sexta-feira, 27 de Agosto de 2004

A dimensão

"The basis of history is fact, and there is no substitute for precise knowledge of historical facts. As Rothbard points out, this can only be gained by extensive reading and study of both the primary and secondary sources.

No one can deduce, on a purely a priori basis, that Monaco is not a major problem in the world. But armed with just one bit of empirical knowledge—namely that Monaco is less than one square mile in area—one can easily make that deduction. It would simply be absurd for tiny Monaco to even think about invading any other country.

By the same token, one can deduce that unified Germany (with 80+ million people under a single régime) would be much more aggressive than the Holy Roman Empire (split into 1800+ more or less sovereign units). Fact may be the basis of history, but reasoning and deduction supply its meaning, and permit us to learn from the experience of the past.

War is indeed the "health of the state". Yet, as Lenin pointed out, it is in time of war that the state is most vulnerable and most in need of popular support. The likelihood that countries will pursue aggressive and war-mongering policies depends on the ability of their ruling elites to mobilise mass "patriotism" (witness the "USA Patriot Act").

The larger the country, the easier the task becomes. It is far easier for the U.S., Russia, and China to impose their respective forms of "hegemony" on other peoples than it is for countries like Canada, Luxembourg, and Tunisia.

Woodrow Wilson got it wrong: It is not "democracies" that are unlikely to be aggressive and war-mongering. It is small countries that are unlikely to be so."

Doug Rees

As Edmund Burke put it, “Criminal means, once tolerated, are soon preferred.”

Nota: a crítica às Guerras pelos conservadores tradicionais representam o melhor da América - um ódio estrutural a todas as formas de governo central e as guerras como um expoente da sua natureza - provocar a destruição e morte em massa induzidas pelas decisões de poucos (as suas "agendas", os seus ideias, as suas boas intenções, a incompetência) e colocando-se a cima de qualquer julgamento moral, usando a propaganda panfletária para levar a populaça a caminhar para o abismo, destruindo a ordem natural da sociedade civil, as familias, as comunidades. "War is the health of the State" e a Primeira Guerra resumo tudo isso ao provocar em 4 anos o fim de toda uma velha civilização alheia aos temperamentos excessivos ideológicos. A destruição provocada tornou as massas receptivas ao crescimento do leviathan e a ideia do comando centralizado para todos os aspectos da nossa vida. E pergunto: não será essa uma crítica Liberal?

Joseph Sobran: Land of the What?

"In 1845, President James Polk falsely accused Mexico of attacking the United States, thus using his office to initiate a war of conquest. Congress went along with him. Among the few who opposed him was a courageous freshman congressman from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, who demanded proof that Mexico had really been the aggressor. Polk ignored him, Lincoln was branded a traitor, and when Lincoln lost his seat after only one term, his political career appeared to be over.

Unfortunately, Lincoln drew the wrong lesson from Polk’s success: He learned that a president can get away with anything in wartime. When, after an amazing comeback, he became president himself, he made war on the seceding states and crushed criticism and political opposition in the North with thousands of arbitrary arrests, including that of a congressman who opposed him as bravely as he had once opposed Polk. He had to misrepresent the Constitution in order to violate it as freely as he did. And of course when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter (total fatalities: one horse), he had the inflammatory incident he needed.

In 1898, President William McKinley whipped up war fever against Spain over Cuba. Spain had neither attacked nor threatened the United States and was in fact so eager to avoid war that it tried desperately to appease McKinley. But when the American battleship the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor, probably by accident, McKinley had the pretext he needed. War was on, and it was quickly expanded all the way to the Phillippines, which the United States grabbed on the pretext of establishing democracy there. With Spain defeated, this “democratization” required the bloody suppression of a genuine independence movement. (Sound familiar?)

So the United States had already become an imperial power, sending its forces around the globe, by the time Woodrow Wilson schemed to get the United States into World War I on the British side against Germany, while professing to maintain neutrality and “keep us out of war.” He got his pretext for hostilities when German submarines attacked American merchant ships carrying — in violation of his proclaimed neutrality — munitions to England.

An eager learner from his duplicitous and successful methods was his young assistant secretary of the navy, Franklin Roosevelt.

And so it has gone, through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, not to mention Grenada and Panama. Typically, Americans are warned of a “threat” from a country that would be either very rash or out of its mind to attack us, usually followed by a suspicious incident that seems to justify the warning. How many times must we fall for the same old tricks?

The recurrent pattern is so striking that it suggests that this will never be the Land of the Free until it ceases being the Land of the Gullible. (...)"

quinta-feira, 26 de Agosto de 2004

À atenção dos leitores brasileiros

(via Austríaco)


Dia 16 de setembro a UNIJUÍ-RS será palco de um inédito evento que se realizará no auditório da FIDENE, onde a comunidade acadêmica e demais, poderão conferir a palestra "A Escola Austríaca de Economia e as Perspectivas para a Economia Brasileira" com o palestrante Alfredo Marcolin Peringer, mestre em economia pela universidade de Michigan EUA e atualmente economista da FEDERASUL.


Evento: A Escola Austríaca de Economia e as Perspectivas para a Economia Brasileira
Palestrante: Alfredo Marcolin Peringer
Onde? Na UNIJUÍ, Ijuí, RS, auditório da FIDENE
Quando? 16 de Setembro de 2004
Horas? 19:30
A Entrada é Franca!

quarta-feira, 25 de Agosto de 2004

Russel Kirk, 1991

"In one respect, but in that respect only, the task of the conservative of 1991 looms less oppressive than was the task of the conservative of 1951, when my first book was published. I mean that the grim menace of the Soviet Union no longer hangs over us. Seventy years were required for the Communist ideology to work its own ruin, so that it fell to pieces at a good-natured push, quite bloodless, from Mr. Ronald Reagan.

Always will there be wars and rumors of war; yet from the Soviet terror we have been saved, so that the Third Generation conservatives may address their energies to something more fundamental than resisting the armed doctrine called Marxism.

What, then, is the mission of Third Generation conservatives, young men and women who seek to preserve the Permanent Things, those elements in human existence that were not born yesterday?

It is not to promulgate a "conservative ideology": for conservatism is the negation of ideology. Ideology is an attempt to govern all life by political slogans; while American conservatives believe that no mere political formulas can make a people content.

Conservatives take for their guide in politics what Edmund Burke called "the wisdom of the species": that is, the experience of human beings in community, extending over many centuries.

Thus, American conservatism is a cast of mind and character, not a neat body of political abstractions. Ideology is political fanaticism, an endeavor to rule the world by rigorous abstract dogmata. The dogmata of an abstract "democratic capitalism" may be mischievous as the dogmata of Marx.

It is possible to describe certain attitudes that make up America's conservative mentality, even though not all Americans could "

Russel Kirk (1918-1994): The Heritage Lectures

The Injustice of Equality October 15th, 1993, Lecture # 478

The Case For and Against Natural Law July 15th, 1993, Lecture #469

The Meaning of "Justice" March 4th, 1993, Lecture #457

Renewing a Shaken Culture December 11th, 1992, Lecture #434

The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma November 13th, 1992, Lecture #425

Civilization Without Religion? July 24th, 1992, Lecture #404

May the Rising Generation Redeem the Time? December 11th, 1991, Lecture #377.

Political Errors at the End of the Twentieth Century,Part II: Democratic Errors May 6th, 1991, Lecture #325

Political Errors at the End of the Twentieth Century,Part I: Republican Errors February 27th, 1991, Lecture #321

Prospects for ConservativesPart IV: Prospects for the Proletariat December 6th, 1990, Lecture #301

Prospects for ConservativesPart III: The Behemoth State: Centralization September 19th, 1990, Lecture #293

Prospects for ConservativesPart II: Cultivating Educational Wastelands June 14th, 1990, Lecture #285

Prospects for ConservativesPart I: Prospects Abroad June 14th, 1990, Lecture #274

The Attack on Leviathan:Donald Davidson and the South's Conservatism July 11th 1989, Lecture #206

A Conservative Program for a Kinder, Gentler America April 27th 1989, Lecture #198

The Politics of T.S. Eliot February 9th, 1989, Lecture # 182

The Conservative Movement: Then and Now Lecture #1

terça-feira, 24 de Agosto de 2004

Neocons treason II

Todas as generalizações são abusivas e injustas. A primeira geração que começou com Irving Kristol e Gertude Himmerfalb não é a mesma da segunda de William Kristol. Nem a real motivação e bondade dos pontos de vista de muitos liberais europeus filo-neoconservadores deve ser posta em causa.

