Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rod Liddle Almost Gets It

Replace “Liberalism” with “Neoliberalism,” Rod:



And it’s not the end of Neoliberalism. To borrow from Churchill: it’s not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. I think the collapse will come fast, maybe in a few years.

This is a very good thing indeed. We’ve seeing the collapse of the rotten Neoliberal world order that has dominated our world since about the late 1970s.

You would think many more people on the left and heterodox economic left would see this. But it’s disappointing how few do.

Instead, what we’re seeing is a type of mental derangement and collective hysteria from most of the Left, who are wrapped up in their contemptibly stupid narrative that Trump is Literally HitlerTM.

In fact, you can see how deranged the Left is in its treatment of Milo Yiannopoulos.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a gay, promiscuous, partly Jewish, cultural libertarian, with a dash of civic/cultural nationalism. He certainly has harsh criticisms of the cultural left, Third Wave Feminism, and SJWism, and he likes to make outrageous statements now and then, but if you listen carefully to what he says, most of what he says is fairly reasonable.

Secondly, Milo has never identified explicitly as Alt Right, and all he ever claimed to do was to report fairly on their movement:



(It is true that Milo downplays the extremism of the hardcore Alt Right, but this is probably because Breitbart and people attracted to it briefly flirted with the label, even though Breitbart’s politics are clearly not hardcore Alt Right, nor white nationalist.)

In fact, Milo explicitly rejects overtly racial white ethno-nationalism:



But for the insane Left, Milo is Literally HitlerTM or a Neo-Nazi, despite the fact that Milo isn’t either of these things.

This is how warped and sick our Leftist political culture is in 2017: a gay, promiscuous, partly Jewish, cultural libertarian who supports some kind of civic nationalism is Literally HitlerTM to the barking mad Left.

Of course, it would be too much to expect Leftists or even the media these days to do their friggin’ research properly and go and carefully research what the *actual* hardcore Alt Right thinks of Milo. If they bothered to do this, they would discover that the actual Alt Right hate and despise Milo with an extreme hatred:

Monday, January 30, 2017

Milton Friedman on Illegal Immigration

Here:



Instead of the lame question at the end, somebody should have challenged this charlatan and fraud to answer the following questions:
(1) So, Mr Friedman, I cannot help but notice how you utterly botched the history of US immigration in the first few minutes. Don’t you know that before 1914 there were plenty of legislative acts that severely restricted immigration into America, as we can see here. So were you just ignorant of this, or lying?

(2) Your contention that free and unrestricted immigration into America before 1914 was nothing but a “good thing” is wrong.
Plenty of people in America before 1914 – especially working class people – thought unrestricted mass immigration caused serious social and economic problems and they were correct. If unrestricted immigration into America before 1914 was such a great thing, why did so many oppose it?

(3) Your assertion that open borders and a strong welfare state are incompatible today is not, however, wrong. (As an aside, we’re seeing what a disaster this is Europe right now.)

But your claim that illegal Mexican immigration is positive for everyone involved as long as it stays illegal is pure nonsense. Even illegals increase competition for scarce jobs, and tend to lower wages. And this is before we factor in the cost of increased crime, law enforcement, deportation, pressure on rents, housing, school places, and so on. Care to comment on this?
Unfortunately, Friedman is dead so he gets to evade these questions.

But free market fanatics like Milton Friedman probably still supported open borders because they hate the welfare state and see mass immigration as a way of shattering modern Social Democratic or interventionist states.

And the crowning outrage is that much of the Left is now infected with a love of open borders along with the libertarians.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Simple Answer to the Furore over Trump’s Muslim Ban

Just have a 40 year moratorium on *all* Third World mass immigration of people who want to permanently live in the US. It’s that simple.

Of course, you don’t need to ban vetted students or tourists, or people who might be temporarily employed for some job that can’t be done by a US citizen. Nor do you need to ban immigration involving cultural exchanges, scientific research, or limited and reasonable asylum for people who are culturally compatible and genuinely fleeing persecution, especially if the asylum is only temporary.

But a straightforward ban on all Third World mass immigration would end the hysteria about singling out one religion and would, quite probably, turn out to be popular too. America had such a moratorium on mass immigration from 1924 to 1965.

A moratorium means more jobs for American citizens, tight labour markets, and rising real wages. Working and middle class people will love that.

The absurd Liberal and cultural leftist cry that such a policy would be contrary to the spirit or history of American immigration policy only shows how ignorant, stupid or just completely dishonest these people are, as I demonstrated here.

Severe restriction of Third World mass immigration is as American as apple pie.

Here is just a sample of some of the legislation from US history restricting immigration up until the 1920s:
(1) Page Act of 1875
This act excluded Asian and Chinese forced labourers, Asian woman engaging in prostitution, and all people who were convicted criminals in their own country. It was driven by working class hostility to Chinese coolie labour.

(2) the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
This immigration act prohibited all immigration of Chinese labourers, and like the act of 1875 was driven by socialist, trade unions and working class opposition to Asian immigration. This was extended and even made more onerous by the Geary Act of 5 May, 1892.

(3) the 1885 Alien Contract Labor Law
This law was a pro-working class measure designed “to prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States.”

(4) Immigration Act of 1903 (the Anarchist Exclusion Act)
This immigration act law excluded anarchists, people with epilepsy, beggars, and importers of prostitutes.

(5) Naturalization Act of 1906
This immigration law made the US federal government the policy maker of national immigration and naturalization policy, and stated “That no alien shall hereafter be naturalized or admitted as a citizen of the United States who can not speak the English language.”

(6) Immigration Act of 1907
This immigration act excluded a vast swathe of people:
“All idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons, and persons who have been insane within five years previous; persons who have had two or more attacks of insanity at any time previously; paupers; persons likely to become a public charge; professional beggars; persons afflicted with tuberculosis or with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease; persons not comprehended within any of the foregoing excluded classes who are found to be and are certified by the examining surgeon as being mentally or physically defective, such mental or physical defect being of a nature which may affect the ability of such alien to earn a living.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_of_1907
(7) Immigration Act of 1917
This immigration act excluded a vast group of people from an “Asiatic Barred Zone” including much of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

(8) (a) Immigration Act of 1924 and (b) National Origins Formula
These set strict limits on immigration and essentially limited immigration to southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans; it excluded Africans, Arabs and Asians. At the same time, from the date of June 30, 1927 it made “total immigration from all countries … limited to 150,000, with allocations by country based upon national origins of inhabitants according to the census of 1920.” This was designed to preserve the “ethnic distribution of the population” of the US. This was the foundation of the American system of immigration from 1924 to 1965.
The driving force for much of this restriction came from the working class, trade unions and socialist movements.

