Down With Democracy (WARNING: Politically incorrect language)

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It's been a while since I read this article, but it never grows old. It's so simple, and yet, has such far reaching social implications. WARNING: Some politically incorrect language is contained in this article.

Quote Hans Hermann Hoppe:

The recognition of democracy as a machinery of popular wealth and income redistribution, then, in conjunction with one of the most fundamental principles in all of economics – that one will end up getting more of whatever it is that is being subsidized – provides the key to an understanding of the present age.

All redistribution, regardless of the criterion on which it is based, involves 'taking' from the original owners and/or producers (the 'havers' of something) and 'giving' to non-owners and non-producers (the 'non-havers' of something). The incentive to be an original owner or producer of the thing in question is reduced, and the incentive to be a non-owner and non-producer is raised. Accordingly, as a result of subsidizing individuals because they are poor, there will be more poverty. In subsidizing people because they are unemployed, more unemployment will be created. Supporting single mothers out of tax funds will lead to an increase in single motherhood, 'illegitimacy', and divorce. In outlawing child labor, income is transfered from families with children to childless persons (as a result of the legal restriction on the supply of labor, wage rates will rise). Accordingly, the birthrate will fall. On the other hand, by subsidizing the education of children, the opposite effect is created. Income is transfered from the childless and those with few children to those with many children. As a result the birthrate will increase. Yet then the value of children will again fall, and birthrates will decline as a result of the so-called Social Security System, for in subsidizing retirees (the old) out of taxes imposed on current income earners (the young), the institution of a family – the intergenerational bond between parents, grandparents, and children – is systematically weakened. The old need no longer rely on the assistance of their children if they have made no provision for their own old age, and the young (with typically less accumulated wealth) must support the old (with typically more accumulated wealth) rather than the other way around, as is typical within families. Parents' wish for children, and children's wish for parents will decline, family breakups and dysfunctional families will increase, and provisionary action – saving and capital formation – will fall, while consumption rises.

In subsidizing the malingerers, the neurotics, the careless, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the Aids-infected, and the physically and mentally 'challenged' through insurance regulation and compulsory health insurance, there will be more illness, malingering, neuroticism, carelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, Aids infection, and physical and mental retardation. By forcing non-criminals, including the victims of crime, to pay for the imprisonment of criminals (rather than making criminals compensate their victims and pay the full cost of their own apprehension and incarceration), crime will increase. By forcing businessmen, through 'affirmative action' ('non-discrimination') programs, to employ more women, homosexuals, blacks, or other 'minorities' than they would like to, there will be more employed minorities, and fewer employers and fewer male, heterosexual, and white employment. By compelling private land owners to subsidize ('protect') 'endangered species' residing on their land through environmental legislation, there will be more and better-off animals, and fewer and worse-off humans.

Most importantly, by compelling private property owners and/or market income earners (producers) to subsidize 'politicians', 'political parties', and 'civil servants' (politicians and government employees do not pay taxes but are paid out of taxes), there will be less wealth formation, fewer producers and less productivity, and ever more waste, 'parasites' and parasitism.

Businessmen (capitalists) and their employees cannot earn an income unless they produce goods or services which are sold in markets. The buyers' purchases are voluntary. By buying a good or service, the buyers (consumers) demonstrate that they prefer this good or service over the sum of money that they must surrender in order to acquire it. In contrast, politicians, parties, and civil servants produce nothing which is sold in markets. No one buys government 'goods' or 'services'. They are produced, and costs are incurred to produce them, but they are not sold and bought. On the one hand, this implies that it is impossible to determine their value and find out whether or not this value justifies their costs. Because no one buys them, no one actually demonstrates that he considers government goods and services worth their costs, and indeed, whether or not anyone attaches any value to them at all. From the viewpoint of economic theory, it is thus entirely illegitimate to assume, as is always done in national income accounting, that government goods and services are worth what it costs to produce them, and then to simply add this value to that of the 'normal', privately produced (bought and sold) goods and services to arrive at gross domestic (or national) product, for instance. It might as well be assumed that government goods and services are worth nothing, or even that they are not "goods" at all but "bads"; hence, that the cost of politicians and the entire civil service should be subtracted from the total value of privately produced goods and services. Indeed, to assume this would be far more justified. For on the other hand, as to its practical implications, the subsidizing of politicians and civil servants amounts to a subsidy to 'produce' with little or no regard for the well-being of one's alleged consumers, and with much or sole regard instead for the well-being of the 'producers', i.e., the politicians and civil servants. Their salaries remain the same, whether their output satisfies consumers or not. Accordingly, as a result of the expansion of 'public' sector employment, there will be increasing laziness, carelessness, incompeence, disservice, maltreatment, waste, and even destruction – and at the same time ever more arrogance, demagogery, and lies ('we work for the public good').

