hallmarks of the fool.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 09:42 | 2557398 Bob
Bob's picture

Much as I might think otherwise, I'm as succeptable to being a fool as anyone.  It only stands to reason.  After all, the fool is usually the last to know. 

But never making distinctions? 

Distinctions are easy to make.  When they become so hard to sell to the "improperly" trained, however, perhaps they should be more rigorously examined by those who've enjoyed the "training," enlightened though it might be according to its own definitions.  

Having a "literature" that has developed to justify and elaborate it over time is certainly no proof of its validity, nor is the self-righteousness of its proponents, however earnest or fanatical.   

But when a belief system becomes so adept at explaining everything through a single lens, non-believers get identified as representatives of the devil.  Even opposition then serves only to reinforce the self-righteousness of the faith and its representatives.

Sorry, Sean7k, I didn't mean to insult you personally as a whiner above, but to point out what I see as the absurdity of the argument per se. Your comment was just an entry point in the thread. 

It's like arguing about religion.  It goes nowhere, regardless of how sincere the debate might be.

The -1's are not from me, btw.


Mon, 06/25/2012 - 12:51 | 2558460 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Having a "literature" that has developed to justify and elaborate it over time is certainly no proof of its validity, nor is the self-righteousness of its proponents, however earnest or fanatical.   

Well put Bob and I have no problem with this point. However, how do you change systems if the one you wish to transition to has no philosophical development? 

Free markets are not a panacea. They have never existed. We may find thet social credit systems are preferable (these have existed and are quite common). Is it absurd to discuss? In light of the current fascist police state and the public's unwillingness to challenge it? Possibly, but what the hell else do we have to do?

Anyway, this a forum for discussion and regardless of the length and breadth of our educations, there are many that are just stepping out. I think we owe them a serious argument and defense of ideas that are commonly polluted by corporate trolls. 

We can and will make our plans, but for many, this is a starting point. You've been around for a long time Bob, haven't your views been influenced over this time? I know mine have.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:26 | 2556106 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Solar panel consumption is silver consumption.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:08 | 2556197 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

Last chart I saw showed 17 years of silver left ater current rates.


And 15kg of silver get Corzined everytime we fire off a Tomahawk missile.  Vaporized PMs bitchez. 

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:01 | 2556651 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Then there are the hundreds of ZHers having boating accidents with their stashes.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:40 | 2556710 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture



Mon, 06/25/2012 - 00:05 | 2556955 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

And 15kg of silver get Corzined everytime we fire off a Tomahawk missile.

Yeah, and the Navy shoots off - what? - 10 or 12 of those every day. Er.. month? Er... year? What a fatuous comment.

I bet the average suburban doctor's practice has as much silver tied up in old x-rays.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 02:04 | 2557026 delacroix
delacroix's picture

raytheon has a current order, for 361 tomahawks, from the u. s. navy. thats over 5,400 kilos.(that's a lot of old xrays)

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:26 | 2556107 Tirpitz
Tirpitz's picture

"Under a free market, polluters who damage citizens or their property can be held to account in the market place, and through the court system."

Unless they resort to the magic of a beneficial bankruptcy court. But this, of course, would never happen. Glad to see how quickly the Bhopal victims were sent their cheques, and elated to see that Exxon didn't even try to miss a beat back in the Valdez disaster aftermath.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:31 | 2556118 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Of course. But now you'll have to settle for a lecture on how those entities are really the fault of government in 3... 2...

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:37 | 2556138 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Under a free market, polluters who damage citizens or their property can be held to account in the market place, and through the court system...

HAHAHAHAHA!!! A patently false statement.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:40 | 2556147 Haole
Haole's picture

I guess he assumed that this would be under the oversight and judgement of a moral and ethical justice system that works for the people which is certainly a patently false concept altogether sadly.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:19 | 2556224 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Really? With a private court system? Pleas explain how it is false?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:28 | 2556243 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

In your world private = immune from corruption? What planet are you from?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 18:14 | 2556479 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Not immune, but far less susceptible.

In an ideal free market legal system, there would many private arbitration firms. The firms that are the most successful, would be the ones that satisfy the needs of the consumers. With the vast majority of consumers being us regular folk, these arbitration firms would need to design their business models with a service that best serves the majority of consumers.

