“Our selection of an opponent for our criticism probably does not require discussion, for it is well known that the most powerful opponent of Marxism is the Austrian School.”

Nikolai Bukharin

 

„Von einer gewissen Summe an sagt man zum Geld Kapital.“

Werner Mitsch

 

“Das Kapital hat das Herz eines Hasen, die Beine eines Rennpferdes und das Gedächtnis eines Elefanten.“

Giuseppe Pella

 

“It is fundamentally false that imperialism is a necessary stage of capitalism….We have seen that imperialistic dispositions are in fact unfavorable for the life form of the capitalistic world.”

Joseph Schumpeter

 

 

“The moment must eventually come when no further extension of the circulation of fiduciary media is possible. Then the catastrophe occurs, and its consequences are the worse and the reaction agsinst the bull tendency of the market the stronger, the longer the period during which the rate of interest on loans has been below the natural and the greater the extent to which roundabout processes of production that are not justified by the state of the capital market have been adopted.”

Ludwig von Mises

 

“Demonstration of the fact that Search for the determinants of the objective Exchange-Value of money always leads us back to a point where the value of money is Not determined in any way by its use as a medium of exchange, but solely by its other functions, prepares the way for developing a complete theory of the value of money on the basis of the subjective theory of value and its peculiar doctrine of marginal utillty.”

Ludwig von Mises (Thema Geld: Gebrauchswert./.Tauschwert)

 

“I have been often asked to be fair and view a matter from all sides. I did so, hoping something might improve if I viewed all sides of it. But the result was the same. So I went back to viewing things from one side only, which saves me a lot of work and disappointment. For it is comforting to regard something as bad and be able to use one‘s prejudice as an excuse.“

Karl Kraus (Satire Zeitung ‚Die Fackel‘)

 

„Die Arbeiterklasse hat durch eine Schädigung des Kapitals mehr zu verlieren als die Kapitalisten, denn was für letztere den Verlust von Luxus und Überfluss heraufbeschwört, bedeutet für erstere den Verlust des Notwendigen.“

(Lord Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton)

 

„Den Leuten ein X für ein U vormachen – wo ist die Zeitung, die diesen Druckfehler zugibt?!

Karl Kraus

 

„Die Verachtung der Gefahr und die dreiste Hoffnung des Gelingens sind in keinem Teil des Lebens wirksamer als zu der Zeit, da junge Leute sich ihre Berufsarten wählen.“

Adam Smith

 

 

 

„Mich erstaunen Leute, die das Universum begreifen wollen, wo es schwierig genug ist, in Chinatown zurechtzukommen.“

Woody Allen

 

„Es erwuchsen geistige Kämpfe mit den Versuchen, den andern zu überzeugen durch Mitteilung von Gedanken, Gründen, Erfahrungen. Es wurden die widersprechendsten Möglichkeiten versucht. Diskussion, Parteibildung, Zerspaltung des Geistigen, das sich doch im Gegensätzlichen aufeinander bezog, liessen Unruhe und Bewegungen entstehen bis an den Rand des geistigen Chaos. In diesem Chaos wurde die Grundkategorien hervorgebracht, in denen wir bis heute denken.“

Karl Jaspers (über die ‚Achsenzeit‘, insbesondere um 500 vor Christus, „Vom Ursprung und Ziel der Geschichte“).

 

„Die Achsenzeit war in China eine Zeit des Zusammenbruchs der politischen wie der moralischen Ordnung. Der jahrhundertealte chinesische Feudalstaat brach um 770 v. Chr. zusammen. Die mehr als tausend ehemaligen Lehensfürsten waren nun de facto unabhängig und traten in einen darwinistischen Überlebenskampf aller gegen alle ein. Wie die politische Ordnung, so zerfiel auch die moralische Ordnung…. Die Welt war aus den Fugen. Es herrschte Bürgerkrieg. Die Menschen lebten in ständiger Angst vor Plünderung, Misshandlung und Tod. Wie liess sich die Welt wieder in Ordnung bringen? Aus dieser Frage entstand die chinesische Philosophie. Sie begann, anders als die Spekulation der jonischen Naturphilosophen, als Moralphilosophie; ihr Gegenstand war wie bei Sokrates der Mensch. Aus den ‚hundert‘ Antworten auf die Frage, wie Frieden und Harmonie wiederherzustellen seien, wurden drei für die geistige Entwicklung entscheidend: die Antwort der Legalisten, die Antwort der Daoisten und vor allem die Antwort der Konfuzianer. Diese drei Antworten haben die chinesische Kultur geformt…