A razão porque é irreconciliável a luta dentro do movimento conservador americano (e "libertarians") entre paleos-tradicionais (em larga minoria) e neocons é um pouco estranha para quem está de fora, incluindo ou sobretudo para a direita e liberais europeus.

Os primeiros fazem questão em não esquecer a Nação americana como aquela em que o Estado Federal era mesmo "mínimo" e onde o Presidente e o poder executivo eram suposto terem um carácter semelhante ao da Federação Suiça (ninguém sabe quem são). Os segundos trouxeram uma nova missão estranha ao Ethos americano: um carácter universal e internacionalista - o bom império - e a aceitação das instituições sociais-democratas, principalmente se estas são compatíveis ou até necessárias para a sua ideia de império benevolente.

Para quem vê de fora, como apesar de tudo, a sociedade civil em muitos aspectos ainda funciona melhor que no resto do mundo, é razoável que olhe para o neo-conservadorismo como algo que conjuga o liberalismo com o que chamam de valores morais da democracia. Compreensível. O problema é como justificar que depois do "Império do mal" ter acabado pacificamente e observado que as "massas oprimidas" nem se preocuparam em procurar culpados, vamos agora viver num estado de guerra eterno para alcançar a paz eterna por falta de paciência para que outros "males" que não são da nossa conta, sejam resolvidos pelos próprios.

Vivemos no chamado militarismo ao centro, uma tentativa por um bom militarismo. E também um certo extremisno ao centro, uma tentativa pelo bom extremismo. E um certo desejo de induzir revoluções, desta vez, uma boa revolução.

Pessoalmente, como observador (apesar de tomar parte na discussão), o tema apresenta infidáveis momentos de uma boa discussão, e só por isso, o neo-conservadorismo têm no mínimo a seu favor, agir (embora qualquer tese que justifique ainda melhor que as anterior, qualquer acção do Estado, seja inevitávelmente vencedora - é um caminho fácil e seguro, difícil é tentar que os sistemas políticos se abstenham de querer fazer um qualquer bem, quando têm o poder legislativo e o financiamento compulsório dos impostos, para estarem sempre a tentarem fazer um qualquer bem).

Agir pelo menos, permite observar resultados. Tirar conclusões depende depois, de cada um de nós. Mas aí, o neoconservadorismo, esconde e confunde mais do que esclarece. Por eles, a história do mundo começa com Hitler e tiram todas as conclusões a partir daí. Nunca, mas mesmo nunca analisam o desastre da Grande Guerra, como começou e acabou. E são capazes de falar do ataque dos Japoneses sem nunca referirem o bloqueio petrolifero (por falar nisso, os japoneses foram aliados na Primeira Guerra - tal como Itália) apelidando-os de "militaristas imperialistas" (na verdade, a presença na Manchúria era estratégico contra Estaline e se aí tivesse continuado teria impedido que o comunismo se espalhasse sem rédeas pela Ásia, por exemplo, na Coreia, uma antiga colónia do Japão) quando no início da Segunda, o Império Britânico era o maior de toda a história (e porventura o mais virtuoso de todos. Até Hitler o admirava e tentou compatibilizar o tradicional desejo alemão de conquista territorial a Leste com ele - o seu problema, claro, era a anormalidade do seu regime, conjugado com duas tradições: a coragem dos Franceses (hoje, erradamente do ponto vista histórico posta em causa pelos anti-anti-americanos) e a estratégia com séculos dos Britânicos em não permitirem qualquer espécie de império sombra no Continente).

Enfim, como digo, a discussão é interessante e quase desejo que nunca acabe. Já para os conservadores tradicionais (paleos, hard right e grande parte dos libertarians), o seu desejo de regresso a outros tempos pode ser romantica, "but them again", como disse Churchill, "os americanos fazem sempre aquilo que é certo depois de experimentarem tudo o resto".

Neocon Treason

Paul Craig Roberts sobre o último livro de Patrick J. Buchanan: Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency

Na integra:

"Having experienced the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, do Americans wish they had elected Patrick J. Buchanan president? Was Buchanan America's last chance to put a true patriot in the Oval Office?

America was meant to cultivate its own garden, to steer clear of foreign entanglements and permanent alliances, and to serve as an example to others. Instead, the U.S. has become a "democratic imperialist."

In a new book dedicated to Ronald Reagan, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency, Buchanan rues the rise of Jacobin America. A neoconservative cabal allied with Israel's right-wing Likud Party has captured our government and initiated a new crusade against Islam.

In a chapter that is must reading for every American who thinks President Bush should be reelected, Buchanan asks: "Who are they, the neoconservatives?"

When you find out, you will want nothing further to do with the president who sponsored them and gave them unbridled power to launch America into permanent war in the Middle East.

The neocons have declared America at war with 1 billion Muslims who have done us no harm. Simultaneously, the neocons destroyed our traditional alliances. Instead of isolating a terrorist enemy, neocons have isolated America.

Al-Qaeda is not a state or a country. It is a non-governmental organization that rejects America's decadent culture and opposes the U.S.-Israeli alliance that brutally oppresses Palestinians to the shame of all Muslims.

It is impossible to fight al-Qaeda by invading and occupying Muslim countries. Bush's invasion of Iraq has achieved nothing for the U.S. but death and expense. For al-Qaeda it has radicalized the Muslim world and created recruits.

"The neoconservatives," writes Buchanan, "are marinated in conceit, and their hubris may yet
prove their undoing. And ours as well."

The failure of the U.S. occupation in Iraq has certainly demonstrated the limits to U.S. hegemony. Despite limited armed opposition, U.S. military forces do not seem able to control a single Iraqi city. If rebellion were to become general or if Iraqis had effective weapons against tanks and air power, the U.S. would have to withdraw its army.

Buchanan explains how the neocons used the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center to put into operation their preconceived plan, drafted years prior to Sept. 11, to invade Iraq.

In 1996, neoconservatives currently serving in the Bush administration wrote a policy paper for Israeli right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the policy paper, Douglas Feith (currently undersecretary of defense), David Wurmser (VP Cheney's staff) and Richard Perle (Defense Review Board) called for "removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right."

Today the entire world, with the exception of the propagandized American public, knows that Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. But for "Washington's Likudniks," that was beside the point. It was Israel's interests that they had in mind, not America's. Osama bin Laden got away while the U.S. was diverted into invading Iraq.

In 1997 Feith wrote in his "Strategy for Israel" that the U.S. and Israel should conquer Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Moreover, Israel should reoccupy "the areas under Palestinian Authority control," though "the price in blood would be high."

We are now watching this neocon strategy unfold. Iraq has been invaded. Israel's Likud Party, with U.S. complicity, is grabbing more of the Palestinian West Bank. Last week, neocon Undersecretary of State John Bolton began beating the war drums against Iran for allegedly possessing weapons of mass destruction that "pose grave threats to international society."

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, neocon Max Boot defined support for Israel as a "key tenet of neoconservatism." What, asks Buchanan, about support for America? America's interest should be the focus of the Bush administration. When did America's interests become subsumed in the interests of Israel's right-wing Likud Party?

If Americans don't want a generation of sons dying in Middle Eastern deserts, they had best take Buchanan's question to heart."

'Elvis has left the building' announcer dies

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) -- Al Dvorin, the concert announcer who made famous the phrase "Elvis has left the building," was killed in an auto accident in California. He was 81.

Victor Hugo on the Limits of Democracy

Roderick T. Long, (is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University; author of Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand; Editor of the Libertarian Nation Foundation periodical Formulations; and an Adjunct Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1992, and maintains the website, as well as the web journal In a Blog's Stead.)

"In December 1851, French President Louis Bonaparte – the future Emperor Napoléon III – seized power in a coup d’état, in violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution. He arrested the legislature; imprisoned, deported, or executed his political opponents; and deterred future dissent by massacring civilians in the streets.

When he was done he held a referendum on his coup, and announced that the voters had vindicated his actions by a vote of approximately 7,500,000 to 640,000. Bonaparte’s argument, in effect, was that 7.5 million Frenchmen can’t be wrong.

In 1852 the liberal writer and former legislator Victor Hugo responded, from exile, with a book titled Napoléon the Little, the first of his many broadsides against the new régime. After casting doubt on the freedom of the elections and the genuineness of the official figures, Hugo added that even if the plebiscite had been procedurally flawless, an electoral majority had no competence to authorise Bonaparte’s crimes.
As with all that Hugo writes, this passage is beautiful in toto and true magnam partem. But it is worth focusing on the partem that is not true, because the mistake here is not merely Hugo’s, but is the fatal error on which 19th-century liberalism as a whole foundered and lost its way.
Hugo rightly and eloquently denies the authority of majority vote over moral questions.