With many arbitration firms, as opposed to one centralized system, if would be far too costly for a small percentage of individuals to "buy" or corrupt all, or most, of the firms in the market. In fact, large corporations and special intrests love a monopolistic system because it is, indeed, the most easily corruptible.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:48 | 2556631 CH1
CH1's picture

Non-state law is BETTER than state-owned law, and more effective.

Trolls won't want to know anything, but anyone else can simply look up the work of Bruce Benson, Ed stringham and others.

Hell, the common law had almost nothing to do with the King till he decided that he had to take it over.

Amazing how bitter the brainwashed are these days.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 03:27 | 2557075 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The firms that are the most successful, would be the ones that satisfy the needs of the consumers. With the vast majority of consumers being us regular folk, these arbitration firms would need to design their business models with a service that best serves the majority of consumers.


Made me laugh. Typical US citizen cheap propaganda that holds no longer than one second after reading. All done to congregate around a blatant lie and defend it. Group is all in US citizenism.

That best serves the majority of customers? No. The most profitable customers.

As corporations are creatures of a middle class, any judgement hostile to corporations will be passed down in costs to the US citizen middle class.

But indeed, corruption is invisible when it does not happen to you in the wrong way. Narcissism as obliged by US citizen eternal nature.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:24 | 2558012 akak
akak's picture

TRULY make me laugh!

Idiotic asswipe blind Chicom troll that you are, you are congenitally unable to grasp that the US middle class is being literallly destroyed by the TRUE power in the USA, the top 0.1% financial and political elite.  Given this obvious fact (obvious to all except kneejerk apologists for totalitarian dictators such as yourself), your every gibbering and nonsensical post is only further proven to be the bigoted anti-USA, pro-Communist propaganda and stinking Chinese roadside shit that it is.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:40 | 2556805 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

No, but private does = transparency and the ability to vote with your dollars. It is a complex economic argument, but you might try "Anarchy and The Law" by Stringham. 

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 03:28 | 2557077 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Private = transparency? The King's justice system was private.

It was not transparent.

Funny those US citizens who dismissed their own characterization of the King's institutions.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:44 | 2558138 akak
akak's picture

Funny all those Chinese Citizenism citizens who dismiss their own roadside defecation as "benevolently gifting personal nightsoil to the productivity of the workers' paradise".

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:07 | 2556196 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

Yep - worked your entire life at a corporation and had a retirement plan?

Then the corps simply claim bankruptcy and dump the pension onto the guv......

And it's called 'sound financial management' by the fascist bastards on cnbc.....

And then the same oligarch deepthroaters say we need to cut Social Security because the guv is broke.

And of course any Person who claims bankruptcy is known as a freeloader and irresponsible.....

Two 100% opposed beliefs.... One set of rules for a faceless corporation where the vampires hide behind the closely held corporate charter and another set of rules for We The People.

I say that every corporation should have to release their corporate ownership records...... Just go to yahoo finance and look at any large Corp - the top shareholders are all the same entities until you hit the private closely held Corp and then ownership disappears into the ethers......

Id liketo know those names so We The People can make the right decisions on WHO we need to string up by the neck like we did at the end of WW2 with the fascists - who like cockroaches hide in the cracks until the lights go out and then scurry around causing pain, misery and bankruptcy for entire countries for generations.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:25 | 2556236 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You defend government, but it is the structure and operation of government that allows corporations to buy and create legislation that protects them. It is the same system that allows for the manipulation of media and information to keep you from knowing this information. 

We the people is a farce. Democracy is just majority tyranny and rule by those that can fool these same people to vote for them, especially by providing the same candidates for office under the pretense of different parties.

Those fascists just took over all the western governments and blamed it on the Nazis. Look at the results, not the labels and slogans.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:46 | 2556282 Matt
Matt's picture

Is it the structure of the government? Is there a perfect structure that cannot be exploited? Or rather, is it the corrupt humans working within the corporations and government, colluding together that is the problem?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 21:45 | 2556812 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

It is government as a concept that allows for a small number of people to take control of the entire operation. When power is localized, it is easily overtaken. Decentralized power is too difficult to control. 

Why do you assume all workers are corrupt? Since when were soldiers responsible for the strategy of war? 

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 14:08 | 2558849 Matt
Matt's picture

The majority of people, when given the chjoice, choose centralization over decentralization. unincorporated villages become incorporated towns, towns vote to join regional governments. Each time, there is a referendum and the people choose more government, not less.

I am not assuming all people are corrupt; I assume a sufficient number are that they gain influence over whatever it is they are trying to corrupt.

