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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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Thursday, January 3, 2013

'Why Capitalism', by Alan Meltzer

One good reason - it is the only system which works.....

by StFerdIII

 From Meltzer: “Socialism, or any system based on an orthodoxy or a plan for the promotion of the “good,” inevitably begins with persuasion and ends with coercion. Any deviation from orthodoxy is a step away from “the good.” Hayek’s Road to Serfdom (1944) showed why government planning is inconsistent with democratic choice. “ [How true it is].

Well-known economist, writer and realist Alan Meltzer has written a wonderful book, on the necessity of Capitalism, the much-maligned 'ism' which is the only moral-economic-social and political system in history to generate widespread wealth, literacy, welfare and poverty relief. If a tithe of Capitalism's benefits had been realized by systems of centralization, National Socialism, or the collective project of the communal; there would be endless rejoicing by the mandarins and knaves who are so enamoured and enslaved to varieties of Socialism and communal theology. Alas, the communal everywhere tried has been a dismal, and usually bloody failure. Hundreds of millions of dead sacrificed to Huxley's Brave New World of unlimited state and cult power. But this deters the kool-aid drinking fanatic not a jot. Everyone is religious, no one more so than the blinded, irrational, and immoral lover of the state and of Socialist enslavement.

GlobaloneyWarming, the elections of Obama, or O'Clowna, massive deficit spending, huge debt accumulation, more regulations, more governmental power, less freedom, more media manipulation, the Useless Nations and their attempts to control the seas, energy and world governance....the battle still rages. Now Capitalism, which is the only system to produce wealth and protect the environment [take a tour of the Former Soviet Union to view ecological destruction, or modern day Communist – Totalitarian China, the favourite of Thomas Friedman and the NY Times]; is to blame for 'mother earth degradation', or smog.

Many more people improved their living standards since 1990 than in 50 years of government planned development, regulation, and centrally directed resource allocation. Capitalism and the market have proved far better than the state at reducing poverty and raising living standards. Once this development became clear, perennial critics of capitalism turned to other reasons to oppose it. In her book, Margaret Thatcher (1993, p. 625) described such critics’ reaction to her success at reforming the British economy, increasing productivity, and reducing inflation. Deprived for the moment at least of the opportunity to chastise the Government and blame free enterprise capitalism for failing to create jobs and raise living standards, the left turned their attention to non-economic issues. The idea that the state was the engine of economic progress was discredited—and even more so as the failures of communism became more widely known. But was the price of capitalist prosperity too high? Was it not resulting in gross and offensive materialism, traffic congestion and pollution?

It is utter ignorance to assign to Capitalism environmental destruction. It is the only system which can protect the environment. Whenever there is a 'commons problem', there is destruction. Whenever private property is enacted, there is care and nurture.

Why does Capitalism work? It rests upon private property, contract law, consent and a moral framework of responsibility and accountability:

As an institution for producing goods and services, capitalism’s success rests on a foundation of a rule of law, which protects individual rights to property, and, in the first instance, aligns rewards to values produced. Working hand in hand with the rule of law, capitalism gives its participants incentives to act as society desires, typically rewarding hard work, intelligence, persistence, and innovation.

Capitalism and markets disperse power; centralization and collective action concentrates power and increases the cost that the public bears.

Dispersing centralization and central-control is a key aspect of Capitalism's moral program. Individuals do matter and are more important than the communal. Free-will, free-speech, and freedom in the political-economy all derive from Capitalist processes. Capitalism works due to political plurality, mutability and freedom:

Democratic capitalism has three unequaled strengths. It is the only system that achieves both economic growth and individual freedom, and it adapts to the many diverse cultures in the world. Adapting to cultures means that it works well with people as they are, not as someone would like to make them. Democracy works to remove the most common criticism of capitalism—that it generates inequality in income distribution.

Success breeds more success. Failure generates demands for Socialism:

Democracy is another way to allocate resources. Generally, those who succeed in the marketplace favor allocation by markets, not governments. Those who do not succeed favor government redistribution, joined by those who dislike capitalism or prefer collectively mandated “social justice” over market efficiency. Actual social outcomes are a compromise between the two aims.


Recent research charts national economic growth as a function of 38 observable components in five categories as a proxy for relative freedom versus socialism: size of government, legal structure, access to sound money, openness to trade and exchange, and regulation (Gwartney and Larson, 1996). Gwartney and Larson found that in countries with higher rates of investment, higher productivity growth, more foreign direct investment, and stricter adherence to the rule of law, per capita income rose at a compound rate of 3.44 percent in the freest countries, compared to average growth of 0.37 percent in “not free” countries.


Socialism enslaves:

Voters choose the tax rates and income redistribution that satisfies a majority of voters, never all of them. Alternatives to capitalism, whether socialism, communism, fascism, or some religious orthodoxies, offer some group’s utopian vision of mankind that becomes the one “right path.” Utopian visions and orthodoxies always bring enforcement, often brutal enforcement. The 20th century saw many such outcomes. None achieved both higher living standards and greater individual freedom. National Socialism, Soviet and Chinese Communism instead produced mass murders of millions. This should have extinguished the appeal of utopian visions, but it has not. Many still believe that social justice can only be achieved by ending or severely regulating capitalism. These essays dispute that notion.

