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Is laissez faire capitalism exploitative?

by Hogeye Bill

No. Laissez-faire literally means "let us be!" It means absolutely no government intervention in the economy - a free market. Of course, this is an ideal. Certainly the statist quo is not laissez-faire capitalism. Even in so-called "capitalist" States (really mixed economies), the government engages in all sorts of intervention: taxation, regulation, protectionism, prohibitions, occupational licensure, monopolies on "command posts" of society.

The vital command posts invariably owned monopolistically by the State are: (1) Police and military protection; (2) judicial protection; (3) monopoly of the mint (and monopoly of defining money); (4) rivers and coastal seas; (5) urban streets and highways, and land generally (unused land, in addition to the power of eminent domain); and (6) the post office. The defense function is the one reserved most jealously by the State. It is vital to the State's existence, for on its monopoly of force depends its ability to exact taxes from the citizens. If citizens were permitted privately owned courts and armies, then they would possess the means to defend themselves against invasive acts by the government as well as by private individuals.

— Murray N. Rothbard, The Myth of Efficient Government Service

With the State - biggest, baddest exploiter of all time - out of the picture, exploitation, in terms of aggression, would all but vanish. It would be a voluntary society, an anarchy.

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