One Can Never Have Too Much Freedom When Building Fruitful Societies
By Daily Bell Staff - August 23, 2016

Being an Ideologue Means Never Having to Say You’re Wrong … “Communism would have worked, if the Soviet Union had only tried it for real.” … For any political-economic ideology, there is always a hard core of believers who will never waver in their conviction that if only the program were tried in its pure form, it would succeed. Any failures — even debacles on a grand scale, including the fiasco of 20th century communism — will be chalked up to ideological impurity and improper application.- Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Noah Smith, the site’s most provocative and often wrongheaded columnist compares communism to free-markets in this editorial. His conclusion: “Hard core believers” of any type are probably wrong.

We don’t think so.

Communism in its modern form is a pervasively authoritarian ideology. Its corollary is state control. Free-market economics is exactly the opposite. It is most effective when the state is  at least dormant.

Can societies ever be too free? That’s hard to fathom. Certainly – and sadly – that doesn’t seem to be a problem in the world today. Nonetheless, Noah pursues his points.

In reality, true believers often cling tenaciously to their worldviews … [But] the tendency toward ideological commitment is now being tested in the U.S., as free-market dogma — sometimes known as neo-liberalism — is coming under increasing attack.

Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign gained a surprising amount of support from young people. Economists, both in the public eye and out of it, are focusing more on inequality and embracing a more activist role for the state.

Business professors are starting to question the short-termism of financial markets and shareholder control. Some researchers at right-leaning think tanks are saying that Republicans need to move away from Reaganomics and its mix of tax cuts and deregulation.

In fact we don’t recognize what Smith calls “free-market dogma.” What the US has in place now is what we’ve called technocratic fascism.

To conflate it with a pure form of anarcho-capitalism is ludicrous.

The US government runs on well over $3 trillion a year. It pursues bloodthirsty hegemony abroad and repression at home.

The dominant ideology of the US – and the West in general – is corporatism. And corporatism is the result of Supreme Court decisions that have at least partially created a reign of judicial terror that includes intellectual property rights, corporate personhood and monopoly central banking.

Absent these three disastrous influences, the US probably would look a lot more like it did before the Civil War, when the country – despite slavery and genocidal policies toward Native Americans – produced something of a golden epoch in the annals of industrial freedom and creativity.

The success of this era, ironically, laid the building blocks for the current American empire. Pre-Civil War, creativity was fairly untrammeled by government regulations and entrepreneurship was not constrained by the current faux fervor of environmentalism.

Here, a summary, as follows:

The antebellum era was a time not only of profound political change but also of great technological and economic innovation. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Europe in the 1700s, had produced new inventions and methods of production.

American inventors transformed the U.S. economy with new innovations of their own. This rapid development of manufacturing and improved farming had such a profound effect on American society that historians often refer to it as the Market Revolution.

Some antebellum inventions? The cotton gin, the steamboat, the Erie Canal and railroads.

The building blocks of modernity not just for the US but for the world were put in place during a period of incandescent creativity. People could invent what they wanted and put their ideas into production.

Contrast this with communism. From what we can tell,  Stalin’s number one product was genocide. Certainly, people abandoned communism as soon as they could. The system was only kept in place by force.

Contrast that to the US, where it took a war – the Civil War – to change the texture of society and replace laissez-faire with the beginnings of the technocratic capitalism that the US is sinking under today.

Smith writes in his conclusion that people generally are not ideological. The implication is that free-market “neoliberalism” has moved in an overly energetic fashion in the direction of industrial anarchy.

But as explained above, laissez-faire has been retreating in the US for well over a century-and-a-half now. Smith seems to be confusing fascism with freedom.

Nonetheless, he is fairly certain what’s coming next:

“I expect the U.S. public to cast around for alternatives to the neoliberalism of Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush … Some sort of course change, rather than a doubling down, seems inevitable.”

Leave aside our disagreement with his characterization of the philosophies of these three men, it is hard to conceive of a society failing from too much entrepreneurship, industrial vitality and freedom.

On the other hand, it equally hard to visualize a successful society shaped by the brutal intolerance of communism – as it apparently evolves inevitably when it is tried.

