Liberalism’, as all other freedom related concepts, is a much perverted term. In the classical sense, the term means freedom and less governmental controls. Classical Liberals were proponents of freedom and Capitalism. Till the 20th Century, liberals were for freedom & conservatives, the defenders of the status quo, statism. David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Wilhelm Humboldt, John Stuart Mill and the 20th Century Economist Ludwig Von Mises were in that sense, all classical liberals. While the conservatives are still defenders of the status quo, new left liberals are for more governmental controls. In Australia, the term liberalism still means what it had once meant .Ironically, in Russia, at the time of de-controls the statists were conservatives as the defenders of the status quo and their opponent’s liberals!
Quoting the great economist Joseph Schumpeter, there is no greater compliment Capitalism can ever get than that the Left has arrogated the term ‘liberal’ to themselves. It is the very art of smearing perpetrated on the best of our concepts which is reflected here. You all have heard of the soul-body, romanticism-realism, idealism-realism and theory-practice dichotomy. You have heard the phrase ‘materialistic production’, the alleged dichotomy between spirituality and materialism and the lumping together of spirituality and religiousness. You have seen the terms ‘internationalist’ and ‘isolationist’ perverted and turned the other way round. Once the left had taken it to their quarters, it is the very sense of the term ‘liberal’ that they have perverted. You give a positive term a negative connotation and then you have given moral sanction to the immoral. There is nothing more to it!
George Monbiot, in his article in the red infested ‘Guardian Newspapers Limited’, republished in today’s ‘The Hindu’, ‘How neoliberals stitched up wealth of nations’ blames the current financial crisis in US and UK on ‘neoliberalism’.Monbiot’s article opens with his funny statement “UK’s consumer debt exceeded the total of its Gross National Product (GNP).Ah, Ah! It’s ‘gross absurdity’ and worse than economic nonsense to indicate wealth in terms of ‘GNP’. In the first place, there is no such thing as an objectively measurable price level. Add to this:Inflation.Add to this: There are no means to know the productivity of public enterprises. Most are run at a loss; at prices set way below market prices. Add to this: Statisticians solve this by adding up expenditure in the above statistics. We all know that these enterprises are worth much less than that. Add to this: The basic fact that economic theories are not to be verified by statistics, but by a priori reasoning.
Who are these ‘neoliberals’? What is so mystical about the principles of Classical Liberalism other than that it advocates freedom and equal opportunity for all? Monbiot traces all iniquities back to the first meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947 headed by its founder Friedrich Von Hayek. Hayek is said to have led to the resurrection of Classical Liberalism. To begin with, Hayek wasn’t a classical liberal or even a free market economist in the strictest sense of those terms. He was in fact, a Socialist turned ‘Capitalist’ under the influence of his mentor, and the Greatest Economist ever lived, Ludwig Von Mises.Mises,in 1927 had founded the Institute of Business Cycle Research in Vienna to find a job for the desperate Friedrich Hayek, by appointing him as the director. Hayek, who praised Mises’s classic ‘Socialism’ when he was alive altered it after his death placing the blame on his ‘extreme rationalism’, which in fact is the very foundation of the free market and Economic science. After the death of Mises, he opined Mises to be personally obnoxious and unfriendly. Obviously, students of Mises had a hard time getting jobs in the Academia & Hayek found it more expedient to malign the very man who once struggled to get himself a job. Hayek, furthermore, believed social security to be compatible with his ‘laissez-faire doctrine’. Ludwig Von Mises wasn’t really happy with the activities of Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society, with its growing statism and ‘welfare state’ oriented views. No matter what his virtues are, Hayek can only be seen as a compromiser and traitor to the laissez-faire genre.
Monbiot’s argument that Hayek’s intellectual army attracted powerful backers as it accorded with the interests of the ultra-rich is worse than any collectivist farce. Hayek, though a compromiser and not a Jew like Mises and many other Free Market advocates were, was much despised by the American Academia for his pro-capitalist views. He was first rejected by the University of Chicago, which finally granted him a less coveted post. The University of Chicago refused to pay him any pension and Hayek had to work in German & Austrian Universities even after retirement age. It is also worth remembering that Ludwig Von Mises never had a permanent academic job in the whole of his life for his uncompromising stance on the Free Market. The most able and much less revered of his students, Murray Newton Rothbard too was not able to hold any prestigious academic post. If there were any 20th Century Economists who ever had deserved a Nobel Prize, they were Ludwig Von Mises & Murray Newton Rothbard. It is no coincidence that the Nobel Prize Committee waited till the death of Ludwig Von Mises to grant the prize to Hayek for his work on Misesian cycles. They had to avoid the embarrassment of granting it to someone more competent and uncompromising.
