Posted by: graemebird | March 21, 2010

Prodeo, Don’t Push It. As Patient And Reserved As We Are Its Not Happening Here.

A Temporary Cut And Paste From George Reisman On Mises.Org. Ruining a nation with malice-afforethought is not OK. Its not even OK if 99% of what you do is legal. Stop stooging yourself that you will get that far. Listen to what the greatest living economist says:

On Sunday, December 10, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile died, at the age of 91. General Pinochet deserves to be remembered for having rescued his country from becoming the second Soviet satellite in the Western hemisphere, after Castro’s Cuba, and, like the Soviet Union, and Cuba under Castro, a totalitarian dictatorship.

The General is denounced again and again for the death or disappearance of over 3,000 Chilean citizens and the alleged torture of thousands more. It may well be that some substantial number of innocent Chilean citizens did die or disappear or otherwise suffered brutal treatment as the result of his actions. But in a struggle to avoid the establishment of a Communist dictatorship, it is undoubtedly true that many or most of those who died or suffered were preparing to inflict a far greater number of deaths and a vastly larger scale of suffering on their fellow citizens.

Their deaths and suffering should certainly not be mourned, any more than the deaths of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, and their helpers should be mourned. Had there been a General Pinochet in Russia in 1918 or Germany in 1933, the people of those countries and of the rest of the world would have been incomparably better off, precisely by virtue of the death, disappearance, and attendant suffering of vast numbers of Communists and Nazis. Life and liberty are positively helped by the death and disappearance of such mortal enemies. Their absence from the scene means the absence of such things as concentration camps, and is thus ardently to be desired.

As for the innocent victims in Chile, their fate should overwhelmingly be laid at the door of the Communist plotters of totalitarian dictatorship. People have an absolute right to rise up and defend their lives, liberty, and property against a Communist takeover. In the process, they cannot be expected to make the distinctions present in a judicial process. They must act quickly and decisively to remove what threatens them. That is the nature of war. The fate of innocent bystanders, largely those who cannot be readily distinguished from the enemy, is the responsibility of the Communists. Had they not attempted to impose their totalitarian dictatorship, there would not have been any need to use force and violence to prevent them, and thus the innocent would not have suffered.

Contrary to the attitude of so many of today’s intellectuals, Communists do not have a right to murder tens of millions of innocent people and then to complain when their intended victims prevent their takeover and in the process kill some of them.

General Pinochet was undoubtedly no angel. No soldier can be. But he certainly was also no devil. In fact, if any comparison applies, it may well be one drawn from antiquity, namely, that of Cincinnatus, who saved the Roman Republic by temporarily becoming its dictator. Like Cincinnatus, General Pinochet voluntarily relinquished his dictatorship. He did so after both preventing a Communist takeover and imposing major pro-free-market reforms, inspired largely by Milton Friedman (who in large part was himself inspired by Ludwig von Mises). The effect of these reforms was to make Chile’s the most prosperous and rapidly progressing economy in Latin America, Thereafter, in the words of his New York Times’—largely hostile—obituary, he used his remaining power to “set limits, for example, on economic policy debates with frequent warnings that he would not tolerate a return to statist measures.”

General Pinochet was thus one of the most extraordinary dictators in history, a dictator who stood for major limits on the power of the state, who imposed such limits, and who sought to maintain such limits after voluntarily giving up his dictatorship.

When General Pinochet stepped down, he did so with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for his actions while in power. However, the present and previous regime in Chile violated this agreement and sought to ensnare the General in a web of legal actions and law suits, making the last years of his life a period of turmoil. This was a clear violation of contract, comparable to the seizure of property in violation of contract. Not surprisingly the regimes in question were avowedly socialist. As a result of their breach, it is now considerably less likely that the world will soon see any other dictator voluntarily relinquish his power. The Chilean socialists will have taught him that to be secure, he must remain in power until he dies.

*****

Dictatorship, like war, is always an evil. Like war, it can be justified only when it is necessary to prevent a far greater evil, namely, as in this case, the imposition of the far more comprehensive and severe, permanent totalitarian dictatorship of the Communists.

Despite the fact that General Pinochet was able to use his powers as dictator to enact major pro-free-market reforms, dictatorship should never be seen as justified merely as a means of instituting such reforms, however necessary and desirable they may be. Dictatorship is the most dangerous of political institutions and easily produces catastrophic results. This is because a dictator is not restrained by any need for public discussion and debate and thus can easily leap headlong into disasters that would have been avoided had there been the freedom to criticize his proposed actions and to oppose them. And even when his policies may be right, the fact that they are imposed in defiance of public opinion operates greatly to add to their unpopularity and thus to make permanent change all the more difficult.

On the basis of such considerations, when asked many years ago what he would do if he were appointed dictator, von Mises replied, “I would resign.”

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site http://www.capitalism.net is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine

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Responses

  1. Wow. You defend one of the worst totalitarian mass murdering monsters of the 20th century in the name of your discredited economic nostrums.

  2. Um, no, Pinochet killed about 3,000 political opponents. He was a piker compared to the vast majority of Communist regimes that have ever existed, which of course received your enthusiastic endorsement.

