Austro-Libertarian Natural Order Philosophy From Indyeah

Individualistic Austro-Libertarian Natural Order Philosophy From Indyeah

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Democracy Ought To Mean "Rule By Consent"

The BJP as well as Advani are both in the news - here and here, respectively - for stating that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) should NOT be removed from Kashmir.

They do NOT believe in "government by consent."

On the contrary, they believe in MILITARY RULE.

And the AFSPA is also in force in the entire North-East.

And we as a people are "mostly unfree" according to the World Economic Freedom Index.

And the fucked up editors of the mainstream press parrot the line that we are a "liberal democracy."

What is classical liberalism? What are its goals?

ONE ANSWER: And that is PEACE.

Classical liberalism aimed at peace internally as well as externally, and the path to peace was found by the classical economists, who said that in the Market Economy there was eternal harmony between people as well as nations. Let the Market rule, they said. Free trade, free enterprise, laissez faire - minimalist, decentralised government with a "negative role." This negative role meant tackling enemies of the Market Order.

With Socialism, enemies of Order are in Power!

I was in Srinagar, Kashmir for a week or so some years ago, to deliver some talks. I was horrified at the GUNS everywhere. This beautiful place does NOT "belong" to the Central State. Each City belongs to its citizens. They have no Mayor in Srinagar, Kashmir. The Chief Minister is a PUPPET of the Central State. And we the poor taxpayers are getting FUCKED footing the bill for all the soldiers. The Kashmir Finance Minister told me that 90 percent of his Budget comes from the Central State - which is us (and the inflationist printing press).

Cities must secede from this Central State - beginning with coastal cities.

That is the way out - the way out of this HELL-HOLE called the Centralised, Socialist State.

The State that wants to rule with GUNS.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is "Education" Good For You?

Continuing on the theme of epistemology from where I left off yesterday, in Bureaucracy, Ludwig von Mises wrote:
Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. . . . The mark of the creative mind is that it defies a part of what it has learned or, at least, adds something new to it.

If you send your child to school, college and university - as I was sent - he or she will only learn the "knowledge" created in the past, learnt by someone in the past, and being disseminated by him for a fee in the present.

But "knowledge" does not lie still. There is "new knowledge" constantly being created - by those who defy what their teachers taught them.

Take the case of Mises himself. In his autobiographical Notes and Recollections he writes about how he was himself dissatisfied with his own masters, Carl Menger and Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, especially on questions of epistemology. He writes:

The writings of the Methodenstreit – despite Menger’s splendid work – did not satisfy me. I was even more disappointed with John Stuart Mill. It was not until many years later that I became acquainted with the work of [John Elliot] Cairnes and [Nassau] Senior.

He goes on to add:

I searched in vain for an answer in the writings of the Lausanne [Léon Walras] and Anglo-Saxon schools. I found the same uncertainty and wavering between irreconcilable opinions. It was not surprising, therefore, that this condition had to lead to a decline of economic thought. Institutionalism [in the United States], on the one hand, and the empty dogmatics of the mathematical schools, on the other hand, are the consequences of this situation.”[1]

Mises then goes on to note how in his Epistemological Problems of Economics  – his first essay on the subject – he began by seeking “to eliminate the distinction between economic and non-economic action. The subjective value theory had basically removed this spectre. But Menger and Böhm-Bawerk failed to draw all the conclusions that had to be drawn from their basic position.”

Thus, there is no homo oeconomicus because of the subjective theory; there is only homo agens - the man who acts. The ends are subjective, and praxeology is a science of means. This was how Mises IMPROVED upon the teachings of his masters.

Mises is sometimes called a "neo-Kantian" because he borrowed concepts and terminology from Immanuel Kant - but he improved upon Kant too, as very few have realised. This becomes apparent upon reading Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Economic Science and the Austrian Method.

There is a LOT of knowledge available for children outside school - like music, like sports, like vocational training via apprenticeship. James Watt was a "mere mechanic" - but he was given space in the University of Glasgow by Adam Smith, where he could work. He produced the steam engine and obtained a financial partner in Matthew Boulton. Together, their invention powered the next century. 

