Africa Must Deindustrialize

Africa Must Deindustrialize

 

I read with interest Denis Mangan’s recent article, calling for an end to Western foreign aid to Africa.

I deployed the same arguments, and many more, in the Anti-Geldof Compilation CD I organised five years ago (and which comes with a 28-page booklet, containing a 7,000-word refutation of the Live8 / anti-poverty campaign).

But in 2010 my position is even more radical, in that I reject not just aid, but the idea of ‘development’ altogether.

Development is a byproduct of the Western liberal ideology, which is founded on doctrines of equality and progress, the former of which implies a totalitarian mindset while the latter implies a linear conception of history. I ask, why do sub-Saharan Africans need to be ‘developed’? The egalitarian view is that given equal opportunities, even the Kalahari bushmen will eventually ‘develop’ themselves into a European-style, techno-industrial civilisation, with only minor anatomical differences. My view and that of others (see Guillaume Faye) is that it is absurd to think that all the peoples of the Earth can and need to be developed. Firstly, our type of civilisation presupposes certain inborn capabilities, temperament, and proclivities that are not present in all humans and cannot be implanted through education. Secondly, and as Faye points out, were the whole Earth to be developed into a global European- or American-style techno-industrial civilisation, the planet would likely not be able to withstand it: the demands on the environment would be too great and have catastrophic results.

If the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa never developed techno-industrial civilisations, it is because they never had any need for it. What is more, even some of the fundamental features of civilisation are baffling to the peoples of Africa even today, such as what they see as an obsession for counting and measuring everything: hence why so many Africans have no idea of how old they are and why a traveller will find many parts without street names of numbered houses (natives use landmarks to find their way around).

For these and other reasons, some of which you can find in the researches of Profs. Richard Lynn and J. Philippe Rushton, and others that you can find in Lothrop Stoddard’s Revolt Against Civilization (1922) and Hesketh Prichard’s Where Black Rules White (1900), Africa needs to be allowed to deindustrialise and to regress to pre-colonnial conditions. The nation states created there by the European powers must be allowed to disintegrate, and Africa as a whole must be allowed to re-organise along traditional, tribal lines. While North Africa will certainly remain more advanced, sub-Saharan Africa needs to be declared a natural and anthropological reserve.

Most importantly, the West must reconcile itself to the idea of a multi-tiered world, with parts of it organised along traditional or neo-Mediaeval lines, reflecting the capabilities, the temperament, and the proclivities of the peoples who inhabit those regions. This would have the further advantage of being more sustainable environmentally, as traditional and neo-Mediaeval societies do not place so many demands on the Earth.

Of course, this is a long way from happening yet. And if it happens, it will not happen because our political leadership finally reflected on their follies and decided to stop being so foolish, so selfish, and so delusional. If it happens, it will be the consequence of a systemic collapse and a fundamental realignment of values in the West.

Wall Street is not dying; it is dead!

Wall Street is not dying; it is dead!

PLEASE DON’T BE SILLY!

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

August 12, 2010

This is the week that Wall Street virtually died. The Federal Reserve System which was already attempting bail-outs within a virtually zero-percentile degree of hyper- inflationary, monetary bail-outs, has now declared its intention to launch the more drastic practice of copying the exact-same kind of monetary hyperinflation which brought the entire Weimar Germany economy to a general breakdown during the Summer and Autumn of 1923.

Notably, those who are pressing EIR to publish a monetarist analysis of Wall Street’s chances for recovery, have been consistently wrong in all of the forecasts and suggestions which they have presented to my knowledge in the past couple of decades. Not one of the well-wishing charlatans has ever treated the post-1987 effects of Alan Greenspan’s intrinsically inflationary monetary swindles from the standpoint of the only method of forecasting which has succeeded during recent decades, the method of the physical-economy-based forecasts which I have supplied over past decades to date.

For those reasonable persons who honestly wish to know the essential facts, the following were sufficient for this moment.

Following the successful U.S.-led breakthrough at Normandy, both the leading American and German generals knew that the Hitler regime was inevitably doomed. The knowledge led to a Wall Street-backed, and anti-President Franklin Roosevelt upsurge from the same Wall Street and London gang of financier interests who had not only hated President Franklin Roosevelt, but who had joined the Bank of England in putting Adolf Hitler into power, until the time that Winston Churchill [came] screaming for military and economic aid against Adolf Hitler from Franklin Roosevelt’s United States. (“Don’t contradict me, Bud. I was in that war and I know all the essential facts about that business very well.”)

Now, since the successful June 1944 Allied landings in France, the same Wall Street and London crowd which had brought Adolf Hitler into power in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, went back to the same pro-fascist economic and social policies as rapidly as the traffic would bear.

I was not surprised at the import of Wall Street’s backing of Harry S Truman’s candidacy for the Vice- Presidency. On the night the news of President Roosevelt’s death reached us in the China-Burma-India theater, I replied to questioning by a group of my fellow- soldiers: “We have lived through this war so far under a great President. Now, he has been replaced by a very little man, and I am afraid of what might become of us.” In 1947, I sent a brief letter to General Dwight Eisenhower, then the President of Columbia University, stating my reasons for suggesting his candidacy for the 1948 Presidential election. He replied, saying in effect, “not at this time,” and, later, I came to understand his reasoning in this matter.

Coming out from the CBI theater about a year after the end of the war in Europe, I knew that that Wall Street crowd tied to London was the long-term mortal enemy from inside our nation. Nonetheless, the U.S.A. remained too powerful, and the memories of the U.S. citizenry too strong, to let Britain resume the imperial role it had played in the world since the British East India Company’s imperial triumph of February 1763. So, for that reason, the U.S.A. remained powerful, until the assassination of President Kennedy cleared the way for launching the long, wasting war which a living President Kennedy had prevented. An ensuing ten years of U.S. war in Indo-China brought the U.S. down in the fashion which imperial London desired.

In Summer 1971, two crucial developments occurred under the time of President Richard Nixon’s administration. First, was Arthur Burns’ role in canceling the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement. Second, was the action of Britain’s Lord Jacob Rothschild in using the collapse of the Bretton Woods system to launch what became the British Imperial Inter-Alpha Group, a group whose influence presently controls an estimated 70% of the world’s banking and related operations. That group, which virtually owns Wall Street presently, and also the President Barack Obama and his administration, too, has brought about the uttering of virtually quadrillions of dollars of purely make-believe, Monopoly-game money in the form of financial derivatives and related outright swindles.

