On banning things and occupying cities

This is essentially from Lord T but with some explanatory notes from James. We ran this a couple of weeks back and the youtube apparently went “private” soon after, i.e. for private members only.

This is a second attempt at posting it plus the latest, on OWS. Lord T says:

I think this guy should be compulsory watching for everyone.

… but then we get into the problem with the word “compulsory”:

… and his latest on OWS:

6 comments for “On banning things and occupying cities

  1. Voice of Reason
    October 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    My old favourite of the US conservatives, “The Nazis were socialists because that word was in their name”. Fact – the Nazis were big business and old (non-Jewish) money, all the way.

    • October 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      The nazis were socialists, because they ran a centrally-planned economy. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in ‘Omnipotent Government’:

      “The German and the Russian systems of socialism have in common the fact that the government has full control of the means of production. It decides what shall be produced and how. It allots to each individual a share of consumer’s goods for his consumption. These systems would not have to be called socialist if it were otherwise.

      But there is a difference between the two systems—though it does not concern the essential features of socialism.

      The Russian pattern of socialism is purely bureaucratic. All economic enterprises are departments of the government, like the administration of the army or the postal system. Every plant, shop, or farm stands in the same relation to the superior central organization as does a post office to the office of the postmaster general.

      The German pattern differs from the Russian one in that it (seemingly and nominally) maintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs but only shop managers (Betriebsführer). These shop managers do the buying and selling, pay the workers, contract debts, and pay interest and amortization. There is no labor market; wages and salaries are fixed by the government. The government tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. The government decrees to whom and under what terms the capitalists must entrust their funds and where and at what wages laborers must work. Market exchange is only a sham. All the prices, wages, and interest rates are fixed by the central authority. They are prices, wages, and interest rates in appearance only; in reality they are merely determinations of quantity relations in the government’s orders. The government, not the consumers, directs production. This is socialism in the outward guise of capitalism. Some labels of capitalistic market economy are retained but they mean something entirely different from what they mean in a genuine market economy.

      The execution of the pattern in each country is not so rigid as not to allow for some concessions to the other pattern. There are, in Germany too, plants and shops directly managed by government clerks; there is especially the national railroad system; there are the government’s coal mines and the national telegraph and telephone lines. Most of these institutions are remnants of the nationalization carried out by the previous governments under the regime of German militarism. In Russia, on the other hand, there are some seemingly independent shops and farms left. But these exceptions do not alter the general characteristics of the two systems.”

      • Voice of Reason
        October 20, 2011 at 1:14 am

        Who am I to argue with von Mises? I am just going from my reading of history, and the stories from my mother and others who lived through the period.

  2. Voice of Reason
    October 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    As for the ‘gratitude’ exercise that he discusses in the video. Perhaps the executives of the companies that he names should do them as well?

    • October 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, I had trouble with the gratitude bit although the general sentiment was OK.

  3. Lord T
    October 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    but then we get into the problem with the word “compulsory”:

    He is talking about throwing them into the wilderness. Give me a bit of latitude here.

    If people watched more of this stuff then it may penetrate their heads. Many people think chicken breasts and other meats in supermarkets do not come from animals.

    I lost the quote where on a previous site where we were talking about shooting something for food and we were told off by a woman who told us to stop being cruel and buy our meat from the supermarket where no animals were harmed in providing it.

    Our society is screwed.

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