And why is that?

Because working class people have *nearly always* loved mass immigration restriction, and you can see this in nation after nation.

At the famous Socialist Congress that occurred in Chicago in 1910, American socialists, trade unions, Marxists and Labour activists adopted the following resolution:
“The Socialist party of the United States favors all legislative measures tending to prevent the immigration of strike breakers and contract laborers, and the mass importation of workers from foreign countries, brought about by the employing classes for the purpose of weakening the organization of American labor and of lowering the standard of life of the American workers.” (Carlton 1911: 352).
Yep, that was “socialism” in America in 1910.

As I said, severe restriction of Third World mass immigration is not only as American as apple pie, but also a long-standing and venerable socialist tradition too.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Carlton, Frank Tracy. 1911. The History and Problems of Organized Labor. D.C. Heath, Boston.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I Know a Keynesian when I Hear One

Note well what Trump says here:



“Sometimes you have to fuel the well in order to really get the economy going.”

I sense huge deficits are on the way, even if Trump makes some politically-motivated cuts here and there to government spending. And just as I predicted here, the way to sell it to the public is by saying that it’s all about rebuilding the military and patriotism.

We all know that the Republicans have a fetish for balanced budgets and deficit hawk hysteria. They cannot return to that loser program now.

As Trump seems to be slyly indicting here, America is about to be driven into huge deficits by tax cuts and massive increases in infrastructure and military spending. Military spending, by the way, has always acted as a type of crafty and covert industrial policy in the United States, and part of the way in which the government funds scientific and technological R&D to some degree.

When an effective protectionist policy and immigration restriction have been implemented, a huge stimulus will do wonders for the US economy and reshoring of manufacturing (the most serious threat to this, incidentally, is if the infrastructure spending is “privatised” in public–private partnerships, which is not a good idea).

Yes, protectionism means higher prices at first. But, in the long run, it means more employment, more industry, more income, falling trade deficits, and rising real wages.

But you can bet all these liberal New Keynesian hacks and (I am afraid) many heterodox Keynesians won’t give President Trump credit, if and when he implements these policies and starts to drive America back to the prosperous shores of rebuilding manufacturing and full employment by Keynesian economics.

A final issue: Trump’s “America First” trade policy will inevitably mean that the Trump administration will push trade deals on other countries and even some of the more odious US corporate vulture-style capitalism, such as opening up, or pushing privatisation, of nationalised industries and the public sector in other nations, with predatory US capitalism.

The answer to this: the rest of the world – particularly the Western world – must learn its own protectionism, guard public sectors, and rebuilt its own gutted manufacturing. The rest of the world needs to grow some balls and learn some economic nationalism of its own.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Secret of Why the Modern Left in the West is Impotent and Clueless

It’s simple: the working class – and even a significant part of the non-cosmopolitan middle class that might vote for the Left – has always had a degree of cultural, ethnic and nationalist feelings, while the modern Left has bizarrely ejected all these thing out of leftist politics and engaged in the deranged fantasy that these things don’t matter at all. And yet, at the same time, the working class is supposed to function as the political base of the Left, a totally unworkable and absurd situation which can only end in failure.

If fact, if anyone displays even the slightest signs of even mild cultural or national feeling, the hysterical Left screams “racism”, “fascism,” “xenophobia,” etc., alienating more and more people who might have voted for left-wing parties. The whole cultural left and liberal left is, to a very great extent, dedicated to the hatred of its own people and civilisation. Exactly why this happened is an interesting research question.

Generally speaking, the working class want and value a national identity and some kind of patriot feeling, even if this is often displayed in something as banal as love of sports and whatever particular national sports enthuse people.

More and more, the majority of the Left’s base hate and despise cultural leftist mass immigration, open borders and multiculturalism, and for perfectly rational reasons.

The Left – as it currently exists with its toxic obsession with internationalism, multiculturalism and identity politics for everybody except the majority of people who might form its base – will simply die if it doesn’t understand this. It’s that simple.

You can add the failure of neoliberal economics to this, which has been embraced by much of the mainstream Left too, but even if the Left totally abandoned neoliberalism and adopted Post Keynesian economics it very probably would still fail politically, because the Left’s unwillingness to accept the importance of national identity and social cohesion will still kill it at the ballot box.

The only Left that can ever win again will be a Left that understands the importance of cultural, ethnic and national feelings – and, above all, of social cohesion that is required to make human societies flourish.

In short, a reformed Left will be not only economically nationalist, but also – at the very least – culturally nationalist too.

This means rediscovering the ideas of the Old (non-Marxist) Left, which could be perfectly comfortable with some degree of patriotism and healthy forms of nationalism.

Indeed, the old, early 20th century Liberal left used to be strong supporters of national self-determination and independence: this is why the American Liberal left under Woodrow Wilson supported the break-up of the failed multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian empire after the First World War, and separate nations for different ethnic groups.

A new left-wing nationalism need not be hateful, nor bigoted, nor irrationally xenophobic, nor lacking in concern for human rights. In fact, it would be deeply concerned with promoting industrialisation, social and economic development, and economic growth in the Third World, with a set of Post Keynesian policies and reformed international institutions to make this happen.

I do not hold out much hope of reform at the moment. For example, it is very likely that the mainstream left in Europe will implode as there is a political revolution in Europe in the next few years that brings the right-wing populist parties to power.

The truth is that severe and devastating political defeat in elections is the only thing that will make the mainstream left change, and the mainstream left parties need to reinvent themselves and find a new base and build new electorates, or compete for the broad base of people who are now hostile to our failed and imploding system of multiculturalism, neoliberalism, and globalisation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tucker Carlson versus Cultural Leftist Professor

Here:



This is a textbook case of how deranged and insane the modern cultural left is, and how these people simply cannot and will not understand modern Neoliberal capitalism. These people are basically just bigots and regressive left charlatans who only wish to blame European “racists” for everything that they don’t like.

Look at the nonsense:
(1) at 3.31–3.47, he says *explicitly* that modern legal and illegal immigration into America is “the same as the forced immigration from slavery” in the 19th century and earlier. According to this bizarre lie, when millions of non-white people flood into America as illegal immigrants freely and voluntarily to get a better life, or when non-white people freely and legally immigrate into America, this is “the same” as the brutal kidnapping of Africans, their forced transport to America, and their suffering as slave plantation workers. What kind of disgusting lie is this?

(2) this professor says at 4.35 people “aren’t clamouring” to come to America. Make of that what you will.

