Means, Economic vs. Political

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The Means:

Economic vs. Political

(Libertarian Diction: Oppenheimer, Nock …)

I initiated this post last week to share Albert J. Nock’s valuable libertarian diction with regard to social means and the state. He uses the term economic to refer to advantages that humans accrue by their efforts; political is the term he reserves for acquisition by confiscation, by coercion, by parasitism.

Here a week later I see that Nock gets this distinction from Franz Oppenheimer, very funny since I was reading Oppenheimer, and interrupted him to read Nock!
Very good, these are usages which will influence my own, that I recommend discussion of while confessing my ignorance of what may have been discussed previously: twentieth-century politics and economics has not typically been my reading.
I want to go into to it, and will, but first I have to add a distinction that’s pk: then see if Oppenheimer or Nock discuss it.

If I knap a knife, it’s mine: by economics. If you take my knife, it’s theft. If you and Harry take my knife by voting on it, that’s politics. Simple enough.
Any actual event may be complex, but we need to idealize things, simplify our variables, see complexities as though they were simple: or we can’t think at all.

But wait, consider this: how about if I envision knife knapping, spend my life trying to get you to see it? What if you then knock me down and open a knife knapping plant, run not by me and my family, but by your and your family? That’s really politics.

Now imagine further: I offer knife knapping. I don’t even want to get rich from it, I want the society to benefit, because I am a Christian. You don’t get it, you give me nothing at the table, you say I didn’t bring in any game, didn’t gather any berries. Twenty years later, me barely alive, you suddenly envision knife knapping, on an industrial scale. You found the knife knapping state, you erect universities. Everyone at the university will see that you knocked me down to steal it, but they’ll all teach that you invented it, and not mention that you put me in jail when I squawked. Your university, your media, your church: none of the social institutions will say what’s obvious, all jockeying to share the income. My own children won’t say anything if they know what’s good for them.

What’s good for them? What’s good for us? Droning the state fictions. Jesus is on the cross, giving us knife knapping.

Now, that’s fiction, that’s playing fast and loose with mythology. But: in the 1960s I developed a reading of Shakespeare that no one at any university I’m aware of followed a word of. So, when I encountered the thought of Ivan Illich, with his proposal that the proper use of cybernetics was to post public resource data bases and to track feedback, I offered to administer the world’s first internet: Illich called them Learning Networks, I wrote about coordinating them: a world of local data bases, universally coordinated. All it need was the public to see how cheaply it could be saved from the state, with its meretricious education. Freedom of learning would be better, cheaper freer … more Christian.

The world protects itself from my moral indictments simply by not understanding a word I say, a word I have ever said.

Rome can’t undo history, give the profits from Celtic salt mining back to the Celts: the Celts were killed, starved, the surviving Celts a perversion of heirs. Maybe God could, but humans can’t. The US can’t.
But the US is busy stealing I don’t even know what these days.
And it doesn’t know either. Consciousness is not it’s forte.

I was loving Nock, I’d been loving Oppenheimer. But I see that Nock’s clarity degenerates: a masterpiece becomes a rant. Hey: pk too!
Can you blame me?
Sure: anybody can blame anybody, of anything. But will God agree?
Never mind God too: he’s an extgra step, can be left out: Will any of it wash when truth is the judge?
In time it won’t matter how many people voted that nicotine is harmless: the earth will just be polluted by another dead species.

Means, Ends
Politics Quotes


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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