Entrepreneurship in a generic way can be understood as the culture of entrepreneurship, that is, designing and working on projects and initiatives, be they cultural, scientific, technological or a business. These projects can have different results, such as ending in different material concretions, in generating wealth, in other projects, or they can fade away and not result in the expected way, although without doubt, in both cases, there are valuable and diverse learnings. Entrepreneurship is something positive for personal development, for individual life projects, which can have an impact at the level of collective well-being. Different is getting involved in entrepreneurship because by being so one is “better”, when it feels like duty, because it is judged culturally as important and what gives meaning, even if it is not what one wants. Nowadays, this dichotomy can be seen between “those who do” and “those who do not”, giving value and self-esteem to the former. When entrepreneurship becomes that, one becomes a slave of unwanted demands to be happy or to pursue personal well-being. And so, for this reason and others, entrepreneurship usually has mixed perceptions, some claiming that it is a way to enslave people, to make them believe that they are valuable or useful, as they become entrepreneurs and generate a high impact benefit for society, and then we have others encouraging their practice as a way of genuinely self-realizing. Greater still are the disagreements of opinions regarding capitalism, that system often criticized and fiercely defended by a certain group of people, where the philosophical bases are played which allow in a certain way the expansion of entrepreneurship: the freedom to produce and trade and private property. In this sense there are usually a series of discussions, some around truths, others around myths or false ideas about the system. For example, if capitalism does not make the poor person rich, how is it that the capitalist countries lifted millions of people out of poverty? How is it that poverty has been decreasing worldwide over the years and even more so in countries where capitalism has been better applied? At the same time, we have the opposite example, the socialist or communist countries have implemented policies contrary to capitalist principles, and this has meant disastrous results. Which means that although it is said that capitalism is not the best, it is in any case a necessary condition to guarantee the possibility of a better standard of living, and from there build other models.
In this essay, of which this is the first part, I will reflect on the reasons why I consider capitalism wrongly judged, and why, from my consideration of ethics and human well-being, capitalism is a model of great importance and relevance to optimize personal reward in the long term.
What is the free market?
A great current problem that exists in the debates about capitalism in general is that much is talked about the free market, but little is what is spoken having defined what it is. People talk about the free market, the regulated market, that the market alone does not guarantee the needs of people, or that it does, or that the market left to itself can be destructive, discriminatory, alienating the people and their dignity. However, we talk about the market without presenting a clear idea of what it means, and by the statements made, it seems to be treated as an abstract entity that lives out there in the streets of Wall Street, and people end up making affirmations about it that are not the case.
What is the market really? The market refers to individuals, real, tangible, exchanging goods and services with each other. It is not an abstract entity that lives there outside, detached from people, the market refers to us, individuals, exchanging goods and services. The free market consequently means individuals exchanging goods and services with each other voluntarily, through agreements freely established by the parties involved, not subject to coercion or subordinated to the opinions and wishes of others. The market that is not free or is regulated as a consequence is the opposite of the above, it means that in at least some dimension of the activity of the people (depending on the particular desires of those who impose and establish conflicts) there is a deal between individuals that is forced, not voluntary, subordinated to the interests or wishes of some, a treatment where a third party imposes unjustified conditions based on the particular wishes of that third party, transforming people not into independent individuals, acting freely according to their criteria, but as means for a determined purpose
Understanding what the market is, we truly understand what the notion of regulating or controlling it really means, controlling the freedom of the people themselves. If we consider the possibility of reaching high reward states as an ethical criterion, this contributes to limit this possibility and does not help to create a better world of independent beings (see the notion of high reward states in my work “Proposiciones” – currently only in Spanish language).
How is the free market ethically justified?
In my aforementioned work “Proposiciones“, I describe “the high reward states” as a fundamental ethical criterion, and the possibility of them, as criteria to guide the political organization of a society. In that sense capitalism is justified in that it allows the possibility of such states.