    PS – don’t pretend that you are against mass murder when you have supported it in several different contexts.

  3. People have an absolute right to rise up and defend their lives, liberty, and property against a Communist takeover.

    This should be written into our constitution. Even if 99% of society supported a Communist takeover, the 1% would always have an absolute right to use total violence to defend their individual rights, regardless of how many of the 99% they would need to eliminate. Individual liberty is not negotiable.

  4. “the 1% would always have an absolute right to use total violence”

    Bravo, Mr Fisk. Spoken like a True White Man.

    Bravo.

  5. The White Man’s Burden is a heavy load Ron, they need all the help from imperial lackeys they can con.

  6. Indeed, Sal.

    As Mr Fisk correctly notes, sometimes you have to break 99% of the eggs to make an omelette.

    But that’s just the price you pay to have a delicious breakfast.

  7. “Wow. You defend one of the worst totalitarian mass murdering monsters of the 20th century in the name of your discredited economic nostrums.”

    No I would never do such a thing. Pinochet had the job of stopping a Cuban and Soviet sponsored civil war from destroying his country. So essentially what he did was win that civil war at record-breaking speed.

    This would have been an utterly devastating prospect in a long skinny country backed up by mountains. Devastating but not so bad as continuing communist rule and mass murder. So there were two prospects to avoid and the only way to do so was win the war quickly.

    Short war. Probably along the lines of how long it would take to round up prodeo types should they try and bring communism here.

  8. Communists are mass murderers. So what he was doing is preventing mass murder. Simple as that.

    Or is there some new theory out there that communists AREN’T mass murderers?

    Suppose you had to start shooting people to stop the Rwanda mass murders?

    Well that might have taken some shooting. Same sort of situation here.

  9. allende wasn’t murdering anyone yet

    pinochet’s actions were disproportionate.

  10. Yeah Allende’s crowd were murdering people. Plus they were acting ruthlessly outside their own constitution.

    Very unlike our leftists. But not so far different from what Obama was at least trying to do earlier.

  11. Pinochet was preferable to where Allende was heading but he was still a mass murderer

  12. Would you be a mass-murderer had you stopped the Rwanda massacre?

    You are being illogical.

  13. Another way of asking the question is this. Could Pinochet have won that civil war, with Cuban and Soviet assistance, had he merely tried to arrest people?

    No of course not. The long skinny country would have afforded the launching of resources, and the mountain backing could have lead to a decades long insurgency. Pinochet had to win or die himself.

    What about Reagan saving Granada from communism? Was that mass-murder also? Like the Cuban soliders they took out? Was that Reagan as mass-murderer?

  14. People like Norton, Bahnisch and myself have to consider we will be targeted for death at the very start of any such violence. Now I realise this. Do Bahnisch or Norton? Well they are lunatics.

    So who wants such a situation to develop? Not me. But Bahnisch and Norton and those others at Prodeo are working for just such a scenario day and night. Whereas I would try to avoid it.

    So they advocate destroying our energy production, collapsing our financial position, emphasising racial and sectarian difference. Buggering our immigration. Alienating allies. Causing trouble elsewhere in the world, and so forth.

    You name it. Every second they are pushing us toward the breakdown.

    Me I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near that abyss. Being that I too would be targeted. Compliant and useful idiots like most of those at Catallaxy, would be left alone.

    So I want strong energy production. The paying down of our debts public and private. The reduction of government parasitism and the elimination of bank parasitism. The substitution of tax thresholds and tax exemptions for welfare payments….

    …. And all these things which make the place fairer, less risky, wherein civil society is allowed to expand.

    I don’t know. Perhaps these Prodeo people want to get themselves killed in this sort of thing. Certainly the revolution eats almost all its children. They would tend to have a very short life-span no matter which side won.

  15. Uncharacteristically excellent comment by Adrien.

    “I would’ve supported TWA and GTFO. Fast.”

    There is no good action to take once matters have slid this far. This is why conservatives who are sycophantic towards the leftist ascendancy are so inclined at the peril of this Australian civilisation.

    So we ought not support evil and monstrously stupid ideas like the Keynesian multiplier. Or laugh at the economically literate when numbskulls like Gruen and Leigh pull the top jobs in Canberra. Or bullshit like Davidson before the Senate, and imply their is a Keynesian multiplier.

    Or do any of those things designed to ruin this country. Because action has to be taken well before the leftists start running rampant. Its a tactical matter. If they are gaining strength daily as opposed to their opponents, then procrastination will not do because it will mean they win then everyone loses.

    Since my own life expectancy would be in single digits at this point, you can see why it is worth my while trying to put in an enormous amount of effort, as I am doing, to prevent things from getting that far.

    Key things to do now are to rule out any taxes on CO2 to the level of absolute business certainty. And to stop Rudd buggering the hospital system.

    Also we ought to get back in surplus without delay. A mini-budget ought to be called.

  16. Allende’s was a democratically elected government carrying out electorally popular policies aimed at improving the lives of the majority. It was opposed by big business, the banks and the rich landowning class. It was overthrown by a foreign government, the US, including with the covert support and interference of the CIA.