Conclusion: One can never have too much freedom, in our view. And one can never have too little forcible communism. Human action is preferable to authoritarianism. Societies work best when people (absent sociopaths) are left to their own devices.

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  • ErdosNumberOne

    Absent these three disastrous influences, the US probably would look a lot more like it did before the Civil War, when the country – despite slavery and genocidal policies toward Native Americans

    …and this is a good thing? one could argue that certain imbalances were an inevitable aspect of what permitted the great age of market freedom that you tout. One could also argue that in order to have this freedom, there must always be a class or group that is not free, that freedom is defined against.

    • Isefree

      “One could argue that…. ”

      Why don’t you?

    • James

      There is absolutely nothing to indicate these certain imbalances were a categorical part of permitting these circumstances of freedom and innovation. Human history is more complex than these large, clumsy, and misleading constructs. The numerous cases where Europeans were indeed able to get along peacefully with Native Americans shows this. E.g. the early Pennsylvania colony, the Acadians in Canada (and Louisiana for that matter), and a great many of the French colonists in general.

      There were, sadly, simply a large number of brutal people who succeeded in implementing ruthless policies of violence against certain ethnic peoples despite the prevalence of great freedom in other areas of life.

      • Sydney

        No not “brutal people”. People or individuals have to support themselves and there families. Brutality does not put food on the table consistently or in the long run for the individual. The individual relies on hard work and integrity and a good name to get along. Please consider that all real brutality is carried out by the corporate. The corporate becomes more impersonal as its power grows. It’s power grows and it becomes empire. The empire exerts expanding influence of centralized power which is most notable seen with empires empowered by centralized fiat currencies. The Indians and or slaves where not victimized by individual people but by groups of people or corporate entities which become dangerously powerful with the consolidation of and then devaluation of currency.

        Best Wishes

        • Don Duncan

          “…devaluation…” is theft. Theft destroys wealth, on net. Therefore, theft is unsustainable. The Vikings figured out that raiding/pillaging was unsustainable, substituted a lessor form of theft by occupation, and slowly the theft was diminished until an “uneasy” balance was established. This is the world wide paradigm. When it is repudiated, and replaced by a voluntary paradigm based on rights, then manifestations of violence like the corporation will disappear.

          • Sydney

            Agreed. Out right theft is completely unsustainable. It requires the totality of empire which includes but is not limited to ongoing expansion and occupation and mostly (perhaps) increasing mind control for subservience of the vanquished (enslaved).

            Thank you for the response and Best Wishes.

  • acudoc1949

    As ALWAYS, the DB comes through with such a clear analysis. What are you guys on, anyway? You should share it with the rest of us…

    • Very kind. Thanks.

    • Michelle McCall

      You call that a rebuttal? Clear shaming.

  • mctrnr1951

    “Some sort of course change,” rather like Friedrich List’s “National System of Political Economy,” Mr. Noah Smith?

  • alaska3636

    It really must be confusing for many observers critical of historical analysis: it is obvious that some humans will abuse a good thing and under a capitalist (stochastic) system that means some people’s preferences will favor short-term (individual) gains over long-term (group) benefits; however, the creation of institutions of power in order to regulate human behavior is uncritical both in misapprehending human nature and believing that enough power is sufficient to control or alter human nature.

    The evils of freedom are randomly distributed and decentralized threats to the system, whereas large, central bureaucracies have a predictable stifling influence over cultures and a violent tendency to maintain and increase its own power. The question is not one of maintaining civilization, but of nurturing it as the growing, changing thing that it is. Each generation inherits their culture, but a culture is in service to its people and not the other way around. Ever-increasing public budgets are symptomatic of stasis and decline for the reasons Mises and Hayek and others elaborate at length: despite increasing economic control, more people are jockeying for diminishing marginal returns, with the lions share being absorbed by politically powerful individuals.

    A person can not be too fanatical about the influence of gravity on mass or of freedom on civilization. Individual cultures may sort out where and how to draw the lines of capitalism, but federal governments should only be entrusted with protecting natural (negative) rights. Negative rights are universal and positive rights are (at best) local and voluntary units of law.

