Pages

Latest Posts

January 19, 2016

The Limted-Government Think-Tank Industry and it's Fundamental Theoretical Flaw


Quoting Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

"The goal of “limited” — or “constitutional” — government, which Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan and other Mont Pelerin Society grandees had tried to promote and that every “free-market” think-tank today proclaims as its goal, is an impossible goal, much as it is an impossible goal to try squaring the circle. You cannot first establish a territorial monopoly of law and order and then expect that this monopolist will not make use of this awesome privilege of legislating in its own favor. Likewise: You cannot establish a territorial monopoly of paper money production and expect the monopolist not to use its power of printing up ever more money.

Limiting the power of the state, once it has been granted a territorial monopoly of legislation, is impossible, a self-contradictory goal. To believe that it is possible to limit government power — other than by subjecting it to competition, i.e., by not allowing monopoly privileges of any kind to arise in the first place — is to assume that the nature of Man changes as the result of the establishment of government (very much like the miraculous transformation of Man that socialists believe to happen with the onset of socialism).

That is the whole thing: limited government, is an illusory goal. To believe it to be possible is to believe in miracles.

The strategy of Hayek and of the Mont Pelerin Society, then, had to fail. Instead of helping to reform — liberalize — the (Western) State, as they intended (or pretended?) to do, the Mont Pelerin Society and the international “limited-government” think-tank industry would become an integral part of a continuously expanding welfare-warfare state system.

Indicators for this verdict abound: The typical location of the think tanks is in or near the capital city, most prominently Washington, D.C., because their principal addressee is the central government. They react to measures and announcements of government, and they suggest and make proposals to government. Most contacts of think-tankers outside their own institution are with politicians, government bureaucrats, lobbyists, and assorted staffers and assistants. Along with connected journalists, these are also the regular attendees of their conferences, briefings, receptions and cocktail parties. There is a steady exchange of personnel between think tanks and governments. And the leaders of the limited government industry are frequently themselves prominent members of the power elite and the ruling class.

Most indicative of all: For decades, the limited government movement has been a growth industry. Its annual expenditures currently run in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and billions of dollars likely have been spent in total. All the while, government expenditures never and nowhere fell, not even once, but instead always and uninterruptedly increased to ever more dizzying heights.

And yet, this glaring failure of the industry to deliver the promised good of limited government is not punished but, perversely, rewarded with still more ample funds. The more the think tanks fail, the more money they get.

The State and the free-market think-tank industry thus live in perfect harmony with each other. They grow together, in tandem.

For limited government advocates such as Hayek and the entire free-market think-tank industry, this is an embarrassment. They must try to explain it away somehow, as accidental or coincidental. And they typically do so, simply enough, by arguing that without their continued funding and operations matters would be even worse.

Thus excused, then, the industry continues on as before, undisturbed by any fact or event past or future.

But the embarrassing facts are not accidental or coincidental and could have been systematically predicted — if only one had better understood the nature of the state, and did not believe in miracles.

As a territorial monopolist of legislation and the money-printing press, the State has a natural tendency to grow: to use its “fiat” laws and “fiat” money to gain increasing control of society and social institutions. With “fiat laws," the State has the unique power of threatening and punishing or incentivizing and rewarding whatever it pleases. And with its “fiat money," it can buy up support, bribe, and corrupt more easily than anyone else.

Certainly, an extraordinary institution such as this will have the means at its disposal, legal and financial, to deal with the challenge posed by a limited government industry. Historically, the State has successfully dealt with far more formidable opponents — like organized religion, for instance!

Unlike the Church or churches, however, the limited government industry is conveniently located and concentrated at or near the center of State power, and the industry’s entire raison d’tre is to talk and have access to the State. That is what its donor-financiers typically expect.

Yet so much the easier, then, was it for the State to target and effectively control this industry. The State only had to set up its own bureaucracy in charge of free-market-relations and lure the limited-government NGOs with conferences, invitations, sponsorships, grants, money and employment prospects. Without having to resort to threats, these measures alone were sufficient to ensure compliance on the part of the free-market think-tank industry and its associated intellectuals. The market demand for intellectual services is low and fickle and hence intellectuals can be bought up cheaply!

Moreover, through its cooperation with the free market industry, the State could enhance its own legitimacy and intellectual respectability as an “economically enlightened," institution — and thus open up still further room for State growth.

Essentially, as with all so-called NGOs [non-government organizations], the State managed to transform the limited government industry into just another vehicle for its own aggrandizement.

What I learned from my experience with the Mont Pelerin Society, then, was that an entirely different strategy had to be chosen if one wanted to limit the power of the state. For socialists or social-democrats, it is perfectly rational to talk and seek access to the State and to try “marching through its institutions," because the Left wants to increase the power of the State. That is, the Left wants what the State is disposed to do anyway, by virtue of its nature as a territorial monopolist of law and order.

But the same strategy is inefficient or even counterproductive if one wants to roll the power of the State back — regardless of whether one wants to roll it back completely and establish a stateless natural order or roll it back only “sharply” or “drastically” to some “glorious” or “golden” status quo ante.