    The bloody illegal coup resulted in tens of thosuands of people tortured, traumatised, imprisoned and killed. Pinochet went on to form a counter-revolutionary, totalitatian military alliance with all the other US-installed dictators in the region.

    Some case study for “libertarian” rule. It is a clear example of the fact that a rampant free market regime is necessarily a totalitarian one.

  17. Same as Hitler. Doesn’t matter. If they act ruthlessly outside the constitution it is the duty of everyone, high and low, to remove them.

    Cambria, uncharacteristically has brought the argument to a close:

    “There’s no beating around the bush with Allende. The Chilean supreme court said he was acting outside his scope of office and asked the military to remove him from power.”

    Its really that simple.

  18. And the Allende government was left social democrat.

    What is a Marxist government?

  19. Cambria is a fool you know that. He wils say anything to appease his banking masters. He knows zilch about history.

    There was an illegal coup. Many people were killed, imprisoned and tortured for no reason. The government was democratically elected. it was social democratic. These are the indisputable facts. If libertarians or conservatives support this even retrospectively they are no better than murdering totalitarian dictators themselves.

    End of.

    • I agree with your first paragraph. But the fact is his argument is really quite unassailable in this case.

  20. Allende was a fascist/communist type. These people can call themselves anything they want. It doesn’t change their ruinous intent. That he had Castro and the Soviets working with him meant there was no hope if the situation were delayed any. Could the tide have been turned earlier then less people would have gotten killed.

  21. There is a real science to bringing countries down. Obama, was part of a campaign to destabilize Kenya for example. And this lead to horrendous mass murdering. Thats just a months work for Obama and his backers.

    Anyhow we would want to study up on the science of subversion and the science of manufacturing consent and spreading influence. One doesn’t really know how it is done until after the fact. But we have now a very good idea of how communist influence operated.

    How the global warming racketeers manage to tie up every organisation in the world I don’t know. Perhaps I will in a few decades from now. But to have a good guess we try and look at the immensely successful capacities of the Soviet subversion machine.

  22. You label anyone you don’t like a communist. Including Obama. This is anti-scientific.

    If the head of a government is Marxist or conservative that does not necessarily mean the government is either of those things.

    The Allende government carried out social democratic reforms. The economy was capitalist. Its government was bourgeois democratic.

  23. Conflating the head of state with the on-paper ideological views of the head of state is simply childish and history proves otherwise over and over again.

    Our head of state is the Queen. Does that make Australia a monarchy?

  24. sorry, I meant conflating the nature of a government and class character of a state with the ideological views of a single head of state is…

    • You cannot have marxists at the head of government Philomena. A marxist has his right of freedom of speech as a private citizen. He cannot be allowed to get near the levers of power.

  25. Or, to put it another way, if 99% of society decided to gang up and exterminate an ethnic or religious minority, that minority would have the absolute right to defend themselves, even if it means killing a large number of the 99% aggressors. This is fairly elementary stuff. You don’t have the right to use aggressive violence, no matter how large your mob is. The same holds for those resisting a Communist takeover – there is no limit to the level of defensive violence that would be justified in fighting off a Communist attack on private property.

  26. And as Allende was in fact a Communist who had smashed the constitution and was illegally nationalising industries, the military had to step in to squash him. I would expect no less in Australia.

  27. Historically private property was public or communally shared “property” that was privately expropriated. In the age of imperialism by the richer nations of the poorer, or rather less technologically developed.

    Ever heard of the Commons?

    Even Australia had the pretension of being a Commonwealth. This has always been a human ideal from thence we came and there we will go I would think if we are to have any hope of surviving the 22nd century or not facing extinction of most of us and most other species on this planet.

  28. There is nothing illegal about a national government nationalising the major industries on which its citizens depend for their livelihood and well-being.

    Nationalisation of industry – or programmatic support for it by capitalist governments – has been a feature of virtually every bourgeois democratic revolution in the making, by every emerging independent capitalist state certainly in the underdeveloped world from the 18th-20th century.

  29. Well its stealing Philomena. Its a new level of stealing beyond mere taxation. It would be one thing to nationalise some of telstra’s underground gear and pay compensation. But to go in and steal a farm is totally beyond the pale. And its a sign that the marxists have gotten arrogant and if they are not arrested now the mass murder will soon start.

    Plus the nationalisation of farms is a sign that the marxists are going to cause a famine if you let them go on with their experiments.

  30. We have to think about what we are doing to help bring things to this sort of crisis.

    So for example I would never put up with THR lying on my site. Whereas Jason then and Sinclair now are fine with people bullshitting. Neither of these guys came out against bank parasitism. Both have bullshitted in favour of the hateful lie of the Keynesian multiplier. Which does more to destabilize a country with debt then almost any other lie.

  31. “You cannot have marxists at the head of government Philomena. A marxist has his right of freedom of speech as a private citizen. He cannot be allowed to get near the levers of power.”

    Why not?

    Isn’t this contrary to the very spirit and letter of libertarianism: freedom of conscience and of belief?

  32. Nationalisation of farms in Chile or Cuba weren’t of the small holder variety. The nationalisation was of the major agricultural industries (much like agribusiness today) that were owned by the US or by the statistically insignificant native feudal landowning class who had stolen or been given the land by the conquistadors (or equivalent).