    • alaska3636
      “The EU has become the modern Byzantine government. To create 2600 works regulating just cabbage is excessive. The saying that God created the 10 Commandments and Man has created tens of billions of regulations trying to restate the same thing, is simply Byzantine.”

      And the BBC article from whence this comment comes:
      “However, on top of EU regulation, farmers in the UK have to abide by the Assured Produce Standards, sometimes known as the Red Tractor Assurance.

      Richardson is the author of the organisation’s protocol for cabbage which, he says, has 23,510 words.”

      The BBC article is rather Byzantine itself: first, waffling about extensive cabbage regulation being a myth; then, finally, admitting that the mythical 26,911-words is, in fact, only the brief 23,510 words that I quote above. This article reminds me why I stopped reading the BBC a long time ago.

    • Don Duncan

      If someone were to put a gun to your head and say: “Produce, thrive, and be happy, or I’ll kill you” how would that turn out?
      That is the govt. way of controlling. It is not compatible with “human nature” which cannot be altered by threat of violence, or violence, or fraud.
      My father was a bureaucrat who was taught by higher authorities that people can be manipulated to maximum production by fraud. He was a communist who believed in a rulers/ruled system. He studied psychology in order to do just that. It didn’t work with me, and I don’t believe people can be conned into being “the best they can be”.
      What you call “randomly distributed…threats to the system…” is the semi-free market (or should I say semi-slave?). The minute by minute decisions by billions around the world are impossible for us to predict or control, but they are not unexplainable. They are the best attempt of each to be rational. And out of this wrongly called “chaos” comes order. Whereas, out of govt. “order” comes chaos. Why? It is based on a violation of individual sovereignty. And sovereignty is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

  • robertsgt40

    Governments can’t grant rights or freedoms. It can only protect or remove them. Pretty clear which way we’re going.

    • Don Duncan

      Government is brute force, not reason, not a means to protect freedom. That was a mistake made after the American Revolution, thinking initiation of violence as a social paradigm would protect rights.

  • Praetor

    Its like a cry in the wilderness from Bumberg. “Communism would have worked, if only”.

    If only what!

    That the commies that made it to the top of the heap were kind caring loving human beings, with only the collectives best interests in their hearts and minds. That they would give up their selfish, self-interests. Give up their Dachas, give up sending their children to western schools, give up the best imported foods, give up their privileged life. Yeah that would of made the difference.

    Now its the U.S.A. turn to show its privileged few that greed and tyranny by the few will not last either. The people will get feed up with this and the U.S. citizen will be a savage lot, because we had a taste of liberty then had it taken away. This has a tendency to make people very angry!!!

  • rahrog

    There will most certainly be a course change. It will not be the course this little neofascist Smith is slavering for.

    • Don Duncan

      All authoritarian societies are unsustainable.

  • Guest

    Before the Civil War the Southern slave owners had too much freedom. Owning other people is too much freedom. TPTB are not much different than slave masters.

    • Don Duncan

      ??? Are you implying the slavers “needed” to be enslaved?

  • JohnnyZ

    One needs to recognize that the American revolution (like the French one) are a myth – both (and many others, e.g. Bolshevik, series of 1848 revolutions) were organized by masons / illuminati. all the “founding fathers” were freemasons and adopted shortly thereafter illuminati symbols on the state seal (incl. the NWO) etc. Also they seem to be descendants from English and French royal bloodlines and adopted flag colors same as the French and British ones. Check George Washington’s grave or Masonic depictions or statues.
    So it seems that the American project was to pretend that it is not anymore under the control of the European occulted powers (although it was, especially as it got several Rothschild-controlled central banks) and experiment with free markets (probably in order to develop the empty continent quickly), but at the end use it as tool for global military control and put it under totalitarian and media control once fully developed. The communist experiment was to try with full planned economy & totalitarianism from day one (in order to be better prepared for the day when it is implemented on a global scale as the NWO)

    • Don Duncan

      What you “recognize” is not how I analyze the unique American Revolution. It was the only revolution that was based on rights, i.e., individual sovereignty, and said so explicitly in the writings of the times, read by over 97% of a highly literate society. Unlike today’s populace of illiterate zombies who can be led by the MSM to self enslave, the British rebels back then were not duped into an “experiment with free markets”. The free market logically followed from being sovereign individuals. Why is that so difficult for you to “recognize”?

