Have I got a treat for you this time! I just found a Mises article presenting am idea on how to bring about a change toward the kind of perfect society they envision. An actual article dealing with the social change rather than fantastical conceptions of free markets or utopias. I was stunned and I couldn’t but take the time to go through this novelty.
Unfortunately from the whole essay, only 1/5th or so was devoted to the actual methods. Most of it was restatements of assumed natural laws, denunciation of the state, praising of private property and the other classic preaching to the choir one expects from Mises.org articles. Although largely irrelevant to the final suggestion, the author couldn’t help but providing me with ample ammo for criticism of their rampart idiocy.
But first, let’s see the argument on why Monarchy is better than Democracy. For the lulz.
Why is it better? Why because of course the King was at least to an extent a “natural elite” and his only flaw was that he monopolized the protection. Still though, he was superior since he was putting the interest of the social elite (ie, the rich) in generally above the “mob’s” and thus was closer to the Propertarian ideal, even though the cost of protection was higher and worse due to his monopoly. Another benefit to the King was apparently that he was more malleable by the elites than a democratic state. That is, at least with the one King, the rich had it easier to get their way since that was the only one they had to convince to make top-down changes that would benefit them. The unwashed masses didn’t get to have as say, as is apparently right.
Princes and kings were dilettantes as rulers, and normally had a good measure of natural elite upbringing and value system so as to act often enough simply as a good household father would have done. Democratic politicians on the other hand, are and must be professional demagogues, constantly appealing to even the basest — and that is typically egalitarian instincts — as every vote is obviously as good as any other. And because publicly elected politicians are never held personally accountable for official public service, they are far more dangerous, from the viewpoint of those who want their property to be protected and want security, than any king has ever been.
It is hard to decide if one should be laughing or getting angry at this patriarchal nonsense. Why is democracy worse? Because it does not shamelessly give more benefit to the elite and rather tries to spread some measure of power among all those affected by this “monopoly of protection”. This is the “curse” of democracy it seems. That the scum of the earth get to have a say in the affairs of their own lives, even if they *gasp* possess no property.
But monarchy of course did not just get mentioned to display more of the expected Misoid intellectual bankruptcy. It was brought up to explain how much easier it would have been if we had Monarchy now. At least in that case, according to Misoid fantasies, it would have been relatively simple to convince a kings to abdicate of his “monopoly of power.” No seriously. With a straight face. It would have been simple(r) to convince a king to give up his kingdom. You can’t make this shit up.
What follows afterwards is a long assumption of what would follow when the king abdicated his monopoly or protection. It’s all fantastical nonsense of how humans would act if they were all Misoids or somesuch and how it would have lead to a perfect world naturally and peacefully. Of course actual history has shown us that humans freed from monarchical tyranny acted quite unlike to what the author expects.
I won’t go into much detail on the rest of the filling of the essay as it’s mostly irrelevant to the main tactic proposed, with the exception of the denunciation of reformism and intellectualism. I only mention this because it only makes the actual suggested tactic even more hilarious.
So how do the Misoid suggests to take down the state? How is his implementation of “Bottom-up revolution” to happen?. Via reform and intellectualism. Ayeap.
Lets break down the suggestion for commentary
And even if it is impossible to win a majority for a decidedly antidemocratic platform on a nationwide scale, there appears to be no insurmountable difficulty in winning such a majority in sufficiently small districts, and for local or regional functions within the overall democratic government structure. In fact, there seems to be nothing unrealistic in assuming that such majorities exist at thousands of locations.
Here the author takes a great leap of faith. Not only does he assume that there are areas where undemocratic sentiments are strong, but that also those undemocratic sentiments are mostly aligned with propertarian ideals and that all those undemocratic people will decide to democratically vote the undemocratic platform. That the author assumes and imagines his way through most of his suggestion is just hilarious.
The problem that the author seems to be missing is that even if somehow such a undemocratic majority existed somewhere it is extremely unlikely that they would be positive to propertarian ideals but most likely would align with the Anarchist (i.e. libertarian socialist) movement. As such, not only would they stay away from all elections whatsoever but even if they were to vote, it’s unlikely to follow the undemocratic platform. The author is basically asking for undemocratic people to trust in democracy this one time because this time it’s going to work. It’s not difficult to see the flaw in this plan.
Likewise, even though the intellectual class must be by and large be regarded as natural enemies of justice and protection, there exists at various locations isolated anti-intellectual intellectuals, and as the Mises Institute proves, it is very well possible to assemble these isolated figures around an intellectual center, and give them unity and strength, and a national or even an international audience.
