Saturday, June 27, 2009

Freemarket families???

As mentioned earlier, I am over in England at a family wedding.
But why did I come? Was it because I was obligated to or was it because I wanted to?
Actually a bit of both.
But it all raises something Rick Giles of ACT on Campus has been thinking about.
I hope he doesn’t kill me for mentioning the issue, but Rick has been thinking about ‘freemarket families.”
Now, if I got it right, the concept is as follows.
One friend of his lamented that his sister treat him badly because she was his sister and consequently could get away with it.
But friends could not treat the mate badly because they were more in a freemarket , so they would be dumped if they did.
Rick’s idea was to treat family members more on freemarket principles.
For them to remain part of the family, they had to treat him better. And him having greater choice over the issue, was very liberating. It meant he did not have to put up with ‘their crap’ if that was the case.
Because he could drop them, they would raise their standards and better meet his needs. And he would do the same.
Thus, in wider use, we would see families acting better to each other because they could be dumped just like bad friends.
Thus, parents would not be mean or cruel to their children and vice-versa.
Anyway, I think that is pretty much what he was saying.
In some respects, the idea does have merits, especially if it does encourage families to be better to each other.
But can families be treated as some kind of commodity to be traded. Yes, there is free choice in friendships, but isn’t it the blood ties that make families different.
Rick is right in that there does need to be better harmony in many families, but I am usure whether this ‘freemarket’ is the right way to go, even if in every other sphere, the freedom of choice does deliver better standards all round.
We have heard much about how the freemarket might damage families, but what policies can be developed from its principles to help families work better?
I see leading marketeer Von Mises sees families as essential to a free society, when it is the state and the socialists that seek to undermine the family.
Anyway, I’d be interested in your thoughts and it might help Rick develop his on the subject.


MrTips said...

Rick needs to get over himself and focus on his studies.

Redbaiter said...

Thanks for the Mises link Fairfacts.

Very interesting read.

Wonder how the Libertarianz (great fans of Mises) view that in light of their customary enthusiastic support for Progressive anti-family policies?

(in the delusion such policies are somehow going to advance individual liberty)

Bullitt said...

I dont get how this is different to any family. I get on fine with all mine so I see them when I can.

Some familys are nasty to each other so they never see each other or only on really limited circumstances such as funerals.

How is this different?

WAKE UP said...

I'd like to know what Rick's family think about him.... :)

Mr Dennis said...

I think that the only legitimate place for socialism is within the family.

To clarify, capitalism and socialism should not be competing philosophies, but just important parts of life. We care for each other within a family as a VOlUNTARY socialist unit. The reality is that we have no obligation to care for each other as we do - we could just walk off tomorrow (and many people do). But within a family, the members tend to give to each other according to need rather than ability, out of either love or a sense of obligation.

People may also form wider groups that function as a family - such as a church, a club, or to be extreme, a commune. Such institutions are also perfectly ok, because membership is again voluntary - people choose to care for each other in a socialist fashion.

However families and individuals interact with the outside world through capitalism - and this too is perfectly natural and just how life works.

Socialism is only a problem when it is mandatory - when the State takes your money by force to give to another. There is no justification for such coercive socialism, and it is an artificial distortion of something that is otherwise a natural part of life.

So just as I believe society starts to break down when socialism is taken out of the family and into the government, where it does not belong, I'd also think families would start to break down if they adopted capitalism.

The socialists are wrong not because socialism is inherently wrong, but because they attempt to extend it to all facets of life. In the same way, Rick is incorrect to attempt to extend capitalism to all facets of life.