      From freedom comes civil liberties & economic liberty, i.e., capitalism. From capitalism comes full development of our humanity, because our species only functions fully without restraint, physical or mental or political. This is how and why the “new world” was developed, NOT by some grand central conspiracy planned by a secret group. Your analysis is a fiction based on a collective mentality. It makes no sense that people can be freed “to develop the empty continent quickly…as a tool for global military control…” and then “put…under totalitarian…control…” as if huge societies can be switched from free to unfree by conspiracy. Your analysis is biased by your “they make us do it” mentality. We, are not one mind. We are not one collective, controlled by another smaller collective. We are not borg.

      That said, the American Spirit (Dream) was corrupted by an indoctrination process called “public education”. Add to that a banker’s conspiracy + the help of clueless corrupt politicians (The Federal Reserve Act).

      But both of these social/political processes are the result of a flawed superstition, a faith in force, present from the beginning, which made the American goal of achieving “all men are created equal, with unalienable rights” an impossibility. The means did not match the goal. Had we gotten the means right, the end would have followed. Had the means been a non-violent, voluntary society, the end would have been liberty.

      • JohnnyZ

        Look Don, I understand fully well your points and agree with them. The problem is that you assume that all these initial nice sounding intentions of the founding fathers were genuine and that they really cared for the good of the people.
        But when you look into who the founding fathers were and what they represent (secret occult societies – the cabal – worshipping Baphomet as thousands of years before), it is naïve to expect genuine good intentions from them. The people who have “corrupted” the system are their natural continuation – nothing “went wrong” along the way. Read Albert Pyke’s letter to Giuseppe Mazzini, written in 1871 and you will se the history of the 20th century predicted. Do I need to say more?
        Look, communism – invented by these same “people” – also pretended to be full of good intentions for the common people, but they knew from the get-go that it was not so and it could not theoretically work. It was just dust in the eyes for the East. Well, the West got its dust in the eyes in the West. It was a better system and worked much better, but it seems now ex post that it was never intended to last in the first place.
        You should wake up to the Satanists continually running the West (and East) and see that all revolutions were run by them. So to expect anything good to come out of them is hugely naïve.

        • Don Duncan

          When you tell me “nothing went wrong along the way”, I wonder why you say that? Isn’t that what I said with “…which made the American goal…an impossibility.”? So we agree. You tell me to read…and say “Do I need to say more?” Yes, you need to explain how you can tell me “I understand fully well all your points” and then precede to reiterate them. Why do that, if we agree?
          You seem to be stuck on “intentions”. My main point is that all the best intentions mean nothing if the means do not match the ends. The Plymouth Colony wanted to prosper. They “intended” to thrive in the New World by a communal economic system. This requires an authority figure with the power to force his decisions on everyone. They soon were on the verge of starvation. Did Satanists plan to starve them? Was there a conspiracy to kill everyone? No! They tried communism with all their heart, FULLY committed to it. When the Mormons colonized Utah it was the same story. Down thru the millennia the authoritative, anti-individual, pro-collective system has been tried by hundreds of societies, and collapsed. Why doesn’t it work? Why doesn’t the “common good” result? Because there was no respect for the building blocks of society, the individual. The individual was sacrificed for “the greater good”. That “good” does not manifest, ever. When the Plymouth Colony’s governor saw total collapse coming, he didn’t rub his (Satanist?) hands together and chuckle. He told the colony he was setting them free to produce without taxation or any authority. He gave up on communism, and allowed capitalism. He didn’t help. He stopped trying to help. He got out of their way and let their own self interest reign. He allowed “the greed of the market system”. Everyone was only concerned with themselves, but they learned they were better off cooperating sometimes, sometimes not. Each individual decided on their own what was in their self interest. Some made mistakes. They learned and changed. And it was all done without a gun to their head. The will to survive was all they needed to stimulate the most effective action. Working without compulsion, a spontaneous order emerged (Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”?). This is the lesson of history. Bad people have no power to destroy a free society. So I don’t fear Satanists, in a free world. I fear people who are convinced they are “good” and know how everyone should live, so they are determined to force their idea of “the good” at the point of a gun. They are the problem, not greedy, evil people. Good ideas will be ignored in a free society. Some will suffer, and learn or perish. In an unfree society, 99% suffer for the 1%, until this unsustainable system collapses. I blame the 99%, not the 1%. The 1% (TPTB) couldn’t destroy the whole society if it hadn’t forfeited its sovereignty. That’s social justice. And it’s inevitable. History shows it. History shows the initiation of force does not work, but people refuse to give up their “faith in force”. So they suffer. And they should. They bring it on themselves. Willful blindness is not pro-life. Self imposed ignorance is not bliss. Superstition kills.

