THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 607, February 13, 2011
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
If you are one the three people left in the world who are not familiar with The Zeitgeist Movement or The Venus Project, please move along. For the rest of you I would like to offer two videos for your perusal. Together they will burn up about an hour of your time. I can fully understand why you might not want to watch them, but the following will not make a lot of sense if you don't.
In the first Stefan Molyneux offers a critique of the latest Zeitgeist movie:
The second is Peter Joseph's response to Molyneux's critique. Joseph is filmmaker who wrote, directed and produced the Zeitgeist films.
Before I go any further I want to point out that Molyneux's video is the first time I've even heard Moylneux mention the VP/ZM. I have noticed there are older videos where he addressed the first two movies, but I never watched them because I didn't need Molyneux to tell me what was wrong with the VP/ZM. I had already decided for myself where the flaws were. My own take on it was expressed in this essay and this video. My objections are based on my understanding of economics.
Because I've already explored my economic objections I'm not going to rehash it here. I want to look at it more from a philosophical perspective (though economics is never far behind).
What stood out the most for me in Peter Joseph's rebuttal was his contempt for ordinary people.
"The wants that people have are generated and imposed upon them."
He contends that people make choices as a result of cultural conditioning.
Exactly who does he think he is that he can determine when people are being rational or irrational? What revelation from on high has enlightened him to determine the choices of other people?
His solution is mass education. People must be taught to think the right way. How is that going to happen? Reeducation camps?
He went on to say that this system must be global, everyone must participate. There is a name for that: Totalitarianism.
And he completely glossed over the calculation problem. Even if you completely remove all notions of money, resources must still be allocated and any system of centralized control must still deal with the incompleteness of human knowledge. As I've said before, no one can have as complete knowledge of my situation as I do. By what authority does he override my choices with his? Why should his take priority over mine?
He keeps talking about strategic management. Whose strategy? How is one strategy to be judged superior to another?
He claims to be taking a scientific approach to everything. Is he unfamiliar with Chaos Theory? Has he even ever heard of Edward Lorenz? Have you?
The bottom line is you can no more eliminate markets as a mechanism for social organization than you can eliminate gravity as a determinant for the shape of trees or mountains. Market behavior is human behavior. And I'm not just talking about money and financial transactions. Every single action a human takes is based on that human's subjective evaluation or the cost vs. benefit resulting from that action.*
The only way to eliminate markets is to eliminate human choice. A world without human choice is not one I choose to live in and I will resist it with every fiber of my being.