Tuesday, April 30, 2019

On the American Ideology and its Proponents and Beneficiaries - By Hans-Hermann Hoppe (America Uber Alles = NeoBabelism? - CL)

Translated from German by Ohad Osterreicher[1]
“We paint the world to ourselves as we like – until everything breaks down and no longer holds.”
We live in the age of the American Empire. It can be that this empire will someday crumble. In the foreseeable future, however, it is here to stay, not on account of its military strength but first and foremost because of its ideological power. For the American empire has achieved something truly remarkable: the internalization of its core belief system as an intellectual taboo into the minds of most people.
Granted, all states rest upon aggressive violence, and the USA is no exception. The United States as well do not hesitate to annihilate everyone who opposes their legislative despotism. Though the USA had thus far employed little actual violence to have its orders submissively followed because the overwhelming majority of the population and especially of the opinion-forming intellectuals have accepted the system of values and convictions which makes up the American empire.
According to the official, USA approved belief system, we are all equally intelligent and reasonable people, who are confronted with the same “harsh reality” and are bound to the same facts and truths. Of course, it is true, that even in the age of the American empire, in the USA, people do not live in the best of all worlds. There are many more problems to be solved. Though with the American system of a democratic state, humanity has found the perfect institutional framework which makes the next step in the direction of a perfect world possible; and if only would the American system of democracy takeover worldwide, would the way to perfection be clear, smooth and free.
The single legitimate form of government is democracy. All other forms of government are worse, and any government is better than none. Democratic states like the USA are of the people, by the people and for the people. In democracies no one rules over the other; instead, the people rule over themselves and are thus free. Taxes in democratic states are therefore contributions and payments for governmentally provided services; accordingly, tax avoiders are thieves, who take without paying. To provide shelter for fleeing thieves is thus an act of aggression against the people, from whom they are trying to escape.
Though there are still other forms of governments around the world. There are monarchies, dictatorships, theocracies, and there are feudal landowners, tribes, and warlords. And for this reason, democratic states often must necessarily deal with non-democratic states. Eventually, all states must be converted to the American ideal, because only democracy allows for a peaceful and continual change for the better.
Democratic states like the USA and its European allies are inherently peaceful and do not wage war against each other. If they must fight any wars all at, then these are preventive wars of defense and liberation against aggressive and undemocratic states, that is, just wars. All countries and territories that are presently in war with or occupied by American troops or its European allies – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libyan, Syrian, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen – were therefore guilty of aggression and their war waging and occupation on behalf of the democratic West were an act of self-defense and liberation. However, there is still much to be done. Especially Russia and China still pose a huge threat and must be liberated, in order to make the world finally safe.
Private property, markets, and profits are useful institutions, but a democratic state must ensure that with the appropriate legislation, private property and profits are acquired and used in a socially responsible manner and that markets function efficiently. Moreover, markets and profit-seeking entrepreneurs cannot produce public goods and are thus incapable of satisfying any social needs. And they cannot take care of the truly needy. Only the state can take care of social needs and the less fortunate. The state alone can, through the finance of public goods and aid to the poor, increase the public welfare, and diminish poverty and the number of the needy, if completely not eliminate.
Especially the state has to put the private vice of greed of the pursuit of profit under control. Greed and the pursuit of profit were the leading causes of the most recent large financial crisis. Reckless financiers generated an irrational exuberance among the public, which ultimately had to crash into reality. The market was wrecked, and only the state stood ready to save the day. Only the state, through appropriate regulation and supervision of the banking industry and financial markets, can prevent such a thing from happening again. Banks and companies went bankrupt, yet the state and its central banks held ground and protected the money and jobs of the workers.
Advised by the leading and best-paid economists in the world, states and especially the USA have discovered the causes of economic crises and realized that in order to get out of an economic mess, the people must simultaneously consume more as well as invest more. Every cent under the mattress is a cent withheld from consumption and investment, which in turn impairs future consumption and investment expenditure. In a recession, spending must first of all and under all circumstances be increased; and when the people do not spend enough of their own money, the state has to do it instead. Prudently, states have this option, for their central banks can produce any necessary liquidity. If billions of Dollars or Euros are not enough, then trillions will do; and if trillions do not meet the goal, then surely quadrillions will. Only massive state expenditure can prevent an otherwise unavoidable economic meltdown. In particular, unemployment is the result of low consumption: people who do not have enough money to buy consumer goods; this problem must be remedied by providing them with higher wages or higher unemployment benefits.
When the last financial crisis is finally overcome, the democratic state can and must devote itself once more to the really urgent remaining problems of humanity: the battle against inequality, the elimination of all unjust discrimination, and the control of the global environment and the global climate in particular.
