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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:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hayek and 'The Fatal Conceit', Introduction

A damning indictment of the arrogant cult of socialism and rationalism.

by StFerdIII

 The 'Fatal Conceit' was published in 1988 by 'Austrian school' economist F.A. Hayek. It summarizes about 40 years of thought, writing and lecturing from a man who long before the rise of national socialism in Germany, Italy and Russia; had denounced the cult of the communal. The title is appropriate. The conceit, the arrogance, the hypocrisy, the irrationality and the immorality of the socialist project, in whatever disguise it may dress itself, is a fact of history. There is little difference other than degree between the destructive theology of Hitlerism and that of Stalinism for example. The fatal conceit possessed by 'intellectuals' and self-proclaimed kings of thinking, or modern 'prophets', is to ignore reality and surmise that vacant theologies usually propounded by the over-educated, the muddled, the confused, the corrupt, the mentally unbalanced and the self-indulgent, can reorder the world to achieve perfection, 'justice' [whatever that means], 'fairness' [whatever that means], and equality [a biological and social impossibility].

The Introduction is titled 'Was Socialism a Mistake'? It certainly was and is. Socialism in its various forms [Marxism, National Socialism, Constructive Rationalism, Utilitarianism, Globalism etc], is an utter failure.

As Hayek correctly points out, the apogee of human development has never been the state but the individual. When the state interferes and does so with its usually over-bearing, violent and coercive hand, disaster soon follows. Facts never support the variant strains of socialism as being 'progressive', 'intelligent' or 'compassionate':

“As a question of fact, this conflict [between capitalism and socialism] must be settled by scientific study. Such study shows that, by following the spontaneously generated moral traditions underlying the competitive market order (traditions which do not satisfy the canons or norms of rationality embraced by most socialists), we generate and garner greater knowledge and wealth than could ever be obtained or utilised in a centrally-directed economy whose adherents claim to proceed strictly in accordance 'reason'.” [p. 7]

This wealth creation benefits everyone, including the poor. Without wealth you do not build hospitals, a welfare system or an educational system.

“The dispute between the market order and socialism is no less than a matter of survival. To follow socialist morality would destroy much of present humankind and impoverish much of the rest.” [ibid.]

By socialist morality, Hayek is actually saying immorality. Socialism has no moral constructs or ethical parameters. Socialism as a theology is about 'freedom from the chains of the system', utilitarianism and the gratification of all desires, the 'liberation' of who you are from all constraints, the unfettered power of the state to plunder and redistribute, and if necessary demonize and kill internal enemies:

“....norms of reason that guide socialism: norms that I believe embody a naive and uncritical theory of rationality, an obsolete and unscientific methodology that I have elsewhere called 'constructivist rationalism' (1973).” [p. 8]

Norms of reason is a kind description of what can only be termed the primitive world-view of socialism. State power is not a modern theology, it has been used to neuter and destroy development from Sargon the Great, to the Chinese Mandarin state; and through the Moslem caliphates, to Napoleon, Hitler, Idi Amin and the modern communal socialist disaster of the Euro-zone. Norms of reason as used by Hayek reflect the illiterate methodology of 'rationalism' to provide a 'scientific' justification for state violence against the individual. Mein Kampf, as jumbled, stupid, racist and supremacist as it most assuredly is, was clothed in scientism, and socialist dialecticism, much as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini and the modern supporters of American Liberalism dress up their diseased theology in the care-worn fabric of inevitable science.

Rationality however, is not the mainspring of civilisation. Culture is.

“...To understand our civilisation, one must appreciated that the extended order resulted not from human design or intention but spontaneously; it arose from unintentionally conforming to certain traditional and largely moral practices, many of which men tend to dislike....” [p. 6]

Culture is indeed King. The Arab Spring so lauded by the globalist state departments of every nation, and feted by the media has quickly mutated into just another Moslem winter. The rise of national socialism – called fascism by some – mutated in European countries to account for cultural and social differences, even though the effect from Germany and Russia to Romania was the same; namely the elevation of complete state power and direction. Men do indeed 'dislike' moral practices. But it is precisely the culture of traditions, heritage, morals, ethics, parameters and assumptions which differentiated classical European civilisation from the rest:

“...a tradition of staggering importance in enabling us to adapt to problems and circumstances far exceeding our rational capacities. Our moral traditions, like many other aspects of our culture, developed concurrently with our reason, not as its product. Surprising and paradoxical as it many seem to some to say this, these moral traditions outstrip the capacities of reason.”

'Moral traditions outstrip the capacities of reason'. This is certainly true. Billions of humans over the millenia making billions of decisions, billions of adjustments, billions of rules some of which worked some which did not, billions of innovations, artefacts, trials, attempts, failures and successes. You can't replicate this evolving experiment, nor can you micromanage it. The morals and traditions have shaped rationality and world-view, not the other way around. The entire history of Western development is a simple expression of that fact.   

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