Menger on Natural Communism

This post is part of a series exploring Principles of Economics by Carl Menger.  The following explores content from chapter 2.

Previously in this series: Menger on Economic vs. Non-Economic Goods

As discussed before, economic goods (goods for which requirements exceed available quantities) necessitate the existence of property in a society. Non-economic goods (goods for which available quantities exceed requirements), on the other hand, do not. A man will not feel the need to secure non-economic goods as property, because "even if all other members of society completely meet their requirements for these goods, more than sufficient quantities will still remain for him to satisfy his needs." Thus only with non-economic goods is true communism possible (not the false communism of modern times in which the effective property-holding of the ruling caste simply goes by other names), and indeed generally actual. Hesiod and his fellow Boeotians were communists when it came to the forests of Mount Helicon. And we are all communists when it comes to air and light.

Next in this series: Economic Character of Higher Order Goods and the Deductive Method of Menger

Comments

# wilderness said:

This is an excellent point.  Communists of higher order economies, such as the U.S., don't understand scarcity.

Monday, June 22, 2009 4:46 PM