The market itself, people exchanging goods and services, does not guarantee that what they want will be guaranteed automatically, but that is a matter of the nature of our existence in the end, not a limitation of a particular social-economic system. Many things we want today by nature must be created, produced by particular individuals, since they do not exist in reality as such. We can think of the things that critics of the free market say that the market alone does not guarantee work, housing, health services, education, etc., all these things are offered, produced by people, reality does not provide them by itself, and no system can provide them automatically, because it requires the productive work of individuals for obtaining such things. That people have the possibility of using goods and spaces for their own purposes, that people have the possibility to act according to their criteria and that they are defended against the denial of such possibility in a conflict, is a factor that guarantees that people can, if they wish, carry out actions to produce such things as housing, work, etc. The maximum that people can aspire to is high reward states, such as self-esteem, and it is essential to self-esteem, to the complexity of what we can do and give rise to, that individuals achieve what they can achieve and want to through voluntary dealing with others, independently, since dependence, force, conflict, are forms of denial of self-esteem, they do not separate us from the easy, they show that one can not live or achieve one’s goals without attacking or controlling others, self-esteem requires one to overcome this.
Now, it can be argued that it does not make sense that there is such a possibility, to the extent that at the same time there are poor people for example, this problem is addressed in my previous essay “The fallacy of poverty and the utilitarian justification of freedom“, where I emphasize that this dichotomy is in fact false, since the possibility of high reward states channeled through capitalism is the way to fight poverty, in addition to the fact that the fundamental criterion is still high reward states, rather than eliminating poverty itself, while eliminating poverty as an absolute criterion even to the detriment of high reward states of many people is not a desirable state or can be considered ethical.
The conflict goes hand in hand with a short-term reward, which in the long term implies a destructive state for one and for others. Consequently, if one seeks high reward states one will defend one’s possibility to use goods and spaces for one’s purposes, one’s possibility to act based on one’s criteria, that is, a free market, capitalism, in the closest possible way given the circumstances, a system of true individual freedom.
The great problems in the world are not the result of individual freedom, but of the conflict imposed on individuals, I would say that by people seeking such an easy and short reward, and destructive in the long term, a conflict that makes the desire and interest prevail not of the strongest, the most creative and capable, the ones with the highest self-esteem, but the desire of people whose destructive reward is to destroy the best, and which ends up giving way to decadence and crisis.
Those who say that to guarantee work, housing, health services, etc., the free market is not enough, they cannot also argue that regulation and control serves to guarantee such things, because such things are not achieved through conflicts, the productive work of people is required, their intelligence and skills, goods are not guaranteed automatically. And for that reason it happens that as we control the productive activity of the people in order to guarantee these things, it ends up limiting considerably the possibility of people obtaining them, and thus the optimal state vanishes. In many extreme welfare cases, it ends up generating a culture where many want in essence that others provide them with certain goods and comforts, and they take it as their right, in the sense that people owe it to others to provide those things, leaving aside the culture of personal work, self-effort, the development of skills, the contribution of knowledge. This is totally opposed to self-esteem, and is seen in situations of marginality, where people lack personal life projects. One does not reach high reward states in that way, and those who are subjected are denied the high reward states, they are made to live not to fully enjoy their time, but a part of it is stolen by others, maintaining a system of dependence, where one has to carry on his or her back the fulfillment of the wishes of others, this does not generate the same degree of enjoyment, of long-term reward, than under a situation where the individuals are independent and do not have to carry with the wishes of others, where one accepts some interaction with another for their own interests, their own criteria or for their own enjoyment.
A true free market, a true capitalism, as it has rarely existed, does not have its reason for being by an invisible hand that generates the greatest benefits, nor is it an end in itself, the end is the maximum that life can manifest, high reward states, and only a system where one can use goods and spaces for their purposes, where one has the possibility to act according to one’s criteria, where an entity like the State defends against conflict, allows the possibility of such high reward states.