But he errs in thinking that such matters as “peace and war, the effective force of the army, public credit, public relief, the budget, the penalty of death, the irremovability of judges, the indissolubility of marriage, divorce, the civil and political status of women, gratuitous instruction, the constitution of the commune, the rights of labour, the salary of the clergy, free trade, railroads, the currency, fiscal questions, colonizationare not “moral questions,” but are merely “political questions,” and as such do fall under democratic jurisdiction.


But the vast mainstream of liberalism was to follow Hugo in embracing what Spencer would later callthe divine right of parliaments” – the illusion that little if anything lies outside the legitimate sphere of democratic authority.

Hugo was right: no mere vote can turn crime into innocence. But he failed to recognise the logical implications of his own view. Today only the libertarians (and not all of them!) still recognise that what is a crime if done by an individual is still a crime if done by the democratic state – that,

in Rothbard’s words, “regardless of popular sanction, War is Mass Murder, Conscription is Slavery, and Taxation is Robbery.”

segunda-feira, 23 de Agosto de 2004

Dubai II

Mas o que é aparentemente bom para uns não quer dizer que o seja para outros. E o que é aparentemente um mal para outros não quer dizer que constitua um mal para nós.

Dubai, Islão e Capitalismo

Quem acha que existe alguma incompatibilidade do Capitalismo com o mundo árabe e muçulmano leia a reportagem no Expresso.

Um monarquia absoluta árabe num pequeno país é provávelmente mais livre (e para mim, liberdade não é uma bandeira abstracta pela qual muitos crimes se cometeram por idealistas, mas sim o respeito concreto por direitos de propriedade e contratos) que as sociais-democracias do mundo de hoje.

domingo, 22 de Agosto de 2004

"the great Catholic libertarian historian Lord Acton"

"While natural-law theory has often been used erroneously in defense of the political status quo, its radical and “revolutionary” implications were brilliantly understood by the great Catholic libertarian historian Lord Acton. Acton saw clearly that the deep flaw in the ancient Greek—and their later followers’—conception of natural law political philosophy was to identify politics and morals, and then to place the supreme social moral agent in the State.

From Plato and Aristotle, the State’s proclaimed supremacy was founded in their view that “morality was distinguished from religion and politics from morals; and in religion, morality, and politics there was only one legislator and one authority.”[3]

Acton added that the Stoics developed the correct, non-State principles of natural law political philosophy, which were then revived in the modern period by Grotius and his followers.

“From that time it became possible to make politics a matter of principle and of conscience.” The reaction of the State to this theoretical development was horror:

When Cumberland and Pufendorf unfolded the true significance of [Grotius’s] doctrine, every settled authority, every triumphant interest recoiled aghast. . . . It was manifest that all persons who had learned that political science is an affair of conscience rather than of might and expediency, must regard their adversaries as men without principle.

Acton saw clearly that any set of objective moral principles rooted in the nature of man must inevitably come into conflict with custom and with positive law. To Acton, such an irrepressible conflict was an essential attribute of classical liberalism: “Liberalism wishes for what ought to be, irrespective of what is.”[5] As Himmelfarb writes of Acton’s philosophy:

the past was allowed no authority except as it happened to conform to morality. To take seriously this Liberal theory of history, to give precedence to “what ought to be” over “what is” was, he admitted, virtually to install a “revolution in permanence.”[6]

And so, for Acton, the individual, armed with natural law moral principles, is then in a firm position from which to criticize existing regimes and institutions, to hold them up to the strong and harsh light of reason. Even the far less politically oriented John Wild has trenchantly described the inherently radical nature of natural-law theory:

the philosophy of natural law defends the rational dignity of the human individual and his right and duty to criticize by word and deed any existent institution or social structure in terms of those universal moral principles which can be apprehended by the individual intellect alone.[7]

If the very idea of natural law is essentially “radical” and deeply critical of existing political institutions, then how has natural law become generally classified as “conservative”? Professor Parthemos considers natural law to be “conservative” because its principles are universal, fixed, and immutable, and hence are “absolute” principles of justice.[8] Very true—but how does fixity of principle imply “conservatism”?

On the contrary, the fact that natural-law theorists derive from the very nature of man a fixed structure of law independent of time and place, or of habit or authority or group norms, makes that law a mighty force for radical change. The only exception would be the surely rare case where the positive law happens to coincide in every aspect with the natural law as discerned by human reason.[9]"

NATURAL LAW VERSUS POSITIVE LAW, The Ethics of Liberty Murray N. Rothbard

sexta-feira, 20 de Agosto de 2004

Bush e Ron Paul

O que lamento em Bush:

Náo é ser uma pessoas simples, porque gosto de pessoas simples.
Não é dizer-se conservador porque gosto de pessoas simples e conservadoras.
Não é ser Cristão porque gosto do cristianismo de pessoas simples e conservadoras.
Não é por ser do Texas, o único Estado a ter textualmente escrito na sua Constituição, o direito a sair da União, e para mim todas as comunidades têm o direito a exigir a secessão de qualquer Estado de que façam parte.

É por ter sido convencido por pessoas com ideologias marcadas que se propuseram a fazer coisas complicadas para o bem de todos (dos americanos e resto da humanidade) e usando os militares para objectivos alheios à defesa da soberania territorial, perdendo pelo caminho todo o pudor quanto ao crescimento da despesa, déficit e dívida pública e perda de direitos e liberdades individuais tão caras à fundação americana usando e abusando internamente da cultura do medo e da emergência nacional e externamente envolvendo-se a cada dia que passa em situações cada vez mais complexas e potencialmente geradoras de consequências adicionais imprevistas.

Não é isso que se podia esperar de uma pessoa simples, conservadora, cristã e do Texas.

Mas temos sempre o Congressista "conservative-libertarian" Ron Paul para nos lembrar o que é uma tal pessoa.

Como o Estado cresceu com Ronald Reagan

"(...) There was no "Reagan Revolution." Any "revolution" in the direction of liberty (in Ronnie’s words "to get government off our backs") would reduce the total level of government spending. And that means reduce in absolute terms, not as proportion of the gross national product, or corrected for inflation, or anything else. There is no divine commandment that the federal government must always be at least as great a proportion of the national product as it was in 1980. If the government was a monstrous swollen Leviathan in 1980, as libertarians were surely convinced, as the inchoate American masses were apparently convinced and as Reagan and his cadre claimed to believe, then cutting government spending was in order. At the very least, federal government spending should have been frozen, in absolute terms, so that the rest of the economy would be allowed to grow in contrast. Instead, Ronald Reagan cut nothing, even in the heady first year, 1981.

At first, the only "cut" was in Carter’s last-minute loony-tunes estimates for the future. But in a few short years, Reagan’s spending surpassed even Carter’s irresponsible estimates. Instead, Reagan not only increased government spending by an enormous amount – so enormous that it would take a 40 percent cut to bring us back to Carter’s wild spending totals of 1980 – he even substantially increased the percentage of government spending to GNP. That’s a "revolution"?

The much-heralded 1981 tax cut was more than offset by two tax increases that year. One was "bracket creep," by which just inflation wafted people into higher tax brackets, so that with the same real income (in terms of purchasing power) people found themselves paying a higher proportion of their income in taxes, even though the official tax rate went down. The other was the usual whopping increase in Social Security taxes which, however, don’t count, in the perverse semantics of our time, as "taxes"; they are only "insurance premiums." In the ensuing years the Reagan Administration has constantly raised taxes – to punish us for the fake tax cut of 1981 – beginning in 1982 with the largest single tax increase in American history, costing taxpayers $100 billion.

Income tax rates in the upper brackets have come down. But the odious bipartisan "loophole closing" of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 – an act engineered by our Jacobin egalitarian "free market" economists in the name of "fairness" – raised instead of lowered the income tax paid by most upper-income people. Again: what one hand of government giveth, the other taketh away, and then some. Thus, President-elect Bush has just abandoned his worthy plan to cut the capital gains tax in half, because it would violate the beloved tax fairness instituted by the bipartisan Reganite 1986 "reform."

The bottom line is that tax revenues have gone up an enormous amount under the eight years of Reagan; the only positive thing we can say for them is that revenues as percentage of the gross national product are up only slightly since 1980. The result: the monstrous deficit, now apparently permanently fixed somewhere around $200 billion, and the accompanying tripling of the total federal debt in the eight blessed years of the Reagan Era. Is that what the highly touted "Reagan Revolution" amounts to, then? A tripling of the national debt?

