Saturday, September 8, 2012

Aristotle on Government Value Setting in Ancient Athens


Interesting excerpts below from Aristotle's "The Athenian Constitution" on how the Athenian government would assign values to the various coins they used within their economy. The specific situation here is first set up by some constitutional adjustments made under the leadership of Solon:
There are three points in the constitution of Solon which appear to be its most democratic features: first and most important, the prohibition of loans on the security of the debtor's person; secondly, the right of every person who so willed to claim redress on behalf of any one to whom wrong was being done; thirdly, the institution of the appeal to the jurycourts; and it is to this last, they say, that the masses have owed their strength most of all, since, when the democracy is master of the voting-power, it is master of the constitution.
So having made some legal adjustments to the constitution, looks like the Solon government goes on to make other lawful adjustments to the monetary system:
These seem to be the democratic features of his laws; but in addition, before the period of his legislation, he carried through his abolition of debts, and after it his increase in the standards of weights and measures, and of the currency. During his administration the measures were made larger than those of Pheidon, and the mina, which previously had a standard of seventy drachmas, was raised to the full hundred. The standard coin in earlier times was the two-drachma piece. He also made weights corresponding with the coinage, sixty-three minas going to the talent; and the odd three minas were distributed among the staters and the other values.
This last sentence is key, as it points out how the Greeks assigned VALUES to the different coins through the law, such as the stater mentioned here; while the WEIGHT of these coins of differing VALUE was the same "odd three minas".

So we can see here how the weight of the coins did not dictate their legal value but rather human civil law... HA! TOO BAD METAL-LOVERS!

And as an aside it may be of interest to note how the Solon government implemented an 'abolition of debts' as part of  a bit of a constitutional overhaul here coming out of what looks like an ancient time of political and economic crisis.

I remember Mike one time mentioned this ('debt forgiveness') on Fox as a current policy option for us today here in the US in order for our economy to be able to recover faster and whatever moron he was on with then more or less chuckled at him...  yet Mike was proposing the same policy as what we can see here WAS  implemented by the Athenian leadership during the ancient period when our western ancestors were forming and establishing for the first time a constitutional government without which we wouldn't even have our country today!

Do great minds think alike?  And morons think alike?  Looks like so.

49 comments:

Bob Roddis said...

The government authorities can and do dictate the weight and purity of coins so that they can pass in commerce without hesitation or fraud. However, their "value" is determined completely by the subjective valuations of people who use the coins as money. Their "value" is, in fact, what a coin will buy from a willing seller in a voluntary exchange.

Keep beating that dead horse, the claim that the bureaucrats with SWAT teams assign and can enforce a coin's "value". I like it because it's such a loser for MMT.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob R "The government authorities can and do dictate the weight and purity of coins so that they can pass in commerce without hesitation or fraud. However, their "value" is determined completely by the subjective valuations of people who use the coins as money. Their "value" is, in fact, what a coin will buy from a willing seller in a voluntary exchange."

You are confusing nominal value and exchange value. The nominal value is stamped on the face of the coin. This is determined by the issuer. What the exchange value may be at any time is market determined.

Bob Roddis said...

So called "nominal value" concerns weights, measures and purity.
It has nothing to do with value as that term is used today. You guys are the source of that confusion.

No Austrian denies that governments have mandated the weight, measure and purity of coins over the ages. We deny that governments can impose "exchange value", which is what "value" means. People have subjective values and since we cannot read minds, objective prices resulting from voluntary exchange is the only method for making informed decisions as to the exchange value of zillions of goods and services as valued by 7 billion strangers on this planet. Fiat funny money fatally distorts that calculation process.

Matt Franko said...

This is Aritotle from 'Ethics':

"Nomisma by itself is a mere device which has value only by nomos (law) and not by nature; so that a change of convention between those who use it, is sufficient to deprive it of value and its power to satisfy our wants."

There looks to be another semantic issue here (the English language sux in this regard). I wish there was an inter-linear version of Aristotle's writing here so you could see the actual words IN GREEK so you can see how this guy translated it....

Matt Franko said...

Bob,

There is a record where the stater was worth 4 drachmas, but yet both coins probably contained the same weight of metal....

So if somebody had something for sale for a price of 1 drachma, and you wanted to buy 4 of them, you could just give them 1 stater....

