July 13, 2010

Neil Reynolds needs a good whacking with the clue bat

Democracies produced Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, fulfilling the expectation of Socrates and Machiavelli that democracies end in tyranny. Now democracies are fulfilling the complementary expectation of Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman that democracies end in bankruptcy.


Apparently in order to save the world and the free enterprise system a little good 'ol fashioned socialism is what's needed:


Democracies have made people more dependent on the state than any humanitarian necessity required. For Italy, and for other democracies, the worst is surely yet to come. Already, hundreds of thousands of middle-class people have thronged the streets of Paris and Rome, of Milan and Sarajevo, of Reykjavik and Bucharest (where demonstrators stormed the presidential palace, an insurgent act that evokes the spectre of revolution). The World Socialists’ website proclaims an age of rage ahead – and chillingly quotes British historian Simon Schama: “You can smell the sulphur in the air.”


I don't really know where to start on this.  It's just so wrong.  I guess the obvious beginning would be to suggest that Reynolds re-read The Road to Serfdom, which traced the origin of National Socialism and Italian Fascism to their socialist beginnings and showed how economic freedom and political freedom are inextricably linked.

I do have to agree with Reynolds on one point public sector debt is out of control, but the way to deal with that is not through central planning and tyranny. 


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