Brains are delicate things…
Capitalism and Laissez-Faire
Again, capitalism is about private ownership of the “means of production.”
Laissez faire from the French for “to leave (alone) to do” is about the State staying out of your face, which has rarely if ever happened. Capitalists whine about state interference in the form of regulation and taxation, but actually welcome regulation as a way of keeping competition at bay, and exist on huge tax payer gifts in the form of military contracts, (and the protection of oil supplies provided by the Pentagon), research and development funds via universities, government purchasing and bail-outs if they are deeply in debt.Thus modern ‘capitalism’ is best described as “socialism for the rich”
(Socialism; a system in which everyone’s interests are looked after from a ‘common pool’ of wealth.)
And if you look at what Margaret Thatcher, alleged queen of laissez-faire, did, you see an increase in the security and surveillance apparatus of the State, and social authoritarianism telling people how to live (Victorian values etc.) and greasing the wheels for the rich. Blair continues this- free movement for corporations, not for humans.
[UPDATE: 2011. Since this was written, ten years ago, we’ve now had the 2008 crash and subsequent bailouts. The point is more easily made…]