Die Legalisten gingen davon aus, dass eine neue Zeit begonnen habe, eine Zeit der Verteilungskämpfe. Es war nun unmöglich, nach den alten Ritual- und Moralregeln regieren zu wollen. Frieden und Ordnung liessen sich nur durch ein grundlegend neues Herrschaftssystem wiedergewinnen – ein System, das sich nicht auf ein angeblich göttliches Moralgesetz berief, sondern die Untertanen unter ein vom Herrscher willkürlich, doch planvoll gesetztes Recht zwang. Die neuen ‚Handhaben der Macht‘ waren harte Stragesetze und großzügige Belohnungen. Die Legalisten zielten darauf, den Feudalstaat endgültig abzulösen durch einen zentralistischen Staat unter einem absoluten Herrscher. Der Herrscher regierte mithilfe einer Beamtenschaft, die er nach ihrer fachlichen Qualifikation aussuchte. An die Stelle einer feudalen Aristokratie trat eine Meritokratie. Vor dem Gesetz waren alle gleich. Es galt für die Aristokraten wie für den gemeinen Mann ohne Unterschied, und es forderte von den Untertanen keinerlei moralische Zustimmung, sondern nur blinden Gehorsam. Die Legalisten gabe also auf die Krise ihrer Zeit eine Antwort, wie sie – aus gleichartigen Erfahrungen des englischen Bürgerkriegs heraus – Thomas Hobbes zweitausend Jahre später geben sollte: Schaffung eines Leviathans, des allmächtigen Staatsapparats, unter einem absoluten Herrscher, der die Menschen durch Furcht und Terror zu Ordnung und Frieden zwingt…

Für die Daoisten ist die Ursache aller Übel die Zivilisation, die Herauslösung des Menschen aus der Natur, in der er einst harmonisch lebte. Wie zwei Jahrtausende später Rousseau fordern sie deshalb eine Rückkehr zur Natur. Der Mensch soll sich wieder, ruhig und absichtslos, der Ordnung der Natur überlassen…. Der Daoismus wurde zu einer breiten geistigen und religiösen Strömung, die bis heute wirkungsmächtig blieb…..

Im Gegensatz zum individualistischen Daoismus steht die Lehre von Konfuzius, nach der der Mensch seine Menschlichkeit nur als Teil der Gesellschaft entfalten kann… Die gute Gesellschaft und der gute Staat kann nur durch die Wiederherstellung der überlieferten Moralordnung zustande kommen. Ordnung und Harmonie konnten nur entstehen, wenn die Menschen von einer verinnerlichten Moral geleitet würden.“

Konrad Seitz (‚China – Eine Weltmacht kehrt zurück‘, 2003)

 

 

„Wenn anderen heiß wird, werd’ ich kalt. Wenn andere kalt werden, werd’ ich eiskalt.“

Helmut Schmidt

 

„Das höchste Ziel des Kapitals ist nicht, Geld zu verdienen, sondern der Einsatz von Geld zur Verbesserung des Lebens.“

Henry Ford

 

„Politicians will never let a serious crisis go to waste. They love crisis because they will always present the opportunity to do things they never believed they could legally do before.”

Martin Armstrong

 

„The state can never be an end in itself; it is ever only a machine for social purposes. In its essence it stands as the agent of the individual’s personifications of ends.“

Joseph Schumpeter

 

“When Keynes speaks of ‚equilibrium‘ with underemployment, he is talking nonsense. This is a contradiction in terms, like talking of an orderly chaos or a triangular circle. This flagrant misuse of terms is one of the central fallacies of the whole Keynesian system. When this misuse is recognized, his whole system collapses.”

Henry Hazlitt

 

 

“Demand and supply in the long run are adjusted and production is directed only by movements of prices; if what should be flexible in the economic system is made rigid, there comes disequilibrium and a breaking strain. Is not what is happening with labor and its prices in Britain today – a rigidity of money wages out of accord with economic conditions, leading to incurable disequilibrium?”

Sir William Beveridge (1931)

 

“In 1919 I was a communist. From this point of view…the Profit System causes the injustice, the inequality, we see. We must eliminate profit; that is to say, we must eliminate the Capitalist. We will take his current profits, distribute his accumulated wealth, and ourselves administer his former affairs….When the Capitalist is gone, who will manage production? The State….It was at this point that the first doubt pierced my Communist faith….

This economic revolution concentrated economic power in the hands of the State…so that the lives, the livelihoods, of common men were once more subject to dictators…Every advance toward personal liberty which had been gained…was lost by the collectivist economic reaction….

