terça-feira, 30 de Novembro de 2004

O 1.º de Dezembro é nosso!

O movimento do 1.º de Dezembro de 1640, que o feriado de amanhã comemora, não foi um “movimento nacionalista”. Como os historiadores actuais reconhecem (por exemplo, António Manuel Hespanha), tratou-se de um movimento que tinha o propósito de restaurar o “bom governo”, isto é, as prerrogativas próprias de órgãos como as Cortes portuguesas e os municípios, desrespeitadas pelos Habsburgos de Madrid. As leis, os hábitos políticos e as bolsas de autonomia daqueles órgãos estavam sob uma pressão fiscal e centralizadora que criou anticorpos em toda a sociedade e levou naturalmente à decisão da ruptura em 1640. Tratou-se de um MOVIMENTO CONSTITUCIONAL porque era as liberdades tradicionais o que se pretendia restaurar. O que os Restauradores realizaram nessa “manhã pura e alegre” é, pois, património dos liberais portugueses, como os nossos antecessores do século XIX reconheceram sem complexos. A restauração da soberania da Coroa portuguesa foi o instrumento necessário para repelir as intromissões estranhas e espoliadoras de quem nos queria governar à distância. Essa distância, como os Portugueses da época descobriram, é incompatível com o “bom governo”. É por isso que o 1.º de Dezembro é talvez o nosso feriado mais actual e cheio de sentido.

Soberania e Centralização

"Libertarians, Rothbard stressed in this connection, must be opposed, as are traditional conservatives (but unlike social democrats, neo-conservatives, and left-libertarians), on principled grounds to any and all centralization of state power, even and especially if such centralization involves a correct judgment (such as that abortion should be legal, or that taxes should be abolished).

It would be anti-libertarian, for instance, to appeal to the United Nations to order the breakup of a taxi-monopoly in Houston, or to the U.S. government to order Utah to abolish its state-certification requirement for teachers, because in doing so one would have illegitimately granted these state agencies jurisdiction over property that they plainly do not own (but others do): not only Houston or Utah, but every city in the world and every state in the U.S. And while every state, small or large, violates the rights of private-property owners and must be feared and combated, large central states violate more people's rights and must be feared even more. They do not come into existence ab ooa, but are the outgrowth of a process of eliminative competition among originally numerous independent small local states. Central states, and ultimately a single world state, represent the successful expansion and concentration of state power, i.e., of evil, and must accordingly be regarded as especially dangerous.

Hence, a libertarian, as his second-best solution, must always discriminate in favor of local and against central government, and he must always try to correct injustices at the level and location where they occur rather than empowering some higher (more centralized) level of government to rectify a local injustice."

INTRODUCTION By Hans-Hermann Hoppe to "Ethics of Liberty" Murray N. Rothbard

Lei

"As reason tells us, all are born thus naturally equal, with an equal right to their persons, so also with an equal right to their preservation . . . and every man having a property in his own person, the labour of his body and the work of his hands are properly his own, to which no one has right but himself; it will therefore follow that when he removes anything out of the state that nature has provided and left it in, he has mixed his labour with it, and joined something to it that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. . . . Thus every man having a natural right to (or being proprietor of) his own person and his own actions and labour, which we call property, it certainly follows, that no man can have a right to the person or property of another: And if every man has a right to his person and property; he has also a right to defend them . . . and so has a right of punishing all insults upon his person and property."

Rev. Elisha Williams (1744)

segunda-feira, 29 de Novembro de 2004

Conservative Libertarianism

“Self-Ownership, Abortion, and the Rights of Children: Toward a More Conservative Libertarianism” Edward Feser. Journal of Libertarian Studies - (Summer 2004)

Summary: Libertarians frequently ground their arguments in self-ownership and natural rights. Critics claim that such a starting point leads to a libertine (not merely libertarian) ethos, making any political alliance between libertarians and conservatives philosophically inconsistent. However, Feser claims the opposite: self-ownership is not only not inconsistent with moral conservatism, it actually entails a kind of moral conservatism. Thus, he argues that libertarians who reject moral conservatism are actually violating their own fundamentals.

domingo, 28 de Novembro de 2004

Albert Jay Nock

Apelidado de "Forgotten Man of the Right" e "a man who helped shape the Right's intellectual response to the triumph of FDR's welfare-warfare State." e numa breve caracterização:

"To follow Nock, what traits must a man of the Right have?

He must be both fiercely independent and believe in the power of social authority; he must love tradition but hate the State and everything it does; he must believe in radical freedom while never doubting the immutability of human nature and natural laws; he must be anti-materialist in his own life while defending economic freedom without compromise; he must be an elitist and anti-democrat yet despise elites who hold illicit power; and he must be realistic about the dim prospects for change while still retaining a strong sense of hope and enthusiasm for life. "

Algumas passagens do seu texto Our Enemy, the State:

* The historical method, moreover, establishes the important fact that, as in the case of tabetic or parasitic diseases, the depletion of social power by the State can not be checked after a certain point of progress is passed. History does not show an instance where, once beyond this point, this depletion has not ended in a complete and permanent collapse.

* The common view of Mr. Jefferson as a doctrinaire believer in the stark principle of "states' rights" is most incompetent and misleading. He believed in states' rights, assuredly, but he went much farther; states' rights were only an incident in his general system of political organization. He believed that the ultimate political unit, the repository and source of political authority and initiative, should be the smallest unit; not the federal unit, state unit or county unit, but the township, or, as he called it, the "ward." The township, and the township only, should determine the delegation of power upwards to the county, the state, and the federal units. His system of extreme decentralization is interesting and perhaps worth a moment's examination, because if the idea of the State is ever displaced by the idea of government, it seems probable that the practical expression of this idea would come out very nearly in that form.23

* The secret of freedom will be found in the individual "making himself the depository of the powers respecting himself, so far as he is competent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his competence, by a synthetical process, to higher and higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer and fewer powers in proportion as the trustees become more and more oligarchical."

* Locke himself, whom we have seen putting the natural rights of property so high above those of life and liberty, was equally discriminating in his view of popular sovereignty. He was no believer in what he called "a numerous democracy," and did not contemplate a political organization that should countenance anything of the kind.27

Soberania

Eu concordo com CAA quando diz que "rui a. escreveu hoje uma das postas mais importantes do Blasfémias. Conseguiu sintetizar alguns dos princípios essenciais da visão liberal do mundo, fazendo a difícil transversalidade das várias correntes do liberalismo clássico ao pensamento libertário."

Vou comentar apenas: "...parece pouco liberal admitir, ainda que como hipótese, a saída de Portugal da União Europeia, justificada por eventuais «perdas de soberania». Isso representaria um indesejável regresso ao colbertismo, ao mercantilismo, em suma, ao nacionalismo económico."

1. Soberania não significa proteccionismo, mas sim a capacidade de auto-regulamentação e de definir autonomamente Lei.

2. É tão errado defender a soberania para implementar o nacionalismo económico como defender a perda de soberania para supostamente ficarmos protegidos do proteccionismo.

sábado, 27 de Novembro de 2004

Utilidade Ordinal II

"Rothbard contributed two major advances beyondthe standards set by Mises’s Human Action.

First, Rothbard provided systematic clarification of the theory of marginal utility, and then advanced a new reconstruction of welfare economics and, entirely absent in Mises’s system, an economic theory of the state.

Building on the foundations of a strictly ordinalist interpretation of marginal utility laidout by Mises as early as 1912 in his Theory of Money and Credit,6 Rothbard explainedthat the word “marginal” in marginal utility does not refer to increments of utility (which would imply measurability), but rather to the utility of increments of goods (and thus has nothing to do with measurability).

The good to which utility is attached, and theincrements in its size, can be described in physical terms. The good and its incrementextend in space, and thus can be measured and counted as unitary quantitative addition.In distinct contrast, the utility attached to a physical good and its unitary physicalincrements is a purely intensive magnitude. It does not extend in space, and hence isimmeasurable and intractable by unitary counting and the rules of arithmetic.

Allattempts to construct a cardinal measure of utility are in vain. Qua intensive magnitude,utility can be treated only ordinally; that is, as a rank order on a one-dimensional individual preference scale (and every economic phenomenon, in particular monetary calculation and “objective” cost accounting, must ultimately be reducible to and explained as the simple outcome of ordinal individual rank order judgments).

Apart fromtheir placement on one-dimensional individual preference scales, no quantitativerelationship between different goods and different quantities of the same good exists. In particular, no such thing as total utility—conceived of as the addition or integration ofmarginal utilities—exists. Rather, “total” utility is the marginal utility of a larger-sized quantity of a good, and, Rothbard explained,

[t]here are, then two laws of utility, both following from the apodictic conditions ofhuman action: first, that given the size of a unit of a good, the (marginal) utility of eachunit decreases as the supply of units increases; second, that the (marginal) utility of alarger-sized unit is greater than the (marginal) utility of a smaller-sized unit. The first isthe law of diminishing marginal utility. The second has been called the law of increasingtotal utility. The relationship between the two laws and between the items considered inboth is purely one of rank, i.e., ordinal.