We should also say a word about another of Ronnie’s great "libertarian" accomplishments. In the late 1970’s, it became obvious even to the man in the street that the Social Security System was bankrupt, kaput. For the first time in fifty years there was an excellent chance to get rid of the biggest single racket that acts as a gigantic Ponzi scheme to fleece the American taxpayer. Instead, Reagan brought in the famed "Randian libertarian" Alan Greenspan, who served as head of a bipartisan commission, performing the miracle of "saving Social Security" and the masses have rested content with the system ever since. How did he "save" it? By raising taxes (oops "premiums"), of course; by that route, the government can "save" any program. (Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket.)

The way Reagan-Greenspan saved Social Security is a superb paradigm of Reagan’s historical function in all areas of his realm; he acted to bail out statism and to co-opt and defuse any libertarian or quasi-libertarian opposition. The method worked brilliantly, for Social Security and other programs.

Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy, by Murray N. Rothbard, First published in Liberty, Vol. 2, No. 4, March 1989.

quinta-feira, 19 de Agosto de 2004

O caminho rápido para a guerra: ataques preventivos contra ataques preventivos

Suponho que a solução preconizada pelos "war games specialists" seja antecipar ainda mais o ataque "preventivo" de forma a não estar sujeito a um ataque preventivo.

Iran warns of preemptive strike to prevent attack on nuclear sites

Iran warns of preemptive strike to prevent attack on nuclear sites DOHA (AFP) Aug 18, 2004Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani warned Wednesday that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities."

We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us. Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly," Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV when asked if Iran would respond to an American attack on its nuclear facilities.

"America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq," said Shamkhani, speaking in Farsi to the Arabic-language news channel through an interpreter.

"The US military presence (in Iraq) will not become an element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage" in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said.

Shamkhani, who was asked about the possibility of an American or Israeli strike against Iran's atomic power plant in Bushehr, added: "We will consider any strike against our nuclear installations as an attack on Iran as a whole, and we will retaliate with all our strength.
"Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it is an evil entity, and it will not be able to launch any military operation without an American green light. You cannot separate the two."

A commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted in the Iranian press earlier Wednesday as saying that Tehran would strike the Israeli reactor at Dimona if Israel attacks the Islamic republic's own burgeoning nuclear facilities.

Fahrenheit 911, Keith Preston

"(...)Michael Moore is a statist. He may not like particular individuals within the state at a particular time, like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld. He may not like particular actions of the state, like going to war with Iraq. But matters such as these are only peripheral issues when Michael Moore's entire world view is examined.

Ultimately, Moore shares the same fundamental set of presumptions as Bush, Cheney or Wolfowitz. The state is good. The state is an indispensable human institution. The state is a necessary means to a vital end. The state can be a source of human uplifting if only the right people are in control of it, if only it has enough resources at its disposal, if only the people grant it its proper reverence. Yet, these presumptions are fundamentally flawed.

As Franz Oppenheimer demonstrated, the state is founded upon conquest and plunder. Any other claims on behalf of the state are simple matters of evasion and obfuscation. Whether the state plunders Iraq on behalf of George W. Bush's warfare state or whether the state plunders the product of the labor of working people on behalf of Michael Moore's beloved welfare state, the basic truth taught by Randolph Bourne, that "war is the health of the state", remains a truism. (...)Michael Moore could use a good dose of Public Choice economics.

Moore's obvious political purpose in making this film is to un-elect Bush come November. But what can be expected from a Kerry administration? Kerry is a product of the same elitist fraternity as Bush, Yale's mysterious Skull and Bones society. At best, a Kerry regime would be a collection of recycled Clintonites, perhaps even including the Dragon Lady, Madaleine Albright, whose suggestion that subjecting hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children to horrible deaths from disease and malnutrition via sanctions and blockades was just wonderful so long as it kept Saddam toeing the line might even qualify her for a job working for Bush should Colin Powell decide to retire.

Obviously, it is the people and not the politicians who must put an end to the insanity going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and, perhaps soon enough, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and, what the hell, maybe even Columbia, North Korea or China. If "global democracy" or some other piety is the battle cry of our overlords, then our only rightful response can be: "Hell, no, we won't go, we won't fight for N.W.O.!!"

quarta-feira, 18 de Agosto de 2004

Garet Garrett

Justin Raimundo a propósito dos 50 anos passados da publicação do livro The People's Pottage, Ex America do "Old Right"ist, Garet Garrett :

" neoconservative intellectuals openly proclaim the glories of the American Empire and celebrate the coming of a "benevolent world hegemony." Garrett foresaw the emergence of Imperial America in all its aspects – and he named and numbered them, the six signs of empire:

1) The dominance of the executive branch,
2) the subordination of domestic policy to foreign policy,
3) the ascendancy of the military mind,
4) "a system of satellite nations," "
5) an emotional complex of vaunting and fear,"
6) and the tyranny of imagined necessity:

"That is to say, a time comes when Empire finds itself – A prisoner of history."

To envision what that means, listen to all the reasons "responsible" people and pundits in both parties give for not withdrawing from Iraq. Garrett, as usual, says it best:

"A Republic may change its course, or reverse it, and that will be its own business. But the history of Empire is a world history and belongs to many people. A Republic is not obliged to act upon the world, either to change it or instruct it. Empire, on the other hand, must put forth its power."

As we put forth our hand in the Middle East, and cover our heads here at home, this fiftieth anniversary edition of Garrett's book could not have been more auspicious. I do believe Garrett's power of foresight takes on near supernatural proportions as he explains the fifth sign of empire:

"Fear may be understood. But a curious and characteristic emotional weakness of Empire is: A complex of vaunting and fear.

"The vaunting is from what may be called that Titanic feeling. Many on the doomed Titanic would not believe that a ship so big and grand could sink. So long as it was above water her listing deck seemed safer than a lifeboat on the open sea. So with the people of Empire. They are mighty. They have performed prodigious works, even many that seemed beyond their powers. Reverses they have known but never defeat.

That which has hitherto been immeasurable, how shall it be measured? So those must have felt who lived out the grandeur that was Rome. So the British felt while they ruled the world. So the Americans feel."


Novo link: Incongruências

Property Rights Are Human Rights

His reporting and analysis derive from a libertarian philosophy on property rights:

"Property rights get in the way of Other People’s Plans. Governments are beholden to the political winds that happen to be blowing. When the fad is to renew rundown urban neighborhoods, government agencies craft plans to do that. When the fad is to create sales-tax-paying retail centers to help city budgets, they do that, too. Whatever the plan is, it’s far easier to use government police powers to scrape away existing properties than it is to follow the rule of law and the rules of the marketplace and negotiate with people in good faith. Sure, it might be frustrating when a homeowner or small-business owner gets in the way of a project that promises to revive an older part of town. But that’s the price of freedom."

More than just a description of assaults on private property, Abuse of Power is a guidebook on how to challenge powerful governments and big businesses. Chapter 18 is "Fighting Back and Winning."

It includes chapters describing: "Build Broad Coalitions," "Go On the Offensive," "Be Positive, Not Just Reactive," "Don’t Lose Sight of Principles" and "Keep it Simple."

The book ends with lists of organizations and Web sites to help wage the fight and 417 footnotes.
Abuse of Power is a manifesto for taking back the right to property ownership.

As Greenhut says, property rights are human rights.

Liberalismo e Democracia


Excelente posta. Aqui no blog da Causa tem sido recorrente falar sobre Liberalismo e Democracia e às vezes tem sido mal interpretada ou eventualmente mal explicada.

Para já temos que assumir que Liberalismo e Democracia são assuntos diferentes.

O primeiro fala do primado dos direitos de propriedade honestamente adquiridos e o contratualismo. Aqui, "Lei" deriva de um processo de dedução a partir da natureza do homem, o seu livre arbítrio, a sua necessidade de sobreviver e prosperar usando recursos escassos. "Lei" é também algo para ser descoberto no processo de litigio entre partes e no direito criminal no princípio de restituição (cada vez mais esquecido porque na prática, a vítima ainda tem de suportar o sistema prisional e abdicar do seu direito de restituição).

No segundo, falamos de um processo de decisão maioritário extra-direitos de propriedade e extra-contratualismo, o que só pode resultar, seja qual fôr o sistema de equilibrio de poderes, em descriminação (taxa progressiva, a descriminação positiva diversa, etc) , conflito entre pagadores liquidos de impostos (a minoria) e os recebedores liquidos de impostos (a maioria), centralização, etc. Aqui "Lei" é um processo político que joga a favor do próprio sistema político. Não é de admirar que se viva numa espécie de centrismo social-democrata, para o qual qualquer desvio é considerado utópico quando não extremista e sem validade para a discussão iluminada - é neste campo que está quem põe em causa o sistema compulsório da segurança social ou a utilidade de um ministério de educação ou até o atentado contra a Liberdade que é a necessidade de aprovação de cursos e programas.

