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Pondering the Unintentional Consequences

October 2nd, 2009 by Myrhaf · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Dick Morris writes:

While all eyes were on the rantings of Ahmadinejad at the United Nations, the United States — under President Barack Obama — was surrendering its economic sovereignty at the G-20 summit. The result of this conclave, which France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed as “revolutionary,” was that all the nations agreed to coordinate their economic policies and programs and to submit them to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for comment and approval. While the G-20 nations and the IMF are, for now, only going to use “moral suasion” on those nations found not to be in compliance, talk of sanctions looms on the horizon.

Coordinated economic policies? What could go wrong with that?

Let’s think about it in light of this passage from George Reisman’s tribute to Ludwig von Mises:

He argued with unanswerable logic that the economic causes of war are the result of government interference, in the form of trade and migration barriers, and that such interference restricting foreign economic relations is the product of other government interference, restricting domestic economic activity. For example, tariffs become necessary as a means of preventing unemployment only because of the existence of minimum wage laws and pro-union legislation, which prevent the domestic labor force from meeting foreign competition by means of the accep­tance of lower wages when necessary. He showed that the foundation of world peace is a policy of laissez-faire both domestically and internationally.

If freedom leads to peace, then what might international controls lead to? Instead of individuals trading to mutual advantage, state controls can only get in the way. When the effects begin to hurt pocketbooks, and politicians begin to fear for their jobs because of widespread grief and anger, what happens next?

Has the G-20 summit unwittingly laid the foundation for war?

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Lionell Griffith

    Yes. Unequivocally yes!

    After the wealth of the productive is plundered and consumed, the only thing left will be war of all against all. When you have nothing to lose and have no future, you go for whatever you can get by whatever means is at hand. This ultimately leads to an abyss of death and destruction. Our so called leaders intend this to happen. They do not mean well in spite of their smooth words and slick presentations to the contrary.

    The use of reason and universal respect for individual rights are becoming forgotten values. Yet, that is the only thing that can return us from that dark abyss.

  • Beth Haynes

    Interesting connection.

    Add to that the words of Ayn Rand from “The Roots of War”:

    “Men…have never rejected the doctrine which causes wars…the doctrine that it is right or practical or necessary for men to achieve their goals by means of physical force (by initiating the use of force against other men) and that some sort of “good” can justify it. It is the doctrine that force is a proper or unavoidable part of human existence and human societies…

    Statism needs war, a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.”

    A question which needs answering: In the case of Iran, are economic sanctions an initiation of force, or are they a form of retaliation against those who threaten the initiation of force? And, what role, if any, should economic policy have in foreign policy?

    I wish I could give you an answer, but I need to think more on this issue myself.

  • Jim May

    There has been an ongoing international effort to put a stop to “tax competition” by colluding against so-called “tax havens”. It’s almost as if they are afraid that sooner or later, someone really is going to found a laissez-faire republic somewhere.

    Such a thing has always been a rather fantastic notion, and remains so to this day. I remember pondering what would happen if some relatively small country, such as Guyana, were to go laissez-faire; my cousin and I would joke about how Guyana would quietly take off, economically and technologically, embarassing the relatively non-capitalist world.

    And yet, whether this was what they had in mind or not, the possibility of enacting such a thing in a tiny country or ocean-borne “seastead” is being made well nigh impossible eve3n before anyone tries it; now the hypothetical capitalist revolutionaries will have to take over a nation physically large enough to be somewhat self-sufficient (both economically and militarily).