The universal critique of libertarian capitalists by libertarian
socialists holds its basis in semantics. The libertarian fundamental
that one is free to do whatever one chooses so long as it does not
constitute an act of aggression upon another is set against their
economic beliefs. They then say that accruance of personal wealth is
considered an act of economic aggression against another and therefor
is a contradiction.
This is built on a false piece of logic; that all resources belong to
society, and that when one accrues resource it comes at the expense of
someone else. I'm not saying that there aren't lots of examples of
economic entities that do this, in fact there are, but libertarians find
these actions crimes. The reality is, resources are in the possession
of nature, and if man does not create material resource, it does not
come into his possession at all.
Their argument holds no distinction between a large private company that
provides a great service at a low price and a constitutionally illegal
corporation that exists in the public sector. Surely, publicly traded
corporations, insurance companies, venture capitalists definately take
opportunity and productivity away and then financially profit on it.
This is no doubt the truth, I agree with that wholeheartedly. However,
without corporate welfare and corrupt legislation, limited liability
corporation would not exist, changing the entire face of the market.
This is something libertarian capitalists and socialists agree on, where
they part ways, however, is that a libertarian believes that when a
legal, uncorrupted liable private business increases its productivity in
order to provide more goods and services, it serves a dual purpose of
assigning wealth to the company and its workers, and lowering the cost
of the product they sell due to increasing the supply in the market.
This, a libertarian belives, makes the quality of life for the working
class much better.
It is public, social institutions that do the robbing. Publicly traded
corporations, which are limited liability entities not connected to a
private individual pool enormous wealth, enabling them to artificially
deflate prices to destroy competition, then to raise them in the end
when they get a monopoly. Then the workers, with no other option, are
forced to unionize, driving the price even higher still, which passes
the cost right back to the worker, especially the unskilled workers who
The main point of debate here is that accruance of wealth does not have
to come at the expense of someone else. In the event that one persons
gain of private property requires stealing anothers, this is a crime.
On this I agree, however to say that increasing your production of items
to accrue more wealth is tantamount to venture capitalism is where these
well-intentioned thinkers slide off track.
The concept that the workers will then be paid less while the business
owner profits is a failing business model. In a situation where limited
liability corporations are not allowed to profit(19th century america),
private companies who refused to pay a great wage would see a suffering
in the quality of goods, resulting in a decline in profits. The market
would destroy such a company, and he would be liable for all the risks
Ultimately, this argumental flaw comes from semantics, not intent.
Anyone who believes a libertarian is "pro-corporation" has not read any
of the fundamental readers assigned to the movement. It is one sketchy
ruling on applying the 14th ammendment to corporations that makes this
possible, which any libertarian would like to see overturned. Big
businessmen need the ability to fail when they are not productive, which corporate
liability loopholes do not allow.
When you consider that application of socialism requires statism of the
highest order, let not the libertarian socialist debate semantics to the
point of confusing him into agreeing with the totalitarian statist.