The law DICTATES (take a deep breath, exhale :) that 1 stater is worth 4 drachmas, but the law doesnt have anything to do with the fact that this person in the non-govt sector set the unit price for his item at 1 drachma.... get it?

Bob Roddis said...

No Austrian denies that throughout history, governments have attempted to dictate the exchange rates of various coins and fix prices in the market.

This does not change the self evident and undeniable fact that the terms and prices of VOLUNTARY participants in VOLUNTARY exchanges are determined by the subjective values of those VOLUNTARY participants.

The fact that you constantly have to engage in typical MMT obscurantism demonstrates that your "arguments" such as they are, are baseless.

Matt Franko said...

" have attempted"

Are you kidding?!?!?!

Matt Franko said...

Bob,

It's like you have no mathematical skills/aptitude/cognition at all....

Tom Hickey said...

"It's like you have no mathematical skills/aptitude/cognition at all....


It's the ideological override that shuts those processes down when a threat to the ideological norms is anticipated.

Bob Roddis said...

Rothbard had a degree in math from Columbia. He noted that mathematical equations are uniquely suited to depicting a state of mutual determination of factors like in physics, rather than singly determined cause and effect relations such as human behavior and economics. Hence, mathematics are singularly suitable for physics but are inapplicable to human action, other than statistical guess-timates which are quite different from the precise and universally true physics equations.

Using math and physics to predict and explain the expansion of water as it freezes into ice is quite different than predicting the outcome of jury trial or football game. Economics resembles the latter.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob, very few if any professional economists would claim that economics is physics. They claim, correctly, that their models are mathematically consistent, just like models in physics. I don't think that any economist would assert that economic models have the predictive power of classical physics, however, because natural processes are deterministic at the classical level and human behavior is not.

Whether the life and social sciences are stochastic in the same way that quantum physics is, being based ultimately in physical entities and events, is now a subject of research, and the findings are not yet in.

Straw man argument.

Matt Franko said...

Bob,

I wrote: "So if somebody had something for sale for a price of 1 drachma, and you wanted to buy 4 of them, you could just give them 1 stater....

The law DICTATES (take a deep breath, exhale :) that 1 stater is worth 4 drachmas, but the law doesnt have anything to do with the fact that this person in the non-govt sector set the unit price for his item at 1 drachma.... get it?"

Then you come back that this is some type of obfuscation????

My math works as far as I'm concerned, ie 4=1 x 4 (you do get that dont you???)

So the only thing it can be assumed you have a problem with as that the law dictates that 1*(stater) = 4*(drachma)

Which means you dont want govt getting involved in facilitating exhange so you want an elaborate system of barter... why not just say so????

Bob Roddis said...

Straw man argument.

Wrong. It's the final, definitive argument and where you guys go completely off the tracks. The entire Keynesian/monetarist hoax is based upon the viewing humans like projectiles.

I took a year of physics in college. I can do math. Bob Murphy has a PhD in econ from NYU. He can do math. Don't pull this "you don't know math" crap. We know math. It just does not apply.

All of our disputes are at the basic, fundamental level. Arguing about minutiae is pointless.

1. Value is subjective.

2. People's motives are subjective and unpredictable.

3. Prices are the only objective expression of people's subjective values on a mass scale. Fiat funny money fatally distorts those prices and that essential source of knowledge.

4. People are perfectly capable of running their own lives and their economic lives. Apparently, MMTers think that they MUST inject themselves into the productive process at the point of a gun to which they can only do harm and which is really none of their damn business.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob Roddis "The entire Keynesian/monetarist hoax is based upon the viewing humans like projectiles."

That's neoclassical economics, and Keynes himself criticized that approach in inadequate to social science. There is a reason that the General Theory is narrative rather than econometrics. Keynes was trained as a mathematician rather than an economist and could have taken an econometric approach if he had chosen. Instead he explained why he considered it inappropriate.

Paul Samuelson attempted to synthesize Keynes with neoclassical economics in his 1948 textbook after Lorie Tarshis was about tarred and feathered after his 1946 economics text faithful to Keynes was irrationally denounced as Marxist. Since then "bastard Keynesianism" has emphasized econometrics in order to maintain its place in the mainstream.

Post Keynesians rejected that approach and both Circuitism and Chartalism are in the PKE tradition.

Another straw man.

paul said...

"The entire Keynesian/monetarist hoax is based upon the viewing humans like projectiles."

