I’ve been reading a lot of Economics and Philosophy, as well as History. I am trying to understand the Evolution of the current Geopolitical Climate in order to develop a more rational projection of what the near-term may look like…. A dangerous proposition, for sure!
I have read a lot of disparate books lately, initially trying to understand Atheists and Secular Humanists… but coming to the understanding that Liberalism, Progressivism, Socialism, Communism, Dielectical Materialism, Evolution, Atheism and Secular Humanism all demonstrate a tremendous flocking or herding response…. People who believe inherently in one, tend to accept essentially ALL without serious inquiry…. Richard Dawson, Lawrence Krauss, Christopher Hitchens, Bertrand Russell, Stephen Hawkins, Sigmund Freud, Frederich Nietzsche… solid stream of Western intellectuals… ALL seem to be walking in lock step… with Edward Gibbons….
I browsed through a significant swath of World History last night. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series was close to retelling of Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Edward’s started his series in 1776 and finished in 1789, so he wrote in an English Imperial voice with a tone revealing the views of the Enlightenment…. Hold that thought….
I started re-reading Professor Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in OUR Time this morning. I noticed something that I had missed before. A connection. A few connections….
Professor Quigley presents the ideas characterizing the XIXth Century as a series of eight belief that were all either strongly held… or disavowed… essentially as a unit: 1. belief in the innate goodness of man, 2. secularism, 3. belief in progress, 4. liberalism, 5. capitalism, 6. faith in Science, 7. democracy, 8. nationalism. Man left to his own devices is good, but society is corrupt… and corrupts man…. Anything that attempts to control man’s natural tendencies… Church… State… Money… Power… anything that restricts man’s Freedom or opposes the Laws of Nature is bad. That was the working definition of Liberalism… which rose in France in opposition to Conservatism… which was institutionalized oppression…. Traded for the Tyranny of the Majority…. Liberalism originally was close to what today is known as Libertarianism…. Freedom from government interference…. Liberalism was associated with Laissez-faire Capitalism…. Freedom of each individual to succeed through their own industry…. Control of commerce via Fascist Socialist Statism and Mercantilism (restriction of Free Trade to protect certain parties profits) was recognized as corrupt… and detrimental to everyone else….
World War I proved that man is not innately good. Progress is not necessarily automatic. Not everyone is capable of making decisions that lead to the betterment of all. The only good freedoms are MY freedoms…. Man needs to be controlled… and I need to be the one controlling… so that I get what I want…. The Pleasure Principle that rules Secular Humanism….
The Secular Humanists kept the idea that man is evolving to Superman…. But they decided that man needed to be controlled by “Society”…. Whom they define as themselves and their ilk… only…. Socialism…. “All men are created equal, but some are more equal….” as George Orwell put it in Animal Farm.
Oh…. And they redefined Liberalism and Progress to mean different things…. No longer Freedom… for others…. Only for themselves….
So… Socialism, Communism and Secular Humanism are ALL rooted in archaic, disproved and dysfunctional ideologies… from the XIXth Century…. Including Secularism…. The idea that man can ultimately be his own Super Ego… and Super Hero…. Man functions adequately as Ultimate Authority….
So… what about Entitlement…? Capitalism offers each individual the opportunity to maximize his own benefit through hard work and efficiency…. Education…. Drive…. Industry…. The ideology of Capitalism inevitably demand individual accountability and responsibility and reward investment and resourcefulness… and ultimately… productivity…. Macroeconomics theory… doesn’t matter which one you choose because they all agree on this point… proves that improving the National Standard of Living depends on increasing productivity… not elevating the minimum wage…. When the minimum wage is artificially elevated… all other wages and prices simply readjust… which is inflationary…. To adjust for that… taxes must be increased… which is deflationary… but the natural response to deflation is to lower wages… which cannot happen because the minimum wage that pins everything else has been artificially set too high…. So… the worker who has had his minimum wage increased now must pay taxes… and looses purchasing power because of inflation… and winds up worse off than he was before…. That’s why Communism and Socialism have never worked. Inevitably the Nations who try such systems find that they cannot survive as Industrial Export Economies and must dance the slow death spiral of Service Import Economies unless they have enough of a surplus of Natural Resources to be a Resource Exporting Economy….
Yesterday my post showed that the First World nations… the Advanced Industrialized Nations of West… all have significantly higher ratios of debt compared to Gross Domestic Product than former Communist nations such as China and Russia…. Why…? Professor Quigley suggests that the reason is because the sequence of the various revolutions was different. Rather than the Agricultural Revolution and Sanitation Revolution promoting a Demographic Explosion that then allowed a concentration of workers in cities to fuel the Industrial Revolution which produced the Transportation/Communication Revolution which magnified profits…. I don’t buy it…. I understand that China and Russia could oppress their populace to produce food because they were able to restrict access to arms because by 1930’s technology had evolved…. But the reason for oppressing the peasants rather than borrowing from Advanced Nations… and going into debt to “Imperial Powers” like other nations chose to do… was probably more ideological than pragmatic…. If you’ve read Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto, then you understand that the defined purpose of Communism is to establish Anarchy and destabilize and destroy the government and Capitalism in order to fundamentally change the balance of power. The GOAL of Communism is to destroy Capitalism. The existence of Banks and Private Property and Loans… and wages and prices… are ALL antithetical to the very principles of Anarcho Communism…. There is no middle ground…. To go to an Advanced Industrialized nation for a loan… would be to renounce the authority of the dialectical materialism…. And the source of Political Power for the ruling Elite…. Russia and China and Germany in the early to mid XXth Century had no experience with Democracy… nor with the Western Political Philosophy that evolved out of Christian Scientific Culture…. They had political histories steeped in repressive autocratic authoritarian dictatorships…. So… their people more easily accepted more of the same… especially when they facade was that of stealing from the rich to give to the worker…. Notice I never said poor…. All of the States discussed… and all the others… China, Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan and all the Eastern bloc countries… must be defined as Fascist Socialist Dictatorships or Oligarchies…. None can be considered truly Communist because Communism is defined by Anarchy: NO government.
The reason all of those attempts at governance failed… and NO Communist government has EVER remained independent and stable… and no Fascist State has ever persisted as Industrial Export Economy (Cuba exists because through dependency on other nations and Iraq and Iran persisted as Natural Resource Exporting Economies)… seems to be significantly related to the Psychology of Entitlement that is inherent within Socialism is not conducive to ever increasing productivity… which is absolutely CRITICAL to generate constant or consistently improving Standard of Living… as proved via any Macroeconomic model you care to choose…. Even Keynesian Economics… if you are honest and look long-term….
Entitlement KILLS productivity…. Not just in the initially recipients of the Entitlements…. Because those who are footing the bill… eventually begin to wonder why they are working… to pay for the Entitlements of the others… who are playing….
Capitalism works because it rewards Productivity…. That drives improvement in Standard of Living….
Entitlement KILLS Standard of Living because it kills Productivity…. Psychologically… Entitlement sucks the life out of any nation…. Slowly but surely… up to a point… which is about 100% of Gross Domestic Product… which is the line America just crossed…. Then… death usually comes MUCH more rapidly….