Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Full Catastrophe (Empirical Q.E.D.)

This piece of news concerning the latest Greek protests against austerity measures provides a perfect illustration of my previous post. Heavily redistributionist statism, additionally fuelled by the creation of the "monetary commons" of the Eurozone, unsurprisingly degenerated into a war of all against all for government handouts. However, since every action has its opportunity cost, engaging one's time in the use of political means necessitates not engaging one's time in the use of economic means - in other words, the pursuit of redistributionist parasitism necessarily comes at the cost of abandoning economic production.

This, in turn, leads to the emergence of an inevitably unsustainable system of social relations, where instead of producing scarce goods for others, everybody tries to free ride on someone else's productive activities. Furthermore, since among the participants of such systems there are none who are without blame with respect to sustaining and nurturing them, when the unavoidable conflict finally takes a violent turn, the violence is expectedly directed at the nexus of the ongoing mutual parasitism, at Bastiat's "great fiction" - the state.

Like Rothbard, I am inclined to think that in such scenarios bankruptcy might actually be the most healthy outcome, capable of ultimately exposing the sustainability of redistributive statism for what it is - a dangerous fiction. The alternative - prolonged and even more intense draining of the monetary commons of the Euroland - can only further reinforce, solidify and possibly institutionalize the financial moral hazard, not only among the current near bankrupts, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, among those heading the same way, and those who, given proper incentives, might happily join in.

PS. The link at the beginning of this post (which is very typical in this regard) mentions the most violent among the protesters against governmental retrenchment as "anarchists". Could one think of a better proof of living in an Orwellian world?

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