Thursday, July 26, 2012

Austrian Economics, Its Detractors and the Reality of Freedom

Austrian Economics, Its Detractors and the Reality of Freedom

If we're going to associate the Money Power to other groups than the group they are, the Money Power, we should be more accurate in our associations, unscientific correlations without causation, and bigoted stereotyping. The Money Power are old, white, male, straight, and married. They also are articulate, intelligent, and college-educated. They also seem to have kids, love money, and like to wear gray suits with a tie. I think we finally figured out the conspiracy. It is a conspiracy of old, white, straight, intelligent, college-educated, and married bankers in gray suits, who love money and have kids. We need to distrust, fear, and hate the old people, white people, straight people, married people, articulate people, college-educated people, intelligent people, and men. We also need to distrust, fear, and hate people who wear gray suits with a tie, who love money, or who have kids. Perhaps witches will be spared in the next Inquisition. – Liberty Revival

Dominant Social Theme: There is a race, a very BAD race...
Free-Market Analysis: We missed this great article back in April over at Liberty Revival. The folks at Liberty Revival are taking part in a larger argument about the positive value of government-run fiat money versus free-market tangible assets like gold and silver.
What we'll give them credit for up front is their terrific human generosity. Unlike a number of increasingly inexplicable websites, these scribes are not willing to focus on the totality of a particular ethnic group to make their points.
Though there are constant efforts to argue the case, whole groups of people are NOT responsible for the actions of a few.
One could make the case that those arguing that a particular race or religion is alone behind Money Power are supporting an old and hoary dominant social theme of the power elite.
It is one that has been levered into place over centuries with a good deal of effort. A small group of dynastic families, running Money Power like a mafia, have created an environment where it is fashionable to blame the collective for the actions of a few.
They've done it on purpose, with malice aforethought. Within these parameters, it is evident that Money Power is not magical. It is not a satanic cult; it is not a religion ... but a cold-blooded business.
Those at the top apparently control hundreds of trillions via their control of central banking. Once one understands this, the roll-out of promotional scarcity memes, the creations of wars and even economic depression present themselves clearly as the work of icy and impossibly powerful professionals.
The process of creating world government is a deadly serious business ... the biggest business in the world. Do "they" hide behind secret societies and the like? Maybe. Are they ruthless killers? Yes, unfortunately. But the idea that the topmost men are devil-crazed sacrificial priests is kinda ... loony.
No, these are the hardest of hard businessmen. People at the top rarely if ever believe the rituals they have organized and propagated.
This Money Power is strong and subtle. It hides behind the many below it and by design shouts "racism" when attacked. Those who have created the meme have done so with a great deal of labor over centuries.
Questions should be asked of all those who willingly fall into the trap. By endorsing a given stereotype, those supposedly opposed to Money Power provide the mainstream media with all the ammunition they need to claim the alternative media are puerile and racist.
In fact, as those at Liberty Revival understand, this sort of thing devalues the entire freedom movement and its many wonderful insights.
Poor Ezra Pound in his last moments realized that the wonderful poetry he'd written had been tainted by what he moaned in his final agony was a "stupid, suburban prejudice." If only our modern-day monetary complainers could discover the same insights.
Blaming the actions of the many for the depredations of a few is convenient but also incredibly simplistic. It guarantees that your arguments and the arguments of those around you are not going to be taken seriously. One restrains oneself from thinking that's just the point ... and that these individuals are actually agents of a false flag.
There is a wider paradigm involved as well, as we have pointed out previously. And this is where our views and those who are proponents of Greenbackerism, Georgism or social credit diverge.
Greenbackerism has as its standard-bearer Abraham Lincoln who slaughtered millions in cold blood on and off the field of battle. History tells us the little known fact that those behind Lincoln's Greenbacks apparently had a scheme to charge considerable interest. So much for interest-free public money. Government never giveth but it taketh away.
Both C. H. Douglas (social credit) and Henry George (Georgism) were levelers of a sort (as Samuel Johnson might call them). Douglas wanted to redistribute income and fix prices (never a good idea) via something he called a just price.
George, who was surely a thoughtful man, spent his adult years agitating for a system whereby all land (and therefore natural resources) were held in common, thus alleviating poverty. In fairness, both Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson anticipated some of these views.
The problem with all three of these systems and others like them is they surely rely on force to implement them. It is indeed an irony that those the most energetically and imaginatively concerned with the inequities of life so glibly turn to government force to carry out their plans.
This is the authoritarian taint that colors all such grandiose plans long before they come to fruition. One puts aside such emphatic suggestions and turns to free-market economics as espoused by the Austrian school that came of age in the mid-1800s with marginal utility.
