capitalism is the void

The Left attacks religion, and religion withers.  The Left attacks sexual mores, and they collapse.  The Left attacks capitalism, and it grows ever stronger.  What’s the difference?

What people mean when they say “capitalism” is not trade, production, investment of profits, corporate organization, but the absence of anything else.  What disturbs us about the most inhuman of commodifications, prostitution, is not the presence of sex and money (which are also involved in a marriage), but the absence of anything else.  “Capitalism” is one word that the discontented use to name the void, the encroaching social desert.  Insofar as it is negative, it advances with all of the Left’s other campaigns against constrictive social order.  And insofar as it is negative, the Left’s usual attacks are entirely ineffective against it.

9 Responses

  1. I don’t really know what ‘capitalism’ is, whether it is increasing or has-actually-disappeared.

    What I am sure about is that *bureaucracy* is increasing in size and pervasiveness; and all the bureaucracies are joining-up (within and between nations).

    Everything The Left wants doing, (or, to say the same in different words everything the mass media wants) it demand being done via bureaucracy – the structure of Leftist reality is bureaucratic.

  2. That’s an… unusual way of putting it. I’d say capitalism is that which can be automated, because it is a mechanism. I think this is why Nick Land is thinking in the direction of capitalism giving rise to posthuman AI. Consider the classic central planning vs. price signal system dilemma from Hayek. The Soviet type central planner does not know how best to use a megaton of steel to improve e.g. people’s nutrition: should be assigned to making tractors to grow food with, trucks to deliver it or spoons to eat it with? Needs price signals from the market. But the price signals can be read by software. Offer small amounts of goods at various markets and random prices and see how the demand goes. We need a market to generate price signals, but we do not necessarily need a human entrepreneur to read them. The reading can be automated. Hayek called it the economic calculation problem. You can only calculate on a market. If you have a market, software can do the calculation. Software is good at calculating things.

    So where do we need human insight and wisdom?

    Partially for the heroic innovating entrepreneur, who is operating in conditions where price signals don’t yet exist. How could the customers signal how much they are willing to pay for something that wasn’t even invented yet? It requires insight and wisdom.

    And the government. If the government wants to built up a military, they will do something akin to central planning on a limited scale. And as we saw above, it cannot be calculated how to do it best. So software cannot do it. Instead, for this limited central planning, insight and wisdom needs to be used.

  3. The left is capitalism’s religion like Catholicism was feudalism’s religion.

  4. You may be searching for Moloch.

  5. […] and Altar: Capitalism is the void (November 8, […]

  6. Interesting…
    I read somewhere that a chief aim of neo-con propaganda is to conflate capitalism and free enterprise.

  7. Bonald,
    This is truly a great insight about prostitution and capitalism. Great!

  8. Dividualist,
    “We need a market to generate price signals,”
    But what is market? It is people buying or selling or can you put software even to generate prices?

  9. Good post, makes me miss Zippy. I suspect we will be fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Reds before the end, not so much because they’ve come around but because we’ve both been deemed hindrances to improving efficiency or GDP maximization.

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