In Season 1 Episode 3, Applejack is shown working herself to exhaustion kicking trees to shake the apples out of them. In the closing moments of the episode, Twilight is shown using her magic to lift the apples out of an entire field of apple trees all at once and get them barrelled up in a few…
You are forgetting to apply basic microeconomic concepts of opportunity cost and comparative advantage. Sure Twilight Sparkle has an absolute advantage on picking apples, which is to say nothing of Applejack’s absolute advantage in raising a crop and producing other marketable commodities such as apple-derived cuisine and spirits, but Twilight Sparkle’s opportunity cost of picking apples would be not instead devoting her time and energy studying or doing another scholarly task. Twilight, over all other ponies, has the least opportunity cost in academic affairs such as researching esoteric lore, summarizing reports and other matters that may be too arcane to be accomplished by anypony other than Celestia’s protégée. Twilight Sparkle has a comparative advantage in academics and magic, and Applejack has a comparative advantage in agriculture, and, by specializing according to one’s comparative advantage and freely trading with others, everypony is able to consume beyond what their individual productive possibilities would allow. Through economic mechanics, the free market allows for economic growth and social harmony to emerge through rational self-interest and voluntary exchange; traditional values are quite irrelevant in explaining socio-economic behavior.
Buttercup Dew, I love you and your blog, but, as an anarcho-capitalist, I get turned off whenever you suggest such Luddite notions and contempt towards markets; whenever I read your posts on economics, you sound more and more like a socialist, while ignoring how laissez-faire capitalism has expanded society’s economic opportunities.
All very valid points. I would point to the opportunity cost being a result of following ones predisposition in the first place, though. I’m not going to dispute any of your economic theory, which is consistently sound; I used to be a big free marketer and an-cap myself. I shifted emphasis and direction after asking “to what ends?”
Resource misallocation and statist monopolies are bad, yes, and the free market allows for social harmony etc etc based on productive capacity and best utility; but what it fails to account for - and you make this same mistake in your reply - is that people are not motivated by economic rational self interest. They’re motivated by too many factors for any one economic system to account for, which is why ultimately the free market is only as good as what people you have in it and what they prefer to buy.
My main problem is that being an economic negation of the state, anarcho-capitalism fails to work as a structural framework for what comes after. Ancaps tend to get “stuck” at free market economics as the be all and end all of how society binds together, overlooking HBD, common consciousness (from genetics) and what motivates people in the first place. It’s been commented upon many, many times about how Homo Sapiens is eerily like a domesticated animal, and yet anarcho-capitalists want to throw the fate of the world to his economic reins?
The most common ground I have with anarcho-capitalists is that I am an omniseparatist; lets all leave the state and then squabble about what land goes to who after. I think that any sort of ancap territory would quickly form into mini-fiefdoms based on class, race, economic advantage, etc. The state is never really going to go away, it’s a question of degree; for example, parents have a “state” of a house and children suffer from the “love it or leave it” argument. These arguments tend to disappear if you disregard economics and ask questions about how self ownership is derived in the first place; I tend to think that common genetics entails an equally valid claim on ownership as self ownership does;
For example when we say X person belongs to a race, it is best to interpret this quite literally, by a matter of blood the collective has a moral claim on his person. The mind is a product of the body, so by the same logic as the self-ownership absolutists, other persons of similar genetics possess also a similar mind, and claim ownership of an otherwise atomised individual. Anarcho-capitalists view the individual as some sort of Randian entity that exists independent of others and simply has utility to “the market”, traditionalists take the more accurate view that the individual is a manifestation of a genetic continuance and is part of, and belongs to, race and nature.
Free markets are great, but they’re not everything. This is quite a tricky subject to navigate mainly because anarcho-capitalism fails not because it’s economically incorrect, but because its an economic and not a philosophical framework. What anarcho-capitalism doesn’t ask is The Conan Question; WHAT IS GOOD IN LIFE? It puts the Applecart before the pony and states that people being able to get maximum utility from the market is best, without accounting for what those people want, and why.
I could be described as an an-cap, I suppose? I’m as much an anarcho-capitalist as I think the state fucking off and leaving good ol’ whitey separatists to form their own society is a Good Thing. Like I said I don’t dispute anarcho-capitalism, but it’s such a narrow window with which to view the world that it’s restricting.
The final thing is that I don’t have contempt for markets; much the opposite, I think a truly free market would produce a deeply traditionalist society very quickly. What I have a contempt for are those who think their own feelings are more important than ideas of excellence, self betterment, etc; and support the democratic liberal consumer state to feed their vanity.
Consider the Argos store I posted a photo of - The paradox of uniform individuality, devoid of natural hierarchy and humility. Concrete plastered over landscape by committee. Not very pleasant at all, but the inevitable result of putting the individual over a greater and larger goal of adaptation to nature and working harmoniously with it. What does anarcho-capitalism have to say about that? Not a lot, really, beyond some disputes about fiat currency and regulation and whether Argos would be undercut by more local stores in Anarchyland.
Anyway, you might get a kick out of this - It’s my old OC character, before I went Maximum Buttercup and started writing My Nationalist Pony.