Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear

The Nazis scapegoated the Jews; the communists scapegoated the bourgeoisie; the New Left scapegoats the rich. The Occupy Wall Street noise is an attempt by the Democrats to keep the narrative on point: to keep the American people's anger directed at the left's favorite scapegoat, the rich, and to keep the blame away from the Democrats.

Unlike the Tea Party, which was a spontaneous reaction to the Democrats' frightening power grabs, OWS (or the Flea Party) is a calculated movement orchestrated by the leadership on the left. An ad in Craig's List offered people between $350-$650 a week to protest. Behind the ads is the Working Families Party, which is tied to ACORN. The money for the "Occupied Wall Street Journal" comes from George Soros, among others.

So there is something happening here. But what exactly? Here is my explanation, as informed by my understanding of Austrian economics.

The mixed economy is a combination of freedom and controls. It is freedom "regulated" by the state, but the controls are not yet dictatorship. All the economic problems in a mixed economy come from the state intervening in the free market. Statist propapaganda is aimed at hiding the state's role in our problems, and keeping the blame on freedom. They do this by demonizing the rich.

Ludwig von Mises explained why the mixed economy leads to ever greater government control, and eventually to dictatorship. Don Lavoie (PDF) summarizes the Mises Interventionist Thesis:
Attempts to violently manipulate the outcomes of [the market] process lead to reactions that the intervener can neither specifically predict nor effectively prevent. Efforts to make the initial intervention work as designed must take the form of ever-wider and more obtrusive interventions, which are in further conflict with the workings of the market mechanism. In the end the interventionists must either extend their activities to the point where the process has been completely sabotaged or they must abandon their quest to control the market. Any “middle way” between the extremes may, of course, be advocated but would consist in a series of haphazard shocks to the system....

We are in an economic crisis created entirely by state intervention in the economy, through onerous regulations, taxes and misallocation of capital caused by the Federal Reserve. Corporate greed and corruption cannot affect an entire economy; only the government can do that. I believe we are at a pivotal moment: will we begin to repeal the intervention or intervene even more and plunge toward total state control?

Me, I'm not optimistic. The chances are our next president will be Mitt Romney, a Rockefeller Republican. He won't repeal a damned thing. ObamaCare will be cemented into place and we will continue down the road to serfdom. We might not run to the abyss of dictatorship as fast as the Democrats want, but we'll get there.

As Mises himself wrote,
It is indeed one of the principal drawbacks of every kind of interventionism that it is so difficult to reverse the process.

With nothing but nihilists on the left and fools on the right, there is little hope.

And that's what's happening here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would tend to agree. Here's how I put it on my blog: