quinta-feira, 28 de Agosto de 2003

Catalaxia

Subscrevo o apelo de CAA relativamente ao Catalaxia, embora entenda perfeitamente as razões apresentadas para o interregno.

Como se refere no Aviz, o fim dos blogues é natural, dadas as alterações de disponibilidade (e vontade) dos seus autores. Não deve por isso ser excessivamente dramatizado, mesmo no caso dos blogs cuja qualidade está muito acima da média, como o Catalaxia.

Se há alguma conclusão a tirar do relativamente curto ciclo de vida de grande parte dos blogs, talvez seja a de que os blogs colectivos poderão, em princípio, garantir maior longevidade, por os períodos de menor disponibilidade de alguns bloggers serem compensados pelos restantes.

Espero sinceramente que a minha conclusão se aplique ao blog da Causa Liberal.

Nietzsche & Schopenhauer

Um blog optimista sobre o Benfica

(via Aviz)

terça-feira, 26 de Agosto de 2003

Burocracia e subdesenvolvimento

O Núcleo Duro tem um post com um excelente exemplo do inferno burocrático em Portugal (neste caso, na Universidade de Coimbra): Se Kafka soubesse...

Novo link

O Ecletico foi acrescentado à lista de blogs recomendados.

Ainda os serviços de protecção contra incêndios

O Carimbo respondeu aqui a este meu anterior post sobre serviços privados de combate a incêndios.

Destaques

The Constitutional Right of Secession in Political Theory and History
by Andrei Kreptul ( Seattle University School of Law )
8/18/2003

Private Provision of Public Goods: Theoretical Issues and Some Examples from Maritime History
by Larry Sechrest ( Sul Ross University )
8/6/2003

Conflitos locais versus Guerras civilizacionais

A critica da comparação dos conflitos entre Estados com conflitos entre individuos e a sua propriedade. Vamos ver os problemas: Olivença é portuguesa? Se retomarmos militarmente Olivença, deve o mundo entrar em guerra porque a Espanha tem os seus aliados e Portugal outros? o Iraque invadiu o Koweit, mas este não existia uns anos atrás, valeu a pena o Golfo I, estacionar tropas na Arábia Saudita, dar mais uns passos na radicalização do fundamentalismo, o 11/9, a invasão e ocupação do Afeganistão , mudança de regime e fazer dos Talibans inimigos (como contrapartida a um estrito combate à Al-Qaeda), a invasão e ocupação do Iraque (e mais um crescendo e campo de combate para o fundamentalismo)? Claro que sim. Por um país autocrata (não que isso me preocupe, porque até funciona bem) inexistente umas décadas atrás, qualquer guerra de civilizações vale a pena. Kill them all.

"The theoretical analogue of such a concert against "aggression" is held to be combating criminal action against individuals. A robs or murders B; the local police, appointed defenders of the right of person and property, leap to the defense of B and act to apprehend and punish A. In the same way, "peace-loving" nations are supposed to band together against "aggressor" nations or states.(...)

The deep flaw in all this is that when A robs or murders B, there is a general agreement that A is in the wrong, and that he has indeed aggressed against the person and just property rights of B. But when State A aggresses against the border of State B, often claiming that the border is unjust and the result of a previous aggression against country A decades before, how can we say a priori that State A is the aggressor and that we must dismiss its defense out of hand? Who says, and on what principle, that State B has the same moral right to all of its existing territory as individual B has to his life and property? And how can the two aggressions be equated when our global democrats refuse to come up with any principles or criteria whatsoever: except the unsatisfactory and absurd call for a world State or blind reliance upon the boundary status quo at any given moment?"

Murray N. Rothbard, THE NATIONALITIES QUESTION

Sites e blogues liberais/libertários (em francês)

O Merde in France expõe aqui uma interessante lista de sites e blogues em língua francesa, quer de tendências libertárias, quer de inspiração liberal. Algumas dessas referências já eram conhecidas, outras foram novidade para mim. A não perder.

segunda-feira, 25 de Agosto de 2003

Regressamos à Desvalorização Competitiva das moedas

The U.S. dollar must weaken and there is no way to prevent it now. The current account and budget deficits are soaring to record levels. The current account deficit is expected to reach well beyond a half trillion dollars this year and the “official” budget deficit is projected to exceed $475 billion (that’s not even counting the “off budget” debt). America also wants the dollar to remain weak to support its domestic manufacturing industry, as the recent pressure brought to bear on China shows. And of course the trade deficit will only get worse if the dollar strengthens, because American demand for imports over domestic goods will increase. The largest U.S. export is the U.S. dollar. We are exporting over 5% of our GDP every year and it will catch up to wreck havoc on the dollar.

"The U.S. dollar “strengthened” against the Euro and yet gold reared up and surged higher in the New York trading session defying “experts” predictions. So the question that is asked is why is gold holding firm – even rising against a “strong” dollar? The fact of the matter is that the dollar is not “strong” but rather all currencies are “weak” and will continue to weaken much further. This is a result of the global “competitive currency devaluation” efforts."

"It will not be long at the current rate until foreign central banks hold all U.S. government debt. These foreign central bankers know this and have been looking at other ways to hold their reserves. Some observers suggest that they will diversify by adding other Third World currencies such as the Chinese renminbi. When these central bankers find that they are “top heavy” in U.S. dollars, that will be the end of the so-called “dollar standard” and the dollar will ultimately correct.

What does all this mean? Obviously rates will surge higher. Combining rising interest rates, rising inflation, and slow economic growth the stage is set for “stagflation”. This will not be as mild as the 1970’s stagflation that some of us remember but will be much more severe. The writing is on the wall and we are seeing this happen in real time. Others have seen this as well and therefore we are seeing the “disconnect” between gold and global currency exchange rates. In fact Far East central banks have already begun to diversify reserves by accumulating gold. The Chinese central bank has been a big gold buyer in recent years for good reason."

The Afternoon Gold Report...
by Jon Warner

August 22, 2003 (usagold.com)

A descida de preços (a que alguns chamam de deflação) “is allways positive”

Ler o último texto publicado por George Reisman no Mises Institute: The Anatomy of Deflation

"...when falling prices are the result of monetary contraction, rather than increases in production and supply, and are accompanied by actual economic hardship rather than by general prosperity, their specific contribution to the situation is not only not that of cause, but of remedy. Falling prices in response to monetary contraction are precisely what enable a reduced quantity of money and volume of spending to buy as many goods and to employ as many workers as did the previously larger quantity of money and volume of spending. Preventing the fall in prices, including a fall in wage rates, serves only to prevent the restoration of production and employment.

Let me put it this way. Deflation is not falling prices. It is monetary contraction. Falling prices are necessary as a response to deflation, which is prior, and which exists whether prices do or do not fall, and can exist even if prices rise. Falling prices in response to deflation are economically beneficial, in that they enable a reduced quantity of money and volume of spending to buy as much as the previously larger quantity of money and volume of spending bought.

In other words, the effect of falling prices is always positive. They should not be confused with deflation or depression and are certainly not their cause. On the contrary, as we have seen, they are a remedy for the effects of deflation. And this is true even for debtors. It is not the level of prices that makes it difficult to repay a debt, but the amount of money one can earn in relation to the size of the debts one must pay. If the average member of the economic system can no longer earn as much money as he used to, and thus finds it more difficult to repay any given amount of money debt, then the fact that prices fall does not make him earn still less. Rather it enables his reduced spending power to buy more. His problem is in the relationship between the amount of money he can earn and the amount of money he must repay. His problem is not caused by a greater buying power of that money."

Re: Relembrando Hayek a propósito do Iraque

James P. Pinkerton has been a columnist for Newsday since 1993. Prior to that, he worked in the White House under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and also in the 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 Republican presidential campaigns.

Pinkerton is the author of What Comes Next: The End of Big Government--And the New Paradigm Ahead (Hyperion: 1995). He is also a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Stanford University.
"Social democracy is still here in all its variants, defining our entire respectable political spectrum, from advanced victimology and feminism on the left over to neoconservatism on the right. We are now trapped, in America, inside a Menshevik fantasy, with the narrow bounds of respectable debate set for us by various brands of Marxists. It is now our task, the task of the resurgent right, of the paleo movement, to break those bonds, to finish the job, to finish off Marxism forever."

Murray N. Rothbard, 1992 speech to the John Randolph Club


"Neoconservatives, in my view, are a pernicious force with dismaying influence in the Bush administration. On domestic policy they support big government across the board. They were the ones who created the "faith-based initiative" and talked Bush into supporting the greatest federal intrusion in education in American history. They support a massive welfare state. In foreign affairs they are reckless interventionists. The fiasco in Iraq can be laid at their feet. What we need is an alliance of libertarians, traditional limited government conservatives and those few liberals who still support true civil liberties."

Edward H. Crane, Cato Institute President, entrevista no Washingtonpost, August 21, 2003

domingo, 24 de Agosto de 2003

Relembrando Hayek a propósito do Iraque

Independentemente da avaliação que se faça da situação, penso que vale a pena ler o artigo God Save the Iraqis From the American God de J. Pinkerton.

Algumas passagens:

Once upon a time, conservatives opposed God-playing hubris. The Austrian-born economist Friedrich Hayek, for example, wrote a book titled "The Fatal Conceit." And what was that "fatal conceit"? It was the idea that "man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes." Hayek was no enemy of progress - which is achieved, he argued, through the trial-and-error experiments of the marketplace. His criticism was aimed at central planning, which sought progress instead by overturning the hard-learned lessons of human nature.

To Hayek, the idea that experts in a marbled ministry could gather the information necessary to make good decisions was the most lethal of follies. And the same centralization that strangles economic growth, he maintained, also strangles free expression, eventually turning technocrats into tyrants.

Hayek's conservatism was based on caution and prudence. The new conservatism, often called "neoconservatism," is radically different; it should be called pseudo-conservatism. It's based on the profoundly hubristic unconservative idea of creating heaven on earth, of playing God. To be sure, the pseudocons proclaim the purest of motives, but they should be judged on their results, not their rhetoric.

(...)

To past conservatives, Americans playing Caesar was cause for concern, but to today's pseudocons, American dictatorship in Iraq is cause for imperialist celebration. But old-fashioned conservatives might pause over the strangers who are now climbing onto the Big Government bandwagon being built in Iraq. One such is author Barbara Ehrenreich. In a Los Angeles Times oped (titled "Socialism Lives!") Ehrenreich cheered the Bush occupiers' pledges of a better life for Iraqis: "A universal health program, of the kind that has eluded Americans for at least half a century, will be created with a snap of the imperial fingers in Iraq."

Of course, national health insurance may fizzle in Iraq, just as it has in America. Which was Hayek's point - central planning is a bad idea because it doesn't work. But such is the seductive lure of the "fatal conceit" that people recurrently fall for it.

Escrito este fim-de-semana sobre a crise do Iraque

Felizmente ainda há alguns comentadores políticos (poucos mas bons!) que se mantêm firmes no seu sentido de responsabilidade e fiéis aos seus princípios de sempre, sem se deixarem contaminar pelas fantasias demagógicas dos "habituais representantes do frentismo europeu antiamericano". Transcrevo algumas passagens de artigos escritos este fim-de-semana nos semanários "Expresso" e "O Independente", não deixando de recomendar a leitura dos respectivos artigos completos:

"Foram os militares notre-americanos que fizeram ir pelos ares, com um camião de explosivos o edifício da ONU em Bagdade (...)? Quase parece que sim ao ouvirem-se e lerem-se as reacções enviesadas dos habituais representantes do frentismo europeu antiamericano. Que em Portugal vai de Mário Soares (...) à costumeira ladainha dos comunicados oficiais do PCP, passando por Francisco Louçã e outros.
"Mais do que condenarem o acto terrorista e a loucura fanática (...) os arautos portugueses do antiamericanismo puseram a tónica no elogio das vítimas e, sobretudo, na culpabilização das "forças ocupantes norte-americanas".
"(...) Não é possível acabar com o terrorismo fundamentalista de um momento para o outro. (...) Mas é possível combatê-lo na origem, desmantelando as suas bases de operação, isolando os países e regimes que o fomentam - do Afeganistão à Arábia Saudita -, punindo os seus responsáveis e não cedendo à sua chantagem destruidora.
"Não deixa de ser por isso irónico ouvir as mesmas vozes de sempre a apelarem, neste momento, a que o combate ao terrorismo não recorra à força e à determinação das armas mas se faça "na dimensão cultoral e social". Daqui a 30 anos estarão a dizer o mesmo, enquanto a seu lado se esmagam aviões civis contra edifícios civis.
"(...) Ficarão, provavelmente, à espera do próximo atentado terrorista. Para provarem que não têm emenda".
José António Lima in "Expresso"

"(...) Muitos comentadores continuam a fazer análises como se o que estivesse em causa fossem problemas como o nacionalismo ou o imperialismo, tal como ele era definido na vulgata marxista de há 30 anos.
"(...) O ódio ao Ocidente por parte destes [os terroristas] radicais é o ódio à nossa tolerância, laicismo, desenvolvimento; é um ódio à democracia, à libertação das mulheres, à privatização do sagrado, à convivência de ideias diferentes. (...) Qualquer pessoa que não pense como eles é infiel e não merce viver. E por muito que discutamos as condições económicas, políticas e sociais que podem ou não privilegiar esta situação, não são estas causas, mas outras mais fundas que impulsionam a guerra que os terroristas nos movem."
In "Expresso Editorial"

"O terrorismo continua a matar, em Bagdade ou em Jerusalém. Não há raticida eficaz sem firmeza, persistência e determinação. (...) A vitória cultural dos movimentos pacifistas dos anos 80 está a ser festejada hoje. E só uma revolução de sentido oposto pode contrariar a tendência. Os "mass media" não vão colaborar, também eles vitimados pelos vírus.
"(...) impõe-se um caminho. George W. Bush, o idiota que a esquerda inventou, tem sido menos útil do que imaginavam. A sua reacção ao atentado de Bagdade demonstra isso mesmo."
Vitor Cunha in "O Independente

"(...) As palavras ocas de uma esquerda que espera um mundo perfeito não os comovem [aos terroristas]: como não os comove o facto do representante da ONU no Iraque ser um brasileiro e não um cidadão oriundo de uma das potências que combaterão Saddam. É-lhes pura e simplesmente indiferente.
"Por isso é bastante triste ver tantos comentadores olharem para este atentado e serem incapazes de outro raciocínio que não seja o medo. "Esperemos que os terroristas não tenham ganho mais um santuário", escrevia um deles. Mas não era o Iraque, com Saddam, um dos grandes suportes do terrorismo internacional?".
Henrique Monteiro, in "Expresso"

"(...) não há alternativa realista à tentativa de transformar, politicamente, a região.
"(...) Na Europa, muitos continuam a dizer que a guerra no Iraque aumenta o terrorismo e que este só acabará quando se "combater as causas profundas", como gosta de dizer a Dra. Ana Gomes com um ar muito sério.
"(...) Por outro lado, os que querem combater as causas profundas nunca nos dizem como é que isso se deve fazer. Falam de um modo muito vago da "moralidade, do direito e da justiça", como afirma uma "pomba" laica, republicana e socialista. Mas ficam-se por aí. Ora se alguém está a lidar com as causas profundas são os americanos no Iraque. Se acabar com um regime político, criar um novo governo, com novas instituições e com uma nova constituição não é lidar com as causas mais profundas, então não sei o que é preciso fazer. Muitos podem discordar do modo como os americanos lidam com estes problemas, mas a verdade é que ninguém apresentou alternativas credíveis que mereçam ser discutidas".
João Marques de Almeida in "O Independente"

Saúdo JAL, VC, HM e JMA, por não se deixarem contaminar pelo frentismo esquerdista que se tornou quase um pensamento único por estas bandas.

sábado, 23 de Agosto de 2003

Violência não mediática mata mais...

A morte de mais um comerciante português na África do Sul veio hoje chamar atenção para o autêntico "genocídio" silencioso que vem ocorrendo e continua a ocorrer naquele país. O correspondente da SIC Notícias lembrava há pouco que as muitas mortes de portugueses na África do Sul são "a ponta do icebergue" dos números que o governo sul-africano se viu forçado a divulgar por pressão da oposição no parlamento. De facto, só desde o início deste ano, terão já sido assassinadas 23 mil pessoas (23 mil!) - o correspondente à população inteira de uma cidade portuguesa de província! As notícias de meia dúzia assassínios nos Estados Unidos por um qualquer serial-killer abrem telejornais e despoletam torrentes de comentários sobre a violência para muitos obviamente causada pelo regime liberal de porte de arma lá existente (quantas potenciais vítimas não se salvam lá e em todo o mundo, todos os dias, graças a essas "malditas armas"?), enquanto este regresso ao "estado de natureza" na África do Sul do A.N.C. merece apenas uma tímida gravação telefónica com um correspondente porque aconteceu uma das últimas vítimas ser nosso patrício...! Critérios jornalísticos...

Por Timor e Maggiolo...

É de louvar a atitude serena do governo e do ministro Paulo Portas sobre a trasladação dos restos mortais do tenente-coronel Maggiolo Gouveia, efectuadas com as devidas honras militares (e inscrição do seu nome no monumento de Belém aos mortos no Ultramar), bem como o apoio que lhe reafirmou o ex-ministro da Defesa, Rui Pena. No ambiente de total indisciplina militar e desordem civil criado em Timor em 1975 pela Fretilin e pelos oficiais do M.F.A. que a quiseram promover a movimento "vanguardista" e representante único (e à força) dos povos do território, Maggiolo assumiu uma atitude corajosa de defesa do mal menor que era a solução gradualista da U.D.T. (a única, por sinal, que poderia ter dissuadido os Indonésios de invadirem aquela província ultramarina portuguesa). Para a história, ficarão as declarações mesquinhas daqueles que em Portugal acham politicamente inconveniente fazer hoje justiça a Maggiolo (como se as relações entre Portugueses e Timorenses devessem assentar preferencialmente na mentira e na hipocrisia) e a incapacidade dos líderes históricos da Fretilin de reconhecerem os seus crimes – para já não falar da sua parte de responsabilidade nos acontecimentos de 1975 e na tragédia que se lhe seguiu.

sexta-feira, 22 de Agosto de 2003

Contra o Federalismo (Alemão): Goethe

"This year marks the 250th birthday of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the greatest of all German writers and poets and one of the giants of world literature. In his political outlook, he was also a thorough-going classical liberal, arguing that free trade and free cultural exchange are the keys to authentic national and international integration. He argued and fought against the expansion, centralization, and unification of government on grounds that these trends can only hinder prosperity and true cultural development."

"As a liberal, Goethe, wisely and with remarkable prescience, stood largely alone in firm opposition to this transformation of the liberal creed. In his view, mass democracy was incompatible with liberty. "Legislators and revolutionaries who promise equality and liberty at the same time," he wrote in his Maximen und Reflexionen, "are either psychopaths or mountebanks." And political centralization, as Goethe explained in his conversation with Eckermann, would lead to the destruction of all culture."

Goethe e como a grandeza da nação e da sua cultura não carece de um governo federal forte e centralizado, pelo contrário. Curiosa sua referência de como o Federalismo Alemão se deveu aos "...German liberals had become democrats and advocates of a unified German nation state". E o Federalismo alemão deu no que deu.

Curioso também como foi a guerra contra Napoleão e o Congresso de Viena que reduziu o número de entidades independentes. Como sempre a Guerra (mesmo as boas, se é que as há) conduz sempre a uma maior centralização em todos os domínios.

"From 1648 until the Napoleonic wars, Germany consisted of some 234 countries, 51 free cities, and about 1,500 independent knightly manors. Of this multitude of independent political units, only Austria counted as a great power, and only Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Hannover could be considered major political players. Saxe-Weimar was one of the smaller and poorer countries, encompassing just a few dozen villages and small towns.

As a result of the Vienna Congress of 1815 following Napoleon's defeat, the number of independent political territories was reduced to thirty-nine. Owing to the family relationship of its ruling house with the Russian dynasty, Saxe-Weimar grew by about one third of its former size (to a size slightly larger than that of Rhode Island) and became the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Still, it remained one of Germany's smaller, poorer, and politically less significant countries.