Emphasis mine for the lulz. Much like the undemocratic democracy he suggests, he follows up with anti-intellectual intellectualism. It’s difficult not to imagine this essay as some kind of joke playing on oxymorons.
So these anti-intellectuals of crass individualism would somehow be convinced to suddenly co-operate with the Mises institute in order to promote collective action? Does this make sense to anyone?
First, as an initial step, and I’m referring now to what should be done on the local level, the first central plank of one’s platform should be: one must attempt to restrict the right to vote on local taxes, in particular on property taxes and regulations, to property and real estate owners. Only property owners must be permitted to vote, and their vote is not equal, but in accordance with the value of the equity owned, and the amount of taxes paid.
In my opinion, this is absolutely the best part of this essay. The central plank, the core ideology of the platform one is going to try to get elected on by the “mob”, is going to be to replace “one person, one vote” to “one dollar, one vote”. Can anyone see the fail in this idea? Anyone? Ok, let me put it out there: He’s expecting the majority of people in an area, which generally comprises of proletarians since the property owners are always in a small minority, to vote for taking all power out of their hands and giving it to the rich minority only.
Of course it all makes sense if you assume that a “small area” exists where people are likely to be converted to misesian ideals but such an area could only be a village where only rich property owners live. Like, I dunno, a vacation village or something.
But no, the absurdity does not stop yet.
Further, all public employees — teachers, judges, policemen — and all welfare recipients, must be excluded from voting on local taxes and local regulation matters. These people are being paid out of taxes and should have no say whatsoever how high these taxes are.
So all these people must be convinced to vote for outright removing their right to vote, because voting benefits them. Right.
With this platform one cannot of course win everywhere; you cannot win in Washington, D.C. with a platform like this. but I dare say that in many locations this can be easily done. The locations have to be small enough and have to have a good number of decent people.
Emphasis mine again for the lulz. I like that the author is keeping this realistic the most.
I guess by “decent people” he means willing slaves and power-hungry propertarians.
Consequently, local taxes and rates as well as local tax revenue will inevitably decrease. Property values and most local incomes would increase whereas the number and payment of public employees would fall. Now, and this is the most decisive step, the following thing must be done, and always keep in mind that I am talking about very small territorial districts, villages.
I like that how the most difficult part of his whole idea is already past. No talk on how people are going to be convinced. No talk on where such villages might exist or some examples. No talk on how local campaigns are going to be run and promoted. No. Let’s just assume that the perfect village, full of “decent people” exists and we managed to get elected already.
In this government funding crisis which breaks out once the right to vote has been taken away from the mob, as a way out of this crisis, all local government assets must be privatized
Is “taking the right to vote away from the mob” a solid position in your platform? But wait, now we have a crisis on our hands. So the solution to the crisis that the Misoid platform has created, the solution is…more Misoid platform.
An inventory of all public buildings, and on the local level that is not that much — schools, fire, police station, courthouses, roads, and so forth — and then property shares or stock should be distributed to the local private property owners in accordance with the total lifetime amount of taxes — property taxes — that these people have paid. After all, it is theirs, they paid for these things.
So here’s the plan gang. First we convince everyone to allow only us to take decisions based on how rich we are. Then we create a funding crisis. Finally we use the excuse of the crisis to pillage all public property by all voting to pass it to ourselves. Nothing could ever go wrong!
So apparently nobody but the rich pays taxes around there and thus they deserve to become even more rich. No, proletarians who worked all their lives as wage-slaves and have nothing to show for it never paid taxes. They were simply exploiting the capitalists. And the public workers? Those even less deserve any say in this as they were being paid by exploiting the capitalists or by the money of those exploiting the capitalists. It all makes sense now.
These shares should be freely tradable, sold and bought, and with this local government would essentially be abolished. If it were not for the continued existence of higher superior levels of government, this village or city would now be a free or liberated territory.
I like how “liberated territory” here means “The rich will own all of the village and make all decisions.” It seems that the most liberated territories in the history of the world where none other than company towns.
On the small local level, we can be as certain, or even more so than we could have been one hundred years ago about what would have happened if the king abdicated,
“Certain” here should mean “I imagined it in my head so it must be right.”
And many former teachers, policemen and judges would be rehired or resume their former position on their own account as self-employed individuals, except that they would be operated or employed by local “bigshots” or elites who own these things, all of whom are personally known figures[…]Local “bigshots” frequently provide public goods out of their own private pocket; and they obviously have the greatest interest in the preservation of local justice and peace.