Bob, I must not be a Keynesian then because my worldview of economics tells me that humans are irrelevant to the health of the economy with the exception of their ability and propensity to spend.

No spending, no economy.

No money (of some kind), no spending.

This leaves barter. Barter cannot be the basis of an economic system that is workable on the scale needed by modern humanity.

Tom Hickey said...

"1. Value is subjective."

Exchange value is nominal (price) and price is market-determined. The price in non-financial markets is largely set by sellers based on cost and mark up in terms of what the market will bear. There is very little actual competition involved in price setting.

"2. People's motives are subjective and unpredictable."


Individual's motives are conscious and unconsciously determined, partially by reason and partially by emotion. They are also determined by cultural and institutional influences. People are influenced by "news" (propaganda), marketing based on cognitive biases, and advertising to create motivation where none previously existed. Finally, people are also motivated by group effects and momentum, which often results in mob behavior. This also affects financial markets on a day to day basis and even short term traders can profit from technical analysis on similar behavioral patterns based signaled price movement.

Motivation is similar enough in identity and affinity groups to be able to detect predictable patterns of behavior.

"3. Prices are the only objective expression of people's subjective values on a mass scale."

Price determines nominal exchange value presumably based on use value (utility).

"Fiat funny money fatally distorts those prices and that essential source of knowledge."

The chief functions of money in economics are as a unit of account and record of credit, although most people think of money chiefly as a medium of exchange and store of value between transactions and are blissfully unaware of the other functions.

Once the use of credit is introduced into an economic system, then relationships become vastly different from what they would be otherwise because credit becomes money. As far we can determine, credit money is the earliest and most widely and consistently used form of money.

"4. People are perfectly capable of running their own lives and their economic lives. Apparently, MMTers think that they MUST inject themselves into the productive process at the point of a gun to which they can only do harm and which is really none of their damn business."

When there are governments and external sectors involved in economies, then the relationship of sectoral balances shifts markedly away from a closed economy. A principal function of macroeconomics involves accounting for what this entails in terms of the effects of economic policy and how to use this knowledge to advantage.

The Muney Mistery said...

Paul,

Bob's point is that subjective choices are important because a well-functioning economy provides goods and services that people actually want, rather than goods and services that they don't want, as in the USSR.

However, people can only effectively express their subjective preferences in the market if they have the means to do so. That means they need money.

The money has to come from somewhere.

You can either have a situation in which:

(a) people want certain goods and services but can't get them, or have to take on unsustainable levels of debt to get them, or

(b) people get the goods and services they want without having to take on unsustainable levels of debt.


(a) is the option favoured by Bobby Dobbis.

(b) is the option favoured by rational people.


In (a) the subjective preferences of a tiny minority (that hoard the means of exchange) dominates all other preferences, and unemployment is rife.

In (b) the subjective preferences of the populace at large can be met, and unemployment is non-existent.


(b) is more efficient, more humane, less wasteful, and less stupid.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob's point is that subjective choices are important because a well-functioning economy provides goods and services that people actually want, rather than goods and services that they don't want, as in the USSR.

And no one outside North Korea is arguing for a command system of distribution. So what's the point?

paul said...

The Muney Mistery,

"Bob's point is that subjective choices are important because a well-functioning economy provides goods and services that people actually want, rather than goods and services that they don't want, as in the USSR."

I get that and it is implicit in any of my comments.

For the most part we're doing a decent job of allocating resources currently, although there is a lot of room for improvement.

Starving the system of funds isn't going to move us in the right direction.

My view is that the elephant in the room is and will be for a long time inefficient allocation of financial resources. The system is consistently starved for funds because of economic rents and hoarding, politics, ignorance and the natural tendency for funds to net flow away from the sources of spending.

If this isn't dealt with, then allocation of resources becomes a rationing strategy resulting in unnecessary human suffering.

We don't deserve that.

Bob Roddis said...

People only take on unsustainable levels of debt when the debt is created out of thin air by fiat funny money banks. People are then deluded into thinking that their asset purchases will continue to rise in value when such prices are merely the result of being bid-up by the funny money and will soon collapse. Fiat funny money is the cause of the debt problem and resulting poverty, not the cure. You are trying to solve a problem that does not exist but for your interference.

You must really hate average and poor people to insist upon such transparently horrible policy. Why do you hate average and poor people so much?

Tom Hickey said...