Graphically, Rothbard illustrated, the relationship can be represented thus:

Ranks in Value

-3 eggs

-2 eggs

-1 egg

-2nd egg

-3rd egg

The higher the ranking on this individual value scale for eggs, the higher the value. Bythe second law, 3 eggs are valued more highly then 2 eggs and 2 eggs more highly thanone. By the first law, the 2nd egg will be ranked below the first on the value scale, andthe 3rd below the 2nd.

No mathematical relationship exists between, for instance, the marginal utility of 3 eggs and the marginal utility of the 3rd egg except that the former is greater than the latter.

As Lionel Robbins, influenced by Wicksteed and Mises, had first brought home to mainstream economics, from the ordinal character of utility it follows logically that everyinter-personal as well as intra-personal comparison of utility must be regarded asimpossible (unscientific), and hence every social welfare proposal involving any suchcomparison is arbitrary.

While mainstream welfare economics was thrown into disarray upon full realization of this conclusion, Rothbard provided a radically new strictly ordinalist reconstruction of welfare economics based on the twin concepts of individual self-ownership and demonstrated preference."

MURRAY N. ROTHBARD:ECONOMICS, SCIENCE, AND LIBERTY By Hans-Hermann Hoppe

sexta-feira, 26 de Novembro de 2004

Utilidade cardinal e ordinal

No pura economia cita-se um texto de William L. Anderson, do Mises Institute:

"...E, mais para o lado teórico: "Os economistas sabem, desde os primeiros dias da revolução marginalista, que é impossível fazer a comparação da utilidade interpessoal. Embora conceitos como "excedente do consumidor" e "perda de bem-estar social" possam ser apresentados na forma de gráficos, como ferramentas de ensino, não passam de ficções uma vez que o seu uso requer a medição da utilidade cardinal, e não apenas ordinal. Naturalmente, o uso da utilidade cardinal permite aos economistas apresentar a teoria económica em termos matemáticos através de cálculo multivariado, razão pela qual continua a ser usada como ferramenta explicativa, apesar de ser uma fraude."

E depois comenta:

"Enfim: teórico, ma non troppo. O Mises Institute está repleto desta tralha ideológica© que pouco adianta para o conhecimento científico mas, seguramente, ajuda à propagação da causa."

Olhe que não, olhe que não. É precisamente nesta questão que reside toda a questão da ciência económica e que faz da Escola Austríaca a única que a percebe e se dá ao trabalho de tirar as devidas consequências.

Se a utilidade é ordinal, o esforço quantitativo-econométrico que acabou por inundar a economia (ao ponto de se afirmar que qualquer outra abordagem no fundo "pouco adianta para o conhecimento científico") é em grande parte inútil.

Re: História da União Europeia em mapas (1138-1254)

Joao Miranda escreve: "Nos séculos XII e XIII, a União deslocou-se para leste. A versão Sacro Império Romano incluía o Benelux, a Alemanha, a R. Checa, a Suíça, a Áustria e a Itália. Os eurocépticos do costume estão de fora. Portugal e Espanha estão a passar para o lado certo da guerra de civilizações. Os franceses desta vez estão inocentes. Neste período, a União era um paraíso liberal em que os proprietários das terras (príncipes, duques, condes, barões) faziam o que queriam e não ligavam muito ao imperador. Um modelo a seguir."

A propósito dos franceses, acrescento aqui uma nota de um artigo de Patrick J. Buchanan em Março de 2003 e a propósito de "...Americans are puzzled. Why are they organizing the Security Council against us? Why are they sabotaging the president's plan to bring democracy to Iraq, as we restored democracy to France? Why are they doing this?":
Why the French Behave As They Do?

"...To understand what France is about, and perhaps deal with our French problem with more maturity than dumping champagne in the gutter, let us go back five centuries.

In 1500, there was born in Ghent a future king who would come to dominate the world as we do today. At six, the death of his father Philip of Hapsburg gave Charles the crown of the Netherlands.

At 16, the death of his grandfather Ferdinand made him Charles I of Spain and of all its dependencies in Italy and America. At 19, the death of his grandfather Maximilian brought Charles all the hereditary lands of the Hapsburgs and the expectation of being elected Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1519, that title had been in the Hapsburg family four generations. Yet it remained an elective office. And two young and ambitious rulers challenged Charles for that title: Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. Francis was by far the more formidable.

He set about bribing the electors. But Charles had access to the Medicis and the Fugger bank of Jacob the Rich, the strongest in Europe. Charles bought up more electors and was chosen Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

France was surrounded. Charles ruled almost all of what is today's Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Hungary and Italy, except for the Papal States. What did Francis, seething with resentment, do? Exactly what balance of power politics dictated. He began making alliances with the nations not under Charles' control, and went to war.

In 1525, Charles' armies crushed the French Army at Pavia and captured the French king. "Nothing is left to me," Francis I wrote to his mother, "except honor and life."

By agreeing to humiliating peace terms, Francis won his freedom and returned to France. There, he began preparing at once for a new war, winning the support of the pope and the Italian states that were coming to resent the dominance of the hegemonic Charles.

Defeated again, Francis made alliances with Scotland, Sweden and Denmark, with rebellious princes in Germany, even with the infidel Turks, an unprecedented act for a Christian king. Francis fought Charles until his death in 1547.

Point of this history: For Francis I, read Jacques Chirac; for Charles V, read George W. Bush.
Again, consider the world from the Paris point of view.

French was once the language of every court in Europe. I speak German only to my horses, said Frederick the Great. But now, because the Americans speak English, English is the language of diplomacy, of the Internet and the Global Economy. (...)"

PS: Hoje, a tradicional linguagem de "orgulho americano" (ou será do Estado Federal Americano?) de muitos liberais europeus culpa os Franceses de tudo, sendo certo que são culpados de muita coisa desde que perdeu a sua monarquia, mas foram os franceses que tiveram sempre o ónus de combater os Alemães sem hesitações (para seu próprio mal), ali mesmo ao lado e apesar das fragilidades mais do que óbvias:


Em 1871 contra Bismarck. Na Grande Guerra porque era aliado da Rússia. E na Segunda, em desvantagem mais do que óbvia, por causa da Polónia. No mês seguinte perderam (e só podiam perder, os generais sabiam disso) 100 000 homens a tentar o impossível contra as tropas alemãs.

A posição da Inglaterra sempre foi mais confortável: protegidos na sua ilha, enquanto os europeus continentais combatem, o Império cresce. Os americanos aparecem em ambas as guerras apenas no 4º ano de guerra e na Ásia a guerra acaba com duas WMD sobre civis...porque de outra forma as baixas militares poderiam ser elevadas...

Não é por acaso que nas academias miltares como West Point, o francês permaneceu como a lingua militar até recentemente. Chamarem pacifistas e cobardes aos franceses...e fazem o mesmo com os alemães...até parece que querem vê-los novamente a retomar a sua tradição quase milenária...

Sudão

"(...)The fact is we do not know and cannot understand the complexities of the civil war in Sudan, which has lasted for 39 of that country’s 48 years of existence. Supporters of our intervention in Sudan argue that this is a clear-cut case of Sudan’s Christian minority being oppressed and massacred by the Arab majority in the Darfur region. It is interesting that the CIA’s World Factbook states that Sudan’s Christians, who make up five percent of the population, are concentrated in the south of the country. Darfur is a region in the mid-western part of Sudan. So I wonder about this very simplistic characterization of the conflict.(...)

In fact, the promise of US support for one side in the struggle may discourage the progress that has been made recently. What incentive is there to seek a peaceful resolution of the conflict when the US government promises massive assistance to one side? I strongly urge my colleagues to rethink our current dangerous course toward further intervention in Sudan. We may end up hurting most those we are intending to help."

Ron Paul (is a Republican [e libertarian] member of Congress from Texas) before the US House of Representatives, November 19, 2004, regarding House Amendments to Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act

quinta-feira, 25 de Novembro de 2004

Alexander [Bush] the Great

"(...)Both Alexander and President Bush are the most powerful leaders of their day, raised in the shadow of dynamic fathers who also wielded worldwide influence, and defined by an ambitious and ongoing war in a foreign land that is historically difficult to occupy. Both men spent years pursuing a high-profile enemy leader who fled into the hills of the Middle East.

"The film was never made for the purposes of a correlation or to say anything about today's present state," said Colin Farrell, who stars in the title role. "People say history repeats itself, well it does in different ways, shapes and forms. This was kind of a freaky coincidence that our story takes place exactly where all the madness we're all talking about takes place now."

