Monday, February 27, 2006

Debunking statist concepts - Cooperation

In my ongoing series contra Kangas and statism in general, we continue to the last fundamental concept, which is Competition vs Cooperation. And is it a doozy. Here is the first sentence right on the main text :

In the debate over what type of society is best, conservatives generally favor more competitive societies, whereas liberals favor more cooperative ones.

If my eyes could pop out of their sockets and make a klaxon sound, they would ! Wow ! How can there be a different in social model between conservatives and liberals ? Both favour the taking of resources from private individuals to the state, they just disagree on how it should be used. Both want the free market to continue to exist, as long as they can control and suck as much money and power as possible out of it. Both foster social warfare and the subversion of individuality. So both liberals and conservatives seek to undermine peaceful cooperation as much as they can, just not so much that they lose its benefits.

Of course, it's better sounding to be "cooperative" than "competitive", so as a liberal, Kangas wants to say that his particular belief system is more "cooperative". But the only fully cooperative and competitive system - i.e. that allows both to flourish to their maximal extent, without suppressing them with force - is market anarchy.

Let's go back to the summary.

Humans, like all animals, form cooperative groups to compete for limited resources. All life is ultimately competitive, because the natural tendency of any population is to explode, although it is kept in check by the limited food supply (and other factors). Because there are more animals than food, animals must compete to survive. In situations where the food supply is somehow sufficient, deadly competition falls.

Sounds good enough. Doesn't look like it justifies statism either, though. But Kangas will surely find a way to twist this to justify liberalism, right ? Well...

Liberals therefore advocate the creation of a sustainable economy, where the population is kept constant (through birth control) and resources are used no faster than they can be replaced. The result will be a more cooperative and civil society.

Once again, wow ! This section is the biggest pile of crap I've reviewed yet ! First of all, how can resources possibly be used faster than they are replaced ? Basic economy tells us that, when demand gets too high and threatens to create shortages, prices get higher in order to maximize profit, which lowers demand.

Suppose you have an accident at a widget factory. Right now you have 12 widgets in stock, but next week you'll only be able to produce 6 widgets. Then you sell your 12 widgets - which is more than you can replace. According to Kangas, this is a bad thing and not conductive to cooperation. How ? Assuming that this demand continues, the prices of the next widgets will be higher, because there will be less widgets for the same demand. This is not a bad thing : in fact, it is a necessary thing. Without price as the item of information, consumers would not have to cope with rarity, and potentially dangerous shortages would result. Keeping the information given to us by prices helps cooperation, in fact it is the basis of cooperation in a free market ! Suppressing information or imposing shortages is not cooperative.

It is also extremely unclear how this helps create a "sustainable economy". I would expect a statist to say that restricting offer makes it "sustainable", not restricting demand. But either way, "sustainability" remains a code-word with no meaning or justification, except to take control of a society's economy to suppress material values. No statist has ever been able to define "sustainability" to me except in terms of what restrictions they want to impose on the economy, and Kangas can do no better.

What about this whole "population kept constant" ringamole ? Was Kangas raised up in Communist China ? I don't know where he thinks he lives, but in developed countries we have close to zero or negative population growth ! So where does this even come from ? His main text provides no explanation. If he means the third-world, first of all that is racist, and secondly I'd like to know how he would possibly intend to do that, and how he intends to choose who can have children and who doesn't. Of course we know who he thinks should make that decision : the government. Just like the government controls women's wombs, our stem cells, people's bodies and what they can put into it, and where you can go and how long you can stay.

How well does Kangas think his reproductive mafia is gonna work, when they depend on high population growth to "sustain" their existence because they don't have the technology they need ?

So basically, his plan for a cooperative society is : force people not to have children, and control people's buying habits by force. What cooperation ! A real liberal utopia.