Monday, April 09, 2007

A Thought on the Libertarian Party

Having gone through the Libertarian Party website and examined their platform my only large problem was their failure to articulate a position with regard to huge muti-national corporations. They have an email address where they say they welcome questions and I asked them about their position regarding corporations but got no answer. I have noticed that writers like Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman LOVE to denounce what they don't like in government by using the terms "collectivism" or "collectivization". I frankly can't recall reading how they define the term however. I would include the huge centralization achieved by the modern corporation as a prime example of modern collectivization. If they fail to do so I believe I'd consider that an inconsistency. Although people on the right in America LOVE to idolize Adam Smith it is a little known fact that Adam Smith was seriously concerned about corporations if not opposed to their being too frequently chartered. Why? For one rather obvious reason Smith was thoroughly serious about real competition and felt that owners of businesses should be fully responsible for their business practices and this was most likely to occur if they had something approximating face-to-face relationships with their customers as was the case with single owners and partnerships. Moreover, Smith could see the liklihood that corporations might wield disproportionate power over government and thus distort the political process. Any American who doesn't see that that has occurred in the United States really must have their head in the sand or be a died in the wool pro-corporate ideologue. (For Adam Smith's attitudes toward corporations, he called them "joint stock companies", see the 2003 Bantam Classics edition and read Alan Krueger's Introduction.)

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

Good article. Made notes.