...made the following remarks concerning the relationship between political particularism (Kleinstaaterei) and culture. At the time these remarks were made, on October 23, 1828, Germany had become increasingly affected by democratic and nationalistic sentiments as a result of the French Revolution and the following Napoleonic era. Most of the German liberals had become democrats and advocates of a unified German nation state.

"I do not fear that Germany will not be united; our excellent streets and future railroads will do their own. Germany is united in her patriotism and opposition to external enemies. She is united, because the German Taler and Groschen have the same value throughout the entire Empire, and because my suitcase can pass through all thirty-six states without being opened. It is united, because the municipal travel documents of a resident of Weimar are accepted everywhere on a par with the passports of the citizens of her mighty foreign neighbors. With regard to the German states, there is no longer any talk of domestic and foreign lands. Further, Germany is united in the areas of weights and measures, trade and migration, and a hundred similar things which I neither can nor wish to mention.

"One is mistaken, however, if one thinks that Germany's unity should be expressed in the form of one large capital city, and that this great city might benefit the masses in the same way that it might benefit the development of a few outstanding individuals.

"What makes Germany great is her admirable popular culture, which has penetrated all parts of the Empire evenly. And is it not the many different princely residences from whence this culture springs and which are its bearers and curators? Just assume that for centuries only the two capitals of Vienna and Berlin had existed in Germany, or even only a single one. Then, I am wondering, what would have happened to the German culture and the widespread prosperity that goes hand in hand with culture.

Goethe on National Greatness, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Disclaimer

As minhas opiniões aqui expressas são inteiramente pessoais e não correspondem a qualquer consenso na Causa Liberal.

Considero-me um "antiwar conservative-libertarian", na melhor tradição americana da "Old Right" que combateu o New Deal de Roosevelt e revejo-me nos princípios da neutralidade e contenção nos assuntos externos (“isolacionismo”) defendidos por George Wasghinton, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams e hoje em dia expressos também no Cato Institute, Future Freedom Foundation, LRC, Libertarian Party, nos denominados Paleo-Conservadores (que infelizmente, têm alguns tiques de proteccionismo tarifário) e numa boa parte do movimento "libertarian", fundado em grande medida pelo grande Murray N. Rothbard, discípulo e amigo pessoal de Ludwig von Mises - o campeão da defesa do Liberalismo Clássico no século 20. Não sou pacifista, a posse de armas é para mim um direito natural e não me oponho à pena de morte.

Revejo-me portanto na tradição "A Republic not an Empire" americana e sou critico do pensamento neo-conservador, que de resto, deve as suas origens à esquerda, quer em termos dos seus principais pensadores quer naquilo que defendem. Pessoalmente considero-os uma espécie de centrismo social-democrata radical, fusionando o desejo de revolução social e internacionalismo da esquerda com o militarismo e até nacionalismo ("national greatness" - Kristol) da direita, usando o mais antigo truque - o da emergência e da segurança - para unir as vontades à volta da sua ideologia, estranha ao ethos conservador americano, e que Russel Kirk denominou de globalismo democrático ou Nova Ordem Mundial, não sendo possível, mesmo para os mais distraídos, deixar de reparar numa certa turculência jacobina revolucionária nos seus modos ("liberation", o combate ao islamo-fascismo, deitar abaixo a "velha ordem", a mudança de regimes, o ataque preventivo, etc) análoga ao que Napoleão quis pela força militar fazer, mudando regimes e estabelecendo uma nova ordem iluminista na Europa e no Médio Oriente.

O maior exemplo que a história nos dá do desastre a que podem levar as alianças, o ataque preventivo, a atitude "tough", o desejo de exportar a democracia, e ainda por cima tudo isto por causa do combate ao terrorismo é a Grande Guerra, que começou por ser um conflito local por causa de um atentado terrorista, acabando num conflito planetário que abalou a velha civilização e saindo das suas cinzas o comunismo, o fascismo, o nazismo, a Segunda Grande Guerra e a elevação da União Soviética à categoria de potência militar e ideológica. Pelo caminho, o Liberalismo Clássico do século 19, foi subsituido pelo socialismo, a social-democracia e o Big State, ontem Nacional, hoje a caminho do Mundial.

Mais uma vez, repito, esta é uma opinião exclusivamente pessoal, não cometendo, creio, nenhuma inconfidência ou erro por estar longe da verdade, ao afirmar que é largamente minoritária na Causa Liberal.

quinta-feira, 21 de Agosto de 2003

Economist: America and empire

Um bom artigo. Realço:

“We don't seek an empire,” avers Mr Bush himself. “Our nation is committed to freedom for ourselves and for others.” With equal vigour, Mr Rumsfeld insists: “We're not imperialistic.” But after one regime-changing war in Afghanistan and another in Iraq, the administration seems to be gathering the wool of empire, and doing so with a civilising mission that sounds pretty imperial.
...
If Mr Bush does not state the aims explicitly, the neocons feel no such embarrassment. For them, Afghanistan and Iraq are just the start. The transformation of the entire Middle East—Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the lot—must now ensue. In logic, once that is democratised under American tutelage, other regions will have to follow. The United States has long felt free to intervene in Latin America; even before September 11th it was being drawn into Colombia. The Balkans, after a more direct intervention, are benefiting from even starker American supervision (or indirect rule, to use the imperial term, via the EU and UN). Can parts of Asia and Africa be far behind?
...
For the truth of the first proposition, take a look at Iraq. Four months after the fall of Baghdad, America still faces what one of its own top generals has called “war, however you describe it”. Even at the outset, the happy natives failed to greet their liberators quite as joyfully as some had so obviously hoped. Yes, Saddam Hussein was loathed; no, the Iraqis would not die for him in any numbers; but now, please leave us to get on with our own affairs.
...
Just a few teething troubles? Up to a point, certainly. But Afghanistan, too, suggests that the imperial role is neither popular nor easy. Nearly two years after a singularly successful toppling of the Taliban, the country is still largely in the hands of warlords of dubious allegiance, each with his own militia (see article).
...
The 5,000 or so peacekeepers, the emperor's proxy army, scarcely dare leave the capital, Kabul, though they are now under NATO command. In the provinces, meanwhile, anything may be going on. The UN has just said that it is suspending work in the south after a series of attacks, and the Taliban are talking of new offensives in the north.
...
Empire is simply not the American way. If the United States has to intervene in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and then stay on, it will not enjoy the experience. Running the place, it will discover, is nasty and brutish, so it had better also be short. Good or bad, that is not what most people mean by an imperium.
...
For Americans, the pain will not be just a matter of budget deficits and body bags; it will also be a blow to the very heart of what makes them American—their constitutional belief in freedom. Freedom is in their blood; it is integral to their sense of themselves. It binds them together as nothing else does, neither ethnicity, nor religion, nor language. And it is rooted in hostility to imperialism—the imperial rule of George III. Americans know that empires lack democratic legitimacy. Indeed, they once had a tea party to prove it."

quarta-feira, 20 de Agosto de 2003

A tragédia

A principal tragédia de quem se afasta da visão estrita da defesa territorial, é que, tal como no intervencionismo económico, as aventuras militares mal fundamentadas e o desejo de exportar um qualquer ideal ao mundo (liberation!), à medida que vão mostrando as suas nefastas "unintended consequences" internas (déficits, dívida pública, etc) e externas (alvo para o ódio alheio, dar algumas razões certas às pessoas e causas erradas, a necessidade de mais compromissos, mais meios e correr ainda mais riscos de acontecimentos inesperados), a receita estatista é sempre a mesma:

- "self-denial", a negação de qualquer erro nos objectivos, na estratégia, nos meios e nos fins
- e pelo contrário, propor mais do mesmo
- e nunca, mas mesmo nunca, simplesmente deixar os outros resolver os seus problemas ("mind your own business" e já agora deixar às às populações tratarem dos seus próprios tiranos)

Por umas alegações de perigo nada bem justificadas e pelo idealismo de levar a democracia a culturas alheias, morreram civis (6000?), soldados (de um lado e outro), abre-se um campo de batalha mesmo a jeito para a junção do fundamentalismo (onde exisitia um estado secular) com quem simplesmente não gosta de ver o seu pais ocupado e proporciona-se a que um tirano seja percepcionado como um patriota (deixar morrer os filhos de Saddam e o seu sobrinho de 14 anos, num combate de 6 horas...) resistente ainda que um patriota tirano (e ainda que tenha sido ex-cliente dos "aliados" US e Uk).

Estamos portanto, no meio de uma tragédia a que provávelmente se seguirão outras, e em cada uma dirão: "isto não nos vai fazer recuar, pelo contrário, vai fazer aumentar a nossa determinação". Típico e previsível.

Em 1991, Sheldon L. Richman (na altura, senior editor at the Cato Institute), publicava um longo texto intitulado: "Ancient History": U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War Il and the Folly Of Intervention.

No Executive Summary dizia:

"In the aftermath of the most overt and direct U.S. attempt to manage affairs in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf War, it is more important than ever to understand how the United States came to be involved in the region and the disastrous consequences of that involvement. President Bush's willingness to sacrifice American lives to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait, to restore the "legitimate" government of that feudal monarchy, and to create a "new world order" proceeds logically from the premises and policies of past administrations. Indeed, there is little new in Bush's new world order, except the Soviet Union's assistance. That may mean the new order will be far more dangerous than the old, because it will feature an activist U.S. foreign policy without the inhibitions that were formerly imposed by the superpower rivalry. That bodes ill for the people of the Middle East, as well as for the long-suffering American citizens, who will see their taxes continue to rise, their consumer economy increasingly distorted by military spending, and their blood spilled--all in the name of U.S. leadership."

