Sunday, 13 March 2011

My thought for the day

When capitalism is discussed, it is usually being attacked. It's attackers seem to view it as a strange amalgam of two very different concepts: mercantilism and free trade. These are not only different, they are diametrically opposed.


Mark Wadsworth said...


One thing that proper libertarians can agree with socialists on is that the bank bail outs were wrong.

The socialists say "Because they are evil free market capitalists" and the libertarians take a more nuanced view and says it is "No, actually it is because they are anti-free market evil corporatists (or mercantilists, in your terms)".

Trooper Thompson said...

Yes, indeed. Also you see the same thing in this Mail story:

I think the right term is mercantilism, which puts it in its historical perspective. Powerful, well-connected people have always used government to enrich themselves. It doesn't have certain aspects of corporatism a la Mussolina, such as the cartelisation of industry and the enforced syndicalism of the workforce (this latter is seen in the public sector, to a degree I suppose).