Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hate Speech, Extremism, and the Christchurch Call

Are Zuckerberg et al. against speech expressing hatred for the likes of Hitler and Stalin? Or is this speech, which expresses hatred, somehow not “hate speech”? And if it is “hate speech,” shouldn’t it nevertheless be applauded—because it’s right to hate the hateful?
In seeking to prohibit “hate speech,” do Zuckerberg et al. want Hitler and Stalin not to be hated? Do they want the relatives of all those who were gassed or starved to death not to hate Hitler and Stalin, but themselves go joyously into gas chambers or eat grass and tree bark?
The enemies of hate speech as such, are the friends of the hateful, by virtue of protecting them from the wrath of mankind.
Furthermore, if “hate speech” were abolished, what would the Marxists have left to say? They could no longer express the hatred in such claims as that capitalists are “exploiters” and thieves and thus deserve to be robbed and murdered. The Marxists would literally be speechless
And the Democrats in the US would have very little to say, for they could no longer espouse either Marxism or bogus charges of racism.
For more, read my essay “The Moral Necessity of Discrimination and Hate Speech.” It accompanies my “Capitalism: The Cure for Racism” and “The White “Privilege” Scam.” All three are available together for one low price of 99¢ at amzn.to/2Hcquv9
Locke and Jefferson were both “extremists”—extremists in support of individual rights and freedom. Hitler and Stalin were both “extremists”—extremists in the violation of individual rights and freedom.
These two pairs have nothing fundamental in common. In all fundamental respects they are polar opposites, which is why Ayn Rand labeled “extremism” an “anti-concept.” See her essay “Extremism, or The Art of Smearing” in “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.” At amzn.to/2W7fXJQ
Such ignorance is what is present in the “Christchurch Call,” a poisonous stew of ignorance and stupidity, enthusiastically supported by the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the President of France, that if adopted will destroy the freedom of speech on the internet.
It uses the actions of a murderous lunatic as the pretext for a horde of nincompoops deciding what can and can’t be said on the internet. Join me in expressing hatred for it and everything that stands behind it.
Join me also in expressing gratitude for the existence of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, in particular its First Amendment, which protects the freedom of speech in making it illegal to enact legislation that abridges the freedom of speech.

Finally, join me in expressing thanks for an administration that refuses to join other countries in the massive violation of the freedom of speech that the “Christchurch Call” represents.

Postscript

The full text of the Christchurch Call appears at bit.ly/2JLWsQj. It opens with the words: "Seventeen countries and eight tech companies have in Paris agreed on a text designed to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online....."
Given the complete and utter absurdity of the concept “extremism” and also the vagueness even of the word “violent,” this is a clear call for censorship. If someone doesn’t like your “content,” it won’t be allowed on the internet. You won’t have a website.

The “Christchurch Call” is nothing but a conspiracy in restraint of freedom of speech and of trade. Applied in America, it would be in violation both of the US Constitution and the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits “conspiracies in restraint of trade.”

It would also be in violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private individuals from engaging in the making of foreign policy. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

The tech giants that have signed this treaty should be aware that they may have opened themselves to massive lawsuits and, conceivably, even to charges of treason. For that is the meaning of conspiring with foreign powers to nullify an essential feature of the US Constitution.

Certainly, the stockholders of these giant companies should know that their managements may be creating the basis for their companies being the target of the world’s first trillion-dollar lawsuit.

And certainly, the stockholders should let their managements know that they know.



Friday, May 10, 2019

Socialized Medicine:A Mailed Fist in a Velvet Glove.


 Posted yesterday on Twitter at @GGReisman

Socialized Medicine is a mailed fist in a velvet glove. The velvet glove is the promise of “free” medical care. The mailed fist is the reality of medical care limited to what the government deems it can afford while prohibiting you from spending your own money on your own care.


The prohibition of people spending their own money on their own medical care is implied in the very expression “Single-Payer System.” Those words mean that the government is the only payer. The individual citizens are prohibited from being payers.


Indeed, the government cannot leave people free to spend their own money on their own medical care, because their doing so would draw resources from the socialized system. The better doctors and hospitals would cater to those with higher incomes and greater spending power.


Here is a temporary, compromise solution for medical care. Let the government continue to provide financing for the care of the indigent. Let everyone else have access to the government’s system at rates that cover, or more than cover, its costs, if such care is what they prefer.


At the same time, allow the development of a new medical system that will be free of all government regulation or control. This system will be exempt from licensing requirements, FDA approval, whatever. Those frightened by such freedom can take refuge in the government’s system.


Expect radical cost reductions, bringing more and better medical care within reach of more and more people.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Wages: The Anti-Capitalist and Pro-Capitalist View