An economic system may have a moral justification, but based on a criterion of what represents the moral. An economic system may have a justification according to certain moral criteria, but it may not be justified according to other criteria. That aspect must be taken into account.
Capitalism and dignity
Many things have been said about capitalism, like it attacks the dignity of the human being, a notion sometimes very diffuse, in my opinion, because it is manipulated to conform to the criteria that confirms or rejects an argument. Does it really threaten dignity? And what about freedom? It generally happens that those more dignified systems proposed deny the freedom of individuals. What about the state in which our ancestors lived thousands of years ago? Was it a dignified life? There was no knowledge and technology that we have today, there was no possibility of dealing with the many conditions that a subject could suffer, getting food was an essential concern, the life expectancy was short, and we can add many difficulties, does it mean that for most of the history of the human being, the fundamental human dignity of which so much is spoken, did not exist? What is a dignified life then? This implies the fact that given knowledge and production have increased the standard of living, if we continue along this path, and at an accelerated pace, and if dignity is a question based on the knowledge and technology obtained by people, we could say that currently even the richest people, who have the greatest resources, do not live with dignity, in comparison with the standard of life that people will have in the future.
The responsibility of the free market and poverty
We attribute responsibilities to the market as if it were an abstract entity detached from people, their ideas and actions, on certain issues such as poverty or wealth, the presence or lack of justice, inequality or equality, etc. As we emphasized before, the market refers to the individuals and the exchanges they make. If we are going to attribute responsibilities to the market we must bear in mind that it is people as one is assigning responsibilities, since the market refers to the individuals. We can also talk about a place: “the market” (where things are exchanged). Let’s think about these questions. If one invents a product and exchanges it for another, in what sense does this produce poverty? In what sense does it generate inequality? It is one thing to produce and exchange and another thing is to steal and exchange stolen things. Why not just talk about people who steal? Why would the entire market be a bad thing? In a free market theft would be penalized, a free market does not mean that a State does not intervene to defend the subjects against theft. Theft generates poverty, theft is fought. But the control and coercion outside the defense of the individual, of its possibility of reward, in what sense avoids poverty? If we consider poverty to be undesirable, we must attack it seriously. If a subject earns 1000 dollars a month and another 400, and take from the first 300 and give it to the second, now having an equal income (700 dollars), we are not fighting poverty (no doubt an income of 400 dollars does not have to mean poverty, this example is only to clarify this point), poverty as such is not combated, because although one of the people now earns 300 dollars more, the first is now poorer, we have not really fought poverty. Poverty decreases when the one who earns 400 earns more and the first one does not lose by that or wins even more.
Let’s think how nowadays inequality is usually emphasized as the main problem, the problem of inequality is discussed, figures and images of how the poorest of the world live compared to the richest, and the conclusion that expected is how bad inequality results. But if everyone were like the poorest there would be no inequality and yet we would not be in a better situation. Why? Because the real problem, poverty, shown in these comparisons, which is present in them when people talk about inequality, is not combated. For some reason the discussions focus on the bad of inequality when the real problem, poverty, is in the background. And if it is said that inequality is worse than poverty, is it preferable that we all be poor but equal? That we discard the general level of life of the advanced nations but that we are equal? Would we really be better? And if inequality is the main bad thing, why not fight it in other aspects, not only in the goods that a subject has? Why not look for everyone to think the same, want the same thing, behave equally in different situations, even if they think poorly, want to hurt themselves, or the behaviors are not appropriate for the specific situation? There would be less inequality in this aspect, but would we be better? We speak of a continuum, we are giving a particular meaning to equality, that of similarity, because someone is equal to another in one aspect or not, there is no more or less, if we consider equality as equivalence. One can say that we should not rule out the general standard of living of advanced nations but reduce the gaps between rich and poor, but what will be fought? Inequality or poverty? If we fight poverty we must understand what this implies, how to truly fight it, not an appearance of fighting it.