Retenho também 3 citações:

1. "In 1796 George Washington, in his farewell address, offered advice that now seems aimed directly at those who constructed the foreign policy we have suffered with for the past 45 years:

Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and exces sive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may resist the intriegues [sic] of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.(229)"

2. "Reshaping the world was to be achieved only by example. As Sen. Robert A. Taft put it in 1951:

If we confine our activities to the field of moral leadership we shall be successful if our philosophy is sound and appeals to the people of the world. The trouble with those who advocate this [interventionist] policy is that they really do not confine themselves to moral leadership. They are inspired with the same kind of New Deal planned-control ideas abroad as recent Administrations have desired to endorse at home. In their hearts they want to force on these foreign peoples through the use of American money and even, perhaps, American arms the policies which moral leadership is able to advance only through the sound strength of its principles and the force of its persuasion. I do not think this moral leadership ideal justifies our engaging in any preventive war, or going to the defense of one country against another, or getting ourselves into a vulnerable fiscal and economic position at home which may invite war. I do not believe any policy which has behind it the threat of military force is justified as part of the basic foreign policy of the United States except to defend the liberty of our own people.(221)"

3. "Thomas Paine recognized long ago that "taxes were not raised to carry on wars, . . . wars were raised to carry on taxes."(223)"

‘Godfather’ Kristol’s Statist/Imperialist Manifesto

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Irving Kristol, who identifies himself as the "Godfather" of neoconservativism, is finally beginning to come clean and admit what neoconservatism stands for: statism at home and imperialism abroad. He makes this candid admission in an August 25 article in The Weekly Standard entitled "The Neoconservative Persuasion."

Congratulating himself for becoming an "historic" figure (at least in his own mind) he declares:

"[T]he historical task and political purpose of neoconservativism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican Party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy" (emphasis added).
...
He is the "Godfather," after all. What he apparently means by transforming traditional conservatives against their will is not to attempt to persuade them to become statists and imperialists like himself, but to intimidate and censor them by conducting campaigns of character assassination against anyone who disagrees with the neocon agenda. He means to purge all dissenters, Stalin style.

This decidedly un-democratic tactic was on display in David Frum’s National Review attack ("Unpatriotic Conservatives") on any and all conservatives who disagree with the neocon agenda of endless warfare around the globe. Indeed, the neocons are well known for resorting to personal smears rather than intellectual debate, beginning with their vicious campaign of character assassination against the late Mel Bradford when he was nominated by President Reagan to head the National Endowment for the Humanities in the early 1980s. That smear campaign established their political modus operandi.

Kristol claims that the three biggest neocon idols are Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Ronald Reagan; all other Republican party worthies are "politely ignored." Teddy Roosevelt, whom the neocons affectionately call "TR," was simply nuts. Mark Twain, who met him twice, called him "clearly insane.

Like the neocons, TR was a Lincoln idolater. (His secretary of state was John Hay, Lincoln’s personal White House secretary). After being lambasted in the US Senate over the fact that he had launched a military intervention in the Philippines that costs thousands of American lives and resulted in an incredible 200,000 Philippine deaths, Edmund Morris recounts in his latest biography of TR, Theodore Rex, how he responded to his senate critics during a Memorial Day address to aged Union army veterans. The criticisms against him were invalid, he told the white-bearded veterans of Lincoln’s army, because the mass killing of Philipinos was for their own good – its purpose was to spread democracy.

Like the neocon Lincoln idolaters, TR was a consolidationist who had no respect for states’ rights – or for constitutional restraints on government in general. He loathed Jefferson but idolized Lincoln, naturally. He nationalized millions of acres of land, initiated numerous antitrust witch hunts that were enormously harmful to the economy, imposed onerous regulations on railroads that led many of them into bankruptcy, and responded to the socialist Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle by regulating food and drugs.

As president, he constantly announced that America "needed a war," which is exactly what the neocons of today believe. War – any war – the neocons tell us, gives us "national unity."

TR was a statist in domestic policy, a foreign policy imperialist, and an inveterate warmonger. He was, in other words, the real "Godfather" of neoconservatism.

As for FDR, the neocons idolize him as well because the older ones like Kristol are all former leftists – like FDR – and they have never abandoned their statist beliefs. Further evidence of this lies in the one reason Kristol gives for why neocons idolize Ronald Reagan: Although they had nothing to do with initiating the "Reagan tax cuts," neocons supported them because they believed they would spur economic growth, which in turn would enable them to fully fund the welfare state.~

Equally preposterous and ahistorical is his further claim that, with prosperity, Americans will become less susceptible to "egalitarian illusions." But the U.S. today is as prosperous as it has ever been, and mindless egalitarianism reigns. Just a few weeks ago one of Kristol’s favorite Supreme Court justices, Reagan appointee Sandra Day O’Connor, wrote a majority opinion that said racial discrimination against whites in college admissions was desirable because, in her opinion, the mixing of skin colors on college campuses – to supposedly promote egalitarianism – trumped the constitution she once swore to uphold. A thousand other examples could readily be used to disprove Kristol’s thesis.

Kristol further admits that neocons do not in any way favor limited government. He mocks the idea of limited constitutional government by calling it "the Hayekian notion that we are on the road to serfdom." He is not just mocking Hayek, but the entire classical liberal tradition, as well as the Enlightenment ideas that informed the founding fathers in their limited government philosophy. In chapter 1 of The Road to Serfdom Hayek lamented the abandonment of classical liberal ideas in countries that had been adopting fascism and socialism (and its close cousin, New Dealism) during the 1930s and '40s by saying:

“We are rapidly abandoning not the views merely of Cobden and Bright, of Adam Smith and Hume, or even of Locke and Milton, but one of the salient characteristics of Western civilization as it has grown from the foundations laid by Christianity and the Greeks and Romans. Not merely nineteenth- and eighteenth-century liberalism, but the basic individualism inherited by us from Erasmus and Montaigne, from Cicero and Tacitus, Pericles and Thucydides, is progressively relinquished.”

This is what Kristol and his fellow neocons are so opposed to: the same philosophy of individualism that early and mid twentieth century tyrants from Mussolini to Hitler to Stalin understood as being their biggest philosophical roadblock. "Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm of anxiety about the growth of the state," Kristol smugly pronounces, repudiating the ideology of the American founders.

And it is not an exaggeration to say that the neocons repudiate the basic political philosophy of the founders, even if they hypocritically invoke the founders’ words from time to time in their political speeches and writings. Just recall some of the harsh anti-government rhetoric of the founders. To Jefferson, "on the tree of liberty must spill the blood of patriots and tyrants." And, "a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."

Patrick Henry urged his fellow Virginians to take up arms against the British government "in the holy cause of liberty" and warned that it is the tendency of all centralized governmental powers to "destroy the state government[s], and swallow the liberties of the people." This of course finally happened in April of 1865, a month the neocon "Civil War" historian Jay Winik says "saved America."

In his Farewell Address George Washington warned that special interest groups in a democracy "are likely, in the course of time . . . to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People, and to usurp for themselves the reigns of Government." Sounds like a perfect description of the neocon cabal.

James Madison pronounced that "it is in vain" to expect that politicians in a democracy would ever render clashing political interests "subservient to the public good." And Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense that "Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil, and in its worst state an intolerable one."

Kristol repeats his old refrain that "libertarian conservatives" are different from neocons because they are supposedly "unmindful of the culture." He is either oblivious to or willfully ignores the fact that it has been libertarian scholars who have done more than anyone to research and write about the damage to the American culture inflicted by the welfare state (family breakup, rampant illegitimacy, loss of work incentives, short-sightedness, slothfulness, etc.). Neocons ignore all of this vast libertarian literature and continue to champion an expanded welfare state while pretending to be protectors of "the culture."

Nor does Kristol acknowledge that it is libertarians who have done more than anyone to expose how the government’s war on drugs has created a criminal culture, a bloody and violent culture, a culture that traps young children into short crime-ridden lives, and a culture that corrupts the police and the judicial system. Neocons all support an even more vigorous war on drugs while pretending to be ever so concerned about "the culture."

In foreign policy Kristol says neocons are, well, imperialists. For a "great power" there are no boundaries to its pursuit of "national interest." He says we have an "ideological interest" to defend, and that means endless warfare all around the globe to ostensibly "defend" that ideology. (And Mark Twain thought TR was insane.) Of course, someone has to decide for us what that "ideological interest" is, and then force the population, with the threat of imprisonment or worse (for nonpayment of taxes, for instance) to support it.

In Kristol’s case, his primary ideological rationale for military intervention is: "We feel it necessary to defend Israel today" in the name of democracy. Well, no we don’t. If Irving Kristol wants to grab a shotgun and take the next flight to Tel Aviv "to defend Israel" then Godspeed, and I will offer to buy him a first-class plane ticket. But leave me and my family out of it.

Translating "we feel it necessary to defend Israel" from neoconese, we get this: "Young American soldiers must die in defense of Israel." Like hell they must. Young Americans who join the military for patriotic reasons do so because they believe they are defending their country. It is a fraud and an abomination to compel them to risk their lives for any other country, whether it is Israel, Canada, Somalia, or wherever.

The Godfather concludes his essay by gloating over how neoconservatism is "enjoying a second life" in the current Bush administration, with its massive expansion of domestic spending, record budget deficits, lying us into war, TR style, and of course killing. Lots of killing. That he used the word "enjoyed" to describe all of this speaks volumes about "Godfather" Kristol and his neo-comrades.

August 20, 2003

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is the author of the LRC #1 bestseller, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (Forum/Random House, 2002) and professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland.
Copyright © 2003 LewRockwell.com

terça-feira, 19 de Agosto de 2003

Valham-nos os Restauradores!

O sr. Paulo Varela Gomes ressuscitou Cristóvão de Moura para dar uma genealogia ao seu mal-estar com a pátria... Mas, longe de ser um génio, Moura foi apenas o pioneiro de um género literário (que entre nós floresceu desde o século XIX) assente na projecção sobre o nosso velho Portugal das frustrações pessoais de certos escrevinhadores: estes, quanto mais diminuídos se sentem, mais diminuem o País - e nalguns casos, num trambolhão que a psiquiatria explica, têm acessos de euforia que também lhes dá para projectarem em assomos de grandeza da pátria... Até aqui, tal atitude inspira dó, mas quando lhe dá para contrapor as nossas "doença" e "pequenez" com a "saúde" e "grandeza" alheias começa a tornar-se risível. Que Varela Gomes, para este exercício, escolha a Espanha não é só limitado, é também miserável...

O Império Austro-Húngaro e o Imperador Franz Joseph of Habsburg

Um fantástico artigo de Carlo Lottieri e Carlo Stagnaro, que complementa uma polémica antiga entre Ralph Raico e Tom Palmer (aqui, aqui e aqui). Este foi o Império que desapareceu por querer combater o terrorismo apoiado pelo Estado Sérvio, responsável pelo assassinato do Príncipe herdeiro, graças à França, Rússia e às sagradas alianças, incluindo a Inglaterra que fez questão de entrar no conflito da Grande Guerra por causa da neutralidade da Bélgica (claro está, tudo menos a Bélgica!) apesar do Kaiser ter dado garantias que respeitaria a sua independência e pagaria os danos causados.

