Tuesday, October 30, 2007 15 Comments

Austria felix

By the way, I must again apologize for my apparent inattention to UR's comments section. It certainly does not mean I am indifferent to the discussion. It's more that I don't feel I have anything significant to contribute to it.

One commenter earlier asked for more on economics. (And others have asked for more computer science. But no one, so far, has asked for more verse. Hm.) In any case, earlier in the week I spent a little too much time over at Brad Setser's blog, trying to explain Austrian economics to a bunch of finance and banking geeks.

In case you're unfamiliar with the history, this is sort of like trying to sell your piano teacher on the virtues of Norse death metal. Or maybe like persuading Annie Sprinkle to join Opus Dei. Or like lecturing your prenatal yoga class on the game theory of nuclear war. In any case, if anyone has any interest in the subject, the thread is here - scroll down or grep for "moldbug."

15 Comments:

Blogger mtraven said...

Sure you weren't really working on this?

Political Scientists Discover New Form Of Government

October 30, 2007 WASHINGTON, DC—Political scientists at the Cato Institute announced Monday that they have inadvertently synthesized a previously theoretical form of government known as megalocracy.

"We were attempting to recreate a military junta in a controlled diplomatic setting, and we applied too much external pressure," said head researcher Dr. Adam Stogsdill, a leading expert in highly reactionary ruling systems. "The resultant government has the ruthless qualities of a dictatorship combined with the class solidarity of a plutocracy—it's quite a remarkable find."

Stogsdill explained that megalocracy is extremely unstable and can only exist in idealistic conditions for a few minutes before collapsing into anarchy.

October 31, 2007 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Lloyd Mintern said...

I would like more verse, and more verse, and more verse still. And you can quote me.

October 31, 2007 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

Hayek I can understand. The modern jargon I cannot.

The problem I have with contemporary economics is the Holy Economy. You know what I'm talking about. The economic dogmas that dominate contemporary Western thought virtually without challenge.

For example: That we must trade with the Arabs and China, or else. That we must permit massive immigration, or else. That we must create/continue social cross-generational cross-racial Ponzi schemes, or else.

I would like to see even a little open debate of these propositions, especially in laymen's terms, and specifically the "or else" parts, which I suspect are not so dire. I know for instance that the costs of immigration are not properly accounted for by our politicians or the media or the eggheads who advise them.

Washcorp is supposed to be a constitutional republic wherein we discuss such questions and then settle them democratically, is it not? Well why has this not happened? Why have the dogmas above, and more, been shoved down our throats against our will? Incompletely educated plebes like me are beginning to suspect that what we have here is in reality a plutocracy. A corrupt system too cowardly (so far) to reveal itself for what it is, where there is no Rule of Law and the bubbles form and burst on command.

October 31, 2007 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Black Sea said...

" . . . what we have here is in reality a plutocracy."

Someone once said that all forms of government are simply oligarchies in disguise. My problem is that I can't remember who said it. If anyone knows, I would be much obliged.

I suppose it goes without saying that I share the sentiment.

November 1, 2007 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous invisible lizard said...

Black Sea,
you may be thinking of Robert Michels:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

November 1, 2007 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Max said...

I've just finished reading through this discussion: fascinating stuff! More like this please, although only after you've expounded a little more on formalism and the sovcorp.

At the risk of stoking your ego, I feel compelled to add that this is truly one of the most fascinating and well written blogs I have had the pleasure of finding. I can only restrain myself from recommending it to others at every opportunity by recalling your pleas to the contrary :)

November 1, 2007 at 2:07 PM  
Anonymous nana said...

Yes, more verse.

November 4, 2007 at 11:00 AM  
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