Friday, June 10, 2011

A Letter to Socialists by Gustave de Molinari

Gustave de Molinari (1819 - 1912), was the first Anarcho-Capitalist or Market Anarchist, although one could mention the French liberals, in particular, Turgot as the source of Anarcho-Capitalism. In this essay, Molinari attempts to convince socialists that they really have the same goals, which can be described as 1. abundance of goods and 2. justice served with regards to the acquisition of goods produced through labor. 

Economists believe that these are achieved better through liberty, also called free competition. Today, we would call it a Free Market. However, the Socialists believe it is achieved better by the organization of labor. Molinari's usage of the word 'socialist' seems to refer to the idea of labor having ownership of the means of production through various organizations, and not to the modern usage of socialism, which refers to state ownership of the means of production. Today's representatives would be anarcho-syndicalists, although Molinari's essay can be addressed to all forms of socialism today.

Molinari lists the reasons socialists are against the free market. 1. Leads to the oppression of the weak. 2. Causes disastrous crisis. 3. If left unregulated it becomes anarchy. This last one shows that anarchy was being used to refer to chaos early on by socialists, despite the fact that the modern day representatives of this thought now call themselves anarcho-syndicalists. [See the previous post for a modern definition of Anarchism]. Nonetheless, Molinari responds to these claims that these are not characteristics of the free market. They are characteristics of monopoly and servitude (through force). Therefore, economists want to eliminate servitude and replace it with liberty, whereas the socialists want to eliminate liberty and replace it with socialism.

Isn't interesting that today's socialists still cry out that free market capitalism has failed and that we need more regulations on an already monopolized and regulated market? Even more, they want us to called them liberals when they clearly want to regulate liberty. This case is unique to the United States, whereas the word liberal is a synonymy with libertarian outside of the United States, but this doublethink is spreading abroad due to the United States' English being a lingua franca of intellectuals.

Although I didn't cover Molinari's arguments to convince socialists otherwise, you'll have to just watch the videos down below. However, I found a peculiar reference to "truth, justice and utility" and science. Science in Latin means knowledge, but in this case it refers to what we called social science. I looked it up on the internet and found a page on wikipedia on the American Way, where it had the phrase "truth, justice and the American Way," which was used by Superman! 'The American Way," as characterized by wikipedia, refers to individualism, economic liberalism and democracy, as well as the phrase of the Declaration of Independence "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" and the phrase "Life, Liberty, and Property" in the Amendments. Nonetheless, "truth, justice and utility" are the three subject matters that a social scientist should be discussing. The phrase may have more historical roots. However, today's social science and sociology are just two different ways of saying Marxism and Hegelianism.

Although not an anarchy, the United States was the world's first minarchy, meaning minimal government. It was because of the minimal powers given to the government that the Founders desired to have a Bill of Rights. In an anarchy, rights outside of property rights would all be unnecessary.

For reference, the free market gods he mentions are:
Adam Smith (1723 - 1790)
Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727 - 1781)
François Quesnay (1694 - 1774)
Jean-Baptiste Say (1767 - 1832)

 A Letter to Socialists (Part 1)

 A Letter to Socialists (Part 2)

1 comment:

  1. Commendable job with the post! I'll keep an eye on your posts!!