I woke up this morning thinking pensive thoughts. We are simply in a time right now in which economic interventionism (what is often sloppily called “socialism,” even when that term does not really obtain) rules the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of people. Since sentiment is anterior to logic, I’m not sure what can be done about it. I get tired of saying the same stuff over and over again. Certain kinds of circumscription of mind can prevent people from seeing the truth of a given matter, so it’s often a waste of time to issue homilies on the gold standard, the subjective theory of value, etc.
Another thing that has been on my mind is the certain kind of school teacher mentality that seems to come along with being a Statist. “What’s with this phase of Catholic libertarians?” someone asked on Facebook, to which I replied that said “phase” is a solid 500 years old, going back to the School of Salamanca. Of course, people who act so self-righteously don’t care much for facts, so I doubt that this made much of an impression. What matters most to these people is that everyone sit up straight, raise their hand, and wait to be called on like good little boys. When the teacher calls on me, I will not have a question, just an observation: The emperor has no clothes.
Statists love the idea of power being exercised. It doesn’t matter if it works. After all, when classical liberalism has been employed throughout history, peace and prosperity have reigned. But over and over again humanity opts for a violent form of government: dictatorship, monarchy, or democracy. To their credit, monarchists understand the pitfalls of democracy. But their own theory is lacking. One need only consider the Tudors, the Hohenzollerns, and the Hapsburgs to understand this. The closest we should ever get to monarchy again is toy castles and drawbridges.
Catholics everywhere who think that they have to cheer every time the pope farts are dutifully defending his encyclical Caritas in veritate. This document is full of economic falsehoods, and still I’ve only read to paragraph 36. At least the pope criticizes intellectual property and tariffs. One of the central, if not the central, error of this letter so far is the false opposition that is set up between the individual and society. All one needs to do is read Mises’ Human Action, pp. 145-157.