Thursday, November 17, 2011

Metaphorically Speaking

In the last post I pointed out that Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations for the ruling elite. There is nothing wrong with that. The goal of the Wealth of Nations was to show 18th century English aristocrats that freeing up the market would help them in their never ending war with France.

There is nothing wrong with writing for an audience.

The enemies of freedom use the fact that Smith wrote for the ruling elite to falsely frame the free market as if were a tool only for the ruling elite.

If I wrote an article about using a tooth brush to clean grout, would this article invalidate the use of toothbrushes for cleaning teeth?

They are wrong. An unfettered market does more to pull people out of poverty than any socialist scheme.

The enemies of freedom use other forms of misdirection to attack the free market.

Every single time a defender of liberty uses a metaphor, the left traunces on the metaphor, then pretends that the metaphor is the foundation of the free market.

For example, a shopper might say "I am hunting for a pair of shoes." The enemies of freedom will then use that metaphor to claim that the free market is nothing but a predatory environment.

Business leaders have an unfortunate tendency to use war analogies. The enemies of freedom play war analogies to the hilt.

In school I attended a string of classes that played on the the notion that business was a battlefield and that one must dominate or perish.

There are so many books about applying the art of war in business that it turns my stomach.

The free market is not about business war. Wars are a political issue. Wars are about destroying enemies. The free market is about people maximizing the return of their personal assets.

Unfortunately, when business leaders are taught these negative analogies and develop the crazy notion that business actually is war, then they will engage in anti-market behanvior.

Like all systems, the free market is subject to the reflexive paradox. When a market allows anti-market activities, the market ends up negating itself.

Classical thinkers sought to avoid paradox. Classical liberals realized that the key to a free society is to avoid the paradox. One cannot have the freedom to deny others freedom.

Business leader taught the false notion that business is war are apt to engage in activities that deny others the ability to engage in the market.

Overemphasizing the role of competition does the same thing. A businessman consumed with the idea of beating the competition is apt to engage in anti-market activities to destroy their competition. Activity designed to prevent others from participating in the market is anti-market.

The predatory metaphor is innocent until one starts setting up other humans as prey. People hunting for the best running shoes leads to better shoes. When business predators set up their fellow man for a fall, they are directly engaged in anti-market activity.

There is nothing wrong with the use of metaphors as metaphors. The game of pretending that metaphors are the foundational premises of the market leads people to engage in anti-market activities.

When schools teach that business is a war in which one must dominate or perish, the students will take that poison from the classroom into the market and are likely to engage in activities that undermine the people around them.

The free market is not war. The free market is a system in which free people seek to maximize the benefit they receive from their assets. The free market is one in which each free person is seeking to make the best use of their minds, their time, their business connections and any other resources they possess.

This notion that freedom is a war is a myth being perpetuated by the enemies of freedom.

Don't people get it? Karl Marx, the father of Capitalism, wrote Das Kapital in an effort to project false images on the free market. Marx knew that the free market was susceptible to the reflexive paradox. So in Das Kapital (the foundational document of modern Capitalism) he emphasized every metaphor that would lead people to engage in anti market activity.

It is next to impossible to regulate out anti-market activities. Regulation, by nature, is an anti-market activity. Regulatory regimes try to use anti-market activities to control anti-market activities. The end result is, more often than not, even more anti-market activities.

There is no free market in American. Most people have been reduced to wage labor slaving under business warlords playing anti-market games to avoid the competition that would exist in a real free market.

Those wishing to restore the free market have a difficult task.

I believe the first step to restoring the free market is to realize that our schools are controlled by enemies of the free market and that they seek to destroy the free market by projecting false images on the free market.

The champions of the free market need to directly challenge the misuse of metaphors and other false images projected on the free market.

The free market is not a war. It is not a state of total competition. It is not a predatory environment. The free market is one in which free individuals control their own resources. A free person does not have the freedom to take the freedom of others. A free person is encouraged to find ways to make the most of his or her given resources.

Don't you get it? The primary reason that Americans are losing their freedom at every turn is that the enemies of freedom have captured our cultural institutions and project false images onto the market.

To restore freedom we must reject the false images projected on the free market.

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