(...) Even though the world has changed dozens of times over since Alexander's days -- which predated Jesus Christ and Mohammed -- lessons in ancient history remain for modern people.

"And what is the lesson?" Stone asked. "Alexander brought the Hellenic way which is, let's say, more freedom for the individual. He abided by the customs of, unlike our administration, of leaving the (opposing) armies intact and used the armies. He always needed more men."

After Saddam Hussein was toppled, the United States disbanded the Iraqi army instead of incorporating those not loyal to Saddam as a police force, a move criticized as making it more difficult to fight anti-U.S. guerrillas.

"(Alexander) was always inclusive, and we were exactly the opposite when we went into Iraq. We were totally exclusive. ... You could argue the policy was malformed from the beginning, misintended."

Stone said he considers that an error in strategy and has no interest in bashing the president.
"I would not put Bush down. We have to move on," Stone said. "The election happened, and there's no point in crying over it. It's a fresh slate for me, personally. I look at him fresh. People change. ...

"Often second-term presidents do become better presidents. They're a little bit wiser and they don't have to run so hard to get elected. So things might change. You hope for that."

If Bush manages to transform Iraq and Afghanistan into secure, democratic states; if he can negotiate with Iran to disband its nuclear weapons program and calm Islamic radicalism; if he continues to work peacefully with Russia, which has its own historic interests in the region ... Stone says the U.S. president may earn the legacy of the ancient hero of "Alexander."

"It's a grand scheme," Stone said. "If he pulled it off ... in 20 years, maybe he would be considered 'Bush the Great."' Via CNN

Permanent War

...for permanent peace

David Frum: "Speaking of free societies: The faking of the election in Ukraine should remind Europeans that they face more serious threats and much closer to home than the reelection of George W. Bush. To borrow an observation of Radek Sikorski’s, independent Russia can be a normal country with a democratic future: Russia plus Ukraine is the Russian empire, which can never be a democracy. And it was precisely the issue of Ukrainian independence – and thus Ukrainian democracy – that was at stake this weekend. The integrity of Ukrainian elections is not just an internal Ukrainian matter: It is a portent for the future of all Europe and all the West."

PS: É uma missão assumida pelos Neocons, multiplicarem causas de importância vital para o Ocidente e até a Civilização! Pode ser o Iraque hoje e o Irão amanhã, o Taiwain (contra a China), uns km2 de areia na Palestina ou a Ucrânia. Motivos não podem faltar para cumprir potenciais confrontos em nome de elevados princípios. Creative destruction é o seu lema. O destino de tal caminho é a repetição da Grande Guerra- como todos os assuntos externos são "vitais " e todas as alianças estabelecidas entre estatistas são para se cumprirem, um pequeno acontecimento precipita a destruição em larga escala.

quarta-feira, 24 de Novembro de 2004

The Incredibles

"Yet the film also stands apart from its peers in its unfashionably élitist view of heroism. The message of other such films nowadays is that self-knowledge is the secret to fulfilment, and that acceptance of one's lot, however narrow, is the route to happiness.

The Incredibles is, on the surface, a celebration of resilience, of a family facing adversity and vanquishing it together. Bob, who has always believed he works best alone, finally acknowledges that he couldn't have survived without his wife and kids. But throughout the story, an undercurrent of resentment is felt at the way superheroes have been prevented from using their gifts.

Society disdains the extraordinary, preferring instead to "create new ways to celebrate mediocrity" and keep everyone on the same level. What this film seems to say is that we are not all the same, that some are intrinsically better than others, and that it's wrong to pretend any different. "When everyone is special, then no one is," says Bob, an anti-democratic sentiment that aligns him with Nietzsche - a first for a cartoon character, I fancy.

It is safe to say that Pixar, at least, is the übermensch among studios. The sophistication of its digital know-how, the wit and invention of its scripts, such are the qualities that set it head and shoulders above the competition. Five hits have been its richly deserved reward, and nothing stands in the way of The Incredibles being its sixth. "
The Incredibles (U) The fantastic fourReviewed by Anthony Quinn

PS: Parece que os objectivistas (Ayn Rand cult) estão a gostar muito do filme.

segunda-feira, 22 de Novembro de 2004

Unintended Consequences...

...das mudanças de regime

Afghanistan: a nation abandoned to drugs: Country produces 87% of global opium. One in ten Afghans works in opium trade. UN: state is world's second worst to live in.

"Three years after the fall of the Taliban, the United Nations issued a dramatic plea for help yesterday, saying that Afghanistan’s opium crop is flourishing as never before and the country is well on the way to becoming a corrupt narco-state.

The UN’s annual opium survey reveals that poppy cultivation increased by two-thirds this year, a finding that will come as a deep embarrassment to Tony Blair, who pledged in 2001 to eradicate the scourge of opium along with the Taliban.

Solução?: "So alarmed is the UN that it is suggesting a remedy more radical than any that has been put forward before - bringing in US and British forces to fight a drugs war similar to the war on terror. It wants them to destroy farmers’ crops on a massive scale before they can be harvested."

Anti-Federalismos

1. Deputada Buitenweg (Verde, Holandesa).:"Senhor Buttiglione: Algumas das suas opiniões estão em directa contradição com a lei europeia. Por exemplo: a discriminação com base na orientação sexual é interdita e o Senhor disse que a homossexualidade é um pecado e é sinal de desordem moral. Gostaria de saber directamente de si, agora, como é que nós poderemos esperar que o Senhor combata por esse direito e se poderia dar-nos um exemplo de como espera alcançar o seu objectivo."

Resposta de Buttiglione. "Posso recordar um filósofo, já antigo, mas talvez não completamente esquecido, de Könisberg - um tal Emmanuel Kant -, que fez uma clara distinção entre moralidade e direito. Muitas coisas, que podem ser consideradas imorais, não devem ser proibidas. Quando fazemos política, não renunciamos ao direito de ter convicções e eu posso pensar que a homossexualidade é um pecado e isso não ter efeito na política, o que só sucederia se eu dissesse que a homossexualidade é um crime. Da mesma maneira, a Senhora é livre de pensar que eu sou um pecador em muitas coisas da vida, e isso não tem nenhum efeito nas nossas relações como cidadãos.

"Direi por isso que considero uma abordagem inadequada do problema pretender que toda a gente concorde em questões de moralidade.

"Nós podemos construir uma comunidade de cidadãos mesmo que em algumas questões de moralidade tenhamos opiniões diferentes. A questão é, isso sim, da não discriminação. O Estado não tem o direito de meter o nariz nessas questões de moralidade e ninguém pode ser discriminado com base na sua orientação sexual ou qualquer orientação de género. É isto o que está na Carta dos Direitos Fundamentais, na Constituição, e eu tenho defendido esta Constituição."

2. Deputado Cashman (socialista, Inglês): "não creio que o devamos julgar pelas suas palavras, mas antes pelas suas acções. Disse-nos hoje que o Estado não tem o direito de se envolver nas questões que têm a ver com a orientação sexual. Como explica então que tenha apresentado, na Convenção para o Futuro da Europa, uma proposta que visava eliminar da Constituição a referência à orientação sexual no combate às discriminações?"

Resposta de Buttiglione:"Quando definimos o princípio da não discriminação, pretendíamos que ele fosse aplicado não apenas a um número limitado de casos que estavam enumerados. O princípio é universal, expansivo. Deve ser aplicado em muitas e variadas áreas e não creio que constituísse um reforço para a sua aplicação referir em especial o caso dos homossexuais. Mas, em qualquer circunstância, esse debate está encerrado. Não tenho dúvidas de que se o Senhor Deputado Cashman a tivesse escrito sozinho, teríamos uma Constituição ou uma Carta dos Direitos Fundamentais diferente. E se fosse eu a fazê-lo, teríamos também uma Carta e uma Constituição diferentes. Mas esta é a Constituição que escrevemos em conjunto e esta é a Constituição que nos liga, sob a qual estou disposto a viver e esta é a Carta dos Direitos que eu quero defender."

3. Deputado Alvaro: "...como é que as suas estreitas relações com os Estados Unidos e o Vaticano vão afectar as suas decisões?"

Buttiglione respondeu: "Eu sou amigo dos Estados Unidos, mas não sou americano. Tenho divergências com os americanos como todos os europeus têm tido. Acredito que a Europa tem de viver numa comunidade transatlântica com dois pilares, sendo a Europa um deles. Temos de estar preparados para trabalhar com os americanos, como parceiros iguais, sobre o futuro do mundo, com responsabilidades conjuntas pelo futuro da humanidade. ...não é segredo que eu sou católico, mas isso não tem a ver com o Vaticano mas com a minha fé, com as minhas pessoais convicções; e penso que se pode ser um bom católico e um bom europeu ao mesmo tempo ... como Adenauer, De Gasperi, Schuman ou Helmut Kohl."