In the effort to sustain that gigantic, Anglo-American controlled mass of quadrillions of nominal dollars of those “Monopoly game money called financial derivatives, or the like,” to provide an urgently needed margin of support for that cancerous mass of virtual play-currencies, the chief London and allied swindlers in the likeness of Alan Greenspan have drained the remaining real issues of the U.S.A. and its citizens, outdoing those follies of Marie Antoinette and her husband which destroyed much of continental Europe through the period of the chronic Napoleonic wars.

As a result, it has been during this week that the Federal Reserve System has indicated that a state of monetarist desperation has now been reached, at which the Fed is now disposed to unleash beyond the United States itself what the British and French predators of the 1920s launched as the 1923 hyperinflationary breakdown-crisis of Weimar Germany.

Hey, buster. That does not leave silly fellows like you to discuss about analyzing the difficulties of the Federal Reserve System. What in Hell do you actually propose to do? Send funereal wreathes to Wall Street?

How Adam Smith fooled you suckers!:

How Adam Smith fooled you suckers!:

MOST OF THE TIME

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

September 12, 2010


In August 1956, I forecast that, somewhere near late February and early March of 1957, the U.S. economy would experience a deep, sudden recession. I traced the timing of that recession as to be centered in the practice of retail, new-car and used-car automobile marketing, which was being conducted under the credit policies of Arthur Burns. It happened exactly when and why I had forecast this would occur. In the course of 1956, the 36th payment on the loan of a new automobile was a lalapalooza! The results soon showed.

Since then, I have employed what I had learned from that successful forecast for each and all of my long-term and related forecasts since that time. What I had forecast, in each case, had been a warning of a crucial “turning point,” a choice of a branch in the road, as if between fame and folly, in exactly the same way I forecast the recent, and still continuing, general breakdown-crisis of which I had warned, on July 25, 2007, as I was then about to launch the design for my proposed Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007.

As for my method for my forecasting, at that time, and since, it has always been based, since the early 1950s, on the powerful impact of Bernhard Riemann’s habilitation dissertation on me, as if it had been, and actually was rooted in my adolescent and later exposure to the anti-reductionist method of Gottfried Leibniz.

I have never been in error in any forecast of crisis for the U.S. economy since the first, which I had uttered in August 1956. In the following report, (as the popular saying goes) “I reveal” the precise reasons why I have never failed in any forecast of that type which I have made since 1956, and through the present successful continuation of the current forecast, delivered on July 25, 2007.


FOREWORD:

The art of successful forecasting can only be acquired by way of that branch of physical science which may be described most conveniently as to be discovered through a detour into “hind-casting.” The best choice of example of this approach, is to be recognized in the published accomplishments of Johannes Kepler, especially his uniquely successful discovery of the principle of universal gravitation, that as the relevant steps toward that success are detailed, still today, in his The Harmonies of the Worlds, and as the starting-point for beginning that stage of accomplishments is typified by his earlier The New Astronomy. Among the most famous of the discoveries which echo the root of Kepler’s own such discoveries, was Carl F. Gauss’s famous, uniquely original, pioneering discovery of the orbit of Ceres. A compact form of relevant tensor analysis of Gauss’s discovery was provided by a member of my so-called “basement team,” and has been available from that site (www.larouchepac.com).

Notably, Kepler had defined the principled composition of the determination of the array of solar orbits, by the ironical juxtaposition of respectively visual and harmonic determination of the orbital array, thus employing the contradiction between those two, contrasted kinds of sense-perception, to define a universal principle which was not defined by either of those two kinds of sense-perception.

Notably, all validated notions of universal physical principles are obtained by a method comparable to that employed by Kepler for this case. True universal physical principles, are not derived from the presumed authority of the experience of sense-perception as such, but are proven through study of the contradictions among the merely apparent principles of sense-perception. All lawful processes in the universe exhibit such effects; but, to the best of our present knowledge, only the creative powers specific to the individual human mind, are capable of recognizing such a principle as such as a universal principle, that in a willfully knowledgeable way. This distinction is to be associated with Academician V.I. Vernadsky’s definition of the principle of the noösphere. Kepler follower Leibniz’s original discovery of the principle of least action, has congruent conceptual implications, as does Bernhard Riemann’s 1854 habilitation dissertation.

The human mind is not a product of sense-perception; rather, sense-perception is a tool employed by the human willful mind, a mind which encompasses human sense-perception, but is not encompassed by the latter. My own knowledge of the relevant matters addressed in this present report, was provided, most notably, by a view of Riemann’s habilitation dissertation, which I knew as rooted in the same influence of Leibniz which I had encountered in my own studies.

The crucial relevance of my preceding remarks, here, for the subject of competent forms of economic forecasting, lies in an appreciation of the principles of a science of physical, rather than a monetarists’ economy, an appreciation which was rooted most immediately for me, in my encounter with Bernhard Riemann’s habilitation dissertation.

The failure which I have encountered among putative forecasters known to me as my opponents in economics, is to be located, chiefly, in the special relevance of the influence of the devotees of Aristotle, or of the “liberalism” of Paolo Sarpi, and of the pack of their followers.

Modern European styles in what have been, fairly consistently, failed forecasting methods, are expressed as the effects which are to be traced chiefly, today, in the influence of the form of so-called behaviorism specific to those followers of Sarpi and his lackeys, Galileo, Francis Bacon, and Thomas Hobbes whose influence is reflected in the Anglo-Dutch Liberalism of such as John Locke, Adam Smith, and Jeremy Bentham. I shall explain this, here, as follows.


I. ADAM SMITH’S BRUTISH PRINCIPLE


“To man is allotted a much humbler department …. Nature has directed us to the greater part of these by original and immediate instincts. Hunger, thirst,the passion which unites the two sexes, the love of pleasure,and the dread of pain, prompt us to apply those means for their own sakes, and without any consideration of their tendency to those beneficent ends which the great Director of nature intended to produce by them.”

—Adam Smith Theory of Moral Sentiments
—1759

Adam Smith, when viewed in reference to his own close relationship to Lord Shelburne and to Shelburne’s chief British Foreign Office lackey, Jeremy Bentham, points out the most relevant sampling in Smith’s own 1759 book, rather than his later, 1776, notable expressions of plagiarism copied from the unfinished draft of A.R.J. Turgot’s 1769 “Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth.” That is to emphasize that the Moral Sentiments is the most relevant of Smith’s writings for insight into the argument which later drew the British East India Company’s chief executive, Lord Shelburne to his 1763 co-opting of Smith’s assignment to spy against French and the American targets during that 1763-1776 interval. The excerpted passage, noted above, is an essential reference for my present report, that on account of the most direct and simple evidence of the causes for the failures of our contemporary forecasters generally.

