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Ludwig von Mises - um herói desconhecido

por John Wolf, em 15.12.12

publicado às 10:33

O liberalismo clássico não é anarquismo

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 19.03.12

No seguimento do meu post de ontem, e das discussões geradas na caixa de comentários daquele e de um post do André Azevedo Alves em referência ao meu (que muito agradeço) n'O Insurgente, deixo à apreciação algumas passagens de Liberalism in the Classical Tradition, de Ludwig von Mises:



«There is, to be sure, a sect that believes that one could quite safely dispense with every form of compulsion and base society entirely on the voluntary observance of the moral code. The anarchists consider state, law, and government as superfluous institutions in a social order that would really serve the good of all, and not just the special interests of a privileged few. Only because the present social order is based on private ownership of the means of production is it necessary to resort to compulsion and coercion in its defense. If private property were abolished, then everyone, without exception, would spontaneously observe the rules demanded by social cooperation.


It has already been pointed out that this doctrine is mistaken in so far as it concerns the character of private ownership of the means of production. But even apart from this, it is altogether untenable. The anarchist, rightly enough, does not deny that every form of human cooperation in a society based on the division of labor demands the observance of some rules of conduct that are not always agreeable to the individual, since they impose on him a sacrifice, only temporary, it is true, but, for all that, at least for the moment, painful. But the anarchist is mistaken in assuming that everyone, without exception, will be willing to observe these rules voluntarily. There are dyspeptics who, though they know very well that indulgence in a certain food will, after a short time, cause them severe, even scarcely bearable pains, are nevertheless unable to forgo the enjoyment of the delectable dish. Now the interrelationships of life in society are not as easy to trace as the physiological effects of a food, nor do the consequences follow so quickly and, above all, so palpably for the evildoer. Can it, then, be assumed, without falling completely into absurdity, that, in spite of all this, every individual in an anarchist society will have greater foresight and will power than a gluttonous dyspeptic? In an anarchist society is the possibility entirely to be excluded that someone may negligently throw away a lighted match and start a fire or, in a fit of anger, jealousy, or revenge, inflict injury on his fellow man? Anarchism misunderstands the real nature of man. It would be practicable only in a world of angels and saints.


Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism. The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.




It is incorrect to represent the attitude of liberalism toward the state by saying that it wishes to restrict the latter's sphere of possible activity or that it abhors, in principle, all activity on the part of the state in relation to economic life. Such an interpretation is altogether out of the question. The stand that liberalism takes in regard to the problem of the function of the state is the necessary consequence of its advocacy of private ownership of the means of production. If one is in favor of the latter, one cannot, of course, also be in favor of communal ownership of the means of production, i.e., of placing them at the disposition of the government rather than of individual owners. Thus, the advocacy of private ownership of the means of production already implies a very severe circumscription of the functions assigned to the state.


The socialists are sometimes wont to reproach liberalism with a lack of consistency, It is, they maintain, illogical to restrict the activity of the state in the economic sphere exclusively to the protection of property. It is difficult to see why, if the state is not to remain completely neutral, its intervention has to be limited to protecting the rights of property owners. This reproach would be justified only if the opposition of liberalism to all governmental activity in the economic sphere going beyond the protection of property stemmed from an aversion in principle against any activity on the part of the state. But that is by no means the case. The reason why liberalism opposes a further extension of the sphere of governmental activity is precisely that this would, in effect, abolish private ownership of the means of production. And in private property the liberal sees the principle most suitable for the organization of man's life in society.


Liberalism is therefore far from disputing the necessity of a machinery of state, a system of law, and a government. It is a grave misunderstanding to associate it in any way with the idea of anarchism. For the liberal, the state is an absolute necessity, since the most important tasks are incumbent upon it: the protection not only of private property, but also of peace, for in the absence of the latter the full benefits of private property cannot be reaped.»

publicado às 13:00

"Resolvendo" problemas depois de os criar

por Eduardo F., em 01.12.11
Na entrevista que se segue a Detlev Schlichter (via Causa Liberal), autor do mui recente "Paper Money Collapse" (em fila de espera nas minhas leituras), explica-se por que razão a "impressão", totalmente artificial, de ainda mais moeda, em ainda maiores quantidades pelos bancos centrais, para "salvar" as economias e "estimular" o crescimento, nos está provavelmente a conduzir à que será talvez "a mãe de todas as depressões". Pro memoria, fixe-se este facto referido por Sclichter: desde que Nixon cortou os últimos laços entre o dólar e o ouro, há precisamente 40 anos (1971), o dólar perdeu 80% do seu poder de compra via  inflação.


publicado às 15:56

Economia e modelos matemáticos

por Eduardo F., em 10.10.11

George Monbiot, o arqui-ambientalista recentemente convertido aos benefícios da energia nuclear para fins de produção de electricidade, assina um artigo hoje no Guardian sob o sugestivo título: It's in all our interests to understand how to stop another Great Depression.


Conta Monbiot que, perseguindo o objectivo expresso no título do artigo, foi assistir a uma palestra sobre o teorema de Sonnenschein–Mantel–Debreu. Confessa não ter compreendido tudo o que foi transmitido e que, nomeadamente, "a equação diferencial descrita em 41 linhas" o deixou algo abalado. Porém, a presença do economista australiano Steve Keen revelou-se como uma autêntica epifania para Monbiot até porque, para mais, terá sido "um dos poucos" economistas que previu a emergência da crise financeira. [Um parêntesis, a propósito, para fazer notar como os mainstream media são tão avessos a reconhecer que uma escola inteira de economistas - a Austríaca - "adivinhou" a vinda dessa crise (basta passar pelo para perceber isso); claro está que se o fizessem seria difícil evitar as consequências desse reconhecimento pois já não se trataria de reconhecer os individuais "génios", mas antes uma "genial" teoria.]


O fascínio "cientista" dos modelos de equilíbrio geral (como é o caso do mencionado por Monbiot), irremediavelmente inacessível ao comum dos mortais por impressionantes construções matemáticas (modelos) com muitas equações diferenciais a muitas variáveis (mas, note-se, sem constantes, exactamente as que as leis da Física estabelecem), esconde a vacuidade que os mesmos têm para a compreensão das relações de "causa" e "efeito" que presidem intemporalmente à expressão da Acção Humana (como hoje bem recordava Bob Wenzel):


It is only the passionate pro-socialist zeal of mathematical pseudo-economists that transforms a purely analytical tool of logical economics into an utopian image of the good and most desirable state of affairs.
Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

publicado às 23:53


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