Monday, 28 May 2018

Scapegoated Capitalism – Ben Irvine

I brought this, interesting and easy to read, book on the recommendation of James Delingpole in his weekly article in the Spectator.

The basic preface of the book is that throughout history, from witches to capitalism, people have needed scapegoats that become a focus of attention on which to blame the problems they face.

The current anti-capitalist movement blames capitalism for all life’s ills and as with all scapegoating their criticisms of capitalism actually make things far worse. Capitalists are not perfect but largely left to their own devices they do more good in the world than bad and are certainly preferable to government initiatives and intervention that so often make matters worse. Furthermore the more the government restricts and penalises capitalists, to pander to the anti-capitalists, the worse things become.

On page 117 there was a pertinent paragraph that was applicable to THA:-

“Every anti-capitalist knows that no colonial government has ever achieved anything more than questionable results in the course of intervening in its conquered nations economic affairs, Yet, strangely, anti-capitalists fail to draw the correct general conclusions , i.e. that the economic planning of rulers tends to be woefully inadequate when it comes to fulfilling the needs of millions of citizens. The best decisions come from free people, who are more motivated to improve their lives than a government supposedly acting on their behalf. And whereas free people can adjust quickly when things go wrong – leading to innovation and progress - government planners adjust slowly, if at all. The government workers who have the largest incentive to respond to feedback are (elected) politicians, but the temporally distant threat of being unelected hardly compares to the real-time incentives faced by free people trying to succeed for themselves. Meanwhile government bureaucrats have a large incentive to lie to their bosses about the results of the politicians’ policies; no one gets promoted for reporting failure to a senior bureaucrat. When you add in the fact that all government workers are tempted to keep public money for themselves rather than spend it on the public, or at the very least to spend it profligately so as to demonstrate to the budget holders that the money was ‘needed’ and will be needed again, the prospect of enlightened government planning recedes into negligibility.”

This paragraph confirms for me the advantages of a smaller localised government and a free people directly able to influence their rulers when needed.

THA’s six demands will improve our system of governance for the better which is why they are so needed.


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