Even a fair amount of reflection on the dogmas usually employed, canonically, for designing forecasts by economists today, reveals that they are plainly products of the equivalent of what Smith identifies, in the cited passage from his 1759 book, as his advocacy of a perfectly irrational pleasure-pain principle. Notably, Smith himself demands that man accept his insistence that there is no rational basis in reason for this presumed principle, beyond behavior typified by the equivalent of irrational prevalence of the irrationally presumed propensity to buy, sell, and consume. For Smith, there is, in short, no rational form of allowance among the liberal behaviorists for the role of the economic-productive process itself. Almost everything in economic life and related matters is referred by him to the utterly irrational “magic of the market-place.” Little wonder, that not only does public opinion often fit the name of something akin to the “pubic opinion” of such as the late Walter Lippmann, but even legislative bodies tend, not infrequently, toward something of that sort of approach to law-making.

My own approach to forecasting, therefore, takes the form of man’s willful actions on the productive processes of society, rather than the currently popular view of forecasting which presumes, under the silly, but virtually axiomatic presumptions of the behaviorists, that it is the unforeseeable motivations of the processes of production themselves, which generate the conditions to which, in turn, the irrational processes of public opinion react. For me, as a matter of contrast, the root of economic crises in societies, is to be found in a willful mankind’s failure to understand the requirement for a willfully noëtic quality of lawful ordering within a successful development of the productive processes.

This noëtic characteristic of human creative behavior, is specific to the human will, but the same kind of principle is expressed, unconsciously, but efficiently, in such forms as the development of the Solar system, and the evolution of the lithosphere and biosphere of our planet Earth, as in the relatively exceptional case of the noëtic aspect of the conscious will of the human personality. Speaking plainly, the “Second Law of Thermodynamics” was always a hoax.

What I have just written here, thus far, brings us to the brink of what should be, for most readers, a rather startling paradox.

The Creative Role of Infrastructure

I have repeatedly emphasized, but, now more emphatically, the role of NAWAPA as a key to any successful recovery program under immediately present conditions in the world at large, that the progress of actually net improvements in the human condition, has depended on a succession of “layers” of successively higher orders of “platforms” of basic economic infrastructure. That set of qualitative general improvements in the potential of the human condition, is typified by the order of trans-oceanic maritime cultures based on the “star map;” the development of riparian systems of interlinked rivers and canals, as in the work of Charlemagne for his reign’s section of Europe; the development of not only railway systems, but the transcontinental railways systems which served as the perceived threat which was met by the British Empire’s organization of World War I, World War II, and the nuclear-heated “Cold War;” and, now, British drives for its imperial system of “pro-genocidal globalization” such as the intention of the World Wildlife Fund to reduce a world population of now approaching seven billions people, to not more than two.

Presently, the model of President Franklin Roosevelt’s TVA, is echoing still as the NAWAPA and related great projects for the Eurasian and African continents which represent a mighty, upward transformation of not only the present surface of our planet, but also the foundations for mankind’s development of relevant improvements in nearby Solar space.

That succession of upward leaps in the global platforms of Earth’s development, on which advances in the human condition depend, defines the kinds of technologies on which advance in the human condition depends, and which those advances demand.

It is these kinds of “platforms” on which both the possibility and the fruits of such leaps in human progress depend.

The success of the TVA under President Franklin Roosevelt’s terms in office typifies the way of policy-making thinking which now represents the characteristic features of the great leap upward in progress needed for this planet as a whole today.

These “platforms” of successive phases of progress of the human condition, are the proper foundation for the crafting of the economic policies of nations now. That is to emphasize, that the productivity of a national economy, especially an economy composed of a number of national regions on the same continent, depends primarily on the potentialities defined by these platforms. The feasibility of progress in production and living standards themselves depends upon the role of the development of the “platforms.” Even the possibility of the success of attempts at particular advances in productivity and standard of living of populations, depends on the progressive ordering of these platforms, primarily, and of technologies of production, secondarily.

These platforms, and their internal development, depend upon qualitative advances in technologies, in which qualitative increases in levels of applicable “energy-flux density” are primary increments of change.

That set of relationships within the process of attempted progress is essentially inseparable from the development of the platforms on which the general existence of a level of civilization depends.

The contrary consideration is expressed as the process of attrition which is inherent in any lack of development of an increased energy-flux-density in the modalities of both the “platform” itself, and also the employed technologies.

These considerations define the “market,” that in terms of the needed upward leaps in the platforms, and in the relative anti-entropy of the productive processes deployed.

In general, among rational and reasonably well-informed leaders in economies, the inevitability of necessary progress in forms typified by increase of energy-flux density, as toward nuclear-fission and thermonuclear-fusion power and beyond, employed for both infrastructure and production of consumable goods and of essential services, expresses the determinants of economic progress, determinants which, in turn, require correlated rises in the power expressed by the platforms themselves.


II. WHAT IS HUMAN NATURE, REALLY?


In recent years, I have placed increasing importance on the role of distinguishing the “inner” quality of the individual human identity, from the commonplace banality of equating the mind of the human personality to attributes of sense-certainties. To this purpose, I have emphasized the several qualities of that expression of evidence which demonstrates that the human personality and the aspect of the human experience represented by sense-perception, can not be ontologically coincidental.

The case of Albert Einstein’s appreciation of Johannes Kepler’s uniquely original discovery of the general principle of gravitation, has the character of an essential empirical demonstration of my point here.

Notably, however, both the doctrines of Aristotle and Paolo Sarpi express the evil principle of the Apollo-Dionysian Delphi cult, which, in the symbolism of Aeschylus, defines mortal man and woman, as below the gods of Olympus, and defines Mosaic and Christian God as rendered permanently impotent according to the thesis that “God is dead” once the original act of Creation had been created. Hence, Nietzsche’s “God is dead.”

To present the relevant case which such cultural-ideological facts imply it is warranted to focus our illustration of the point upon the case of the European maritime cultures and their offshoots.