In principle, all people are equal. Differences are only apparent, shallow and meaningless: some people are white, some brown, some black, some are big, others are small; some are fat and others thin; some are male, and some are female; some speak English and others Polish or Chinese as mother tongue. These are accidental human traits. It is a coincidence that some people possess these and some do not. But accidental traits like these have no influence whatsoever on and do not correlate with mental properties like motivation, time preference or intellectual abilities, and they do not contribute to the explanation of economic and social success, especially of income and wealth. Mental and psychic properties have no physical, biological or ethical basis and are limitlessly malleable. In this regard is everyone, except for a few pathological individual cases, equal to the other, and every nation has made in the course of history a contribution to civilization of equal value or would have done so, if only it would have gotten the same chance. Seemingly obvious differences are solely the result of different external circumstances and education. All differences in income and achievements between Whites, Asians, and Blacks, women and men, Latins, Anglos-Saxons and Thais as well as Christians, Hindus, Protestants, and Moslems would disappear, if only equality of opportunity would be established. If instead it will be discovered, that all these different accidental groups are unequally represented in and distributed across different levels of income, wealth, or professional status, some are richer and more successful than others, then this demonstrates unjust discrimination; and such discrimination must be counterbalanced through appropriate, targeted affirmative action on behalf of the state, in which the discriminators have to compensate the unjustly discriminated.
And the studies of the leading and best paid social scientists have clearly shown, who, above all, are the discriminators. The people in question are first and foremost white heterosexual males and the institution of the traditional, patriarchal organized family. It is, therefore, most notably this group of people and this institution which must compensate all other groups and apologize to all other forms of social organization.
But this would not do. The reparations to all disadvantaged, to all victims of inequality and discrimination, require likewise strong governmental support of multiculturalism. The highly developed and white male dominated countries of the Western world have obtained their wealth at the expense of the inhabitants of all other regions of the world and are caught in a disastrous and prejudiced particularism and nationalism. This situation lends itself to be overcome through the promotion and systematic incentivization of immigration of people from different, foreign countries and cultural environments, in order to ensure that the foreign immigrants could finally unleash their full human potential and simultaneously replace the Western parochialism with an authentic cultural diversity.
And with the victory over the disastrous particularism and nationalism through a systematic policy of multiculturalism is one finally able to turn to the crucial stride toward a solution to the undoubtedly biggest global, borderless and world-encompassing problem of climate change. Divergent particularistic and nationalistic interests have thus far lead to the fact that the production and the consumption of non-renewable energy sources were left mostly unregulated and worldwide uncoordinated. And that is why, as the leading and best-paid climate researchers have undoubtedly proven, is the whole globe threatened by unimaginable catastrophes: floods, strong and sudden rising sea levels and the emergence of fatal ecological disequilibria and instabilities. Only through a worldwide, concentrated action by all states, and ultimately the establishment of a supranational world government under the leadership of the USA and an enforced systematic regulation of any production and consumption activities, can this life-threatening danger be avoided. “The common good comes before the individual good” – this is above all, what the problem of climate change shows, and it is on the states and especially on the USA to permanently implement this principle.
Now, I tell you no secret when I admit that I hold this for a massive pile of rubbish, for complete nonsense and a highly dangerous one at that – but I also do not belong to the leading and best-paid economics and social scientists, and of climate research, I understand nothing at all! Except that I know, for example, that a global climate warming is no global problem, but one that affects people in different places of the globe entirely differently, a curse for one is a boon for the other, and insofar downright forbids a global solution.
Question: who are we to thank for this nonsense, whom does it benefit, and how is it that we are fed daily with it by the official media?
Here I want to hint at the answer only very briefly. It has two parts. One has to do with the institution of a state, and especially of a democratic state, with its occupants and representatives. And the other has to do with the intellectuals.
The state is a monopoly of legislation and law enforcement. In all conflicts, including those which it or its representatives are involved in, the state or people appointed by the state decide who is right or wrong. The predictable result is: the state is always right, in everything that does. Whether robbed, plundered, killed, lied to and threatened in the name of the state – or summarized in single sentence: when force is exerted on other people and violence is used against other persons – everything can and everything will be painted by it and its agents as just and assigned with another, deceptive and attractive name. This makes the institution of the state naturally attractive for all people who would like to rob, plunder, kill, lie, defraud other people, that is, use violence against others. Above all, it is these kinds of people who therefore try to infiltrate and take over the institution of the state. And if, as under democratic conditions, the entrance in and the occupation of the state stands free and open for everyone, that is, when it becomes a downright competition for votes between power thirsty crooks, then it is to expect, that the persons who will get to the top of the state are those who possess the greatest talent of rhetorically covering up their own predatory, treacherous and murderous intentions and selling these as good deeds to the voting masses. In short: The best demagogues, the best pied pipers, and corrupters get to the top.
Though when one looks at these democratically elected politicians and members of parliament, whom day by day impose their obvious megalomaniac will though law or decree on millions of people– can one only marvel. Because these people are as a rule not some kind of formidable, impressive alpha males or females, but an epitome of mediocracy or merely a collection of losers, idiots and failures, who have never in their entire life produced a product or rendered a service which someone would have voluntarily bought with his own money.