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/hermann-hoppe2.html

Austro-Libertarian's picture
Austro-Libertarian
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Comments

Probably if the top tier didn't suck so much out of the economy with lower wages for workers and lower taxes for themselves, ...and interest rates at 30% of a purchase, there might be enough left in the economy to provide for consumer demand and the production to fill it.

However, capital accumlation needs a boost. Raise bankster bonuses from a billion to two billion.

We've been adopting more and more of Hans Hermann Hoppe economic gibberish ever since Reagan. The result of that should be fairly obvious by now.

There are a few kernels of truth scattered here and there...and a few kernels of wheat don't make a loaf of bread.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:We've been adopting more and more of Hans Hermann Hoppe economic gibberish ever since Reagan. The result of that should be fairly obvious by now.
It took many generations to reign in the free-market Libertarian regime introduce with the so-called American revolution, probably close to 100 years until we finally re-introduced an income tax. But it really wasn't until FDR that the free-market Libertarians were beaten. Between then and Reagan, the US had prosperity, but as soon as free-markets started to be reintroduced by Reagan, the Libertarian corporatists started growing like the blood sucking ticks they are.

The free-market Libertarians have to be stopped once and for all, before they enslave us all.

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Jacques Roux
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Jun. 20, 2010 3:33 pm

Polycarp2: "Probably if the top tier didn't suck so much out of the economy with lower wages for workers and lower taxes for themselves, ...and interest rates at 30% of a purchase, there might be enough left in the economy to provide for consumer demand and the production to fill it." - I was hoping you could expound on this more. For example, I believe we have a progressive tax code so what are you refering to? Also what 30% interest rate are you talking about?

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tmoney13
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May. 1, 2010 2:20 pm

It's pretty simple. Real wages have been cut nearly in half.

An hours work at min. wage used to buy 20 cups of coffee. Now it buys how many?

A min. wage worker could buy a house. I did in my early years...and a new sportscar. Now?

Anyone making double the min. was pretty well off. Not so today. Real wages are down.

According to Warren Buffett, the multi-billionaire pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. Great tax policy...for some.

I have an emergency credit card I never use. Interest 29.5%.

In Mexico, 38 families have nearly all the wealth. Rich country...destitue population. Same direction we're heading in. Can't have a viable economy when the wealth becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The economy grinds to a halt. That's just the way it is, or haven't you noticed?.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

We've been adopting more and more of Hans Hermann Hoppe economic gibberish ever since Reagan. The result of that should be fairly obvious by now.

Name one aspect of Reagan's policies, other than income tax cutting, that is proposed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

monsieurb54's picture
monsieurb54
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Quote Jacques Roux:

It took many generations to reign in the free-market Libertarian regime introduce with the so-called American revolution, probably close to 100 years until we finally re-introduced an income tax. But it really wasn't until FDR that the free-market Libertarians were beaten. Between then and Reagan, the US had prosperity, but as soon as free-markets started to be reintroduced by Reagan, the Libertarian corporatists started growing like the blood sucking ticks they are.

The free-market Libertarians have to be stopped once and for all, before they enslave us all.

First -- *libertarians

Second -- name these so-called libertarians that the fascist FDR reigned in. The problem with Thom and almost everyone on this board -- as good as their intentions *may* be -- is they use "Libertarian" as a broad epithet to pin on anyone who opposes their style of economic tyranny. Everyone from Alan Greenspan, the Keynesian central bank czar to anarchist Walter Block is painted as a libertarian. If you want to be taken seriously in your critiques of opposing views, then work on not conflating all your opponents.

(In fact, Thom Hartmann has had only a few actual libertarians on his show -- the people from the Ayn Rand Institute are by and large not libertarians at all).

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monsieurb54
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

First, we also call you all neocons.
Secondly, we also all call you all neolibs.
And the beat goes on.

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quaestorchickpea
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May. 12, 2010 7:02 pm
Quote monsieurb54:

Name one aspect of Reagan's policies, other than income tax cutting, that is proposed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Also, Reagan both inflated the money supply and massively increased the public debt. Both of which are hardly libertarian and also largely responsible for the decrease in real wages that the posters keep complaining about.