The issue has never been inequality or the disparity of material goods, if the rich destroyed their fortunes, burned their mansions, their yachts, their luxury cars, etc., would we be better? No. When I say that the problem is poverty, I say that this is a problem for the poor before anything else. It is a problem for a subject if his subsistence is threatened, if he cannot pursue certain goals until he reaches a certain material-economic level, so to speak, to be able to do other things. Having made this clear, there is nothing wrong with having extremely rich subjects and others not, because inequality is not a problem, if people manage to have material comfort, they can cultivate self-esteem, do what they like, what problem is there with someone winning millions?
It seems that there is an obsession with status, material wealth or social class. I do not belong to those who preach the renunciation of material goods, or speak of the inferiority of the material over the spiritual, I simply affirm that in today’s culture the product of what is truly essential has been given prime importance instead of the essential: self-esteem-happiness. One earns money as a teacher, that is an expected and healthy product of one’s activity as a teacher, if the most important thing is only the money that one earns as a teacher, and not the very activity of being a teacher, then it is more expected than one consider that one must earn more and more, millions, when one sees that others win that, because it is money that matters. It is more expected that one think that there is something that is not right, when the ideal and the most important thing is the amount of money one earns. If one wants to make money regardless of self-esteem-happiness a good life does not wait for that person. This kind of dissociation and material reductionism, generally reigns, according to what is perceived, in those who affirm that there are things more important than money, but that in the end they seem to be obsessed with social class and economic level. We are told that we must put aside the prevailing materialist, consumerist mentality, and on the other hand we are told that material inequalities are the main problem facing society. Many people, on the one hand, claim to defend and promote culture, the spiritual, proclaim themselves not materialistic, not consumerist, and on the other they are obsessed with the amount of money some earn, and even more, with the question about the amount of money that some should earn, or with the amount of money that should be expropriated from some, etc.
The fight against poverty within capitalism
If someone is going to do something for poverty, it should be in the context of self-esteem and everything mentioned above, as to allow the cultivation of self-esteem and cultivate oneself, that there is self initiative, voluntary consent, otherwise we would be introducing negative elements to our life.
Sometimes it is said that people must be forced to hand over their money, through taxes for example, to fight poverty, even if one does not agree with that, under the argument that if one does not do so we will have a society of poor subjects who will attack the rest, that is, there will be a threat against one. In this way, people must help the poor so that they do not hurt them. On the one hand, an undue generalization is being made, because the fact of being poor does not mean that one is going to commit violent acts against others. But also, this is not different from the concept of bullying, where someone must comply with the demands of an aggressor so that it does not harm him. And what is our attitude towards bullying? We fight it. We do not tell the person that he has to do something for the aggressor so that he does not hurt him. In the same way, having to mandatory help the poor so that they do not attack people is not the right path.
The mercantile rules and the common good
It is said that there are certain mercantile rules, certain rules that govern the free market, and that the intervention of the State serves to repair the inherent damages that these rules entail. But what are these rules? Is it the mutual voluntary agreement, absent from conflicts? The intervention of the State against this type of rules ends up referring almost always to there being a generation conflict, to the limitation of freedom based on the wishes of others, when one is limited, not simply when one limits the action of others (this would merit the intervention of the State, taking into account the criterion of the high reward states, since one is establishing a conflict).
Sometimes it is argued that the intervention of the State in the economic life of people (when such intervention establishes conflicts) serves the purpose of guaranteeing the common good, the function of the State would not be to defend before the conflict and guarantee the possibility of high reward states, but guarantee the common good. Now, the so-called common good can be a dangerous notion. When you think about the history of many nations, it turns out that those that have placed the greatest emphasis on the so-called common good have been the nations that generated totalitarian, destructive states, as in Nazi Germany, Italian Fascism, Soviet Communism or the Mao’s China. The emphasis of those States seemed not to be placed on the individual, on their possibilities of reward, on their freedom, on the contrary, this was sacrificed in the name of the common good, let’s think about the idea of assassinating millions of Jews for the “good” “Of the Aryan race, for a so-called collective good, the good of a group, while the individual good, the possibility of individual reward, is eliminated.