E ao deputado In't Veld, reafirmou: "sou contra a discriminação. Penso que todas as pessoas devem ter os mesmos direitos, homossexuais, heterossexuais ou o que forem. Estou comprometido a defender os direitos de todos os cidadãos europeus, incluindo o direito de não discriminação. O Senhor quer que eu seja pro-activo, mas eu não sei o que entende por isso. Penso que os direitos dos homossexuais devem ser defendidos na mesma base dos demais cidadãos europeus. Se houver específicos problemas para os homossexuais, estou pronto a considerá-los. Se por exemplo me disser que há uma especial violência contra os homossexuais, então eu estou pronto a considerar a hipótese de legislação específica em ordem a protegê-los dessa violência e a dar melhores garantias do direito à igualdade".

via O "Case Study" Buttiglione (2) Por MÁRIO PINTO

domingo, 21 de Novembro de 2004

sexta-feira, 19 de Novembro de 2004

Falácias

Sérgio Figueiredo hoje no Jornal de Negócios: "São os europeus que estão a pagar, com menos crescimento e mais desemprego, a depreciação acentuada do dólar, porque os asiáticos, ou não têm regimes de câmbios flexíveis (caso da China), ou põem os seus bancos centrais a vender dólares no mercado e comprando as respectivas divisas (como o Japão anda a fazer por estes dias)."

1. Um engano de escrita (penso): os Bancos Centrais asiáticos têm estado sim a comprar dólares para travar a sua desvalorização, por pura e simples emissão monetária da sua própria moeda - é uma situação nova, a capacidade de aumentar as reservas de dólares a custo Zero.

2. Se a Europa tem um problema com isso, será então a solução passar a câmbio fixo ou replicar a estratégia asiática de comprar dólares a custo Zero?

3. Se a valorização de uma moeda fosse causa de menos crescimento e desemprego, quer dizer que a desvalorização cria emprego e acelera o crescimento da economia?

PS: Se os Bancos Centrais Asiáticos conseguem comprar enormes quantidades de dólares a custo Zero, isso significa que têm a capacidade de comprar activos americanos a custo Zero? Isso faz sentido? Não, nada faz sentido no actual sistema monetário estatista e um dia vamos perceber isso.

Edmund Burke e John Maynard Keynes

Em 1992, Murray N. Rothbard publica um paper chamado "Keynes, the Man" (Originally published in Dissent on Keynes: A Critical Appraisal of Keynesian Economics, Edited by Mark Skousen. New York: Praeger (1992). Pp. 171–198.). onde analisa a vida de "John Maynard Keynes, the man—his character, his writings, and his actions throughout life—".

John Maynard Keynes, recordemos, é o responsável na economia e filosofia política por credibilizar o que não devia merecer qualquer crédito. Ainda hoje, por incrivel que pareça, é aceite universalmente pelo maistream académico e igualmente à esquerda, centro e direita (e posso juntar até a extrema-esquerda e extrema direita). Se hoje vivemos no consenso do centralismo social-democrata, esmagados pelos virtuais e falsos princípios (e falsa ciência) da macro-economia, a ele se deve.

Rothbard fala da passagem de Keynes pelos The Apostles (..."were not simply a social club, in the manner of Ivy League secret fraternities. They were also a self-consciously intellectual elite, especially interested in philosophy and its applications to aesthetics and life. Apostle members were chosen almost exclusively from King’s and Trinity, and they met every Saturday evening behind locked doors to deliver and discuss papers.") e da qual diz:

"The extraordinary arrogance of the Apostles is best summed up in the Society’s Kantian half- joke: that the Society alone is “real,” whereas the rest of the world is only “phenomenal.” Maynard himself would refer to non-Apostles as “phenomena.” What all this meant was that the world outside was regarded as less substantial, less worthy of attention than the Society’s own collective life….It was a joke with a serious twist,"

e ainda

"(...) The Apostolic confrontation with bourgeois values included praise for avant garde aesthetics, holding homosexuality to be morally superior (with bisexuality a distant second 3), and hatred for such traditional family values as thrift or any emphasis on the future or long run, as compared to the present. (“In the long run,” as Keynes would later intone in his famous phrase, “we are all dead.”)"

Depois fala da fase BLOOMSBURY

"After graduation from Cambridge, Keynes and many of his Apostle colleagues took up lodgings in Bloomsbury, an unfashionable section of north London. There they formed the now- famous Bloomsbury Group, the center of aesthetic and moral avant-gardism that constituted the most influential cultural and intellectual force in England during the 1910s and 1920s.(...)

With a major emphasis on rebellion against Victorian values, it is no wonder that Maynard Keynes was a distinguished Bloomsbury member. One particular emphasis was pursuit of avantgarde and formalistic art—pushed by art critic and Cambridge Apostle Roger Fry (...) Virginia Stephen Woolf would become a prominent exponent of formalistic fiction. And all of them energetically pursued a lifestyle of promiscuous bisexuality, as was brought to light in Michael Holroyd’s (1967) biography of Strachey.

Depois temos a descoberta por Keynes da THE MOORITE PHILOSOPHER

The greatest impact on Keynes’s life and values, the great conversion experience for him, came not in economics but in philosophy. A few months after Keynes’s initiation into the Apostles, G.E. Moore, a professor of philosophy at Trinity who had become an Apostle a decade earlier than Keynes, published his magnum opus, Principia Ethica (1903). Both at the time and in reminiscence three decades later, Keynes attested to the enormous impact that the Principia had had upon him and his fellow Apostles."

O efeito foi: Keynes and his fellow Apostles enthusiastically embraced the idea of a “religion” composed of moments of “passionate contemplation and communion” of and with objects of love or friendship.


Mas já aqui surge uma nuance: They repudiated, however, all social morals or ge neral rules of conduct, totally rejecting Moore’s penultimate chapter on “Ethics in Relation to Conduct.” As Keynes states in his 1938 paper:

"In our opinion, one of the greatest advantages of his [Moore’s] religion was that it made morals unnecessary….We entirely repudiated a personal liability on us to obey general rules. We claimed the right to judge every individual case on its merits, and the wisdom to do so successfully. This was a very important part of our faith, violently and aggressively held, and for the outer world it was our most obvious and dangerous characteristic. We repudiated entirely customary morals, conventions and traditional wisdom. We were, that is to say, in the strict sense of the term, immoralists. (Keynes [1951] 1972: 142–43)

E na página 9 (de 35) Rothbard fala do que Keynes dizia admirar em Burke, onde Keynes pega em partes do seu pensamento, acrescenta as suas, e acabar a construir um edificio no qual, Burke nunca iria querer entrar (com a palavra liberal, sucedeu o mesmo).

If Moore was Keynes’s ethical hero, Burke may lay strong claim to be being his political hero,” writes Skidelsky (1983: 154).

O que diz Rothbard: "Edmund Burke? What could that conservative worshiper of tradition have in common with Keynes, the statist and rationalist central planner? Once again, as with Moore, Keynes venerated his man with a Keynesian twist, selecting the elements that fitted his own character and temperament.

What Keynes took from Burke is revealing. (Keynes presented his views in a lengthy undergraduate prize-winning English essay on “The Political Doctrines of Edmund Burke.”)

There is, first, Burke’s militant opposition to general principles in politics and, in particular, his championing of expediency against abstract natural rights.

Secondly, Keynes agreed strongly with Burke’s high time preference, his downgrading of the uncertain future versus the existing present. Keynes therefore agreed with Burke’s conservatism in the sense that he was hostile to “introducing present evils for the sake of future benefits.” There is also the right-wing expression of Keynes’s general deprecation of the long run, when “we are all dead.” As Keynes put it, “It is the paramount duty of governments and of politicians to secure the well-being of the community under the case in the present, and not to run risks overmuch for the future” (ibid.: 155– 56).

Thirdly, Keynes admired Burke’s appreciation of the “organic” ruling elite of Great Britain. There were differences over policy, of course, but Keynes joined Burke in hailing the system of aristocratic rule as sound, so long as governing personnel were chosen from the existing organic elite. Writing of Burke, Keynes noted, “the machine itself [the British state] he held to be sound enough if only the ability and integrity of those in charge of it could be assured.” (Ibid., p. 156)

In addition to his neo-Burkean disregard for principle, lack of concern for the future, and admiration for the existing British ruling class, Keynes was also sure that devotion to truth was merely a matter of taste, with little or no place in polities. He wrote: “A preference for truth or for sincerity as a method may be prejudice based on some aesthetic or personal standard, inconsistent, in politics, with practical good” (Johnson, 1978: 24)

Indeed Keynes displayed a positive taste for lying in politics. He habitually made up statistics to suit his political proposals, and he would agitate for world monetary inflation with exaggerated hyperbole while maintaining that “words ought to be a little wild—the assault of thoughts upon the unthinking.” But, revealingly enough, once he achieved power, Keynes admitted that such hyperbole would have to be dropped: “When the seats of power and authority have been attained, there should be no more poetic license” (Johnson and Johnson 1978: 19–21)."
O texto continua a análise da vida Keynes e merece ser lido na totalidade.

quinta-feira, 18 de Novembro de 2004

Re: Edmund Burke... anarchist?