A youngster has gifts - and weaknesses. Under our current system of public education, the gifts go unrecognised, and boring routinism is taught. As far as weaknesses are concerned, these have to be made up with expensive "tuition." There is a huge private tuition industry in India.

I myself had to undergo tuition in Physics and Chemistry while in school - because I was weak in these subjects. Today, I often wonder why my parents didn't spend money on training me in music - where I was strong. This is the tragedy of FORCING all kids to pass stupid examinations in a host of subjects.

The Market Economy is all about the "fragmentation of knowledge": the butcher, the baker, the brewer, the tailor, the cobbler - they all operate with little bits of knowledge over which they have mastery. This is how easily they survive.

The State-operated Education System is all about producing "generalists." In the end, after some 20 years of this "education," all that these people are fit for is State Employment. They cannot survive in the Market. Thus, they become Tax Parasites - and hate and despise the Market, thinking themselves superior, while they are in fact inferior.

Homeschool your children if you can. Pull them out of the Education System. Find out their strengths - and pay private teachers to hone their skills in these areas. If the child likes music - teach him music. If he likes cars - make him an apprentice of a car designer or mechanic. And so on. 

Think of Watt. And think of Mises. 

And as for me, if I could have my way, I would shut all State Education down. The human mind is the most precious resource we have. Politicians and bureaucrats only want to destroy this most precious resource. Let these words from Batiat's manifesto ring around the world:

If you want to have theories, systems, methods, principles, textbooks and teachers forced on you by the government, that is up to you; but do not expect me to sign, in your name, such a shameful abdication of your rights.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Cardinal Is In Serious Error

A few weeks ago, I welcomed Pope Benedict's call, delivered at the German parliament, for a public debate on positivism. 

Well, today, it seems that the first shot has been fired from within the Vatican itself, with Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace releasing a document titled “Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of the global public authority." This document - which is not a "papal document" - opposes a priorism in Economics, espouses empiricism and positivism, and since these are both "intellectual covers for socialism" - as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written - the document ends up with all the grave errors of socialism, to the extent of calling for a global central bank.

But the Cardinal begins with some half-truths - half-truths that have prompted one commentator to call this document "Right diagnosis, deadly cure." After the diagnosis, the Cardinal asks the question:

What has driven the world in such a problematic direction for its economy and also for peace?

And his first answer is this:

First and foremost, an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls. Economic liberalism is a theoretical system of thought, a form of “economic apriorism” that purports to derive laws for how markets function from theory, these being laws of capitalistic development, while exaggerating certain aspects of markets. An economic system of thought that sets down a priori the laws of market functioning and economic development, without measuring them against reality, runs the risk of becoming an instrument subordinated to the interests of the countries that effectively enjoy a position of economic and financial advantage. 

This is an issue concerning epistemology. The question is: Does Economics have to follow the method of physics - which is measurement, after which theories are arrived at a posteriori. Or are the Laws of Economics arrived at a priori, by deduction, and are established by logic, just like the propositions of mathematics or geometry, such that they do not need measurement and observation to validate them?

Let us take an example:

The Law of Exchange - which says that when a good is traded voluntarily, both parties gain by the trade; that their individual valuations of that good are unequal. Obviously, if I prefer beer over money, the barowner prefers money over beer. How does such a law require "measurement" or "observation" to validate it? Obviously, this law is NOT going to be established a posteriori. It is true a priori. 

In fact, "value" cannot be measured, for it lies within the valuing mind. "Value is subjective." All that can be measured are prices and quantities - and the price at which exchange transpires will show agreement, not unequal valuation. The "demand-and-supply curves" type of education teaches nonsense - and these curves can only be produced by "measurement." The curves are actually "statistics."  They are thus History - they are not Theory, which in Economics must be true a priori.

