D.

Does the left even want to “rebuild it?”

Ben concludes a recent post with the following:

But if Scruton is correct – and given the prevailing attitudes on the left, there’s no reason to believe he’s not – grievance mongers are not interested in what makes for a healthy society. They are, in fact, bent on the destruction of society, and much too confident in their ability to rebuild it.

This reminded me of something I read some months ago in Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s sweeping overview of Leftism and its history; namely, that the New Left, as distinct from the Classic Left (not to be confused with the Classical Liberals), is unique in that “it has produced neither a coherent ideology nor a concrete utopia. It offers criticism but no real answers.” Indeed, Kuehnelt-Leddihn continues to observe that this New Left “has not developed a constructive program, a blueprint, a utopia all its own.” Moreover, “classic leftism likes to destroy, but only in order to replace memories of the past with a vision of the future.” Karl Marx, for instance, need a dictatorship of the proletariate, which would likely have its moments of terror and pain, but nevertheless would give birth to a communism society in which all lived with one another in harmony. However, perhaps more eerie than the troublesome leftism of ages past, the New Left “delights in disorder and chaos.” Destruction of the present order– not merely the governments, but the entire social stratum– is sort of a goal in itself.

This is what makes resentment in our time so dangerous and dark– it aims at nothing, it is never satisfied, there is no end to its eternal and constant loathing. It does not yearn for a better world but instead seeks to make social tension and strife a sustaining characteristic of the everyday. Deep down, many of us wonder about the end game; we operate on this idea that someday, soon, the left will have total control and the revolution will be over. But we must remember: the revolution is constant and ever-present; upheaval is the new normal, there is no end game for the grievance mongers.

T.

There’s No Difference Between a Kind Capitalism and a Greedy Capitalism

I’m responding specifically to sentiments I’ve seen expressed in the conservative world as of recent. I’ve noticed there’s been a large injection lately of attempts to piously criticize a sort of “greedy” or “profit-oriented” capitalism. All of this is nonsense on stilts, built on the foundation of what Mises called the “Anti-capitalist mentality.” It is cautious toward pure and unfettered capitalism because it does not understand capitalism.

Capitalism is a social arrangement in which the means of production are privately owned; where the employment of said means is done according to the will of the consumers, as communicated via the price mechanism. Whether this employment of scarce capital is due to the capitalist being “kind” (and therefore doing as the consumer wants) or “greedy” (and therefore, in order greedily acquire a profit, doing as the consumer wants), it makes no difference. Perhaps we would want a man to be kind, and not greedy, but this has nothing to do with the existence of capitalism.

Man has an incalculable number of motivations for acting as he does, and no man, by praxeological definition, acts contrary to his own interests. In this sense, man is entirely self-interested. Indeed, this is ingrained with us. But self-interest expresses itself in a capitalist system by enabling man to gain what he desires only if he first contributes to the gain of his fellow man. This is what economists have referred to as a “coincidence of wants.” A kind man does not automatically provide for his fellow man better than the greedy man. In fact, often “kind men” offer to run governments, and therein undermine the progress of the market by intervening and preventing the market from doing as it otherwise would.

In any case, the benefits of Capitalism don’t care whether a man is greedy or kind. Or whether a man is lustful or compassionate. Capitalism is the arrangement wherein each man acts according to his own mental state and results in a growth in prosperity and a betterment of the masses. As Mises writes:

Capitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses. It pours a horn of plenty upon the common man. It has raised the average standard of living to a height never dreamed of in earlier ages. It has made accessible to millions of people enjoyments which a few gen- erations ago were only within the reach of a small élite.

Economic interventionism against greed, regulation which aims to “protect” consumers,  regresses this glorious trend and not only puts back on the path to serfdom, but it also hampers the opportunity that the masses and the impoverished would have had to participate in the rising standards of living. It is a roadblock, a detriment, to the common man.

I.

Is Transgenderism Breeding a New Kind of Domestic Terrorist?

Folks, we’ve a problem. After Playboy published an accusation of a budding pipeline between the Christian homeschool movement and domestic terrorism (what used to be called crime, but DT is better for hysteria purposes), there was another shooting:

The two students accused of opening fire at the STEM School in a Denver-area suburb, killing one classmate and injuring eight others May 7, were charged with murder and multiple counts of attempted murder Wednesday.

The suspects, Devon Erickson, 18, and Maya McKinney, a 16-year-old transgender student who goes by the name Alec, were formally charged in court with more than a dozen counts, including first-degree murder, attempted murder, theft, arson, and possession of weapons on school grounds.

Regarding Erickson:

The social media posts by a suspect in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Colorado included opposition to “Christians who hate gays,” criticism of President Trump, and support for the left-wing Occupy Democrats.

Hmm. I don’t frequent legacy porn sites like Playboy, so I have not seen an equally hysteric headline about these trends, but nevertheless, I’m venturing out onto a branch to suppose the hysteria is all in one direction.

Obviously, of course, to prevent people from missing my point, the title of this here post was a reference to the PB article. Everything’s about pushing a narrative, not about honest commentary. But you knew that.

As an aside, I did notice that the first link regarding the STEM shooting announced that Colorado has it as an illegality for sub-21 year olds to possess a gun. So I’m not sure how it is conceivably possible that a mentally unstable murderer got his/her/whatever’s hands on it. Puzzles galore.

T.

The Rulers in a Propertarian Society

If a ruler is one who has the legal claim to setting the “rules” of a given jurisdiction, then logically the property owner is a ruler over all that he owns.  And further, if the ideal libertarian society can be described as a “Propertarian” society, that is, a society made up only of privately-owned property as opposed to “public” property, then it is essentially ruled by proper owners creating their rules and voluntary interacting with each other.  The number of rulers in this society is not zero, in fact, it is hundreds or thousands or however big the society is! Ironically then, it is democracy and every other State structure which limits the number of rulers.

The point here is that there most certainly are rules in a capitalistic and strict property-rights order.  The anarcho-capitalists should always remember this. It’s just that there is no state-originated rules. Thats the difference.

Recently, I read a similar statement by Mises Canada’s Editor in Chief James E. Miller, who wrote:

The issue is not necessarily the functionality of a hypothetical anarcho-capitalist society, but of definition. The etymology of anarchy is simple: the ancient Greek meaning is simply “without rulers.” Are so-called “rulers” necessary for capitalism? Yes and no, depending on one’s general understanding.

Private property itself needs rulers – that is the owners of the property themselves. The same goes for hierarchy. If a rentier owns land that people agree to live on, there is a clear distinction between who’s in charge.

Glad to see this agreement.