against free market_Outline - Notes: Fitzhugh : What is...

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Notes: Fitzhugh : What is wrong with the free market “When we look to the vegetable, animal, or human kingdoms we discover in them all a constant conflict, a war, or race of competition, the result of which is, that the weaker or less healthy genera, speacies and invididucals are continually displaced and eterminated by the stronger and mor hardy. Nature is perfecting its own work. We, however witness the war, but do not see the improvement.” a. It is, then, that war or conflict to which Nature impels her creatures, and which government was intended to restrict. b. The question is, whether the proposed restrictions are sufficient to neutralize the self- destructive tendencies which nature impresses on society. 2. 3. Morally wrong: The struggle to better ones conditions to pull others down or supplant them is the great organic law of free society. All mean being equal, all aspire to the highest honors and possessions. Good men and bad men teach their children one and the same lesson “Go ahead, push your way in the world.” a. None but selfish vitures are encouraged b. “Everyman for himself, and devil take the hindmost,” is the moral which liberty and free competition inculcate. c. Those go better themselves push others down d. e. The moral effect of free society is to banish Christian virtue, that virtue which bids us love our neighbor as ourself, and to substitute the very equivocal virtues proceeding from mere selfishness. i. Hospitality is considered criminal waste ii. Code of honor foolish iii. Taste, sentiment, imagination, are forbidden ground, because no money is made 4. 5. Race to the bottom – the rich man, however good he may be, employs the laborer who will work for the least wages. The poor war with one another in the race of competition, in order to get employment, by underbidding; laborers are more abundant than employers. Populations increases faster than capital. a. This process of underbidding never ceses so long as employers want profits or laborers want employment. It ends when wages are reduced too low to afford subsistence, in filling poor-houses, and jails, and graves. b. A half million died of hunger in one year in Ireland – they died because in the eye of the law they were equals, and liberty had made them enemies, of their landlords and employers. 6. Simple man is preyed on: Liberty and equity throw the whole weight of society on its weakest members; they combine all men in oppressing precisely that part of mankind who most need sympathy, aid and protection. a. The simple man represents a class, the common day laborers b. The employer cheapens their wages, and the retail dealer takes advantage of their ignorance, their ability to visit other markets, and their want of credit, to charge them enormous profits. c.
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2009 for the course GOVT 3665 taught by Professor Kramnick, i during the Fall '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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against free market_Outline - Notes: Fitzhugh : What is...

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