Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Specter that Haunts Europe

Richard Ebeling emails me and points to an interview he completed with The Austrian Economics Center, affiliated with the Hayek Institute in Vienna, Austria.

As part of the interview, he discusses the problem with economic thinking in Europe:
The fact is there is a “specter” that continues to haunt Europe; it is the “specter of communism”—not communism in the sense that many people want a return to the totalitarian state and Soviet-style central planning. No, I mean in the sense that Europe—and America to a slightly different extent—are still haunted by Marx’s critique of capitalism and the market order. The presumption among policy-makers and many others in European society is implicitly that Marx was right in his criticisms of capitalism.

Left to its own devices, capitalism exploits workers and leads to harmful monopoly. Unregulated by the state, private capitalism is guided by the profit motive, and pursuit of profit is considered to be almost always in opposition to the “common good” or the “general welfare.” Dictated by market forces, competition always results in an “unjust” distribution of wealth.

Of course, liberal, free market capitalism produces just the opposite of these “accusations.” Competitive capitalism creates employment opportunities and rising wages for the vast majority of workers over time. Open competition is the great enemy of monopoly, since the only sustainable monopolies are those that receive support and protection from the government.
The full interview is here.


  1. The same critique of capitalism was made by nearly every professor of the humanities I had. (I earned a BA in philosophy.) A critique of Marx's arguments were never given (Eugen Böhm von Bawerk's critique of the labor theory of value, for example). It wasn't until I returned to college to earn a BA in Computer Science that I noticed professors "friendlier" to capitalism, entrepreneurship, and the like.

  2. From the full article:
    "By the prejudices of the public, he meant the difficulty of getting people to understand the seemingly counter-intuitive argument that when men pursue their own self-interest in a competitive economy the outcome in terms of both freedom and prosperity is far greater than when governments attempt to guide and command the productions of society."

    I'd say that the problem of education is America's "spectre." How do we educate a populace of the benefits of a market economy when it is so ignorant of even the most basic concepts.

    I continually run into people who are incapable of basic reasoning. They don't know a non-sequitur from an ad hominem.

    I'm not even remotely optimistic.

  3. Thanks for posting an introduction to Dr. Ebeling's thought provoking article, I read it and reflected on it and relate the following.

    Dr. Ebeling states "The Eurocrats in Brussels are frightened by the fact that their dream of a United States of Europe, which they would command and control through the EU regulatory and legislative mechanisms, might implode with a successful currency “secessionist” movement. Thus, the survival of the Euro is partly dependent upon the willingness of those at the helm of the EU and the European Central Bank to provide the loanable funds and central bank-created money to put off the necessary national internal adjustments. "

    I comment the the inflation of the Eurozone Stocks, EZU, and the inflation of Eurozone Debt, EU, has reached its zenith and is a real force in holding back the specter of a currency “seccessionist” movement. The prevailing force and zenith of Eurozone sovereignty of democratic nation states is seen in the chart of Eurozone Stocks, EZU, relative to Eurozone Debt, EU, that is EZU:EU, standing at a near all time high. Fiat wealth, that being stock value, the Euro currency value, and the value of Eurozone debt residing in banks, stands at or near all time highs and precludes internal adjustments such as the elimination of national wage contracts and highly paid unionized public sector employment. There will be no internal adjustments, only a global credit bust and world wide financial system collapse, and out of it the bible prophecied establishment of the Beast regime of regional governance, and totalitarian collectivism, as presented in Revelation 13:1-4, together with a Communist Leader, Revelation 13:5-10, and a Communist Cleric, Revelation 13:11-18, calling people to a common vision of unity, for regional security, stability, and sustainability.

    God’s economic thinking started Liberalism, that is one be free from religious control of the pope and the nation state leader, with John Calvin’s reforms of govenment and society beginning in 1541 in Geneva Switzerland, as presented by Wikipedia.

    God’s idea of economics is one of kingdom and empire, where either God is sovereign or a ruler is sovereign; and this stands in contrast to Dr. Ebeling’s Libertarianism idea of personal sovereignty where “every human being is viewed and treated as an end in himself, who “owns” himself, to shape his own life according to his own values and meaning for living.”

    God provided two great visionaries, and visionary prophecies, these being the prophet Daniel and John the Revelator. The first presented the vision of the Statue of Empires in Daniel 2:25-45, where a Ten Toed Kingdom, with toes of a mixture of iron diktat, and clay democracy, would emerge from the British Empire, and the US Dollar Hegemonic Empire of Crony Capitalism. The second presented the vision of three Beasts rising to rule the world, a Beast Regime, Revelation 13:1-4, a Beast Ruler, Revelation 13:5-10, and a Beast Prophet and Banker, Revelation 13:11-18.