Purple Toryism

Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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14 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    interesting stuff. one thing about the kind of argument ED and Hayek, et al make fails for me. It seems like they suggest some pure natural market that the state disturbs through rules and leads to favoring one or another side. but any system, even one with no rules or some sort of libertarian paradise favors somebody. there is no way around a system that doesn’t leave somebody with an advantage. moreover i just don’t think there is some pure free market state. economies are human creations not some sort of natural phenomenon. we could just as well postulate that the crude communism often practiced in many hunter/gatherer societies is the pure human economy and everything else is a distortion.

    In any case your final conclusion confuses me. Isn’t public property a form of government, one which we already have (thank you National Park System). How is what you are suggesting different from what we have? And where does the commons fit in? that sounds to me like what the gov is , or at least should be.Report

    • Chris Dierkes in reply to greginak says:

      The better example is something like the Alaska Oil Fund. The property belongs to the people who receive a yearly dividend check for the private entities use of their property. Up til now to the degree we have trusts they have generally (like say Social Security) been entrusted to the state, but they need not be. This allows for the creation of more hybrid institutions. Obviously in such a case, there would need to be a mechanism for accountability if a non-governmental (and non-business) entity took over guardianship of trusts. In theory democratic vote is supposed to do that in our current system, but I don’t think it does in a strong way, not with the inherent bias towards incumbency.Report

  2. greginak says:

    ahhh yes th Permanent Fund Dividend. I get my 1300 clams next week.

    It sounds bit like you are suggesting some sort of governmental type institution that has the safeguards and accountability of gov, but more responsive. Not to feel like i am nitpicking or diverting from the whole thrust of your post, but i think the fault is more often with the people then the gov. I just think we get the gov the aggregate of the people want. If you want to see heated debate, the infrequent discussion about changing how the PFD is distributed brings out the guns just like healthcare. It wouldn’t matter if there was some other hybrid other then the gov distributing it, there would be no changes. I guess what i mean is that it sounds like you just want good government but don’t see that happening.Report

  3. Francis says:

    There’s really no such thing as a “free market”, never has been, and never will be.

    Person X wants to import and sell slaves in New York in 1800, 1900, 2009. Outcome?
    Person X wants to sell rugs made with slave labor in same date range. Outcome?
    Person Y is tired of having his kids die of cholera and asks for the state to deliver clean, safe and affordable water to his house. The idea takes off and spreads around the country. Corporation X desires to block the state from interfering with the “market” for water. Outcome?
    Corporation X desires to lower the cost of milk by dumping all the manure into the nearest stream. Outcome?

    The “free market” is the grossly inaccurate term applied to the regulated exchange of a range of goods and service between citizens of the same nation. The idea that there exists some Platonic ideal of a “free market”, interfered with by meddling liberals, is simply nonsense, largely peddled by a group of libertarians and pro-business conservatives who wish to use the power of the state to amplify their negotiating power vis-a-vis their fellow citizens.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Francis says:

      The idea that there exists some Platonic ideal of a “free market”, interfered with by meddling liberals, is simply nonsense, largely peddled by a group of libertarians and pro-business conservatives who wish to use the power of the state to amplify their negotiating power vis-a-vis their fellow citizens.

      Well, I’m glad we have enough government regulation to keep us from something like that happening to us!

      Who wants a coffee-flavored cigarette?Report

  4. North says:

    I’m the grandson of an Atlantic Canadian fisherman, believe me I know all about the tragedy of the commons. I’m 100% behind any system that tries to address the issue of commons Br. Dierkes. My only caveat; I’d like it to work, I’d like it to be applied only where it’s needed and I’d like it to not kill the markets unnecessarily. We forget at our peril the yawning injustices and crushing poverty that occurrs when we go too far off the market system.Report

  5. Bruce Smith says:

    I think there are some straw-man arguments being thrown at Phillip Blond. He is not against markets and does accuse the state of creating and allowing monopolies. A careful reading of his writings would make that evident. It is also dishonest, or ignorant, to pretend that Walmart doesn’t take advantage of the huge monopolization of trade technique used by the Communist Chinese government of currency manipulation. This is anti-competitive since it deprives Americans, other than Walmart employees, of jobs. Should an American government ever feel that it is in a strong enough position to ignore the steady sale of government bonds by foreign governments and their reluctance to purchase them it could move wholesale against countries like China that engage in “un-free” market manipulation just as it has recently on a small scale against the four America owned companies that manufacture tires in China and under-cut American based manufacturers. The issue of economies of scale is a difficult one. It is Luddite to deny ourselves the advantages of technology and organization through the accumulation of capital investment. It is equally stupid to allow the throttling back of competition on the basis of some organizations having achieved the crowding out of others through the above process of capital enhancement. The market isn’t going to resolve this situation. If you have pole position you are hardly going to volunteer to give it up. This is the futility of trying to pretend that the market can decide everything and government through the people should have no role in the matter. It is this attitude that led to banks too big to go bust!Report

    • North in reply to Bruce Smith says:

      The Chinese situation is a funny one, I agree Bruce. What it essentially amounts to is the Chinese are artificially propping up the value of the dollar by hoarding US currency and T-Bills. In practical terms this amounts to them paying us to buy their cheap manufactured goods. The interesting question is where this is going to go. The American balance of accounts is getting mighty wobbly and the downward pressure on the US $ is getting stronger and stronger but the Chinese continue to hold their currency down and ours up. What’s especially interesting is that the Chinese now are so invested in the US that they’d find any depreciation of our currency quite painful to their own interests. Obviously something is going to break; either the Chinese are going to have to start spending some of their hoard (which equates to increased US exports) or they’re going to have to stop propping the currency up (which presumably will trigger a savage bout of inflation which’ll be nasty for us but absolutely devastating for them).

      I assume that what the Chinese Central planners are trying to do is some form of build up of Chinese industry to a point where they can start developing domestic demand to help wean themselves off exports to the US and then a gradual draw down of their position vis a vie the US $. A soft landing so to speak.Report

  6. Bruce Smith says:

    It is indeed a dilemma. The Mother of all Economies of Scale! Just hand over all your production facilities to China!

    I guess the Peter Barnes stuff as an antidote I’m unsure about not just because of the poor performance of the Federal Reserve in stopping the Crash but also because of their lack of accountability. The WTO is a sort of trust but again seems aligned with the interests of corporations and indirectly accountable to the world’s voters. It’s, therefore, not just capture by monied interests its also ideological interests that can be damaging. So, for example, the notion that the market contains all the checks and balances you’re ever going to need is as lunatic as the Dictatorship of the Proletariat alone would do the job!Report

  7. Bruce Smith says:

    I’ve just finished reading Peter Barnes’s book “Capitalism 3.0.” and it’s a really interesting book. Thanks Chris for drawing his work to our attention. The obvious big issues with the use of trusts is how to best make them accountable and impervious to “capture” by negative interests but I’ve witnessed the long term success of trusts and very much like the idea that the adverse effects of Externalities pursuit can be avoided, or mitigated, by legal prescription. I like too the notion of Peter Barnes that accountability with regard to sustainability would be best monitored by involving those most likely to be affected by polluting and unsustainable practices.Report