MD Free Markets

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 20:07:05 BST

Hi Horse and Group:

Thanks Horse for the reassurance. Perhaps itís time to get this site
back on track by discussing the Metaphysics of Quality as proposed by
Robert Pirsig.

Several newcomers have written posts critical of the free market
system in general and the United States in particular. Sadly these
critics have failed to offer any philosophical rationale to justify their
complaints. To do so, they will have to answer Pirsig who solidly
supports free markets, as evidenced by the following quote from Lila,
Chap. 17:

"The Metaphysics of Quality provides the vocabulary. A free market is a
Dynamic institution. What people buy and what people sell, in other
words what people valve, can never be contained by any intellectual
formula. What makes the marketplace work is Dynamic Quality. The
market is always changing and the direction of that change can never
be predetermined.

"The Metaphysics of Quality says the free market makes everybody
richer-by preventing static economic patterns from setting in and
stagnating economic growth. That is the reason the major capitalist
economies of the world have done so much better since World War II
than the major socialist economies. It is not that Victorian social
economic patterns are more moral than socialist intellectual economic
patterns. Quite the opposite. They are less moral as static patterns go.
What makes the free-enterprise system superior is that the socialists,
reasoning intelligently and objectively, have inadvertently closed the
door to Dynamic Quality in the buying and selling of things. They closed
it because the metaphysical structure of their objectivity never told them
Dynamic Quality exists.

"People, like everything else, work better in parallel than they do in
series, and that is what happens in this free enterprise city. When
things are organized socialistically in a bureaucratic series, any
increase in complexity increases the probability of failure. But when
they're organized in a free-enterprise parallel, an increase in complexity
becomes an increase in diversity more capable of responding to
Dynamic Quality, and thus an increase of the probability of success. It's
this diversity and parallelism that make this city work."

Those who see terrible problems in the free market system seem to
have no solutions other than some form of totalitarianism. The last
century saw the results of that course of action. Any other ideas?


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