Hence, the methods of physics are NOT applicable to the Science of Economics. Positivism and empiricism are the intellectual covers for socialism and interventionism, since they deny the MIND of the acting individual, and they create the false impression of a "national economy" - with its "national income" and its "growth rate" - which must be managed by a super-human mind: that of the central planner; that of the Great Leader. 

Thus, Hans-Hermann Hoppe concludes his brief essay against empiricism with these words:

If we want to attack socialism, we must also attack the absurd intellectual error of empiricism. And if we want to defeat socialism, we must make a principled Misesian case based on the logic of human action and the irrefutable laws of economics.

Since Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,  espouses empiricism and disavows a priorism, he is led deep into socialism, statism, and even the "primacy of politics."

Here are some quotes from the rest of the document:

...the world’s peoples ought to adopt an ethic of solidarity as the animating core of their action... [But we are all individuals, and we buy and sell in markets full of strangers. See my article on "catallaxy."]

the risk of an “idolatry of the market..." [The real risk is idolatry of the State and political authority. See also Tom Woods' rejoinder here.]

global social justice seem most urgent... for achieving... a fair distribution of world wealth... [The "mirage of social justice" gone global!]

one can see an emerging requirement for a body that will carry out the functions of a kind of “central world bank” [Horrors!]

strengthening the existing institutions, such as the European Central Bank [Here is a report that Germany will ditch the Euro if the ECB starts printing more of them.]

In this process, the primacy of the spiritual and of ethics needs to be restored and, with them, the primacy of politics – which is responsible for the common good – over the economy and finance. [Read Anthony de Jasay's Before Resorting to Politics.]

forms of recapitalization of banks with public funds making the support conditional on “virtuous” behaviours aimed at developing the “real economy” [Moral hazard.]

At this point, I would like to remind the Cardinal of his views on the Principle of Subsidiarity, which he upholds, and defines as follows:

According to the logic of subsidiarity, the higher Authority offers its subsidium, that is, its aid, only when individual, social or financial actors are intrinsically deficient in capacity, or cannot manage by themselves to do what is required of them.

Now, money has ALWAYS been "private money": GOLD. Accordingly, we human beings, in freedom, without the aid of any political authority, can manage to produce our own money. Free banking can be conducted under traditional commercial law - as Jesus Huerta de Soto has shown. Thus, according to a Principle upheld by the Church, and also by Cardinal Turkson, there is NO NEED for ANY POLITICAL AUTHORITY over money and banking, and certainly not at the global level.

This is NOT new - not "neo-liberalism." This is "classical liberalism." Adam Smith's "Three Duties of the Sovereign" did NOT include anything to do with money. I have recounted these three duties here.

Mises put it best, in Human Action, when he wrote:

The use of money in a market economy is a praxeologically necessary fact. That gold, and not something else, is used as money is merely a historical fact and as such cannot be conceived by catallactics.

Thus, we Hindus are currently celebrating Diwali - when we traditionally buy gold. It is a "custom" - from History. This has NOTHING to do with "theory."

As far as "world order" is concerned, Mises also put it best when he wrote, in Nation, State, and Economy:

Liberalism, which demands full freedom of the economy, seeks to dissolve the difficulties that the diversity of political arrangements pits against the development of trade by separating the economy from the state. It strives for the greatest possible unification of law, in the last analysis for world unity of law. But it does not believe that to reach this goal, great empires or even a world empire must be created.

I also recommend to my reader this Islamic Judgment on Paper Money - which shows very clear reasoning.

But recall where I began unraveling this litany of errors - with Cardinal Turkson's empiricism, his antipathy to a priorism, and his love for "measurement" in Economics. On the subject of epistemology, I earnestly recommend Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Economic Science and the Austrian Method, which you can find here.

Professor Hoppe's article "Why the State demands Control of Money" is also a very useful read in today's times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's The Wrong Index, Stupid!