    This was justice in action and all for the benefit of the population as a whole. Instead of the workers and citizens living in poverty with the profits being expatriated overseas or into the bottomless pockets of the rapacious corrupt ruling elite, the benefits of what had been produced by large numbers would be far more equitably shared.

    That is the whole point of nationalisation. It is a profoundly democratic and economically progressive action to take. Any government seeking genuine national liberation from the yoke of imperialist exploitation is compelled to take this course. As so many did.

  33. Even in that case this is a crude and stupid way of doing things which would disrupt food production.

    If while reducing government spending is reduced you are increasing income tax thresholds and moving to land tax, also with thresholds, then that will tend to lead to more smaller land holdings.

    So that still wouldn’t be an excuse for nationalisation. Rather an example of marxists doing things to cause harm.

  34. “Why not?”

    Because they will destroy things and kill people. We already know how this story works. They will push things closer to disaster if they cannot start killing people now. They will hire all the wrong people.

    There’s no inherent right to power. The right is to ones own property.

    So Obama hires a known corrupt team. Runs a two hundred billion dollar deficit for a single month. Hires all Keynesians in his economic team. Starts fielding ideas that are the death of the constitution. Refuses to prove his eligibility. Uses foreign money illegally to come to power ….. and on and on.

    Obama ought to have been stopped well before he reached the white house. Still after all this time he has not even proved to be eligible. Shall we wait until he’s rounding up people? No he ought to have been subject to a campaign to make sure he was disqualified due to illegal use of foreign funds. Or found to be ineligible to hold office under the constitution.

  35. See Marxists can comment on my site. And Keynesians too. But we ought never let them in the public service jobs. You need to have an Andrew Jackson setup where you keep cleaning house.

    Marxists can comment on my site but if they tell lies like THR or Fyodor they get wiped. And they ought not be let in the public service at all.

    We may have to think of banking sycophants in exactly the same light. These people subverted my attempts to teach monetary economics three straight years running.

  36. “Historically private property was public or communally shared “property” that was privately expropriated.”

    Right. It should have been homesteaded. But much of it ought to be in private hands. You see we basically keep the aborigines in a state of communism in Arnhem Land. Because we don’t allow them to homestead private plots.

  37. “Even in that case this is a crude and stupid way of doing things which would disrupt food production.

    Why should it “disrupt food production”? Especially when it is popularly supported? Democracy in action.

    How could nationalisation disrupt food production by any other mechanism than deliberate sabotage of food production by the expropriated exploiters? Think about it.

    Food production in a nationalised sector continues as normal all things being equal except that the state (representing the majority) is the owner and distributor rather than an engorged rip-off minority simply pocketing the profits of the industry for their own personal enrichment and bugger the needs and interest of the rest of society.

  38. Neither THR or Fyodor are Marxists though are they. Neither of them are Marxists, Graeme. And they would be the first to tell you so. And they both demonstrably are not, from their own mouths and beliefs or inclinations.

    Again you are trying to squeeze into little ideological boxes people who be any fair criteria cannot be so neatly pigeonholed. Again, this demonstrates a very unscientific approach to politics,or any thing, I would suggest. Your data is insufficient and your conclusions predetermined and inaccurate.

  39. And I am not a Marxist either.

    So who are all these Marxists commenting here?

    In your dreams, Birdy.

  40. Why should it “disrupt food production”? Especially when it is popularly supported? Democracy in action.

    It already has in practically every single instance that it’s been tried. The results have been uniformly disastrous. Abolishing private property in agriculture precludes any useful system of accounting, of profit and loss, in production. Farmers have no incentive to be as efficient as possible, to keep costs down, invest in plant and technology etc, if they don’t actually own the capital or hold meaningful rights over the land. Instead, farmers will have every reason to fudge the figures, hoard produce and sell it on the black market where they can receive much higher returns. This is why the nationalisation of agriculture in China, Russia, North Korea and Vietnam, to take four notorious examples, led to a collapse in production, massive famine in the first three of these countries and chronic shortages in the other.

    Private property has been proven, over and over again to the point of embarrassment, to be the only institution that can sustain an advanced consumer economy. It works. That’s why even the former Communist bloc have legalised property rights and completely turned their collective backs (excluding a few, predictably impoverished, holdouts such as Cuba and North Korea) on collective ownership. You seem to think the Chinese were better off standing in ration lines while their relatives were starving to death. That’s not very progressive, is it?

  41. There is a couple of things. I know you are influenced by Marx and not a Marxist as such.

    But the hardcore Marxists are the ones that always rise to the surface when things get violent. Actually it is a feature of war that utopianism rises to the surface as a motivating factor in war and this causes great harm even as it motivates.

    The Utopian Eschatological version of Marxism represents the theft of everything, and the enslavement of everyone, conducted under conditions of an obsession with human blood sacrifice.

    The democratic version of American utopianism in world war two was the idea to carpet bomb Germany, and then steal all her productive power to give to Stalin, and turn her into a primitive agrarian setup. Rob the British of her Empire, and just suck up to the worst murderer the world had ever seen, killing anyone he wanted killed, in order to set up the holy UN. Which would mean everlasting peace.