"For the most part we're doing a decent job of allocating resources currently, although there is a lot of room for improvement."

We are doing a rotten job as a nation and world allocating resources when there is plenty for the needs of everyone but half the world is starving and 25% of the young in the US are unemployed. This system is badly broken as even fairly conservative people like Jeffrey Sachs have been saying lately, more forcefully. The rent-seeking is out of hand, not to mention the outright criminality.

The Muney Mistery said...

"People only take on unsustainable levels of debt when the debt is created out of thin air by fiat funny money banks."

Bob proves that he doesn't really like 'the market'.

'The market' creates credit because 'average people' prefer growth and prosperity to stagnation and poverty, and are willing to take risks to achieve it.

However, the growth of private credit has a limit beyond which it becomes unsustainable and ends up in a 'crash'. Hence the endless cycles of boom and bust during the 19th and early twentieth century.


In a rational economy, for monetary growth to match the subjective desires of 'average people', a sustainable source of credit is needed. This source is called 'the government'.

There is no inherent reason why an increase in the supply of money should reduce pre-existing financial wealth if it keeps pace with the increase in real goods and services and with the population's desire to save.

paul said...

"We are doing a rotten job as a nation and world allocating resources when there is plenty for the needs of everyone but half the world is starving and 25% of the young in the US are unemployed."

Yeah but don't you think this is more a case of "we can't afford it" than poor management?

If we weren't paralyzed by "we're running out of money" I think we would be doing a better job of taking care of those areas you mentioned.

If the underlying "machine" isn't running smoothly and we continue to apply the wrong fixes then we can always make excuses for poor allocation of resources.

Tom Hickey said...

You must really hate average and poor people to insist upon such transparently horrible policy. Why do you hate average and poor people so much?

Bob, have you ever read William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech and studied the historical context of the 1890's — the Gilded Age? Did you know that "The Wizard of Oz" is an allegory based on that era, in which the wizard behind the veil is likely the Eastern bankers and "Oz" is the symbol for an ounce.

The US was on a gold standard lead up to the Great Depression, albeit with fractional reserve banking. But nations that remained on the GS longest at that time, did the worst in terms of economic indicators of recovery.

If the US or world went to a specie standard and 100% reserves, then the national and global economy would be teethered to the amount gold, which is relatively fixed. With population growing and more transactions, this would have a deflationary effect nominally and an inhibiting real effect when saving desire is factored in.

OK if you prefer a static economy with growing inequality as the gold stock works its way to the top of the town, I guess, since I assume that progressive taxation — "redistribution" to the anti-tax crowd— is out, too, so that wealth agglomerates.

Bob Roddis said...

My view is that the elephant in the room is and will be for a long time inefficient allocation of financial resources.

Which, of course, is caused by insecure private property protections, insecure contractual relations and the lack of sound money, especially for the poverty stricken of the world. It's all the fault of "progressives" and their promotion of "democratic socialism" which leaves average people the victims of the whims of their socialist masters.

Tom Hickey said...

Yeah but don't you think this is more a case of "we can't afford it" than poor management?

As Peter F. Drucker points out, e.g., in The Effective Executive, management is about efficiency and effectiveness. "Efficiency is doing things right, and effectiveness is doing the things."

Poor managers have all sorts of excuses to explain why operations are falling short of potential. Drucker calls BS on that.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob Roddis, It's all the fault of "progressives" and their promotion of "democratic socialism" which leaves average people the victims of the whims of their socialist masters.

Just what countries were you thinking of in which the government owns the means of production (which is the definition of "socialism").

The Scandinavian social democracies are at the top of the heap, beating the US in quality of life.

paul said...

"Which, of course, is caused by insecure private property protections, insecure contractual relations and the lack of sound money, especially for the poverty stricken of the world. It's all the fault of "progressives" and their promotion of "democratic socialism" which leaves average people the victims of the whims of their socialist masters."

Bob, you've been given many opportunities to "shows us the math" of your arguments to no avail.

Pray tell how will you help the poverty stricken without simply giving them money (or gold) or at least the resources necessary for their survival?

Septeus7 said...

Quote from Slavist Bob Roddis: "1. Value is subjective."

False. Every Human being sets utility valuation based on physical laws fixed in the Universe. Things either have the objective power change physical reality with utility or they don't. Value is objective.

Quote: "2. People's motives are subjective and unpredictable."