          • JohnnyZ

            Ok so you blame the sheep for being overtaken by the wolves in sheeps clothing. It is a point of view that I also entertain from time to time. But generally I do not think it is correct. A free society will always be coopted by the psychopaths because they have no conscience and feeling of self-worth. So we need an explicit awareness and ban of these beings. But they have turned this around into worship as kings and maintained it over the millennia.

  • TimeToWakeUpAmerica

    It’s all about cultural values. FREEDOM comes with RESPONSIBILITY, self-reliance, toward self-sufficiency. The Ten Commandments can be reduced to this: 1) Do no harm to others. 2) Do not steal.

    Hold yourself, and your “elected” officials to the highest MORAL standards. EDUCATE YOURSELF. How can anyone know why this country is in the (Luciferian) mess that it is currently in, if they’ve never studied HISTORY? If you don’t know where we’ve been, how can you ever know how we arrived where we are? It’s NOT enough to be able to READ. You have to know WHAT to read. You can only know WHAT to read, if you’ve learned HOW TO THINK, PROPERLY. Well, how do you do that? Use the TRIVIUM (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric). Once you’ve learned the TRIVIUM method, apply it to the study of History. What does America need beyond FREEDOM (with RESPONSIBILITY)?

    KILL US…PRAYER TO THE SUPREME CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, TO WITHHOLD JUDGEMENT ON AMERICA AND AMERICANS FOR ALLOWING OUR ONCE CONSTITUTIONAL, INTEREST-FREE CURRENCY TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO CALL THEMSELVES “JEWS”, AND ARE NOT, BUT ARE THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN! God WILL pass judgement on America, and Americans, if we do not take the control of our country out of the hands of the Luciferians in the ‘District’ of Criminals, who stood down, on 9/11, while Mossad carried out the destruction on 9/11, at the behest of the ‘City’ of London, and Vatican ‘City’ !!!!!

    Are Your Opinions Crafted by Foreign Powers? | Jerry Robinson

    Read the comments. Click on the links. Read/view/listen to ALL content.

  • TimeToWakeUpAmerica
  • Samarami

    I’m in the process of “…building a fruitful society…”. So far, the only inhabitant is me.

    I remember well (as do most who were around when aircraft hit buildings in NY and DC back in 2001 — commonly called “911“) the sudden emergence of signs all over town, “United-We-Stand” emblazoned over or under or upon a graven image referred to as “US Flag”. Well, Paul Rosenberg posted an article this morning entitled “United We Fall” — worth a read:

    Best I can do is urge you to abstain from beans. It would be interesting if they held one of these bread-and-circus events called “elections”, and nobody — NOBODY — showed up to continue to support the state by voting.