    The utopian version of the Confederacy was to do with once breaking free of the union, expanding all the way down to the tropics, so that all white-guy survivors could expect to own land and slaves.

    The Utopian version of the Union effort was to do with the perfection of humans by political means, as a sort of Christian salvation. Northerners then often tended to hate blacks, whereas in many cases with Southerners they were almost family. And there was real affection, but the definite determination to make sure they were a lesser caste. So the Northern Utopianism was more to do with hating slavery in the abstract, not liking blacks at the individual level.

    Now there are many reasons why Marxism and mass-murder go together. One is the idea that in the Marxist milieu, for internal sociological reasons it is always the more utopian-eschatologist marxists that are upwardly mobile when things get nasty. It is not some sort of case where a committed historian, who used to be a full-blown Marxist as a kid, ….. still uses a modified version of that outlook to inform his historical speculations …..

    ….. Its not a case of such a person getting promotional opportunities when the shit hits the fan. Its not the case of a red baby with real human feeling like Alexie Sayle becoming upwardly mobile under those conditions.

    Nor is it the case of some fellow like Ellis, brought up an eschatological Christian, then swinging hard to Marxism for a spell (here I’m speculating horribly on the basis of a movie of his) as a sort of methodone treatment …. and then nuancing his position slowly over time.

    ….. That sort of fellow isn’t a part of the operational plan once the shit hits the fan.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Then there is the other factor of the role of price signals. Our price signals in our economy are totally fucked up by fractional reserve. By company taxes. By too fast monetary growth….

    …. Do you remember Philomena when I insisted point blank that the attempt to institute true communism will immediately, always and everywhere lead to famine????

    This was before me and you were friends. But you read what I was saying.

    The reason this will always happen is that we have an EXTENDED STRUCTURE OF PRODUCTION.

    And in the extended structure of production the least important prices are consumer prices.

    So supposing you had the government owned stores. And supposing the communists owned all of retail. And they had a minimum price, but took their profits when Queues were about to form. They jacked the prices up when queues began to form and thats how they got their taxation.

    Well that would work after a fashion and wouldn’t cause a famine. Because its

    1. Only buggering the price system at one stage of the production structure.

    2. Only buggering the price system at retail, where price information is not nearly as important.

    Bear in mind that this point about price information at retail being powerfully important but only a fraction as important as price information in the mid-section of the production structure would be a matter where almost total ignorance prevails at Catallaxy outside of Steve Kates and Rafe.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Ideologically I was rubbished at Catallaxy for supporting market-socialism for some aspects of infrastructure, particularly roads, for a period of some decades before we could see our way clear to a rules-based approach.

    I think they rubbished me because they accepted at some level the Misean conclusion that you needed private property price information. But they didn’t understand why. And so they overestimated the damage that a true market socialism pricing system would do for the roads. The contention was an ideological contention rather than a contention based on technical understanding.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Only now can I explain why the attempt to institute communism must, as of necessity, lead to more or less instant famine, or famine within a maximum of three growing seasons.

    You see in this extended production structure it doesn’t go primary production…. manufacturer.. wholesaler …. retailer ….. consumer.

    It doesn’t go like that in a sort of vertical way. As soon as you kick it off the whole thing is networked. A little less networked at the primary production level. A little less networked at the retail level. But networked just the same.

    In the midsection of the production structure PRICE INFORMATION IS DOING 360 DEGREES DUTY.

    Price information at the midsection is co-ordinating the efforts of people in a 360 degrees way.

    My failure to be able to communicate the full reality of this at Catallaxy left your average faux-libertarian mystified at my absolutely intolerant attitude to fractional reserve. Because fractional reserve is a full-frontal attack on the price system. Which they kind of acknowledge in a sort of tired ideological way, but do not appreciate in technical terms.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I think now we are almost ready to answer your question as to why stealing this land and redistributing it would always disrupt production and lead to starvation. Empirically as Michael pointed out, we already know that it always does.

    But we first had to lay it down any attempt to establish communism will always lead to famine. So all I’ve done above is give you that backdrop. I’ve not really answered the question.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Even very large landowners, who are powerfully wealthy and employ hundreds of people at to us what would be starvation wages, will have great debts.

    Their net wealth might seem enourmous. But their debts will still be there.

    Supposing that there land is about to be stolen?

    What would then be the sale value of that land? They WERE asset rich and on a fine balancing act as far as cash flow was concerned. What do you do to them when you establish that their land is to be stolen from them?

    You take from them.

    1. The one thing that animated their act, which was their asset value.

    2. The ability and motivation to throw all their cash resources into next seasons production.

    Hence at the first sign of lack of security in property they will be cutting wages, laying off people, sending money overseas, underutilising their land, and basically making sure that there will be enough food to keep things ticking over alone, but not a great deal more than that.

    …MORE LATER.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Another example would be

  42. The Vietnamese girl I was buying a bunch of stuff from was smiling at me. What a honey. Of course I then realised I must have been smiling at her like a fool.

    Which then made me realise I had been thinking about your story of Vietnamese Chick Warriors. My God what an enticing idea. Its like a seven year old hearing about teenage, mutant, ninja, turtles, for the first time. Its almost too much.

