Defenses of Capitalism or the “Free Market”
I’m working on a “Marxism 101” page (or set of pages) that I want to add to this site. The idea is to present, as succinctly and clearly as possible, why someone today might make the radical claim that there could be just a few flaws to capitalism or the idea of the “free market.”
Part of what I want to do is address the most popular ideological defenses of capitalism, but I want to make sure that I’m selecting the right targets.
Here’s what I’m thinking are the two most popular ideological defenses:
- invisible hand or utilitarian styled arguments alleging that the unregulated market works in everyone’s interests
- libertarian styled arguments about rights to self, property, and fruits of one’s labor or merit
It seems to me that these points require the following sorts of Marxist critiques:
- actually, competition in an open market automatically works toward the exploitation of laborers and labor markets, and, in addition, it appears that many of the American companies who excel in “free markets” are ones that employ illegal means or that participate in obviously immoral or oppressive actions in other countries
- the libertarians’ individualist ideology is fit for a child—libertarians’ anthropology and understanding of self, society, and morality is about as unsophisticated and superficial as one can get; in particular, libertarians cannot understand anything like social privilege or social domination, both of which destroy the libertarian-styled appeals to dessert or merit
So, my question for my readers is this: have I properly identified the two most common ideological defenses of capitalism, as well as the most appopriate place to start crtique?