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Fishy Conservative Worldview

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A conservative blogger wrote an analogy on Living Jersey which he feels demonstrates the difference between the Democrat and Republican viewpoints on the economy. He’s comparing the economy to fish.

Since we’re in an industrial age, I think sausages might be more appropriate.

However, I’m willing to stick with the fish analogy for the sake of argument. The Living Jersey blogger is a shining example of someone who has swallowed the simplistic narrative that economic disparity is the fault of the lazy and the poor, and that poverty is a lifestyle choice and nothing else. If that is the case, how presumptuous of a politician to propose government programs which not only limit how much money a hardworking American can make, but also infringe on your right to choose to be poor!

Here’s the gist of his argument, if you don’t feel like reading the post linked above. The economy is fish, work is fishing, and the man who fishes 12 hours a day is rich, while the lazy man who fishes only 2 hours a day has just enough fish to feed his family, and yet the Democratic Party would be so brash as to complain that one man has more fish than his neighbor.

I can’t help but thinking if the rich man has to work 12 hours a day and has a house made of fish, I don’t envy him.

Does he see the world as an equal opportunity utopia, where there is one big fish pond where any man may freely take his bounty of fish? Humans interact with eachother (and fish) in a much more complex manner. Someday, somebody is going to have more fish than somebody else. Maybe you’re right, maybe it will be because this man fishes 12 hours a day or more, maybe it’s because he’s smarter or because he’s luckier or what have you. Knowing the world we live in, I’d say it’s more likely that the fisherman who gets ahead will do so by killing a few other fishermen and stealing their fish or organizing in groups to go raid the ones who live on the other side of the pond.

Regardless of how the fish gap begins, those who have more fish are going to do their best to widen it. They will share their fish surplus with merceneries who will enforce one fisherman’s ownership of the pond. Then anyone who wants fish will have to work at his pond, 12 hours a day, catching enough fish to make a big stinking pile for their boss, and yet taking home only what they need to survive, or even less, living on the salted fish their grandparents saved up during better times. Those who can’t get a job fishing will be forced to eat worms or rob fish from their neighbors, and if they try to rob from the self-declared owner of the pond, they’ll be beaten with a trout.

I could go on with this, but I don’t think it’s genuinely worth it. You get the joke. The blogger who wrote the fish analogy believes in the perfection of the free market. Only the strong survive, and we as a society evolve into better fishermen.

Certain market controls do not make a communist society, and it is absolutely necessary. A free market is far from what exists today. You never see conservatives complain when the government takes tax money to bail out supposedly important businesses whose own actions threaten their existence. Even today, we’re bailing out banks with public money because they irresponsibly rode market bubbles to make temporary profits, and why? Because our system of credit is so important to maintaining the status quo, where some people own the pond and the rest are forced to fish for them. The very existence of government-endorsed currency is an infringement of the free market ideology. If we want a free market, we would have to print money ourselves, and we would be responsible for convincing others that it was worth something.

Here‘s a more in-depth analysis of my opinion on government aide for the poor.

Living Jersey, go fish.


Written by Alex (Capitalocracy)

August 4, 2008 at 1:22 am

2 Responses

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  1. So enjoying your posts. Isn’t a pure free market a simple extension of the survival of the fittest doctrine that the left holds so dear? If evolution was so effective as to produce a race of reasoning, opposing-digit carrying, techno-crats, then leave the markets to it, too. For the government to intervene in a market is like government intervention into the environment – it intervenes to support the well-being of a species but fails to account for unintended consequences and we have extinctions and population explosions.


    September 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm

  2. Thanks. The fish picture is great, right? Really yellow.

    OK, a couple of things to say about the free market: First off, it is just as odd that we leftists believe that competition created complex and diverse forms of life but isn’t always good in the business world as it is that the cons seem to think that evolution is great in the market but couldn’t possibly have happened in the area of biology.

    But the fact is there’s a basic misunderstanding of evolution here. Competition is a part of evolution, but cooperation is an equally important factor. That’s the whole concept of an ecosystem, while some species compete in their niche, they also live within an ecosystem as a whole, and factors such as symbiosis and social behavior, which you see starting with insect species and moving on to more evolved animals, are equally important to biodiversity as “the law of the jungle”. An animal’s cells are made up of a symbiotic relationship among various primordial compounds which could not survive on their own or separate from the animal as a whole, and we have a symbiotic relationship with various independent species of bacteria in our digestive tracts without which we could not survive.

    There’s nothing inherently good or bad about this process. It has created diversity and complexity, but all of those things just exist. We are smarter than the average monkey, but it is our collective knowledge as a species which really sets us apart. Communication, invention, and all that we are as a society of humans is part of a process of both competition AND cooperation over the years, and it is our collective work which will build the world we choose.

    We’re choosing a world where big business is the main authority. It’s not just a free market competition, it’s a direct system to promote big business. We provide tax incentives, we deregulate in areas where regulation has been shown to be a necessity over the years, and we allow big businesses to follow special rules. And if their business practices are unsuccessful, we provide them with taxpayer funding to help them avoid closing down. Why? Because we need airlines and banks and the infrastructure that allows our society to function. But don’t tell me that the free market is naturally perfect and that no intervention is necessary. I believe in a free market wherever possible, but there are just a couple of very simple rules which need to be followed: Pay a living wage, or your workers are worse off than slaves. Provide a safe product and responsible production methods. These are simple rules to follow, and any business that doesn’t do these things is essentially a group of murderers and slave traders.

    I’ll write an article about this topic, I think, when I have the time, but I’ve got some other things on the list first as well as, you know, like work and family and stuff. This article, Fishy Conservative Worldview, is really responsive and inflammatory. Check out Welfare Chiselers, the next article over, for something more in-depth.


    September 1, 2008 at 7:32 pm

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