É uma ilusão pensar que o processo democrático poderá desaguar em qualquer forma de Liberalismo sério, pelo contrário, a emergência das grandes democracias modernas resultou em maior centralização, socialismo e social democracia de esquerda e direita. Algo que resultou temporalmente da Primeira Guerra Mundial e o fim das monarquias europeias, marcando o fim do periodo Liberal Clássico (e até do domínio económico e cultural da civilização europeia) e assistindo nós ao princípio de todas as utopias estatistas, quer as não democráticas (comunismo e fascismo) quer as sociais-democratas.

Assim, os Liberais têm de aceitar a realidade na qual, democracia e voto universal tendem inevitávelmente para a social-democracia. E quanto maior o espaço democrático mais isso é verdade. Num pequena Nação, não só por vezes a população vive bem menos mal sem democracia (não o estou a defender, mas a constatar), como, vivendo em democracia, tem menos tendência para o estatismo.

Além disso, se escolher a via estatista (democráticamente ou não) mais depressa que uma Grande Democracia sofre e apercebe-se dos custos desse estatismo (assim, o protecionismo numa pequena Nação traz danos visíveis mais rápidamente que a um grande espaço económico como a UE se esta se quiser fechar - aliás como o faz na agricultura). Esta é uma das razões porque me oponho a qualquer espécie de Federalismo Europeu, tolerando apenas o conceito inter-governamental.

O "monstro" europeu monstrará finalmente a sua natureza quando tivermos um processo democrático europeu: eleições gerais europeias para suportar um governo executivo federal. Só os liberais que assumem a defesa da utopia (mas habitualmente generosa e sincera) do Super-Estado mínimo (como oposição aos Mini-Estados mínimos), poderão achar que a Europa ou o Mundo se torna mais Liberal (ou seja, o maior respeito pelo contratualismo e os direitos de propriedade) porque existem eleições gerais Europeias ou Mundiais.

Mas isso não quer dizer que o processo democrático não possa servir o Liberalismo. Eu até diria que foi no estrito cumprimento do contratualismo e direitos de propriedade que o processo democrático surgiu e foi aperfeiçoado: as assembleias gerais de accionistas e de condomínios de espaços comuns - e o que mais disso pode se aproximar é a descentralização política e administrativa e o Localismo.

(a continuar)

terça-feira, 17 de Agosto de 2004


Transcrevo de seguida mais uma interessante reflexão de FCG recebida por email:


“Holistic or Utopian social engineering, as opposed to piece-meal social engineering, is never of a ‘private’ but always of a ‘public’ character. It aims at remodeling the ‘whole of society’ in accordance with a definite plan or blueprint; it aims at ‘seizing the key positions’ and at extending ‘ the power of the state… until the state becomes nearly identical with society’.”
Karl Popper, in The Poverty of Historicism.

1. Comece-se por aumentar sistematicamente o peso da despesa pública, maximizando o volume de emprego no sector público e dando aos funcionários públicos toda a sorte de direitos sem quaisquer obrigações relevantes. Quanto menor for o grau de instrução destes funcionários melhor: dessa forma, as possibilidades de emprego fora do sector público estão drasticamente limitadas ou serão mesmo inexistentes;

2. A melhor forma de garantir a irreversibilidade da estatização da sociedade é pela via constitucional, através da consagração de uma série de direitos programáticos e totalitários, contra os quais qualquer reforma liberalizante necessariamente colidirá. Em particular é crucial garantir a impossibilidade prática do despedimento dos funcionários públicos. Este é o exército silencioso que constituirá sempre a primeira e principal barreira a qualquer tentativa de reforma que envolva a reversão da expansão do Estado. Todas as reformas liberalizantes encontrarão feroz oposição por parte dos funcionários e dos respectivos agregado familiares: é a sua subsistência que está em causa. A liberdade gera responsabilidades causadoras de angústia e receio, a dependência tem associada a tranquilidade das certezas;

3. A possibilidade de uma revisão constitucional com o nível de profundidade necessário à inversão do totalitarismo é nula num sistema representativo onde para tal se exige 2/3 dos representantes eleitos. A partir do momento em que é atingido o número necessário e suficiente de eleitores directamente dependentes do Estado para ganhar eleições baseadas no princípio do sufrágio universal igualitário a simples reforma liberalizante do Estado torna-se democraticamente impossível: sempre que algumas medidas escaparem ao controlo da “constitucionalidade” resultarão em custos imediatos para a maioria da população dependente do Estado e por isso serão democraticamente invertidas no próximo ciclo eleitoral;

4. Deve permitir-se o desenvolvimento de um mercado de trabalho paralelo ao sector público e completamente desregulado. Este mercado é muito útil à estatização da sociedade. A ausência absoluta de qualquer garantia para esse segmento da oferta de trabalho é a melhor forma de manter a pressão sobre os reformistas, tornando salientes os “perigos manifestamente evidentes do capitalismo selvagem”. Os reformistas liberais não terão qualquer hipótese de convencer o resto da população que o trabalho “precário” é gerado, não pelo capitalismo mas sim pelo “estatismo selvagem”. Adicionalmente, o maior anseio de que vive em condições de extrema incerteza será alcançar o “porto seguro” do sector público, aumentando assim a pressão para o crescimento do Estado. Periodicamente, devem ser integrados no Estado largos contingentes desta parte da população, em nome da “justiça social”. Esse era, afinal, o objectivo estratégico a alcançar.

5. A manutenção de um sistema de ensino essencialmente público permite controlar a qualidade ideológica da formação intelectual. É essencial evitar a todo o custo a educação na e para a liberdade. A analogia entre o modo ideal de funcionamento da sociedade e o sistema centralizado e planeado da escola é muito útil para a rejeição futura de estados sociais que não correspondam a um padrão geral de distribuição.

6. Na remota hipótese do esquema precedente não aniquilar por completo qualquer desejo de liberdade e autonomia e se surgirem alguns grupos sociais que contestem a absorção da sociedade pelo Estado pode-se sempre convocar um referendo legitimador. A vitória está garantida à partida e só um pequeníssimo número de elementos da sociedade se recordará que em tempos se entendeu “democracia” como um regime politico que incluía, para além de eleições regulares, a garantia do primado da lei, da separação de poderes e a protecção das liberdades básicas, designadamente as liberdades politicas, religiosas e económicas.


Novos links

Aqua Permanens e FDR.

Hugo Chavez

Tenham paciência e aturem-no. Depois de uma tentativa de golpe de Estado e muitos a incentivarem a oposição a não ter a calma necessária para actuarem dentro da sua própria Constituição, a pior coisa que podiam fazer agora é contestar a resultado do referendo.

1914 and the World We Lost

"Ninety years ago this month, on June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated by a Bosnian-Serb nationalist in the city of Sarajevo. It served as the spark which set off the events that started World War I later that summer. It also ended the predominantly classical-liberal epoch of the nineteenth century and ushered in roughly the last hundred years of collectivism, interventionism, and war.

What the epoch before 1914 was like was concisely expressed by John Maynard Keynes in his 1919 volume The Economic Consequences of the Peace:

"What an extraordinary episode in the economic progress of man that age was which came to an end in August, 1914! The greater part of the population, it is true, worked hard and lived at a low standard of comfort, yet were, to all appearances, reasonably contented with this lot. But escape was possible, for any man of capacity or character at all exceeding the average, into the middle and upper classes, for whom life offered, at a low cost and with the least trouble, conveniences, comforts, and amenities beyond the compass of the richest and most powerful monarchs of other ages.

The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world, and share, without exertion or even trouble, in their prospective fruits and advantages; or he could decide to couple the security of his fortunes with the good faith of the townspeople of any substantial municipality in any continent that fancy or information might recommend. He could secure forthwith, if he wished it, cheap and comfortable means of transit to any country or climate without passport or other formality, could despatch his servant to the neighboring office of a bank for such supply of the precious metals as might seem convenient, and could then proceed abroad to foreign quarters, without knowledge of their religion, language, or customs, bearing coined wealth upon his person, and would consider himself greatly aggrieved and much surprised at the least interference.

But, most important of all, he regarded this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable. The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion, which were to play the serpent to this paradise, were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper, and appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalization of which was nearly complete in practice."

