Tuesday, March 23, 2010

State versus Economic System

At last it makes sense. Marxist theory has enough truth in it that it was plausible to millions of people. Our foray into the Communist Manifesto revealed some of its inconsistencies but this article completes the work laying it out very clearly for its readers.

The parts on the relation between capitalism and exploitation was especially interesting as that is one of the choice arguments most antagonists of the free market point to when constructing their line of reasoning. As Hoppe says:

"Marxism, contrary to much of the so-called bourgeois social sciences, gets the facts right: There is a indeed a tendency toward imperialism operative in history; and the foremost imperialist powers are indeed the most advanced capitalist nations. Yet the explanation is once again faulty. It is the state as an institution exempt for the capitalist rules of property acquisitions that is by nature aggressive. And the historical evidence of a close correlation between capitalism and imperialsim only seemingly contradicts this. It finds its explanation, easily enough, in the fact that in order to come out successfully from interstate wars, a state must be in command of sufficient (in relative terms) economic resources. Other things being equal the state with more ample resources will win."

Capitalist countries tend to have more "ample resources" because of the productive nature of that system and so the capitalist countries tend to be the won who succeed as imperialist powers. However, that does not imply a connection between capitalism itself and exploitation, but rather that capitalism, like any other economic system, can be used by an exploitive state.

I thought this was an interesting distinction.

1 comment:

  1. I guess even Marx wasn't exempt from committing the correlation = causation fallacy.