The Twin Evils: Statism and Social Justice Ideology

By Paul Marks

Libertarian Alliance

The Soviet Union was not a perfect socialist country – for example about 3% of farm land was owned by individuals (the other 97% was socialist – either state owned or owned by “collectives” – i.e. the state by another name).

However, the idea that the Soviet Union was not really socialist or that Karl Marx was a nice man who supported human freedom is nonsense. The “Red Prussian” was not a nice man – he was a natural dictator type, and he been around he would just as bad as “Lenin”, “Stalin”, Mao, Pol Pot and all the other socialist leaders who murdered more than a 100 million people in the last century (see “The Black Book of Communism” and many other works).

Saying that “Lenin” and co misinterpreted Karl Marx and socialism would have been less evil had Karl still been about is just wrong. Compulsory collectivism is evil because it is compulsory collectivism – period.

One might as well quote that old liar Arthur S. that Andrew Jackson was some sort of leftist who wanted to “restrain the business community” – accept that Kevin Carson actually does cite Arthur Schlesinger Jr as if he was some sort objective seeker after truth. General note – someone who will claim that Jefferson and Jackson were in the same tradition as Franklin Roosevelt and L.B.J. (the central claim of that old liar Arthur S.) will claim ANYTHING – to cite him as an authority on history is an error (to put the matter mildly). Arthur S. even managed to write a book on Jack Kennedy without mentioning that he was murdered by a Marxist – instead Arthur S. implies that evil conservative Dallas was collectively to blame (the evil conservative city that had a big spending Democrat Mayor at the time……).

The Democrats of the early 19th century, at least the “Barnburners” of New York State (Andrew Jackson’s right hand man Martin Van Buren – and those who supported O.K.) understood the central economic lesson of Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism.

The central economic lesson of Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism (which I have been explaining to Kevin for many years – and he keeps pretending that he does not understand) is that the long term economic interests of “the rich” and “the poor” are THE SAME. The long term economic interests of “small business” and “big business” are also THE SAME. And the long term economic interests of “employers” and “employees” are also THE SAME.

The “long term harmony of economic interests” is the central economic lesson of Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism – if you do not understand that you really ought to go away, and not come back till you do understand it.

After all Kevin if you sincerely do not understand (if you are not just pretending not to understand) then you are as dumb as a box of rocks – so dumb you probably think the Soviet Union, China under Mao (and so on) were not “really” Marxist and Karl Marx was some sort of nice guy.

As for business enterprises who support the Henry Clay agenda of taxes on imports, a Central Bank, and internal improvements…….

Well that is not sensible – for a government that is big enough to give you that stuff, is big enough to take all your own stuff away from.

You start off with Henry Clay and end up with Franklin Roosevelt (or Jefferson Davis in the Confederacy) who will push your taxes into outer space (although even under both Woodrow Wilson and Herbert “The Forgotten Progressive” Hoover taxes were pushed to absurd levels – the idea that Herbert Hoover was some sort of conservative is just flat wrong) and government policies changing (in arbitrary fashion) from day to day, on the basis of the whims of Franklin Roosevelt (or his brain tumour, or his advisers – with all the internal disputes between various factions of those “advisers”). No one, other than a complete moron, would claim that Franklin Roosevelt was a good President for “the rich” or “business”.

But even in the time of Henry Clay more business enterprises (including more big ones) would have been hurt by his ideas than would have helped by them. Henry Clay was not “representing a class interest” or some-such Marxist B.S. – Henry Clay was just wrong (period). After all his main economic opponent was not a Red Flag (or Black Flag) waving idiot – the main economic opponent of Henry Clay was Andrew Jackson’s right hand man Martin Van Buren (a New York banker) and the newspapers and other such associated with Martin Van Buren. O.K. did not oppose the policies of Henry Clay because he hated “business” – he opposed the policies of Henry Clay because he, quite rightly, thought that this sort of government was against the long term interests of business (the interests of “business” being the interests of civil society generally).