However imperfectly, throughout all that was called at that time “the civilized world,” the rule of law prevailed and the rights of individuals to their life, liberty and property were widely respected. Governments rarely consumed more than 10 percent of the wealth of their citizens and subjects—leaving the remaining 90 percent to be consumed, saved, and invested as those citizens and subjects considered most useful, advantageous, and profitable. Freedom of trade generally prevailed among these nations, with the tariff barriers that existed being minor stumbling blocks to the competitive flow of goods and services around the world. "

Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - June 2004 by Richard M. Ebeling

sexta-feira, 13 de Agosto de 2004

Fiat money

Fiat money is paper currency that you must accept as payment because the government says so. Known as "legal tender," it has no intrinsic value beyond the backing of a government fiat, or decree.

Gold-backed currency, on the other hand, allows you to redeem your bills for a fixed amount of gold.

Historically, fiat money has found detractors who maintain that it fosters economic instability and political unrest. Among them was the late Howard Buffett, a U.S. congressman from 1942 to 1952 and the father of Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett.

"So far as I can discover, paper money systems have always wound up with collapse and economic chaos," Howard Buffett said in a speech later printed in a 1948 issue of the Commercial and Financial Chronicle.

Buffett also maintained that the public's right to control government spending - and in turn, to control its leaders - had been wrested from it with the transition to a fiat money standard.

"When you recall that one of the first moves by Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler was to outlaw individual ownership in gold, you begin to sense that there may be some connection between money, redeemable in gold, and the rare prize known as human liberty," Buffett said.

O Cacique

Novo link: O Cacique

Quantidade fixa monetária II

1. Falar em "Quantidade fixa de dinheiro/monetária" é apenas um instrumento de análise dos fenómenos de crescimento económico, preços, lucros, isolando a questão monetária. Não é uma defesa de que deve ser fixa ou não. O que podemos dizer, é que num sistema de padrão ouro com reservas de 100% (ou tendencialmente) , a quantidade monetária não pode, por definição descer, e que adicionalmente, não representava qualquer problema económico em si.

2. O dinheiro que se guarda debaixo da cama ("hoarding") não prejudica em nada a "economia". Depois, decidir guardar dinheiro onde bem nos apetece parece-me ser um direito humano universal. Não é de mais referir que dinheiro não é capital. Se alguém pegar na sua poupança em notas e as queimar, em nada afecta a quantidade de capital disponível na economia, a sua tradução monetária é que se altera através de alterações nos preços.

3. A descida de preços é a razão porque existe crescimento económico.

Num determinado momento, a minha produção individual, devido ao capital empregue possibilitado por uma poupança e investimento anterior, passa a ter um custo unitário (e portanto preço) inferior.

Porquê? Como consigo baixar o custo unitário (tempo/recursos/meios), o resto dos individuos vão conseguir libertar parte do seu tempo/recursos/meios necessários afectos à produção necessária de bens/serviços usados para trocarem comigo, a mesma quantidade que a anterior à minha descida de preços.

Com o tempo/recursos/meios assim libertados, passam a poder produzir outros bens e serviços que vão poder trocar comigo ou outro.

Mas agora perguntam, se eu baixei o meu custo/preço unitário, como consigo obter meios para trocar pelos outros novos produtos e serviços produzidos por terceiros? Porque eu próprio, tenho agora tempo/recursos/meios que me sobram para produzir bens/serviços para trocar por essa nova produção de outros, só possível, porque eu, em primeiro lugar, baixei o custo/preço unitário da minha produção.

Assim, na prática, quando baixo o meu custo unitário posso aumentar a minha produção. Os terceiros, porque para comprarem-me a mim a mesma quantidade dos meus produtos/serviços, gastam menos meios, podem eles próprio aumentar a sua produção (com os meios libertos derivados da minha baixa do custo/preço da minha produção) que vão propor trocar pelo meu próprio aumento de produção.

4. Dinheiro representa apenas um meio de troca e não capital existente na economia.

Como os Estados, os bancos e os economistas estatistas perceberam que naionalizando o dinheiro podiam manipular a sua quantidade, em seguida cairam no erro de acreditar que é possível aumentar o crédito ao invesimento aumentado a quantidade desse dinheiro.

Não pode. Aumentar a quantidade de dinheiro em nada aumenta o capital existente.

Aumentar compulsóriamente a quantidade de dinheiro apenas redistribui compulsóriamente a riqueza entre as pessoas (e quem beneficia em primeiro lugar com os novos aumentos de massa monetária são quem mais perto estão dele: as Grandes Empresas e os Bancos que mais cedo aproveitam a capacidade aquisitiva adicional para comprar meios ainda não inflacionados no seu preço) e distorce as contas da economia em relação à verdadeira poupança existente disponivel para sustentar novos investimentos.

Por causa dessa distorção é que se dão dão os ciclos economicos, que podem assim atribuir-se ao...Estado e todos que defendem o presente sistema monetário compulsório.

quarta-feira, 11 de Agosto de 2004

Quantidade fixa de dinheiro, lucros, deflação

Uma quantidade fixa de dinheiro não afectaria uma economia livre, a verdadeira deflação é contração monetária não descida de preços. Ninguém no seu perfeito juízo pode dizer que a descida de preços é má para a "economia".

Outra coisa é uma descida de preços provocada por uma súbita contração monetária provocada por falências e defaults. Mas esta situação catastrófica só é possível num sistema fraccionário de moeda. Num sistema livre de padrão ouro, a quantidade de moeda não é passível de ser reduzida. Só no presente sistema monetário coercivo que começou a ser posto em prática antes da Grande Depressão (e uma das suas causas principais, ainda por cima agravada por todo o intervencionismo posterior - o New Deal foi também uma das causa, não foi qualquer solução, este é mais um tema a precisar de um saudável revisionismo) é estamos a cada momento em possibilidade de tal.

Mas a descida de preços induzida pelo progresso tecnológico e aumento da produção é sempre boa, e tal é compatível com uma quantidade fixa de dinheiro e ainda mais com o aumento médio de 2 a 3% na quantidade disponível de ouro.

Mais comentários para mais tarde, fica a mais importante referência no assunto e merecedor de um Prémio Nobel pelo seu Tratado "CAPITALISM: A Treatise on Economics":

The Anatomy of Deflation, By George Reisman

"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.

(...) Nor should the prospect of a fall in prices in and of itself be taken as the cause of an increase in the desire to save, still less of an increase in the demand for money for holding and thus of a monetary contraction. To the extent that falling prices are the accompaniment of greater prosperity, the prospect of falling prices is accompanied by the prospect of greater prosperity.

The prospect of greater prosperity in the future provides an inducement to greater consumption in the present.

It should be understood as operating in the same way on present consumption as the prospect of coming into an inheritance. It means that one's future is better provided for and thus that one can afford to increase one's consumption and enjoyment in the present. This offsets the fact that every dollar withheld from present consumption will have greater buying power in the future. In other words, the effect of falling prices caused by increased production on the degree of saving and provision for the future should be assumed to be neutral, because the prospect of greater future buying power of the monetary unit is offset by the prospect of greater future prosperity. In such circumstances, the prospect of falling prices does not provide a basis for a rise in the demand for money for holding.

The case is different when the need for the fall in prices is caused by monetary contraction. In this case, the failure of prices to fall, in the face of the anticipation that they will fall, to the extent necessary to clear the market of unsold supplies of goods and labor, leads to a speculative postponement of purchases, which increases the pressure on prices to fall.[2]

Once prices do fall to the necessary extent, that is the end of the contraction. Indeed, given the existence of a speculative withholding of purchases in anticipation of prices and wages falling to some necessary level, once that level is achieved, the speculative withholding of purchases comes to an end and there is an increase in the volume of spending. In other words, the response to the necessary fall in prices and wages is economic recovery.

Provided the quantity of money in the economic system does not decrease, a rise in the demand for money for holding can have the very beneficial effect of increasing the degree of financial liquidity in the economic system, a valuable point which Rothbard made.[3] It serves to improve such vital measures of financial health as the cash balances businesses hold relative to their current liabilities. It accomplishes this to the extent that it serves to bring down wage rates and prices and thus the dollar amount of current liabilities, which fall as the result of smaller outlays being made and thus smaller bills having to be paid.

