Adbusters: How To Reboot Capitalism?

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For some reason I’ve always had a soft spot for Adbusters, despite the obvious socialist leanings. Probably because they are aligned against the same forces we here at Wealth.net are: the monetary elite and the crony capitalists. Further, the “anarcho” part of us anarcho-capitalists means that other people can subscribe to whatever kind of social(ist) structures they want.

As long as participation occurs out of mutual consent, then there is nothing wrong with socialism. It is when socialism is imposed on all from the outside (or above) “for the greater good” that we wind up a thinly veiled fascism that only serves to perpetuate a self-appointed elite under the guise of “the State”.

I picked up the latest Adbusters this weekend and was surprised (pleasantly? I’m not sure…) to see a full page montage under the banner “How To Reboot Capitalism” – which incorporates the slogan for this website. Their action plan in bullet points:

  • Slow down “fast money”  with a Robin Hood Tax.
  • Revoke Corporate Charter
  • Toss Out The Neo-Classical Economists
  • Ratify a Binding Accord on Climate Change
  • Start Playing the “KillCap” Game
  • Fight for “True Cost” Global Market Regime

It’s not a horrible agenda, there are just some places where us anarcho-capitalists or libertarians would cringe:

Slowing down “Fast Money” with a Robin Hood Tax

Is based on a flawed assumption that taxation is ultimately beneficial to the populace whom is taxed, rather than theft from them in order to sustain the State that levies the tax.

It will always be a bone of contention between leftist activists and people like the libertarians as to what the main problem is: government or corporations.

If both sides can look at the monetary system and agree it’s deeply flawed and only serves a small ruling elite, there may be some common ground found. (See “Special Privilege”)

The ability for capital to flee is essential to starve out-of-control governments and my fear is that taxes designed to slow down “fast money” would inevitably lead to capital controls, locking it into a given country.

Get Rid of the Neoclassical Economists

To this day I still don’t really know what “neoclassical” and “neoliberal” mean, despite having looked the terms up several times. If they mean Keynesian economists, the brainiacs who are awarded Nobel Prizes for prescribing more debt to cure debt hangovers and perpetually scream for “stimulus now” then yes! We agree. Bring back the Austrian School economists is what we say – they acknowledge an oft-overlooked aspect of reality which Keynesian acolytes ignore – they’re called “consequences”.

We Ratify a Binding International Accord on Climate Change

Here we get near the third rail of social discourse and we have to talk about Global Warming (which may or may not be occurring and if it is may not be man made) and solutions proposed to curtail it (a global carbon tax which will create a new class of monetary elite who will grow richer every time anybody else in the world exhales or farts). What alarms me is the witch-hunt mentality around anybody who even questions the assumptions. (A troubling book I recently read around this was Paul Gilding’s The Great Disruption, which I should probably review in a separate post. It’s a good read, but the problem is when you read between the lines of what he is saying, the subtext points inexorably toward a global authoritarian order – a.k.a fascism. He is not advocating for that, but if you examine his arguments, you cannot escape arriving there.)

What can be agreed upon is that the environment is beyond cataclysmic. Resource depletion and pollution are undeniable and obvious for all to see (while global warming and climate change are not. It is important to stress that I am not saying they are not occurring. But it is also important to observe that it is increasingly bordering on becoming a thought crime to question if they are really occurring. And “thought crimes” are bad.)

The ecology and the environment would be well served by a massive push into clean energy and renewables, yet when our political leaders assemble and horse-trade they do not really talk about that, they talk about carbon taxes or cap-and-trade. In other words they devote their efforts to devising systems that further tax and enslave their respective populaces which may or may not solve anything.

The Gulf oil spill and the nuclear disasters in Japan were in my mind the big “go time” signals to humanity. Governments don’t get it, private individuals do and will, and so will the companies they form to do something about it.

True Cost Economics

Here we agree completely. However, the way to achieve true-cost economics will not be through some sort of “tax system” to reflect the true costs of some underlying product or service, but through the abolition of all government subsidies. When you take government subsidies out of the supply chain, every step of it has to adjust its selling price to cover it’s own costs, and out of that you will find the true cost of any economic good or service.

“And young people everywhere start playing the KILLCAP game”

“Killcap” is Adbusters new meme for “kill capitalism”. The original title of this post was “You don’t reboot something in order to kill it”.

But recall the oft-repeated Wealth.net mantras:

What passes today for “capitalism”, isn’t .

Free markets, aren’t.

I lamented before the global financial crisis was at it’s height that the words “capitalism” and “free markets” would become unusable in the aftermath, and that has certainly happened.

Capitalism is not capitalism if it is based on the premise of consumption and unproductive debt. It is not about cronyism. True capitalism is about wealth creation.

Wealth, is the stuff you don’t consume.

It’s the trees you do not cut down, it’s the water you don’t pollute, it’s the land you don’t “develop” and it’s the resources you do not squander.

Ultimately, wealth is what you use to create more wealth.

It is often confused with “money”.

3 responses to “Adbusters: How To Reboot Capitalism?”

  1. duh says:

    You wrote: “… beneficial to the populace whom is taxed.”
    Best to learn the difference between WHO and WHOM.
    Abhor the grammar. Like the blog.

  2. Mark J says:

    Interesting attempt to find common ground with occupy crowd. For the most part, I agree. But you swing and miss on the conclusion. Wealth is not something we need to conserve. Wealth is intangible, abstract, subjective. To a man who has just eaten, food is not valuable. It might even be abhorrent, temporarily.

    Wealth is something each individual defines in his own head. It is not finite any more than man’s imagination is finite.

    And this is what separates we “capitalists” from our socialist brethren. They see a finite pie. We see one that grows.

  3. Waviator says:

    Beautifully written. You show kindness and respect to leftists/statists while succinctly pointing out the errors in their “collective” thinking.

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