In yesterday's post, I heaped well-deserved abuse on the editors of the Indian Express for the propaganda, lies and deceit emanating form their lead editorial of the day. Later, in a footnote, I wrote about a Times of India editorial of the same day - but the electricity failed (for the nth time) - so, today, I would like to focus on this particular ToI editorial titled "Cause for Cheer" on the latest Human Development Index Report, in which India's position has supposedly improved. 

So what? Read this report from the same newspaper that says India leads the world in diarrhoea deaths.

And, anyway, the "education" we receive from our The State is all-balls. Even the IITs and IIMs suck. What to speak of the Delhi School of (Mathematical & Keynesian) Economics. What do kids learn but State Worship. They study "Indian Economics."

The editorial is "pro-reform." Good. But what is reform but LIBERTY? India has progressed somewhat in the past decade because State Obstruction to economic activity in some sectors has been withdrawn. However, much obstructionism and interventionism remains. This especially impacts the poor. Just try and open a simple beer bar in Nude Elly - and you will land up in jail!

Why don't the editors use the sweet word LIBERTY instead of that stupid word REFORM?

One reason: They have never heard of the Economic Freedom Index. There are now two or three of them - and these have been around for more than ten years. There is one from the Heritage Foundation - and it finds India ranked at 124 out of 179 nations, in the category "mostly unfree." There is another from the Fraser Institute and here India once again fares poorly. These reports show that less freedom means more poverty, more corruption, and lower economic as well as human development. The editors of the ToI are advised to check out these freedom indices, so as not to be misled by the statist Human Development Index, a UN/World Bank publication.

The Human Development Index makes its victim believe that there is a POSITIVE ROLE for the State in poor countries - to educate the people, etc. It makes the victim feel that, for human development, the State must do MORE.

The Economic Freedom Index does the very opposite. It proves that the State should be CUT DOWN if poor nations and people are to develop.

Since the ToI is "pro-reform," it should focus attention on the correct index.

In any case, all this is statistical jugglery - the output of "positive economics," which is Empiricism. This is the "intellectual cover for socialism." This is particularly true of the Human Development Index.

But, for whatever it is worth, whatever the "measurement of freedom" can yield, the Economic Freedom Index persuades in a different direction. It may not be "science" - but it is not evil.

Lastly, there is NO CAUSE FOR CHEER. 

We are not a free people. 

Tyranny rules. 

And the economy is NOT doing well. 

Do read this brief column by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha of Mint, that warns of approaching STAGFLATION.

It's Not Democracy, Dudes - This is LAPUTA!

Now that Team Anna has lost its sheen, and their India Against Corruption Movement has come apart at the seams, what do our mainstream editors have to placate the enraged public with but tired phrases extolling the virtues of "liberal democracy" in a SOCIALIST country with a SOCIALIST Constitution. The following is from a lead editorial in the Indian Express of today:

The rupturing of Team Anna’s superficial solidarities is also a reminder of the significance of much that they run down about representative democracy and the thoughtful, liberal institutions that undergird it. For all their contempt for Parliament, it is the one arena where an entire range of beliefs is accommodated and the friction of ideas is productive, where the desires of one ideological constituency are tempered by the encounter with another. The rise and ebb of India Against Corruption has only showed up, in greater relief, the rock-solid foundations of our democratic institutions.

How glibly they use the word "liberal" - which has its root in the word "liberty" - just as socialists in the USSA do, too. Which is why people like us call ourselves "libertarian." The word "liberal" has been corrupted. And as for the word "democracy"...

In the meanwhile, the Central State Police Minister called for new legislation to control all these "socialist political parties" - which would be better called "robber gangs." Of course, he wrote this when out of office!

And the Opposition leader, LK Advani of the BJP, has raised the cry that the Centre is "undermining the federal structure of the Constitution." Actually, this is a "quasi-unitary State."

Below the level of the quasi-federal State government, nothing exists!

No municipality works.

There are no Mayors.

Every city and every town is a shambles.

And we vote for a Parliament in Dilli Door Ast (Delhi is far away).

Or for an MLA in a quasi-federal State parliament.

We do NOT vote for Mayors.

And none of the parliaments we have actually work.