Culture, religion, education, innovation, job creation and wealth distribution are all more vibrant in the USA than in Europe. The reason is that until 2012 the USA was less openly welfarist-socialist than Europe. That will change. Currently the US state owns and controls about 45% of the economy – not far behind jobless, growth-less, bankrupted Europe:

In Europe, the state supports established churches, yet organized religion is weak; the public rejects the state’s religion monopoly by simply not participating. Human intelligence is found everywhere, yet the United States has the world’s strongest, most progressive universities because its universities compete for the best and brightest of scholars and students, and for money; our competitive impulse drives change, ideas, and innovation.

Given the blessings of Capitalism, why is Socialism so attractive and so powerful ? Why is every Western nation state bankrupted due to welfare-socialist policies ? The tyranny of the election mob and the creation of a political class, which wants power, money and to establish a political-family business:

The distribution of income is a major policy issue in every democratic capitalist nation’s elections. There are fewer rich than poor or middle class. Fifty percent of the votes decide an election. The income of the median voter lies below the mean income, so a majority of voters can redistribute income. Early in the history of the American republic, Alexis de Tocqueville warned about the temptation for the voting majority to tax the incomes of those above the mean. His warning remains relevant. There are many examples of redistributive policy carried out for the benefit of the poor. One problem is that the poor are not the same as the lowest 10 or 20 percent of the statistical income distribution.

The poor are never properly identified. Maybe 10% or less of the population is actually poor. It would be more sensible to identify them and hand them a $40.000 cheque, than it is to erect huge bureaucracies full of salaries, pension and benefits, and to transfer money rather mindlessly, from left to right, and from up to down. The bureaucracy as any left-liberal such as Orwell rightly knew, is neither benign or indifferent. It is bred to grow, and to consume and expand. And so it does, until there is nothing left but rhetoric, posturing and empty-headed utopian visions. 

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11/5/2014:  "The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France, and the Creation of Europe in the 10th Century.”

8/14/2014:  Christine Garwood “Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea”

2/19/2014:  'Meism' and Islam; 'Christianity, Islam and Atheism' by William Kilpatrick (2)

2/18/2014:  Christianity, Islam and Atheism by William Kilpatrick

4/24/2013:   Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel

4/8/2013:  Scranton and the 'Velikovsky Heresies' - a challenge to the cult of 'science'.

1/3/2013:  'Why Capitalism', by Alan Meltzer

12/10/2012:  Medieval Technology and Social Change, Lynn White Jr., Oxford Press, 1968

12/4/2012:  Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity, by Michael Coren

11/14/2012:  Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay W. Richards

10/9/2012:  Caravaggio, A life sacred and profane  Andrew Graham-Dixon - fantastic.

9/22/2012:  Book Review: Michael Coren, 'Why Catholics are Right'.

9/3/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part Two

8/28/2012:  Book Review, Why the West is Best, by Ibn Warraq, Part One

5/22/2012:  The Early Middle Ages 400-1000, Editor Rosamund McKitterick, Short Oxford History of Europe

5/6/2012:  Book Review: 'Seven Lies about Catholic History', Diane Moczar

4/29/2012:  Gottlieb part 2: The Dream of Reason, A History of Philosophy

4/23/2012:  Book Review part one: 'The Dream of Reason, A History of Philosophy', by A. Gottlieb

4/12/2012:  Review, Emmet Scott: 'Mohammed and Charlemagne'

3/6/2012:  Henri Pirenne, 'Mohammed and Charlemagne' – Part 2

3/1/2012:  Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne – Part One

2/11/2012:  Niall Ferguson, 'Civilization' and the collapse of Europe

12/30/2011:  Mark Steyn, 'After America – Get Ready for Armageddon'

12/9/2011:  Book Review, Nigel Cliff's 'Holy War'. Flawed but interesting.

11/7/2011:  'How Civilizations Die', D. P. Goldman, 2011, 270 pgs.

9/16/2011:  Morris Bishop: The Middle Ages

9/6/2011:  Life in a Medieval City, by Joseph and Frances Gies, Harper Collins.

8/31/2011:  Adrian Goldsworthy, 'Caesar', 632 pages, 40 pages of source notes.

7/18/2011:  Steve Ozment, 'The Legacy of the Reformation', 1980.

7/16/2011:  G. R. Elton, The New Cambridge Modern History, vol. ii, The Reformation, 1958

6/17/2011:  Charles Nauert, 'The Age of Renaissance' 1981.

6/5/2011:  The Monks of War by Desmond Seward.

9/21/2010:  Rodney Stark: 'Cities of God'. Another excellent book.

8/18/2009:  Michelle Malkin's 'Culture of Corruption: Obama and his team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies.'

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