Representative government cannot express the will of the mass of the people….In actual fact, the population of a country is a multitude of diverse human beings with an infinite variety of purposes and desires and fluctuating wills…Any government of multitudes of men, anywhere, at any time, must be a man, or few men, in power….

Centralized economic control over multitudes of human beings…must become such minute and rigorous control of details of individual life as no people will accept without compulsion….

What I saw was not an extension of human freedom, but the establishment of tyranny on a new, widely extended and deeper base….

The Soviet government exists to do good to its people, whether they like it or not…To that end they have suppressed personal freedom; freedom of movement, of choice of work, freedom of self-expression in ways of life, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience….

Producing food from the earth and the sea, making goods from assembled raw materials, and their storing, exchanging, transporting, distributing and consuming by vast multitudes of human beings are activities so intricately inter-related and inter-dependent that efficient control of any part of them demands control of the whole….

The Communist hope of economic equality…rests…on the death of all men and women who are individuals….

I came out of the Soviet Union no longer a communist, because I believed in personal freedom….I [saw] an essentially medieval, planned and controlled economic order was taking over the fruits of the industrial revolution while destroying its root, the freedom of the individual….

I understood at last that every human being is free; that I am endowed by the Creator with inalienable liberty as I am endowed with life; that my freedom is inseparable from my life, since freedom is the individual’s self-controlling nature….

I hold the truth to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by the Creator with inalienable liberty, with individual self-control and responsibility….The extent to which this natural liberty can be exercised depends upon the amount of external coercion imposed upon the individual….Whoever makes decisions is responsible….

The men who met in Philadelphia to form a government believed that all men are born free. They founded this government on the principle: All power to the individual….The intent was actually to give the governing power to each common man equally….Common men were to govern themselves…by destroying power itself, so far as this could possibly be done. Power was diminished to an irreducible minimum….Never before had the multitudes of men been set free to do as they pleased….

[I]ndividualism. In less than a century, it created our America….

American wealth is innumerable streams of power…flowing through the mechanisms that produce the vast quantities of goods consumed by the multitudes, and the men who are called the owners can hardly be said even to control the wealth that stands recorded as theirs, for its very existence depends upon satisfying chaotic wants and pleasing unpredictable tastes….in this American chaos business and industry were compelled to serve those desires or perish….

There is no system here….But if this chaos were replaced by a system…functioning for the sole purpose of serving the public good, these men must be replaced by a bureaucracy… controlling in detail, and according to a plan devised by men possessing centralized economic power, all the processes….

[America’s] brief experiment in individualism has not only created great wealth and an unimaginable multiplication of forms of wealth in goods and services, but it has also distributed these forms of wealth to an unprecedented and elsewhere unequalled degree.

As I was reading Lane’s words, I started to get a strong sense of how “this is as much about 2020 as it is about when she wrote.” But I was then floored by just how true that sense was.

I read…that less than 10 per cent of our population own more than 90 per cent of the wealth. This alarmed me in 1893…But it seems to me even more alarming that many American minds accept this statement as true upon no better proof than that they have read it, and from it conclude, first, that “something must be done,” and, second, that the proper thing to do is to take ownership away from individuals and have property administered by The State; which means, by autocratic rulers giving orders through an enormous bureaucracy….

There is nothing new in planned and controlled economy. Human beings have lived under various forms…for six thousand years. The new thing is…individualism…[the principle that created this country and has, in fact, brought the greatest good to the greatest number]….

Can individualism…stand against the determined attack of [those] organized, controlled, and fanatically sure that a strong man in power can give a people better lives than they can create for themselves?…

Will [we] defend the Constitutional law that divides, restricts, limits and weakens political-police power, and thus protects every citizen’s personal freedom, his human rights, his exercise of those rights in a free, productive, capitalist economy and a free society? Or will he permit…suppressing individual liberty, sacrificing human rights to an imagined “common good,” and substituting for civil laws the edicts, or “directives,” once accurately called tyranny and now called administrative law? This is the choice that every American must make….the present situation puts it before us and requires a decision….

[N]othing whatever but the constitutional law, the political structure, of these United States protects any American from arbitrary seizure of his property and his person….

In 1933 a group of sincere and ardent collectivists seized control of the Democratic Party, used it as a means of grasping Federal power, and…began to make America over. The Democratic Party is now a political mechanism having a genuine political principle: national socialism….

