The Second Version

14/05/10

Words To Ponder

Be happy with some more recycled thoughts, for the moment.

This is from Ian B at the Devil's Knife:
John, I don't think the old government was marxist, and neither is the new one. They are radical puritans. Radical puritanism has been the driving force of anglosphere socialism for two hundred years. They went quite marxist for a while, but now they're back to their old roots.

Marxists, like capitalists, understood the economy in terms of production. Lenin said that socialism was the electrification of the USSR. They were obsessed with production statistics, the stereotypical tractor production figures. Their entire methodology was of course wrong, annd the results evil. But they at least understood the need to produce.

Anglo-socialists don't give a tinker's cuss about economic production. They measure the economy in terms of moral value. They care that a factory produces "jobs" (because work is good for the soul) but don't give a damn whether a complete tractor ever leaves it. Indeed, they would prefer that none ever did, because production produces wealth, which produces immoral gluttony. They deride production as "consumerism". They want to go back to poverty, because poor people don't have the wherewithall to be immoral. They're too busy struggling (and failing) to survive.

So, they measure economic success in terms of moral outputs, unlike Marxists who measure it in terms of economic outputs, like us free marketeers do as well. Marxists and marketeers are arguing about the best way to produce economic goods and services. The Puritans want to know how to produce the greatest morality. And from a puritan perspective, a person barely subsisting in the dark is more moral than a person living in- hated- "luxury".

They believe that shortage will lead us back to a more moral, frugal existence, like the Good Old Days. "Work" must be provided of course, but not economic production or expansion. All of our ruling class now believe these things at a gut level. They have done for a couple of centuries, to varying degrees. We are now in a new crescendo of puritanism, largely because the interfering marxists were pushed out of the way by the unfortunate collapse of communism.

Basically, the Puritan strategy is a kind of "managed decline". You don't build new power stations. You learn to live without. If we had a marxist government they'd be impressing us into slave gangs to build shiny new power stations. Which is not nice either, but is very different.
There are some interesting ideas, here. Ponder.

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2 Commenti:

  • Curiously, ten years or so ago when the big problem was (supposed to be) the "wild free market", "greed" and stuff, I heard blaming puritan ethics too.

    Di Anonymous Wellington, Alle 14/5/10 11:31  

  • Puritans must be a little like "neo-cons" then.

    Di Blogger Fabio, Alle 14/5/10 17:30  

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