Free Market Capitalism = Crony Capitalism

Uncle Milton argues, for the umpteeth time:

By definition free market capitalism is not crony capitalism…you could argue, probably with conviction, that there is no such thing as pure Free market capitalism (as there is basically no such thing as pure communism…)
As I told you before the concept of free market capitalism came about as a counter to crony capitalism wherein the king (or whatever ruler…) would grant special favors to his cronies. As with any human endeavor it has it’s flaws and needs checks and balances.

The problem is that the laissez faire minus the crony capitalism has never happened anywhere on Earth that I am aware of. Someone clue me in? Laissez faire capitalism is always, or nearly always, crony capitalism. The state is the only thing to throw the criminals in jail, and laissez faire gets rid of the state. The checks and balances in Milton’s model do not exist because the state is gutted, deregulated and corrupted by money.
The criminals themselves always seem to infest and corrupt what’s left of the laissez faire state. This pure, non-corrupt free market crap only works in textbooks and mathematical models.

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0 thoughts on “Free Market Capitalism = Crony Capitalism”

  1. To Rob:
    The problem is that the laissez faire minus the crony capitalism has never happened anywhere on Earth that I am aware of
    Here’s a classic example… Rob is getting wound up…. he’s been smoking weed from his patch he has near Madera but that’s not enough… Consuela has been hankering for weed but doesn’t have any money. Consuela agrees to bang Rob in exchange for an 1/8 ounce of weed. (and the agree to do this every week…) works out great for both of them.
    This is Lassez-Faire capitalism. You’re not even using state printed and regulated money.. but the state most assuredly would have problems with your growing weed.. and exchanging weed for sex.
    (And by the way… Milton Friedman was against drug laws and laws concerning transactions between consenting adults…)

    1. Well, it works on a micro level, but has it ever worked on a society-wide level? I don’t think so. Apparently it can’t because capitalism corrupts badly automatically, and laissez faire simply compounds that corruption to a high degree.

      1. “Well, it works on a micro level, but has it ever worked on a society-wide level?”
        Some thing like that may have worked back in the frontier days of humanity when people were still exploring or settling lightly inhabited or empty areas such as the western US of Siberia, but civilization tends to corrupt. (Sorry to sound so Rousseau) I’m not saying that previous occupants were this way, but rather settlers. Supposedly, there was some form of society that had many similarities to anarcho-capitalism in early Icelandic history. The reason many Russians became cossacks was to get away from serfdom under the tsar. Their frontier societies were much different and much more fair, but then the state came in. Same with the gauchos of Argentina. Many were mulattoes and mestizos who worked in the south on the pampas because they were not accepted by the racist societies in the north.(Note: This is real racism, not modern american phantom racism.) But eventually the state crept in and fucked them all horribly. The moral of the story is that yes, life is best without the state, but the state will not leave areas open for long, and if there’s going to be a state where exploitative rich assholes live, then the poor might as well try to control it for their interests and not allow rich people capitalism (aka crony capitalism) to destroy them.
        I believe a soviet communist( manybe Trotsky?) once said, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Well, you may not be interested in the state, but the state is interested in you, especially if the state is controlled by the rich. Laissez faire capitalism is extremely explotive in the settled world, so controls and sometimes even nationalization is needed.

  2. In a mature capitalist economy, a level playing field does not exist. Advanced capitalism does not involve an exchange between equals. Oligopolies and monopolies prevail, whose interests are aggressively pushed and promoted at the expense of small businesses and ordinary wage workers. Also, unless regulated from doing so, big business captures almost total control of the mass media, and by and large succeeds in preventing alternative views, such as those espoused by this blog or Bernie Sanders, from gaining widespread reach. Without constraints on political funding, money also goes disproportionately to pro-big business candidates.
    Free market capitalism is an abstraction, and never existed historically. Capitalism in England, for example, emerged dripping with the blood of peasants and farmers, brutally and forcibly evicted from commonly owned lands. (

  3. “The state is the only thing to throw the criminals in jail, and laissez faire gets rid of the state.”
    Does it? You can’t have laissez faire without a state? In that case Friedman would be against laissez faire – Friedman did not want to get rid of the state.

      1. Thank you for the response.
        Okay, so it seems laissez faire does not entail getting rid of the state.
        I do however not see how Milton Friedman’s policy prescriptions can be characterized as laissez faire in any meaningful sense. He was in favour of a publicly financed school system and a basic income system to alleviate poverty. He saw a need for a central bank, furthermore he was in favour of taxes on pollution. All of these prescriptions are in clear violation of laissez faire.
        Also: in your opinion what was it about Friedman’s policy prescriptions that would prevent the state from being able to throw criminals jail?

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