Most of the time you can depend on progressives saying the stupidest things about economics. Since they think that all blessing flow from the central government, there is little hope of the greedy, envious little so-and-so’s ever realizing that the government is not making wealth but destroying it. As it so happened, I was reading a thread at the progressive Guardian newspaper when I ran across the following comment by a poster who does not post often, but when he does — it is usually a good one. The progressives, as usual, had been saying how “capitalism” was so awful and only the crazed could believe in the free market. Part of his response was:
Well well. Looks like the collectivist circus is back in town and the clown car just showed up.
Everything that makes up our current standard of living exists thanks to evil capitalists who greedily created things that other people wanted to buy, saved capital and created capital goods that other evil capitalists used to invent even more sophisticated things that have made everyone’s life more pleasant.
You know, things like modern housing, automobiles, airplanes, vaccines, MRI machines, increased crop yields and other such things that collectivists apparently think simply appeared out of the aether.
What we have today, useful idiots, is not anything resembling capitalism, but rather corporatism, the beloved system formerly known as fascism, which is a direct result of progressive collectivism.
You know, the folks who worship at the alter of the State and have “progressively” empowered the State to the point where it now openly claims the power to kill anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason whatsoever, and to suck the population dry via taxes and inflation to reward itself and it’s corporate cronies.
He went on to say that since nearly every abuse, every atrocity, every evil that Glenn Greenwald (a good solid anti-war type even though a progressive himself) writes about is a direct result of the poisonous collectivist progressive ideology of unlimited State power, and that the progressive clowns had a lot of audacity to talk about capitalism, which makes everyone wealthier, while their vision of an all powerful State makes everyone but a privileged few poorer.
The trouble we have convincing progressives that the laissez-faire free market is the route to go (along with voluntarism in general) is that they want the powerful state. They want the state to impose their vision of utopia upon the rest of us; or, they simply want the state to steal from the general population and give them what they desire. It does not take a genus to see that if you empower the state to the point that it can loot others for your benefit then it is strong enough to loot you!
Even worse is the empirical fact that the state is using all the powers granted to it to engage in endless war. War is the health of the State, after all, and progressives destroyed the last of the constraints on the state going to war long ago. The “progressive era” was the death of what remained of the semi-constrained central Republic.
Murray Rothbard wrote in the Anatomy of the State:
The State is almost universally considered an institution of social service. Some theorists venerate the State as the apotheosis of society; others regard it as an amiable, though often inefficient, organization for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means to be ranged against the “private sector” and often winning in this competition of resources. With the rise of democracy, the identification of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense such as, “we are the government.” The useful collective term “we” has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If “we are the government,” then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also “voluntary” on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that “we owe it to ourselves”; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is “doing it to himself” and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have “committed suicide,” since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree.
We must, therefore, emphasize that “we” are not the government; the government is not “us.” The government does not in any accurate sense “represent” the majority of the people. But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered minority. No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that “we are all part of one another,” must be permitted to obscure this basic fact.
The majority of Americans by this time late in the life of the American Empire have been schooled in government schools and the propagandized by the many minions of the State to believe that “we” are the state and that anything the state does is just “us” doing it “to ourselves”. So, murder, war, theft, intimidation and all the rest is justified in the minds of may as long as the State does it. And when the state does something so horrific that even the deluded progressives see that it is wrong; why then the answer is that a few “bad apples” are the cause and we must replace them next election! (or fire them if they are not elected politicians)
Sometimes we hear progressives decry the influence of the large, favored, and privileged companies on policies both foreign and domestic. What they fail to realize, no matter how many times it is explained to them, is that the large and privileged companies are in a symbiotic relationship with that state and that is a feature of the corporatist economic system (the fascism of Mussolini) that they themselves helped to establish. It is the working of Karma that the progressives now find the gang of thieves writ large that they helped to make so strong are now persecuting them. (not that the rest of us are doing very well either of course)
It must be the fact that “misery loves company” that causes the progressives to want to follow the old, failed Soviet Union down the path to collectivism. It must be intense envy that causes the progressive to want everyone brought down to their level. What they can never seem to see (or they choose to ignore) is that egalitarianism is a revolt against nature. Humans have differing talents, interests, abilities, motivations, and all the rest. So why should the the achievers pay for the slackers until all are “equal”? Why should the armed goons of the state be empowered to loot the productive to subsidize the lazy?
The laissez-faire free market is just humans trading with each other in a voluntary and cooperative manner. This is moral, while the theft that the progressives love, when called by the name “tax”, is immoral. But even more to the point is that the laissez-faire free market makes everyone more wealthy while any intervention makes all but the favored few less well off — especially the poor. Yes, especially the poor. Progressives, in their unbridled envy, pursue policies that make the poor more poverty stricken while pretending to be trying to help them. That is hypocrisy writ large.