Friday 15 February 2019

Why I Have no Faith in Leftish/Liberal Intellectuals.

So far, New South Wales had been spared the bushfires that in the last three months devastated all the other east coast states of Australia: Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. No longer:

Crews rush to contain northern NSW bushfires before hot spell arrives
  • Firefighters working through the weekend as blaze destroys 22 homes and damages 15
By Australian Associated Press, Sat 16 Feb 2019 09.14 AEDT

After a PR exercise meant to highlight their conservationist bona fide and save some 100 Murray cods, after leaving hundreds of thousands if not millions to die, WaterNSW decreed the death of the Lower Darling, to free more water for large irrigators in northern NSW and southern QLD:

All the Lower Darling's fish 'could be dead by the end of summer', 
with flows from lakes now cut
By ABC 7.30 and national rural and regional correspondent Dominique Schwartz and the Specialist Reporting Team's Penny Timms. Updated Thursday at 2:50pm

And here I have to deal with American liberal/leftish intellectuals. Madness may be infectious.


You see, after a long, poorly written labyrinthine prelude designed to show off his deep knowledge, anti-socialist liberal/leftish Barkley Rosser finally leads his readers to what was his target all along: the “currently highly faddish” American democratic socialism of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which Rosser rightly finds is “the least well defined” among the diverse things that over history have been sold under the label “socialism”.

Opening his initial exposition, however, Rosser mentions Marxist socialism, which requires the public ownership of the means of production. Never one to say a good word about Marxism -- God forbid! -- Rosser can’t bring himself to write that, whatever else one may say about Marxist socialism, at least that criterion is well defined.

The unspoken and implicit idea, however, seemed evident to his readers. It made them feel uncomfortable.

It obviously looked that way to presumably democratic socialist but non-Marxist Yves Smith, who introduces her re-post of Rosser’s original explaining why the Marxist idea of ownership of the means of production is outdated. In fairness, she mentions two things. I’ll only deal with the more original second one.

Smith’s second earth-shattering revelation which invalidates socialism as public ownership of the means of production is that -- drum rolls, please -- equity is what remains once we subtract liabilities from assets. Believe it or not. Say, when a capitalist firm closes (for bankruptcy for example), its owners don’t get the full value of assets, but only what’s left after paying creditors. Imagine that.

So, if one follows Smith, one must conclude that things were very, very different in the olden days, when capitalists didn’t have to pay creditors: i.e.  equity was equal to assets regardless of liabilities. Now, that’s a discovery.

Like I said: believe it or not.


I wrote what follows a couple of weeks ago and never decided to use it. I had more important things to write about. Well, what the hell, here goes.

Want to see why mainstream economics is a religion? Have a look:

The Holy Trinity = Capitalism, liberal democracy, growth.
The Holy Bible = economics textbooks.
Heaven = long-run perfectly competitive market equilibrium.
The Messiah = either Keynes or Mises, Rothbard, Hayek.
The Pope = This year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics is …
The Priests = professors of economics.
The Seminarians = economics students.
The Nuns who never make it to the top = female economists.
The Holy Inquisition = economics departments.
The Crusaders = economists cum bloggers.
The Flock = guess who.
The Rapture’s 144 Thousand = the rich.
The Sinners left behind = you, after losing your job.
Satan = Karl Marx.
The Devil-Worshippers = socialists.

No, no, no. No need to waste your breath. Let me guess what you are thinking at this precise moment. Something like this: “Some of us are being smoked alive, some are freezing. Some are drowning. The planet is convulsing. Only a mediocre fanatic could come up with a facile cheap shot like that in times as dramatic as these!” Right? Right???

You see now why I have no faith whatsoever in the liberal/leftish petty bourgeois intelligentsia, don’t you?

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