I suspect that everyone is susceptible to primarily one of three flaws: corruption, incompetence or complacency. Whether or not a person gives in to their flaw is a personal struggle. I know mine, for sure, is complacency. 

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 17:37 | 2559600 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You might want to study the Pennslyvania colony and its' early history. 

Further, people choose from the available options and what they have been taught. That does not mean it is preferable. Given a proper education and new choices, you might be surprised. More important, just because some people choose centralization, why must it be enforced on ALL people- where is the freedom to choose?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:57 | 2556301 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

I Never said I supported the guv.... where do I say that in my post?

You've placed your subjective thoughts onto me!

At least your honest in hating democracy - So a dictatorship actually helping the majority and the average person would Actually EVER happen?

I doubt it - at least if we take History as a tool to help understand the possible futures that may occur.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 22:42 | 2556825 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

 getbrid of the guv and it allows corporate monopolies to use their huge size and financial power to overwhelm the average citizen.

You've defended FDR and Eisenhower (the man that warned of the military-industrial complex, yet never lifted a finger to thwart them).

You champion a draconian tax system that pits one class against another, all at the hands of government. 

Of course I distain democracy, it is a terrible form of governance. I guess Plato's Republic was beyond you? "The life of a democracy is brutish and short" ring a bell. Do you even know the ideas that influenced the founder"s?  

Why would dictatorship be the only option short of democracy? Do you know what a republic is? Do you know what a philosopher-king is? Do you know what the concept of liberty with responsibility entails? No, I think not. You rail against the obvious, having never studied the alternatives. 

History, what do you know of history? Did you actually believe those HS textbooks? 

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:40 | 2556420 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture


Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:49 | 2556632 CH1
CH1's picture

Yeah, the wack jobs are out indeed.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:56 | 2556446 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

"Beneficial bankruptcy" does not alleviate a liability insurance company from its obligations.

And technically, in cases of malice, and extreme negligence, upper management and Board members can be help personally liable, both civilly and criminally.

Unfortunately, in our current legal system, this rarely happens.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:35 | 2556612 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

A benefit of the corporation which is a legal construct, created by government precisely to limit liability. The Corporation is disctinctly NOT a free market problem.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 08:01 | 2557281 Bob
Bob's picture

If only the free marketeers would address the obvious, and argue as often and passionately against Corporate power as they do against government. 

But as far as I can tell, that would risk undermining the fantasy of benevolent private power upon which everything else seems to depend.  

Must. have. ideological. purity.   

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:43 | 2556120 Haole
Haole's picture

Nice article although I'm not sure why Aziz's articles are even posted on ZH given the rudimentary and often flawed commentary.  We're a lucky bunch in that we can see truth as essentially common sense amidst the lunacy.  I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing on a psychological level personally, having to live in neo-Roman times...

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:12 | 2556202 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

His posts are based on faith, and riddled with innacuracies.  It's like a history book done in finger paint. 

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:32 | 2556122 Dorelei
Dorelei's picture

Dubai is a good exemple of the unbridled freemarket ressource allocation.  Gigantic energy eating building, constructed and run with slaves paid by oil...

The article assume that people will choose in time the greniest solution , it's wrong ,90% ofthe population doesn't give a shit aslong as they get a brand new Iphone, a tasty burger cooked with  palm oil or a cheap flyingtickets to go on vacation... .

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:04 | 2556192 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

What do we do when the common man is a common slave who thinks that the Doritos taco (@ Taco Bell *puke*) and the iPhone v5 are the greatest freaking things to grace the planet? What do we do when everyone and their mothers has stopped thinking, wondering, asking questions that haven't been asked before? Where do we go when apathy and complacency have replaced all other emotions, when meeting a person with genuine emotions feels like a treat?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:09 | 2556198 Woodyg
Woodyg's picture

I thought it was somolia that was the Free market dream and goal for the USA and the eurotrash nations..

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 22:02 | 2556834 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Somalia was a pastoral-clan based society that functioned without a government until western democracies decided that they needed to intervene. By creating a government they didn't want or need, they perverted the established system that was hundreds of years old and caused clans to compete for IMF largess and power to use for their clan's advantage.

Adding in weapons only made it worse. You might want to read beyond the wikipedia page and do honest research befoe you write. You merely put your ignorance on parade. 

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:33 | 2556128 aminorex
aminorex's picture

As Mr. Bumble said, the free market is an ass.  