False and anti-scientific. People's motives aren't subjective and unpredictable. They determined entirely by the history of events precede them and cause them occur. People act in reaction to physical causes. To deny this to deny the principle of causality and therefore deny any science at all.

Quote: "3. Prices are the only objective expression of people's subjective values on a mass scale. Fiat funny money fatally distorts those prices and that essential source of knowledge."

False. Prices are subjective not objective which is why the prices change to match objective utility value. Credit Money doesn't disort the prices but rather shows the distortion in the perception of value created by subjective pricing. You have it completely backwards.

Quote: " People are perfectly capable of running their own lives and their economic lives. Apparently, MMTers think that they MUST inject themselves into the productive process at the point of a gun to which they can only do harm and which is really none of their damn business."

That is exactly what the slave owners of the south said: "We has are slave markets and backward and uneducated ways. We don't need those Northern industrialist and abolitionist interfering with our free market and free trade."

I'm sorry but freedom inject one's creative understand of higher principles of behavior in the productive process is the only true human freedom. There is no freedom in continuing to do evil or stupid behavior. There is only freedom in progress.

Whether at the point of a gun or not doesn't matter only attaining high standards of human conduct will result in economic improvement.





paul said...

Poor managers have all sorts of excuses to explain why operations are falling short of potential. Drucker calls BS on that."

He may be right but it is unlikely that everyone's needs will be met if we keep the system in depression by starving it of funds.

Bob Roddis said...

Scandinavian countries still have firm private property and contract protections. They also each contain a small population of a single ethnic group that used to consists of dour individualistic Protestants.

Third world countries do not have firm private property or contractual protections. They all learned their "economics" from the "progressives" of western universities and then, as expected, turned into charnel house hell-holes.

Jim said...

The fact remains that like it or not, we do have a "spreadsheet" fiat system, and MMT describes its operations accurately, as well as correctly anticipating what will happen when it is monkeyed with by people who do not understand it. To understand it, it suffices to read Ben Franklin's explanation, for instance, or Mosler's, or Mitchell's, or a dozen others. The system is, as Tom notes, largely a matter of accounting units and a system of credit. Our money is in fact government issued tax credit. One may hate this or love it, but that is irrelevant to describing how it all works and what we must do to optimize its operation. I may hate gasoline powered engines and prefer diesel, but if my car has a gas engine, I have no choice but to familiarize myself with how gas engines work, and I cannot superimpose my preference for how diesel engines work in my work of maintaining or fixing the engine.

It would appear that Bob does not accept the Greek insight regarding what they termed nomisma and its implications. I would also ask Bob to read Mosler's mandatory readings and only then come and argue. However, I think Tom nails it when he remarks that there is an ideological override functioning in all this, hence it is all a colossal waste of time and energy to dispute. Truth requires a climate of complete impartiality and a kind of self-effacement.

jeg3 said...

"Third world countries do not have firm private property or contractual protections. They all learned their "economics" from the "progressives" of western universities and then, as expected, turned into charnel house hell-holes."

Wrong again, how much cognitive dissonance can a person have?
Neoliberal policies were applied to third-world countries for ill effect.
Oh wait, neoliberal policies are just about the same as libertarian/austrian policies - privatization, free markets, deregulation, etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

Whatever you want to call it (libertarian/austrian or neoliberlism) it is still the cause of the political-economic failures worldwide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shock_Doctrine

http://www.predatorstate.com/
"The cult of the free market has dominated economic policy-talk since the Reagan revolution of nearly thirty years ago. Tax cuts and small government, monetarism, balanced budgets, deregulation, and free trade are the core elements of this dogma, a dogma so successful that even many liberals accept it. ..."
..."The real economy is not a free-market economy. It is a complex combination of private and public institutions, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, higher education, the housing finance system, and a vast federal research establishment. The real problems and challenges -- inequality, climate change, the infrastructure deficit, the subprime crisis, and the future of the dollar -- are problems that cannot be solved by incantations about the market. They will be solved only with planning, with standards and other policies that transcend and even transform markets."

paul said...

Jim,

Good comments!

Bob Roddis said...

MMT describes its operations accurately

Allegedly describing the operation of the gushing and squirting of fiat funny money "accurately" is not the same thing as understanding its impact upon human beings, society, civilization or the process of production of real goods and services.

A normal person should be horrified by this system of legalized theft, plunder and poverty-inducing dis-coordination.