Estou convencido que Burke conservou toda a vida a mesma atitude perante o poder. O que ele escreveu, ainda jovem, em "Vindication of a natural society" só aparentemente é contraditório com as grandes linhas da grande obra da velhice, as "Reflections on the revolution in France". Independentemente de não ter nunca assumido as consequências anarquistas de "Vindication", as reflexões sobre o poder registadas nessa obra acompanharam-no sempre, impedindo-o de ver no poder político algo mais do que um mecanismo de conservação de direitos e liberdades. Nunca Burke conseguiu ver nos sistemas políticos mecanismos de melhorar o que quer que fosse na vida dos homens ou de os tornar mais felizes; daí que não pudesse seguir outros whigs no entusiasmo com a engenharia política da revolução francesa nem deixasse de ver também na democracia, como forma de exercício do poder que é, a face bruta da arbitrariedade potencial que é própria do poder político.

Edmund Burke...

...anarchist?

Nota: "Natural Society" tal como "Natural Order", são termos usados correntemente por aqueles que acreditam que o último dos fins políticos, como dizia Lord Acton é a liberdade - o que só pode ser conferida na sua totalidade quando os nossos direitos naturais (livre contrato e direito de propriedade) são respeitados em pleno - e esse "pleno" é incompatível com qualquer estrutura de poder político (o que não significa que existam sistemas menos incompatíveis que outros) que detenha o poder monopolístico e unilateral sobre a definição de lei e o exercício da coerção (definição de Estado) - no fim, a sociedade deve reger-se exclusivamente por relações de propriedade e contrato (e existem muitas formas colectivas que o respeitam, como as empresas, associações e condomínios, etc) - e é um contrasenso afirmar que a única forma dos nossos direitos naturais ("rule of law") serem respeitados é submetermo-nos a uma estrutura cuja legitimidade não é contratual nem voluntária. Este é o "insight" do termo" natural society" ou "natural order", a sua consequência não é de indole revolucionária nem utópica (não promete nem felicidade nem pão), apenas nos guia como um fim (para quem o aceitar) na nossa reflexão e análise.

De referir ainda que muitos dos que usam o termo "natural order", vêm muitas qualidades, tal como Burke o via, no melhor da tradição monárquica e na realidade europeia pré-grande guerra (Rothbard falava da "the much civilized world", e inda ao anterior nascimento do capitalismo nas cidades comerciais da itália, da Hasneatic League, numa ordem social descentralizada e estável). A repulsa pelo pior da revolução francesa é também comum a Edmund Burke- na verdade, estes autores (como Hoppe), falam do resultado catastrófico da Grande Guerra como o culminar do que Napoleão e o Jacobinismo quis: o fim das monarquias e o nascimento de uma nova ordem - o Estado Moderno.

1) "A Note on Burke’s Vindication of Natural Society"

Published in the Journal of the History of Ideas, 19, 1 (January 1958), pp. 114-118. Murray N. Rothbard

In 1756 Edmund Burke published his first work: Vindication of Natural Society. Curiously enough it has been almost completely ignored in the current Burke revival. This work contrasts sharply with Burke’s other writings, for it is hardly in keeping with the current image of the Father of the New Conservatism. A less conservative work could hardly be imagined; in fact, Burke’s Vindication was perhaps the first modern expression of rationalistic and individualistic anarchism.(...)

An Embarrassing Work for Conservatives

The Vindication was published anonymously when Burke was 27 years old. Nine years later, after his authorship had been discovered, Burke found himself about to embark on his famous Parliamentary career. To admit that he had seriously held such views in earlier years would have been politically disastrous. His only way out was to brush it off as a satire, thereby vindicating himself as an eternal enemy of rationalism and subversion.

Burke begins the Vindication by establishing the aim of his inquiry: to investigate with the light of truth the general nature of political institutions or "political society." He rejects at the outset the typically conservative reluctance to tamper with prevalent beliefs and ancient traditions.


He upholds that noble tenet of eighteenth-century rationalism: that happiness, in the long run, rests on truth and truth alone. And that truth is the natural law of human activity and human relations. Positive law imposed by the State injures man whenever it strays from the path that we know to be the law of man’s nature. How is the natural law to be discovered? Not by Revelation, but by the use of man’s reason.

'All Empires Are Cemented in Blood'

It is characteristic of Burke that he develops his examination of the State through historical inquiry. First, there are the external relations among States. He finds the typical relation is war. War is practically the only external face of the State; and Burke points out that Machiavelli’s emphasis on war for the study of his Prince applies to all forms of States and not just to monarchies. Burke, in obvious disgust, goes on to chronicle some of the notable "butcheries" in which States have indulged. "All empires have been cemented in blood" and in mutual attempts at destruction. And Burke wittily deduces that Hobbes’ appalling view of mankind in the state of nature was derived, not from Hobbes’ observations of ordinary human action, but from his study of the actions of men when banded together into states. (...)

States Violate the Law of Nature

(...) Burke proceeds to a discussion of the famous Aristotelian types of government: despotism, aristocracy, democracy. Each is taken up, examined, and found wanting. Despotism is obviously evil; but aristocracy is not better. In fact, an aristocracy is apt to be worse, since its rule is more permanent and does not depend on the whims of one man.


And what of democracy? Here Burke draws on his store of knowledge of ancient Greece. Democracy is not only tyrannical, but bound to succumb to hatred of superior individuals. The rule of the people tends to be warlike and despotic, and to make heavy use of taxes and subsidies.

(...) Again and again, he emphatically denounces any and all government, and not just specific, forms of government. Summing up his views on government, he declares:

"The several species of government vie with each other in the absurdity of their constitutions, and the oppression which they make their subjects endure. Take them under what form you please, they are in effect but a despotism .... ~

Parties in religion and politics make sufficient discoveries concerning each other, to give a sober man proper caution against them all. The monarchist, and aristocratical, and popular partisans have been jointly laying their axes to the root of all government, and have in their turns proved each other absurd and inconvenient. In vain you tell me that artificial government is good, but that I fall out only with the abuse. The thing! The thing itself is the abuse!
3

Was Burke a Private-Property Anarchist?

The anarchism of Burke’s Vindication is negative, rather than positive. It consists of an attack on the State rather than a positive blueprint of the type of society which Burke would regard as ideal.(...)On balance, it would be fair, though inconclusive, to place the Vindication in the individualist camp, since there is no sign of enmity to private property as such in this work. (...)"

2)
Rothbard and Burke vs. the Cold War Burkeans, Joseph R. Stromberg

" (...)this essay, Rothbard argued that the Vindication, Burke’s first important publication, was a serious and rationalistic analysis of the evils of "artificial society" – that is, political government – and was thus perhaps the first statement of modern anarchism. It was an anarchism that grew naturally out of 18th-century liberalism with its commitment to natural rights and natural law. The Vindication was so radical that the young Burke published it anonymously. (...)

If the Vindication was merely a reductio ad absurdum of Bolingbroke’s arguments for deism, Rothbard wanted to see a few of the supposed absurda. Burke’s text seemed entirely straightforward (non-ironic) with regard to lawyers and Weston maintained that, there, some of Burke’s real views leaked out. In those passages the "satire" was not fully sustained.

Rothbard found "this singularly unconvincing, especially when we consider that distrust of lawyers and their alleged vested interest in tyranny, was part-and-parcel of the very libertarian tradition of the eighteenth century that Burke is said to be satirizing."
6

There are many such "leakages" in conventional readings of the book. At some point in his research, Rothbard acquired a copy of Joseph Cressman’s dissertation, which was dedicated to sustaining the satire theory.
7

Rothbard’s extensive underlining and marginal comments flag every case where Cressman discussed passages that clashed with the satire theory. Once again, Burke’s "real views" were spotted bubbling up through the sham-Bolingbrokeanism. Cressman was especially sure of this in passages where Burke spoke of the plight of the poor. He may well be right – but how many cases of Burke’s real views can there be before the whole satire business topples over? Rothbard saw all such weaknesses as evidence for his own reading.
8(...)

In volume three of his
Conceived in Liberty, Rothbard zeroed in on Burke’s appreciation for Americans’ near-anarchist state of freedom, as revealed in his famous Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies.