I like how it’s assumed that the rich are “personally known figures” and that they are going to be the most charitable and eager to maintain local justice and peace. Of course, we all know the kind of justice and peace the rich generally dish out. It’s the justice geared to make them richer and the peace of putting down any challenge to their power.
But you know, those rich people who felt so unfair on having to subsidize public institutions and now going to turn charitable and out of the goodness of their heart now subsidize these public institutions to maintain justice and peace. That, or try to make them profitable, which we all know how that translates in regards to things like Firefighters….
Accordingly judges must be freely financed, and free entry into judgeship positions must be assured. Judges are not elected by vote, but chosen by the effective demand of justice seekers.
Right. Effective Demand. Interesting choice of words. So obviously someone who has no money gets no justice, while the richest with the most effective demand, get as much “justice” as they need. Something which becomes even more obvious once one considers that they now also own the courthouses as well. Basically what the author is suggesting is that justice should be explicitly geared to protecting the interests of the rich. But that’s not very surprising since the author considers them to be the only ones that count and the “natural elite.” All that the competition among judges (for effective demand of course) will do is to simply prune out those who are not sufficiently focused on protecting the interests of the plutocracy.
it should be clear that only a handful of local people, and only widely known and respected local personalities — that is, members of the natural local elite — would have any chance whatsoever of being so selected as judges of local peace.
And just to make things even more certain, you can’t become a judge unless you’re already rich and have the appropriate bias. Got that? Huh, scum?
Only as members of the natural elite will their decision possess any authority and become enforceable. And if they come up with judgments that are considered to be ridiculous, they will be immediately displaced by other local authorities that are more respectable.
What he means here is that since the rich will own all enforcement institutes like the police, if the judge makes a decision they do not like, they will simply refuse to enforce it. Obviously any decision that goes against the plutocratic interests must be “ridiculous.” That judge will most likely be arrested on the decision of less ridiculous judges and the eager enforcement of the (now) private police.
This implies that a central government cannot possibly enforce its legislative will, or perverted law, upon the entire population unless it finds widespread local support and cooperation in doing so. This becomes particularly obvious if one imagines a large number of free cities or villages as I described them before.
Yes, because there will never be local support at all from all those disenfranchised workers who now not only have no vote, but also no public goods and shamelessly skewed justice. Not at all. Plus, there will be “a large number of free cities and villages” already. They will just pop-up like mushrooms or something. It’ll never be the case that one (as impossible as that sounds) will take this step and be immediately crushed as a warning to the rest. Oh no, that would no be a perfect enough scenario.
The author then continues to say how those very small villages would resist the might of the government by not cooperating with them because the natural elite will be “only obligated to their local constituents.” Apparently it goes without saying that the rich will be more interested in protecting all those people they exploit (who are glad for it of course) rather than risk the wrath of the federal govt. Of course. Because the rich have always been paragons of courage and solidarity…
Consistently applied, no cooperation, no assistance whatsoever on any level, the central government’s power would be severely diminished or even evaporate. And in light of the general public opinion, it would appear highly unlikely that the federal government would dare to occupy a territory whose inhabitants did nothing else than trying to mind their own business. Waco, a teeny group of freaks, is one thing. But to occupy, or to wipe out a significantly large group of normal, accomplished, upstanding citizens is quite another, and quite a more difficult thing.
Putting aside the comparison to Waco (which believe me, it’s a difficult thing to do right now). The author’s willingness to assume what the government would be doing and what its motives are is brilliant. Not only will the public opinion remain on the plutocracy’s side, not only would the government be weakened by the “many such villages” but they will suddenly start caring about the lives of citizens outright challenging the power of the national plutocracy (expressed via the federal state of course). No the National Elite will be more than willing to allow the local upstarts challenge their power just like Kings were more than willing to suffer autonomous feudal lords rather than make them join their kingdom. Truly.
And it is in this situation then, when the central government will be forced to abdicate its protection monopoly and the relationship between the local authorities that reemerge and the central authorities, who are about to lose their power, can be put on a purely contractual level, and one might regain the power to defend one’s own property again.
And finally I’ll be able to shoot those damn kids playing on my lawn.
So there we go then. This is the first “practical” scenario I’ve seen from the Mises Institute about how to bring their utopia about. I hope I don’t have to explain the scare quotes around ‘practical’ by now. Unfortunately the more I read from them, the more their insane rants really make me challenge people who can take the whole institute seriously still. It really boggles the mind that some would even link me to this drivel as some feasible way to go forward.
- Find many many perfect small villages full of “decent people.”
- Vote to change “one person, one vote” to “one dollar, one vote.”
- Engineer a financial crisis.
- PRIVATIZE FUCKING EVERYTHING!!!