[R]eactionary pseudo-thinkers shifted American thought into reverse….They called it “liberal” to suppress liberty; “progressive” to stop the free initiative that is the source of all human progress; “economic freedom,” to obstruct all freedom, and “economic equality” to make men slaves….We never heard that these United States are a political structure unique in all history, built upon…the fact that individual persons are naturally free, self-controlling and responsible….

These United States stand for a political principle that must conquer and change the whole world, because it is true….Americans have been creating a new world, the modern world…[but] We wanted the ancient thing that was marked “New.”…

Today, Federal administrative agencies have nearly destroyed those divisions of the political power which alone protect the property, liberty and lives of American citizens…because a state that dictates men’s action in producing and distributing goods must have undivided and absolute power.

[L]eading statesmen assume that…suppression of liberty is good for mankind, and that these new forms of an old tyranny are here to stay….

Free thought, free speech, free action, and freehold property are the source of the modern world. It cannot exist without them. Its existence depends upon abolishing these reactionary state controls and destroying the socialist State.

The task before Americans is to end these police-controls of peaceful, productive American citizens, to repeal all the reactionary legislation and…Executive orders…to abolish the Federal corporations, departments, bureaus and agencies that dictate and enforce these State controls…to require men in public office to recognize again every American’s natural right as a free person….

No politician, yet, has asked American voters to give him the power to strip any State of the powers it has usurped from its citizens, nor to strip the Federal Government of the powers it has usurped from the States; to restore the rights of the citizens, the rights and powers of the States…nor to add…further restrictions that will adequately protect the property, liberty and lives of persons… and make the United States again the world-champion of human rights and the leader of the world-liberating revolution….

[R]eactionary national socialism hampers all Americans now.

Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Give Me Liberty”, 1936)

 

„Habt Sonne in sämtlichen Körperteilen und wickelt die Sorgen in Seidenpapier! Doch tut es rasch. Ihr müsst euch beeilen. Sonst werden die Sorgen größer als ihr.“

Erich Kästner

 

„Ein tiefer Fall führt oft zu höherem Glück.“

Shakespeare

 

MERKANTILISMUS

„The Merchant is worthily called The Steward of the Kingdoms Stock, by way of Commerce with other Nations…. The means to enrich this Kingdom, and to increase our Treasure.. The ordinary man means …to increase our wealth and treasure is by Forraign Trade, wherein we must ever observe this rule; to sell more to strangers yearly than we consume of their value… The particular ways and means to increase the exportation of our commodities, and to decrease our Consumption of forraing wares..

First, although this Realm be already exceeding rich by nature, yet might it be much increased by laying the waste grounds (which are infinite) into such employments as should no way hinder the present revenues of other manured lands, but hereby to supply ourselves and prevent the importations of Hemp, Flax, Cordage, Tobacco, and divers other things which now we fetch from strangers to our great impoverishing…

Second, we may likewise diminish our importations, if we would soberly refrain from excessive consumption of forraign wares in our diet and raiment, with such often change of fashions as is used, so much the more to encrease the waste and charge; which vices at this present are more notorious amongst us than in former ages. Yet might they easily be amended by enforcing the observation of such food laws as are strictly practiced in other Countries against said excesses; where likewise by commanding their own manufactures to be used, they prevent the coming in of others, without prohibition, or offence to strangers in their mutual commerce..

Third, in our expectations we must not only regard our own superfluities, but also we must consider our neighbours necessities, that so upon the wares which they cannot want, nor yet be furnished thereof elsewhere, we may (besides the vent of the Materials) gain so much of the manufacture as we can and also endeavor to sell them dear, so far forth as the high price cause not a less vent in the quantity….

Our Fishing plantation likewise in New-England, Virginia, Greenland, the Summer Islands and the New-found-land, are of the like nature, affording much wealth and employment to maintain a great number of poor, and encrease our decaying trade…in all things we must endeavour to make the most we can of our own, whether it be Natural or Artificial..”

Thomas Mun (Direktor der Englischen Ostindien-Kompanie, Merkantilist, „Discourse on England’s Treasure by Forraign Trade“)

 

 

“Yet the new economic modes, towards which we are blundering, are, in the essence of their nature, experiments. We have no clear idea laid up in our minds beforehand of exactly what we want. We shall discover it as we move along, and we shall have to mould our material in accordance with our experience. Now for this process bold, free, and remorseless criticism is a sine qua non of ultimate success. We heed the collaboration of all the bright spirits of the age. Stalin has eliminated every independent, critical mind, even those sympathetic in general outlook. He has produced an environment in which the processes of mind are atrophied. The soft convolutions of the brain are turned to wood. The multiplied bray of the loud-speaker replaces the soft inflections of the human voice. The bleat of propaganda bores even the birds and the beasts of the field into stupefaction. Let Stalin be a terrifying example to all who seek to make experiments. If not, I, at any rate, will soon be back again in my old nineteenth-century ideals, where the play of mind on mind created for us the inheritance we to-day, enriched by what our fathers procured for us, are seeking to divert to our own appropriate purposes.”

