Thursday, December 27, 2012

Get Smart(er)!

We've noticed something "odd" about Twitter followers and Facebook friends of the Just Third Way. When we say something vaguely "nice" or attack a bad idea (e.g., capitalism, socialism, watching reality TV), we gain a follower or two. Not rocking the boat and pasting a vacuous grin on your face makes you acceptable, while hating the right things makes you popular, even revered.

When we point out flaws in something and suggest a corrective or solution, however, our faithful followers seem to suffer a crisis of faith. They get nervous or outraged, and unfriend or de-follow us. Paradoxically, our friends and followers decline in number just as readership goes up — dramatically. The average readership of the Just Third Way blog has increased more than 500% over the past year.

Naturally, we have a theory. We think far more people support the Just Third Way than want to admit it. We think they're afraid of what someone else will say. Consequently, they stay hidden, or even try to say the "right" things to get in good with the people they're afraid will attack them if they say the "wrong" things.

It's like the Get Smart episode (that we couldn't locate for a clip to post) in which Agent 86 infiltrated a cell of bad guys, only to find out at the end of the show that the only real bad guy had died years before. All the other members of the cell were secret agents from the FBI, CIA, Interpol, and other organizations. Each of them was going along with acts of espionage, sabotage, etc., in the belief that the others would start thinking he wasn't one of "the guys," or kill him if he didn't go along to get along.

In other words, under the false belief that somebody else would do or say something to harm them, they went along with evil, even instigated it, all the while believing they were really doing good — ultimately.

Of course, such a thing could never happen in real life — at least, not in the dark underworld of secret agency, because that's controlled by government, and governments never make mistakes. Just in economics, where countless academic economists and politicians mindlessly follow the contradictory dictates of the Great Defunct Economist, John Maynard Keynes. If Keynes said it, it must be so . . . especially when it isn't.

One part of the problem with Keynes is that, despite his turgid two-volume Treatise on Money (1930), he did not understand money. Another part of the problem is that he did not understand logic. As we have seen in previous postings, Keynesian economics contains more than enough contradictions to keep the theoconomists (those who base their economics on faith instead of reason) busy for several lifetimes.

Another part of the problem with Keynes is that Keynes did not understand private property, what it is, or what it does.

The bottom line here is that it's probably better to base things like economics on reason instead of faith — whatever other people might say. It just seems to be the Smart(er) thing to do. Otherwise, you might miss the boat. Would you believe the train? How about a bus? A tricycle?

Sorry about that, Chief.


1 comment:

nail-in-the-wall said...

Our millions of adoring fans and followers prefer to remain hidden. Perhaps we could take a page from "Weird Al" Yankovic and start a fan club composed of Close Personal Friends (for $1 a year), or even put out a record album or two. (We already have tee shirts.) A little publicity never hurt anyone. Much.

Frankly, communicating the Just Third Way is difficult. Part of that is probably due to the fact that it is a little outside the usual box. Come on, face it. For centuries people have been brainwashed to believe that the only way to finance new capital formation is to cut consumption and save, when in reality the financing for new capital during periods of rapid economic growth has come from turning the present value of future marketable goods and services into money and using that to finance new capital — not cuts in past or current consumption, but increases in future production. The "slavery of past savings" locks you into either capitalism or socialism, both of which inevitably devolve into Hilaire Belloc's "Servile State."

Okay, the difficulty of the concept to people who have been indoctrinated to believe something that isn't true may be a bit of a hurdle — but it is not all that difficult to grasp if you make an effort to be objective. What seems to be the real problem?

Fear. Fear of what other people will say to you or about you to others. That's a very effective way to keep you silent. The question is, are you going to let it stop you from going along with what you know to be true? Can someone who is truly free be bullied? Or is it only slaves and sheep?

It's up to you.

Get Smart(er)!