(3) at 5.10 we get the line that massive legal immigration is because “white supremacists need the help now ... they need people to do the work that they don’t want to do themselves.” This is bullsh*t. The people who implement and control America’s immigration policy are its political and corporate elite. This elite – to a great extent – is made up of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and people who either went through, or are steeped in, the cultural revolution of 1960s and subsequent decades: they are an elite absolutely committed in their legal and institutional policies to multiculturalism and diversity as fundamental principles. And even as individuals, it is very likely most of these people *love* multiculturalism, and to the extent that some of them – as capitalists – do want cheap labour to drive down wages and smash unions they do not support this because of any “white supremacist” ideology. Quite the contrary: most of them are probably cosmopolitan Neoliberals who think “diversity” is the best thing ever.

(4) the claim that every nation has a racial underclass to do the work the majority will not do is an utter lie. Oh, really? What about very ethnically homogenous nations in Eastern Europe? Or Japan? Or South Korea? Until recently, most Western European nations did not have ethnic underclasses either: this came after the 1960s with mass Third World immigration.

(5) if American immigration policy is driven by “white supremacists” who just want a racial underclass to do the jobs they do not wish to do, then why does America allow things like affirmative action, minority hiring practices, and preferences for minorities in its elite institutions, such as hiring of corporate managers, government officials and admissions into universities, when this is clearly at the expense of white people?
All in all, this cultural leftist narrative does not even rise to the level of idiocy.

In truth, this is the reality of the type of people who increasingly run the US Democratic party that has ruled America since 2009:



Monday, January 23, 2017

Debunking Marxism 101 (Updated)

In the links below I update my series of posts debunking Marxist economics and ideology, to complement my series on Debunking Austrian economics 101.

As in the series on Austrian economics, not all posts actually debunk Marxism, but sometimes provide outlines or summaries of Marxist theory or interesting points on Marxism or Karl Marx’s life and thought. There are also some posts where constructive things can be said: on endogenous money, the falsity of Say’s law and the monetary theory of production, how some of Marx’s economic thought anticipated Keynes, but even here the discussions in Marx’s Capital are simply obsolete and have long been superseded by modern Post Keynesian theory, and are mainly of historical interest.

In what follows, sometimes Marxist economic theory will be debunked by means of Post Keynesian economics (which is what this blog advocates), though frequently I have my own original criticisms or follow the arguments of other critics of Marxism.

It is important to remember that Post Keynesian economics – although it has severe criticisms of laissez faire capitalism and neoclassical or Austrian economics – is still strongly distinct from Marxist economics. Post Keynesian economics is not Marxism, and leading Post Keynesians and economists whose work has been foundational for Post Keynesian economics have rejected the labour theory of value, the basis of Marxist economics.

John Maynard Keynes, for example, said that Marx’s theories were founded “on a silly mistake of old Mr Ricardo’s” (Skidelsky 1992: 517) – namely, the labour theory of value. For Michał Kalecki and Joan Robinson the labour theory of value was “metaphysical” (Brus 1977: 59; Robinson 1964: 39), and for Piero Sraffa it was “a purely mystical conception” (Kurz and Salvadori 2010: 199). If the labour theory of value is unsound, then the whole Marxist edifice constructed on it cannot but fall and collapse. Moreover, the classical Marxist idea of historical determinism is also incompatible with the Post Keynesian idea of the fundamental uncertainty of the future.

For Marx’s theory of the “law of value” in volume 1 of Capital, see here:
“Marx’s ‘Law of Value’ in Volume 1 of Capital,” February 4, 2016.
For an overview of why the labour theory of value is wrong, see this post:
“Why Marx’s Labour Theory of Value is Wrong in a Nutshell,” June 28, 2015.
For a detailed discussion of how Marx and Engels continued to think of the theory of value in volume 1 of Capital as an empirical theory of pre-modern commodity exchange before modern capitalism (where prices of production are anchors for the price system), see here:
“Engels’ View of the Theory of Value in Volume 1 of Capital in the 1890s,” August 12, 2015.
The posts below are divided into the following groups:
(i) Bibliographical Posts.
(ii) Marx and Engels’ Works Online
(iii) Karl Marx’s Life 1818–1883
(iv) Documentaries about and discussions of Karl Marx and Marxism.
(v) Against the labour theory of value.
(vi) On the alleged tendency of the rate of profit to fall.
(vii) On Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Program.”
(viii) Discussions of David Harvey’s lectures on Reading Marx’s Capital Volume 1.
(ix) Steve Keen on Marxism.
(x) On Marx’s views on phrenology and race.
(xi) On Marx’s views on slavery.
(xii) Marxism, authoritarianism and imperialism.
(xiii) Against Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
(xiv) Against Sraffian and Marxist long-run equilibrium.
(xv) Chomsky and Marxism.
(xvi) Against Temporal Single System Marxism (TSSI)
(xvii) Marx’s Monetary Theory
(xviii) Marx versus Keynes
(xix) Critical Summaries of Volume 1 of Capital
(xx) Marx’s Theory of Wage Determination in Capitalism
(xxi) Useful Insights in Capital
(xxii) Marx’s Views on Capitalism and Imperialism and Colonialism
(xxiii) Historical Development of Marxism
(xxiv) Responses to Marxists
(xxv) Failed Predictions of Marx and Engels
(xxvi) Marxism and Poststructuralism
(xxvii) Marx and Immigration
(xxviii) Engels’ Pause and Marx’s Hasty Generalisations about Capitalism
(xxix) Marx and Increasing Intensity of Labour in Capitalism
(xxx) Marx and Technological Unemployment.
I also recommend my series of posts that are critical chapter by chapter summaries of volume 1 of Capital in section xix below (or listed in a separate post here).

The posts are as follows:

Debunking Marxism 101
(i) Bibliographical Posts:
(1) “Study Guides to and Overviews of Marx’s Capital,” June 10, 2015.

(2) “Bibliography on Marx’s Monetary Theory,” June 16, 2015.

(3)“Early Reviews and Critiques of Marx: A List,” March 16, 2016.
(ii) Marx and Engels’ Works Online:
(1) “Some Early Editions of Marx’s Capital Online,” May 10, 2015.

(2) “Engels’ Later Works Online,” May 13, 2015.
(iii) Karl Marx’s Life 1818–1883:
(1) “Karl Marx’s Life 1818–1841,” April 20, 2015.

(2) “Karl Marx’s Life 1842–1844,” April 21, 2015.

(3) “Karl Marx’s Life 1845–1849,” April 24, 2015.

(4) “Karl Marx’s Life 1850–1860,” April 25, 2015.

(5) “Karl Marx’s Life 1861–1870,” April 28, 2015.

(6) “Karl Marx’s Life 1871–1883,” May 1, 2015.

(7) “Karl Marx’s Night Out on London Town,” September 5, 2015.