For this case, the history has been of recurring collapses of cultures since the case of reference represented by the decline and collapse of Sumer. In all of the better-known cases studied, the process of decline has been inherently a product of an oligarchical culture with characteristics congruent with the pattern of Aeschylus’ Prometheus.

Mankind is the only living species whose existence is as something tantamount to a “culture,” which deliberately uses fire as an instrument of the capacity to survive and progress. In relevant cases of either myth or history, the acquisition of the power of the use of fire becomes a perceived threat to the political-social power by an oligarchy of “gods” over a population of virtual slaves and the like. The modern cases of Britain’s Prince Philip and Prince Bernhard in forming the IIASA-related World Wildlife Fund and Club of Rome, are typical. So was the policy of the Hitler movement in its time, the policy of the Harriman circles inside the U.S.A. in their time, and the anti-nuclear movement today.

While the oligarchical circles, the would-be “ruling gods of Olympus” reigning over the lower classes, do seek increased power, they fear the rise to power of the people more than they wish for the increased means of power of society to continue to exist. Such has been the policy of the inner circles of the Barack Obama Presidency, including such desperadoes as the Larry Summers of “Creative Destruction” notoriety. Such have been the policies of the British government under Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the similar programs of intended mass-murder among the citizens by the Obama Presidency thus far.

The case of the British empire’s continuing tyranny over the continent of Africa, is a clear example of the same pro-oligarchical evil of those who join an Olympian Zeus as a self-appointed class of “gods.”

That much said on background for the point being considered now, the essential practical point to be emphasized here and now, is that the justified expectation of an increase in the general welfare of particular nations, or mankind in general, demands a general rise in the effective energy-flux density expressed as the characteristic of a platform on which production and consumption, per capita and per-square kilometer, depends. Regard this as a needed restatement of what has been named in past times as “the principle of limitless progress.”

Otherwise, any effort to put a cap on the necessary rise of energy-flux density, and upon the related rise to successively higher qualities of historical platforms, means an inevitable collapse of any civilization into a long wave of entropic decline of existing civilization. It is the measures, to be taken, or to be avoided, for the sake of progress in the quality of cultural-economic platforms, as typified by the indispensable installation of Glass-Steagall and NAWAPA now, which define the indispensable current policy of any nation to be considered as actually a part of civilization.

Why We Should End Foreign Aid

Why We Should End Foreign Aid

Conservatives are rightly skeptical of much of what government does, and foreign aid has long been something that stuck deeply in conservatives’ craws, having a lineage of doubt going back to the John Birch Society and beyond. Mostly, it seems that hostility to the idea of foreign aid has centered around the fact that it involves taking money from honest, hardworking taxpayers and giving it to undeserving foreign governments. But there’s perhaps an even better reason for the abolition of foreign aid: far from helping, it actively hurts those it intends to help. So says the journalist Linda Pollan in a new book, The Crisis Caravan: what’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?

Sierra Leone, the small West African state that was wracked by a brutal civil war – and where this writer lived many years ago working in, I now meekly report, humanitarian aid – is a classic example of the extremes which foreign aid has provoked. Foreign governments, along with various non-state actors, such as warlords and bandits, long ago learned that aid from the developed world and their various agencies is a fairly reliable source of cash. Being the shifty souls that so many of them are, they’ve learned to do whatever it takes to keep the cash flowing. In Sierra Leone, the appearance of amputation as a form of warfare and terror was somewhat mystifying; thoroughly brutal, it was hard to see for what purpose it could be used, other than terrorizing the civilian population – and they were seemingly already terrorized enough, being killed and maimed in the tens of thousands by roving bands of unspeakably violent marauders. In his New Yorker review of Pollan’s book, Philip Gourevitch explains the logic behind amputation in that unhappy country.

Three decades later, in Sierra Leone, a Dutch journalist named Linda Polman squeezed into a bush taxi bound for Makeni, the headquarters of the Revolutionary United Front rebels. In the previous decade, the R.U.F. had waged a guerrilla war of such extreme cruelty in the service of such incoherent politics that the mania seemed its own end. While the R.U.F. leadership, backed by President Charles Taylor, of Liberia, got rich off captured diamond mines, its Army, made up largely of abducted children, got stoned and sacked the land, raping and hacking limbs off citizens and burning homes and villages to the ground. But, in May, 2001, a truce had been signed, and by the time Polman arrived in Sierra Leone later that year the Blue Helmets of the United Nations were disarming and demobilizing the R.U.F. The business of war was giving way to the business of peace, and, in Makeni, Polman found that former rebel warlords—such self-named men as General Cut-Throat, Major Roadblock, Sergeant Rape Star, and Kill-Man No-Blood—had taken to calling their territories “humanitarian zones,” and identifying themselves as “humanitarian officers.” As one rebel turned peacenik, who went by the name Colonel Vandamme, explained, “The white men are soon gonna need drivers, security guards, and houses. We’re gonna provide them.”

Colonel Vandamme called aid workers “wives”—“because they care for people,” according to Polman, and also, presumably, because they are seen as fit objects of manipulation and exploitation. Speaking in the local pidgin, Vandamme told Polman, “Them N.G.O. wifes done reach already for come count how much sick and pikin [children] de na di area.” Vandamme saw opportunity in this census. “They’re my pikin and my sick,” he said. “Anyone who wants to count them has to pay me first.”

This was what Polman had come to Makeni to hear. The conventional wisdom was that Sierra Leone’s civil war had been pure insanity: tens of thousands dead, many more maimed or wounded, and half the population displaced—all for nothing. But Polman had heard it suggested that the R.U.F.’s rampages had followed from “a rational, calculated strategy.” The idea was that the extreme violence had been “a deliberate attempt to drive up the price of peace.” Sure enough, Polman met a rebel leader in Makeni, who told her, “We’d worked harder than anyone for peace, but we got almost nothing in return.” Addressing Polman as a stand-in for the international community, he elaborated, “You people looked the other way all those years. . . . There was nothing to stop for. Everything was broken, and you people weren’t here to fix it.”

In the end, he claimed, the R.U.F. had escalated the horror of the war (and provoked the government, too, to escalate it) by deploying special “cut-hands gangs” to lop off civilian limbs. “It was only when you saw ever more amputees that you started paying attention to our fate,” he said. “Without the amputee factor, you people wouldn’t have come.” The U.N.’s mission in Sierra Leone was per capita the most expensive humanitarian relief operation in the world at the time. The old rebel believed that, instead of being vilified for the mutilations, he and his comrades should be thanked for rescuing their country. [Emphasis added.]