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:35 | 2556133 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

a free market without supervision and referees is exactly what we have today - 1% vs 99%...and that is precisely what fascism is - free markets without supervision - markets safe for the 1% but lethal for the markets musn't be confused with regulation free operations - they ought to be regarded as markets free of centralizing tendencies where decision benefit the 1% but fuck the 99%.....

there is way too much freight loaded on the term free markets - to the 1% it is the brutal despotism which naomi klein documents in shock doctrine - the religion of friedman, possibly hayek, and the excesses of laissez-faire.....the vision of adam smith is much closer to the mark....

the corporation has been both a bane and boon to economics - unshackled it is a terror and menace to civilization for it represents at its core centralization....

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:51 | 2556291 Matt
Matt's picture

In the end, corporations are really just a variant of Representative Democracy. The voting structure is different as to who has how much say in the formation of the governance, but other than that, it's the same thing. Whatever problems there are with Corporations, I am sure must exist as well in any other implementation of Representative Democracy.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 22:12 | 2556851 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Free markets have zero intervention. How is today's market resemble this? Are you mad?

It is regulation and intervention that allows the crimes to be perpetrated. 

Do you know nothing of economic systems, history and thought?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:37 | 2556139 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:12 | 2556203 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Yep, then you got a pirate on your hands. ;)

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:40 | 2556148 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Freedom, democracy, and free market capitalism,

You just won't find a better deal anywhere else.

Why promote failure when you don't have to!

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:44 | 2556149 Zola
Zola's picture

Hmm , i thought there was a document called the CONSTITUTION which detailed what the government is authorized and not authorized to do ? This created a set of rules which defined a country, just like a set of rules in mathematics defines a set. Now of course people think those rules are too restrictive on what the government could do for the "common good" (cough cough) - i suggest to them that there are many different countries where different degrees of this can be tried. Unfortunately, experimentation has shown that when government becomes too big a player, the living standards drop, economic and human potential gets reduced (why ? because everything depends on the whims of some bureaucrat far far away). Finding the right balance is critical, the US did that successfully at first, became the envy and light of the world where MILLIONS would emigrate and risk their lives for success.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:56 | 2556294 The Age of Usef...
The Age of Useful Idiots's picture

Right, so only white men with property should vote, and women shouldn't. Right?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:58 | 2556648 CH1
CH1's picture

No one should vote. It only serves to justify the sociopaths.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:45 | 2556154 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Great article John Aziz!  Thank you for putting it up Tyler!

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:47 | 2556155 Catullus
Catullus's picture

These conferences have become nothing but sales conventions with no buyers. It's a way for salespeople to sell their papers and of course their "solutions". The governments are broke. They result in a some statement that agrees to have another convention in another city where they'll discuss more of nothing. Maybe they'll agree to measure something and track the metric, but it will be unfunded and meaningless except to academics and more these "solutions" companies.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:56 | 2556300 falak pema
falak pema's picture

the whole field of ecology is a new area. Since 1972, club of Rome paper, there is a perception, right or wrong, that the industrial world has reached qualitative and quantitaive aysmptotes that have to be taken into consideration. That neglecting these constraints can have irretrievable consequences on man's eco system. So before you sell something there is an increasing "intution" based on observation and on factual data that we are reaching tipping ecological points which influence major choices of profound societal impact.

The whole trend in this article is the affirmation that this qualitative perspective is hodgepodge and that business as usual can continue and man can find his way out through traditional trade-offs. Innovation being progress's arrow. If in reality the step back is too deep, the foot print left after the fact may become the mark of sinking into moving sands beyond our powers of invention and self retrieval. We better ask ourselves if we are not sitting on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius at Pompei or on the beaches of Thailand before tsunami.  Its no longer a question of a trade fair with goods to sell. Its a forum of discussion/decision making, where we adhere or don't adhere to understanding if survival, as we understand it, is or is not at stake.

Obviously since Copenhagen fiasco we are on the denial route and club of ROme prewarning is an inconsequential footprint that should quickly be forgotten, as before. 

Can we afford to?  Is there no change in our collective knowledge of ecosystem change?

Apart from the larger question, there is also the conundrum of the world living with the millstone of ME oil now hanging around their collective necks, like their only energy outlet to continued economic growth. Some countries are facing this issue more courageously than others. 



Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:47 | 2556157 Seer
Seer's picture

Isn't this like declaring that the freeing of the slaves in the US South made everything equal?  Yeah, after the fat white guys built their empires and then controlled everything, yeah, equality...