John Maynard Keynes (1933 ‘National Self-Sufficiency’)

 

“I sympathize, therefore, with those who would minimize, rather than with those who would maximize, economic entanglement among nations. Ideas, knowledge, science, hospitality, travel–these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and, above all, let finance be primarily national. Yet, at the same time, those who seek to disembarrass a country of its entanglements should be very slow and wary. It should not be a matter of tearing up roots but of slowly training a plant to grow in a different direction.”

John Maynard Keynes (1933 ‘National Self-Sufficiency’)

 

“Die merkantilistische Wirtschaftstheorie kann leicht verständlich mit Hilfe von Keynesianischen Konzepten dargestellt werden….Keynes bezeichnet die Merkantilisten ausdrücklich als seine Vorläufer.“

Prof. Heinrich Bortis

 

„Über Karikaturen sollte man nicht nur schmunzeln, sondern auch nachdenken.“

Andreas Dunker

 

„Geld ist eine Waffe. Politik ist zu wissen, wann man abdrückt.“

Marlon Brando (in ‚Der Pate‘)

 

“Russia to-day exhibits the worst example which the world, perhaps, has ever seen, of administrative incompetence and of the sacrifice of almost everything that makes life worth living to wooden heads.”

John Maynard Keynes

 

“In the nineteenth century the economic internationalist could probably claim with justice that his policy was tending to the world’s great enrichment, that it was promoting economic progress, and that its reversal would have seriously impoverished both ourselves and our neighbors.”

John Maynard Keynes

 

“The nineteenth-century free trader’s economic internationalism assumed that the whole world was, or would be, organized on a basis of private competitive capitalism and of the freedom of private contract inviolably protected by the sanctions of law.”

John Maynard Keynes

 

“The same rule of self-destructive financial calculation governs every walk of life. We destroy the beauty of the countryside because the unappropriated splendors of nature have no economic value. We are capable of shutting off the sun and the stars because they do not pay a dividend. London is one of the richest cities in the history of civilization, but it cannot „afford“ the highest standards of achievement of which its own living citizens are capable, because they do not ‘pay’”.

John Maynard Keynes

 

“Or again, we have until recently conceived it a moral duty to ruin the tillers of the soil and destroy the age-long human traditions attendant on husbandry, if we could get a loaf of bread thereby a tenth of a penny cheaper. There was nothing which it was not our duty to sacrifice to this Moloch and Mammon in one; for we faithfully believed that the worship of these monsters would overcome the evil of poverty and lead the next generation safely and comfortably, on the back of compound interest, into economic peace.”

John Maynard Keynes

 

“I see three outstanding dangers in economic nationalism and in the movements towards national self-sufficiency, imperilling their success.

The first is Silliness–the silliness of the doctrinaire…

The second danger–and a worse danger than silliness–is Haste… The economic transition of a society is a thing to be accomplished slowly.

The third risk, and the worst risk of all three, is Intolerance and the stifling of instructed criticism…”

John Maynard Keynes

 

„Political conflicts distort and disturb the people’s sense of distinction between matters of importance and matters of urgency.“

Paul Valery

 

“Russia, again furnishes us with an example of the crushing blunders which a régime makes when it has exempted itself from criticism. The explanation of the incompetence with which wars are always conducted on both sides may be found in the comparative exemption from criticism which the military hierarchy affords to the high command. I have no excessive admiration for politicians, but, brought up as they are in the very breath of criticism, how much superior they are to the soldiers! Revolutions only succeed because they are conducted by politicians against soldiers. Paradox though it be–who ever heard of a successful revolution conducted by soldiers against politicians? But we all hate criticism. Nothing but rooted principle will cause us willingly to expose ourselves to it….Stalin has eliminated every independent, critical mind, even those sympathetic in general outlook. He has produced an environment in which the processes of mind are atrophied. The soft convolutions of the brain are turned to wood. The multiplied bray of the loud-speaker replaces the soft inflections of the human voice. The bleat of propaganda bores even the birds and the beasts of the field into stupefaction. Let Stalin be a terrifying example to all who seek to make experiments.”

John Maynard Keynes