Austro-Libertarian's picture
Austro-Libertarian
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Apr. 10, 2010 7:31 am
Quote "monsieurb54":Second -- name these so-called libertarians that the fascist FDR reigned in. The problem with Thom and almost everyone on this board -- as good as their intentions *may* be -- is they use "Libertarian" as a broad epithet to pin on anyone who opposes their style of economic tyranny. Everyone from Alan Greenspan, the Keynesian central bank czar to anarchist Walter Block is painted as a libertarian. If you want to be taken seriously in your critiques of opposing views, then work on not conflating all your opponents.

I am not referring to specific Libertarian people, but to the fact that the American Revolution was a libertarian revolution. Radical libertarians like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry took advantage of the popular sentiment to allow radical individualism to run rampant, resulting in slavery, inequality, and ultimately the first gilded age, complete with robber barons.

Thankfully, even very shortly after Jefferson's revolution there were progressives that saw the writing on the wall and put a stop to the radical libertarian decentralization. By recognizing the need for a National government that could bring equality and participation to ALL the people, Hamilton laid the groundwork for the restoration of proper government regulations to provide for the general welfare. The first step in the counter-revolution was to destroy the Articles of Confederation, that promised a confederation of weak government, none of which would be strong enough to stand up to the growing corporate fat-cats.

Ever since good government was re-established via the Constitution, there have been radical individualist libertarians who have opposed it, starting with Jefferson and ranging all the way to Lysander Spooner.

The damage done by the radical libertarians was almost unthinkable, and took generations to be repaired. Lincoln, Wilson, and ultimately FDR were able to reshape our government to eliminate libertarianism and bring back proper government, which the Europeans, never having experienced our experiment with libertarianism, always had. Since FDR we have been retracing our steps back to our original European style of government and away from American libertarianism.

I see Ronnie Ray-gun as the last gasp, the final push, to re-establish Jefferson's dangerour libertarian revolution. And look how ever since then, the economy has tanked, the middle class has all but disappeared, and the rich have grown fat off the sweat of the workers.

You call FDR a fascist. I call him a savior. He smashed the libertarians, and brough back progressive, European social democracy back to America, and just in the nick of time.

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Jacques Roux
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Quote monsieurb54:
Quote polycarp2:

We've been adopting more and more of Hans Hermann Hoppe economic gibberish ever since Reagan. The result of that should be fairly obvious by now.

Name one aspect of Reagan's policies, other than income tax cutting, that is proposed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

How about reducing aid to poor kids?

While the founders of the U.S. were sort of libertarians as currently defined, they weren't libertarians as libertarians came to to define themselves:Today's bunch are deviants from libertarianism.

Spooner:

First and fundamentally: Every man should own the fruits of his own labor.

Second: To own these fruits, “each man should be his own employer, or work directly for himself.”

Benjamine Tucker:

Tucker said, "the fact that one class of men are dependent for their living upon the sale of their labour, while another class of men are relieved of the necessity of labour by being legally privileged to sell something that is not labour. . . . And to such a state of things I am as much opposed as any one. But the minute you remove privilege. . . every man will be a labourer exchanging with fellow-labourers".

"strikes, whenever and wherever inaugurated, deserve encouragement from all the friends of labour. . . They show that people are beginning to know their rights, and knowing, dare to maintain them." [18] and furthermore, "as an awakening agent, as an agitating force, the beneficent influence of a strike is immeasurable. . . with our present economic system almost every strike is just. For what is justice in production and distribution? That labour, which creates all, shall have all." [19] Tucker envisioned an individualist anarchist society as "each man reaping the fruits of his labour and no man able to live in idleness on an income from capital....become[ing] a great hive of Anarchistic workers, prosperous and free individuals [combining] to carry on their production and distribution on the cost principle."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Tucker

I don't see libertarians promoting libertarian principles except for some fringe principles that really alter nothing originators of libertarian thought deemed fundamental.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Boy these Libertarian article, just sound dumber and dumber every time I read one.

Yes, America lets further deregulate the nation. Perhaps in hopes that you can kill off even more of your habitable land and seas.

Honestly, the lessons of the disaster in the Gulf seem to not have registered yet to many.

I believe we should file this article, under the "Are Americans too Dumb" thread.

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meljomur
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yes, the lessons in the Gulf that we can't trust the environment to be protected when it's publicly owned and thus providing zero incentives for anyone to protect it, not to mention removing a clear case for liability.

