Saturday, August 27, 2011

Something Worth Committing Oneself To

I have just learned that there is apparently a dangerous storm headed in the direction of New Jersey, New York and southern New England. This, of course, worries me, and I wish all the inhabitants of the endangered regions that no harm comes to them. However, what worries me even more is that if, unfortunately, the storm does cause some damage, numerous individuals proclaimed as the finest contemporary minds by the representatives of today's coercive power structures will likely announce that the seeming catastrophe is actually a blessing in disguise, capable of stimulating a failing economy back into prosperity.

If any of my readers would not regard such an announcement as a display of vulgar nonsense, let me just refer him or her to two names: Bastiat and Hazlitt. For the rest, a further observation: just as the deflationary effect of productivity growth can offset, and thus conceal the inflationary effect of manipulating interest rates via fiat money creation, an unprecedented advancement in natural sciences, technology and material welfare can divert one's attention from an abysmal retrogression in understanding the logical reality of human action, the kind of retrogression that plunged the 20th century into totalitarian barbarism and can certainly do likewise with the 21th.

What remains is to quote the ever prophetic words of the man: "No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result." This task might be easier today than ever before. There is the Internet and there is a growing distrust for the kind of "knowledge" offered by coercion-wielders. Thus, let us not miss the opportunity to make logic and commonsense the only game in town again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ideas Good and Bad: A Subjective Listing

If I were to name what I consider to be the ten most destructive and pernicious doctrines ever conceived that still retain various degrees of popularity, those would make the list (roughly in order of malignancy): Marxism, Keynesianism, welfare statism, coercive democratism, nationalism, militarism, postmodernism, positivism, scientism, anti-religionism. I am quite convinced that ridding the world of their influence (which could happen only as a result of their voluntary, conscious rejection) would make it an unprecedentedly humane and civilized place.

Fortunately, there are also what I consider as salutary and beneficial counterparts of the abovementioned malignant forces, among which I would single out the following ten: classical liberalism/libertarianism, rationalism, individualism, causal realism, marginalism, non-interventionism, Christianity, scholasticism, secessionism, abolitionism.

I would contend that the progress or regress of human civilization depends on which of these sets of ideas prevails. For the time being, I remain cautiously optimistic about the matter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two Straightforward Questions

Two straightforward questions should be asked of every Keynesian or monetarist (i.e., a monetary rather than a fiscal Keynesian):

1. If you agree that increasing everyone's cash balance by the same amount and somehow making everyone aware that such an increase has occurred makes it impossible to increase aggregate spending (since under such conditions the prices of all goods and services, including factors of productions, will, ceteris paribus, instantaneously adjust upward), then how on earth do you plan to achieve such an effect by increasing cash balances of the select few in the world of ineradicable uncertainty?

2. If you agree that doing the above will falsify economic calculation and effect a redistribution of income from the totality of private property owners to the most immediate recipients of newly created money, and if you claim that these results will trigger a psychological reaction whereby people's time preferences are going to increase (hence making at least some of them willing and able to spend more), then why would you not advocate equipping everyone with his or her own money printing machine, making toilet paper a legal tender, etc., all of which would make "liquidity provision"/"quantitative easing" much easier and more expedient?

Notice that the above questions do not even contest the preposterous view that spending rather than saving and investing is the driving force of the economy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

London Riots No Surprise

Combine decades of promoting welfare parasitism, long years of forced integration in the name of "multiculturalism", institutionalized indolence of the statist police, victim-disarming gun control legislation, and the widespread advocacy of the attitude of disrespect for property rights, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs by the mainstream media and educational establishment, and what you get is a social time bomb waiting to explode. Try to delay the explosion while preserving the explosive elements, and the eventual blast gets all the more deadly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Europrognoza sprzed trzech lat

W świetle np. tego zachęcam do wejścia tu (audycja w Trójce z 16 września 2008) i posłuchanie fragmentu od 7:50 do 9:16. Tyle w ramach mojego wkładu medialnego w austriackie przewidywanie przyszłości.