(8) “Karl Marx the Conspiracy Theorist,” December 11, 2015.

(9) “A Chronology of Karl Marx’s Life,” April 24, 2016.

(10) “Marx’s Dishonesty in his Quotation of Gladstone,” May 1, 2016.

(11) “Christopher Hitchens on an Anecdote about Karl Marx,” May 4, 2016.

(12) “Paul Johnson on Karl Marx,” May 18, 2016.
(iv) Documentaries about and discussions of Karl Marx and Marxism:
(1) “A BBC Discussion of Karl Marx,” April 4, 2015.

(2) “Karl Marx in London,” April 26, 2015.

(3) “BBC Radio 4 Discussion on the 1848 Revolutions,” April 22, 2015.

(4) “Jonathan Sperber on Karl Marx,” April 23, 2015.

(5) “Bryan Magee interviews Peter Singer on Hegel and Marx,” April 8, 2015.

(6) “Stefan Molyneux versus Karl Marx,” May 2, 2016.
(v) Against the labour theory of value
(1) “Mysticism and the Labour Theory of Value,” May 7, 2014.

(2) “Did Kalecki Accept the Labour Theory of Value?,” April 18, 2014.

(3) “Adam Smith on the Labour Theory of Value,” April 20, 2014.

(4) “Progress in Marxism on the Labour Theory of Value?,” March 18, 2015.

(5) “Marx’s ‘Socially Necessary Labour Time’: A Quick Overview and Critique,” March 26, 2015.

(6) “Marx on the Labour Theory of Value in Volume 1 of Capital,” March 27, 2015.

(7) “Marx’s Labour Theory of Value and Rothbard’s Homesteading Property-Rights Theory: Peas in a Pod,” March 28, 2015.

(8) “The Foundation of Marx’s Labour Theory of Value in Ricardo,” March 29, 2015.

(9) “More Mystical Labour Theory of Value Nonsense,” March 29, 2015.

(10) “The Two Epistemological Ways to Interpret the Labour Theory of Value,” March 30, 2015.

(11) “Piero Sraffa’s Damning Verdict on the Labour Theory of Value,” March 30, 2015.

(12) “Kliman’s Explanation of Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” March 31, 2015.

(13) “Philip Pilkington on the Labour Theory of Value,” April 1, 2015.

(14) “The Labour Theory of Value and Animal Labour,” April 1, 2015.

(15) “Achille Loria and Alexander Gray on Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” April 2, 2015.

(16) “Matias Vernengo on Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” April 3, 2015.

(17) “My ‘Sun Theory of Value’: Why it’s better than the Marxist Labour Theory of Value,” April 5, 2015.

(18) “Achille Loria on the Contradiction in Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” April 7, 2015.

(19) “Marx’s Wage-Labour and Capital,” April 9, 2015.

(20) “Dühring’s Review of Capital and Marx’s Letter to Engels of 8 January, 1868 on the Labour Theory of Value,” May 12, 2015.

(21) “Marx’s Abstract Socially-Necessary Labour Time in A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy and Capital,”

(22) “Marx on Labour Value and Cost Price in the Grundrisse,” May 7, 2015.

(23) “Engels’ Letter to Werner Sombart on the Labour Theory of Value in 1895,” May 14, 2015.

(24) “What the Labour Theory of Value does not Explain,” May 15, 2015.

(25) “What Conditions are Necessary for Commodity Prices to Equal Marx’s Labour Value?,” May 17, 2015.

(26) “A Devastating Contradiction in Marx’s Argument for the Labour Theory of Value,” May 19, 2015.

(27) “Wicksteed on the Contradiction in Chapter 1 of Volume 1 of Capital on the Labour Theory of Value,” May 21, 2015.

(28) “Karl Popper on the Labour Theory of Value,” May 30, 2015.

(29) “Fiat Money Destroys the Labour Theory of Value,” June 6, 2015.

(30) “Why Marx’s Labour Theory of Value is Wrong in a Nutshell,” June 28, 2015.

(31) “Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk’s Critique of Marx: A Quick Summary,” August 6, 2015.

(32) “Two Important Instances in Volume 1 of Marx’s Capital where Labour Values determine individual Commodity Prices,” August 7, 2015.

(33) “Two Instances where Marx’s Theory of Value in Volume 3 Intrudes into Volume 1 of Capital,” August 8, 2015.

(34) “Joan Robinson on Marx’s Labour Theory of Value: A Few Points,” August 11, 2015.

(35) “Engels’ View of the Theory of Value in Volume 1 of Capital in the 1890s,” August 12, 2015.

(36) “Marx’s Letter to Engels of 2 August, 1862 on Prices of Production,” January 19, 2016.

(37) “Engels’ Understanding of the ‘Law of Value’ in the Anti-Dühring” January 29, 2016.

(38) “Robert Wilbrandt’s Interpretation of Marx’s Law of Value in Volume 1 of Capital,” January 30, 2016.

(39) “The Historical Development of Marxist Interpretations of the Law of Value,” January 31, 2016.

(40) “Rudolf Hilferding on the Law of Value in Volume 1 of Capital,” February 1, 2016.

(41) “‘Socially Necessary Labour Time is the only Source of Value’: What Does this even Mean?,” February 2, 2016.

(42) “Marx’s ‘Law of Value’ in Volume 1 of Capital,” February 4, 2016.

(43) “Alexander Gray on the Two Contradictions in Marx’s Theory of Surplus Value in Volume 1 of Capital,” February 8, 2016.

(44) “Louis Boudin on the Contradiction between Volumes 1 and 3 of Marx’s Capital,” February 10, 2016.

(45) “A Marxist agrees with me on the Labour Theory of Value and Fiat Money!,” February 12, 2016.

(46) “Debunking Marx’s Concept of Exploitation based on Surplus Labour Value,” February 13, 2016.

(47) “Would Capitalism necessarily be destroyed if Human Labour fell towards Zero?,” February 12, 2016.

(48) “The Long-Run Tendency of Capitalism is to Decrease the Rate of Exploitation,” February 14, 2016.

(49) “Eduard Bernstein on Engels’ Historical Defence of the Law of Value in Volume 1 of Capital,” April 12, 2016.

(50) “Marx and Engels’ Attempt to Salvage the Law of Value in Volume 1 of Capital,” November 29, 2015.

(51) “The Important Points about Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” December 1, 2015.

(52) “The Absurdity of the Transformation Problem,” December 6, 2015.

(53) “More on Engels’ Supplement to Volume 3 of Capital,” December 8, 2015.

(54) “‘Imaginary’ Prices and Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” December 11, 2015.