Behind the so-called common good, all kinds of intentions, all kinds of interests, seem to be hidden, and destructive actions are justified by this. But the things that are good, according to the thought of a subject, are for specific subjects, for individuals in particular, the common good seems to be detached from people, from individuals, it does not usually refer to the set of interests of each subject in particular, and in reality it seems that it becomes a facade to hide the interests of some, which are imposed on the freedom and life of others. The notion of “society” refers to a set of individuals, these interact with each other. In this sense, society has no ability to think or value, the set of individuals of a nation is not something that values, those who value are individuals in particular, there cannot be in this case a good for society, a common good, in the sense of something that is valued as a good by an entity that we call a society that refers to a group of individuals, since the set of individuals is not a thinking entity in itself, what thinks is not the whole, but the individual, those who think are the members of the group, each one, individually values, establishes what is good, what represents a good.
If “the good of society as a whole” demands that the life and freedom of the individuals that make up the so-called society be denied, what is the true usefulness of the notion of the common good? That things are done for the common good does not satisfy my interest or those of others, unless one is a beneficiary, in some sense, of the elimination of the freedom of another person. Take, for example, a topic that is often talked about today: immigration. Sometimes it is implied, though perhaps not so explicitly, that if immigrants who come to one’s country are forcibly expelled and their liberties limited, residents will not have to worry that them taking away “their jobs” (it is assumed that jobs belonged by right to a citizen of a certain country, simply because they are citizens of that country, although this is not the case). This is done for the common good, it may be said, but this means the good of some, which demands that the good of others be eliminated. That is, the actions carried out by a so-called good, whether it be called common, group, spiritual, collective, social, racial, national, etc., which implies establishing a conflict, eliminating the freedom of an individual, threatening the possibility of the high reward states are nor right actions. The interventionist policies of a State in the economic life of the individuals that implies to establish conflicts, not to defend the subjects, but that generate an initial conflict, although it is said that they are made for a common good, are coercive acts that attempt against the possibility of high reward states.
The idea of the common good is always accompanied by the notion that the individual good, let’s say selfish, is bad, if so, then the particular, selfish interests of millions of Jews for example, of living peacefully, freely, without being attacked, was bad for the National Socialists, the egoistic desire to improve, to live better, of an immigrant is bad for all those who want to expel them, the selfish interest of a businessman to generate wealth is bad according to the bureaucrats and other businessmen who claim to defend the competition, especially if the product of that said entrepreneur is better than that of his competition, or is bad for the working classes that work with that entrepreneur. This can be applied in many other cases. The common good can take the form, according to the context, of the good of a race, of a nation, of a whole group of countries, that of bureaucrats, of a so-called social class, of the poor, of the proletariat, of the workers, of the middle class, or even the good of entrepreneurs, or can be the good of a religious group, of the planet Earth in general, etc.
The utility of State intervention
We must think carefully when it is said that the intervention of the State in the economy, through regulations of it, serve for the development of society, since the advances arise in essence (ultimately) by individuals activities, that is, by the work of the individuals, of their creations, of their productive achievements, of what they are capable of thinking and the actions they carry out. The State can help to finance a project, yes, but without the ideas generated by those involved, any help that the State wants to provide would not serve anything. The State can invest money in an area, for example, it can train people for a task, but that would not be useful without the skills or competences of certain people, what particular individuals have achieved and who are responsible for instructing others. On the other hand, in the process of making an investment, the State must take control of the property of other people (through taxes for example), this goes against the maximum possible reward states, perhaps one does not even agree with the investment in question, perhaps one assesses it as wrong or undesirable, however one is forced, based on the coercion exercised by the State, to finance such investments.
