Thursday, December 01, 2011

the inherent contradiction of stasism

This quote of the day from Samizdata is both accurate and pithy: 

  • "“Green” will never be quite the same after Obama. When Solyndra and its affiliated scandals are at last fully brought into the light of day, we will see the logical reification of Climategate I & II, Al Gore’s hucksterism, and Van Jones’s lunacy. How ironic that the more Obama tried to stop drilling in the West, offshore, and in Alaska, as well as stopping the Canadian pipeline, the more the American private sector kept finding oil and gas despite rather than because of the U.S. government. How further ironic that the one area that Obama felt was unnecessary for, or indeed antithetical to, America’s economic recovery — vast new gas and oil finds — will soon turn out to be America’s greatest boon in the last 20 years. While Obama and Energy Secretary Chu still insist on subsidizing money-losing wind and solar concerns, we are in the midst of a revolution that, within 20 years, will reduce or even end the trade deficit, help pay off the national debt, create millions of new jobs, and turn the Western Hemisphere into the new Persian Gulf. The American petroleum revolution can be delayed by Obama, but it cannot be stopped." Victor Davis Hanson.
Once more we see an example of progress despite stasis intervention and interference from government.  How much better off and how much quicker would prosperity extend to all if government was more dynamist and undertook to get with the program, instead of always needing to be the program  and/or to curtail the very engine of innovation that drives progress?

At this juncture one of my more engaged and educated students would usually chime in with the perceived central flaw of my question, which is of course the presumption of an inherent contradiction within capitalism.  Supposedly, capitalism is incapable of compassion and is inherently doomed to contradict itself into demise and failure.  Theory, not practice mind you but a good polemic nevertheless.

Those that hide behind this canard are also those that fail to see the even more glaring inherent contradiction of stasist governance, in practice, namely:
  • It takes a capitalist country to afford a communist government. For communism’s best results, the country it rules should be free enterprise. Wealth that hasn’t been created cannot be redistributed, no matter how much a government needs it.
  •  All governments are communist. Please, relax. What I mean is that all governments expect to be recompensed, not according to the value of their contributions to society, but according to their needs.
  • For a government to derive maximum benefit from the communist formula “to each according to his needs,” it’s better for the economy not to be communist. If it is, it might not be able to meet the government’s needs.
Once again, the difference between theory and practice is larger in practice than in theory.