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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The wisdom of Bastiat

The victory of Statism over reality.

by StFerdIII

 

     

    Bastiat was the famed mid-19th French economist noted for his adherence to economic reality; and the disavowal of socialist-utopian schemes. In today's parlance he would be a conservative-libertarian, ignored by the main-stream media as an 'extremist' and condemned by modern Keynesian's as 'heartless'. But as Bastiat famously declared, in economics it is the 'unknown' which is far more important that the 'known'.

     

      The tribute paid by the people to commerce is that which is seen. The tribute which the people would pay to the State, or to its agents, in the Socialist system, is what is not seen.”

     

    The consequences of socialism and government statist power, are all to real and then run through the width and breadth of the political-economy. Nothing in life is free – not even paper printed up and called money, which apparently resolves all economic ills, themselves caused of course by government.

     

    Bastiat's sensibility runs counter to the socialist-statist addiction the current world finds itself in. If the Mandarins build pyramids does that really improve your fictional GDP, itself a spending algorithm of little factual relevance ? What are the unforeseen consequences of debt, printing money, and governmental interference in most of the political-economy ? What happens to your freedom when government can impose an endless array off taxes to 'save the poor'; 'provide for the elderly'; 'aid the little guy'; or create 'equality', 'fairness' and 'fraternity' for all ? When you strip away the baseless rhetoric, the statistical lies, the mendacious declarations, what do you see but naked power, ambition, and the will to control ?

     

    Bastiat would likely die of shock if he returned today to his native France, or meandered through modern socialist America. The state controls over half the economy in France, and over 45% in the USA. Keynesianism mysticism, with unlimited spending, endless current and future liabilities and debts, and the issuance of paper money, along with political promises to 'do more' would likely cause Bastiat to die of a heart-attack. There is no end in sight of the collective madness now called 'democracy', which is really undemocratic mob-rule; and statism.

     

    Bastiat on Government:

      Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. For now, as formerly, everyone is more or less for profiting by the labors of others. No one would dare to profess such a sentiment; he even hides it from himself; and then what is done? A medium is thought of; Government is applied to, and every class in its turn comes to it, and says, “You, who can take justifiably and honestly, take from the public, and we will partake.” Alas! Government is only too much disposed to follow this diabolical advice, for it is composed of ministers and officials—of men, in short, who, like all other men, desire in their hearts, and always seize every opportunity with eagerness, to increase their wealth and influence.

       

    Bastiat on the arrogance and ignorance of 'Great Men':

      I cannot avoid coming to this conclusion—that there are too many great men in the world; there are too many legislators, organizers, institutors of society, conductors of the people, fathers of nations, etc., etc. Too many persons place themselves above mankind, to rule and patronize it; too many persons make a trade of looking after it.

     

    Bastiat on the French Revolution, which like the 'Arab Spring' today is applauded by big brains as a rebellion for freedom [it gave the world Robespierre and Napoleon....]

      [quoting from] Robespierre: “The principle of the Republican Government is virtue, and the means to be adopted, during its establishment, is terror. We want to substitute, in our country, morality for self-indulgence, probity for honor, principles for customs, duties for decorum, the empire of reason for the tyranny of fashion, contempt of vice for contempt of misfortune, pride for insolence, greatness of soul for vanity, love of glory for love of money, good people for good company, merit for intrigue, genius for wit, truth for glitter, the charm of happiness for the weariness of pleasure, the greatness of man for the littleness of the great, a magnanimous, powerful, happy people, for one that is easy, frivolous, degraded; that is to say, we would substitute all the virtues and miracles of a republic for all the vices and absurdities of monarchy.”

       

      At what a vast height above the rest of mankind does Robespierre place himself here! And observe the arrogance with which he speaks. He is not content with expressing a desire for a great renovation of the human heart, he does not even expect such a result from a regular Government. No; he intends to effect it himself, and by means of terror.

       

    The ridiculous assertion that government programs fairly redistribute wealth:

      Accordingly, orders are given that the drains in the Champde-Mars be made and unmade. The great Napoleon, it is said, thought he was doing a very philanthropic work by causing ditches to be made and then filled up. He said, therefore, “What signifies the result? All we want is to see wealth spread among the laboring classes.” ...Now, if all the citizens were to be called together, and made to execute, in conjunction, a work useful to all, this would be easily understood; their reward would be found in the results of the work itself. But after having called them together, if you force them to make roads which no one will pass through, palaces which no one will inhabit, and this under the pretext of finding them work, it would be absurd, and they would have a right to argue, “With this labor we have nothing to do; we prefer working on our own account.”

      and

      Whence we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed;” and we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end—To break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labor; or, more briefly, “destruction is not profit.”

       

    Socialism and the inevitable plunder:

      As the result of its systems and of its efforts, it would seem that socialism, notwithstanding all its self-complacency, can scarcely help perceiving the monster of legal plunder. But what does it do? It disguises it cleverly from others, and even from itself, under the seductive names of fraternity, solidarity, organization, association. And because we do not ask so much at the hands of the law, because we only ask it for justice, it alleges that we reject fraternity, solidarity, organization, and association; and they brand us with the name of individualists. We can assure them that what we repudiate is not natural organization, but forced organization.

       

    The Barbarism of Socialism:

      I know not to what barbarous age we should have to go back, if we were to sink to the level of Socialist knowledge on this subject. These modern zealots incessantly distinguish association from actual society. They overlook the fact that society, free of regulation, is a true association, far superior to any of those that proceed from their fertile imaginations.

     

    The myth of 'collective right':

      Collective right, then, has its principle, its reason for existing, its lawfulness, in individual right; and the common force cannot rationally have any other end, or any other mission, than that of the isolated forces for which it is substituted. Thus, as the force of an individual cannot lawfully touch the person, the liberty, or the property of another individual—for the same reason, the common force cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, the liberty, or the property of individuals or of classes.

       

    Obama's declaration that you are the state, and the state is you:

      ...because, setting out upon the maxim that nothing exists independently of the will of the State, you conclude that nothing lives but what the State causes to live. But I oppose to this assertion the very example which you have chosen, and beg you to note, that the grandest and noblest of exhibitions, one which has been conceived in the most liberal and universal spirit—and I might even make use of the term humanitarian, for it is no exaggeration—is the exhibition now preparing in London [Crystal Palace 1851]; the only one in which no government is taking any part, and which is being paid for by no tax.

      [can you imagine an expo anywhere in the world not funded mostly by public tax money ?]

       

    Government in the mid-19th century was very limited indeed compared to today. It was only during World War I that government expenditure, regulation control and indirect power over the economy comprised 10% or more of the total GDP of the modern state. That 10% is now 50% for many nations and shows no signs of diminution. In 1850 perhaps 5% of GDP in Bastiat's France, might have been under the purview of political and bureaucratic elites. That total today is roughly 52%, a seemingly inexorable trend towards statism. The socialist tide shows no sign of abatement, even in lieu of bankruptcy.


     


 


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