(55) “Engels’ Famous Challenge in the Preface to Volume 2 of Capital on the Transformation Problem,” December 22, 2015.

(56) “Empirical Studies showing that Prices are Correlated with Labour Costs do not Prove the Classical Marxist Labour Theory of Value,” December 23, 2015.

(57)“Böhm-Bawerk on Marx’s Problem of Aggregating Heterogeneous Human Labour,” March 7, 2016.
(vi) On the alleged tendency of the rate of profit to fall:
(1) “Michael Heinrich on the Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall and Engels’ Dubious Editing of Marx,” April 4, 2015.

(2) “Marx’s Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall: Analytically and Empirically Unproven,” February 22, 2016.

(3) “The US Profit Rate was Abnormally High in WWII and Immediately Afterwards,” March 4, 2016.
(vii) On Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Program”:
(1) “Marx’s ‘Critique of the Gotha Program’: Four Points,” April 29, 2015
(viii) Discussions of David Harvey’s lectures on Reading Marx’s Capital Volume 1:
(1) “David Harvey on Reading Marx’s Capital Volume 1, Class 01,” April 8, 2015.

(2) “David Harvey on Reading Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Class 02 (Updated),” June 30, 2015.

(3) “David Harvey on Reading Marx’s Capital Volume 1, Class 03,” July 3, 2015.

(4) “David Harvey on Reading Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Class 04,” July 19, 2015.

(5) “David Harvey on Reading Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Class 05,” September 25, 2015.
(ix) Steve Keen on Marxism:
(1) “Steve Keen’s ‘A Marx for Post Keynesians,’” April 6, 2015.
(x) On Marx’s views on phrenology and race:
(1) “Marx’s Phrenology and Racial Views,” April 26, 2015.
(xi) On Marx’s views on slavery:
(1) “Marx on Slavery in his 1846 Letter to Annenkov,” April 27, 2015.

(2) “Marx on Slaves as Fixed Capital,” July 16, 2015.

(3) “Marx on Slave-based Plantation Systems,” July 18, 2015.
(xii) Marxism and authoritarianism:
(1) “Engels on Authoritarianism and Revolution,” April 30, 2015.

(2) “Communist Imperialism,” February 14, 2016.

(3) “‘Marx was not responsible for the Horrors of Communism’ is Nonsense,” November 5, 2015.
(xiii) Against Marx’s Communist Manifesto:
(1) “What Economic System did Marx and Engels Advocate?,” July 24, 2012.
(xiv) Against Sraffian and Marxist long-run equilibrium:
(1) “Sraffians versus Kaleckians versus Fundamentalist Post Keynesians,” June 17, 2014.

(2) “Matias Vernengo on Marx’s Labour Theory of Value,” April 3, 2015.

(3) “Sraffian Long-Run Equilibrium Prices of Production and Post Keynesianism,” April 11, 2015.
(xv) Chomsky on Marxism:
(1) “Chomsky on Marxism,” July 12, 2015.
(xvi) Against Temporal Single System Marxism (TSSI):
(1) “Mongiovi on Temporal Single System Marxism,” May 16, 2015.

(2) “Nitzan and Bichler on the Temporal Single System Interpretation (TSSI),” June 3, 2015.
(xvii) Marx’s Monetary Theory:
(1) “Marx on the Necessity of Money being a Commodity,” June 8, 2015.

(2) “Marx rejected Fiat Money,” February 16, 2016.

(3) “Marx on the Origin of Money in the Critique of Political Economy (1859),” April 5, 2016.
(xviii) Marx versus Keynes:
(1) “Keynes versus Engels on ‘Socialism,’” May 5, 2015.

(2) “Keynes on Communism,” April 27, 2016.
(xix) Critical Summaries of Volume 1 of Capital:
(1) “Prolegomena to the Study of Marx’s Capital (Updated),” June 2, 2015.

(2) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 1: A Critical Summary, Part 1 (Updated),” June 21, 2015.

(3) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 1: A Critical Summary, Part 2,” June 26, 2015.

(4) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 2: A Critical Summary,” June 4, 2015.

(5) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 3: A Critical Summary,” June 12, 2015.

(6) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 4: A Critical Summary,” July 4, 2015.

(7) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 5: A Critical Summary,” July 6, 2015.

(8) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 6: A Critical Summary,” July 13, 2015.

(9) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 7: A Critical Summary,” July 31, 2015.

(10) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 8: A Critical Summary,” August 2, 2015.

(11) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 9: A Critical Summary,” December 19, 2015.

(12) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 10: A Critical Summary,” February 3, 2016.

(13) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 11: A Critical Summary,” February 7, 2016.

(14) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 12: A Critical Summary,” February 11, 2016.

(15) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 13: A Critical Summary,” February 12, 2016.

(16) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 14: A Critical Summary,” March 9, 2016.

(17) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15: A Critical Summary, Part 1,” March 17, 2016.

(18) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15: A Critical Summary, Part 2,” March 18, 2016.

(19) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 16: A Critical Summary,” March 20, 2016.

(20) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 17: A Critical Summary,” March 21, 2016.

(21) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 18: A Critical Summary,” March 23, 2016.

(22) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 19: A Critical Summary,” March 24, 2016.

(23) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 20: A Critical Summary,” March 26, 2016.

(24) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 21: A Critical Summary,” March 28, 2016.

(25) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 22: A Critical Summary,” April 4, 2016.

(26) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 23: A Critical Summary,” April 10, 2016.

(27) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 24: A Critical Summary,” April 14, 2016.

(28) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 25: A Critical Summary,” April 16, 2016.

(29) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 26: A Critical Summary,” April 17, 2016.

(30) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 27: A Critical Summary,” April 18, 2016.

(31) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 28: A Critical Summary,” April 19, 2016.

(32) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 29: A Critical Summary,” April 20, 2016.

(33) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 30: A Critical Summary,” April 20, 2016.

(34) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 31: A Critical Summary,” April 20, 2016.

(35) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 32: A Critical Summary,” April 21, 2016.

(36) “Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 33: A Critical Summary,” April 22, 2016.
(xx) Marx’s Theory of Wage Determination in Capitalism
(1) “The Debate on Marx’s View of Wages in Capitalism,” January 12, 2016.

(2) “A Simple Challenge to Marxists on the Theory of Wage Determination in Volume 1 of Capital,” March 7, 2016.

(3) “Marx on Wage Determination and the Classical Economists,” March 27, 2016.

(4) “Marx and the ‘Iron Law of Wages,’” December 29, 2015.

(5) “Marx on Wages in Value, Price and Profit (1865),” December 30, 2015.

(6) “Engels on Subsistence Wages,” December 21, 2015.

(7) “Marx’s Views on the Effectiveness of Trade Unions,” March 15, 2016.