There is never any meaningful debate in any parliament.

And our prime minister chacha manmohan s gandhi has never been elected!

Bureaucrats of the IAS run cities and towns - DDA, CMDA, BDA etc. These are all CORRUPT.

Call this anything, you fucked-up editors of the Express, but do NOT call this "liberal democracy." Do NOT say that all ideologies are accommodated within this system - when liberals are debarred by the Representation of People Act. Do NOT fool your readers, who are voters, and who do NOT need your propaganda.

What is this, then?

We,, this is LAPUTA - the one travel of Gulliver that children are never allowed to read. Here, the rulers live on an island that floats above the population. Rebellions are literally "crushed" with the island landing atop the rebels! 

Like sonia gandhi landing at some village in her helicopter.

Of course, in the end, the evil rulers of Laputa are overthrown.

Read all about Laputa in this wiki.

Buy the book here.

Read the chapter on Laputa - and pass it down to your children.

PS: Read this ToI edit "Cause for Cheer" on the Human Development Index. These guys have never heard of the Economic Freedom Index. We are "mostly unfree" - and this State is called LIBERAL?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why I Despise Central Banking, Keynes, And Keynesians Like Paul Krugman

Western Europe, and, in particular, England, developed ahead of the rest of the world only because here the people managed to contain their rulers. Kings, and their royal servants, had to "obey the law" no less than the people. Property and contracts were thus secure from State predation. Economic development naturally followed. In England, the beginning was in 1215 AD - the signing of the Magna Carta. With this, there was "due process," habeas corpus, and much more. After this, the people said, of their rulers:

The King is UNDER God and the Law


There is no King where Will rules and not the Law

Such events never happened in nations like ours. Our rulers were always arbitrary.

With the coming of written constitutions, a new concept emerged alongside that of the Rule of Law - and that is "limited government": the purpose of constitutions was to limit the powers and scope of the State. There are two effective means of limiting this power: one, by constitutional law; and the second, by the Budget.

Both these limits to government have been overthrown in modern times by the Keynesians, what with central banking and fiat paper money. These have been weapons in the hands of rulers to buy up support and to finance anything and everything to their own glory, from wars to welfare to space exploration. Entire parliaments can be bought. This is particularly true of India.

The whole world has been inflated. Money is no longer something "hard." It is just government paper. 

Yet, this government paper still has a "promise to pay" inscribed upon it, signed by the central banker. This promise - which makes the note a solemn contract - is meaningless today. The note is actually a Property Title. Today, there is no property backing this title. This is the problem the whole world is facing.

These central banksters practice "fractional reserve banking" with private bankers who are members of their paper money cartel. They say they are "lenders of last resort." Money as well as banking become corrupt under such a system. 

We need gold as money - and free private banking under ordinary commercial law. The writings of Jesus Huerta de Soto are vital in this context. And there is an essay on their import in my Natural Order: Essays Exploring Civil Government & the Rule of Law, which you can read online here. This version is dated 2007 - and I am hoping to have a new edition out next year.

The Keynesians have a very different view of money and banking - one based on "immorality." Keynes claimed to be an "amoralist" - but that was just his homosexuality. As an economist of money and banking, he was a pucca immoralist. Read about Keynes and the "ruling class" who adopted his ideas wholesale in this brief article by Garet Garret. Also, do read the article "Why the State demands control of money" by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Today, the most prominent Keynesian in the world is the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman. On the crisis in the Eurozone, Krugman writes that the best way out is to resort to "the power of the printing press" - and let the European Central Bank do the needful, even if current rules do not permit it. 

Really! If printing money could produce wealth, Indians would have been rich long, long ago.

Indeed, even producing more gold and silver does NOT create wealth, as the history of Spain and Portugal testify. The silver mines of Potosi and all the gold looted from South America did not make these nations rich. 

Britain got rich when gold was exported by the East India Company in exchange for spices - much to the displeasure of the mercantilists. What constitutes the "wealth of nations"? Adam Smith answered that in 1776 - and the plain answer was that it was NOT the hoard of bullion. If so, what can more irredeemable paper notes accomplish?

