cyberutopian libertarianism

Tom Lehman uswa12 at
Tue Dec 15 06:16:15 PST 1998

Dear Enzo,

What you are advocating is a return to 19th century laissez faire capitalism on a global scale. You maybe couching your arguement in libertarian/anarchist rhetoric, but, the end result would be misery coupled with modern technological control.

Reading this list. I think very few of the Left Business Observers would discourage an entrepreneur, and, from reading this list many of the LBOers are entrepreneurs. Some of whom have had a degree of success.

The question is do we go forward to improve the human condition in a reasoned, rational manner, or, do we go backward to a false utopia that never existed.

Sincerely, Tom Lehman

Enzo Michelangeli wrote:

> Two replies in one message, to reduce the libertarian pollution of
> the list ;-)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Lehman <uswa12 at>
> To: lbo-talk at <lbo-talk at>
> Date: Monday, December 14, 1998 10:40 PM
> Subject: Re: cyberutopian libertarianism
> >Dear Enzo,
> >
> >The basic problem in the steel industry is that finished and semi-finished
> steel
> >products are being "dumped" into our domestic market at less than the cost
> of
> >production in the country of origin. It is impossible for the US steel
> industry
> >to compete in this type of situation. Other American industries are also
> faced
> >with this type of 19th century predatory price competition.
> Tom,
> Allegations of dumping are always quite difficult to ascertain, but that's
> not the issue I was discussing with my question, which instead is: does the
> first world really need low-end industries, instead of letting them go where
> they are more efficient? I understand that there is a personal element in
> your views, and I respect your feelings, but special interests, sooner or
> later, always give in to economic considerations.
> Enzo
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carl Remick <cremick at>
> Date: Monday, December 14, 1998 11:05 PM
> >Re Enzo's: "Yeah, OK, but can't we just import the stuff from where it
> >costs less to
> >make?"
> >
> >No, because the "natural advantage" of the exporters is based on
> >exploitative wages and the lack of environmental safeguards. Next
> >question, please.
> "Natural advantage" is new to me: I knew "comparative advantage" as in
> Ricardo, and "competitive advantage" in some pseudo-economists such as
> Robert Reich. But anyway: the foreign workers accept low wages for exactly
> one reason: lack of alternatives. Not buying from their employers is hardly
> helpful, because that converts low-wage employment straight into
> unemployment. So: thirld-world workers lose their job; other consumers pay
> for the same commodity more than they could; and the better educated
> workforce in the first world keep low-end jobs instead of better paid and
> more satisfying occupations that, for the time being, would not be
> accessible by their thirld-world colleagues. Is this a progressive and
> solidaristic solution? Hardly, methinks.
> Cheers --
> Enzo
> P.S. I anticipate some follow-ups claiming that no "just" policy will be
> ever put in place without a comprehensive political change worldwide. The
> fact is, however, that all the countries that have attempted a socialist
> revolution are now more than willing to join the fray of international trade
> as low-wage producers: and those who are not doing it, like Cuba or, until a
> few years ago, Vietnam, are cut off only by to some incredibly stupid
> American embargo. That must mean something.

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list