Tom Hickey said...

He may be right but it is unlikely that everyone's needs will be met if we keep the system in depression by starving it of funds.

Management is about the optimal use of available resources to achieve goals. Policy managers have control of money and can allocate it to achieve objectives. This is already admitted wrt the Fed, which sets monetary policy and provides liquidity to the financial system as needed.

Congress needs to understand the role of money in the economic system and their unlimited ability to provide it directly through fiscal policy based on sectoral balances and functional finance, as well as as that the reasons for taxation are twofold, to control inflation and to discourage undesirable behavior like rent-seeking instead of productive investment.

Bob Roddis said...

Wrong again, how much cognitive dissonance can a person have?
Neoliberal policies were applied to third-world countries for ill effect.
Oh wait, neoliberal policies are just about the same as libertarian/austrian policies - privatization, free markets, deregulation, etc.


Are visitors and/or the inhabitants of these poverty stricken countries actually physically safe and secure in their person, property and contracts over time? Of course not.

You just spout complete nonsense.

Tom Hickey said...

Third world countries do not have firm private property or contractual protections. They all learned their "economics" from the "progressives" of western universities and then, as expected, turned into charnel house hell-holes.

Many if not most Third World tribal societies were doing fine before colonization.

paul said...

Bob,

I asked you a question at September 8, 2012 2:44 PM.

Are you going to answer it? Especially since you brought the subject up in the first place.

Jim said...

Bob R: A normal person should be horrified by this system of legalized theft, plunder and poverty-inducing dis-coordination.
------------------------
It is very true that any system can be abused and that this system is being abused in all kinds of ways.

However, I assume we can at least agree that some, be it minimal, form of government is normal to humanity. The government must have means of outfitting itself. Taxing is the way to do it, outside of small communities, where simple cooperative voluntary labor or donations might suffice. Such is the basis of our system from this angle of vision. Man isn't merely an individual, he is inescapably a social animal, beginning with being the product of his parents, and nurtured by the society. Hence it is right of the society to insist on certain claims over the individual, in the form of its government and laws, among others. Pure individualism is simply an aberration, not to mention a kind of moral stupidity. There has to be an equilibrium between the two realities, and this is a part of justice.

As for questions of size and form and specific functions of government and the like, these are all political questions, hence inevitably also philosophical and possibly even religious questions. Since they are political questions, they will engage men's self-interest and passions as well as their ideas--and the latter do not exclude the former!--and moreover, men vary immensely as regards their intellectual and moral gifts and character. "It takes all kinds to make a world."

Now, MMT does not pretend to dictate a public purpose. To repeat, it largely describes an existing system and proposes how best to operate it, and what factors may be perverting it. If there are in the system--or rather the society--inhuman and horrible elements, that is not really due to the system, but to people and to the effects of abusive self-interest and bad philosophy. Imperfection and abuse are sadly inevitable in human societies--any society, as history proves so amply--and these inevitably worsen to the extent that society is large, heterogeneous, and in so many way complex, not to mention stress factors that may be uncontrollable--climate, natural disasters, invasions, and the like.

Matt Franko said...

"uncontrollable--climate, natural disasters, invasions, and the like."

Right, once we get through the morons, we STILL have all of that to deal with as if all of that isn't hard enough!

rsp

Septeus7 said...

Quote: "Third world countries do not have firm private property or contractual protections. They all learned their "economics" from the "progressives" of western universities and then, as expected, turned into charnel house hell-holes."

Imperialist Racist Lies. The Western system of property rights where forced upon the world and have caused countless to suffer under such Imperialist violence.

Libertarianism is violence. The violence of forcing western thinking about property rights and individualism is forced down the throats of non-western cultures and attacking any nationalistic resistance or protection against such violent impositions because the western concept of property is part of "natural order" just like the the "White Man's Burden" is part of the "natural rights" of this divine male dominated order.

Bob Roddis is all about telling all nations at the point of a gun that they have to except the "natural system of property western rights" and the divine "free market" that as that "triumph of the irrational will" is the only liberty and that is why market activities can interfered with least we hinder the ubermensch from rise to power above the feeble men bound by conventional morality rather than pure exercise of freedom of will.

Yeah... we remember the last Austrian that thought way that got political power. The Austrian school the distilled essence of western male chauvinist imperialism.

You can take your Anglo-Saxon property rights and shove them right back where you got them where the sun don't shine.