The higher is the degree of such financial liquidity, the less is the danger of insolvencies and bankruptcies and thus the greater is the security against any need for further increases in such cash holdings. The implication of this is that increases in the demand for money for holding are self-limiting, and that the demand for money for holding tends to stabilize at the higher level. There is no process of its feeding on itself and endlessly increasing.[4]

Indeed, what creates the need for a sudden, substantial increase in the demand for money for holding is the preceding artificial decrease in the demand for money for holding brought about by credit expansion. Credit expansion leads businessmen to believe that they can substitute for the holding of actual cash the prospect of easily and profitably borrowing the funds they might require. It also encourages a reduction in the demand for money for holding by means of the seeming ease with which inventories can be profitably sold in the face of the rising sales revenues it fuels, which makes it appear better to hold more inventory and less cash.

The rise in interest rates that credit expansion serves to bring about in the course of its further progress, as rising sales revenues raise nominal profits and thus the demand for loanable funds, also serves to reduce the demand for money for holding. This is because the higher interest rates serve to make it worthwhile to lend out sums available for short periods of time that it would not have been worthwhile to lend out at lower interest rates. To these factors must be added the influence of any prospect of rising prices that credit expansion may create. And finally, the loss of capital that credit expansion engenders, as the result of the extensive malinvestment that it causes, serves to make credit less available and thus to create a still further demand for money for holding.[5]

Avoid inflation and credit expansion, let the demand for money for holding be high, let prices and wages be adjusted to that fact, and the economic system will be secure from sudden increases in the demand for money for holding thereafter.

Similarly, the best reason in favor of an actual decrease in the quantity of money is that suffering it may serve to avoid a greater, more severe decrease later on. This would be the case under a fractional-reserve gold standard that had not departed too radically from a one-hundred-percent-gold reserve. In such circumstances, a reduction in the quantity of money in the form of fiduciary media[6] could bring the quantity of money down to the supply of actual monetary gold and thus both retain the gold standard and avoid the need for a more severe and potentially catastrophic reduction in the quantity of money later on—the kind of reduction that occurred from 1929 to 1933, after decades of expanding the supply of fiduciary media relative to the supply of gold.

Deflation, which, it cannot be repeated too often, means monetary contraction, not falling prices, is at best in the category of a pain to be endured only in order to avoid greater pain later on. It should never be, and virtually never is, regarded as any kind of positive in its own right. Indeed, opposition to credit expansion, and to the fractional-reserve banking system that makes credit expansion possible, rests for the most part precisely on the fact they are responsible for deflation, which would not exist in their absence.

The most important point I have made, namely, that falling prices caused by increased production are not deflation and should never be confused with deflation, is illustrated by the following table, which can be taken as a summary of this article.(...)"


"My friend Ernst Winter, the son-in-law of Col. von Trapp, told me of a remarkable event in his father-in-law's military career. His father-in-law had been a U-boat commander in World War I.

He came upon a French military ship. He surfaced, told the captain that he was going to sink the ship, and told him to tell his crew to abandon ship. He was met with explosive resistance. He took the U-boat beneath the enemy vessel, re-surfaced on the other side, and gave the warning again. More shots. He submerged, fired his torpedoes, and sank the ship. Hundreds of French sailors drowned.

After the War, the French awarded von Trapp a medal.

On the day Truman dropped the bomb, Ernst went to his commanding officer – he was in the U.S. Army – and tried to resign his commission. He was appalled. His request was refused. He had accompanied Patton's forces into Austria. His father had been the anti-Nazi Vice Mayor of Vienna, 1934–38, who fled the day the Nazis marched in. The family came to the United States.

This was the military tradition of the West for a thousand years. Von Trapp lived to see it die. "

The Cannibals of War, by Gary North

Iraqi south threatens secession

"Basra Deputy Governor Salam Uda al-Maliki has said he is to announce the separation of some Iraqi southern governorates from the central Baghdad government.Informed sources told Aljazeera that al-Maliki said the breakaway province would include Basra, Misan and Dhi Qar governorates.

He also wants to shut Basra's port and in effect stop oil exports.Al-Maliki said the decision was taken because the Iraqi interim government was "responsible for the Najaf clashes". (...)"

terça-feira, 10 de Agosto de 2004


O Crítico parece mesmo acreditar que as equações representando agregados abstractos da macro-economia tem a validade de verdades matemáticas. Um coisa é igual a outra, fazem-se operações matemáticas de transformação e aí está outra verdade científica.

A Escola Austríaca que começa com Carl Menger no século 19 no Império Austro-Hungaro e que depois deu Hayeck, Mises e muitos outros, refuta a validade das estatísticas que medem grandezas que depois são manipuladas matemáticamente em fórmulas sem aderência concreta a qualquer realidade mensurável. Isso e as conclusões estatísticas que apenas medem uma realidade estática.

Mas por outro lado, dedutivamente e usando raciocínios que partem de axiomas simples como o homem age, para agir precisa de escolher meios escassos, para usar meios escassos com dono tem de negociar um bem em troca, a moeda é apenas um meio espontâneamente e livremente escolhido como meio de troca, etc, podemos concluir sem fórmulas que:

1) Qualquer quantidade monetária é a correcta, podendo até ser totalmente fixa, que a economia funcionava na mesma, e na realidade, seria até muito melhor que uma quantidade flutuante determinada pela procura de crédito ou pela necessidade de financiar déficits.

2) Os déficits são financiados também pela criação monetária, ou seja, pela capacidade dada pela nacionalização do dinheiro (resultante da extorsão do ouro detido pelos particulares e obrigando estes a aceitar os pedaços de papel a que passaram a chamar moeda) ao Estado de pedir ao Banco Central (directa ou indirectamente) para imprimir notas que o público é compulsóriamente obrigado a usar para absorver parte da sua dívida pública. Que conclusão é que se pode tirar desta capacidade? Nenhuma a não ser a da força das coisas impostas compulsivamente.

3) Num sistema monetário livre, os Estados têm dificuldades em sustentar déficits. Por causa dessas dificuldades é que nacionalizaram o ouro.

4) Moeda é um meio de troca. Capital é tudo o que está construído e tem a capacidade de proporcionar bens e serviços valorizados como úteis pelos consumidores. Ou seja, é altamente subjectivo o que é capital para um ou para outro. Portanto, é um pouco excessivo pretender medir "capital" e ainda por cima usar essas medidas para tirar grandes conclusões.

Não me peça equações. Não são necessárias.

5) Uma resposta a "Como é que o liberalismo me pode dar amanhã um mundo menos poluído e mais saudável para todos os habitantes da terra?": Direitos de propriedade, e isso inclui privatizar a favor das comunidades locais, como partes comuns de um condomínio. Todos os problemas de poluição são conflitos de direitos de propriedade, mas que o Estado não reconhece como tal, impondo a sua resolução (ou seja, a não resolução porque não funciona) "políticamente".

Fica a referência a:

"Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution" , Cato Journal, Spring 1982, pp. 55-99; and Walter Block, ed., Economics and the Environment, Vancouver, Canada: Fraser Institute, 1990. See also in The Logic of Action Two, pp.121-170.,


No Público:

1. Descoberta "Vala comum na Bósnia pode ter 350 mortos(...) durante a guerra civil durante a década de 90"

O problema da Bósnia e Kosovo (e já agora, no Iraque) é que era suposto encontrarem muitos mais mortos

2. "Combates já fizeram mais de 360 mortos" em Najaf.

Não era suposto existirem tantos mortos


Uma boa razão para não nos metermos nos problemas dos outros é que nunca conseguimos conhecer bem os problemas dos outros.

No Público:

Controvérsia Quanto Aos Mortos

"O ministro sudanês dos Negócios Estrangeiros, Mustafa Osmane Ismail, afirmou ontem no Cairo que a crise no Darfur ainda não fez mais do que 5.000 mortos, incluindo 486 polícias, desde que começou, há 18 meses. Numa conferência de imprensa, desmentiu vigorosamente os números de 30.000 a 50.000 mortos que têm sido apresentados pelas organizações humanitárias e pelas Nações Unidas"

Sudão Espera Cumprir Condições da ONU

"(...)Enquanto isto, o escritor Enver Masud, fundador da instituição "The Wisdom Fund", que pretende divulgar a verdade sobre o Islão, considerou no domingo que "a situação no Darfur é trágica, mas não é um genocídio (...).

...o Sul do Darfur, como aliás o Sul do Sudão, é rico em petróleo. A empresa estatal chinesa de petróleos detém a concessão no Sul do Darfur e soldados chineses estão a protegé-la, enquanto os rebeldes que actuam na região estão a ser armados do exterior. Observadores das Nações Unidas citados pelo Crescente Internacional, do Reino Unido, disseram até que eles têm melhores armas do que o Exército sudanês, estando a ser abastecidos por via aérea. E as autoridades sudanesas já chegaram a acusar Israel desse tráfico, o que foi desmentido pelo Estado judaico.