The most ridiculous of the Leftist arguments is that Free Market advocates serve the interests of the ultra rich. It ignores the basic fact that the very rich have nothing to gain and everything to lose on a free market. Now a days we see the contemptible breed of Businessmen & Economists, their sycophants, lauding ‘Capitalism’, calling for public-private partnership & efficient allocation of resources. Public-private partnership is simply a euphemism for fascism & has nothing at all to do with Capitalism. They, through this art of smearing have only brought shame to the terms ‘Capitalism’ and ‘Free Market’. Most Free Market advocates were and are ignored by the Academia and Media. Some had lived their lives in near poverty. It can’t be colossal ignorance that makes Monbiot blurt out the absurdity that Hayek’s followers, Austrian Economists, are drowning in money. When Lew Rockwell founded Ludwig Von Mises Institute, the major funding source got furious over the uncompromising free market ideas of Mises & organized a boycott that Lew had to start it all up without any such financial backing.
If the ‘Laissez-faire Economics’ is so in favor of the rich, why don’t we see even a single article in its support in the media? Why this vehement attack on the greatest writer ever, Ayn Rand? Why Mises was ignored while any third rate Marxist boor would have been let in? Why his students Hayek, Robbins & Machlup had to compromise? Why the professed Capitalist Milton Friedman thinks vouchers are moral? Why Herbert Spencer had to soften and turn to an engineering career? Why John Stuart Mill turned to Socialism? Why this smear on Adam Smith? Why these simpletons allege the greatest Economic journalist ever, Frederic Bastiat alleged to be ‘simplistic’ and ‘superficial’? Are these super rich so weak, unintelligent and incompetent that they can’t handle this entire smear? Can’t they let out a single article in their support? The truth is that they know their interests better than collectivists do!
Monbiot points his fingers to the growing inequality in liberalized nations. It is of course, true that liberty is incompatible with equality. Liberty simply means let justice be done. Liberty means let all be equal in front of the law. If any one thinks it is liberty that breeds injustice, just have a look at the Forbes list. Why is it that more self made men find place in the list from nations with a higher degree of Economic Freedom? You should now ask yourself what fixes people into a certain economic caste. It is governmental controls and not the ‘Free Market’. Why is a nation’s progress a function of its economic freedom? Such thoughts never occur to these knuckleheads.
What does Monbiot mean by ‘wealth grabbing’? On a free market, there is no such a thing as ‘wealth grabbing’. There is only trade, which means, voluntary trade for mutual benefit. If natural elites arise from it, so be it. It is the welfare state, governmental privileges & public-private partnership that leads to wealth grabbing, not the ‘free market’. He doesn’t mention that it is the anarcho-capitalists he scorns who have raised the most cogent arguments against Big Businesses and American Imperialism. It’s appreciable that Monbiot links all these injustices to the post First World War era. He is certainly right in this regard. The Sixteenth amendment, granting the power to the Government to tax with no limits on the confiscation was introduced by the Federal Government in 1913.Is there anything more to be said?Monbiot laments that the world has moved farther from the interventionist doctrines of the great Pseudo-Economist John Maynard Keynes. We have all moved towards liberalism, says he. It was in fact, Keynes’s fascist, inflationary & interventionist policies that caused the financial crisis which he blames on liberalism. There is more to be said on Keynes. In 1912, Keynes wrote a review on Ludwig Von Mises’s brilliant analysis ‘Theory of Money and Credit’ alleging it to be unoriginal and unconstructive. It was that review that blocked out from the world the information that it is Government interventions and inflationary policies that creates depressions. Keynes let the cat out of the bag years later when he revealed his lack of proficiency in German Language in which Mises’s book was written. It’s a still prevailing myth that it was Herbert Hoover’s laissez-faire policies that led to the Great Depression. Hoover, the secretary of Commerce in the early 20’s was never able to convince President Harding to intervene recklessly. He did it when he was the President in 1929.It wasn’t the Free Market, but government manipulation of money & credit which caused the Great Depression.
Sadly, Print media is infested with shameless, spineless, brainless third rate Marxist bootlicking boors such as Monbiot, Krugman & Sainath. It can only mean that the man on the street is worse than a street dog in the matters of mind-And worse, these men know it better than I do!