Glass-Steagall as an act of aggression

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Quote Brutus563:I was introducing myself as an anarcho-capitalist, and MEJ asked me what I thought about Glass-Steagall. I replied that I considered it to be an act of aggression. By this I mean that it is an attempt by some people to forcibly control the behavior of another.

My observation drew this reaction from MEJ: "'Glass-Steagel is an act of aggression'... are you kidding?...smoke a little more"

Now, Glass-Steagall may be something with which you agree or disagree, but it seems hard to make the case that it does not amount to one group of people forcibly imposing the manner in which another group of people may behave. This is not a mutually agreed upon arrangement, but is imposed and enforced with a gun.

My question for the board is whether acts such as Glass-Steagall are seen as (possibly justified) acts of aggression?

I hope this is a legitimate topic of discussion and doesn't result in my being banned.

Firstly - It'll take a whole lot more than the statement of a contrary viewpoint to get you banned here - this ain't Limbaugh's message board, where only like-minded opinion is welcome.

On to your topic - are traffic laws an act of agression? Heck, if I'm caught driving to fast, a guy with a gun actually comes up to my car to talk to me! But that's because I present a danger to other drivers, isn't it?

How about product safety laws? No toxic substances allowed in edible merchandise. Yes, the "invisible hand" will EVENTUALLY prevent that, but how many have to get sick or die until it does? How about if one of them is my wife - or your daughter?

If Glass-Steagall IS an act of agression, it's done for the very same reasons as my two examples above - to prevent the agression of the ruthless (driver in the 1st case, capitalist in the 2nd) from doing harm to others.

Now go read some MORE "truth" from the sociopathic Ayn Rand, Brutus.

mstaggerlee's picture
mstaggerlee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Brutus563:

Over in the Open Space/Lounge/Feedback section, I was having a conversation and a political issue/question came up I thought might merit some discussion.

I was introducing myself as an anarcho-capitalist, and MEJ asked me what I thought about Glass-Steagall. I replied that I considered it to be an act of aggression. By this I mean that it is an attempt by some people to forcibly control the behavior of another.

My observation drew this reaction from MEJ: "'Glass-Steagel is an act of aggression'... are you kidding?...smoke a little more"

Now, Glass-Steagall may be something with which you agree or disagree, but it seems hard to make the case that it does not amount to one group of people forcibly imposing the manner in which another group of people may behave. This is not a mutually agreed upon arrangement, but is imposed and enforced with a gun.

My question for the board is whether acts such as Glass-Steagall are seen as (possibly justified) acts of aggression?

I hope this is a legitimate topic of discussion and doesn't result in my being banned.

Brutus, the best response that I can give is that exchanges in open markets are never egalitarian and mutually agreed upon. Parties on either side of the exchange have differential control over that exchange based on multiple factors which include but are not limited to their relationship to labor, employement, ownership of the means of production AND how much wealth they currently have AND if they are producers (IE they have ownership over the means of production) the amount of the market share they control which can limit the alternative choices the consumer has. All of these factors and many more ensure that within a capitalist free market system (not all free market systems) that NO exchanges are ever mutual in the sense that they have NO elements of force involved.

Thus the premise of your discussion is fundamentally flawed. You believe that as long as the government isn't involved that exchanges are mutual and that there is no force or coercion in market exchanges. That is a fundamentally false belief. Once you acknowledge that, it becomes justifiable to legitimize democratic governments involvement in market exchanges to equalize the power disparity. IE: It is possible to use governmental involvement to make market exchanges MORE mutual by equalizing power differentials.

Now that said, our government is not truly democratic. And I don't mean the "we are a Republic, not a Democracy" garbage you hear from some conservatives. I mean that regardless of the fact that we "elect" representatives in this country, the representatives are more accountable to money than they are to votes. In other words, we operate in a thoroughly cronie capitalist system rather than a democratic one. Thus, many of the governmental "solutions" that result from Congress are actually counterproductive - they often provide more power to those who already have it, rather than equalizing those relations.

The place where Libertarians often go wrong is that they take this as adequate evidence to make absolutist statements about the possibilities and nature of government in general. They start saying things like, "ALL GOVERNMENT FOR ALL TIME AND IN ALL MANNERS OF EXISTENCE WILL ALWAYS BE HORRIBLE!!!" Well, that just simply isn't true. Nothing is that absolute.

It might come as a surprise to you that early scholars in both Socialism and what we now call Libertarianism actually agreed on quite a bit and, in fact, Socialists and Libertarians sometimes even refer to the same people as "fathers" of their particular ideological beliefs. I encourage you to look at some folks who wrote in the vein of market socialsim, mutualism, anarcho-socialism, and what Noam Chomsky likes to call "Libertarian Socialism." They too believe in market exchange, small government, and they do NOT endorse state ownership of industries. However, they do have some fair criticisms of capitalism, wage labor, and certain types of private ownership that you may find interesting.

Best of luck and enjoy your stay.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

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The GOP war on workers has killed again...

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Since the birth of our nation, conservatives have always been wary of average working-class Americans having too much political or economic power. John Adams, the second President of the United States and a Federalist (precursor to today’s Republicans), was very wary of the working class, which he referred to as “the rabble.”

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