Some Africans themselves have come to understand the damaging effects of foreign aid. James Shikwati, a Kenyan economist, has argued that the aid does more harm than good, and in an interview with Der Spiegel, said, “For God’s sake, please stop the aid!”

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

With evidence like that presented here, why does the aid keep flowing? One reason is careerism: foreign aid by both governments and NGOs supports a by now huge bureaucracy. But I suspect a major reason is vanity: we want to think of ourselves as generous people, regardless of the actual effects of our giving. Consider the reaction of Bob Geldof at accusations that much of the money he helped raise financed warlords.

Bob Geldof has launched a furious attack on the BBC World Service over its claim that 95% of the $100m aid raised to fight famine in northern Ethiopia was diverted by rebels and spent on weapons.

Writing in today’s Guardian, the musician and mastermind of the 1985 Live Aid concerts accuses the World Service of a “total collapse of standards and systems”, threatens it with legal action and calls for the sacking of the reporter behind the story, his editor and the head of the World Service, Peter Horrocks.

Anger and denial was the response, not an engagement with the alleged facts – which is usually a sign that the criticisms have hit home.

Aside from the injustice of forcibly taking Americans’ hard-earned money for causes they themselves might not choose to support, we have another reason for ending foreign aid: it causes more harm than good.

 

The Struggle Over Egalitarianism Continues

The Struggle Over Egalitarianism Continues

[Rothbard’s 1991 introduction to “Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor,” which was written in 1970.]

Not Equal

Introduction

In the two decades since this essay was written, the major social trends I analyzed have accelerated, seemingly at an exponential rate. The flight away from socialism and central planning begun in Yugoslavia has stunningly succeeded over the entire “socialist bloc” of Eastern Europe, and there is now at least rhetorical allegiance to the idea of privatization and a free-market economy. More and more, Marxism has become confined to the academics of the United States and Western Europe, comfortably ensconced as parasites upon their capitalist economies. But even among academics, there is almost nothing left of the triumphalist Marxism of the 1930s and 40s, with their boasts of the economic efficiency and superiority of socialist central planning. Instead, even the most dedicated Marxists now pay lip service to the necessity of some sort of “market,” however restricted by government.

I. New Areas of Inequality and “Oppression”

But this does not mean that the struggle over egalitarianism is over. Far from it. On the contrary, after the New Left of the late 1960s and early ’70s had been discredited by its bizarre turn to violence, it took the advice of its liberal elders and “joined the system.” New Leftists launched a successful Gramscian “long march through the institutions,” and by becoming lawyers and academics — particularly in the humanities, philosophy, and the “soft” social sciences — they have managed to acquire hegemony over our culture. Seeing themselves defeated and routed on the strictly economic front (in contrast to the Old Left of the 1930s, Marxian economics and the labor theory of value was never the New Left’s strong suit), the Left turned to the allegedly moral high ground of egalitarianism.

And, as they did so, they turned increasingly to what was suggested in the last paragraph of my essay: de-emphasizing old-fashioned economic egalitarianism in favor of stamping out broader aspects of human variety. Older egalitarianism stressed making income or wealth equal; but, as Helmut Schoeck brilliantly realized, the logic of their argument was to stamp out in the name of “fairness,” all instances of human diversity and therefore implicit or explicit superiority of some persons over others. In short, envy of the superiority of others is to be institutionalized, and all possible sources of such envy eradicated.

Envy cover

In his book on Envy, Helmut Schoeck analyzed a chilling dystopian novel by the British writer, L.P. Hartley. In his work, Facial Justice, published in 1960, Hartley, extrapolating from the attitudes he saw in British life after World War II, opens by noting that after the Third World War, “Justice had made great strides.” Economic Justice, Social Justice and other forms of justice had been achieved, but there were still areas of life to conquer. In particular, Facial Justice had not yet been attained, since pretty girls had an unfair advantage over ugly ones. Hence, under the direction of the Ministry of Face Equality, all Alpha (pretty) girls and all Gamma (ugly) girls were forced to undergo operations at the “Equalization (Faces) Centre” so as all to attain Beta (pleasantly average) faces.[i]

Coincidentally, in 1961, Kurt Vonnegut published a pithy and even more bitterly satirical short story depicting a comprehensively egalitarian society, even more thoroughgoing than Hartley’s. Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” begins:

The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

The “handicapping” worked partly as follows:

Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn’t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty minutes or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.[ii]

This sort of egalitarian emphasis on noneconomic inequalities has proliferated and intensified in the decades since these men penned their seemingly exaggerated Orwellian dystopias. In academic and literary circles “political correctness” is now enforced with an increasingly iron hand; and the key to being politically correct is never, ever, in any area, to make judgments of difference or superiority.

Thus, we find that a Smith College handout from the Office of Student Affairs lists ten different kinds of “oppression” allegedly inflicted by making judgments about people. They include: “heterosexism,” defined as “oppression” of those with nonheterosexual orientations, which include “not acknowledging their existence”; and “ableism,” defined as oppression of the “differently abled” [known in less enlightened days as “disabled” or “handicapped”], by the “temporarily able.” Particularly relevant to our two dystopian writers is “ageism,” oppression of the young and the old by youngish and middle-aged adults, and “lookism” (or “looksism”), defined as the “construction of a standard of beauty/attractiveness.”

“Oppression” is also supposed to consist, not only of discriminating in some way against the unattractive, but even in noticing the difference. Perhaps the most chilling recently created category is “logism” or “logo-centric,” the tyranny of the knowledgeable and articulate. A set of “feminist scholarship guidelines” sponsored by the state of New Jersey for its college campuses attacks knowledge and scientific inquiry per se as a male “rape of nature.” It charges:

mind was male. Nature was female, and knowledge was created as an act of aggression — a passive nature had to be interrogated, unclothed, penetrated, and compelled by man to reveal her secrets.[iii]

“Oppression” is of course broadly defined so as to indict the very existence of possible superiority — and therefore an occasion for envy — in any realm. The dominant literary theory of deconstructionism fiercely argues that there can be no standards to judge one literary “text” superior to another. At a recent conference, when one political science professor referred correctly to Czeslaw Milosz’s book The Captive Mind as a “classic,” another female professor declared that the very word classic “makes me feel oppressed.”[iv] The clear implication is that any reference to someone else’s superior product may engender resentment and envy in the rank and file, and that catering to these “feelings of oppression” must be the central focus of scholarship and criticism.