Yes, I realize that this is about "free markets," but underneath it's really about calling off the current game and letting everyone start over with the ill-gotten gains that they have: the folks who did a lot of raping get to restart without any sense of penalty, and you can be SURE that they'll spend lots of their accumulated wealth to repurchase the game...

Look at Madison Ave (an evolutionary creature spawned from the mind/mentality of Edward Bernays).  Right, we'll be "free" to choose between Coke and Pepsi: I don't drink either; don't drink soda, period.  Concentrated Power WILL tell us what is "free," be it govt OR business.  I'm just not seeing where such power is going to be checked (no, I'm not an advocate for creating a dependency on bribe-able functions/positions such as "regulators").

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:54 | 2556169 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

That's the beauty of choosing, they've framed the limits of your choice beforehand. Enjoy either of those fine beverages just please do not allow your children to drink raw milk. It'll kill them!

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:51 | 2556164 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Society is not just about market aggregates, supply and demand, market arbitration in terms of price/quality trade-off exercised by buyers. Its also about putting human needs at the centre of the social construct. These are two views that can be antagonistic in the way society functions. If you begin by believing that individual liberties are paramount and collective duties or co-responsibilities are not as important you end up in a social construct and a heirarchy of values different to the contrary. Social democracies have a different perception of individual and collective trade-offs than libertarian societies.

This article starts from a libertarian perspective. Even Adam Smith was not a libertarian as we understand that word today. So this trend, as epitomised by the recent evolution of American (US) society, has focussed more and more to this market uber-alles pinnacle that Neo-conservatism now incarnates. Hayek and Mises, Rand and Friedman come to mind as does W. Buckley on the ideological side to inspire its fundamentals. 

This philosophy is contested not only in the USA by the liberals and conventional conservatives and by MOST philosophical and economic groups in contemporary non Anglo-saxon societies.

To discuss the subject one as to understand the socio-economic ground rules that ARE the framework. I have thus begun with that aspect of the subject; putting the picture in its proper frame. 

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 05:43 | 2556195 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Aziz is British if I'm not mistaken which means it's not so much a US phenomenon as an Anglo phenomenon. You can easily track this back to the Industrial Revolution in England as the roots were clearly being laid for the Machine Age to take be unleashed in toto. Its traces are everywhere from 19th century bourgeios science to the very grim ethics of the Protestant reform.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:55 | 2556171 Catullus
Catullus's picture

These conferences have become nothing but sales conventions with no buyers. It's a way for salespeople to sell their papers and of course their "solutions". The governments are broke. They result in a some statement that agrees to have another convention in another city where they'll discuss more of nothing. Maybe they'll agree to measure something and track the metric, but it will be unfunded and meaningless except to academics and more these "solutions" companies.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 14:57 | 2556175 Jay_Son
Jay_Son's picture

"Under a free market, polluters who damage citizens or their property can be held to account in the market place, and through the court system."

This guy has no idea what he's talking about.  Proving causation in environmental damage claims is beyond the ability of most people, if for no other reason than the excessive costs associated with hiring experts, etc.  In other words, the "transaction cost" associated with using the court system makes it a near useless tool for curbing environmental abuse.  What makes far more economic sense is to have government oversight to prevent it from happening in the first place.  

The free market is good at allocating resources, not preventing pollution, providing education, etc., etc., etc.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:09 | 2556387 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You can't really "hold to account" a corporation that, say, spilled waste and killed a dozen people, anyway.

At least not until all the management can be brought up on charges of manslaughter or negligent homicide.

Does anyone really think the actuaries can give us a long-term value of some asshole's LIFE?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:48 | 2556429 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

This is an old trick, and has been used successfully by many industries to externalize costs. The logic (if you can call it that) is that as long as a country has the mechanisms - in theory - to counter market failures, then that is taken to mean that these practices will be checked. The problem, as you point out, is that it doesn't actually work that way in practice. It's just another bullshit premise that is simply not true.

The reality is that polluters in the West are just more clever about hiding their pollution, e.g. BP in the GOM. Their solution: sink the oil. Out of sight, out of mind. Fukushima is another nice example. Just put a tent over it boys, I'm sure it'll be fine /sarc.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 18:05 | 2556458 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Just to add to my previous post, the Kaldor-Hicks principle is relevant:

"Under Kaldor Hicks, the key principle is the idea that in theory people could be compensated. This compensation doesn't actually have to occur. Whereas under pareto efficiency, this compensation would have to occur through voluntary agreements between two parties.

