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Two common arguments made against market systems are:

  1. Left to their own devices, capitalist economies are prone to monopoly.
  2. Private, profit-seeking interests over-exploit environmental resources.

Let’s grant that both of these are 100% true. What would the implication be? Well, consider the problems of “monopoly” as the standard market-failure critique goes. Monopolies are “bad” because in order to maximize their profits, they reduce output below what a competitive market would otherwise produce, and they raise prices above what the competitive market price would be for that industry.

If criticism #2, above, is true, then wouldn’t it be the case that anti-capitalists, “E”nvironmentalists and those fearful of conservation issues want the free-market to rip? After all, if “letting the market rip” leads to monopoly, which leads to higher prices and lower output, then the capitalist process should lead to the very conservation of resources that is desired. After all, think of what “optimal” global warming policy aims to do. It aims to raise the price of carbon emissions and as a result reduce the amount of carbon emitted. Since carbon is not traded in a market, it is not possible (I suppose) to “let the carbon market rip” but most goods and amenities the “E”nvironmentalists are concerned about would seem to be ones that are easily “taken over.” Now I’d be absolutely floored to see an anti-capitalist put their money where their mouth was on one of these two issues.

If they truly believe we get monopolistic consolidation of industries, then I’d like to see them publicly say, “we have nothing to worry about in the environment.” If they want to say that they are worried about overuse of resources, then I’d like to see them promote the formation of private capitalist monopolies. I don’t think that day is coming.

One Response to “In Which Anti-Capitalists Should Support Monopoly”

  1. hi, that’s a overnice job. There is whatever mistakes but the important is here.

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