… Louis: People say money makes the world go around, and they are right. Or as I tell my students, there are two basic ways to motivate and coordinate human behavior on a large scale: coercion and persuasion. Government is the human institution based on coercion. The market is the one based on persuasion. Individuals can sometimes persuade others to do things for love, charity, or other reasons, but to coordinate voluntary cooperation society-wide, you need the price system of a profit-driven market economy.
Doug Casey: And that’s why it doesn’t matter how smart or well-intended politicians may be. Political solutions are always detrimental to society over the long run, because they are based on coercion. If governments lacked the power to compel obedience, they would cease to be governments. No matter how liberal, there’s always a point at which it comes down to force – especially if anyone tries to opt out and live by their own rules.
Even if people try that in the most peaceful and harmonious way with regard to their neighbors, the state cannot allow separatists to secede. The moment the state grants that right, every different religious, political, social, or even artistic group might move to form its own enclave, and the state disintegrates. That’s wonderful – for everybody but the parasites who rely on the state (which is why secession movements always become violent).
I’m actually mystified at why most people not only just tolerate the state but seem to love it. They’re enthusiastic about it. Sometimes that makes me pessimistic about the future…
via Doug Casey on the Morality of Money :: The Market Oracle
How many of those calling for gun control have ever killed another living thing?
I mean up close and personal. Not eating a hamburger that was in a package in the store, or grilling some chicken breasts that were all nicely-packaged in cellophane?
And I’m not talking about smashing a mosquito, spraying a hornet’s nest with wasp spray or similar or taking a shovel to a rattlesnake in the back yard either. Continue reading
Many reasons have been given for the fall of the Roman Empire—greed and decadence, Christianity or the want of it, a decline in industriousness, lack of new territory to plunder, internal wars and over-reliance on the military and so forth. These are “civic virtue” arguments. More objectively, Tainter says the total cost of maintaining the empire exceeded the total return from the empire. The notion appears to confuse cause and effect if you squint and look at it just so. An automobile will eventually cost more in maintenance than the worth of its service justifies, but the deterioration itself isn’t due to the cost of maintenance. An asset has a trajectory apart from our mitigations of its effects. Continue reading
Organ donation: crossing the line. by , Thursday, 6 October 2011.
“… Linking the so-called “right to die” with organ donation…has truly opened a terrible Pandora’s Box. Unfortunately, choice rather than principle is becoming the overriding ethic.” See here.