If you were to build any kind of feedback control system  (i.e. amplifier, thermostatic system, cruise control, etc) and it operated under the principle that negative feedback can be assumed in theory to occur even though in practice the feedback is absent, I can guarantee that system will go exponential and destroy itself. No question. How these people can get away with saying that non-existent feeback is the same as actual feedback is beyond my comprehension. It is not possible.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:09 | 2556666 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

I miss the good old days before globalization. If the local mogul's missteps killed a bunch of the other locals, the surviving locals could grab his ass and throw it into jail, or into a river as suited the mood of the day.

These days, the mogul lives on another continent and the neighbor in charge takes the rap if things go to hell and a bunch of local people die.

It's a lot less effective and satisfying to hang Homer Simpson for the crimes of Mr. Burns.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:02 | 2556189 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

Carbon stripping algae that's used to make biodiesel. Sounds like a plan.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:17 | 2556678 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

That sums up this board in a nutshell... junked for solutions because bitching is the coin of the realm. Go suck a lemon, whoever you are. Looks like it's up to Yankee ingenuity to fix these problems... AGAIN.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 17:45 | 2559630 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, yeah, and gypsy-moth caterpillars are going to provide dirt-cheap silk, and Kudzu will be a nice imported ground-covering for the people who want it, and thalidomide was a good product for pregnant women who had anxiety...

Progress, baybee.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:14 | 2556201 JR
JR's picture

Yes. Good article, John.

And isn’t it amazing how free market entrepreneurs acting on their own initiative the way John Locke would have forecast, miraculously bump into each other at the Bilderberg conferences? And the people’s political representatives and their guardians of the truth – the eminent of the press – bump into each other, in secret?

And that these “free enterprise” rich corporate heads and financial kingpins and media moguls and fat cat politicians can meet to write a Jeffersonian-style contract for the future of a free market Europe that forms a EU “superstate” which can reject national laws in court and forms an IMF banker-controlled world treasury - all based on the wisdom and patriotism of Henry Kissinger. Sarc/off

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:50 | 2556288 The Age of Usef...
The Age of Useful Idiots's picture

LOL! Wish I could give you a +10. So much better than what I wrote.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:47 | 2556428 JR
JR's picture

There may be some confusion, The Age of Usef…

I agree with you, but also Aziz and Hayek, that the answer to the growth crisis is not central planning with government control. Government was supposed to stop big monopoly. If we had a true free market, as Aziz says, we would not have a tremendous demand for green products yet because they are not yet cost effective over the near future. (Have you ever read about the extensive and expensive work that’s needed to provide solar panels for your roof?)

But to fence away the monopolies, as you suggest, and get them out of the market place would encourage innovation and invention which would lead to energy efficient products and products good for the environment.  

Without monopolies, in no time the market would reward those successes with capital wealth such as McCormick’s inventions of harvesting equipment. He got rich on them; there was a need and they were cost effective.

The Bilderberg statements are sarcasm, of course. To think that the world’s richest men, issuing and imposing their self-profiting and market crippling economic orders on the world economy, would pretend to do so under the banner of the invisible hand of the free market rather than the iron fist of banker control, is not credible. Their real goal, of course, is to seize the human and natural resources of the entire world.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:03 | 2556379 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

If by "Build a Burg" you mean "the Obama BBQ at the White House" then I would agree with you.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:37 | 2556260 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

What free market forces would cause people to pay for these artificial trees? Anyone who did not plant one would be breathing the same air.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 15:44 | 2556277 Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

Asteroid Mining...there's an idea straight out of Uranus...


Mon, 06/25/2012 - 08:21 | 2557320 Bob
Bob's picture

Dumb or dumber, I couldn't decide.  At least as dumb as anything I've ever heard from the mouth of a statist tree hugger, anywhere, anytime.  Of course, you expect it from them.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 16:25 | 2556281 The Age of Usef...
The Age of Useful Idiots's picture

"The fact that greener technologies have not yet been widely adopted by the market is merely a symptom of the fact that society itself is not yet ready to make a widespread transition."