Oh, and that $75 billion liability cap that the government is responsible for.

And.... libertarian*

monsieurb54's picture
monsieurb54
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:

How about reducing aid to poor kids?

That's it? That caused all the problems in the economy today?

The point is that all these issues are the result of interventionism, not the allegedly free-market Reagan, who was barely that.

In terms of Spooner/Tucker, here's their deal: they were essentially anarcho-capitalists except they held the labor theory of value. That, combined with a sort of mutualist understanding of free markets, led them to believe that in a free market/anarchy there would more or less emerge a socialist system (basically the end result of Marxism, where workers owned their own labor product, etc). However, they also wrote that they would support the outcome of a free laissez-faire market, regardless of whether they were right. There is a similar thinker today named Kevin Carson, who has a blog at [mutualist.blogspot.com]

So they were essentially Murray Rothbards of the 19th-century, with Proudhonian insights on economics.

monsieurb54's picture
monsieurb54
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Yes, the lessons in the Gulf that we can't trust the environment to be protected when it's publicly owned and thus providing zero incentives for anyone to protect it, not to mention removing a clear case for liability.

Man, you don't learn anything. The lesson of the Gulf catastrophe is that allowing business interests to control our government leads to a government that serves business interests and not the public's.

Oh, and that $75 billion liability cap that the government is responsible for.

Which was due to business interests creating policy. Also, that cap has nothing to do with the actual clean-up and remediation, which has no cost cap.

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jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Notice here that you tacitly agree with my point: you say "Man you don't learn anything" about how BP controls the government, but that's the point. The government is what allows a structure like BP to do this kind of crap. I don't even have to defend my position, because you're doing it for me.

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monsieurb54
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote monsieurb54:

Notice here that you tacitly agree with my point: you say "Man you don't learn anything" about how BP controls the government, but that's the point. The government is what allows a structure like BP to do this kind of crap. I don't even have to defend my position, because you're doing it for me.

Wait, the argument is BP corrupts the government, which leads the government to allow a structure like BP to do this kind of crap, therefore we shouldn't have government regulations...and BP wouldn't be able to do this kind of crap because why now?

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reed9
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Apr. 8, 2010 11:26 am

Because without the US government BP likely wouldn't have the ability to do what it does. If we had a system of common law instead of government force, other people likely would be seasteading the ocean and thus setting up an interconnected system that would make it impossible for a giant company like BP to just come in and claim the ocean. Instead, the ocean is "public property" that BP can pay the government a nominal fee to in order to utilize its resources.

If BP does still exist in a free market and without the State, the liability would have been clearcut with such a set-up. Instead, because of the public "ownership" of the waterways, liability is not clearcut and it is becoming a gigantic cluster$%#$ with the government acting as the arbitrator. As usual, nothing gets done when that is the case.

To see where I am coming from, check out these articles from: the first is by mutualist anarchist/left-libertarian Kevin Carson. The second is by Sheldon Richman, anarchist left-libertarian:

http://c4ss.org/content/2685

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/tgif/bp-spill/

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monsieurb54
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Have you thought about what it means to own something? And more importantly, what does it mean to be the original owner of something? How does one become an original owner of something?

I dare say, no human on earth is the original owner of anything. Furthermore, ownership doesn't exist unless the majority of people around agree with your claim. Thus, democracy, whether officially sanctioned or not.

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Common_Man_Jason
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Quote Common_Man_Jason:

Have you thought about what it means to own something? And more importantly, what does it mean to be the original owner of something? How does one become an original owner of something?

I dare say, no human on earth is the original owner of anything. Furthermore, ownership doesn't exist unless the majority of people around agree with your claim. Thus, democracy, whether officially sanctioned or not.

But let's take that to a logical extreme: wouldn't that mean that the whole world should democratically decide together? If democracy is great, why are we limiting it to within the (artificial) borders of a nation-state?

I don't believe there's any objective way to become an owner of something, but you certainly don't *need* to have the majority's approval.

And of course, when government defines what counts as "public" property, it sets up such thing as BP monopolizing waterways -- certainly governments are not original owners of water, land, etc. That method of ownership can only be achieved via homesteading/mixing land with one's labor (a la John Locke, Murray Rothbard).

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monsieurb54
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Logical extremes can be useful debating tactics, but mean nothing in real life.

Those that are effected by any particular human action will be involved in one way or an other. They can either be coerced to comply by a force they think they can't content with, or they can form a democratic system to decide together. It's that simple, and that is the core of all political thought.

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