Monday, October 31, 2011

Agorist Thesis #3

Nobody gets taken advantage of through mutually voluntary trade.

This one is often contested when I share my moral beliefs.   Because one person can "clearly" benefit more than the other, it means that they're being taken advantage of. 

The most common argument I hear is that of the wage laborer, and how they are "enslaved" by their boss or by capitalists.  This is ridiculous to say the least...I respond "So if I offered you $0.50 an hour to do whatever I want for 15 hours a week, would you take up my offer?"  No one's accepted it yet, I'm still hoping for my own personal servant though.   

It comes back to the truth that all value is relative - and each person makes the decision for themselves what is worth more.  I might look at two people making a trade and say that I think that one person gets more out of it, but that's just my opinion.  What matters is each person in the trade, and remember: in a voluntary trade, both parties receive more than they give up, otherwise neither would trade.

Agorist Theses originally from An Agorist Manifesto by Kyle Bennett.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! This is a nice summary of the argument that both parties benefit from voluntary trade. The essential point is that each person agrees to the trade because each perceives himself or herself to be better off as a result of the exchange. And, of course, that is all that matters.

    The author alludes to some other people objecting to his thesis. One possible defense for the author to use would be to compare and contrast the Montaigne dogma with the classically liberal dogma of the harmony of interests of all groups.

    If labor is paid below is discounted marginal product, if it were truly being exploited, then why aren't other entrepreneurs jumping in and bidding up the under priced labor? And as they do so, the wages will return to where they should be.

    This is of course assumes a free labor market. As long as there are buyers and sellers of labor, then nobody can be exploited.