Yeah, because it couldn't possibly have nothing to do with the market or society's desires but a lot to do with the stranglehold of say, uhm, let me guess, uhm, say, Big Oil (gasp!) in Congress? Which continues to be subsidized with billions? So they can continue to buy your representatives? Of course not. Any analysis of such issues which takes into account established interests, corporate power, lobbyists, preservation of privileges and active hindrance of funding for alternative ways is irrelevant. And since government is corrupt, let's bring down whatever safeguards are left. Don't try to reclaim your government, which is what the Fathers would have expected of you. Just tear it all down and hope for the magic of the free market.

This s just more naive Free Market fundamentalism. Well, I have news for you. There is not going to be a free market any time soon. Maybe there will never be one. Maybe it's an utopia. Because the only thing that could ensure a free market is a truly representative, honest government free of undue influence and unwilling to decide outcomes which the Founders hoped some day, maybe, could be accomplished. If you don't believe in one, you can't have the other. As long as we don't reclaim our government, there won't be a free market, if it is even possible to have one.

Your ideological dogmatism has actually a lot in common with the -isms you criticise.

And the funny thing you don't realise is that while you'll wait in vain for the free market to materialize without trying first getting your government back to represent you, all the polluters will happily continue to bankroll all the well-meaning utopian zealots. Why? No, not to help them abolish any obstacle left to their greed. Of course not. Because you see, huge corporations or cartels like big Oil truly love the idea of a true free market, fair competition, fair practices, responsible operations. No, their beef with the EPA is that it doesn't allow them to participate in such a free market and operate that way. Life can be such a bitch for true capitalists, don’t you see?

And btw, good luck trying to punish "polluters who damage citizens or their property" and hold them accountable "in the market place, and through the court system" since you'll have to defeat their legal dream teams first!

Age of useful idiots indeed. 


Sun, 06/24/2012 - 16:12 | 2556309 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

As I wrote last month:

If we are emitting excessive quantities of CO2... It’s far easier to develop and market technologies (that already exist today) like carbon scrubbing trees...

actually nature will do this naturally... because increased CO2 levels automatically increase greening and promote plant growth in existing plants as CO2 is an airbourne plant fertilizer. No need to find an answer, nature is doing it.

If the dangers of non-biodegradable plastic threaten our oceans, then develop and market processes (that already exist today) to clean up these plastics

Once again check-out the ocean-going trash... the plastics (bags, bottles etc) have algae growing on it, then fish are attracted and "BINGO" you have little ocean floating oasis'  in the deserts of the vast oceans.

Mans waste products are not harmful to sea life, in fact they are a plus to sea life. Again no need for us to piss our pants, nature naturally solves problems far better (than eco loons)

Worried about resource depletion? 

Nope, not at all.

Asteroid mining can give us access to thousands of tonnes of metals, water, and even hydrocarbons (methane, etc).

Oh Jesus, we're off the planet and into LaLa Land now!

Have we run out of any resurce yet?

Nope... and we will never run out of resources because man becomes ever more efficient and productive and uses ever less resources as he industrialises and advances. There is no resource problem, never has been, never will

For more bountiful energy, synthetic oil technology exists today.

What's wrong with the natural stuff??? ...we've got more than a 1,000 years left, may as well use it, it's free and a by-product of the Earth

And of course, more capturable solar energy hits the Earth in sunlight in a single day than we use in a year.

Yes we already use solar man, it's called farming, and it grows our plants. 

Solar panels are a piss-poor copy of the leaf. Replace those solar fields with wheat or sugar beat or carrots and you can eat (transfer) the suns energy and it tastes nice (unlike solar panels!)

But the fact that research and development and investment continues to pour into green technologies shows that the market is developing toward such an end.

Yet more malinvestment and mis-direction by Govt. All green (energy) technology is a failure.. take away the State subsidies and watch them fail.

My view is that the greatest threat to the planet’s ecology is from the centralists..

We agree 100% on that one

The answer is the free market. 

We agree 120% on that too

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:17 | 2556395 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

    nature will do this naturally... because increased CO2 levels automatically increase greening and promote plant growth in existing plants as CO2 is an airbourne plant fertilizer. No need to find an answer, nature is doing it.

Well, sure.  Earth's going to be here about another 4 billion years, but that's no reason to imply that it'll be inhabitable by HUMANS, even for the next 100.

"Nature" doesn't give a flying fuck about us.  We're as important to "nature" as the Dodo bird used to be.  Or the trilobite.  A nice hydrogen sulfide bloom from a sub-oceanic volcanic vent could kill us all in the next decade, but "nature" would still be as happy as a baby in a swing.