    I’ll get back to my explanation why Allende-style land reform must always lead to starvation and chaos a bit later on.

  43. Let me make a correction Fisk. And advanced economy is not a CONSUMER ECONOMY. A consumer economy is rather a reflection of our hateful monetary and taxation one-two combination of destruction.

    So let us just make this friendly amendment to get down to the real story here:

    FISK SEZ:

    “Private property has been proven, over and over again to the point of embarrassment, to be the only institution that can sustain an advanced consumer economy”

    MY FRIENDLY AMENDMENT IS:

    Private property has been proven, over and over again to the point of embarrassment, to be the only institution that can sustain an ADVANCED STRUCTURE OF PRODUCTION….

    See this is the point of the story Philomena. Fisk has locked this in on the basis of empiricism. And he’s right to do so. You might not be satisfied without the full technical explanation as well. Which will continue a bit later.

  44. god not fractional reserve again

  45. How do you manage to maintain a state of utter ignorance the whole time?

    Economics is not your study. You were not meant for this subject.

    Here we have this enourmous structure of production and all this spending that needs co-ordinating, with consumer spending such a tiny part of of it all, and some dummy comes along and says, “god not fractional reserve again”

    I just don’t understand that amount of stupid all in one place?

  46. Here is where we deal with all aspects of monetary economics, should you and Sinclair ever get sick of being utterly ignorant of your alleged field of study.

    http://www.talkfinance.net/

    I don’t know why this would bother you in the future. It hasn’t bothered you yet.

  47. Famines are not restricted to any particular economic or political system or even period of history. They have been a feature of human history everywhere including up until today.

    If anything famines are a result of market failure, including capitalist market failure. Above all they are a result of a combination of natural or climactic events and forces and social upheaval, in particular war and civil war and centuries of exploitative minority rule. Pre-existing decentralised or today still overly centralised, coercive, unco-operative, unequal food production and distribution systems have always been a key factor in producing famines or food shortages and hunger.

  48. Famines are seldom part of capitalism. Certainly they would unlikely to be a part of the sort of capitalism you would have if you took an intelligent and patient approach to land reform. You don’t want the sort of absentee landlordism you had during the potato famines.

    But extreme hunger or famines tend to result immediately when you get people trying to apply communism. Or even attempting the sort of land reform you are talking about.

    So for example when they tried to apply communism in Vietnam, after they had expelled the Americans, and after the Chinese and Soviet aid had ended, they went into immediate famine conditions. This is fully backed by the economics of it and the empirical evidence. China went into famine conditions immediately they tried on the great leap forwards just by way of another example.

    The Soviets went straight into famine, and malaria ripped through Russia immediately they tried on communism. It has to be that way. It cannot work any other way.

  49. Russia and its empire had famine from the end of WW1 which devastated an already drained and plundered country of peasants and it had famine during and well after the Civil War in which it was also attacked by some 20-40 sovereign nations.

    Vietnam had regular famines under French rule and in 1944-45 under Japanese occupation one of its worst famines occurred in which an estimated 2-3 million people died as a direct result of the Japanese occupation and rule.

    Famine was narrowly averted in south Vietnam after the American defeat because agricultural production had basically come to a halt as a result of the American occupation and war and the distortion of its economy all of which was primed to serving the needs of the US and its war against the Vietnamese and Cambodian people. The only thing that stopped mass scale starvation at that time was food sent to the south from the north.

  50. The Indian Oxford and Cambridge trained economist Amartya Sen who won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1998 wrote a report on capitalist poverty and famines in the C20.

    His report examined four major famines – the Great Bengal Famine in 1943 when about 1.5 mill died, the Ethiopian famines of 1972-74, the 1973 drought and famine in Sahel (which covers parts of the countries of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea) and the 1974 flood and famine in Bangladesh.

  51. Sen’s most important finding was that in each case in the areas most affected there was no significant decline in the availability of food!

    In fact in many areas where famine occurred food production, including per capita, actually rose. What he found that typically happened in a famine was that a natural disaster – flood, drought – made people *think* there’d be a shortage of food. And at the same time it affected the ability of food producers to earn $.

    The possessors of food then hoarded food and thus prices rose at the very same time many people’s income fell. If it was flood then there was no to little work to be had on the land and drought caused the landless poor to be evicted because they couldn’t grow enough to pay the rent. Everyone had less and less to exchange for food.

    This he said showed a failure of the market system which does to a great extent operate on what people think is happening or will happen even though objectively in terms of the actual food availability, the market is wrong.

    All of this is counter-intuitive to a mechanical frame of mind but it showed how the market – which your side of politics reveres as a god – can inexorably make a bad situation worse as well as be ethically unsound.

  52. Famines are not restricted to any particular economic or political system or even period of history. They have been a feature of human history everywhere including up until today.

    In the last century, famines have been mostly concentrated in totalitarian regimes, particularly Communist ones in peacetime. The Ukrainian famine was man made. The Maoist famine was man made. The North Korean famine was man made. The Ethiopian famine was man made. These were some of the biggest famines in recent history, and they occurred under COLLECTIVISM. They weren’t caused by the “weather” – we suffer appalling weather all the time and still manage to avoid famine. Ever since mankind escaped the Malthusian trap, private property has been the most efficient means of producing surplus food, by far. You simply have no argument against this.