    “Human action is preferable to authoritarianism”. Absolutely agree


    • dauden

      Sam, I read your link. “But if you want, thinking, creative, upright, beneficial human beings, ditch unity and call for self-will.” The “individual-self willed” thinking man’s card is pulled to draw man into another “unified pool”. of human action. The descriptive term “upright” placed on the individual who abhors the masses is misleading. One doesn’t just turn the corner and become upright. There has never been an age where individuals lived together as upright, beneficial human beings. I know its not pretty, but there is the sin-nature of mankind which has always interfered with an upright, honest and responsible society. This was dealt with by the Intelligent Designer of men’s souls 2000 years ago. The right action by humans would be to trust in the story told us by Someone who knows all and disclosed it in the Apostle Paul’s 13 epistles of the King James. By rightly dividing the KJB we can know the present age “revelation of the mystery” Rom 16:25 apart from the prophetic revelations concerning another group of “individuals” and learn man must be regenerated in order to live together peacefully and forever prosperously. Christ (God Himself) did that for us by the Gospel (found in I Cor 15:1-4). Trusting this will place us in the new age where creativity, thinking, upright, beneficial human beings can live freely in the liberty we were originally designed for.

      • Samarami

        The sin-nature of mankind is not my responsibility. The sin-nature of me is.

        I’ve said for ages the Hebrew Book is a Book of anarchy from stem to stern. The fulcrum, or theme, appears to be that which is outlined succinctly in the first book of Samuel, Chapter 8. The very religious appearing can often be those who clamor for central political authority (“a king”), and who provide cheering section and support for government wars (“our-troops”).

        The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam

        • dauden

          Well said…….however, it’s not all a Hebrew Book. You are missing Romans thru Philemon written to all men both Jew/Gentile, male/female, free/bond. The theme changes. Very few know how to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”, I Tim 2:15 KJV. I venture not even you. There is the revelation of the mystery in these epistles hid from the foundation of the earth Rom 16:25 KJV. In Paul’s writings alone contain the doctrine for these days we are living in. Sadly, most christians apply to them whatever scriptures they like best.

  • Don Duncan

    Sociopaths are best dealt with in a free society, a society that values voluntary social interaction in all matters, civil and economic. Sociopaths adapt or perish. By “adapt” I mean they provide value, out of selfishness, the desire to survive.

    In an authoritarian society, sociopaths destroy value of property and life, with impunity as authorities. This is the legacy of all superstitions, which thrive on fear, ignorance, and psychological immaturity. The desire to be led, taken care of, as in childhood, manifests itself in voting for a leader who always rules at the expense of liberty. The price is too high. The “service” is too debilitating. I can make my own mistakes, and do it without sacrificing my freedom.

    Authoritarianism is always supported by superstition. The superstition may be called “tradition” or “our culture” or “respect for our ancestors’ ways” but it must be tied to the needs of a child to feel loved and protected, and taught when the child is vulnerable. This way the beliefs will be based on emotion, not reason, and much harder to change, especially if reinforced all through life by society.

    No one is born knowing how to survive. It must be learned. If the ability to learn is short-circuited by indoctrination from earliest childhood, the person is crippled cognitively by his environment, as his dysfunctional society passes on their superstition. They lovingly cripple their young, as they were crippled, as they were taught to do, “for their own good” or “the common good”, which is even worse, because “the common good” means sacrifice of the individual to an abstract non-existent entity, e.g., the nation, the country, the fatherland, the motherland, the race, our way of life, our freedom. How ironic is “our freedom” in an unfree world?

    So the perpetuation of superstition goes on, generation after generation, with small exceptions, and societies collapse, are reborn and stumble on toward an uncertain future. Will our species self destruct? Or shake off superstition? It is up to each of us to overcome our past and help others do the same. As long as we exist, there is hope.

    • Fred Bastiat

      One could accurately say that many sociopaths seek political power rather than adapt to success through voluntary social interactions.

      • Don Duncan

        I implied this by “…with impunity as authorities…”. If the sociopath is 100% self centered, and can act without restraint as an authority, then any country (they are all authoritarian) would grant that “impunity” as an elected official or appointed bureaucrat.
        The world wide authoritarianism maximizes the harm sociopaths can do. This is putting our species in danger of extinction, given the tech advances in destructive devices.
        Freedom is not a luxury. It is necessary for survival.

        • JohnnyZ

          The problem is that psychopaths were once installedd in power through military conquest. Since then they more or less remained in power while the common people were trained to believe that this is the natural way of things. It is tough to be a lion in a sea of sheeple ruled by wolf packs…