The whole point of academia and other research institutions has always been an untrammelled search for truth. This ideal has now been challenged and superseded by catering to the “sensitive” feelings of the politically correct. This emphasis on subjective feelings rather than truth is evident in the current furor over the teaching of the distinguished Berkeley anthropologist, Vincent Sarich. Sarich’s examination of genetic influences on racial differences in achievement was denounced by a fellow faculty member as “attempting to destroy the self-esteem of black students in the class.”[v]

II. Group Quotas

Indeed, one radical change since the writing of this essay has been the rapid and accelerating transformation of old-fashioned egalitarianism, which wanted to make every individual equal, into group-egalitarianism on behalf of groups that are officially designated as “oppressed.” In employment, positions, and status generally, oppressed groups are supposed to be guaranteed their quotal share of the well-paid or prestigious positions. (No one seems to be agitating for quotal representation in the ranks of ditch diggers.) I first noticed this trend in a paper written one year after the present essay at a symposium on The Nature and Consequences of Egalitarian Ideology.

There I reacted strongly to the quotal representation for designated groups insisted upon by the McGovern movement at the 1972 Democratic Convention. These victorious Democrats insisted that groups such as women, youth, blacks and Chicanos had fallen below their quotal proportion of the population as elected delegates to previous conventions; this had to be rectified by the Democratic Party overriding the choices of their members and insisting upon due quotal representation of these allegedly oppressed groups. I noted the particular idiocy of the claim that youths aged 18–25 had been grievously “under-represented” in the past, and indulged in what would now be called a “politically inappropriate” reductio ad absurdum by suggesting an immediate correction to the heinous and chronic underrepresentation of five-year-old “men and women.”[vi]

“Seeing themselves defeated and routed on the strictly economic front, the Left turned to the allegedly moral high ground of egalitarianism.”

And yet, only two years before that convention, another form of quotal appeal had met with proper scorn and ridicule from left-liberals. When one of President Nixon’s failed Supreme Court nominees was derided as being “mediocre,” Senator Roman Hruska (R., Neb.) wondered why the mediocre folk of America did not deserve “representation” on the highest Court. Liberal critics mockingly charged the Senator with engaging in special pleading. The self-same charge, levelled against denouncers of “logism” would drive such critics from public life. But times, and standards of political correctness, have changed.

It is difficult, indeed, to parody or satirize a movement which seems to be a living self-parody, and which can bring about such deplorable results. Thus, two eminent American historians, Bernard Bailyn and Stephan Thernstrom, were literally forced to abandon their course at Harvard on the history of American race relations, because of absurd charges of “racism” levelled by a few students, charges that were treated with utmost seriousness by everyone concerned. Of particular interest here was the charge against Bailyn’s course on race relations in the colonial era.

The student “grievance” against Bailyn is that he had read from the diary of a southern planter without giving “equal time” to the memoirs of a slave. To the complainants, this practice clearly amounted to a “covert defense of slavery.” Bailyn had patiently explained during the offending lecture that no diaries, journals or letters by slaves in that era had ever been found. But to these students, Bailyn had clearly failed to understand the problem: “Since it was impossible to give equal representation to the slaves, Bailyn ought to have dispensed with the planter’s diary altogether.”[vii]

 

Spokesmen for group quotas in behalf of the “oppressed” (labelled for public relations purposes with the positive-sounding phrase “affirmative action”) generally claim that a quota system is the furthest thing from their minds: that all they want is positive action to increase representation of the favored groups. They are either being flagrantly disingenuous or else fail to understand elementary arithmetic. If oppressed group X is to have its “representation” increased from, say, 8 to 20 percent, then some group or combination of groups is going to have their total representation reduced by 12 percent. The hidden, or sometimes not-so-hidden, agenda, of course, is that the quotal declines are supposed to occur in the ranks of designated oppressor groups, who presumably deserve their fate.

III. Who Are the “Oppressed”?

In this regime of group egalitarianism, it becomes particularly important to take one’s place in the ranks of the oppressed rather than the oppressors. Who, then, are the oppressed? It is difficult to determine, since new groups of oppressed are being discovered all the time. One almost longs for the good old days of classic Marxism, when there was only one “oppressed class” — the proletariat — and one or at most a very few classes of oppressors: the capitalists or bourgeois, plus sometimes the “feudal landlords” or perhaps the petit bourgeoisie.

“Perhaps the most chilling recently created category is ‘logism’ or ‘logo-centric,’ the tyranny of the knowledgeable and articulate.”

But now, as the ranks of the oppressed and therefore the groups specially privileged by society and the State keep multiplying, and the ranks of the oppressors keep dwindling, the problem of income and wealth egalitarianism reappears and is redoubled. For more and greater varieties of groups are continually being added to the parasitic burden weighing upon an ever-dwindling supply of oppressors. And since it is obviously worth everyone’s while to leave the ranks of the oppressors and move over to the oppressed, pressure groups will increasingly succeed in doing so — so long as this dysfunctional ideology continues to flourish. Specifically, achieving the label of officially oppressed entitles one to share in an endless flow of benefits — in money, status, and prestige — from the hapless oppressors, who are made to feel guilty forevermore, even as they are forced to sustain and expand the endless flow. It is not surprising that attaining oppressed status takes a great deal of pressure and organization. As Joseph Sobran wittily puts it, “it takes a lot of clout to be a victim.” Eventually, if trends continue the result must be the twin death of parasite and host alike, and an end to any flourishing economy or civilization.

There are virtually an infinite number of groups or “classes” in society: the class of people named Smith, the class of men over 6 feet tall, the class of bald people, and so on. Which of these groups may find themselves among the “oppressed”? Who knows? It is easy to invent a new oppressed group. I might come up with a study, for example, demonstrating that the class of people named “Doe” have an average income or wealth or status lower than that of other names. I could then coin a hypothesis that people named Doe have been discriminated against because their names “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” have been “stereotyped” as associated with faceless anonymity and, presto, we have one more group who is able to leave the burdened ranks of the oppressors and join the happy ranks of the oppressed.