Writes Rothbard: "Burke saluted American achievements and economic development" and "harked back to the crucial distinction he had made in his first work, A Vindication of Natural Society (1756), between the benefits of natural voluntary actions in society (‘natural government’), and the mischievous effects of the coercive intervention of the state (‘artificial government’)."

Further: "Burke hailed the ‘fierce spirit of liberty’ that had grown up among the Americans" and "saw with acute perception the radically new nature of what the Americans had recently been doing.

And here is what Rothbard quotes from Burke himself:

"We thought, Sir, that the utmost which the discontented colonists would do, was to disturb authority; we never dreamt they could of themselves supply it."

As for conditions in Massachusetts, Burke said:

"we were confident that the first feeling, if not the very prospect of anarchy, would instantly enforce a complete submission. The experiment was tried. A new, strange, unexpected face of things appeared. Anarchy is now found tolerable. A vast province has now subsisted, and subsisted in a considerable degree of health and vigor, for near a twelvemonth, without governor, without public council, without judges, without executive magistrates."
11"

(...) But even in the 1780s, in his speeches impeaching Warren Hastings for abuses committed in India (and modeled on Cicero’s impeachment of Verres), the prescriptive, expedient Burke could still say things of this sort:

"The rights of men – that is to say, the natural rights of mankind – are indeed sacred things; and if any public measure is proved mischievously to affect them, the objection ought to be fatal to that measure, even if no charter at all could be set up against it.... Indeed... formal recognition, by the sovereign power, of an original right in the subject, can never be subverted, but by rooting up the holding radical principles of government, and even of society itself."
18 "

quarta-feira, 17 de Novembro de 2004

Campeonato Nacional de Flip-flopping

Recebido por e-mail:

Depois de ouvir as intervenções de Pedro Santana Lopes e José Sócrates no debate orçamental, finalmente percebi o meu erro. Julgava que os dois principais partidos tinham mudado de líder.

Afinal foram os líderes que mudaram de partido...

FCG

THE TRIUMPH OF MILITARISM

"The provisions concerning recruiting and the length of active military service had to be fixed by the Reichstag; parliamentary consent was required, moreover, for the budgetary allowance for the army. But the Parliament had no influence over the management of military affairs. The army was the army of the King of Prussia, not of the people or the Parlia­ment. The Emperor and King was Supreme War Lord and com­mander in chief. The chief of the Great General Staff was the Kaiser's first assistant in the conduct of operations. The army was an institution not within but above the apparatus of civil adminis­tration. (...)

To the increase of the armed forces financial considerations were a smaller obstacle than the shortage of the supply of men whom the generals considered eligible for commissions on active duty. With the expansion of the armed forces it had long become impossible to give commissions to noblemen only. The number of nonaristocratic officers steadily grew.(...)

The political system of the new German Empire has been called militarism. The characteristic feature of militarism is not the fact that a nation has a powerful army or navy. It is the paramount role assigned to the army within the political structure. Even in peace­time the army is supreme; it is the predominant factor in political life. (...)

Empire did not employ foreign soldiers. It was not preserved by bayonets but by the almost unani­mous consent of its subjects. The nation approved of the system, and therefore the soldiers were loyal too. The people acquiesced in the leadership of the "state" because they deemed such a system fair, expedient, and useful for them. There were, of course, some objectors, but they were few and powerless."

"The liberals therefore did not fear that the new electoral system would postpone or seriously imperil their inexorable final victory. The outlook for the immediate future was not very comforting but the ultimate prospects were excellent. One had only to look at France. In that country too an autocrat had founded his despotism upon the loyalty of the army and upon universal and equal franchise. But now the Caesar was crushed and democracy had triumphed.

The liberals did not greatly fear socialism. The socialists had achieved some success. But it could be expected that reasonable workers would soon discover the impracticability of socialist utopias. Why should the wage earners whose standard of living was daily improving be deluded by demagogues who—as rumors whispered—were on the pay roll of Bismarck?

Only later did the liberals become aware of the change taking place in the nation's mentality. For many years they believed that it was only a temporary setback, a short reactionary incident which was doomed to disappear very soon. For them every supporter of the new ideologies was either misguided or a renegade. But the numbers of these apostates increased. The youth no longer joined the liberal party. The old fighters for liberalism grew tired. With every new election campaign their ranks became thinner; with every year the reactionary system which they hated became more power­ful.

Some faithful men still clung to the ideas of liberty and democracy, gallantly fighting against the united assaults on liberal­ism from the Right and from the Left. But they were a forlorn squad. Among those born after the battle of Königgrätz almost nobody joined the party of liberalism. The liberals died out. The new generation did not even know the meaning of the word."

Omnipotent Government The Rise of the Total State and Total War, by Ludwig von Mises(1944)

This remarkable treatise on Nazism and the total state was published by Yale University (New Haven, CT) in 1944 and reprinted by Arlington House (New Rochelle, NY) in 1969. It is now published by the Libertarian Press (Grove City, PA) and available from the Mises Institute's catalog

Ainda os ataques à propriedade privada

É verdade, houve casos em que o poder judicial se vergou ao poder executivo (embora, muitas vezes, o cerco legislativo democrático já fosse suficientemente forte para tornar qualquer resistência quase impossível - quando apareceu o New Deal, já existiam há algumas décadas nos E.U.A. práticas tendentes à confusão de poderes, p.e., aos actos administrativos da Administração já fôra dada força de lei desde 1911). Mas o que eu queria sublinhar é que o principal mal dos regimes democráticos actuais é a concentração dos poderes legislativo e executivo nas mesmas mãos: os chefes dos partidos maioritários são os patrões do governo e dos grupos parlamentares que fazem as "leis". Isto é que é o monstro a que nos devemos atirar.

Re: Re: os ataques à propriedade privada

De acordo, mas em última análise, devia ter sido o poder judicial a proteger-nos do legislativo e executivo. Por exemplo, o Supremo Tribunal Americano deixou passar a legislação do New Deal, quando não o devia ter permitido. Quanto é que os bancos deixaram de poder cumprir (default) com a troca das notas por moedas de ouro? Quando de alguma forma, o poder judicial permitiu que o legislativo legalizasse um incumprimento. Ou seja, em que momento é que os dois poderes políticos transcenderam o seu papel? Quando também (mas não só) o Judicial se deixou politizar, aparentemente sem resistência.

Claro que em última análise, "nós" temos os direitos porque lutamos e no fim, sim, "somos nós que o fazemos a nós próprios". Mas é por estas e por outras é que só nos resta a ameaça de secessão pacífica ou a exigência da federalização interna (nacional) como "check and balance" último à social-democracia - passando-se a rejeitar localmente/regionalmente legislação centralista e abusiva como esta.

Quanto aos liberais federalistas europeus, esses têm de perceber enquanto é tempo que o federalismo "para cima" (supranacional em vez de intranacional) só pode piorar as coisas.

Novos links

À espera dos bárbaros

O Pasquim da Reacção

Re: ataques à propriedade privada

O poder judicial não é culpado do enquadramento jurídico que existe e que condiciona as suas funções. A intromissão do legislador democrático na liberdade individual e nos espaços privados deve-se ao novo poder absoluto criado pelas democracias pós-liberais: sem separação nem limitação de poderes, o monstro resultante da fusão dos poderes executivo e legislativo (que é o que temos sob a forma de governos munidos de maiorias parlamentares obedientes), ungido nas urnas, permite-se "fazer a lei". Para a generalidade das pessoas, está tudo bem porque os senhores "foram a votos" e têm "legitimidade". Quem não concordar, que tente arranjar outra maioria nas eleições seguintes. O verdadeiro problema é não existir uma definição, uma delimitação, dos assuntos passíveis de serem "legislados". Mas os juízes, caro CN, não têm culpa deste lamentável estado de coisas. Eles aplicam a lei que existe, feita por outros pelos métodos infelizmente estabelecidos. Eles são os guardiões do templo, não os seus arquitectos... Triste sina a deles!

Os ataques à propriedade privada...

Público: Governo vai proibir o tabaco em bares, discotecas e locais de trabalho

...vêm de todo o lado.

O tempo passa e a social-democracia (de esquerda, centro e direita) vai mostrando a sua face - como "somos nós que o fazemos a nós próprios" (e portanto a legitimidade é total) e porque quem interpreta e aplica a Lei (o poder judicial) limita-se a aceitar tudo o que o poder legislativo decreta, perdendo toda e qualquer noção da sua obrigação em verificar a sua adequação à luz do direito natural - a de um totalitarismo que se insinua em contínuo e de forma crescente.

