I recently discovered Freedomain Radio, and it’s been an interesting experience digging through Stefan’s podcasts. First off, the man is brilliant, and I have absolutely no qualms with his treatment of a number of issues. In fact, his thoughts on a stateless society inspired this post, and many hours of thought on my part. I have concluded that I disagree with him on many counts, but I respect him as a real republican, unlike the corrupt neoconservative jackals attempting to pass themselves off as Republicans.
Republican derives its name from Republic, and in many ways what Stefan advocates is the “perfect republic” where individuals align themselves to agencies called DRO’s (Dispute Resolution Offices) rather than politicians, and market forces rule in place of policy decisions. Instead of voting for the candidate who (supposedly) would provide the best policy if elected, a person chooses to use the service of the DRO which is, right then, supplying the best services.
Though the idea is brilliant, and I laud Stefan greatly for thinking so clearly about these issues, and coming up with what is damn close to a practical utopia, I don’t think he’s thought through every last implication. I will only enunciate the first point in this post, and if there is a response I’ll throw some more fuel on the fire.
Capitalism’s greatest strength is also its greatest flaw; it creates an evolutionary system. Evolution will strive to fill every niche and solve every problem, and take advantage of every opportunity to produce a more “fit” entity. The problem with government-moderated capitalism is that one tack that those entities so adapted can take is to control the government. Put some money in, more money comes out. Because this money was taken from taxpayers by coercion, it’s a more or less “free” source of income for companies capable of grabbing it. Because this strategy is obviously so effective, many corporations grab at it. Other systems which end up getting twisted to benefit those with the power to twist them are the stock market, the court system, the penal system, etc. etc.
However, this same evolutionary problem is presented with a stateless society, but with a different environment. In a stateless society, large corporations will still have the incredible power of monetary domination. We’ll go back to 1934, with no hope of salvation, because corporations can freely form monopolies, provide unacceptably base quality products, and freely mandate the price of labor and goods. And though it is true for most products that you could stop buying from “evil” corporations, what are you going to do for food? And then there’s the slight issue of standardized money. Though I will agree that at some point a “currency company” will achieve dominance, providing a unified currency, what then? They are open to being paid off by other corporations to control the printing of more currency. There are many similar issues, but these are the largest.