A political theorist friend of mine thought he could coin a satiric oppressed group: short people, who suffer from “heightism.” I informed him that he was seriously anticipated two decades ago, again demonstrating the impossibility of parodying the current ideology. I noted in an article almost twenty years old, written shortly after this essay, that Professor Saul D. Feldman, a sociologist at Case-Western Reserve, and himself a distinguished short, had at last brought science to bear on the age-old oppression of the shorts by the talls. Feldman reported that out of recent University of Pittsburgh graduating seniors, those 6’2″ and taller received an average starting salary 12.4 percent higher than graduates under 6 feet, and that a marketing professor at Eastern Michigan University had quizzed 140 business recruiters about their preferences between two hypothetical, equally qualified applicants for the job of salesman. One of the hypothetical salesmen was to be 6’1″, the other 5’5″. The recruiters answered as follows: 27 percent expressed the politically correct no preference; one percent would hire the short man; and no less than 72 percent would hire the tallie.

“The groups specially privileged by society and the State keep multiplying, and the ranks of the oppressors keep dwindling…”

In addition to this clear-cut oppression of talls over shorts, Feldman pointed out that women notoriously prefer tall over short men. He might have pointed out, too, that Alan Ladd could only play the romantic lead in movies produced by bigoted Hollywood moguls by standing on a hidden box, and that even the great character actor Sydney Greenstreet was invariably shot upward from a low-placed camera to make him appear much taller than he was. (The Hollywood studio heads were generally short themselves, but were betraying their short comrades by pandering to the pro-tall culture.) Feldman also perceptively pointed to the antishort prejudice that pervades our language: in such phrases as people being “short-sighted, short-changed, short-circuited, and short in cash.” He added that among the two major party candidates for president, the taller is almost invariably elected.[viii]

I went on in my article to call for a short liberation movement to end short oppression, and asked, where are the short corporation leaders, the short bankers, the short senators and presidents?[ix],[x] I asked for short pride, short institutes, short history courses, short quotas everywhere, and for shorts to stop internalizing the age-old propaganda of our tall culture that shorts are genetically or culturally inferior. (Look at Napoleon!) Short people, arise! You have nothing to lose but your elevator shoes. I ended by assuring the tallies that we were not anti-tall, and that we welcome progressive, guilt-ridden talls as pro-short sympathizers and auxiliaries in our movement. If my own consciousness had been sufficiently raised at the time, I would have of course added a demand that the talls compensate the shorts for umpteen thousand years of tall tyranny.

IV. The Romantics and Primitivism

Turning from the topic of the oppressed, my own view of the Romantics, certainly jaundiced twenty years ago, is far more hostile today. For I have learned from such sources as Leszek Kolakowski and particularly the great literary critic M.H. Abrams, of the devotion of the Romantics, Hegelians, and of Marxism to what might be called “reabsorption theology.” This view stemmed from the third-century Egyptian Platonist, Plotinus, seeping into Christian Platonism and from then on constituting a heretical and mystical underground in Western thought.

Briefly, these thinkers saw Creation not as a wonderfully benevolent overflow of God’s goodness, but as an essentially evil act that sundered the blessed pre-Creation unity of the collective entities God, Man, and Nature, bringing about tragic and inevitable “alienation” in Man. However, Creation, the outgrowth of God’s deficiencies, is redeemable in one sense: History is an inevitable “dialectical” process by which pre-Creation gives rise to its opposite, the current world. But eventually history is destined to end in a mighty “reabsorption” of these three collective entities, though at a much higher level of development for both God and Man.

“Eventually, if trends continue the result must be the twin death of parasite and host alike, and an end to any flourishing economy or civilization.”

In addition to other problems with this view, the contrast with orthodox Christianity should be clear. Whereas in Christianity, the individual person is made in God’s image and the salvation of each individual is of supreme importance, the allegedly benevolent reabsorptionist escape from metaphysical alienation occurs only at the end of history and only for the collective species Man, each individual disappearing into the species-organism.[xi]

As for primitivism, later anthropological research has strengthened the view of this essay that primitive tribes, and premodern cultures generally, were marked, not by communism — à la Engels and Polanyi — but by private-property rights, markets, and monetary exchange. The work of the economist Bruce Benson has particularly highlighted this point.[xii]

V. The Division of Labor

I have come to realize, since writing this essay, that I overweighted the contributions and importance of Adam Smith on the division of labor. And to my surprise, I did not sufficiently appreciate the contributions of Ludwig von Mises.

Despite the enormous emphasis on specialization and the division of labor in the Wealth of Nations, much of Smith’s discussion was misplaced and misleading. In the first place, he placed undue importance on the division of labor within a factory (the famous pin-factory example), and scarcely considered the far more important division of labor among various industries and occupations. Secondly, there is the mischievous contradiction between the discussions in Book I and Book V in the Wealth of Nations. In Book I, the division of labor is hailed as responsible for civilization as well as economic growth, and is also praised as expanding the alertness and intelligence of the population. But in Book V the division of labor is condemned as leading to the intellectual and moral degeneration of the same population, and to the loss of their “intellectual, social, and martial virtues.” These complaints about the division of labor as well as similar themes in Smith’s close friend Adam Ferguson, strongly influenced the griping about “alienation” in Marx and later socialist writers.[xiii]

But of greater fundamental importance was Smith’s abandonment of the tradition since Jean Buridan and the Scholastics that emphasized that two parties always undertook an exchange because each expected to gain from the transaction. In contrast to this emphasis on specialization and exchange as a result of conscious human decision, Smith shifted the focus from mutual benefit to an alleged irrational and innate “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange,” as if human beings were lemmings determined by forces external to their own chosen purposes. As Edwin Cannan pointed out long ago, Smith took this tack because he rejected the idea of innate differences in human talents and abilities, differences which would naturally lead people to seek out different specialized occupations.[xiv] Smith instead took an egalitarian-environmentalist position, still dominant today in neoclassical economics, holding that all men are uniform and equal, and therefore that differences in labor or occupations can only be the result rather than a cause of the system of division of labor. Moreover, Smith inaugurated the corollary tradition that differences in wage rates among this uniform population can only reflect differences in the cost of training.[xv],[xvi]

“It is a constant source of surprise how rereading Mises continues to provide a source of fresh insights and of new ways of looking at seemingly trite situations.”