And what of Jefferson Davis (a few years later) – were business enterprises in the Confederacy helped by his massive “Progressive” income taxes? How about all his regulations? Which were far more extreme than those of the Union side in the Civil War and ended up (as such government regulations do in the end) bankrupting Southern industry and communications and leading to a government take over. Lincoln was bad enough (a Henry Clay man in his economic ideas) – but Jefferson Davis and co were even worse. This can even be seen in fiat money inflation – both sides indulged in it (to pay for the struggle) – but the Confederacy did it more, and the result was utter ruination, not for a certain “class”, ruination for just about everybody.

And the central claim of the Confederates that slavery was not fundamentally different from the so called “wage slavery” of northern factory workers, was a flat out lie.

Again only a liar or a utter fool could pretend that free labour in a factory (or anywhere else) is the same as “slavery” or “serfdom”. Apologists for Jefferson Davis and co need not detain us.

Whilst I am here………

The idea of “corporations” is NOT the creation of the state – both in Canon Law (Church law was often used for business dealings) and private Law Merchant the idea of limited liability in commercial matters for bodies corporate (corporations) goes back, at least, to the Middle Ages. No one should be forced to trade with corporations (if you want to buy your insurance at a high price from an individual – go right ahead), but no one should be prevented from trading with limited liability corporations either.

Nor were the economies of scale developed by such people as J. Wedgewood (the anti slavery pottery man) during the industrial revolution somehow the creation of the state – or somehow wrong.

Nor is the wealth of such people as Jon Huntsman (senior) today somehow wrong.

Any more than the landed wealth of the Marquis of Rockingham or the Duke of Portland in the 18th century was somehow wrong.

Sure Jon Huntsman (senior) was born poor, and the 18th century Marquis of Rockingham and the Duke of Portland were born rich – but that does NOT mean that the wealth of the latter was not legitimate.

Nor is it the case that the collectivists would just rob “corporations” (such as churches and so on) – the followers of the Red Flag and the followers of the Black Flag would rob anyone.

And they certainly do not care if someone was born rich (like the “boo-hiss” brothers Koch) or born poor (like Jon Huntsman senior) – all the followers of the Red Flag and the followers of the Black Flag care about is finding stuff, finding stuff to steal.

They do not care if it is owned by a corporation or an individual, or if it is owned by someone who was born rich or born poor.

G. Kolko was not telling the truth when he implied that early 20th century Progressive regulations benefitted business more by reducing competition than the costs the regs imposed cost business.

Even a century ago (when regulation was far less than it is today) regulations were a net cost – even the largest business enterprises were hurt more than they were helped. And nor should this be a surprise – after all people like “Teddy” Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson (and the German trained Richard Ely who was the mentor of BOTH men) were hardly friends of “big business”.

The late Murray Rothbard was clearly in error to cite G. Kolko – although, unlike Kevin, Rothbard’s intentions were good (Murray Rothbard wanted to win over people to the libertarian cause – he just did not care whether the arguments he used were always accurate, ends-justify-the-means thing, Kevin does not win people over to the cause of “big business” – quite the contrary).

In reality the position economics of Murray Rothbard was not really different from the position of Martin Van Buren – Rothbard did not really believe that government regulations were for the long term good of most “big business” operations, but he hoped he could get leftists to oppose big government by implying that big government was for the benefit of big business (after all leftists hate “big business”). The idea that the left could be won over did not work – as the leftists just respond by changing the name of big government to “the people” or some such.

It is much like an “easy money” policy.

A leftist (for the want of a better word) may agree that the Federal Reserve sysem is not a good idea – but this does NOT mean they come to support hard money (Rothbard style gold-as-money) and lending only from Real Savings – quite the contrary. The leftists (again for the want of a better word) will just say that printing money and spending it would be a good thing – if only “the people” were doing it rather than the “big business” Federal Reserve.

As for the position now – “how the real world is”.

In most Western nations regulations are crushing – they do not benefit “big business”, they are massive burden on business small and big (vastly outweighing any possible benefit from reducing competition).

And in most Western nations government spending takes up almost half the entire economy.

This money is mostly spent on the ever expanding Welfare States. These Welfare States were not set up to benefit Big Business, and they were not created in response to problems caused by “capitalism” – they are ideological creations, just as the regulations to “protect the consumer” and “protect the worker” are mainly ideological.

The basic problem of the modern world is not “capitalism” or “big business corporations” or “the rich” – the basic problem of the modern world is the ideology of statism. The ideology of evil known as “Social Justice”.

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