While deleting 40% of my friends list on Facebook (it was delightful; you should try it some time), I saw one of my friends, a pal of mine from my good ol’ days in government, and he’s now making waves as a Malacañang official.
Anyway, he posted a link of the Keynes-Hayek rap saga. I just found it surprising because while the video itself is considered ‘viral,’ it’s primarily circulated around people steeped in the tradition of the Austrian school of economics.
What I found especially weird was, here was Keynes being spread on the table, dissected of his fatal errors, yet apparently, my friend and his other circle of friends did not take this away from the video. They interpreted it as a matter of ‘he said, he said.’ As if deciding who’s right between Keynes and Hayek is the same as choosing between brands of soup. There’s no wrong choice!*
HOW DID I END UP RIGHT?
|Irony of ironies: learning of the dangers of inflation |
from the bringer of the greatest depression yet.
Perhaps my friend, admitting his insufficient education on the topic, is being cautious before expressing his opinion on the subject. But my point is that the truth can be right in your face, and you can still not see it, the truth here being Hayek’s complete pwnage of all that is Keynes.
Indeed, my quick embracing of Hayekian/Misesian/Austrian business cycle theory has less to do with my being incisive and discerning and rational, and more to do with the fact that I was predisposed to it, what with my having read Ayn Rand, especially ‘Capitalism: The unknown ideal.’ But then, why was I predisposed to Ayn Rand in the first place?
I can’t just keep going back in time looking for an understanding of my political positions; ultimately, I just have to be thankful that I found the way to my present understanding of the business cycle, however ‘illogical’ a process it may have been to get there.
My friend himself witnessed my ‘going off the deep end’ in 2008 as I read first Hazlitt, then Ron Paul, then the other Austrian economists. But he was quick to catalogue Ron Paul as a Nader-type, without even comparing the actual political philosophies espoused!
DEFINE YOUR TERMS FIRST
Capitalism this and capitalism that.
What is capitalism anyway?
Will you not shut the fuck up then?
My friend on the other hand, would consider himself socialist-leaning from his college days. It’s from him that I discovered the fucking idiot, i.e. pop philosopher, Slavoj Zizek. Just reading a book and several articles of Zizek’s criticizing ‘capitalism,’ it is obvious that he has no clear idea of what he is criticizing.
The term ‘capitalism’ is a dumping ground for all that is shallow, shrewd, crude, etc.; but such criticisms do not take into account the actual system or types of actions involved. As a result, Zizek’s diagnosis of what is wrong with the world is confused, targeting the good (freedom) while advocating more of what’s bad (state interference).
It’s hard to make sense of all this, but I try to take it in, in order to further understand the enemy that is the government-as-solution mentality. But it’s clear that presenting better theories, better philosophies, etc. is not more important than recognizing the warped or backwards psychologies of the many.
* One Facebook commenter lamented how neither Keynes nor Hayek factored in the issue of corruption that very often plagues governments. As if the size of government has no bearing on the amount of corruption! The fact that Hayek advocated a much smaller role for government should make clear that Keynes’ system was more prone to capture by the politically privileged.