Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quote of the Day - Her Blessedness Speaks

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS, 1976


Andrew said...

I saw the post title flag up on my rss feed and I wondered 'who could her blessedness be?' so I clicked on the link and found out.

I didn't do the head-slap-of-coursery I maybe should have though.

Thatcher may have pegged socialism but is the model of capitalism she encouraged not complicit in our current troubles?

Jack Maturin said...

The problem with Her Blessedness is that Sir Keith Joseph gave her Hayek's book, 'The Constitution of Liberty', to base her philosophy upon.

If only he had given her 'Human Action' instead.

Yes, she had many flaws (e.g. supporting entry into the 'Common Market', etc.)

But she did the best she could at the time, with the tools available at her disposal.

Could you have done a better job, Andrew, given where she was when she started?

Yes, I would prefer the perfect Hoppe World with a hundred thousand individual territories ruled over by the Totally Voluntary Society.

But given where we are, I can still support Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, and Steven Baker of the Wycombe Constituency, along with Bonson Jorris and the Prince of Light, Daniel Hannan.

We can only reach Hoppe World through policies of realism. And Margaret Thatcher tried to do what she could, within the bounds of reality, to enact Hayek's constitution of liberty, against the background of intense hostility of the Labour Party and their Union paymasters, plus the 'establishment' of the city, the Tory grandees, the farmers, and everyone else on the corporate welfare gravy train.

What she achieved, in just a few short years, was breathtaking, particularly her smashing of the closed shop and her privatisation of British Steel, etc.

Alas, she was, like many of her generation, a creature of WWII, the British Empire, and many other foibles.

But if we had someone of her tenacity, courage, and ferocity around now, having just taken office, we would soon be in a much better position than we are now.

Keith Joseph's failure to take on the schools establishment and her failure to privatise the BBC were their two greatest mistakes. With I suppose the promotion of the first Blairite, John Major, as her 'successor'.

The route to the future is through the younger generation, and as long as the state controls the education system, they will hold the population in thrall to the ideas of social democracy. So she should have got the state out of education as her first priority.

But I don't think that takes anything away from her. What she achieved was magnificent, and more than we could expect from anyone.

And I say that as someone who spent her entire period of office as a Stalinist, and as a regular attendee of miners' strike picket lines, an active member of Militant Tendency, a committed Marxist member of the Labour party whose long-term ambitions were to foist Blair and Brown upon Britain, to lead a clandestine Gramscian takeover of the state, and a die-hard Guardian Reader of the foulest water.

No Andrew, she had many flaws and many problems, but the pluses far outweigh the minuses.

Andrew said...

I agree with all of that well enough.

I just think some of the criticisms that have been made against 'THE financial system' of today must be backdated.

The socialism quote is true as far as it goes but the same is true of a state capitalist economy that is leveraged by debt. The net effect is the same.

Thatcher is not responsible for our current reliance on credit, public and private, but there the foundations were laid.

I'm not traveling to Hoppe World so I'm not bothered that Thatcher didn't pay my fare and send me there.

Jack Maturin said...

In Hoppe world, you pay your own fare, or get someone else to voluntarily agree to pay it, and no-one is sent anywhere.

People decide where they want to go, or decide who will decide for them.

Hoppe world is hard. You have to make your own decisions. All adults have to be adults. Not children.

That's why so many people are afraid of it, and opt for the nanny state blanket of socialism instead.

Andrew said...

'In Hoppe world, you pay your own fare, or get someone else to voluntarily agree to pay it, and no-one is sent anywhere.'

Once you get there but not before.

'That's why so many people are afraid of it, and opt for the nanny state blanket of socialism instead.'

This would only be the case if Hoppe and socialism were the only two options. It needn't even be a continuum from Hoppe World to State Socialism, from no government to totalitarianism, along which we find a amenable chair to sit in. I think there are other options completely apart from this paradigm. Still working through this though.

Jack Maturin said...

Keep going, Andrew.

You'll get there in the end, I'm sure.

Secession is the key. I'll live in Hoppe World. You can live in Neal Stephenson World.

Andrew said...

Mmm not sure...

Jack Maturin said...

More reading required.

Mises, Rothbard, etc.

Andrew said...

Well, you might be pleased to know I have bought my first Rothbard book. He will have to join a queue though. Mises joined it last year, I hope he doesn't die waiting in line.

I'll get to them.

The impasse for me is ethics. I don't think much of utilitarianism or human rights underwritten by enlightenment natural law theory.

Jack Maturin said...

'Ethics of Liberty' - Rothbard

Should be first in your queue.

Perhaps follow that by some Walter Block books.