    If anything famines are a result of market failure, including capitalist market failure. Above all they are a result of a combination of natural or climactic events and forces and social upheaval, in particular war and civil war and centuries of exploitative minority rule. Pre-existing decentralised or today still overly centralised, coercive, unco-operative, unequal food production and distribution systems have always been a key factor in producing famines or food shortages and hunger.

    This is garbage from start to finish (by the way, do you even know what “market failure” means?). Even under exploitative minority rule black Rhodesians still had more than enough to eat. Now, since the destruction of private property, agricultural production has collapsed completely and people are fleeing the country in droves. Yes it is true that famine is more likely to be produced during war – it is also much more likely to occur under collectivism than under private property. This isn’t even up for serious debate.

    Russia and its empire had famine from the end of WW1 which devastated an already drained and plundered country of peasants and it had famine during and well after the Civil War in which it was also attacked by some 20-40 sovereign nations.

    All that proves is that famine often occurs under war. I agree with you – but this doesn’t actually support the thesis that you are trying to advance, which is that famine is more likely to occur in a society with private property rights than a collectivist economy. You’re wrong – the history is completely against you.

    Vietnam had regular famines under French rule and in 1944-45 under Japanese occupation one of its worst famines occurred in which an estimated 2-3 million people died as a direct result of the Japanese occupation and rule.

    Vietnam was under a feudal system until 1945 (famines were common under feudalism – but then feudalism isn’t the same thing as capitalism), and the famine that was caused by the Japanese obviously had nothing to do with “private property”, which is the point you are trying to make. You haven’t actually proven anything. The overwhelming body of historical evidence is against you.

    Famine was narrowly averted in south Vietnam after the American defeat because agricultural production had basically come to a halt as a result of the American occupation and war and the distortion of its economy all of which was primed to serving the needs of the US and its war against the Vietnamese and Cambodian people. The only thing that stopped mass scale starvation at that time was food sent to the south from the north.

    Actually, rice production collapsed in South Vietnam after the North took over, and there wouldn’t have been food shortages in the North if they hadn’t diverted precious supplies to the pointless military effort to spread a failed economic doctrine into the South (I say “failed” because the Communists themselves conceded they had failed and duly backflipped a few short years later anyway – I guess hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue). People lost the title over their land and started to hoard rice. It was a catastrophe.

    So yes, war, including Communist aggression, often does cause famine. You seem to think that this somehow validates your argument that private property causes famine. No it doesn’t. Almost every single case of major peacetime famine in recent history has occured in a Communist country, not a capitalist one. For some reason, you seem to think that the Vietnamese and Chinese people were better off waiting for hours in “rice-lines” than they are since they legalised private property. This is a sadistic point of view.

  53. So Amartya Sen examined a bunch of third world tyrannies, one country including one Feudal-turned-Communist country, Ethiopia, and another under threat of invasion (causing food hoarding), and found that famine had occurred. Wow! We’d better abolish private property and force people to wait for a whole day in bread-lines before it’s too late!

  54. Sorry, I should have changed one sentence, which isn’t quite accurate as it stands to: “Almost every single case of major peacetime famine in recent history has occured in a Communist country, or other variety of tyranny, not a capitalist one”

  55. Well yes, unlike Friedman, eg, and like Adam Smith, Sen’s no mean accomplishment which contributed to him winning the Nobel Prize was his marriage of economics and ethics.

    He argued that in all arenas of life, and that this is evolutionarily adaptive, cooperative rather than combative, selfish strategies are repeatedly adopted.

    Why?

    Because people do have notions of other people’s rights, as well as their own. They have a sense of community they want to continue, i.e. people do have an ethical, i.e collectivist view of life that is not purely selfish.

    He thought – and who could disagree? – that these findings had implications for the economic organisation of society, tax policy, financial support for the poor and recognition of social needs.

  56. Russia’s New Economic Policy allowed for a mixed economy whereby small businesses primarily in the agricultural sector from 1921 on could operate on the basis of private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade, and large industries.

    Of course the critique of the later authoritarian, bureaucratic collectivisation of agriculture came first and foremost -and has never been surpassed in detail and passionate incisiveness – from contemporaneous Russian and later other European and American Marxists.

  57. It was the earlier experiment that was REAL COMMUNISM. Later they called it “war communism” but it was before the NEP-men were allowed into the system that real communism was attempted.

    Of course, in accordance with economic law, there was instant famine. They were only bailed out by American aid, which was delivered personally by the future President, Herbert Hoover.

    They were eating eachother Philomena. It wasn’t a very cool scene.

  58. “His report examined four major famines – the Great Bengal Famine in 1943 when about 1.5 mill died, the Ethiopian famines of 1972-74, the 1973 drought and famine in Sahel (which covers parts of the countries of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea) and the 1974 flood and famine in Bangladesh.”

    Which one of these is the capitalist famine? Surely if I was being generous I could only cop the Bengal famine, and even then because I know nothing about it.

    All the rest have to be sheeted off to socialism or pre-capitalism. The absence of property rights for the little guy.

