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[Nettime-ro] d ec o mpr e s si on
Vlad Tarko on Fri, 20 Jan 2006 12:27:53 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-ro] d ec o mpr e s si on

uite un citat din Ludwig von Mises 'Planned Chaos':

Nothing is more unpopular today than the free market economy, i.e.,
capitalism. Everything that is considered unsatisfactory in present-day
conditions is charged to capitalism. The atheists make capitalism
responsible for the survival of Christianity. But the papal encyclicals
blame capitalism for the spread of irreligion and the sins of our
contemporaries, and the Protestant churches and sects are no less vigorous
in their indictment of capitalist greed. Friends of peace consider our wars
as an offshoot of capitalist imperialism. But the adamant nationalist
warmongers of Germany and Italy indicted capitalism for its "bourgeois"
pacifism, contrary to human nature and to the inescapable laws of history.
Sermonizers accuse capitalism of disrupting the family and fostering
licentiousness. But the "progressives" blame capitalism for the preservation
of allegedly outdated rules of sexual restraint. Almost all men agree that
poverty is an outcome of capitalism. On the other hand many deplore the fact
that capitalism, in catering lavishly to the wishes of people intent upon
getting more amenities and a better living, promotes a crass materialism.
These contradictory accusations of capitalism cancel one another. But the
fact remains that there are few people left who would not condemn capitalism

Most governments and political parties are eager to restrict the sphere of
private initiative and free enterprise. It is an almost unchallenged dogma
that capitalism is done for and that the coming of all-round regimentation
of economic activities is both inescapable and highly desirable.

None the less capitalism is still very vigorous in the Western Hemisphere.
Capitalist production has made very remarkable progress even in these last
years. Methods of production were greatly improved. Consumers have been
supplied with better and cheaper goods and with many new articles unheard of
a short time ago. Many countries have expanded the size and improved the
quality of their manufacturing. In spite of the anti-capitalistic policies
of all governments and of almost all political parties, the capitalist mode
of production is in many countries still fulfilling its social function in
supplying the consumers with more, better and cheaper goods.

It is certainly not a merit of governments, politicians and labour union
officers that the standard of living is improving in the countries committed
to the principle of private ownership of the means of production. Not
offices and bureaucrats, but big business deserves credit for the fact that
most of the families in the United States own a motor car and a radio set.
The increase in per capita consumption in America as compared with
conditions a quarter of a century ago is not an achievement of laws and
executive orders. It is an accomplishment of business men who enlarged the
size of their factories or built new ones.

One must stress this point because our contemporaries are inclined to ignore
it. Entangled in the superstitions of statism and government omnipotence,
they are exclusively preoccupied with governmental measures. They expect
everything from authoritarian action and very little from the initiative of
enterprising citizens. Yet, the only means to increase well-being is to
increase the quantity of products. This is what business aims at.

The dogma that the State or the Government is the embodiment of all that is
good and beneficial and that the individuals are wretched underlings,
exclusively intent upon inflicting harm upon one another and badly in need
of a guardian, is almost unchallenged. It is taboo to question it in the
slightest way. He who proclaims the godliness of the State and the
infallibility of its priests, the bureaucrats, is considered as an impartial
student of the social sciences. All those raising objections are branded as
biased and narrow-minded. The supporters of the new religion of statolatry
are no less fanatical and intolerant than were the Mohammedan conquerors of
Africa and Spain.
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