Friday, October 7, 2011

Something to Pass Out at 'Occupy Wall Street'

It's obvious that the protesters at 'Occupy Wall Street' are a mixed bag. There are Ron Paul supporters among them, but mostly they are just frustrated people, with socialists, and who knows who else, attempting to co-opt them. There are also probably thinkers among them searching for answers.

Lew Rockwell's speech delivered at the Doug Casey conference in Phoenix is an ideal introduction to help a thinking person understand what is going on in the country.

There's sure to be major Occupy Wall Street gatherings across the country this weekend. I can't think of a better thing to do if you are going to check out one of these occupations than printing out copy of Lew's speech and handing it out. Be sure to add Lew's internet address on anything you print up:


  1. It's too bad the thinking people are surely outnumbered by the lemmings who will take their orders from George Soros or whomever else is operating behind the scenes. An angry mob does not provide a suitable climate for thoughtfulness.

  2. Um, they are frustrated with socialists? They are the socialists. Well, except for the few Paul supporters among them who share one common goal...the abolition of the Federal Reserve. And even that common goal is reached from two very different motivations.


  4. I have been posting on and off on the #ows forum and I have to say that while there are certainly your hardened leftist among them, I am finding that most of the ones I have chatted with are pretty open minded and don't freak out when you point out inconsistencies in their views. For instance, they seem to understand that exchanging one form of rent seeking for another is dishonest, which is why many have issues with the unions becoming involved and the demands made by the socialists. I have a feeling that many of the original protesters are going to become disillusioned as the movement get's taken over by the more well organized leftist groups.

    The big divergence I seem to encounter with them is on regulation. Since many seem to have come right out of college or are in college, they still beleive in the myth of regulation having not experienced the real world to see it in play. They do seem to accept that regulation can be a tool of big business and that the unintended consequences can be worse then the problem solved by the regulation, but they still beleive that the problem is a lack of "angels" working in government and not regulation itself.

  5. Anonymous commenter @ Oct 7, 12:25 PM hit the nail on the head. The belief that 'regulation' constrains big business is fundamental to socialist thinking. To libertarians, since ..and including... Adam Smith, regulation is more about state sponsored cartelization of private enterprise to advance the interests of preferred players rather than public spirited constraint of irresponsible businesses.

    Way before the emergence of the 'public choice' school of economics Smith noted how business cartelists sought regulation and artificial constraints of trade as a means of reducing competition, a means more durable and less subject to the erosive forces of the market than mere backroom deals. Some left wing historians like Kolko, no friend of the free market, independently rediscovered and documented Smith's observation at work during the so-called Gilded Age of American laisser-faire and the birth of Progressivism.

    Thurman Arnold once wrote a book called 'The Folklore of Capitalism', the myth of regulation is however part of the Folklore of socialism. A myth so widespread 'everyone just knows it's true'. Milton Friedman once said he supported competitive capitalism because it was the only system that could bring capitalists under control.

    The myth of regulation is so powerful and so seductive because it has a kind of "flat earth" common sense appeal. See something wrong regulate it away. The trouble is that it comes with a furball of cartelistic strings attached. Eventually people wake up and they find their economy dominated by a hierarchy of insider businesses and interests and their politics dominated by insider horse trading and vested interests.

    Winston Churchill said 'eliminate a free market and you create a black market, enforce a thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law'. He should have added, '...and a political process dominated by insiders.'

    I can't see the OWS crowd able to break away from the socialist folklore of regulation to a libertarian analysis. The reason is really more spiritual than intellectual. Those people who think they know better than their fellow man are always prone to fall for the idyll daydream that they will be the ruler. So they have an emotional stake in the folklore of regulation. This makes them 'useful idiots' for the likes of Soros.