Como aqui é dito:

"With World War I, the Jacobin spirit triumphed over Western society. President Wilson’s "project of a new American century" (as his modern heirs would define it) needed to normalize the Austrian exception. As Ralph Raico notes, "Wilson was a ‘progressive,’ a leader in the movement that advocated using the full power of government to create ‘real democracy’ at home. But Wilson’s horizons were much broader than the United States. Preaching the gospel of ‘making the world safe for democracy,’ he aimed to extend the progressive creed to the ends of the earth. More than Franklin Roosevelt himself, Woodrow Wilson is the patron saint of the ‘exporting democracy’ clique in America today."

Esta também é deliciosa:

“Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn told the story of an arrogant Teddy Roosevelt calling on Franz Josef and asking what possible point there could be to a monarch in the modern 20th century. "To protect my peoples from their governments" replied the Emperor.”

Sobre o Império:

The old Habsburg Empire was 676,616 square kilometres in size and had 52 million inhabitants, including 12 million Austrians, 10 million Hungarians, 5 million Poles, more than 5 million Serbs and Croatians, 4 million Ruthenians, less than 9 million Czechs and Slovaks, and 1 million Tridentate, Venetians and Friuli’s. There were 34 million Roman Catholics, 4.5 million Orthodox, as many Protestants, 2.5 million Jews, and 700,000 Muslims. The peaceful coexistence of such different realities was granted by the structure of the Empire. This complexity prevented any single identity from emerging as a leader able to impose uniformity on the others.

During Franz Joseph’s reign (1848–1916), Vienna was not only the capital of a wealthy Empire, but also the cultural capital of the whole world. The major philosophers, scientists, and artists of the time had their roots within the Empire: Brahms and Kafka, Doderer and Klimt, Brentano and Mahler, Husserl and Kokoschka, Freud and Popper, Wittgenstein and Kelsen, and so forth. And, of course, the Austrian school of economics owes its name to the fact that Carl Menger had the opportunity to work and develop a new economic theory in Vienna. By noting that, we don’t mean that Franz Joseph was some sort of patron; indeed, most intellectuals lived without his support (though he did hire Menger as tutor to his son, the Crown Prince). The point is that culture finds the ideal conditions to emerge in a context of liberty and wealth; and especially in a society which understands the central importance of exchange and debate.


Já escrevi (até citando Churchill e o seu julgamento da intervenção de Woodrow Wilson) como a Grande Guerra foi o grande acontecimento responsável pela queda das monarquias europeias, dando lugar à subida do extremismo do comunismo, fascismo e nazismo. Falta acrescentar o anti-semitismo.

“Significantly enough, Franz Joseph was always opposed to the anti-semitic movement of Karl Lueger, the Christian-Socials: "any anti-semitic movement should be halted at its birth." He repeatedly vetoed Lueger’s election as Mayor of Vienna, showing how the "absolute" power of the Emperor was less absolute, and far less dangerous than the power of democratic bodies. The fall of Austria-Hungary left the road free for all the nationalisms, including Mussolini’s and Hitler’s.”

Inferências sobre o “Project for a New American Century”?

“One could infer that today’s neo-conservative project, that is, building an American Empire, follows the example of Austria-Hungary, and therefore libertarians should support it. Unfortunately not. George W. Bush will not be a new Franz Joseph. Basically, the Habsburg Empire was a multi-national, largely pre-state Empire, while what the former Trotskyites who are running the federal government aim at creating is one global, stars-and-stripes state. They want to create a super-state at a global level, while the old Empire was the survival of a completely different way of organizing social relationships.

If we compare it to US imperialism, the European Union is actually part of the same paradigm. In Paris, Berlin or Rome we don’t have ruling classes determined to conquer the world – probably because they do not have a strong enough army – but it’s evident that they would like the United Nations to become a legislative body with democratic elections and an absolute power – some sort of command and control headquarters.

In contrast, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was implicitly "federalist"; within it the instances of local communities were taken into great account. While both the EU and the forthcoming American Empire are modelled on the basis of the modern nation-state, the old Empire had its roots in medieval polycentrism and pluralism, and was the heritage of Catholic universalism, which was peculiar to Europe before the idea of "sovereignty" deeply harmed all those good things.

These are very good reasons to praise the memory of the Emperor Franz Joseph of Habsburg.”

sexta-feira, 15 de Agosto de 2003

NeoConservadorismo: O que foi, e o que é.

Boaventura Sousa Santos "escreveu"(?) recentemente na Visão um artigozito pretensiosamente conhecedor(?) do neoconservadorismo. Esqueceu-se de ler o último nº da Nova Cidadania que dedica ao tema destaque relevante. O The Weekly Standard na sua edição de 25.08.2003 publica mais um artigo de um dos fundadores desta corrente política, Irving Kristol.
Recomendamos que BSS actualize os seus parcos conhecimentos sobre o que foi e o que é o Neoconservadorismo.

quinta-feira, 14 de Agosto de 2003

Catalaxia em grande

O Catalaxia apresenta hoje, mais do que uma simples "posta", um verdadeiro estudo acerca de uma "vexata quaestio" para a maioria dos liberais - Estado e Liberalismo: realidade e utopia. Excelente.

Contra o projecto de Constituição da UE

Apontamento sobre o Projecto de Tratado instituindo uma Constituição para a Europa (P.T.C.E.)

Artigo de Luís Aguiar Santos sobre a questão da Constituição da UE.


Um artigo anterior de LAS sobre matéria relacionada, está também disponível no site da Causa Liberal:

Portugal e a União Europeia – 15 teses para um anti-federalismo liberal.

California: The Democrats' laboratory: The host organism dies

Ann Coulter, no seu estilo habitual, comenta a experiência da Califórnia como "laboratório" de políticas socialistas:

In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine was hailing California as a "laboratory" for Democratic policies. With "its Democratic governor, U.S. senators, state legislature and congressional delegation," author Harold Meyerson gushed, "California is the only one of the nation's 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control." In the Golden State, Meyerson said, "the next New Deal is in tryouts." (Can't you just feel the tension building?)

(...)

California is, in fact, a perfect petri dish of Democratic policies. This is what happens when you let Democrats govern: You get a state – or as it's now known, a "job-free zone" – with a $38 billion deficit, which is larger than the budgets of 48 states. There are reports that Argentina and the Congo are sending their fiscal policy experts to Sacramento to help stabilize the situation. California's credit rating has been slashed to junk-bond status, and citizens are advised to stock up for the not-too-far-off day when cigarettes and Botox become the hard currency of choice. At this stage, we couldn't give California back to Mexico.

Democrats governed their petri dish as they always govern. They buy the votes of government workers with taxpayer-funded jobs, salaries and benefits – and then turn around and accuse the productive class of "greed" for wanting their taxes cut. This has worked so well nationally that more people in America now work for the government than work in any sort of manufacturing job.

Strictly adhering to formula in California, as the private sector was bleeding jobs and money, Gov. Davis signed off on comically generous pensions for government workers. Government employees in the Golden State earn more than the private-sector workers who pay their salaries – and that's excluding the job security, health benefits and 90 percent pension plans that come with "Irish welfare," as government jobs used to be called.

Austríacos, neo-conservadores e confusões

The Austrian school of thought that packs a massive political punch
(via Valete Fratres)

Este é daqueles artigos que revela uma ignorância tão grande que até assusta...

Alguns dos principais erros:

1- O Cato Institute não é neo-conservador nem foi fundado por neo-conservadores (aliás, o autor do artigo não parece estar muito seguro do significado dos termos que emprega...)

2- Muitos dos membros da MPS não são seguidores da Escola Austríaca. Só entre os ex-presidentes temos, por exemplo:

Milton Friedman (neoclássico, fundador do Monetarismo)

George Stigler (neoclássico, Escola de Chicago)

James Buchanan (um dos fundadores da Teoria da Escolha Pública)

Gary Becker (neoclássico, Escola de Chicago)

3- Esta afirmação é simplesmente ridícula: "The left has nothing quite like them: not in numbers, funding or in sheer clout."

4- Até a descrição do autor está claramente errada: "Wilson da Silva is a Sydney journalist who has extensively researched think tanks in Australia." A julgar pelo que escreveu, a pesquisa não foi muito extensa...

quarta-feira, 13 de Agosto de 2003

The Guantanamo Hyatt

Penso que o Valete Fratres deixou escapar esta notícia sobre Guantanamo. Aqui fica, para reflexão:

Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay, where Taliban and al-Qaeda members continue to be held as “unlawful combatants,” continues to attract charges of human rights abuses from the Left. Yet the mothers of eight Russian prisoners the U.S. is holding there have now “begged Washington not to extradite their sons to answer terror charges in Russia, fearing that conditions in their jails and judicial system are even worse than those at Camp Delta.” “In Guantanamo they treat him humanely and the conditions are fine,” the mother of one of them has said. Her son has written her that “there is no health resort in Russia that can compare.” And more :” Nina Odizheva, the mother of Ruslan, 29, from Kabardino-Balkaria, wrote several times to the US ambassador, Alexander Vershbow, begging Washington to resist Moscow's calls for extradition.. …..Ruslan wrote to his mother that at Camp Delta "what we see around us is a complete miracle." (“Russian mothers plead for sons to stay in Guantanamo,” Nick Paton Walsh, The Guardian, August 9).

Indeed, the Red Cross has expressed no concern over the detainees’ treatment. But this does not stop Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights organizations—that, unlike the Red Cross, do not have access to the detainees—from charging human rights abuses.

25 de Abril, sempre

Leituras interessantes:

O Contra a Corrente transcreveu um artigo de Paulo Portas escrito em 1990, sobre as suas memórias do período imediatamente a seguir ao 25 de Abril.

CAA faz no Mata-Mouros o relato da sua politização no mesmo período.

Wilson, Roosevelt e Lyndon Johnson

3 Presidentes Democratas. 3 Guerras Desastrosas (onde um pouco de bom senso, prudência conservadora e menos idealismo poderia ter conduzido a bem menos dramáticos eventos). 3 referências dos Neo-Conservadores.