(8) “How Eleanor Marx understood her Father’s Wage Determination Theory,” May 5, 2016.
(xxi) Useful Insights in Capital
(1) “What are the Useful Insights in Marx’s Capital?,” January 27, 2016.
(xxii) Marx’s Views on Capitalism and Imperialism and Colonialism
(1) “Capitalists and Imperialism,” January 3, 2016.

(2) “Paul Bairoch on the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism and Capitalism,” February 19, 2016.

(3) “Paul Bairoch on the Industrial Revolution, the Third World and Imperialism in World History,” February 20, 2016.

(4) “Who said this about British Rule in India?,” December 28, 2015.
(xxiii) Historical Development of Marxism
(1) “The Critical Responses to Volume 3 of Marx’s Capital and the Early Development of Marxism,” February 9, 2016.

(2) “Some Early Critical Reviews of Volume 3 of Marx’s Capital,” December 18, 2015.

(3) “The Historical Development of Marxist Interpretations of the Law of Value,” January 31, 2016.

(4) “More Early Criticism and Commentary on Marx’s Capital,” May 21, 2016.
(xxiv) Responses to Marxists
(1) “Response to Jehu on ‘Four Questions for LK on Money,’” April 8, 2016.
(xxv) Failed Predictions of Marx and Engels
(1) “Marx and Predictions of Capitalist Crisis,” September 17, 2015.

(2) “Engels’ Failed Prediction of Revolution in the UK,” December 20, 2015.

(3) “The Failed End of Capitalism Prediction by Marx,” December 4, 2015.

(4) “Engels on the Historical Evolution of Capitalism in Marxism: A Critique,” October 19, 2016.
(xxvi) Marxism and Poststructuralism
(1) “The Poststructuralists as Frustrated Marxists-Communists,” October 20, 2015.
(xxvii) Marx and Immigration
(1) “Marx on Mass Immigration and Capitalism,” November 13, 2015.

(2) “The Hypocrisy of Marxists and Left Libertarians on Mass Immigration,” March 13, 2016.

(3) “Lenin on Open Borders,” October 20, 2016.
(xxviii) Engels’ Pause and Marx’s Hasty Generalisations about Capitalism
(1) “Engels’ Pause: A Cause of Marx and Engels’ Hasty and False Generalisations about Capitalism,” February 6, 2016..
(xxix) Marx and Increasing Intensity of Labour in Capitalism
(1) “Marx on the Increasing Intensity of Labour in Industrial Capitalism: I Refute Him Thus,” March 18, 2016.
(xxx) Marx and Technological Unemployment
(1) “Marx on Technological Unemployment in the Grundrisse,” April 9, 2016.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Brus, Włodzimierz. 1977. “Kalecki’s Economics of Socialism,” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 39.1 (February): 57–67.

Kurz, Heinz D. and Neri Salvadori. 2010. “Sraffa and the Labour Theory of Value: A Few Observations,” in John Vint et al. (eds.), Economic Theory and Economic Thought: Essays in Honour of Ian Steedman. Routledge, London and New York. 189–215.

Robinson, Joan. 1964. Economic Philosophy. Penguin, Harmondsworth.

Skidelsky, R. J. A. 1992. John Maynard Keynes: The Economist as Saviour, 1920–1937 (vol. 2), Macmillan, London.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Steve Keen on How the Left Converted to Neoliberalism

An interesting audio discussion here:
John Harrison, “Why Did the Left Get into Bed With Neoliberalism?,” Brave New World, 20 January, 2017.
This is actually a pretty general discussion here, with an interesting overview of Keynesian economics and a brief discussion of mass immigration at the end.

First of all, Steve Keen seems to take the line that only the economic hardships caused by neoliberalism lead to popular opposition to mass immigration. This is untrue. The Old Left before the 1960s was, generally speaking, strongly opposed to Third World mass immigration. Open borders and mass immigration are very much part of free market capitalism, and, if anything, the “authentic” (if there is such a thing) non-Marxist socialist or Social Democratic attitude to open borders and unchecked mass immigration should be opposition to it, not support for it.

Secondly, there are three types of Keynesianism as follows:
(1) The post-WWII Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesians;

(2) New Keynesians;

(3) Post Keynesians.
It is very important to note that the seeds of Neoliberalism were there from the beginning when Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesianism became dominant after the Second World War. If economics had been truly reformed at that time, marginalism and neoclassical economics would have been completely ejected from mainstream economics. Alas, Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesianism was what won the day.

A more detailed overview of each of these groups is below.

(1) The post-WWII Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesians (= Neo-Keynesians / hydraulic Keynesians / bastard Keynesians / Hicksian Keynesians).
In the aftermath of the Second World War, American economics was reformed by number of economists who were influenced by Keynes. However, partly in the environment of McCarthyism and partly through their own re-interpretation of Keynes (as well as the role of the Canadian economist Robert Bryce in spreading a flawed understanding of Keynes’ theories in the US), Paul Samuelson and Robert M. Solow diluted Keynes’s work by joining it with neoclassical economics (Davidson 2010: 247). Lorie Tarshis, the Canadian student of Keynes, had written a fairly good textbook summary of Keynes’s General Theory for American universities in the 1940s, but the book was attacked by conservatives who regarded it as inspired by communism, and in particular William F. Buckley denounced the book in his God and Man at Yale (1951). Consequently, a version of Keynesianism that used neoclassical microeconomics to justify general Keynesian macroeconomic policies was adopted as the orthodoxy in America, principally through the work of Paul Samuelson and Robert M. Solow, as well as the IS/LM model of the British neoclassical John Hicks (who worked at Oxford university). Hicks, Solow and Samuelson were influenced by neoclassical Walrasian general equilibrium theory.

Paul Samuelson coined the expression “neoclassical synthesis” to refer to the new theory that blended Keynesianism with neoclassical microeconomics. The “neoclassical synthesis Keynesians” assumed that involuntary unemployment was only due to inflexible wages and prices, and accepted the three neoclassical axioms of (1) neutral money, (2) gross substitution and (3) the ergodicity of the future, contrary to Keynes’s General Theory. Because of its departure from Keynes’s ideas, Joan Robinson labelled the neoclassical synthesis as “bastard Keynesianism” (Lodewijks 2003: 25; for the history of Keynesian policy in the US, see Turgeon 1996). This largely American version of Keynesianism was therefore open to theoretical attacks by monetarists and New Classicals in the 1970s, and today there are not many neoclassical synthesis Keynesians left.