(...) segundo escreveu o "Washington Post", a América enviou perto de 20 milhões de equipamento militar para a Etiópia, a Eritreia e o Uganda, países que alegadamente dariam cobertura aos rebeldes sudaneses.

A acreditar nesta argumentação, os campos de petróleo recentemente descobertos no Darfur é que teriam dado lugar às escaramuças desencadeadas precisamente quando se ultimava um acordo de entendimento entre as autoridades de Cartum e os rebeldes do Sul.

A verdade é que existem mais de 30 grupos armados a combater a administração central sudanesa, alguns deles apoiados por países vizinhos e até mesmo de outros continentes. "

Liberalismo e Democracia II

Se vamos para o Federalismo Europeu porque não o Mundial?
Somos (isto é, todos nós no planeta) mais livres porque em vez de nações soberanas em auto-governo passarmos a integrar uma democracia mundial multi-étnica e multi-cultural?

Imaginem uma democracia mundial, o seu governo, e os infinitos programas sociais-democrata globalistas tendo em conta que:


"Aldeia Global

se pudesse reunir a população mundial numa aldeia de 100 pessoas mantendo as proporções de todos os povos existentes no mundo, essa aldeia seria composta do seguinte modo:

- 57 asiáticos
- 21 europeus
- 14 americanos (norte, centro e sul)
- 8 africanos
- 52 seriam mulheres e 48 homens
- 70 seriam não cristãos
- 30 seriam brancos
- 6 pessoas possuiriam 59% da riqueza do mundo inteiro e todos seriam dos EUA
- 80 viveriam em casas sem condições de habitabilidade
- 70 seriam analfabetos
- 50 sofreriam de subnutrição
- 1 estaria para morrer
- 1 estaria para nascer
- 1 possuiria um computador
- 1 teria uma licenciatura"

The truth about global warming - it's the Sun that's to blame

"Global warming has finally been explained: the Earth is getting hotter because the Sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.

A study by Swiss and German scientists suggests that increasing radiation from the sun is responsible for recent global climate changes.(...)"

Liberalismo e Democracia

"O Futuro da Liberdade"

Uma referência brilhante "à obra de Fareed Zakaria, o editor internacional da Newsweek, “O Futuro da Liberdade – A Democracia Iliberal nos Estados Unidos e no Mundo”(«Fora de Colecção», n.º 216, 280 pp., € 14,50), editado nos EUA em 2003." por Jorge Pereira da Silva no Jornal da Nova Democracia.


"Se um dos maiores desafios do séc. XX era fazer um Mundo seguro para a democracia, de acordo com Wilson, agora, entrados que estamos no séc. XXI há que fazer uma democracia segura para o Mundo. Este o grande desafio que se nos coloca, segundo o autor."

Conscience: In Search of the Lesser Evil

"(...)But is it ethical in accordancewith the principles of right and good conduct to cast a vote for any evil?

Most moral philosophers would answer this question in the affirmative – as longas the lesser evil serves to prevent the greater evil. To save a life, I may lieand deceive a raving assassin who is searching for his victim. But does thismoral principle apply to the world of politics? This writer is inclined to denyits applicability because a vote for one evil does not lead to inactivity butrather to ever more evil; social and economic policies spring from social andeconomic thought that may give rise to many levels of evil.

If I approve of any labor legislation that interferes with actual marketconditions, I may invite ever more regulation. If I favor some health-carebenefits for some people at the expense of other people, I may not be able toobject to “further improvements.” If I approve of any “affirmative action,”that is, government programs to overcome the effects of past societaldiscrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of special groups,such as minorities and women, I may, in the end, clear the way for thesubstitution of the political command order for the market order in allrelations with minorities and women. If I approve of some government protectionof American labor from the competition of foreign labor in NAFTA countries, Imay not be able to object to ever “better protection.” If I look with favorupon some free medical services to the elderly, I may not be able to deny themever more benefits. After I say “yes” to benefits and entitlements, how can Ilater say “no”? (...)"

Hans F. Sennholz

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear"
Mark Twain

"Follow the money"

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. "

– H. L. Mencken

Faz parte da natureza própria do Estado e do seu instinto de sobrevivência contra reduções do seu peso sobre a sociedade civil, vender perigos e emergências, ameaça de caos e desordem na economia e segurança, cada vez que a sua presença é posta em causa. Os intelectuais fazem muito por isso - à esquerda e direita todos têm a sua versão da inevitabilidade e necessidade da centralização numa élite política (mesmo que para decidir "para todos"), da capacidade de decidir grandes programas, seja na educação "para todos", poupança para a reforma "para todos", etc.

Como então explicar a ordem civil, liberdade e progresso económico antes da Grande Guerra (e o começo do socialismo e social-democracia) tendo os Estados um peso inferior a 10% (e isso inclui os próprios EUA), comparado com os mais de 50% actualmente. Como é que a moeda estava essencialmente fora do planeamento dos Banqueiros Centrais (muitos nem existiam sequer) e permitia um mundo sem inflação e as taxas de juro eram terrivelmente previsíveis? E funcionava! (Perguntam agora, e então porque é que mudou? Porque os Estados precisaram de se financiar e os Bancos gostaram da ideia de uma moeda que se pode fabricar para conceder crédito ou ajudar um Banco em "dificuldades" - termo aplicável a um Banco que emitia mais notas do que o Ouro que detinha).

E tudo isto me faz lembrar o triste cenário de Nova Iorque sobre alertas terroristas logo a seguir à Convenção Democrata. Michael Moore (por falar nisso, as suas manipulações são de menor gravidade do que a dos outros) tem a sua razão na análise da cultura do medo e no princípio que poucas vezes falha do "follow the money". Só não percebe que a cultura do medo também faz parte do histerismo habitual da esquerda sobre como se não for o Estado a acolher as pessoas necessitadas o mundo entra em colapso, mas o contrário é mais verdade porque todos as pessoas têm muitas necessidades. Existem muitas formas de guerra e manipulação.

No sector liberal, cuja análise gosto sempre de fazer, ignora-se com frequência o princípio do "follow the money".

A esquerda não o esquece porque associa sempre lucros a reduzida honestidade ignorando por completo que as falhas do capitalismo devem-se à presença do seu querido Estado que tem a capacidade divina de distribuir favores e desfavores - os comunistas ao menos foram honestos propondo o fim da propriedade privada, já o socialismo democrático critica as consequências do seu próprio sistema. Enquanto a sociedade civil não encontrar em pleno a capacidade de auto-regulação conferido pelos direitos naturais à propriedade e livre contrato, será sempre um acto de sobrevivência que o mundo empresarial procure defesas e alguns mesmo, tirar partido em pleno, dos intrumentos que o Estado democrático ou não, põe à sua disposição.

Na direita, uma parte assume totalmente a necessidade do mundo empresarial influenciar as "políticas" (protecionismo, o sistema monetário, apoios à tecnologia, agricultura, à formação profissional, ao emprego, etc) outra gosta de acreditar no "conto de fadas" sobre como o sistema funciona.

O que lembra ter lido à tempos, a defesa cândida (por parte de um daqueles liberais optimistas que acham que defender tudo o que o maior "Estado" da história se lembra de fazer é defender o próprio Liberalismo) do Grupo Carlyle na questão da privatização da GALP, mais ao menos nos seguintes termos: "Dizem que é um grupo de interesses da direita da Bush mas muitos e prestigiados Democratas têm sempre tido altas funções na Carlyle". Ouviram bem, uma grande empresa que vive de negócios com o Estado (defesa, petróleo, etc) Americano é idónea porque contrata todo o sistema político para os seus quadros e os seus negócio são na maioria feitos com o Estado (essa grande entidade idónea). Este tipo de idealismo ingénuo comum em sinceros liberais deixa-me muito pessimista. É por isso que também sou conservador. E anti-Estado.

"Folow the money" é um regra simples para compreender o "capitalismo de Estado". A nacionalização do dinheiro foi o primeiro grande passo e aconteceu na sequência da necessidade de financiamento da Grande Guerra e a sua luta de galos entre Impérios. A social-democracia e a crescente centralização da capacidade legislativa criou um ambiente em que a Esquerda poed apontar os interesses das empresas nas origens de muitas coisas e a Direita aponta a ineficiência e interesses duma elite intelectual iluminada e alguns (cada vez menos na Direita) nos problemas das escolhas maioritárias e o problema ético da imposição às minorias (sendo a maior, a descriminação de quem é pagador líquido de impostos contra os recebedores líquidos). Ambos têm razão, alternadamente.