A bem de Roosevelt e Lyndon Johnson, diga-se que quase todos os grandes problemas do século 20 remontam à Grande Guerra - "a guerra para acabar com as guerras - a guerra para fazer o mundo mais seguro para a democracia".

Filmes dedicados à country

O Homem a Dias junta-se ao rodeo e sugere filmes dedicados à country aqui.

The Illusion of Victory

Novo livro sobre a Iª Guerra Mundial.

Woodrow Wilson, a catastrophe for liberty

Thomas Fleming, a terrific narrative historian whose books have sold in the millions, has emerged as a major voice challenging establishment views. Fleming is the author of Liberty!, a splendid (and splendidly-illustrated) companion to the 6-part TV series on the American Revolution. His sizzler The New Dealers’ War debunked the standard line that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a great war president.

Now in Illusion of Victory, Fleming takes on President Woodrow Wilson who is widely revered as a crusader for democracy and peace, a continuing inspiration for American political leaders.

Fleming demolishes the claim that Wilson entered World War I to make the world safe for democracy. Wilson sided with Czarist Russia, with France which had colonies in Africa and Asia, with Britain which had the biggest overseas empire, and with Belgium which killed some 10 million people in the Congo. Wilson’s allies had cynical secret treaties to grab land from defeated nations.

By the time America entered World War I, Fleming explains, it had become substantially stalemated, which would have meant a negotiated settlement. But American entry enabled vengeful allies to impose harsh surrender terms on Germany. This triggered a bitter nationalist reaction and a ruinous runaway inflation, which helped Adolf Hitler recruit Nazis. Wilson pressured Russia to stay in the war, even though it was nearly bankrupt, and the result was Lenin’s Bolshevik coup and 70 years of communism. Wilson’s decision to enter World War I set the stage for World War II.

Fleming tells how Wilson amassed unprecedented power in the United States. He established military conscription. He seized control of whole industries. At one point, Wilson shut down all factories east of the Mississippi River—some 30,000 factories in New York City alone. Wilson authorized the imprisonment of dissidents for criticizing him.

In October 1919, Wilson suffered a massive stroke, and his wife Edith and his doctor kept this secret from Wilson’s Cabinet, the Vice President and the American people. Wilson was physically isolated, and decisions were made in his name. This was the most notorious presidential cover-up in American history.

Direito e Liberdade

"Formerly we suffered from crimes;
now we suffer from laws."
Publius Cornelius Tacitus

"More laws, less justice"
Marcus Tullius Ciceroca, 42 AC

"Life, liberty and property do not exist because men made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."
Frederic Bastiat

“[T]he mere fact of legislation—of democratic law-making—increases the degree of uncertainty. Rather than being immutable and hence predictable, law becomes increasingly flexible and unpredictable. What is right and wrong today may not be so tomorrow. The future is thus rendered more haphazard. Consequently, all around time preferences degrees will rise, consumption and short-term orientation will be stimulated, and at the same time the respect for all laws will be systematically undermined and crime promoted (for if there is no immutable standard of right , then there is also no firm definition of crime ).”

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "Time Preference, Government, and the Process of De-Civilization from Monarchy to Democracy," 5 J. des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines (1994): 340.

“[I]t is perfectly possible, in theory and historically, to have efficient and courteous police, competent and learned judges, and a body of systematic and socially accepted law—and none of these things being furnished by a coercive government.”
Murray N. Rothbard, For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (reprint ed. 1985): 234.”

“[L]ife for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stroke for stroke.”
Exodus 21:23-25, in God, The Jerusalem Bible: Reader's Edition (1968). See also Deuteronomy 19:21; Leviticus 24:17-21.

Comentário: o Direito à Propriedade (à sua aquisição por Homesteading ou contrato) e o Direito à Legítima Defesa e Restituição, no caso de violação deste direito, é (ou deve ser) a base de todo o Direito Natural. Hoje em dia, a "justiça" não cumpre Direito à Restituição, uma vez que raramente os criminosos restituem os danos causados, sendo pelo contrário, sustentados pelos impostos das vítimas, incluindo o financiamento do seu programa de "reabilitação" social. Os criminosos deviam trabalhar a favor da(s) vítima(s) até à restituição ser cumprida (ou até o dobro do valor), o que por si só já era um óptimo programa de "reabilitação".

terça-feira, 12 de Agosto de 2003

"When the people fear their Government, there is tyranny. When the Government fears it's people, there is liberty."

Thomas Paine

Provocações de Baltimore

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
– H.L. Mencken

Talvez a principal razão para o 11/9 ter sido possível: o Governo Federal

Few Pilots Armed link , Jeffrey Tucker 8/9/2003

"Nearly two years after the multiple hijacking that led to the destruction of the Twin Towers--an event that might have been prevented had restrictions on armed pilots not been imposed by the federal government--the Transportation Security Administration has certified fewer than 100 pilots to carry guns, according to the AP, though many pilots would like to. (Thanks Reason blog). As for the debate about whether guns are the whole answer to the hijacking problem, it is really beside the point: owners and operators of the airlines themselves should be permitted to find the best way protect their property and customers without having the TSA tell airlines and pilots what they can and cannot do."

On Aug. 12, 1898, the peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War was signed

Comentário: a razão porque a Espanha, até recentemente, foi sempre prudente nas relações com os EUA, foi óbviamente, a "libertação" de Cuba e das Filipinas. Sendo que estes, no século seguinte, de vivência livre pouco têm para contar. "Unintended consequences".

On Aug. 12, 1898, the peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War was signed
Terms of the Protocol

Washington, Aug. 12 -- Secretary of State Day, after the peace protocol had been signed by him and by Ambassador Cambon this afternoon, prepared and gave to the press the following official statement of the terms of the document:

1. Spain will relinquish all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.

2. Puerto Rico and other Spanish islands in the West Indies and an island in the Ladrones, to be selected by the United States, shall be ceded to the latter.

3. The United States will occupy and hold the city, bay, and harbor of Manila pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace, which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.

4. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other Spanish islands in the West Indies shall be immediately evacuated and Commissioners, to be appointed within ten days, shall, within thirty days from the signing of the protocol, meet at Havana and San Juan, respectively, to arrange and execute the details of the evacuation.

5. The United States and Spain will each appoint more than five Commissioners to negotiate and conclude a treaty of peace. The Commissioners are to meet at Paris not later than the 1st of October.

6. On the signing of the protocol hostilities will be suspended and notice to that effect will be given as soon as possible by each Government to the commanders of its military and naval forces.

segunda-feira, 11 de Agosto de 2003

Hayek e Ordem Social Espontânea

Para uma crítica do conceito de Ordem Social Esponânea, assim como o seu vago ( e arrisco inútil) conceito de coerção, ler:

F.A. Hayek on Government and Social Evolution: A Critique Hoppe, Hans-Hermann (The Review of Austrian Economics Vol. 7 Num. 1).

O que está em causa é que o "espontâneo" em Hayek é mesmo espontâneo, ou seja, nenhuma racionalização, nem utilitarista ( (o reconhecimento da propriedade e da divisão do trabalho) nem ética, parece ter lugar.

Por exemplo, diz Hoppe: “it is self-contradictory to caracterize actions by their unconscious indirect consequences and then, in the next breath, name these consequences. If the indirect consequences can be named and described, they also can be intended”.

Livraria francesa (3)

Algumas das críticas ao governo francês por causa do encerramento da livraria quase parecem ter implícita a ideia (o desejo?) de que Portugal é uma colónia francesa...

Livraria Francesa (2)

Bom post do Aviz sobre a livraria francesa.

Destaque para esta passagem deliciosa:

O coro de indignações que se seguiu à notícia atingiu, no entanto, um tom de patetice, com o seu auge no texto de Sebastião Lima Rego (no Público) sobre a ameaça anglófona e o funil americano. Evidentemente que «tem de» haver uma livraria francesa em Lisboa — basta abri-la. E uma brasileira. E uma espanhola. E uma italiana. E uma inglesa. E uma alemã. E uma marroquina. Mas o tom de lamento usado não é honesto, nem justo, nem sério. A reacção ignorante e lamecha pelo fim da «influência francesa» no mundo lisboeta é coisa que nos devia fazer rir, por um lado, e indignar, por outro. Façamo-lo em silêncio, por pudor.

Catolicismo, Protestantismo e Liberalismo

Os vários posts do debate sobre catolicismo, protestantismo e liberalismo mantido entre mim e LAS podem ser lidos de forma conjunta e sequencial aqui.

Direito e Liberdade II

Um texto no Cataláxia sobre Hayek, o Direito e a noção de ordem social espontânea. Leitura obrigatória.

domingo, 10 de Agosto de 2003

Support Passion

Graças a uma fortíssima campanha de oposição orquestrada por vários grupos defensores do politicamente correcto, o filme de Mel Gibson enfrenta sérias dificuldades em aceder aos circuitos de distribuição quer nos EUA quer no resto do mundo.

Todos os potenciais interessados (desde anarquistas constipados a católicos de direita e desde canhotos não estalinistas a neo-frentistas) podem apoiar os esforços de Gibson, simplesmente manifestando aqui o seu interesse em poder ver o filme no país onde residem.

Making a film is one thing. "Distribution", getting it into theaters, is another. There is no doubt that PASSION will be carried in some movie theaters. However, those theaters may be few and far between and it may be a 60+ minute drive just to get to the "art movie theater" to see it. This is where 'distribution' is key. What we need to do now is to show the distribution company that people really will go see the film! The distributor will only push to get the film shown in the theaters it thinks that people will go watch it in. Distributing a film is an expensive and risky business and a company will only try to distribute a film that they think people will go to see!

By signing up on our website, we find out not only how many people want to see this film, but also where. This makes the film more "desirable" to the distributor and therefore the distributor will work harder (and spend more money) in getting the film into lots of theaters, and it also makes the theater chains more willing to carry it because they too think they will make money. When people sign up on our website, it will increase the chances that the film will be in a theater near you! The more people that plan to see it, the more theaters it will be in, the more theaters it will be in, the more people will have a chance to see it.

Nacionalize-se a Livraria Francesa!

