Skip to main content

Paradigm Shift

The old guard built this movement. Without them, it’s unlikely any of us would be aware that a liberty movement even exists! This alone is an accomplishment. And the history books will look favorably upon them for it - & justifiably so. Their preference for a political approach however, has been ineffective at bringing about liberty (just take a look around, if you’re still permitted). Progress hasn’t just stagnated, we’ve been losing ground rapidly. It’s time for a paradigm shift. One that moves away from the old way of thinking & instead focuses on teaching people how to opt out of corrupt systems & to build competing, market-based alternatives to state institutions. Like sports teams, ideas also get tired & worn out, old players retire, & new, fresh ideas take their place. In the world of ideas, when paradigm shifts occur, the old guard resists the change at first, but eventually comes around to seeing the benefits and virtues of the new way. This is how progres

Book Review: The Market Loves You | Jeffrey Tucker





As both a libertarian and a student of praxeology, I was somewhat perplexed from the title of Tucker's new book The Market Loves You. Only man acts, in the sense of utilizing means purposively to achieve certain objectives, as the praxeological axiom goes; the market as an aggregate of individuals cannot by itself act, and it is, therefore, meaningless to anthropomorphize the market and to attribute to it certain human characteristics such as the emotion of love or the act of loving. Despite the soundness of this argument, however, one realizes through reading the book that it misses Tucker's point. As a diligent disciple of Ludwig von Mises, perhaps the first discoverer of praxeology, he must surely have a firm understanding of this methodology, and he rightfully commends Mises' masterpiece Theory and History first published in 1957, which delineates incredibly deep insights derived from praxeology (I was coincidentally reading the two books "simultaneously").


The fundamental point behind Tucker's book is that a system of free, voluntary, and mutually beneficial exchanges brings out the best in us as human beings. One acts in order to better one's conditions and the incentive structure in a free market operates such as one has to create value for others in order for oneself to become more prosperous. When the State comes in and interferes, however, it skews this process, both by establishing its own destructive means of acquiring wealth and power and making market exchanges a zero-sum game to a much larger degree than would've been present otherwise. I've written almost a dozen articles on my blog delineating this issue from different perspectives and with different arguments, so I'd like to think I've acquired a somewhat sophisticated understanding of what Tucker is discussing.

There is, however, a fundamental difference between how myself (as well as other free-market Anarchist theoreticians like Michael Huemer and David Friedman) and Tucker approaches this issue. While in my articles and Huemer's The Problem of Political Authority there are systematic and technical arguments, derived from a priori reasoning and empirical evidence to show opponents of the free-market why their objections are misguided, Tucker rather uses the literary strategy "show, don't tell" in the sense that he illustrates dozens of anecdotes of how the free market has provided us with living standards that would have been unbelievable for only a few centuries - and even decades - ago. I think, therefore, that The Market Loves You may be most appropriately compared with Leonard Read's timeless essay "I, Pencil", and can be understood as an elaboration thereof. Tucker is a rather clever fellow, but in this work, he also illustrates that he sees the beauty in the small things in life, tracing one thing after another back to the fact that thousands - possibly millions - of people have exerted their skills and effort into making it possible. The Market Loves You is, in a sense, an appraisal of the market, a manifesto of gratitude, and a deeply elaborate reminder of Read's fundamental point.


This point is even more important than what may be recognized at first glance, however, as it's an attempt to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the practical. As Immanuel Kant asserted, "Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play." What Tucker does in his new book, whether consciously or not, is to interlink the libertarian philosophy with everyday experiences that most people can relate to. Not everyone has a "clock obsession" or think the tick-tock sounds of mechanical clocks are anything else than an annoying disturbance, as Tucker does, but with the great number of anecdotes laid out throughout the book, there must surely be something that any reader has experience with, which can be used as an anchor to incline them to appreciate the small things in life and the processes that have gone into creating them. Through this argumentative strategy, Tucker shows that the doctrine of libertarianism is far from "mere intellectual play", and makes us understand on a deep emotional level how important these ideas are for us humans to prosper and grow.

Though the market as an abstract concept may not love you by itself, our freedom to act through voluntary exchange and charity, to the degree it's untouched by State interference, whether it may be to improve our own conditions, to just help others in need, or a mixture thereof, highlights the best qualities in ourselves and our interhuman connections. It enables us all to a larger degree to take responsibility for oneself, to build up one's skill set, to encourage the development of others rather than seek to push them down, and to empathize with and love one another by recognizing the hardships and blessings they've experienced, as well as the infinite potential which resides within them.

This is how the market loves you, and why you should love it back.

Written by Stefan M. Kløvning and republished with permission from his blog MisesRevived.






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear America, I Won't Be Locking Down

Dear America I won’t be locking down, not that I ever did. And I don’t care about the arbitrary mandates of a geriatric pedophile with a history of dementia. I don’t wear the muzzle or social distance. Nor do I have any plans to start. I won’t be avoiding friends or family & I actively seek out large public gatherings. Needless to say, it’ll be a cold, cold day in hell before the government injects my living body with a foreign substance or keeps me from my family on Thanksgiving Day. You see, I knew from day one that COVID was a hoax. More specifically, when videos of Chinese people dropping dead in the streets were being broadcasted by Western propaganda outlets, it became clear this was essentially a soft coup. As a general rule, anything coming from the CCP should immediately be assumed to be intentionally falsified for malicious purposes. Friends, what has happened is obvious. The political cartel has manufactured a virus because fear enables them to seize power & furthers

In Defense of Left Libertarianism

Marx was right, but Marxism is stupid. Let me explain… Marx’s fundamental critique that the working class is being exploited by the upper class is true. This is so inherently obvious in the modern political climate that I find it bewildering the notion even needs defending. In fact, today, the working class has been so thoroughly exploited that they can now be more accurately termed the working poor . Go to Manhattan, the neoliberal shithole from whence I came - and try to find a worker who both lives & resides there. You can’t. There aren’t any. The elites have successfully used a combination of high taxes & a denial of civil liberties to expel the working class from their homes. Trust me, I am among the expelled. The anarcho-capitalist habit of turning a blind eye to class theory is a grave mistake, as it sweeps real concerns under the rug. In doing so they dismiss the plight of an enormous contingent of the public - labor. No, we agorists aren’t seeking an abandonment of met

Against the LP

Agorism has no room for politics.  The Agora & political institutions can coexist no more than a state of marriage & bachelorhood can coexist. Counter-economics & politicking are likewise mutually exclusive. Frankly, it should seem obvious that engaging in politics & anti-politics is contradictory & self-defeating. It wouldn’t make much sense to get chemo in the morning & smoke a pack of Marlboros in the evening, so why would one seek to destroy the government today, and empower it tomorrow?  Just as a chemist who tests a logically inconsistent theory will experience failure, so too will social scientists & revolutionaries experience failure when they pursue inconsistent theories.  Note that without exception - every gain made by the liberty community in the past 15 years has been produced by the counter-economy & that no other faction of our movement can claim even a small victory . Here’s a brief look at the scoreboard: Whereas the LP & small gov