[Formatted from a twitter thread of March 30, 2019 that appeared on Twitter @GGReisman.]
In the following series of tweets, I present two conflicting theories of how the standard of living of the average wage earner rises: the prevailing, anti-capitalist theory, and my own, pro-capitalist theory.
Keep in mind that every law ultimately rests on the threat to kill violators. That is the threat made against all who forcibly resist lesser punishment, such as paying a fine or going to prison.
Thus, the prevailing theory of how wages rise is essentially that the government tells businessmen and capitalists, raise wages or we’ll kill you.
The prevailing theory of how the work week shortens is that the government tells businessmen and capitalists, shorten the work week or we’ll kill you.
The prevailing theory of how child labor is eliminated is that the government tells businessmen and capitalists, stop employing children or we’ll kill you.
The prevailing theory of how working conditions improve is that the government tells businessmen and capitalists, improve working conditions or we’ll kill you.
Now here’s my theory:
Businessmen and capitalists are continuously striving to introduce new and improved products and more efficient methods of production. They are impelled to do this by virtue of the profit motive.
To the extent that the businessmen and capitalists succeed, the supply of products is increased relative to the supply of labor, which causes the prices of products to fall relative to wage rates. This means a rise in the buying power of wages, i. e., a rise in “real wages.”
As real wages rise, more and more workers are put in a position in which they can afford to work in jobs that pay less but offer shorter hours. In fact, they become able to afford to take reductions in pay in greater proportion than the reduction in hours. Wage cuts in greater proportion than the reduction in hours make it positively profitable for employers to offer shorter hours. E.g., instead of two 12-hour shifts, it becomes more profitable to have three 8-hour shifts at lower hourly wages.
As the real wages of workers rise, not only do their hours shorten, but also the need for a financial contribution from their children diminishes. Thus, as capitalism progresses, the age at which children go to work rises. Since 1780, it’s gone from 4 to over 24 in many cases.
Furthermore, as the real wages of workers rise, they are more and more put in a position in which they can afford to take jobs that pay less but offer better working conditions, and, by the same token, refuse to take jobs that offer poor conditions.
Because of the height of real wages in capitalist countries, wage earners are routinely able to refuse to take jobs with poor conditions, except at such a premium in wage rates that it is usually much cheaper for employers to pay the cost of improving the conditions.
In sum, without government intervention, capitalism operates to raise wages, shorten hours, end child labor, and improve working conditions.
I turn now to a brief account of the effects of imposing the prevailing, anti-capitalist, gun-slinger, we’ll-kill-you theory of how the standard of living of the average wage earner rises.
Imposing wage rates above the free-market level causes unemployment. Insofar as those forced into unemployment in one field then add to the supply of labor in other fields, wage rates in those fields drop. An arbitrary inequality in wages is created. And skills are wasted.
Forcibly raising wage rates at the bottom of the skill-ladder, as do minimum-wage laws, forces the displaced workers into unemployment. These workers were already earning a wage below the now prescribed minimum and being employed elsewhere would require a yet-lower, illegal wage.
Forcibly reducing hours reduces production and causes higher prices. Even if the average worker’s hourly wage is increased to the point of leaving his weekly wage unchanged, the rise in prices reduces his real wages. Poor people are gunned into being poorer than they need to be.
Denying parents the ability to obtain a financial contribution from their children makes desperately poor families poorer still.
Forcibly improving working conditions diverts take-home pay into paying for the improvements and thus can literally take food off the table of poor workers’ families.
In sum, the so-called do-gooders are not at all do-gooders. They are EVIL-doers. They have an imperious mentality as far removed from reality as Marie-Antoinette’s and go about like drunken fools urging the government to brandish its weapons, not knowing who or what might be hit.
To learn about every aspect of the case for capitalism, read my ​Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics.


Formatted from Twitter: @GGReisman


Monday, January 07, 2019

Marxism/Socialism... I. 1. The Essential Nature of Socialism: The Need for Armed Robbery to Establish It


Copyright ©2018 by George Reisman. All rights reserved, except that this post may be reproduced and distributed electronically, but only in full, including graphic(s), and with notification to the author at greisman1937@gmail.com.



Order the book at https://amzn.to/2J7bZYC

(Previous Post: Introduction)

 PART I. THE GIST OF MARXISM/SOCIALISM AND ITS REFUTATION

I. 1. The Essential Nature of Socialism: The Need for Armed Robbery to Establish It

First of all, it must be realized that there is no such thing as socialism without government ownership of the means of production. That is the essential, defining characteristic of socialism. Second, there is only one way to establish socialism.  And that is by means of armed robbery on a massive scale. Even a democratically elected socialist government would have to send armed men out through the country to seize the means of production. For there is no other way that it could obtain ownership of them. (The fact that it was democratically elected would be of as little significance as the fact that, compared with its victims, a lynch mob typically constitutes an overwhelming majority.) Unlike the case of nationalizing an isolated industry here and there, in which the government can pay meaningful compensation to the owners, by means of raising taxes on the rest of the economic system, the government has no way to compensate the owners of means of production as a class, for there is no source of wealth outside the economic system. Furthermore, insofar as socialists believe that capitalists are thieves living off profits stolen from the wage earners, they do not want to compensate the capitalists, even if they could.

In these circumstances of total loss, many capitalists will resist the theft of their property. They will forcibly defend what is theirs.

At this point, a newly installed socialist government is put in the position of a would-be street robber who must make a fundamental decision. If the street robber wants to take someone’s wallet, it is not enough for him to approach his victim and say something like, “Please, Sir, give me your wallet.” The intended victim may give him a punch in the nose instead. If the robber really wants the wallet, he needs to come with a gun, to threaten the victim’s life if he does not turn over his wallet. That is what the socialist state must do if it wants the capitalists’ property. It must come with enough force to overcome the armed resistance of its victims, which entails its’ committing murder on a large scale, very possibly on the scale entailed in the civil war it may provoke.

What this means is that to establish socialism, what is required are the communists! The communists are armed robbers prepared to commit murder. They are the true champions of socialism. They alone can openly establish it.[3]

Next Post: I. 2. The Social Democrats Should Stop Calling Themselves Socialists 


[3] Socialism can also be established through fraud, under the outward guise and appearance of capitalism. This is the case when the government controls prices and wages and decides what is to be produced, in what quantities, by what methods, and to whom the products are to be distributed. In this case, the government exercises all of the essential powers of ownership and is thus the de facto owner of the means of production. In the words of Ludwig von Mises, this is socialism on the German or Nazi pattern, in contrast to the open, de jure Russian or Bolshevik pattern of socialism.