Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Capitalism versus Markets

Capitalism and Markets
Capitalism… oh, look, you should know by now. But it is worth pointing out that in all their “theories” and formulae the academic front men for corporate power assume an infinite number of producers and an infinite number of consumers. They also assume that money stays put and workers move.This is, of course, completely unreal in a world dominated by a few hundred nimble multinational corporations (see Omerod, or Korten)

Markets go back a couple of thousands at least, but were hedged in by all kinds of constraints about how much- if at all- you were allowed to profit. Often goods were merely traded. It was only with the invention of permanent forms of money that you could think about accumulating large amounts of ‘wealth’.
Markets also formed important social functions, of gossip, match-making, information exchange.
There were also other ways that trade took place besides market- like the potlatch and kula.

Now, the more stupid/dishonest capitalist ideologues play a cheap trick with this. They say; ” Markets= Capitalism. Markets have existed for a long long time. Therefore Capitalism has existed, in different forms, for a long long time. Therefore Capitalism must be part of human nature. ” Neat huh?

But they are wrong on the first point (as we’ve seen) and also wrong in that the word we use for ‘market’ has a whole lot of beliefs and assumptions tied to it that don’t apply to the markets of hundreds/thousands of years ago.

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