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Government Lending A Hand

WE MUST HAVE ORDER!

Yet another of the most basic principles that escapes "modern" humans, is the concept of spontaneous order. This is so because, again, the last two or so generations have been thoroughly brainwashed into believing that the only possible source of order is a hierarchical one… its only viable provider being… the state… who brainwashed this concept into the people's minds in the first place! Talking about self-serving closed loops…

The most vivid example of such belief is the German expression for "everything is OK" Alles in Ordnung. This expression literally means "everything is in order". And the German understanding of "order" is not some fuzzy process but a deterministic, iron clad blueprint stating where everybody and everything should be. Notice how the concept of "good" or "OK" is replaced by the concept of "order". In this realm Order = Good and this is precisely how states want it understood. The only difference between German people and other people is that Germans are a little bit more literal.

This reality, that people cannot conceive order without a state, is so deeply ingrained in the psyche of people that they not only reject the idea, they can't even conceive it. Such an idea does not even register. It is utterly incomprehensive. You may as well be speaking in a brand new, just made-up language that only you understand.

The reality is that the only thing that we must have is coexistence. Coexistence is the minimum common denominator that prevents humans from fighting each other out into extinction. Coherent with being the minimum requirement, absolutely minimum coexistence also demands an absolute minimum amount of order and this order is simply non-interaction. As a matter of fact this amount of order is so low as to hardly qualify as order.

Of course, if we want to maximize our survival chances or even our quality of life, simple coexistence is insufficient. For that we need voluntary cooperation and this level of requirement also requires a much higher level of order. The reason for it is simple. Cooperation implies interaction by default. As we interact with each other we need clear rules as to what kind of interactions are allowed and which ones are not, hence we need some degree of order.

It is most certainly possible to have coerced interaction, but this type of interaction is not conducive to the maximization of our quality of life. If you don't believe us, just take a look at USSR's economic parameters. You will notice the lack of quality of life. This can only be traced back to the lack of voluntary interactions due to state planning.

The type of interaction we seek is a voluntary process as it is cooperation. Hence, what we do with this interaction is a subjective process. As such, our definition of what is a "good" interaction as opposed to what it is a "bad" interaction is also subjective and personal. Therefore the rules determining what interactions are allowed or disallowed will also be subjective and to be agreed upon interacting people.

But governments are hierarchical systems. By definition they define their "order" and their "rules" as "good". Through these definitions they define the rules of interaction thus artificially limiting the boundaries of our interaction. The conclusion is obvious.

If we want to maximize our standards of living we require a maximum of voluntary cooperation. This level of cooperation is inherently incompatible with restrictions imposed by "order" created by states.

Once we realize this, it becomes very obvious as to why our economies are doing so poorly. At the most basic level governments are preventing people from acting in a manner conducive to the maximization of the quality of our lives. This is no deep mystery and it does not require a degree in economics. The street version of this principle is simple:

Mess with the free market and it will bite you in the ass.

Although it is true that we want order, it is also true that order "from above" won't do. It is counterproductive. But if state-mandated order is destructive, what kind of order is there than can do the job? A Catallactic order incentivated by free markets. And then again we must point out that this is no fairy tale. Such order existed since the beginning of time, when humans began to trade for the first time. We don't need to imagine anything. All we need to do is to look into our past, into our history!

A Catallactic order can work because it worked before for thousands of years. And no. The argument that those were "ancient times" does not hold because, essentially, there has been no human mental evolution since then. Those people had the same inclinations we have today. We must never forget that we are not talking about technology but about human action. In terms of human action, there has been no evolution for at least ten thousand years… thus… the Catallactic order seems to have worked just fine!

In the end the necessity for order is real but what is preventing Catallactic order from fully emerging is the action of governments. For that to happen people need to evolve politically but for that to happen hierarchical order must inflict sufficient damage into our economies so that people finally! become disappointed with the democratic system. We will wait seated (or even reclined) for this to happen because it is going to be a long wait indeed!

FREEDOM AND POWER

Freedom is inextricably linked with Catallactic order and therefore free markets. But the opposite is also true. Free markets are dependent upon Catallactic order and this is in turn dependent upon the free choice to fully embrace it. In other words, one supports the other and there cannot be one without the other. They are mutually dependent.

We have defined freedom as the capacity to make unrestricted choices with our own properties, within the limits of the laws of nature and Catallactics. But where does power come from or, more to it, what exactly is "power"?

We, the gals and guys of F&P define power as the capacity to implement our choices. We are fully aware that this capacity is assumed as a given when we talk about freedom in Praxeological terms, but we wanted to be redundant so as to contrast against what we have to endure in democratic systems.

In these systems we have a -very- limited amount of freedom, in the sense that a great deal of restrictions are imposed on our choices. For example, we can't buy drugs or drive without a license, teach our children at home using a non-government-sanctioned curriculum or improve our home without a permit or… or… or. You know the limits. These are the arbitrary restrictions that governments impose on us. But there is more. In many cases, even when we operate fully within those restrictions, we are simply denied the capacity to implement them. We are literally powerless to put them into practice. For example, we are supposed to have access to speedy justice, yet, justice moves at a snail's pace…if we are lucky. We are supposed to be able to drive freely through streets yet the police can stop and interrogate us for no reason whatsoever. We are supposed to be able to trust in the discretion of banks (based on confidentiality laws) yet they are obligated to rat us to the government. We are supposed to be able to pick any religion we may want yet many religions are simply not recognized by the state. There are many such examples and they vary from country to country, but the common denominator is always the same; we are powerless to exercise our supposed "rights".

This lack of freedom further restricted by our lack of power is yet another fraud that governments unleash on us. Yes, we are supposed to be restricted in our freedoms "for the greater good" but then that should be it. In practice, however, that is not the case. Further restrictions are imposed onto us by all kinds of government agencies which are, in practice, not policed nor restricted themselves. It is bad enough that laws are arbitrary restrictions imposed to us by people without authority who do not represent us. On top of that, further restrictions are imposed by un-elected officials in the form of regulations. And now to top it all off, we have further restrictions in the practical implementation of our rights, however few we may still have left (although we strongly suspect that the real number is none whatsoever).

As we fully understand that Libertarian systems are on their way, we also fully understand that the upcoming systems won't be full-blown Libertarians. They will be transitional in nature. As such, some restrictions to our freedoms will remain. It is thus of critical importance that we must demand not only far greater freedom but also the power to implement our freely made decisions. Greater theoretical freedom without the power to implement it, is pointless. Yet another scam.

CONCLUSION

This conclusion is simple. As we stated from the beginning, Austrian Economics and Libertarianism are important because they affect everything we do. They are not just points of view but ways of life. Now days everything is tinted by so-called democracies, socialisms and comunisms of all kinds and only Austrian Economics and Libertarianism offer clarifying and cleansing points of view. It is thus important for people to realize that there is a way out and that this way out is not some sort of improvisation or minor modification on useless and burned-out political systems such as the ones we have today. Our way out is a new way by looking into the past where it proved its wild success. And in the same manner that everything in life is connected, everything in life is also related to Austrian Economics and Libertarianism because they originated from life itself.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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