    The Irish famine might be a valid capitalist famine. Lacking understanding of what happened in Bengal, its the only one I can so far admit as a capitalist famine.

    And I have a bit of a confession to make. Whilst in the modern context I’m only about a 12.5% follower of Henry George. In the agrarian setting I’m prepared to meet Henry George half-way.

    So even if a closer examination proved that the local Irish really did have property rights, and were equal before the law, and weren’t being abused by the British non-private overlords …. which seems pretty unlikely ……….

    ….. then I would tend to sheet it off to the idea of the Brits unjustly taking revenue from sources other than the land tax. And I would also sheet it of to serendipity.

    You must understand that there is still diabetes in my family, I assume inductively, derived specifically from the Irish famine. If I thought it was the result of my better version of capitalism, it would be something I’d take into account. One reading of the situation is that I was almost never born on the grounds of that famine. Another is that I would never have been born at all but for it.

    My grandfather told me that the Irish (speaking of his ancestors) were lazy. They were too lazy to peel the spuds. They had no idea that almost all the nutrients lay within and just below the skin.

    He told me that this was sheer dumb luck on the part of the Irish (his people) but it turned out to be a curse in that they had become a healthy people on the basis of one crop alone.

    Now I don’t know if the old man was right. But the fullness of time tended to render most of the crazy old buggers ideas more right then otherwise.

    So there is an element of serendipity in the Irish famine, I’m not sure it represents a capitalist famine properly considered, if it does I’ve allowed for it by meeting Henry George part of the way,

    And depending on what is revealed about the Bengal famine, then the Irish famine would appear to be the only potential capitalist famine ON RECORD.

    Famine is not natural to capitalism. You try and set up true communism you get famine straight up.

  59. Feudalism is a system of private ownership of the means of production, as slavery was, and as capitalism is. All of these produce famines and the fact that people starve or go hungry today in the world is because of these continuing property relations of exploitation and private accumumulation.

    Corporate globabisation in the last few decades has accelerated the growth of dispossessed landless peasants and the distortion and deterioration of national economies food production in the underdeveloped world and of the land and environment in which food is produced.

    This is only going to worsen and we are going to see more and more capitalist generated famines.

  60. hahaha this guy does a pretty good impression of you Graeme

    http://twitter.com/wingedmenace

    You’re no fucking economic scientist Soon. You’re neither. You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.
    about 19 hours ago via web

  61. It is ironic that you don’t, or market fundamentalists don’t seem to have any problem with the concentration and centralisation of financial power even now.

    In Europe in the 18th-19th centuries land and natural resources were not owned outright by the people or a multitude of small free holders. Nor was the land by then the property of a sovereign ruler leasing to small tenants and spending the rent for social purposes.

    The best part of the land and its natural resources was the monopoly of a small class of landlords who appropriated the social values of what should quite obviously have been everybody’s property, to their own private use.

    This is the origins of the early centralisation of financial power – a power used to exploit the new technological discoveries for the benefit not of individual small producers or co-operating groups, but for that of the class which alone possessed accumulations of money.

    This centralised finance then begot centralised industry and then the profits of centralised industry increased the power of centralised finance so that it was able to go ever further in the direction of completely centralised production and distribution.

    The centralising of industrial capacity in big factories resulted in the centralisation of a large proportion of pop’n in cities and in the reduction of ever increasing numbers of individuals to complete dependence on a few private capitalists and their managers, or upon the one public capitalist, the state.

    So far as liberty is concerned there is little to choose between the two types of boss now is there? And yet this is the system you hail as liberatory.

  62. China hits back at atrocious human rights record of the US. They are NOT impressed!

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-03/12/c_13208219.htm

    “The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 on March 11, 2010, posing as “the world judge of human rights” again. As in previous years, the reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States.”……..

  63. “It is ironic that you don’t, or market fundamentalists don’t seem to have any problem with the concentration and centralisation of financial power even now.”

    I hate it. I’d end it right away. Banking under 100% backing is more naturally a localised business.

    If we were an agrarian setup it would be important to have land parceled out more evenly. But even more important than that is not to bankrupt the landowners and disrupt food production.

    But we can bankrupt the banks. I’m up for THAT. You up for that? I’m up for that.

    So long as it comes via increasing the reserve asset ratio.

  64. Supposing I got to reform a country with massive landholdings as a typical thing. 90% of the population in agriculture but these few massive landowners.

    When I was through the landowners would still be wealthy, though they would be offloading a lot of their land. The former bankers would be mostly bankrupt. And the former gigantic landholders, would now hold less land but would have probably taken the former bankers place in a lot of ways.

    But this is for reasons too complex to explain very quickly.

  65. Ideally, best not to try such a massive social change which on paper is obviously the more egalitarian course of action in countries where the new ruling caste were yesterday’s peasants, slaves, or god forbid uncivilised “darkies”.

    We all know perfectly well how that’ll end up, eh wot!

  66. Attempt not to be an idiot will you Edney? Firstly this is not the way Mugabe handled things, secondly when moronic leftist Larvatus Prodeo types start trying on the leftist reversal on me, then they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. That nonsense was always stupidity even when coming from the centrist SOON or the bank communist Cambra.


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