O direito de propriedade confere um direito de auto-regulamentação - e aceitar fumadores ou não é algo que seja para ser decidido pelo poder executivo ou legislativo - o poder judicial devia proteger os proprietários mas apenas protege o seu patrão, de quem depende.

terça-feira, 16 de Novembro de 2004

Fallujah

A cidade onde, T.E. Lawrence [da Arábia], escreveu no The Sunday Times, August 1920:

“The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster. Our unfortunate troops, Indian and British, under hard conditions of climate and supply are policing an immense area, paying dearly every day in lives for the willfully wrong policy of the civil administration in Baghdad but the responsibility, in this case, is not on the army which has acted only upon the request of the civil authorities.”

Depois:

"(...)The British sent a renowned explorer and a senior colonial officer who had quelled unrest in the corners of their empire, Lt. Col. Gerald Leachman, to master this unruly corner of Iraq. Leachman was killed in an altercation with a local leader named Shaykh Dhari. His death sparked a war that ended up costing the lives of 10,000 Iraqis and more than 1,000 British and Indian troops. To restore Iraq to their control, the British used massive air power, bombing indiscriminately. That city is now called Fallujah.

Shaykh Dhari’s grandson, today a prominent Iraqi cleric, helped to broker the end of the U.S. Marine siege of Fallujah in April of this year. Fallujah thus embodies the interrelated tribal, religious and national aspects of Iraq’s history.(...)"

Fallujah 101 - A history lesson about the town we are currently destroying.

Collin Powell

O realista, que prestou o grande serviço a Bush de se humilhar mundialmente e em directo na ONU a defender o caso de uma inexistente ameaça ("lies and deception?", Saddam acaba acusado de dizer a verdade fazendo querer que mentia, a partir de agora um "causus bellis"), sai para dar lugar aos wilsonianos idealistas?

Os mesmos responsáveis por libertarem o génio do mal na civilização com o desastre do fim da Grande Guerra (aquela que era suposto "acabar com todas as guerras" e "fazer o mundo mais seguro para a democracia"): Versailles e a queda das monarquias europeias substituidas pelas repúblicas fascistas e comunistas (em especial o fim do império austro-hungaro que permitiu a hegemonia germânica: Hitler agradeceu), o fim do padrão ouro com a consequência da crise de 1929, a Segunda Guerra, a queda do Império Britânico, o drama das descolonizações enquadradas no meio de 50 anos de Guerra Fria (o preço de ter feito Estaline - um mass murder dos anos 20 e 30 - um "aliado" e a destruição do Japão).

Os problemas do Médio Oriente tem origens ainda na Grande Guerra, e é o mesmo idealismo musculado (revolucionário?) que o pretende solucionar (daí, alguns até exigirem o fim das monarquias, os regimes mais funcionais desta zona, como o Koweit, Dubai, etc): parece que vão ter a sua oportunidade.

Monarchy vs. Republic

Otto von Habsburg, heir to the Imperial throne of Austria-Hungary:

The essential purpose of the State, its "content," is rooted in natural law. The State is not an end in itself; it exists for the sake of its citizens. It is therefore not the source of all law (a claim that is still far too widely accepted), nor is it all-powerful. Its authority is circumscribed by the rights of its citizens. It is only free to act in those fields that are outside their free initiative. The State is therefore at all times the servant of natural law. Its task is to give practical effect to this law; nothing more.

If the mission of the State is the practical realization of natural law, the form of government is a means by which the community attempts to achieve this aim. It is not an end in itself. This explains the relatively subordinate importance of this whole question. Undoubtedly a great deal of importance attaches to the choice of the right means, since this choice will determine whether or not the end is attained. But what is lasting in political life is only natural law. The attempt to realize this law in practice will always have to take account of current conditions. To speak of an eternally valid form of government, right under all circumstances, shows ignorance and presumption. From this it would seem to follow that it is fruitless to try to determine -- mostly from the wrong philosophical premises -- the objective value of one or the other form of government.

The discussion will only become fruitful if we keep in mind the end which every such form is intended to serve. It is therefore not a question of investigating what value we are to attach to monarchies or republics as such. What we must ask ourselves is which form offers the best chances of safeguarding natural law under present-day conditions.(...)

Generally speaking, democratic republics represent a regime dominated by the legislature, while authoritarian regimes are dominated by the executive. The judicial power has not had the primacy for a long time, as we have shown above. It found its earlier expression in the Christian monarchies. It is frequently forgotten that the true ruler has always been the guardian of law and justice.

The most ancient monarchs -- the kings of the Bible -- came from the ranks of the judges. St. Louis of France regarded the administration of justice as his noblest task. The same principle can be seen in the many German "Palatinates," since the Count Palatine (Palatinus) was the guardian of law and justice delegated by the King- Emperor.

The history of the great medieval monarchies shows that the legislative power of the king -- even of a king as powerful as Charles V -- was severely limited by local autonomies. (...)

The judge must interpret the meaning of law and justice, and to do this he must be independent. It is essential that he should not owe his position, his function, to any man. The highest judge, at least, must be in this position. This is only possible under a monarchy.

For in a republic, even the highest guardian of the law derives his position from some other source, to which he is responsible and on which he remains dependent to some extent. This is not a satisfactory state of affairs.

His most important task is not to pass judgment in actual legal disputes, but to stand guard over the purpose of the State and natural law. Above all, it is the task of the supreme judge to see that all legislation is in accordance with the State's fundamental principles, that is, with natural law. The monarch's right to veto legislation passed by parliament is a remnant of this ancient function..."

segunda-feira, 15 de Novembro de 2004

Re: Edmund Burke - 1793

O texto citado não é de 1793 nem de um discurso na Câmara dos Comuns; trata-se de um dos mais famosos excertos de "Reflections on the revolution in France", livro publicado em Londres em Novembro de 1790 por Edmund Burke. Parece que a rainha Maria Antonieta chegou a ter conhecimento dessas linhas de Burke antes de ser assassinada...

Revolução Industrial

"The factory owners," writes Ludwig von Mises, "did not have the power to compel anybody to take a factory job. They could only hire people who were ready to work for the wages offered to them. Low as these wage rates were, they were nonetheless much more than these paupers could earn in any other field open to them. It is a distortion of facts to say that the factories carried off the housewives from the nurseries and the kitchens and the children from their play. These women had nothing to cook with and to feed their children. These children were destitute and starving. Their only refuge was the factory. It saved them, in the strict sense of the term, from death by starvation."

Europe witnessed an explosion in population from the mid-to-late-eighteenth century through the nineteenth century that was without precedent in world history. Population doubled in England during the eighteenth century. The University of London’s T.S. Ashton, among the greatest twentieth-century historians of the Industrial Revolution, observed that the central problem of the first half of the nineteenth century therefore involved "how to feed and clothe and employ generations of children outnumbering by far those of any earlier time." His own work on industrialization, which focused on England, showed that industrialization, far from being a problem, was the solution to the pressing question of how to deal with this population explosion.

Catholics and Capitalism, by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

domingo, 14 de Novembro de 2004

Novos artigos no site da Causa Liberal

Novos artigos no site da Causa Liberal: O Agente Homem e a Liberdade e Guy Sorman e o Excesso de Governo, por José Pio Martins.

Eleições III

Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

"(...) If majority decisions are 'right', then the largest of all possible majorities, a world majority and a democratic world government, must be considered ultimately 'right' with the consequences predicted at the outset of this article. (...)

Imagine a world government, democratically elected according to the principle of one-man-one-vote on a worldwide scale. What would the probable outcome of an election be? Most likely, we would get a Chinese-Indian coalition government. And what would this government most likely decide to do in order to satisfy its supporters and be reelected? The government would probably find that the so-called Western world had far too much wealth and the rest of the world, in particular China and India, had far too little, and hence, that a systematic wealth and income redistribution would be called for. (...)

The successive expansion of the franchise and finally the establishment of universal adult suffrage did within each country what a world democracy would do for the entire globe: it set in motion a seemingly permanent tendency toward wealth and income redistribution.(...)

The recognition of democracy as a machinery of popular wealth and income redistribution, then, in conjunction with one of the most fundamental principles in all of economics – that one will end up getting more of whatever it is that is being subsidized – provides the key to an understanding of the present age.

(...) as a result of subsidizing individuals because they are poor, there will be more poverty. In subsidizing people because they are unemployed, more unemployment will be created. Supporting single mothers out of tax funds will lead to an increase in single motherhood, 'illegitimacy', and divorce. In outlawing child labor, income is transferred from families with children to childless persons (as a result of the legal restriction on the supply of labor, wage rates will rise).

(...) as a result of the so-called Social Security System, for in subsidizing retirees (the old) out of taxes imposed on current income earners (the young), the institution of a family – the intergenerational bond between parents, grandparents, and children – is systematically weakened. The old need no longer rely on the assistance of their children if they have made no provision for their own old age, and the young (with typically less accumulated wealth) must support the old (with typically more accumulated wealth) rather than the other way around, as is typical within families. (...)

