Yesterday I started discussing how a communist utopia is unattainable because of the lack of incentives to produce necessities for human survival. I offered anarcho-capitalism as an alternative, which would bring that “utopia” into reality. While some people would inevitably have more than other people, the reason I am calling the outcome from an anarcho-capitalist society “utopia” is because in such a society there would be enough extra production that no one would go without necessities. And what’s more, is that an anarcho-capitalist society would distribute this “excess” in a more efficient way than government does, in order to eradicate poverty, without discouraging future production. The reason for this, in a nutshell, is because it would be each individual’s choice to decide where their extra resources went.
And this is why hippies or communists don’t want an anarcho-capitalist society: because they can’t let go of control. They want to control how much people produce, and control how much they can keep for themselves. They want to control energy sources, and carbon output. Get rid of the control, get rid of the force, and we can all live happily together. And its okay, hippies can still choose to sing kumbaya together next to the campfire, no one’s going to tell them to stop.
So let’s start by getting back to the wheat example. If you grow an acre of wheat, and the government takes half of it, that means you really only have half an acre of wheat to live off of. You sell some, keep some, trade some, and manage to get everything you need for the year. Now imagine if the government didn’t take that half acre. Your yearly net worth just doubled, so you are able to buy everything you need, plus some. This extra supports the carpenter who you buy handcrafted furniture from, and the fruit importer who you can now afford to patronize. Not only do you have more, but the economy is booming because you have more product to inject into it, in exchange for others’ products and labor.
The result of this is that there are fewer poor people in the first place, because the fruit importer needs to hire more shippers, and the carpenter needs to hire more apprentices. The ripples keep going though, as more people are employed to mill wood, and more people are employed to grow and pick fruit. But even after all this extra economic activity, you still have some wheat left over. Some can be stored, but that costs money too, so you ship some to your brother who had a tough year with his cattle, and you give some to the local church who hosts dinners for the needy. This isn’t the only charity that your grain has produced however, because the carpenter and the fruit importer also made more this year, since you got to keep the full product of your labor, the whole acre of wheat.
And those government workers who were supported by the half of your wheat that was taken, they now need to find productive labor to go into. Their job with government was not necessarily unproductive, but when they must find a market for their labor, the excess that went into funding the government is cut. Now it takes a fraction of your wheat to get the same benefits that the government delivered before. You and 5 other area farmers decide to hire police to protect your crops, so you all chip in a bit (and the neighbors who couldn’t afford to chip in also benefit from the cop’s presence). A police officer who was once paid by the government is now paid by local farmers. And his budget does not bloat with needless equipment purchases, mandates, and costly details because business has to give the best bang for the buck, or competition will replace it.
EPA officials decide they still care about the environment, so they start a website that reports on the state of water and air in different places. They make money on the web traffic, and from individuals and businesses who hire them to test land that they might want to buy, or the quality of water in an area. These former EPA employees can use public pressure and boycott to get to their environmental goals, instead of government force—true democracy at work! And now website advertisers and individual customers are paying for it to get done. Again, since this is a business, it needs to balance its budget, and trim the waste. Only the most productive and positive environmental agendas will survive, and the unethical bullying will stop.
So these government workers are now producing, and producing more efficiently then before, adding even more into the economy. Just allowing that wheat farmer to keep all of his labor and product made net production for the entire country increase. And next year, he might decide to plant even more, since every second of effort will be rewarded, not confiscated.
Everything that used to get done, still gets done. The difference is that the free market organized the labor and production so that nothing gets wasted, and so that you must produce in order to consume. But since there would be no government pretending it was taking care of the poor, this responsibility would fall on society’s shoulders. This is not a problem however, because people would have so much extra that they could easily give more to the poor. And we’ve already established that there would be fewer poor in the first place, because more jobs would be available with a net increase in production. The rising tide would lift all ships.
If we look at the internet, we get a chance to explore certain types of free markets, like the market for information. There is so much competition that with hardly any effort, we can find reliable sources for pretty much anything we want to learn or research. This is free to us when it used to cost tax dollars to run a library that could only provide half the information you needed, and take twice as long to find it. And why is it free to us? Because the market has figured out a way for the person who provides the info to benefit, as well as the consumer. An advertiser pays the infopreneur to show products on his website to consumers who visit, who also sometimes find an interest in whatever is advertised. Everyone wins! The website owner gets money for the info he provides, the consumer gets the info he was looking for, and the advertiser gets a targeted market to sell to. Otherwise everyone in a society is paying for a library, which only a small fraction of society would use.
Imagine a world where 30 hours is a normal working week, and most jobs could be done from home. What would you do with all your extra time? Write? Grow a garden? Woodworking, hiking, sports, time with family and friends? Imagine a world where the poorest people live in free apartments, provided by advertisers. Imagine free samples on every corner, everything from food, to hygiene products. Imagine being able to travel the world for practically nothing. Imagine if the lowest standard of living on earth was that currently enjoyed by those in America who make six figures.
This is possible. Not through magic, not through lofty ideals without incentive, but through letting go of control, and allowing each individual to do what individuals do best: learn, produce, pursue happiness, pursue comfort, joy, and love. Individuals will organize themselves to get what they need, in exchange for providing others with what they need. We need to remove the shackles on labor, remove the shackles on production, and let go of our desire to force, and this could be paradise.
So this is just something to think about, since we are hardly ever exposed to ideas that involve an absence of government. We are so conditioned to think that a government is necessary; try thinking outside the box. Be a true rebel! And subscribing to the stale, debunked theories of communism is not rebellious, its actually cliche. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on the quest for utopia! We just have to be more realistic in our approach of how to achieve it.