In any case, this goal can only be reached if, instead of talking and seeking access to the State, the State is openly ignored, avoided and disavowed; and its agents and propagandists are explicitly excluded from one’s proceedings. To talk to the State and include its agents and propagandists is to lend legitimacy and strength to it. To ostentatiously ignore, avoid and disavow it and to exclude its agents and propagandists as undesirable is to withdraw consent from the State and to weaken its legitimacy.

In sharp contrast to the Mont Pelerin Society and its multiple offspring, which wanted to reform and liberalize the welfare-warfare state system from within — pursuing a “system-immanent” strategy of change, as Marxists would say — and which failed precisely for this reason and was instead co-opted by the State as part of the political establishment, my envisioned society, the Property and Freedom Society was to pursue a “system-transcending” strategy.

That is, it would try to reform, and ultimately revolutionize, the ever more invasive welfare-warfare State system from the outside, through the creation of an anti-statist counterculture that could attract a steadily growing number of defectors — of intellectuals, educated laymen and even the much-cited “man on the street” — away from the dominant State culture and institutions. The Property And Freedom Society was to be the international spearhead, the avant-garde, of this intellectual counterculture.

Central to this counterculture was this insight into the perversity of the institution of a State: A territorial monopolist of law and order that can make and change laws in its own favor does not and cannot, without assuming miracles, protect the life and property of its subjects (clients); but is and always will be a permanent danger to them — the sure road to serfdom and tyranny.

Based on this insight, then, the Property And Freedom Society was to have a twofold goal.

On the one hand, positively, it was to explain and elucidate the legal, economic, cognitive and cultural requirements and features of a free, state-less natural order.

On the other hand, negatively, it was to unmask the State and showcase it for what it really is: an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots — an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches."

Read the complete article here:
https://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/hans-hermann-hoppe/my-life-on-the-right/

January 18, 2016

Pakistani Feminists Butthurt at Shobha De's Comments

Pakistani feminists must have been pretty butt-hurt at Shobha De's comments at the Lahore Literary Festival 2015:
"Defending Bollywood item songs with highly offensive lyrics, Shobha De dismissed the gendered dynamics of power by equating the scantily clad Indian actress Sunny Leone to a shirtless Shahrukh Khan."

"The famous Indian columnist went to the extent of explaining why she did not identify herself as a ‘feminist’ and believes in the mantra of women empowering themselves irrespective of male oppression and their circumstances. This reluctance to accept the radical title of gender equality supporter was the highlight of the LLF session ‘Fifty Shades of Feminism’."
http://tns.thenews.com.pk/the-discussion-on-feminism-fifty-shades-of-disappointment/#.VpP1q_l96Uk
"Even men are objectified in Bollywood,” she remarked. “Salman Khan’s shirts fly off all on their own, John Abraham rarely wears anything more than blue boxers, Aamir Khan was recently seen using nothing but a transistor to hide his modesty and SRK loves getting hosed down in songs. If Fawad Khan decides to strip next, I can tell you Indian women will be whistling in the aisles.”
http://tns.thenews.com.pk/llf-2015-reclaiming-lahore/#.VpP2yPl96Uk

Because apparently women's "liberation" and "empowerment" does not include the right to:

1. Women believing in true equality and accepting that both sexes are prone to objectification.
2. Women becoming truly strong and independent instead of whining about the evil Patriarchy.
3. Women appearing in item songs. ("Their body, their choice"?)
4. Women not identifying as feminists. (especially in a session named ‘Fifty Shades of Feminism’)

January 16, 2016

Political Correctness fuels Islamism and Feminazism

Brendan O'Neill of Spiked on the politics of safe spaces and microaggressions:
“The punishment of islamophobia in particular, the clamping down on anyone who criticizes Islam, that actually fuels the victim mentality among some young radical Muslims, who think the west is out to get them, their own society hates them, I mean think about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, everybody was thinking “Oh this is a foreign attack in France” but actually I think it was a very French attack. This is a country where it is very much against the law, potentially, to criticize Islam or particularly Muslims. People have been dragged to court, Charlie Hebdo itself had been taken to court for religious hatred. These guys who killed the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists grew up in a country that told them “it is really bad for people to offend your faith” and then we wonder why they acted like the way that they did.”

“I think the Charlie Hebdo massacre was the armed wing of political correctness. These are the products of a society that has abandoned the idea of the freedom of speech, abandoned the idea of democracy, abandoned the idea of real robust debate… And in that climate you give rise to new groups who are super sensitive, who think that everything that goes against their way of life should be crushed. Now it might express itself peacefully on campus where they want to “safe space” people out of existence, but among some groups it expresses itself far more violently.”
In the same manner, political correctness and clamping down on "misogynistic" "hate speech" fuels victim mentality among women which gives rise to Feminazis who think that anything that offends them should be crushed by the state.

That helps Big Government to grow in tandem with Big Feminism. Big Brother and Big Sister.