In subsidizing the malingerers, the neurotics, the careless, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the Aids-infected, and the physically and mentally 'challenged' through insurance regulation and compulsory health insurance, there will be more illness, malingering, neuroticism, carelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, Aids infection, and physical and mental retardation.

By forcing non-criminals, including the victims of crime, to pay for the imprisonment of criminals (rather than making criminals compensate their victims and pay the full cost of their own apprehension and incarceration), crime will increase.

(...)Accordingly, as a result of the expansion of 'public' sector employment, there will be increasing laziness, carelessness, incompetence, disservice, maltreatment, waste, and even destruction – and at the same time ever more arrogance, demagoguery, and lies ('we work for the public good').

(...)If current trends continue, it is safe to say that the Western welfare state (social democracy) will collapse just as Eastern (Russian-style) socialism collapsed in the late 1980s.

(...) Almost all major thinkers had nothing but contempt for democracy. Even the Founding Fathers of the U.S., nowadays considered the model of a democracy, were strictly opposed to it. Without a single exception, they thought of democracy as nothing but mob-rule. They considered themselves to be members of a 'natural aristocracy', and rather than a democracy they advocated an aristocratic republic. Furthermore, even among the few theoretical defenders of democracy such as Rousseau, for instance, it is almost impossible to find anyone advocating democracy for anything but extremely small communities (villages or towns).

Indeed, in small communities where everyone knows everyone else personally most people cannot but acknowledge that the position of the 'haves' is typically based on their superior personal achievement just as the position of the 'have-nots' finds its typical explanation in their personal deficiencies and inferiority. Under these circumstances, it is far more difficult to get away with trying to loot other people and their personal property to one's advantage. In distinct contrast, in large territories encompassing millions or even hundreds of millions of people, where the potential looters do not know their victims, and vice versa, the human desire to enrich oneself at another's expense is subject to little or no restraints.(...)"

Edmund Burke - 1793

"On the occasion of the death of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, Edmund Burke made the following speech in the House of Commons in 1793:

It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, --glittering like the morning star full of life and splendor and joy.

Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom;

little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.

Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defense of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness."

Via The Monarchist Society Home Page

THE EMPTY THRONE, Charles A. Coulombe

"(..)In a larger sense, restoration is a fear which haunts all republics. The laws of return which barred or bar the heirs of France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Austria from even visiting their nations is an eloquent testimony to the fear of the new regimes. This is of course fitting; robbers rarely feel secure in their plunder.

But the issue is more complex than this fact alone. Republics, borne of revolutions, are of their nature destructive. They do not create. Every institution we enjoy in the West to-day stems from Monarchical creation or patronage. Parliaments, government ministries, universities, judiciaries, armies and navies, provincial and civic governments, learned societies and academies --- all of them. Moreover, they cling to remaining or resurrected trappings of Monarchy to give themselves legitimacy.
(...)
But it is not only a question of governmental structures. The Church, founded by the legitimate heir of the House of David, is a powerful witness to Monarchy, no matter how many churchmen attack it; whatever they may say, the altar is a throne. Turn your attention to the arts: opera, ballet, classical music, theatre --- all developed under royal protection, and their conventions reflect this. Many an American theatre or opera house has a royal box. The rituals of the hunt were similarly developed, and are carefully followed in the States, France, and other republics. Even the rules of simple etiquette come to us, ultimately, from royal court practice.This makes perfect sense, because man is psychologically Monarchist. He longs to give life and loyalty to something or someone over him almost as much as he wants to take all for himself. Thus the battle between republic and Crown takes place in all of our hearts and minds.
(...)
As most of my readers will know, The Lord of the Rings is doing quite well at the box office. Like its literary progenitor, it is a Monarchist work. A friend of a friend (here in republican Hollywood) said, after seeing it:

"At first, I was really uncomfortable with all that King stuff. But afterwards, I thought maybe it was me and the modern view that was wrong."

If such a conversion is possible in Tinsel Town, where else may it not occur?For the fact is that as long as the human spirit remains itself, there will always be hope for restoration. The last Monarchist will die when the last human being does. And so, if any of my readers are discouraged, let them take comfort from this short poem, featured in the Lord of the Rings:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not touched y the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall bee blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Be assured: some day, the thrones will be filled."

www.CharlesACoulombe.com

quarta-feira, 10 de Novembro de 2004

Anti-federalismos

Blue states buzz over secession, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

"Mr. O'Donnell raised the subject of secession on "The McLaughlin Group" during the weekend. "Ninety percent of the red states are welfare-client states of the federal government," said Mr. O'Donnell, who was an aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat. In a telephone interview, Mr. O'Donnell said the red states that went to Mr. Bush "collect more from the federal government than they send in. New York and California, Connecticut -- the states that are blue are all the states that are paying for the bulk of everything this government does, from ... Social Security to everything else, and the people in those states don't like what this government is doing." The Internet has exploded with talk of a blue-state confederacy, including one screed circulating by e-mail that features a map of a new country called "American Coastopia" and proposes lopping off the Northeast, the West Coast and the upper Midwest to form a new country, away from the "rednecks in Oklahoma" and the "homophobic knuckle-draggers in Wyoming."

The emergence of a solidly Republican South prompted longtime Democratic activist Bob Beckel to advocate Southern independence the morning after Election Day. "I think now that slavery is taken care of, I'm for letting the South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy," Mr. Beckel said on the "Fox and Friends" program. While secession is often thought to be a Southern phenomenon, Northern leaders repeatedly threatened secession in the 19th century, in protest of such provocations as the War of 1812, as well as the admission of Louisiana and Texas to the Union. In 1803, Massachusetts Sen. Timothy Pickering proposed "a new confederacy," naming the New England states members along with New York ("the center of the confederacy"). In 1839, former President John Quincy Adams defended the right of secession in a speech in New York, saying, "Far better will it be ... to part in friendship with each other than to be held together by constraint."

But according to Slate.com -- another liberal Web site that has explored the topic of secession -- there are no provisions in U.S. law for a state or states to opt out of the Union, citing such authorities as Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School who say that since Appomattox "scholars have agreed that the Constitution grants no right of secession."

Nota: Todos os Estados que chegam ao estatuto de Império do momento, deparam-se mais tarde ou mais cedo com qualquer evento que desencadeia o seu fim (desse estatuto) - as causas estarão sempre na perda de sentido das proporções e achar que nenhum fardo é pesado perante a responsabilidade de gerir e liderar os problemas do mundo. Seguramente a dimensão da divida pública e dos déficits deveria fazer pensar até os mais acérrimos defensores do lógica do " império da liberdade". Sendo para já altamente improvável (mas os 11 meses entre a queda do muro e a reunificação da Alemanha mostrabem como os acontecimentos podem ultrapassar todas as expectativas), é irónico, ou talvez não, que a palavra "secessão" seja pronunciada pelos Democratas que descobrem que são eles que "pagam" o "sistema" e perdem as eleições.

È pouco conhecido que já antes da Guerra da Secessão nos EUA, foram alguns Estados do Norte e não ao Sul, a primeiro levantarem a possibilidade de separação. Depois, Lincoln e após impor um sistema tarifário que prejudicava claramente os Estados do Sul, decidiu assumir a responsabilidade de impôr a União pela força. Sherman, o general nortista era racista (ao contrário de Robert E. Lee, o general confederado a quem Lincoln ofereceu primeiro o comando do Norte mas ao qual respondeu - "I love the Union, I love Virginia more" - Virginia era o Estado de George Wasghinton e Thomas Jeferson) e dedicou-se a dizimar indios após ter feito questão a que no Sul "tudo o vento levasse".

E quanto à questão constitucional em que "since Appomattox "scholars have agreed that the Constitution grants no right of secession." É típico dos juristas (em que apesar de saberem que a assinatura da Constituição Americana e o estabelecimento de um governo federal ser óbviamente um acto voluntário entre os Estados que assim acordam organizar-se e que por isso mesmo é mais do que óbvio o direito de reverter essa decisão) ao observar o exercício do poder central, declarar esse exercício como algo legal.

Pessoalmente, dentro desses eventos inesperados que põem fim ao "overreaching" dos impérios (tal como foi a Grande Guerra para a Europa Central e a Segunda Guerra para o Inpério Britânico), pode ser a própria solidez da "União" a ser o calcanhar de aquiles da América que conhecemos - óbviamente não o tem de ser, mas se o caminho que parece estar traçado, de assumir quase messiânicamente, os custos de levar a felicidade e a paz aos povos (por acções militares , ajudas massivas de reconstrução e ocupação permanente, expansão da presença política para as fronteiras da Rússia e China, etc) , pode produzir os seus anti-corpos não só no exterior mas também no seu interior.