Friday, January 30, 2009

Oil refinery strikes: Protests across Britain over foreign workers

And so it begins.

It was the international division of labour which made us relatively wealthy, as compared to the medieval world before the industrial revolution. More recently, it was the bringing of Eastern Europe and China into the rest of the world's division of labour which sparked the enormous natural economic growth of the last 20 years, which was then hijacked by politicians like Gordon Brown to generate an unsustainable boom to help keep himself in power.

Tony Blair's trick, which Gordon Brown must now be ruing, was to get out while the going was good and to leave his former partner-in-crime holding the baby.

When the movement towards the complete international division of labour is either halted or reversed, then we always see an almost immediate dimunition of our living standards. If this Neanderthal 'protectionism' projects far enough backwards, we shall return to an ersatz hand-to-mouth Stone Age, probably via some Stone Age wars fought with 21st century weapons.

So it was with great trepidation that I read today's headline story in the Torygraph about a strike based upon what state's passport somebody happens to hold or what their mother-tongue happens to be.

Politicians in the past have made great use of the destructive power of inflation to serve their ends. One thinks, of course, of Herr Shicklgruber, who took advantage of the Weimar catastrophe and the Hoover/Roosevelt created Depression, to take this world to a brink of appalling national socialism.

Let us hope that no similar politician emerges who will also take advantage of these trends, to drive us towards a similar end. Though as I commented on a piece over at Obo's place, the temptations to do this must be overwhelming for any politician, particularly one in a deep dark hole of their own devising.

No wonder the Labour Party is so scared of the BNP, because if the Labour Party was Dorian Gray, then the British National Party would be the picture in its loft.


not an economist said...

I think you have forecast in previous posts about a gradual decline in law and order - e.g. tax riots, increased violent crime, the rise of national socialism. I confess to thinking you were barking mad at the time. I am seriously beginning to revise that opinion now ...

Jack Maturin said...

I am barking mad. I also have wild eyes and the distant stare of a deranged fanatic.

These are the basic entry requirements for one of the two Libertarian Alliances we have in this country. (The other one is populated by people who seem far too reasonable, and who would not look out of the place at a Chelsea dinner party - where you will frequently find them, of course.)

My predictions, such as they are, given my limited understanding of Austrian economics, and my limited reading of the field, are, however, based entirely upon the writings of Ludwig von Mises, or his leading disciples, such as Murray N. Rothbard, so it's hard to miss (once again, given my intellectual limitations described above, which are many, though I try to work on them continually).

This is the nature of a priori science, like Mathematics, Euclidean Geometry, or Austrian Economics. If you get your axioms right, everything else must follow. Yes, the trick is getting your axioms right, but every other flavour of economics denies that even if this were possible, you could never successfully predict anything, because human behaviour is allegedly too complicated to successfully predict.

Which is pants, as every successful entrepreneur will tell you. Also, does it really take a genius to work out that if you print more money, all the money currently existing will go down in value? I mean, it's hardly rocket science, is it, yet this is beyond all Keynesians, who think that engaging in such practices actually increases wealth. But then, thinking this probably just proves I'm barking mad, again! ;-)

If you want to know what's going to come next, in Britain, simply read Von Mises monumental work, Socialism, first written in 1922, though updated regularly until around 1951.

The analysis is still finer, 60 years before the event, than anything you will read in a rag like The Grauniad.

Read, particularly, chapters 19, 20, 33, and 34 (though do read all the rest, as well).

not an economist said...

I read "Socialism" back in the summer of 1986 when I was at Lancaster University. A long time ago now and so I have forgotten much of it. The whole argument about prices and private property, and how the latter was essential to the formation of the former was so original and novel - up to that point I had never read anything like it. I dont claim to fully understand it even now although reading the thoughts of Hayek, Rothbard and others since has helped over the years (even John Gray in one article he did some years ago).

Jack Maturin said...

I wish I fully understood Mises myself. It's a struggle, and learning Chinese is certainly easier, but I think it's a struggle worth persevering with.

Anything is better than allowing tyrants like Gordon Brown and Barack Obama to destroy our lives, with their appalling small-minded socialism and mobocracy.

Thank goodness Murray Rothbard was around to help the rest of us interpret the density and complexity of what Mises was trying to tell us.

I think I better re-read 'Human Action' again! :-)