I offer to readers a term of my coinage: polidicy.
I construct it as “theodicy” was constructed, and I do so in the spirit of the copycat. A theodicy is a vindication of divine goodness in the context of the existence of evil. It is an important theological concept, and you will find theodicies embedded in most understandings of Providence, and nearly everyone who believes in a deity has some sort of theodicy in tow.
Polidicy, then, is a vindication of a state or government body in the context of its own obvious crimes. Most people who are loyal to some state and pretend to possess a moral sense, or conscience, have some polidicy in their head, some set of excuses for why the state’s many crimes do not amount to a moral case against the state as such, and how, even, the state can be said to be “basically good.”
The debate over whether “capitalism” should be used by libertarians and other supporters of free markets waxes rather than wanes. Last week, Sheldon Richman published “Is Capitalism Something Good?” on Freeman Online. And I can see why Stephan Kinsella calls this an “extremely frustrating” debate. We never get very far.
My favorite of Richman’s points is lexical:
At the semantic level, capitalism is an unfortunate word when applied to the free market. It suggests a privileged status for capital over other factors of production, which is not the case in a free market. A capitalist is not a believer in capitalism but rather an owner of capital. One can be a socialist capitalist, that is, one who owns capital while favoring a system called socialism.
In my younger days of argumentation, people would sometimes accuse me of being a capitalist. Well, in those younger days I was broke. I had no savings. I had nothing to invest, and invested in nothing but my own mind. So I would correct them: “Hey, I’m near the poverty line. No capitalists down here! Besides, I support laissez-faire because it regulates businesses: It enforces a rule of law that disallows businesses from demanding I pay for their goods if I don’t want their goods, or pay more than I would under competition, which laissez faire also enforces. I am not a capitalist, because I insist that we keep capitalists in their place.” [Keep reading…]