"Time Will Run Back" - A Novel About the Rediscovery of Capitalism

Discussion in 'Markets & Economies' started by mmm....shiney!, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Have you ever wondered how the roots of capitalism were sown? Why we have a constant supply of newer and fresher ideas for consumer goods coming to market? How has the private ownership of the means of production enhanced the wealth of all in capitalist societies? What are the crucial roles that markets play in reducing waste and enhancing productivity? Why do some entrepreneurs fail yet others succeed?

    In a remarkable novel, reminiscent of Aldous Huxley, Ayn Rand and George Orwell, Hazlitt takes the reader on a journey following in the footsteps of Peter Uldanov, who raised in isolation on a Bermudan island becomes the unwilling eventual heir of his father, the Wonworld dictator Stalenin. From the post-capitalist totalitarian centre of the world Moscow, across the waters to a newly free America and the reinvention of capitalism Peter toils with the notions of how markets and money arise, how prices are allocated and why attempts to manage economies via central planning is both futile and destructive.

    From the preface by the author:
    "Time Will Run Back", by Henry Hazlitt, available in PDF or epub from https://mises.org/library/time-will-run-back-0, or https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0...819154709&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
     
  2. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    "You don't often hear Libertarians promoting their economic ideas when trying to build interest from undecided and undeclared voters because they run the risk of sounding like an extremist fringe. You see, as far as their economic policies go, they only appeal to a few certain demographics, and those demographics are already voting Libertarian or are members of the Republican Party's Libertarian voting wing.



    Mark Rosenfelder describes them as being the "un-Communism"

    Arguably, the Libertarian Party's main defining political ideology is that of the free market and the gold standard. In simplest terms, the free market is a hypothetical concept that economies work best when there is no government intervention or regulation, and that the prices of goods and services are determined by their need by consumers, rather than a regulated market where the government controls the forces of supply and demand as well as introducing and enforcing regulations including environmental and public safety, anti-discrimination, labor laws, taxation, and anti-trust laws which prevent monopolies.

    This insistence on the free market should be alarming to those who don't already subscribe to the idea of the free market, and for good reason.





    In order for capitalism to function at its most basic level, you need workers. You may have employers, but the workers are the backbone of any product or service that is on the market. As it comes with being a worker or an employee, you need to be paid for your work, because why else would you be there, since basic necessities to survive such as food, water, and a home to live in must be purchased. There would be no labor laws or regulation on the safety of the workers; these things would be determined by the employer, it is argued, and if you're not okay with the employer's practices, "you can leave".

    Of course, as history shows, employers were perfectly fine with employing young children and were eager to ignore safety in order to increase their profit. Additionally, sometimes workers can't just leave and find a better job. Certainly workers couldn't readily do so before the implementation of the 8-hour working day when working hours ranged from 11 all the way up to 16 hours a day due to the Industrial Revolution. As history also shows, and which continues to this day, if you just so happened to be anything other than a white male, you would be paid less for your labor."


    http://www.unholyamerican.com/2016/05/libertarianism-simply-doesnt-work.html
     
  3. radiobirdman

    radiobirdman Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Anarchy is the only way
     
  4. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I'd agree with that.
     
  5. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    There is a group of anarchists in my suburb and I would have to say that they are the biggest bunch of whining, ineffectual losers that I have ever come across. If anarchy ever actually came about they would be sitting in a puddle of their own wee crying and begging For someone to protect and feed them. The term "useless eaters" was made for them.
     
  6. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    My definition of anarchy is the absence of political power. There are many forms of anarchy. :)
     
  7. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    But they would be free like Libertarians in Libertarianland.
     
  8. Newtosilver

    Newtosilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/why-libertarianism-fails-2012-12?r=US&IR=T

    "Two recent studies in evolutionary biology (discussed in Scientific American) concern the problem of why not all individuals cheat: "A key problem when trying to understand the evolution of cooperation has been the issue of cheaters."In other words: cheating helps the cheater, so why doesn't everyone cheat?
    One finding ("Generalized Reciprocity") has been that to the extent that individuals in a culture trust and help strangers, the culture itself thrives, but that to the opposite extent, in which it's common to take from strangers without giving proportionally in return, the culture suffers and declines.

    This means that cultures in which cheating is prevalent decline; that's one reason not everyone cheats the more cheating there is, the weaker the culture is.

    Another finding is that "cooperation could be a viable evolutionary strategy when individuals within the group collectively punish cheaters who don't pull their weight."

    In other words: The only type of culture that can thrive is one in which there is prevalent trust, and in which there is also prevalent contempt and rejection of cheaters.