In contrast, the recent work of Professor Joseph Salerno has illuminated the profound contributions of Ludwig von Mises’s emphasis on the division of labor as the “essence of society” and the “fundamental social phenomenon.” For Mises, as I wrote in the essay, the division of labor stems from the diversity and inequality of human beings and of nature. Salerno, in addition, brings out with unparalleled clarity that for Mises the division of labor is a conscious choice of mutual gain and economic development. The process of social evolution therefore becomes “the development of the division of labor,” and this allows Mises to refer to the worldwide division of labor as a vital “social organism” or “oecumene.” Mises also points out that division of labor is at the heart of biological organisms, and “the fundamental principle of all forms of life.” The difference of the “social organism” is that, in contrast to biological organisms, “reason and will are the originating and sustaining form of the organic coalescence.” Therefore, for Mises “human society is thus spiritual and teleological,” the “product of thought and will.” It therefore becomes of the utmost importance for people to understand the significance of maintaining and expanding the oecumene that consists of the free market and voluntary human exchanges, and to realize that breaching and crippling that market and oecumene can only have disastrous consequences for the human race.[xvii]

In the standard account, writers and social theorists are supposed to mellow and moderate their views as they get older. (Two glorious exceptions to this rule are such very different libertarian figures as Lysander Spooner and Lord Acton.) Looking back over the two decades since writing this essay, it is clear that my views, on the contrary, have radicalized and polarized even further.

As unlikely as it would have seemed twenty years ago, I am even more hostile to socialism, egalitarianism, and Romanticism, far more critical of the British classical and modern neoclassical tradition, and even more appreciative of Mises’s great insights than ever before. Indeed, for someone who thought that he had absorbed all of Mises’s work many years ago, it is a constant source of surprise how rereading Mises continues to provide a source of fresh insights and of new ways of looking at seemingly trite situations. This phenomenon, in which many of us have experience, bears testimony to the remarkable quality and richness of Mises’s thought. Although he died almost two decades ago, Ludwig von Mises remains more truly alive than most of our conventionally wise contemporaries.

Murray N. Rothbard
Las Vegas, Nevada
February, 1991

Notes

[i] See the discussion in Helmut Schoeck, Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970), pp. 149–55. Schoeck’s work was originally published in German in 1966 under the title Der Neid, and the English translation was first published in 1969.

[ii] Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., “Harrison Bergeron” (1961), in Welcome to the Monkey House (New York: Dell, 1970), p.7.

[iii] John Taylor, “Are you Politically Correct?” New York (January 21, 1991, p.38. Also see ibid., pp. 32–40: “Taking Offense,” Newsweek (December 24, 1990), pp. 48–54.

[iv] Newsweek, loc. cit., p. 53.

[v] Paul Selvin, “The Raging Bull of Berkeley,” Science 251 (January 25, 1991): 369.

[vi] Murray N.Rothbard, “Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature,” in Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays (Washington, D.C.: Libertarian Review Press, 1974), pp. 7–8.

[vii] Taylor, “Are You Politically Correct?” p. 33.

[viii] Feldman’s case would have been strengthened had he written after the 1988 campaign: not only did Bush tower over Dukakis, but Representative Charles Wilson, (D., Texas) was able to express the tallist bigotry of his region: “No Greek dwarf can carry East Texas,” without calling forth protests and marches by organized short-dom. On the Feldman study, see Arthur J. Snider, “Society Favors Tall Men: Prof,” New York Post (February 19, 1972). On all of this, see Murray N. Rothbard, “Short People, Arise!” The Libertarian Forum IV (Arril 1972): p. 8.

[ix] It might be instructive to study whether the savage treatment accorded to Senator John Tower in his confirmation hearings for Secretary of Defense was due to discrimination against his short size.

[x] A possible project for American historians: most of the big business tycoons of the late-nineteenth century (e.g., Jay Gould and John D. Rockefeller, Sr.) were very short. By what process did the tallies quietly seize power in the corporate world?

[xi] See Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, vol. I, The Founders (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 9–39; M.H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature (New York: Norton, 1971); M.H. Abrams, “Apocalypse: Theme and Variations” in C.A. Patrides and Joseph Wittreich, eds., The Apocalpse in English Renaissance Thought and Literature (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984), pp.342–68; Ernest L. Tuveson, “The Millenarian Structure of the Communist Manifesto,” in ibid., pp. 323–41; and Murray N. Rothbard “Karl Marx: Communist as Religious Eschatologist,”[PDF File] The Review of Austrian Economics 4 (1990): 123–179.

[xii] Bruce L. Benson, “Enforcement of Private Property Rights in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government,”[PDF File] Journal of Libertarian Studies 9 (Winter 1989): 1–26; and Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1990), pp. 11–41. Also see Joseph R. Peden, “Property Rights in Celtic Irish Law,”[PDF File] Journal of Libertarian Studies 1 (1977): 81–95: and David Friedman, “Private Creation and Enforcement of Law: A Historical Case,” Journal of Legal Studies 8 (March 1979): 399–415.

[xiii] On Ferguson’s influence, see Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism, pp, 220–21, 508.

[xiv] Edwin Cannan, A History of the Theories of Production and Distribution in English Political Economy from 1776 to 1848, 3rd ed (London: Staples Press, 1917), p. 35

[xv] Contrast Smith’s egalitarianism with the great early-fifteenth-century Italian Scholastic, San Bernardino of Siena (1380–1444). In his On Contracts and Usury, written in 1431–33, Bernardino pointed out that wage inequality on the market is a function of differences of ability and skill as well as training. An architect is paid more than a ditch-digger, Bernardino explained, because the former’s job requires more intelligence and ability as well as training, so that fewer men will qualify for the task. See Raymond de Roover, San Bernardino of Siena and Sant’Antonino of Florence: The Two Great Thinkers of the Middle Ages (Boston: Baker Library, 1967), and Alejandro Chafuen, Christians for Freedom: Late Scholastic Economics (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), pp. 123–31.

[xvi] Modern neoclassical labor economics fits in this tradition by defining “discrimination” as any wage inequalities greater than differences in the cost of training. Thus, see the standard work by Gary Becker, The Economics of Discrimination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957).

[xvii] Joseph T. Salerno, “Ludwig von Mises as Social Rationalist,”[PDF File] The Review of Austrian Economics 4 (1990): 26–54. See also Salerno’s critique of Eamonn Butler’s uncomprehending reaction to Mises’s insights, charging Mises with the “organic fallacy,” and “difficulty with English.” Ibid., p. 29n. The implicit contrast of Mises’s view with Hayek’s emphasis on unconscious action and blind adherence to traditional rules is made explicit by Salerno in the latter part of this article dealing with the socialist calculation debate, and in Salerno, “Postscript,” in Ludwig von Mises, Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (Auburn, Al,: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1990), pp. 51–71.