Owing to their flawed neoclassical theory, the neoclassical synthesis Keynesians had difficulties explaining and dealing with stagflation, and were discredited in the 1970s. Many morphed into “New Keynesians,” and those who did not (e.g., James Tobin) came to be called “Old Keynesians.” Some well known neoclassical synthesis Keynesians were John R. Hicks (1904–1989), Frank Hahn, Abba P. Lerner, William J. Baumol, Franco Modigliani, Paul A. Samuelson, Robert Eisner, Walter W. Heller and Robert M. Solow. Notably, John R. Hicks actually renounced the IS-LM model (and the neoclassical synthesis) in the early 1980s and came to associate himself with the Post Keynesian school (Hicks 1980–1981).

(2) New Keynesians.
The New Keynesians emerged in the 1980s and are even further from Keynes’ theory than the neoclassical synthesis Keynesians. New Keynesians are one of the two main schools of mainstream macroeconomics today. The “new macroeconomic consensus” is essentially a mix of New Classical and New Keynesian theory, but the “Keynesianism” of the latter is so watered down that it hardly even deserves that name. In the wake of the monetarist and New Classical assault on neoclassical synthesis Keynesianism, New Keynesianism emerged by providing a more consistent neoclassical microeconomic foundation for Keynesian macroeconomics. New Keynesians are essentially neoclassicals who believe that monetary intervention is the main instrument of economic policy, although there are different strands of opinion within New Keynesian analysis, most notably that of Joseph Stiglitz (King 2002: 239). Some have recognised the usefulness of fiscal policy, but others are actually sceptical about fiscal intervention (Snowdon and Vane 2005: 364). For example, in some modern “New Keynesian” textbooks, one finds a loanable funds theory, Say’s law, opposition to budget deficits (on the grounds that they crowd out private investment and produce higher interest rates), the quantity theory of money, monetarist inflation targeting, and no discussion of aggregate demand – a complete and utter travesty of Keynes’s thinking (Lodewijks 2003: 29).

New Keynesians use rational expectations and assume that the cause of involuntary unemployment is sticky prices and wages, but also assume neutral money in the long run and Say’s law as well (King 2002: 233–239). Prominent New Keynesian include Joseph E. Stiglitz, Olivier Blanchard, John B. Taylor, David H. Romer, Christina D. Romer, Bradford DeLong, and N. Gregory Mankiw. Paul Krugman is a New Keynesian, but the question of how far Krugman has deviated from New Keynesianism or Neoclassical Synthesis Keynesianism is controversial.

(3) Post Keynesians.
Post Keynesians are the true heirs to Keynes and have built upon his work. The forebears of the Post Keynesian school were the Cambridge associates and students of Keynes who rejected the neoclassical synthesis. These were Joan Robinson (1903–1983), Richard F. Kahn (1905–1989), E. Austin G. Robinson (1897-1993), and Nicholas Kaldor (1908–1986). After WWII, Cambridge Keynesianism and Post Keynesianism were influential in the UK, Canada, continental Europe, and Australia (King 2002: 141–159), but went into decline after 1980, as neoclassical economics once again became mainstream economic theory. It should be noted that the Sraffians (or Neo-Ricardians) emerged as an economic school strongly associated with Post Keynesianism after 1945, but today is usually excluded from the school, and certainly from the “narrow tent” definition of Post Keynesianism as advocated by Paul Davidson (Davidson 2003–2004: 247–248; see here and ).

Paul Davidson (2003-2004: 251) dates the emergence of Post Keynesianism as a distinct school to the publication of Sidney Weintraub’s book An Approach to the Theory of Income Distribution (1958). Post Keynesians emphasise Keynes’ principle of effective demand and the fundamental role that liquidity preference plays in market economies. Post Keynesians also reject the three axioms of neoclassical economics, which are as follows:
(1) the gross substitution axiom;

(2) the neutrality of money axiom, and

(3) the axiom of an ergodic economic world.
None of these axioms is correct. They are simply not an accurate description of the real world characteristics of modern capitalist economies. In reality, money is never neutral, non-reproducible financial assets are not gross substitutes for commodities, and we face a fundamentally non-ergodic future.

Post Keynesians also emphasise liquidity preference theory and its role in causing involuntary unemployment. The essence of this is that increasing demand for liquid assets (money and financial assets) will not lead to demand for goods and services. Shifts in liquidity preference can cause long-run involuntary unemployment, since, in the face of fundamental uncertainty about the future, investment in commodity production can become unstable (Barkley Rosser 2001: 560).

For more on Post Keynesian economics, see my links here.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Barkley Rosser, J. 2001. “Alternative Keynesian and Post Keynesian Perspectives on Uncertainty and Expectations,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 23.4: 545–566.

Davidson, P. 2002, Financial Markets, Money, and the Real World, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.

Davidson, P. 2003–2004. “Setting the Record Straight on ‘A History of Post Keynesian Economics,’” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 26.2 245–272.

Davidson, P. 2005. “Responses to Lavoie, King, and Dow on what Post Keynesianism is and who is a Post Keynesian,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 27.3: 393–408.

Davidson, P. 2010. “Keynes’s Revolutionary and ‘Serious’ Monetary Theory,” in R. W. Dimand, R. A. Mundell and A. Vercelli (eds), Keynes’s General Theory after Seventy Years, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK.

Hicks, J. R. 1980–1981. “IS-LM: An Explanation”, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 3.2: 139–154.

King, J. E. 2002. A History of Post-Keynesian Economics since 1936, Edward Elgar, Chelten

Lodewijks, J. 2003. “Bastard Keynesianism,” in J. E. King (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK. 24–29.

Snowdon, B. and Vane, H. R. 2005. Modern Macroeconomics: Its Origins, Development and Current State, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

Turgeon, L. 1996. Bastard Keynesianism: The Evolution of Economic Thinking and Policymaking since World War II, Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump’s Inauguration Speech

Here:



All in all, it wasn’t a typical conservative Republican speech: it was anti-elitist, protectionist, populist, anti-globalisation, and economically nationalist.

In particular, there was the economic populism: the attack on free trade, outsourcing and the de-industrialisation of America.

I imagine this went down well with the working class and even middle class victims of these neoliberal policies.

But of course now we come to the crunch: although his rhetoric is good, Trump must deliver.

If he goes back to the disgusting, worthless free market program of the loser Republicans – of austerity, free trade, H-1B visas, Neoconservatism, and open borders – it’s all over for the Republican party and for Trump.

And maybe Trump will be a massive disappointment; or maybe he might surprise.

In any case, it’s time to give him a chance and see what happens.

Friday, January 20, 2017

My Posts on the US Recession of 1920–1921 (Updated)

The US recession of 1920–1921 is employed by Austrians and libertarians endlessly to bolster their economic theories, but careful study of this recession shows that libertarians misunderstand it badly, and that they have created a number of myths about it.