And faced with these tragic figures, who grandiosely claim to be “our” highest representatives, the question then arises, whether such light-calibrated people are even in the position of conceiving by themselves the entire nonsense which they tell us every day, and furthermore, whether they have what it takes to come up with the diverse justifications and rationalizations for this nonsense which they everywhere feed us.
There one surely has a considerable doubt! And that leads me directly to the second part of my answer to the question of the originators and beneficiaries of the above described “politically correct” view of the world and the nature of things: the intellectuals, or put more precisely, those intellectuals who occupy themselves with social, economic and philosophical question and problems, and their connection to the state and its leaders.
As in the case of the politicians, so is there in the case of the intellectuals hardly a person who through her intellectual work, her writings and speeches, for these are what she produces, that could secure a comfortable livelihood and income. The market demand for such products is low and is furthermore subject to large deviations. Only a small number of intellectuals would succeed in making a profession out of their writings and speeches. The vast majority of actual or alleged intellectuals would be advised to conduct their scientific interests as a mere inner vocation and to earn their livelihood elsewhere, by the practice of a normal civilian profession. But this naturally contradicts the feeling of self-esteem of an intellectual, and all those who view themselves as such. The intellectuals are convinced of the importance and value of their work like no other group and are accordingly resentful when the alleged appropriate high social recognition fails to materialize.
What is then left for them instead? They are usually not suitable for politics, for they are typically too honest and wonkish, too shy, awkward, introverted and particularly antisocial. And for this reason, they mostly lack the desire for power, which is precisely what makes a politician.
But the intellectuals are naturally smart enough to know that even if they are not made to be politicians, they nevertheless need the politicians to get the money required for a comfortable living. And they obviously also know what they must offer as a service in return so to get the biggest possible cut of their pillage: namely well-sounding justifications for continually expanding the powers of the state, and “bold” visions and programs with noble, well-intentioned goals, for example, that of “equality of all people” which cannot ever be achieved, no one can ever achieve, but precisely because of this one never has to give up on, but can repetitively revive and ceaselessly renew.
And so it comes to an unholy alliance: that of the early, monarchical times between church and crown, and that of today, in the American age, between democratic politicians and intellectuals. The result? Never before were there so many politicians and above all so many alleged intellectuals as well who live and indulge in luxuries at the expanse of an ever-decreasing number of productive persons. And never before, in order to stay among the intellectuals, have the numerous and large universities, as the publicly funded and supported citadels of intellectual power and influence and the breeding ground of future politicians and intellectuals, produced so much horrific intellectual nonsense and contributed to the misleading of the public as in our times.
In light of this fact, what can one do? I am afraid that not much – except to repetitively and openly call out the whole hoax. This means that for one thing, to recognize and describe the politicians for what they really are: a band of liars, crooks, robbers, murderers, and associates to murder; and treat them accordingly with contempt, scorn, and ridicule. But also their intellectual masterminds and assistants, without whom the politicians could never carry out their evil work, must be targeted, and as the first step toward a return to normalcy and sound human understanding, to common sense, it is imperative to push for the financial draining of the universities. Not only should all centers for Blacks, Latins, women, gender, and Queer-studies, and everything else that there is of this then unheard of exotica, be closed, but also the social science departments altogether, starting with political science and history, through sociology and up to economics and social and economic statistics (whose statistics also serve the goals of uncovering ever new “inequalities” and to call for redistribution or reeducation!) And likewise should the profession of the academic literary studies and criticism and, as much as it hurt me to say, the profession of the academic philosophers as well be thinned out. And the people who believe, that they know how one controls the climate, one should issue them a certificate of illness and send them for treatment in a psychiatric clinic.
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This does not mean that one should have anything in principle against the work of political scientists, sociologists, economists, statisticians, literary critics, philosophers or climate scientists, or wish that they should cease to exist. Without a doubt, there will be people who genuinely occupy themselves with questions and problems of all disciplines. And that is good and necessary. But surely would the number of such scientists be much smaller. But quantity is not the same as quality, and the reduction in the number of tax-funded social scientists of all kinds is by no means tantamount to an intellectual descent. Completely the opposite. Freed from the intellectual pollution which is currently produced by the universities, appear once more the possibility of a rise of a class of new and better intellectuals, characterized by firm stance and authentic understanding of reality.
Yet all of this lies, if it is even possible to arrive at, in the far future. But thank god one need not wait for it any longer. For in the niches of the present madhouse, totally apart from today’s universities and schools and the ongoing charade, there is, in any case in Vienna, around Vienna, and all around Vienna in the German-speaking region, still – or even better: once more – a place in which though one cannot earn any professional credentials or governmental certificates, but in which man can acquire real education and learn and practice critical thought and argumentation: Rahim’s Scholarium.
[1] Ohad Osterreicher is studying undergraduate economics at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe [send him mail] is distinguished fellow at the Mises Institute and founder and president of the Property and Freedom Society. His books include Democracy: The God That Failed and The Myth of National Defense. Visit his website.
Copyright © 2019 Hans-Hermann Hoppe