Leverage said...

Excellent posts Septeus, is about time 'austrian economics' are called for what they are, an elitists hoax manufactured by western capitalists.

They talk about freedom or voluntary agreement but all their policies must be pointed at the point of a gun even in western societies. But capitalism as understood by them had to be imported and imposed in colonized nations which make most of the world population. Even their own vision of free-raider capitalism has to be imposed in western and developed nations through state violence (the one they theoretically despise). Here we have the classical conflict between different sorts of liberties, and see compromise has always need to be done, unlike in the black & white world of austrians.

I don't think Bob Roddis does know about how the real world works and how social institutions and laws are made so we can function together. This warped view of reality happens when you base everything about the concept of property as if there was nothing else. IMO 'austrians' (most of them anyway, at least the Internet nut jobs) are just unmature people and spoiled kids who like to whine a lot and repeat mantras even if they go against the most basic facts of how things work in reality.


BTW saying that human behaviour is unpredictable is the most blatant lie of all the time, and the unscientific position of this collective is demonstrated when they say how economics or humanity can't be compared to physics. Here is a fact for you, clueless morons: you CAN'T predict behaviour of most particles in physics and we can still do physics, most physics is not straight clear mechanical classical physics, and it doesn't need to be, yet you are here wrting ina computer you couldn't use if we didn't understand how outcomes in aggregates are possible and had developed a fundamental understanding of probability. Grasp that morons, you don't understand how this universe works or why math would even work in explaining human systems. You don't understand uncertainty at all (something that Keynes proved a long time ago) and how you can skew most of it and basically eliminate it (that's what we all do all the time). You don't understand human motivation at all and even how we asses situations since we are kids and are socially trained to do exactly that (infer probability distributions of other humans behaviour), do you understand anything?

Social institutions intervening into the economy while we allow capitalist subsystem of production to run is perfectly consistent with all that and perfectly natural, is only your 'unmodulated' authoritarian (as much as the current state of affairs anyway) capitalism which is inconsistent with how stuff naturally works.

Leverage said...

A clarification on my post:

The fact like humans have 'free will' (anyway this is a philosophical question which can't be determined) or not, that are predictable or not (as individuals agents) doesn't matter at all when it comes to systems functioning. Making such a big fuss about that just shows the ignorance of the one making the fuss.

Bob Roddis said...

Human behavior is not "systems functioning" although one can fairly well predict that democratic socialism with very weak if non-existent protections for private property, sound money and contracts will produce a genocidal hell-hole.

The problem with human beings is assaultive behavior, murder, pillage, rape and genocide, not a lack of "aggregate demand". Strong institutions are needed to keep those tendencies in check. "Democratic socialism" obliviously removes those protections.

Tom Hickey said...

The fact like humans have 'free will' (anyway this is a philosophical question which can't be determined

Right. Best not to use "free will," which is a loose term resting on philosophical assumptions, but rather to specify it as "choice-determined behavior." Then the question of how "free" choice-determined behavior may be is a empirical one that is capable of scientific investigation.

Not surprisingly, there is large and growing body of research on this in a variety of scientific fields, all of which suggests that choices are nowhere near as free as "free choice" proponents assume.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob Roddis, Human behavior is not "systems functioning" although one can fairly well predict that democratic socialism with very weak if non-existent protections for private property, sound money and contracts will produce a genocidal hell-hole. The problem with human beings is assaultive behavior, murder, pillage, rape and genocide, not a lack of "aggregate demand". Strong institutions are needed to keep those tendencies in check. "Democratic socialism" obliviously removes those protections

We'll let the Scandinavians know your views so they can change their system to save themselves from rape, pillage and genocide.

y said...

Bob's argument is:

1. tax is theft and violence.

2. money creation by government and by banks is fraud, theft and violence.

3. Therefore MMT supports fraud, theft and violence because it does not oppose and denounce taxation and money creation.


What Bob is actually saying is that anyone who doesn't oppose taxation or money creation supports fraud, theft and violence. This basically means everyone on the planet that isn't a hardcore propertarian ("libertarian").

i.e. everyone on the planet apart from a teeny weeny tiny little group of deluded simple-minded fanatics.

Bob is full of bullshit.

y said...

my view is:

1. tax is not theft or violence.

2. money creation by government is not fraud theft or violence.

Therefore I do not support fraud theft or violence.