Of course, I won't mind at all if your lineage is extincted, so I really do understand where you're coming from.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 14:24 | 2558918 Matt
Matt's picture

CO2: gets absorbed into the ocean, where it is known as carbonic acid, and messes with the formation of coral, shellfish, etc, depleting sea life.

Plastic degradation in the Ocean: it becomes plankton-sized bits that get eaten by creatures, stuck in their bodies and cannot be digested. Up the food chain the bits go, gumming up the guts of the creatures and emitting synthetic hormones.

Asteroid Mining: I don't think those people understand how energy-intensive such a project is; maybe for use in space, but not so great an idea for bringing back to Earth.

1000 years of oil: maybe, maybe not.

farming vs solar panels: sure, if you don't need electricity and want to man-power all your stuff, go for it.

subsidies: sure, cut the subsidies for green tech, but also cut all subsidies for nuclear, coal, etc. And by subsidies, I mean no damage limits for claims, and the companies must pay for all negative externalities, nuclear waste disposal, fines for mercury contamination in the water, etc. Free Markets with truly level playing fields.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 16:47 | 2556357 Stimulati
Stimulati's picture

It wasn't a free economy that cleaned up the souther California skies. It was government regulation.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:06 | 2556383 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Absolutely. This author is a friggin' crack head.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:18 | 2556682 Monedas
Monedas's picture

When are your little government whores going to clean up Beijing's skies ?       Monedas       1929         Comedy Jihad Some Government Is Necessary < 10% And Shrinking !   The US budget should be indexed to the cost of tooth paste !

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 22:57 | 2556888 Stimulati
Stimulati's picture

Probably sometime after Beijing residents get to vote

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 03:46 | 2557087 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It wasn't a free economy that cleaned up the souther California skies. It was government regulation.

Neither. It was the exportation of pollution associated activity to oversea locations.

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 04:13 | 2557096 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

Hey dude, you're on a roll! That's two comments in a week that are free from ideological rambling drivel AND have some truth based in verifiable facts.

Keep it up!

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 11:03 | 2557877 akak
akak's picture

If he/they keeps forgetting to automatically work his/their nonsensical and bigoted "US Citizenism" meme into every garbled post, somebody is suddenly going to find that they have "voluntarily donated" (and had extracted) several organs for aging high Party functionaries.

"Christ, Marx, Wood and Wei
led us to this perfect day ...."

Mon, 06/25/2012 - 14:35 | 2558962 Matt
Matt's picture

"Neither. It was the exportation of pollution associated activity to oversea locations."

Oh, they moved the cars off the California Highways to overseas locations? nifty, how did they manage that?

The primary source of smog in California is/was having millions of cars driving around, burning leaded gas, incompletely burning the fuel, etc.

I don't think California was ever really a heavy-industry powerhouse. Maybe you are thinking of Pittsburg?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 16:51 | 2556364 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

The truth is until they got hammered by the threat and pain of litigation, American corporates did whatever they wanted.

There are no such threats in command economies, so you wind up with pollution and dangerous products.

We should also remember that the industrial West went though its own golden age of rampant environmental destruction.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:21 | 2556397 blindman
blindman's picture

what is done regarding monopolies,
cartels and homicide?

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 23:16 | 2556905 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

There are no monopolies. Unless they were created by Government force and coercion, through the ability of the Government to borrow and print to infinity.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:27 | 2556402 falak pema
falak pema's picture

JL Buffone! It : 4G- Eng : 2G...

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 17:36 | 2556413 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The heathens climbed to the top first because no one else was that lame. Doesn't mean they are going to be able to stay there. They are idiots.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 18:08 | 2556468 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

"The answer is not central planning and government control. The answer is the free market. "


Holder's Fast & Furious has killed more people in a few years than Walmart's gun sales ever did.

Sun, 06/24/2012 - 18:35 | 2556517 covert
covert's picture

only in a free market are you free to go green.


Sun, 06/24/2012 - 19:26 | 2556587 Rastamon
Rastamon's picture




MORE stupid libertarian ecological denialist theology .... what a pile of lies.

SHAME ON YOU zerohedge for featuring this pile of nihilist garbage .... now the REST of your posts are SUSPECT as well.



Sun, 06/24/2012 - 20:09 | 2556664 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Socialists are quick to yell fire in the theatre of the mind !     Socialist drivel amuses me .... it would never occur to me to censor it !        Monedas      1929        Comedy Jihad ZH Casino Has The Loosest Slots .... That's Why We Come Here !

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