Teaching us that we should collaborate or cooperate, that this is a virtue in this case, is something that becomes enormously useful for the State, we must collaborate in giving our money, even if we do not agree with what they want to do with it. Accepting the notion of collaboration can serve many purposes. If someone does not agree to pay taxes for a certain purpose, whether it is an end categorized as “good”, “fair” or “positive”, the person is labeled as non-supportive, selfish, dogmatic, etc., and although one does not agree, one will be taxed for that purpose anyway. If someone took a similar approach in their work, say, that collaborates doing a task with which one disagrees, or emphatically rejects, to the point of not finally not collaborating and even quitting, one at least has the possibility of not collaborating, at least one is respected one’s voluntary consent and the particular ideas of the oneself, one is not chained to the office table and forced to fulfill this task, like a slave. Although it is true that resigning could mean a problem for the person, since one is left without work, the problem of not “collaborating” with the State is much greater.
It is also argued that State intervention serves to protect us from the crises that arise from freedom, that is, from the free market. However, when one studies the economic history of nations, it seems as if the great crises were the result of economic interventions by the State.
The distribution of income is something that is a concern of the State, especially the fair distribution of it. One problem is the fact that income is considered to belong to an entire nation. The rent, in fact, is what is produced by individuals and what is obtained by the services offered. This does not belong to everyone, but to particualrindividuals, the property is always private (you can see my previous essay on propertyto see this point). The distribution of the rent could be considered as a careful selection of words that conceals in fact a robbery, or an undue appropriation of the goods of the individuals, who are the true owners of the rent. One does not own something that another subject has produced, something that sometimes not even oneself has consciousness that it has been produced. One can say that the property right is somewhat limited. I have spoken of small exceptions to the defense before the conflict for the defense of the high states of reward in my aforementioned work “Proposiciones“, but outside of these few exceptions (such as that you can not use your home to harm other people just because it is your property), what are those other limitations on property rights? The exceptions of which I speak are in accordance with the high reward states and in fact favor the possibility that people can reuse spaces and objects for their purposes. What are those exceptions that others speak of? Who limits the right of property? With what authority? If a subject does not have the possibility of owning something, why else would he have it, or why another could seize and possess it without the State defending that person, or worse, be done so with the help of the State. The property is not completely eliminated, as I mentioned in the previous essay on property, only in one moment a subject would take over the property of another.
It is sometimes asserted that a regulated market, through certain policies, favors consumption, which fosters prosperity, since it facilitates that large portions of the population have money to buy things. But where does that money come from? We cannot spend on something that has not been generated. Perhaps this is more evident in primitive conditions, so to speak, if we are on a desert island, we cannot consume a fish without first having obtained it (by means of a fishing pole that we must have previously made, for example). If that incentive consumption that is talked about is based on the production of others, then there is a conflict. As we cannot consume without having produced before, who consumes more than what he produces generates a cost for another. That cannot give rise to any prosperity. If there are two subjects on a deserted island and one is in charge of providing materials for making fishing rods while the other obtains the food thanks to such material, if the first one begins to consume more than what it produces, that is, if the food that is received is greater than what can be generated with the material it provides, this only happens because there is saved food, but eventually it is exhausted, in the process that would imply a cost for the one who obtains the food, the extra consumption of the first subject is at the expense of the second reserved food for its own consumption. If the extra consumption were to increase, eventually the fisherman would no longer have food for himself, and if he does not allow himself food, he can no longer produce. If it were a single subject who obtains food and also the resources to obtain it, that the other subject consumes more and more of what is produced, eventually he could not produce more, he would not have the capacity to maintain production. The same would happen in civilization, with the difference that these facts about consumption and exchange, which favor or destroy production and prosperity, better identifiable in the desert island, are not so clear and appreciable in the complexity of modern civilization, but these facts are still present. Prosperity goes hand in hand with production, first of all, and that it is sustained or improved over time. Consumption without production generates costs, and if progress is made gradually in this sense, the final result is destructive.