    But what happens when the person who is held in contempt is not the cheater, but the cheater is instead more often admired because cheaters (by definition) avoid the barrier, to their personal success, of adhering to the rules of decency and fairness the rules against frauds and against all other types of theft from others? It's by avoiding those barriers that cheaters win.

    When success itself is admired, regardless of how it is won, then the result becomes what the philosopher Thomas Hobbes called "the state of nature," in which there is "continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

    This is what results when everyone places success above fairness or any other ethical objective. Some people call this "state of nature" "libertarianism," or "anarchy," and they think that this might-makes-right society is the ideal form of "government" (no government at all), towards which the world should strive.

    However, the recent studies in evolutionary biology show that there is actually evolutionary benefit in "the state of nature" only if the culture happens to be one of trust of strangers, and of contempt for cheaters. But how can there continue to exist trust of strangers, and contempt for cheaters, in any "state of nature"?

    It's too dangerous to trust strangers in such a society. Furthermore, contempt for cheaters imposes ethical rules that remove the state of nature, and that replace it with the imposed ethical order.

    This is the problem that libertarian believers must wrestle with, if they are at all serious, instead of just ideological kooks.

    So, rejecting government solves nothing. It's like rejecting food: The real issue isn't to reject food, it's to eat healthful food, and to avoid poisonous food. Similarly, the real issue isn't to reject government, it's to support good government, and to oppose bad government.

    And so, too, the issue isn't whether government should be "small," or "big," but rather that it should be the best size to serve the public, who must bear its costs.

    In other words: Libertarianism entirely avoids the real question, which is: What type of government is good? As an "ideology," libertarianism doesn't even make it to first base: it's fake, from the get-go. That's why libertarianism fails."
     
  9. radiobirdman

    radiobirdman Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Snowflake anarchy :lol:
     
  10. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    The problem with anarchy is anarchists. That only know how to take and complain and they contribute nothing. They hate people that work but they expect those same workers to support them. Anarchy is a cause particularly suited to lazy losers who justify their own uselessness by telling themselves that they are clever and special because they parasitise those who actuallly contribute to civilisation. They would starve within a month without Centrelink.
     
  11. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Beautiful.
     
  12. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Being a libertarain doesn't necessarily mean you're an anarchist. I'm an anarcho-capitalist, some libertarians are minarchist, some are classical liberals.

    Back OT? Please? :D
     
  13. radiobirdman

    radiobirdman Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Not to sure you know what Anarchy is ,
    We all got balls and brains (supposedly), maybe we should use them
     
  14. Pirocco

    Pirocco Well-Known Member

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    Capitalism functions without companies that can legally force customers, alike government.
    That's all it needs.
     
  15. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Anarchists would be a lot more effective if they were more organized.
     
  16. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    In the "Capitalism" thread phransisku was outlining his plans for abolishing interest rates, arguing that they are a reward for doing nothing and result in driving up the cost of living.

    In Chapter 36, Peter and Adams discuss the role that loans play in enhancing productivity and the wealth of society, they conclude:

     
  17. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    People shouldn't judge this book by the person recommending it. I read it a couple of years ago and it is very worthwhile reading IMO. It does for economics what Flatland did for geometry.

    To be clear, it is not a "libertarian" book. It is essentially a book about markets and economies (i.e. the topic of this forum). It is a book that is an easy read written for a general audience. Some of the discussions between the protagonists are on the long side but allows Hazlitt to pursue false starts, bad arguments/ideas, testing hypotheses etc thereby making it far more educational (and realistic in the context of the plot).
     
  18. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I'm not sure how to take that. :cool:
     
  19. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Hazlitt explains that profits are not a net cost that is borne by the community, they are a cost borne by unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Once the costs of labour, capital goods, materials etc are taken into consideration, there is little room left over to assign a profit. The profit that one entrepreneur receives comes from the losses of another.

    If I sell a piece of fish to a customer for $8 that cost me to produce $5, the preference that the customer has shown for my fish comes at the expense of the competition down the road who, whilst bearing the same cost for production for their product as me, has given me their potential profit because they could not meet the demands of the consumer.

    Profits must always be viewed in perspective with losses. In a free-market economy the "obscene" profits of one competitor are offset by the "obscene" losses of another etc.

    At least that's the way i interpret it. :p
     
  20. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    :/ I don't remember the context that this discussion was made in Hazlitt's book. Do you know the page number?

    What I don't like about this explanation is that it seems to be implying there's some sort of zero-sum game between competing producers. This is rarely (if ever) true except in abstract mental models. Ignoring productivity increases (which definitely aren't zero-sum games), if customers are switching from one producer to another despite them both having the same costs of production, then there must be non-monetary improvements in value happening. For example, the preferred producer will have better customer service, be closer to other amenities, better quality cooking, better presentation, a better view or something.

    But I could be misinterpreting what you wrote.
     

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