This can be seen in my updated list of posts below:
“The US Recession of 1920–1921: Some Austrian Myths,” October 23, 2010.

“There was no US Recovery in 1921 under Austrian Trade Cycle Theory!,” June 25, 2011.

“The Depression of 1920–1921: An Austrian Myth,” December 9, 2011.

“A Video on the US Recession of 1920-1921: Debunking the Libertarian Narrative,” February 5, 2012.

“The Recovery from the US Recession of 1920–1921 and Open Market Operations,” October 4, 2012.

“Rothbard on the Recession of 1920–1921,” October 6, 2012.

“The Recession of 1920–1921 versus the Depression of 1929–1933,” February 2, 2014.

“Debt Deflation: 1920–1921 versus 1929–1933,” February 3, 2014.

“US Wages in 1920–1921,” February 10, 2014.

“The Causes of the Recession of 1920–1921,” February 11, 2014.

“The ‘Depression’ of 1920–1921: The Libertarian Myth that Won’t Die,” October 31, 2014.

“US Monetary Policy and the Recession of 1920–1921,” December 5, 2014.

“Did Austrian Libertarians Read The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself Properly?,” March 12, 2015.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Has the Left in Britain Finally Turned against Open Borders?

See these articles:
Rob Merrick, “Jeremy Corbyn’s relaunch dubbed ‘day of chaos’ after climbdowns on immigration and high pay,” Independent, 11 January 2017.

Anushka Asthana, “Corbyn on Brexit: UK can be better off out of the EU,” The Guardian, 10 January 2017.

Paul Mason, “We can Escape Brexit Doom with one Small Tweak to Free Movement,” The Guardian, 17 January 2017.
In short, Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech in Peterborough in which he stated that Labour was not “wedded to free movement” of people – but then seemed to backtrack and leave everyone in a state of confusion over what Labour’s policy really is.

See a recent interview of Corbyn here from 13.44:



Even now Jeremy Corbyn seems wedded to the dying European Union as some idealistic institution, when the EU is the most dangerous force to the economies and social cohesion of Europe. But I predict the EU will be dead in a few years, and Britain should demand an end to free movement and reject all attempts to impose it from Brussels.

Curiously, in contrast to Corbyn’s confusing stances, Paul Mason in a Guardian article here does call for an end to free movement.
There are some truly remarkable developments in this Guardian article: Mason can say that “Labour has recognised that free movement is not a basic principle of socialism.” If we are talking about the non-Marxist socialist, Social Democratic parties and trade union movements, this is true.

This is precisely what I said here and here.

Mason also says that:
“Free movement does not just suppress wage growth at the low end. It says to people with strong cultural traditions, a strong sense of place and community (sometimes all they have left from the industrial era) that ‘your past does not matter’. It promotes the ideal worker as a rootless person with no attachment to place or community, and with limited political rights; whose citizenship resides in their ability to work alone. In case you haven’t noticed, shouting, ‘Don’t be racist!’ at the Labour voters who backed Brexit, isn’t working. That’s because most of them are not racist.”
Paul Mason, “We can Escape Brexit Doom with one Small Tweak to Free Movement,” The Guardian, 17 January 2017.
Well, indeed. But we need to go further than this: our culture and social cohesion matter a great deal, and we in the West cannot continue this mad, failed experiment in open borders and multiculturalism.

This is, more or less, precisely what the ex-Marxist Bob Rowthorn said years ago as I noted here.

But until recently anybody saying that culture matters and mass immigration is bad for social cohesion would have been viciously condemned as a “racist” or “xenophobe” by hordes of smug liberals and cultural leftists.

How times are changing.

In reality, the cultural leftists and Marxist internationalists demanding open borders and huge mass immigration are deranged cultists who do not speak for the majority of the people nor for the working class. These leftists are – whether they know it or not – sinister allies of the worst aspects of the failed ideology of neoliberal capitalism.

The cultural leftists and Marxists make the same demand made by libertarians and free market fanatics: they want a world of free movement of people, which is the logical free market corollary of free movement of capital and free trade in goods.

However, if we look at the past of the (non-internationalist, non-Marxist) Left, we can see that hostility to open borders and mass immigration has a long and very strong history before the 1960s (again, see here). I have no doubt that the Old (non-Marxist) Left would have understood the dangers of capitalist open borders and the reality that people need social cohesion, and that they – including the working class – have national and cultural feelings that are undermined by mass immigration of people with different and incompatible cultures.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dave Rubin interviews Yanis Varoufakis

Below. Interview begins at 4.20:



This interview is embarrassing, and embarrassing because of Varoufakis’ nonsense.

That Yanis Varoufakis thinks that his arguments as former Greek finance minister against EU demands for austerity and a budget surplus in Greece were “Reaganite” is simply bizarre. Wasn’t Yanis in favour of Keynesian stimulus and debt restructuring?

And, even worse, Varoufakis now says the influences on his economic thinking include Hayek and Mises, as much as Marx.

And he still defends the European Union – and thinks that rotten, dangerous corporate tyranny should be defended from pro-independence political movements in Europe. Varoufakis still clings to his mad Marxist internationalist fantasy that the EU can be transformed into some kind of “socialist” institution. His analogy with the United States is utterly misplaced: the US has a degree of linguistic and cultural homogeneity that Europe utterly lacks. There will be no United States of Europe any time soon, given the huge linguistic, ethnic and cultural differences that divide Europe.

In reality, it is far more likely that Europe will shift to the populist right and perhaps – if things get bad enough – to fascism, if the EU is allowed to continue with its program of unending neoliberalism and open borders.

At one point, Varoufakis even lauds Mises and Hayek, as if their business cycle theories and pro-free market theology have some profound role to play in modern economic science.

He is also wrong that there was no theory of the business cycle before Marx. Oh, really? What about the ideas of the Birmingham School? And the late Classical economists? Even the latter did have a real, if not robust, theory of the business cycle.

Varoufakis is also wrong that Marx deserves no blame or moral responsibility for the terrors of authoritarian Marxist states like the Soviet Union. See here. The Soviet Union was certainly the sort of revolutionary transitional state envisaged by Marx and Engels.

If there is proof of how worthless the type of politics being peddled by Varoufakis really is, we now have that from his own words: we have a former Marxist (Varoufakis) who describes himself as a “libertarian Marxist” influenced by Austrian economics – a political program combining the two most extreme and cult-like ideologies of the past 160 years.

The final insult is that Dave Rubin misinterprets what happened in Greece as a vindication of right-wing economics, and is hardly even challenged by Varoufakis for this nonsensical view.

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