An argument against Douglas amy ‘m going go poke holess in

 the problem is that this argument in response to Douglas makes quiet a few errors when it presumes the state is the cause of capitalism rather than merely a symptom of it. It makes a categorical error when it presumes that sense the state “tends to” cooperate with capitalist that it’s only role is to do so. Also appealing to the “history” is disingenuous n nature. It’s not particularly relevant. conflating the state with Capitalism is a categorical fallacy. Libertarian types always love to argue as though the capitalist companies are the same thing as their State corporate charters but I adamantly beg to differ that corporations are defined by their legal entity but rather the entity that legal document represents. If Walmart’s LLC were burnt to the crisp and it became “Walmart’ instead it would be every bit as much a problem in fact worse then it is now. A corporation is -NOT- it’s legal existence but it’s concrete physical form and existence in the empirical and real material universe. The problems with the state are symptoms of Capitalism-Not Inherent to statehood. It’s again arguing backwards causation.  appeals to the legal structure as to define what a corporation is factually incorrect.

  a corporation TRANSCENDS it’s Corporate charter.  the state is not to blame for the existence of capitalism
it’s merely effected by capitalism. Huge difference.




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3 Responses to An argument against Douglas amy ‘m going go poke holess in

  1. Thanks for your response. I do have several questions, though.

    First, why would you assume I am a “libertarian type”? Amy spends
    a lot of time critiquing the political right. My goal is to show him
    that the state faces strong criticism from the left. I identify strongly
    as a “leftist”. When I vote, I tend to vote Green Party. So I am
    uncertain why you have categorized me as a “Libertarian type”.

    I am curious why you think that historical arguments are “disingenuous in nature”? First, I never made a historical case against Amy’s argument. I said that such an argument would not fare well for Amy and that his argument was myopic because it only considered one particular expression of government at one particular historical period (namely the US in the 21st century.) Notwithstanding that observation, I agreed to only meet Amy on his own turf by directing my analysis only to the features of American government right now. So while I expressed confidence that Amy would lose a more comprehensive analysis of the issue, it was a point my essay never explored. Second, why would it be disingenuous to explore historical manifestations of the state? Would that same objection work if the topic were religion? If I started spouting nonsense such as “religion is a force for good” would you be acting disingenuously to mention all the harm that religion has wrought throughout history?

    Also, I am not certain that I understood your remark about
    corporations. You seem to have understood me to be making some
    sort of distinction between corporations in their legal (as opposed to
    de facto) sense, and assumed that I was analogously comparing the
    state to corporations via the analogy of state charter to corporate
    charter. But I feel confident I was not making such an analogy.
    Indeed, you seem to be conflating “corporations” and “capitalism”.
    But when I refer to capitalism, I am not referring to corporations. I
    see capitalism as a system. Corporations certainly play a role in
    capitalism. As, I believe, the state does. But capitalism is a system,
    not any organization or group of organizations.

    You say that I make the mistake of thinking that, because the state
    is influenced by capitalism, that its economic functions must be its
    only role. But my point was to the effect of showing how ALL of its
    traditional functions are either complicit with capitalism or else
    superfluous in the absence of capitalism. Do you have a
    counterexample. My list of state actions was fairly comprehensive.

    • daeros says:

      I think my frustration is the tendency to believe that the democratic party cannot become more like the green party, for you. Honestly. Ralph nader was a consumer advocate? I know a lot about consumer advocates. Did you notice as an observer Elizabeth warren is one too? Her and Ralph have a LOT in common. Now mind you she’s a War hawk, unfortunately and ralph wasn’t but she DOES genuinely care about the middle AND the poorest of the poor class the way he does. The perfect is not the enemy of the good. I concede your point about the state and the historical failures of it however my frustration with these kind cynical arguments is that I do not believe the state is a monolith. It can be changed, it’s a moving target. Douglas amy is also pointing out in his criticism that the state is influenced by those corporations. Is the solution to corporations corrupting regulators to stop regulating to protect for instance workers with OSHA or is the solution to REFORM and FIX that and get Money and corporate influence OUT of politics?

      And this is the problem is that most people treat the state as though it gave rise to the corporations but this ignores that the corporate powers (see the east india trade company) actually predate the existance of the state. in other words the state gave them corporate charters sure but it’s not the -cause- of these faceless institutions and in the absence of corporate charters they would continue to exist simply in another form. So destroying the state and dismantling it wouldn’t solve anything. Even if you went full on anarchy walmart woudl continue to exist and in the Era of Blackwater it’s impossible to believe they wouldn’t be able to police themselves with PRIVATE militas.

      I’m not saying the goal isn’t the eradication of capitalism but that let’s not make perfect solutions the enemy of the good ones.

      • Well, frankly, you are probably right that I am cynical about the Democrats, but in fairness to me they have earned my cynicism.

        For the record, I do not recommend “abolishing” the state, certainly not within the context of an already existing capitalist system. I am not an anarchist. As my piece said, the state is that part of the capitalist system which protects it from itself. If the state were abolished in the current system, I doubt very much that I would want to live in the world that would ensue.

        What I do say is that the state is not the answer to the capitalist problem. It’s essentially a problem of scale. 300 million people is simply far too many people for “democracy” to exist in any real sense. Instead, what you have is faux democracy, where the real power lies with those who have wealth and influence, and the rest of us are politically disenfranchised. And you can hardly expect those who hold the reins of power to willingly disassemble the economic system which ensures their wealth and power, can you?

        I used to call myself an anarchist, but that was for lack of a better word. Now, I describe myself as a “cooperativist”. I have blogged about it here: The basic idea of cooperativism is that the system should be changed by gradually replacing coercive institutions (banks, employers, corporate businesses etc) with cooperative ones (cooperative banks, worker owned coops, local markets where people can buy locally produced goods, etc).

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