The myth of the cake of wealth
It is said that in the free market more and more people receive less of the cake (the wealth of a nation) and that this generates inequality. It is sometimes thought that the amount of wealth is a fixed amount, this is not true, because the so-called cake can be enlarged, the wealth, the values, available today, are greater than 200 years ago, this is so, to the point that even if one receives less percentage of such cake, if it expands more and more, one can be in fact receiving more wealth with a lower percentage of the cake than in a higher percentage of it in the past. In this sense, it is sometimes asserted that if we wanted to equalize the entire world population to the standard of life of the average American, we would need at least three or more Earth planets. This also reflects the conception of wealth as something fixed. The materials or resources that the Earth presents are finite, but the potentiality of them, what we can do with them is enormous. One thing are the resources (finite) and another thing is wealth, which has a much greater expansive potential, and we cannot not say exactly that it is finite. If one were in the early nineteenth century, one could say that for that time, with the wealth available at that moment, for the entire population to live as the richest there would need to be two or three more planets, and today the Average American has more luxuries than the wealthiest of that time. Do we now have more than one Earth? No, we have simply updated the potential of this Earth, we have produced and generated new and more values.
But there is another misconception regarding these aspects. One does not receive a part of a cake, one does not keep “the wealth of a nation”, wealth is generated, belongs to individuals in particular, wealth as the new values generated by people. Individuals do take the materials to generate those new values, and they can do so, and there is no justification in reality that ultimately says that a material belongs to someone in particular if it has not been taken before, or to a group of people in particular or the whole society (see my previous essay about property). Think of the notion of wealth distribution that we analyzed earlier, individuals produce first of all, what they possess is generated, through thought and actions. People take the material that exists on this Earth and thereby generate values. As I mentioned in the essay on property, something does not belong by nature to a subject as a condition of reality, one does not have a justification in reality of taking what another has produced. Sometimes it is proclaimed that people should receive more of the cake, but have they produced the value they want to obtain? So let’s remember the example of the island, what happens when there is no proper exchange, and one part generates a cost for the other? Also, again, the wealth is not of a nation, the cake is not global in the sense that it belongs to all the subjects that inhabit a country, the wealth is of particular individuals and is produced by individuals, something that a person has generated belongs to this, not to all members of a society, and one has no justification in reality, as an end in this, ultimately, to which one can appeal to say that what can be done with the property of another, as to claim part of what another has produced (see essay on property).
Need and capacity
Sometimes it is stated that people should receive (incorrect notion, one produces), according to their need and not according to what one produces. We have mentioned that one produces before anything, receiving where there is no production can refer to an act of charity or robbery, the rest is exchange. I refer here to values generated by the individual, this takes originally the material that needs to produce, this material is already on Earth, the person does not generate it. On a desert island it is more evident how one cannot obtain these values without producing (if one does not produce a fishing rod one will not get it), in a modern society it seems as if it is more difficult to notice this aspect. Whoever gets something according to his need, without producing and exchanging, is taking what another has generated, there can be no other way. If there is no voluntary consent involved in this fact, what there is refers to a conflict. Some of them come to force others to work and produce what they have not produced on their own, and this entails a cost for the people in general, which will eventually affect the recipients, because when there is no longer anyone who can keep fishing, given the costs, the rest is left without food. If it is asserted that the free market does not take into account the need of people but what they produce, and this generates inequality, the regulated market involves transforming people into a subtle and perhaps concealed form of slavery, but slavery in any case, because people are forced to give what they produce without their consent. But also, who is the enlightened individual who determines what is part of one’s need? Who determines what is the need of someone in particular? And who is awarded the authority to decide what someone needs and ensures that what is needed is received? There are people playing the game of being the owners of others, who believe are legitimate to decide for others or to use others as means for their ends, and who claim to be such authority.
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