But Keynesian errors are not new. Ludwig von Mises, in his Notes & Recollections, writes of Carl Menger that his essay on "Geld" (money) which he contributed to the German-language Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences was brilliant. A few pages later, Mises writes:

For obvious reasons I frequently discussed G. F. Knapp's Staatliche Theorie des Geldes (State Theory of Money) with Menger. His answer was, "It is the logical development of Prussian police science. What are we to think of a nation whose whose elite, after two hundred years of Economics, admire such nonsense, which is not even new, as highest revelation? What can we still expect of such a nation?"

Menger, Mises writes, foresaw the destruction of Old Europe. He foresaw the wars that engulfed the whole world. All these wars were financed by "funny money." And these wars will forever continue until the State is once again "limited" by the Budget. And money is gold. Money is private.

Mises once wrote that these "intellectual battles" of our time are something everyone must plunge into - if civilisation is to be saved. These are not difficult issues to understand: what is money? what is banking? etc. I see people crack their brains on crossword puzzles, computer games and Sudoku every day. Yet, these are just pleasurable pastimes, meant to banish boredom.

Surely people can crack their brains at the vital issues of our age - money and banking? The future of our kids - and theirs - depend on it. If Krugman-types win the day, all will be lost.

Paul Krugman also wants to "protect" corrupt banking practices. He wants the power of the printing press to wipe out banking sector losses - irrespective of how much inflation will surely follow, and how much capital loss ordinary people will have to suffer. At least we in India ought to know better than to endure continued inflationism to fund welfare.

In the USSA, there is only one presidential candidate who knows money and banking well - and that is Ron Paul. His photograph graces this post. He wants to "end the Fed." He wants to end war too. He stands for Gold, Freedom, and Peace. 

I wish Ron Paul would add PROPERTY to this list. Without property, there can be no freedom; there can be no "limited government"; there can be no "rule of law": rechtstaat.

Ron Paul will succeed - and civilisation will be saved - only if all you people out there STUDY money and banking and arrive at your own decisions as to what is truth and what is falsehood; what is good, and what is evil.

So, don't "agitate" at political rallies before agitating your brains first.

This is my sincere advice to you all. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let Us Glorify The Honest Civic Corporation

Tamil Nady chief minister's complaint that the Centre is "reducing State governments to glorified municipal corporations" is laughable. In reality, every State capital - including Chennai - is a shambles. It is the State governments that have destroyed municipal administration in India - while tom-tomming panchayati raj (village government). Thus, every city and every town throughout India has been destroyed.

Yesterday, I advocated Free Cities. These free cities will require honest civic corporations to run them - garbage, sewage, roads, footpaths, street-lighting, and so on. They will need Mayors - not chief ministers, who can take a walk along with the entire edifice of our The State from Nude Elly. The "model" from History is that of the Olde City of London - and you can find an essay on that in my Natural Order: Essays Exploring Civil Government & the Rule of Law available online here.

If I may add, all these activities of the civic corporation can be honestly "contracted-out" to competing private firms. There need not be any "bureaucracy." There need not be any "departments." The City can be "free." That is, the citizens can be free. The City can have a Basic Law proclaiming the Inviolability of Private Property - and the rest can take care of itself. Instead of "crimes" there can be "torts" - which are all "crimes against the individual" - and, if convicted, the tortfeasor will have to financially compensate his "victim." There need not be any jails.

In such an administrative and legal framework, taxes will be low, and all voluntary trades will be free.

If such an honest civic corporation can be set up anywhere in India, would you not "glorify" it?

And as for the State Governments - the bhateejas of chacha in Nude Elly - this report says they are all heavily in debt! They are part and parcel of the "fiscal deficit" being financed by Nude Elly through printing money and borrowings. The report says that electricity losses alone are over 70,000 crore rupees. And we do NOT have reliable supply. Wanna glorify these morons?