Marginal utility tells us that people are not static actors but capable of human action and thus apt to upset the prognostications of those who like Malthus and Marx are apt to make projections without taking people's own ability to care for themselves into account.
The glory of free-market economics is that starting in the mid-1800s it began proposing via marginal utility that people were not "potted plants" but vital organisms capable of considerable self-action.
This is a generous conception of humanity and Austrian economics is the only economic philosophy that offers such a viewpoint. All other modern economics tend to treat people as if they were nothing but static vessels waiting to be filled up by the insights of their betters.
The two other significant inventions of Austrian economics are the business cycle and human action. Business cycle analysis points out that modern private/public central banks cause first booms and then terrible busts, creating the kind of economic misery that we see today.
Human action informs us that the sterile planning of government bureaucracies is doomed to failure because people will always think for themselves and are not apt to do as they are told by their political leaders.
These three great insights − marginal utility, business cycle analysis and human action − are the holy trinity of free-market thinking. They are the most significant insights of modern economic theory and the most subversive.
Taken together they entirely undermine the rationale for the use of force in social contracts. They show clearly that bureaucratic bullying is counterproductive and ruins lives and societies.
It is unfortunate that those behind the creation of such magnificent concepts have come under attack. The reasons are mystifying to us, for to attack such concepts is to attack the human propensity for freedom itself, which is much discussed but rarely gained.
Within the context of such wonderful insights, we find the concept of money itself redefined. No less an Austrian monetary authority than Congressman Ron Paul himself has offered up the concept of monetary competition as a way to achieve an efficient monetary system.
Let money and currencies compete in a private marketplace, he points out. If people want to charge interest, let them. If they do not, that's okay, too. If people want to use fiat scrip, barter or anything else, they ought to do so.
Within this context, Georgism and social credit could certainly be tried as well, so long as those espousing these strategies did not try to enforce them at the barrel of a gun.
Our bet, of course, is within the context of money competition, gold and silver would find a place as they have throughout the ages, long before Money Power itself was extant.
Nothing in this concept calls for a fixed gold standard, though the enemies of such freedom constantly misrepresent modern Austrian economics as focusing on such a standard. One wonders at the motives of those who do so.
The lines, we have seen, are fairly well drawn at this point. On the one side are proponents of homogenous "systems" such as social credit, Greenbackerism and Georgism. To ensure these systems were unanimously adopted would take not just suasion but force.
On the other side, we find the free-market proposals of modern Austrian economics that proposes monetary and currency competition within the context of small-community, possibly agrarian facilities.
Modernity, in fact, is likely insupportable given a power elite that wants to create world government and is failing. As societies begin to splinter and fracture into considerable regionality, all sorts of currencies and sociopolitical environments will likely develop.
As this occurs, it is our job to remind these fragmented entities that they ought to retain as much independence as possible.
The future of humankind, one hopes, is not the sterile uniformity of Greenbackerism, Georgism or social credit but a far more complex and richly varied human environment that features flexible communities of all kinds.
Within this context, the state would be minimized, private law would return to being practiced as it has been for thousands of years and people would likely become somewhat more self-sufficient as well.
The prison-industrial complex might fade away. Monopoly central banking would likely diminish and perhaps disappear. Standing armies would subside and the industrial mechanism itself would become more flexible.
Modern corporations would not exist because judicial force would not buttress them. Instead, a variety of private partnerships might coalesce and then separate as the need arose.
In a truly utopian environment, government itself − an entity that redistributes wealth and attempts to retain a monopoly on force − would diminish nearly to nothing. There is little, after all, that the state can do better than the private sector.
These, then, are the choices that the alternative media is offering us. On one hand is the generosity of spirit as espoused by Austrian economics.
On the other are a series of static systems proposed by those who believe in the ethnic taint of Money Power and the abiding salvation of government power as the methodology of completion.
Free-market thinkers want societies to flourish in freedom. Those who espouse certain systems of money and credit want to hearken back to such questionable interludes as those that took place in the 20th century in Germany during the era of National Socialism. (See "Poison of Neo-National Socialist Public Banking."
Public banking, public credit, Greenbackerism, these were all signifiers of the German and Japanese authoritarian state. These systems nonetheless are being propagated by proponents that attack free-market economics as part of a larger Hegelian dialectic developed by Money Power!
Conclusion: We believe it's self-evident ...

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