Junto-me ao comovente apelo de CAA, no Mata-Mouros.

É preciso fazer alguma coisa!

Porque o Estado tem de assumir as suas responsabilidades.

Porque a expressão "afunilamento cultural americano" parece indiciar algo de muito grave.

Porque é preciso travar esta globalização.

Porque é preciso dar liberdade aos cidadãos de financiar coercivamente aquilo que não desejam.

Passion

PASSION is a vivid depiction of the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life.

Sometime around the year A.D. 30, in the Roman province of Palestine, an obscure Jewish carpenter named Jesus of Nazareth began to teach publicly and to proclaim the coming of a 'Kingdom of God.' For centuries, the Jewish people had expected the appearance of a promised deliverer known as the Messiah --a figure who would restore their ancient dignity, and free their sacred homeland from all evil and despair. In the minds of many, Jesus appeared to be this Messiah. Surrounded by a core group of twelve disciples, Jesus began to attract a massive following from among the common people of Galilee and Judea, who eventually praised him as their Messiah and King. However, Jesus also had many enemies in Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin, a governing senate composed of the leading Jewish priests and Pharisees, conspired to put Jesus to death.

With the aid of Judas Iscariot, a member of Jesus' own inner circle, the Sanhedrin succeeded in arresting Jesus, handing him over to the Roman secular authorities on unsubstantiated charges of treason against Rome. Although Jesus consistently maintained that his Kingdom was a heavenly and spiritual one, the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, faced with the possibility of a riot, ordered that Jesus be taken outside the city and crucified as a common criminal.

Mea Culpa

Face às reaccções recebidas, JPP esclarece que a sua anterior frase "Eu sei, a música é pimba americano para os parolos a fazerem-se de cowboys, as letras são ridículas, sentimentais, reaccionárias, mas tudo aquilo bate muitas vezes muito mais certo do que tudo o resto.", constituiu um exercício de ironia que prentendia, precisamente, "criticar os que a isso a reduziam".

Pela minha parte, confesso o excesso de literalismo na interpretação (e consequente crítica) que fiz a esse post aqui.

A aparente ambiguidade de JPP na sua primeira expressão de apreço pela música Country levou-me a temer que a ironia fosse usada como defesa face ao politicamente correcto.

Ainda bem que me enganei e que não era o caso.

sábado, 9 de Agosto de 2003

Fan Website for Mel Gibson's Icon Production Film: "PASSION"

Site dedicado ao filme produzido por Mel Gibson sobre as últimas 12 horas de Jesus Cristo.

Serviços de combate a incêndios totalmente privados

O Carimbo, entre outras considerações sobre os incêndios, pediu ao Liberdade de Expressão que "sugerisse formas de garantir serviços de combate a incêndios exclusivamente privados".

João Miranda responde e comenta a matérias aqui.

Permito-me indicar uma empresa que fornece a particulares, empresas e comunidades"serviços de combate a incêndios totalmente privados". A empresa é a Rural/Metro e os serviços de protecção contra incêndios (a empresa também oferece serviços de transporte médico de emergência ou regular e assistência em caso de uma multiplicidade de acidentes e catástrofes naturais) são descritos aqui:

As the nation's leading private sector fire protection provider, Rural/Metro is in the forefront of demonstrating how the public and private sectors can come together to provide top notch services for less cost through correctly administered emergency services.

Rural/Metro currently provides fire protection services to more than 25 communities, and responds to more than 60,000 calls annually. Studies have shown that Rural/Metro's fire protection provides residents with a higher degree of safety, while featuring comparatively lower costs. Rural/Metro's emphasis on fire prevention has resulted in an incidence of structure fires that is more than 300% lower than the national average.

In addition to community fire protection, Rural/Metro provides wildland, industrial and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) services.

Our wildland firefighters are trained to National Wildfire Coordinating Group criteria and have extensive experience. With as little as 24 hours notice, Rural/Metro can dispatch trained personnel anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.

Our emergency training division provides firefighting, hazardous materials response and confined space rescue to industrial emergency response teams. Businesses can also contract with us to provide complete turnkey response team operations on their site.

Our ARFF services can help airports increase service levels, while cutting costs. Typically, Rural/Metro provides on-site structural fire and emergency services as well as runway services. Among those are the Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio and the Federal Express National Operations Center in Memphis, Tennessee.


É um exemplo típico das coisas terríveis a que o capitalismo dá origem quando o Estado não o torna inoperante com as suas inúmeras intervenções "bem intencionadas" (?). Neste como noutros sectores, acabe-se com o crowding out provocado pelo Estado e teremos soluções bem mais eficientes.

Country (3)

CVM responde ao desafio do Abrupto e dedica-lhe "Sam Hall" (curiosamente da autoria de Tex Ritter, a quem JPP havia feito referência no seu post sobre country), interpretado por Johnny Cash no assombroso American IV.

Vale a pena ouvir aqui.

I killed a man they said so they said killed a man they said so they said
Killed the man they said and I smashed in his head
And I left him a layin' dead damn his eyes
A swingin' I must go I must go a swingin' I must go I must go
Swingin' I must go while you critters down below
Yell up Sam I told you so well damn your eyes

Portugal vai defender referência a cristianismo na Constituição da UE

(via Mata-Mouros)

Portugal pretende que a referência ao Cristianismo conste do Preâmbulo da Constituição e «seja feita em pé de igualdade com outras referências filosóficas e históricas».


Pronto. Se tivermos sucesso ficará assim resolvido o principal problema da "constituição" europeia.

A "constituição" proposta é colectivista, promove a criação de um super-estado federal, tenta impedir alterações no aberrante "modelo social europeu" e estabelece imprudentemente os fundamentos de uma política externa e de segurança comum. Mas, como é óbvio, se for introduzida uma referência ao Cristianismo "em pé de igualdade com outras referências filosóficas e históricas" (tais como, por exemplo, as gloriosas conquistas da Revolução Francesa) tudo ficará resolvido.

Não fossem o calor e os incêndios e já poderíamos todos dormir descansados...

sexta-feira, 8 de Agosto de 2003

Leitura recomendada

Um post para reflexão no Liberdade de Expressão:

Incendiário em prisão preventiva
(o post em causa foi publicado na quinta feira, 7 de Agosto - os permalinks não parecem estar a funcionar correctamente...)

Lógica de "pedinchice"

Hoje, por coincidência, dois artigos da nossa imprensa abordam o mesmo tema: um no Público, de Esther Mucznick, o outro no Diário de Notícias de António Ribeiro Ferreira.
O problema não é exactamente a "pedinchice" mas a falta de sentido contratual inerente à nossa atitude existencial. A ideia de contraprestação, de sinalagma, de que um direito se contrapõe normalmente a um dever, parece ser estranha à generalidade dos portugueses. Achamo-nos no pleno direito de pedir/exigir, declaramo-nos surpreendidos, quando não injustiçados, se nos reclamam o retorno ou algo em troca. Mas somos assim de boa fé, naturalmente. Este é, para mim, um dos motivos porque é tão difícil ser liberal em Portugal.

Country (2)

JPP cita "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven", da autoria de Eddie Dean e Hal Sothern e popularizada por Tex Ritter.

Sobre a temática da relação com o divino confesso que prefiro A Cowboy's Prayer (de preferência, na versão interpretada por Cash):

Lord, I've never lived where churches grow
I loved creation better as it stood
That day You finished it so long ago
And looked upon Your work and called it good

I know that others find You in the light
That sifted down through tinted window panes
And yet I seem to feel You near tonight
In this dim, quiet starlight on the plains

I thank You, Lord, that I'm placed so well
That You've made my freedom so complete
That I'm no slave to whistle, clock or bell
Nor weak eyed prisoner of wall or street

Just let me live my life as I've begun
And give me work that's open to the sky
Make me a partner of the wind and sun
And I won't ask a life that's soft or high

Let me be easy on the man that's down
Let me be square and generous with all
I'm careless sometimes, Lord, when I'm in town
But never let them say I'm mean or small

Make me as big and open as the plains
And honest as the horse between my knees
Clean as a wind that blows behind the rains
Free as the hawk that circles down the breeze

Forgive me, Lord, if sometimes I forget
You know about the reasons that are hid
You understand the things that gall or fret
Well, You knew me better than my mother did

Just keep an eye on all that's done or said
And right me sometimes when I turn aside
And guide me on that long, dim trail ahead
That stretched upward toward the great divide

Country: o pimba americano?

There's a southern accent, where I come from
The young'uns call it country
The yankees call it dumb
I got my own way of talkin'
But everything is done, with a southern accent
Where I come from

- Tom Petty


JPP escreve sobre música Country no Abrupto, num post que saúdo efusivamente.

Como em qualquer género, há coisas boas e más, mas não partilho da opinião de JPP de que as letras (pelo menos as boas letras) sejam "ridí­culas". Batem certamente muitas vezes "muito mais certo que tudo o resto". São por vezes "sentimentais", quase sempre saudavelmente "reaccionárias", mas não as considero "ridículas".

A qualificação do género country como o "pimba americano" também me parece injusta. Não sei qual o padrão que permitirá qualificar os trabalhos de, por exemplo, Hank Williams (Sr.), Johnny Cash ou Will Rogers como "pimba". Da mesma foram, julgo os Blues pelos melhores exemplos do género (Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, etc) e não pelo elevado número de artistas medíocres que reclamam essa "etiqueta".

A (boa) música country tem de ser entendida como o resultado da combinação da cultura do Sul dos EUA (incluindo a politicamente incorrecta rebeldia confederada, a intensa religiosidade e, por vezes, o espírito hillbilly - mais em destaque, por exemplo, nas numerosas drinking songs). Além disso, musicalmente, são essenciais as fortes influências dos Blues (outro "produto" da cultura "pimba" do Sul, em particular do Delta, e, mais tarde, de Chicago).

Acho excelente que JPP aprecie country, mas custa-me que JPP, como muitos outros, faça acompanhar a sua demonstração de apreço de uma redutora (arrasadora) classificação da música country como sub-cultura.

Pelo domí­nio do politicamente correcto, ou por qualquer outra razão, são infelizmente poucos, mesmo entre o já reduzido número de intelectuais que assumem apreciar música country, os que não fazem acompanhar os seus elogios de qualificaões (quase) arrasadoras.