January 15, 2016

Why Libertarians Fail at Politics

Quoting Jason Farrell from: https://c4ss.org/content/40819

"There’s a good reason libertarians remain at the ideological fringe: “Libertarian politics” is a contradiction in terms. Libertarianism is not a third party, like the Know-Nothings or the Whigs or a prescription of policy tweaks to make the government more efficient. It is a distinct value system that abhors political power itself, even if some of its adherents consider power a necessary evil.

Libertarians may disagree whether the state should be abolished or minimized, but the difference matters little to the average American: Both seem frighteningly outside his own experience. Even the most moderate libertarians will wax poetic about ending intellectual property or privatizing the welfare system. Moreover, virtually all voters are deeply invested in government services they have come to depend on, and libertarians have been unable to present hypothesized private-sector alternatives while the state forces dependence upon itself. Conceptually, libertarians are on a page that most people find bizarre.
 

Libertarianism is best understood as the latest in a long line of radical liberation ideologies, rooted in the principles of natural law and individualism, that have provided the intellectual basis for rebellion since the American Revolution. It is a reaction to the perpetual expansion of government power in the U.S. and its frequent abuses. But radicalism, by definition, is immoderate and cannot compromise its way to reforms. Rather than moving toward the “Overton window” of public opinion by moderating controversial views (as Rand Paul attempted), radicals must pull public opinion towards their own viewpoints. Rand’s straying from libertarian principles means that he likely has little unique appeal even for the tiny libertarian electorate his father created. David Boaz’s research shows that 70 percent of libertarian-leaning voters went with Mitt Romney over Gary Johnson in 2012, so we know even libertarians who believe in politics are willing to blunt their own sword.
 

If libertarianism is denied its radical characteristics, it degrades into a flimsy millennial conservatism: Fiscally conservative, socially liberal and completely powerless, a mashup of existing ideas better espoused by other parties and ideologies. Without unyielding commitment to truly radical ideas, libertarians are drowned out by louder voices catering to the will of angry, pitchfork-bearing constituents. They add little of value, and are likely to end up little more than a footnote in the history of conservatism.

To fail to understand this is to remain resigned to swim against the tide of American politics. As Friedrich Hayek pointed out: “Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide.”

 

Instead, libertarians might be more useful as single-issue activists and innovators. While U.S. politicians fail to shrink government, individualists like Erik Voorhees, Cody Wilson, Peter Thiel and the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto are using technology to forge a new path. Time will tell exactly where that leads. But Rand’s decline underlines the fact that libertarian ethics predicate disruption and revolution, not moderation and compromise."

January 14, 2016

Rape Culture Exists Nowhere, East or West.

Lauren Southern at a feminist rally
Many Western anti-feminists and men's rights activist when refuting rape-culture take extra care to make mention of the West: "There is no rape culture in the ("civilized") West, and so the West does not require a feminist movement." Feminism, they say, is required in the ("barbaric") Third World and the Muslim countries where the real rape-culture exists.

Truth is rape-culture exists nowhere, East or West.

Someone asked:
"So you're saying that in no area anywhere on the planet qualifies as rape culture. What about areas of India and Pakistan?"
Women are a protected class in Pakistan and India, as well as most other places all over the world. Isolated incidents blown out of proportion by the media isn't a rape culture.

"What about refugee camps where women and girls are getting raped in high numbers with no recourse to the point where they're terrified to leave their tents to go to the bathroom. Would you consider that a rape culture?"
No I wouldn't consider the refugee camp situation a rape culture. If it is to be considered a culture then most men would have to be in on it. In a culture the "rapist" mindset would prevail.

That's unlikely to be the case. If the men create a hostile environment for other women, they will end up creating a hostile environment for their own women and children as well. It would not be in their self-interest, so it is unlikely for them to make such a mistake. Again this would most likely be a case of a few bad apples, and fear-mongering by right-wing media blowing it up in their anti-immigration efforts.

"If a woman is getting harassed/groped/followed by a man/men in public in any area or town in India or Pakistan, will the public stop it?"
Groping is unimaginable. Women are untouchable here. That guy can end up in the hospital if not dead. Feminists' claims of rampant sexual harassment in Pakistan are outright lies. Many feminists even claim that 100% of Pakistani women face sexual harassment!

Yes, 100 percent!

https://tigerali.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/%E2%80%98100-of-pakistani-women-face-sexual-harassment%E2%80%99-%E2%80%93-fouzia-saeed-women-rights%E2%80%99-activist/

Clearly this is feminist fear-mongering and nothing else. Pakistan is an extremely gynocentric society, and feminists lie with impunity here. These lies are wholeheartedly accepted and parroted by the media in Pakistan and the world over, and hence "patriarchy", "misogyny" and "rape-culture".

"Do you know accurate statistics for rapes in these areas?"
The rape statistics for Pakistan are very low. 370 reported cases in 2013. 1460 in 2014.

For a population of nearly 200 million, that is. So much for "one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women."

http://nation.com.pk/national/07-Mar-2014/1600-pakistani-women-murdered-370-raped-in-2013

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/23231-6-women-kidnapped-4-raped-every-day-in-2014