Occupy Wall Street is a group of individuals of varying creeds protesting “Big Finance” and “the Rich”. Over-all I believe that most of these folks are collectivists at their heart. They have been brought up to believe that they are “owed” the fruits of other people’s labor. On a fundamental level they believe the Capitalist Free Market built upon Natural Rights is unjust.
But we have not had a Capitalist Free Market System built upon Natural Rights in this country since the Civil War. Cronie-Capitalism or corporatism or even the beginning stages of Fascism are more accurate terms to describe the system we have today.
So the ire of the Protestors should be toward the State not the Banks or the Rich. If there is a limited or no State then there is no Cronie-Capitalism, corporatism, or Fascism.
I do agree with the protesters who want to end the Federal Reserve. But my question, which I don’t think anyone has asked them yet, “ is what do they tend to replace the Fed with?”
As an Advocate of liberty I also push for ending the Federal Reserve but I want to see it replaced with a Free Market for Money which would mean Interest Rates based on supply and demand and Competing Currencies. This would provide sound money which is the foundation for a Free Market based on Natural Rights and Natural Law.
I understand their anger. I too am angry. But ’ at “wall street”. Mises wrote in I think Socialism that it’s not the companies that make the arms that problem but the State that buys them. He actually went further and stated that it was the ideas held by the majority of the population that perpetuated a State which purchases and uses the arms from the armament companies.
I think that is analogous today. Charlie Gaspirino of Fox Business did an interview a few years ago and said that he has meant only one true free market guy on Wall Street. That shocked me at the time. But now I understand. Wall Street and the Occupy Wall Street share the same ideology, collectivism in different forms. They belive that the force of government should be used to take from some through taxation and give to others. The two sides are just arguing who is in control.
Mises in his book “Bureaucracy” wrote about such youth movements in European countries during the twenties and thirties. I think what he wrote then applies to today’s protest.
“The Youth Movement was an expression of the uneasiness that young people felt in face of the gloomy prospects that the general trend toward regimentation offered them. But it was a counterfeit rebellion doomed to fail because it did not dare to fight seriously against the growing menace of government all around control and totalitarianism. “
The current crop of protesters miss the mark and are focusing on the wrong villains in my opinion.
“The youth movement was an impotent and abortive revolt of youth against the menace of bureaucratization. It was doomed because it did not attack the seed of the evil, the trend toward socialization. It was in fact nothing but a confused expression of uneasiness, without any clear ideas and definite plans.”
These protesters fail to understand the value of Private Property and the Free Market system. They don’t understand that their IPhone, Starbucks, Nike, and the internet would never been possible without Capitalism and the division of Labor and specialization that comes when individuals are free to dispose of their time and money as they see fit.
The Protestors should be protesting against taxes which the State which destroys wealth and limits the freedom of individuals who create the Iphones, premium coffee, and running shoes. The Protestors should protest the State which steals from productive individuals, imposes burdens of regulations which are invisible walls that keep individuals from innovating and taking risk, and should encourage shrinking or eliminating the Federal Government all together. If this was done then there would be no Bail Outs, no Federal Reserve, no minimum wage, low or no taxes, and private property would be again viewed as a sacred right. Think about what health care and financial services would look like if the Government got their tentacles out of those industries? We would have the same amount of innovations we’ve seen in wireless phones, wireless broadband, and micro- brewery beers.
If they advocated for private property, Free markets, maximum individual liberty, Peaceful Foreign Relations and Sound Money: jobs would be abundant and the economy of every individual would grow in proportion to how he served the demands of the consumer on the Free Market.
Mises wrote about the Free Market:
“The only thing that counts is the fact that under capitalism everybody is the architect of his own fortune.”
“Work well done and services well rendered are the only means to succeed.”
I understand the protesters frustration. The Federal Reserve has in partnership with the Federal Government destroyed the value of the dollar by 95% since 1913. Minimum Wage laws discriminate against the young and unskilled. Regulations and New Mandates paralyze entrepreneurs who can not calculate the future cost of these new burdens and have decided in mass to not expand or go into a new venture which causes them not to hire new workers.. Regulations and Taxes are the problem. The State is the problem. The Wall Street Bailouts are the symptom.
I hope that the collectivists do not gain any more power than they have now by trying to destroy the last vestiges of the Free Market in America. Over the course of the “century of the State” as Mussolini termed the 20th century 172 million people were killed by collectivist nations. That is not through war but internally, their own people.
Just in the Soviet Union 40-60 million were killed. At one point in the 1930′s they were shooting 12,000 people a day in order to “motivate” the proletariat to work.
One of Stalin’s underlings wrote him asking him how he was supposed to suppress religion in his area of responsibility. Stalin responded “Dear Idiot Comrade, Kill all Religious people and do so that people 150 miles away will tremble with fear.”
We must not focus on the monsters at the top of the Collectivist regimes. Stalin, Mao, Lenin, and Hitler were all products of the collectivist views held by the majority of the people. If Hitler came around 25 years earlier then he did, he would have been laughed at as a crack pot and be marginalized. We must help others see the dangers of collectivism and how it destroys the individual so crackpots don’t gain power.
We are suffering in this country today from the evils of collectivism. We don’t need more of it. The Protestors are flailing about in the dark guided by others who want to gain control of the Leviathan. I think this is a great time for the ideas of Liberty to be heard. We can agree on Ending the Fed and from that proceed to agreeing on a Peaceful Foreign policy with protestors and from there discuss the core ideas of Natural Law, which hopefully will lead to a discussion of Maximum Liberty and Free Markets.
Capitalism is an economic system which where the means of production are in private hands and not the State. The protestors, Wall Street, the professors and pundits want Socialism. They want the State to control the means of production so they can use political instead of economic means to gain what they want.. We are seeing a similar path that the National Socialist Party of Germany, the Nazis did in Germany. The Nazis allowed the private companies to continue to exist but the State completely directed everything they did. It was a false impression of Private Ownership while the State controlled through Regulation everything the corporations did. With millions of regulations and theft on a massive scale through taxation the Federal Government and all local governments are directing the activities of private companies like never before in this country.
Socialism is the opposite of Capitalism and it has failed miserably everywhere its been tried. It’s as system that violates Natural Law and ends in murder, starvation and misery. If you Love life and Liberty you must advocate for Free Markets and the elimination of the State. That is what the Protestors should be calling for. The Capitalist System with Private Property, Free Markets, Sound Money, and Individual Liberty has created everything awesome we have today. The Collectivist State destroys, confiscates, and kills. Which system deserves to be protested against?
That’s My Take