Há, felizmente, excepções. Veja-se o caso do "respeitável" (mas tamb´rm extremamente reaccionário...) Leonard Cohen que não se coí­be de colocar Hank Williams (o parolo, par excellence) cem pisos acima dele próprio na "Tower of Song":

I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn't answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song

Why Socialism Is the People’s Choice

Capitalism works by protecting private property and freedom of contract, thereby encouraging people to use their abilities and resources to produce goods and services that are most likely to be urgently demanded by others. Capitalism works because, unlike competing systems, it does not depend on the quality of its overseers. Capitalism’s overseer is the price system, which, far from being dependant on the will of a small number of politicians, is the expression of the totality of all human knowledge about the value and scarcity of goods, services, and resources.
(...)
In contrast, socialism does not work, because it acts, as it must, through the coercive apparatus of the state. Therefore, in its interactions with people, there is always at least one party forced to participate and who is, therefore, abused and exploited.

Why then is socialism so popular?

Reason No. 1: Socialism allows people to spend other people’s money without feeling guilty about it:

Yes, I know some socialists deny the very concept of private ownership. But even they realize that socialism takes money and property that is possessed by some and transfers possession to others so they can spend or use it.

Reason No. 2: Socialism satisfies the deeply felt and widely held emotion of envy.

Because no one admits to acting on the basis of envy, the term “equality” — robbed of its original and legitimate meaning in classical liberal thought — is used instead.

Reason No. 3: Socialism purports to relieve people of the burden of worrying about their economic well-being.

...free-market capitalism emphasizes the individual’s responsibility for his own economic welfare. Socialism professes to place this responsibility outside the individual and with the state.

Reason No. 4: Socialism is a secular substitute for religion and offers people (false) solace against the traumas of this life.

Utopian socialism — all socialism is utopian — purports to offer a solution to virtually all human problems. In contrast, the claims of capitalism are seen as too modest, and hard work is required as well. There is no need to quote a Marxist on the all-encompassing promises of socialism. Lyndon Johnson will do fine. In a speech given on May 22, 1964, Johnson promised that his Great Society would “pursue the happiness of our people,” conquer “boredom and restlessness,” and satisfy the “desire for beauty” and the “hunger for community.” All this and beat the Viet Cong too. Amazing!

James Ostrowski is an attorney in Buffalo and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation.

quinta-feira, 7 de Agosto de 2003

O Revisionismo "Bom"

(via Mata-Mouros)

"Noticia" o Avante:

O 50º aniversário da morte de Estaline (05.03.1953) foi comemorado sem indiferença e com respeito na antiga URSS, mas noutros países com o habitual «grande espectáculo» que os «media» ocidentais costumam dedicar a todos os acontecimentos em que Estaline se distingue. Uma vez mais, vieram à baila os muitos milhões que teria mandado executar e, enfim, toda uma série de horrores a que a História, a verdadeira, não consente aval. O nome do escritor Alexandr Solzhenitsyn oferece constante fonte de apoio a todos os especuladores na matéria. A sua afirmação de que os «excessos» de Estaline teriam conduzido milhões de pessoas à morte, serve-lhes às mil maravilhas. Mas parece que as coisas não foram bem assim...


É garantido que este "revisionismo" não gerará qualquer onda de protestos...

Reflexão sobre democracia, a “natural order” e a integração política

É importante responder: a democracia onde e a quem é que respeita. Queremos uma democracia mundial, europeia, ibérica, portuguesa? Quando falamos de democracia, esse é um fim em si mesmo?

Se a democracia é o melhor que temos e teremos, não devíamos ter uma democracia mundial? Seríamos mais livres por causa disso? Então se não é mundial, o que legitima que uma comunidade local tenha de obedecer a um processo democrático mais vasto, que a ultrapassa? Uma votação por maioria de 51% decide isso? E a minoria dessa comunidade, deve ser obrigada a fazer parte da integração?

"If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. This is impracticable only because of compelling technical considerations, which make it necessary that a region be governed as a single administrative unit and that the right of self-determination be restricted to the will of the majority of the inhabitants of areas large enough to count as territorial units in the administration of the country."

“Liberalism”, Ludwig von Mises

Creio que para Mises (um utilitarista) como em tudo, a democracia ("By means of elections and parliamentary arrangements, the change of government is executed smoothly and without friction, violence, or bloodshed")e o Estado ("the protection not only of private property, but also of peace, for in the absence of the latter the full benefits of private property cannot be reaped") éum meio para atingir um fim.

Assim, a manutenção da paz (que para Mises e para o Liberalismo Clássico é uma condição necessária) é conseguida por um processo de decisão cujos resultados tende a ser aceite pela minoria, de forma pacífica (de tal forma assim o é, que liberais rijos para quem o nível de impostos e regulação actuais estão perto da extorsão e totalitarismo da maioria, aqui o vamos combatendo no domino das ideias e de forma amena).

Podemos observar a verdadeira democracia no nosso dia a dia: um grupo de amigos decide a que local vão jantar e conviver. Aqui, estamos perante a verdadeira democracia: existe um acordo (contrato) entre as partes, onde a minoria se submete previamente às decisões da maioria.

No mercado, a democracia não é necessária. Somos livres de oferecer produtos e serviços em concorrência com outros, somos livres de consumir os produtos e serviços que nos oferecem. A nossa decisão não exclui outros da capacidade de decisão autónoma e diferenciada.

Mas quando, por alguma razão é necessário tomar decisões que a todos obrigam, a democracia é um meio possível. Já muito antes da democracia produzida pelo Estado, a sociedade civil a praticava há muito. As AG das organizações civis e comerciais, decidem também, segundo determinadas regras, quem elegem como Presidente ou como vai ser a política de investimentos. Claro que aqui, só participa e se obriga à decisão da maioria quem quer, porque conservamos o direito último de sair dessa Assembleia específica: vendendo as acções, saindo da associação.

E na política? Se a sociedade civil imperasse em todos os domínios (“natural order”) a democracia, tal como a entendemos hoje, não seria necessária. Toda a propriedade era privada e toda a acção humana seria livre mas altamente regulamentada pelos contratos privados, podemos observar já hoje em dia grandes condomínios privados residenciais e comerciais, onde já largos espaços são totalmente privados e onde todos os aspectos práticos são auto-regulados: as condições de acesso, a segurança e a ordem, a boa preservação do património, as partes comuns (ruas, estradas, zonas públicas de convívio, etc.), as regras de exclusão (proibição de consumo de droga, vadiagem, etc.). Por exemplo, nos centros comerciais nem nos damos conta do trabalho dos serviços de segurança que passa muitas vezes pela expulsão de elementos desordeiros. Os conflitos seriam decididos por tribunais (hoje observamos já o crescimento dos tribunais arbitrais privados) e seguradoras (que cobrem o risco inerente ao litígio e funcionam como primeira tentativa de resolução do conflito em causa).

Ora, tal realidade, ainda está longe de ser a regra. Portanto, para a tal realidade pública, não contratual e do domínio da propriedade colectiva, a democracia é um meio de a maioria decidir e impor a sua vontade sobre a minoria, mas uma forma pacífica de o fazer (ainda que conte com a máquina de coerção que não se abstém de usar a violência extrema para quem não se submeter a essa regra, mesmo que em tudo o indivíduo não deixe de respeitar toda a propriedade privada e todos contratos celebrados).

Existe assim, democracia no sentido corrente do termo, na medida em que estamos perante ausência de contratos e de propriedade privada. Tudo na democracia e no Estado se destina a impor decisões sobre o livre arbítrio individual, a propriedade dos outros e a suposta gestão da propriedade comum, que até pode fazer sentido para muitas comunidades principalmente se tiver uma dimensão localizada e descentralizada; mas hoje assistimos ao reverso, a criação de espaços "democráticos" cada vez mais desumanos, estando cada vez mais perto do terrível monstro da "democracia mundial".

Qual a única defesa do individuo, da família ou das comunidades, quando deixam de se reconhecer no processo de decisão maioritário onde estão inseridos?

O direito que deve permitir a um grupo sair do processo onde estão inseridos e formar a seu próprio, mais localizado. Com este direito, a que as democracias não vão conseguir escapar, porque não existe base racional ou até humana para o negar, uma comunidade pode reivindicar a formação da sua própria Assembleia local, independente, do espaço territorial e populacional maior onde estavam inseridos.

Com este direito reconhecido, será apenas uma questão de tempo, para que a grande estrutura estatista actual seja abalada, porque dela depende a capacidade de impor o monopólio de uma decisão, um sistema, a uma vasta região geográfica e população (sistema público de educação, a moeda nacionalizada, etc.).

E por este caminho, a diversidade das soluções, que incluirá muitas comunidades onde toda a propriedade é privada e a “democracia” é uma Assembleia Geral de proprietários tal como nos condomínios (curiosamente, nos primeiros e mais civilizados passos da democracia, apenas algumas faixas da população votavam, o que em norma, era um privilégio dos proprietários ou de quem pagava impostos –quando se alargou o direito de voto aos não proprietários e a quem não produzia rendimento foi previsível o resultado: o assalto à propriedade aos que produzem riqueza pelos que não a tendo, quiseram passar a ter através de “um homem, um voto”), e outras comunidades talvez contenham propriedade comum (um socialismo mitigado e muito localizado) e noutros casos, talvez até novas formas de monarquia localizada renasçam em comunidades mais conservadoras, conduzindo no seu todo a um verdadeiro estado de “rule of law”. Com este direito, não é necessário propor nenhuma utopia ou reconstrução social alternativa à nossa realidade actual, apenas darmos tempo ao tempo e à própria natureza das coisas e do homem.

A própria ameaça permanente de separação de uma comunidade ou região do espaço político (e democrático) maior onde se insere fará com que talvez a Secessão nunca se efectue porque o poder central tenderá a conter-se muito mais, respeitando a autonomia local.

Como os políticos não resistem a tomar decisões contra a soberania nacional, a bem de seu estilo de vida internacional, pelo menos, fique o Direito de Secessão bem explícito em todos os acordos internacionais e seja possível manter uma força de Segurança Nacional capaz de fazer respeitar esse Direito quando a qualquer momento possa ser reivindicado, por nós portugueses, o primeiro e último dos impérios.