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Tragam as pipocas

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 22.12.14

Carlos Abreu Amorim afirma que já não é liberal, as reacções entre alguns liberais e até pessoas de outros quadrantes político-ideológicos não se fizeram esperar, mas talvez o melhor mesmo seja ler este texto de Rui A. de onde se pode retirar uma ilação que não fica necessariamente patente no mesmo, mas que há já algum tempo venho afirmando: público e privado, Estado e mercado, são duas faces de uma mesma moeda, pelo que nem tudo o que é público é bom ou mau, tal como nem tudo o que é privado. Como diria Montaigne, bem e mal coexistem nas nossas vidas. O mundo - e a condição humana - é um bocadinho mais complicado e menos ingénuo do que o preto e branco e tudo ou nada que muitas almas ditas liberais tendem a ver. Por outras palavras, menos Rothbard e mais Hayek só faria bem a muita gente. 

publicado às 10:44

Röpke e a Economia Humana

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 24.03.13

Roger Scruton, "The Journey Home - Wilhelm Röpke & the Humane Economy":


«The Eurocrats tolds us, when John Major weakly agreed to the Maastricht Treaty, that it was all OK, that national sovereignty would not be sacrificed, that the principle of subsidiarity applied, and that all decisions pertaining to the nation and its specific interests would be taken at the national level, by elected Parliaments. But then comes the catch: it is the European Commission, not the national parliament, which decides that a given issue pertains to the specific interests of a given nation state. National sovereignty is therefore delegated from above, by an unelected Commission which is in the hands of its permanent staff of bureaucrats rather than in those of the sheepish politicians who have been shunted there from parliaments where they are no longer wanted. The principle of ‘subsidiarity,’ which purports to grant powers to local and national bodies, in fact takes them away, ensuring that powers that were once exercised by right are now exercised on sufferance. ‘Subsidiarity’ confiscates sovereignty in the same way that ‘social justice’ confiscates justice, and the ‘social market’ confiscates the market.

So what is the alternative? What was Röpke getting at, and how should we respond to the problems that he wished to address—the problems of social fragmentation and the loss of community feeling, in a world where the market is left to itself? There are those—Milton Friedman, for example, or Murray Rothbard—who have powerfully argued that a genuinely free market will ensure the good government of human communities, through the self-restraining impulse that comes naturally to us. But their arguments, however sophisticated, are addressed to Americans, who live among abundant resources, free from external threat, surrounded by opportunities and in communities where the volunteer spirit survives. And they do not confront the central question, which is how communities renew themselves, and how fundamental flaws in the human constitution, such as resentment, envy and sexual predation, are to be overcome by something so abstract and neutral as consumer sovereignty and free economic choice.

Röpke’s own idea, if I understand him rightly, was that society is nurtured and perpetuated at the local level, through motives that are quite distinct from the pursuit of rational self interest. There is the motive of charitable giving, the motives of love and friendship, and the motive of piety. All these grow naturally, and cause us to provide for each other and to shape our environment into a common home. The true oikos is not a cell shut off from the world, in which a solitary individualist enjoys his sovereignty as a consumer. The true oikos is a place of charity and gift, of love, affection and prayer. Its doors are open to the neighbours, with whom its occupants join in acts of worship, in festivals and ceremonies, in weddings and funerals. Its occupants are not consumers, except obliquely, and by way of replenishing their supplies. They are members of society, and membership is a mutual relation, which cannot be captured in terms of the ‘enlightened self interest’ that is the subject matter of economic theory. For extreme individualists of the Rothbard kind life in society is simply one species of the 'coordination problem,' as the game theorists describe it—one area in which my rational self-interest needs to be harmonized with yours. And the market is the only reliable way that we humans know, or could know, of coordinating our goal-directed activities, not only with friends and neighbours, but with all the myriad strangers on whom we depend for the contents of our shopping bags. Membership, if it comes about, is simply another form of quasi-contractual agreement, whereby we freely bind ourselves to mutual rights and duties.

Who is right in this? Well, the position that I have attributed to Röpke is to me transparently obvious, whereas that which I have attributed (for the sake of argument) to Rothbard is to me profoundly mistaken. (...)

publicado às 19:24


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