soylent society

in reply to...

Society's plan and thinking long-term

While intellectually, I understand the words that "when the market sees a demand it moves to correct it", I lack the gut feeling that translates the need for bolts to bolt factories---some operations feel to large to emerge as a organic reaction of markets to a need.

I must confess to a certain distaste for the way people tend to reify abstractions like "the market" or "society". By reification, I mean the logical fallacy where people treat an abstraction as if it were a concrete and had a mind, desires, and interests of its own.

I don't believe society has a plan, or that society is capable of thought. Instead, I look at abstractions like society and the market and think of them as soylent green: they're made out of people.

However, I have little patience for people who argue for capitalism by claiming that other economic systems would impose a burden of central planning that is absent in capitalism. Instead, I think the only meaningful difference between capitalism and other systems is whether the central planning comes from unelected bureaucrats or unelected billionaires.

We go from bolts to bolt factories in a capitalist society because individuals who hold capital look at present circumstances and attempt to extrapolate. When they succeed, they get richer while moving society "forward". When they fail, they are forgotten.