Rediscovering Heinrich Pesch and Solidarism

Pesch

The passing of the eminent American Catholic economist, Dr. Rupert J. Ederer, at the age of ninety on Thanksgiving Day 2013 calls attention to the great, but equally unsung, economic thinker and system that he devoted most of his career to furthering: Heinrich Pesch, S.J. and solidarism. Pesch, who died in 1926, was thought to have inspired Pope Pius XI’s great social encyclical Quadragesimo Anno five years later. In spite of Pesch’s relative obscurity, Ederer called him an economic “system builder,” on par with Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes—although the system he constructed was based firmly on Catholic teaching and the natural law. The word “solidarism” rings of the principle of solidarity, which has been stressed more recently in Catholic social teaching. In fact, solidarism is also referred to as “the solidarity work system.” There is some indication that Pesch’s solidarism influenced the famed Solidarity trade union movement in Poland that rose to prominence a generation ago and led the way to the collapse of Eastern European communism.

What, broadly, are the basics of solidarism? First, it rejects both individualism and collectivism and seeks to uphold the good of both the individual and society. In short, it embraces the common good as understood by sound ethics. Second, there is a solidarity among all men because of, simply, their common humanity. There is also a more particular solidarity among people in the same nation and within the same occupation or industry or area of the economy. That means that there is or should be solidarity between employers and workers; both need each other to achieve successful economic results. This does not mean that there may not be competing interests on each side—so that, say, labor unions don’t have a purpose—but that these interests can be balanced and reconciled. Class conflict is not inevitable. Its stress on such solidarity distinguishes solidarism from both economic liberalism and Marxism.

Third, the worker cannot be reduced to a mere factor of production, nor can economics be made the be-all-and-end-all, so that everything is reduced to economic calculation. This is what Pesch termed “economism,” a term picked up by both the German economist Wilhelm Roepke and Pope John Paul II. Fourth, the market and its advantages are accepted as givens by solidarism and economic freedom is a good thing. Neither, however, may be unrestrained. While competition is valuable and plays a crucial role in economic life, it cannot be its ordering principle. That can only be human dignity.

Fifth, in line with this, while there are certainly market inclinations and forces (e.g., supply and demand) they cannot be treated as rigid “laws” (a notion that came from the Enlightenment). While market forces may help allocate resources effectively, solidarism rejects the notion that if the economy is just left alone the results will almost automatically work out to the good of everyone (indeed, this is the very thing that Pope Francis recently addressed). While self-interest, like the interests of labor and management, is legitimate, it can also be destructive and so—like what James Madison said about factions—must be regulated and channeled in a way that does not undermine the common good. Like Roepke, solidarism believes that economics cannot be separated from ethics, requires a sound social and cultural context, and there is an appropriate role for state action.

Sixth, the sense of solidarity motivates the solidarist to promote occupational groups or other sorts of arrangements of those taking part in a particular industry—which must be voluntarily agreed to, and not imposed by the state—which would aim at a kind of enlightened self-regulation. The state could thus step back and not engage in the heavy regulation and micromanagement that we have become so accustomed to (with all their attendant problems)—though it would continue to oversee economic activity and intervene where appropriate in its role as the chief guarantor of the common good. Quadragesimo Anno gave an approving nod to a reorganization of industrial economies along such lines.

Seventh, solidarism has no illusions about economic reorganization as some kind of panacea. The proper shaping of the human soul, of course, is a prerequisite. This requires formation of the virtues in the individual, which leads to the realization of such virtues as justice and social charity in the context of society that, in turn, makes possible solidarity. Proper personal formation requires serious religious commitment and sound family life. Even in his time, Pesch lamented the weakening of the family. Solidarism does not say that there must be a substantial restoration of a family-based economy—a position that some distributists would take—nor that industrialization inevitably undercuts the family, but it is aware of the serious strains put on family life by a certain version of “capitalism” (whose economism meant excessively long work hours and paid scant attention to the worker’s family needs).

Eighth, solidarism strongly defends private property, although private ownership—whether on the individual or large-scale corporate business level—can never be separated from the obligation of its social use (i.e., the concern about others and the community in the use of one’s property). The notion of absolute rights bestowed by ownership came from the economic liberalism that became ascendant in the nineteenth century and collided with the traditional classical-Christian understanding. Thus, the solidarist would very likely espouse the view of some Catholic writers in the first half of the twentieth century that large companies take on a kind of semi-public character, so they can be subject to more regulation and restraints for the sake of the common good. One example might be that laws could legitimately stop a company from just moving its plant facilities almost overnight to another part of the country or overseas when the economic effect on a community and employment would be disastrous. Nevertheless, solidarism would reject the suppression of private ownership of the means of production and distribution by something like the sweeping nationalization of a sector of the economy. It doesn’t outright exclude government ownership, but this would have to be the exception (e.g., mail service, local government ownership of utilities). It rejects socialism, but aims for socialization (a term mentioned by Pope John XXIII in Mater et Magistra, and grossly misunderstood). Socialization simply means insuring that all in an economy benefit, and like John Paul II the solidarist understands that this is not necessarily or even likely accomplished by government ownership. It is in line with what in Catholic social thought is now called the universal destination of created goods—that God has given man the bounty of the earth’s resources for all to partake of.

The concern for socialization and the universal destination of created goods perhaps underlies the ninth and tenth points. While the state could step back with a solidaristic-type economic restructuring, its role cannot be minimal. Besides the proper kinds of interventions in the economy it must provide what in the Reagan period first came to be called a “safety net.” While—consistent with the principle of subsidiarity—the family and religious and other civil-society-type groups should be the first to take care of the needy, the state as a matter of justice must help out when this is insufficient. Also, it cannot be indifferent to the situation of wealth distribution; disparities of wealth have to be addressed. This was not originally a Marxist idea as some might think, but goes back to Aristotle who seemed to advocate that an acceptable range of wealth-holding—avoiding a situation of extremes—was necessary to sustain a good and stable political society. This isn’t to say, however, that the solidarist would countenance an aggressive program of redistribution that would penalize achievers and reward the indolent. Finally, the state in promoting the common good must play a role—in association with the private sector and observing subsidiarity—in economic planning. Individuals, families, and businesses plan economically, so certainly it is necessary for nations to do so.

Eleventh, solidarism stresses the need for a just wage. This has direct implications for the state’s social welfare role: a just wage across the economy would mean that there would be less demand for public assistance programs. In line with its belief that nothing happens automatically in economic life, market forces alone cannot be the sole determiner of wage levels. Nor does merely the agreement of the parties make a wage contract just; a dignified life for oneself and his family must be the governing standard. From a public policy standpoint, the solidarist looks positively at such approaches as profit-sharing and family-wage escalators to help accomplish a just wage.

Twelfth, solidarism is concerned about justice in pricing (which, interestingly, is an area that has not been developed much in the social encyclicals). A just price is one that both covers costs and yields the producer or trader a reasonable gain (a profit). While Pesch provides much more analysis about this, some of his key points are that the consumer has no right to the lowest possible price (the workers producing a good, after all, must receive a just wage), the price should reflect the true value of a good or service (while the solidarist believes that the satisfaction of wants, and not just needs, is legitimate, some wants—say, for moral reasons—clearly should not be pursued), and that no one should be allowed to make an exorbitant gain (including profit) at another’s expense. Profit-making, like competition, cannot be the governing principle. An acceptable profit would be one that conforms to the normal level of profit for a company’s country or occupation, although a higher one could be acceptable if it were in line with the value of what one provides.

Thirteenth, any tax levied must be truly necessary, must take into account persons’ level of wealth, may be heavier on, say, investment income than income earned from work, and must be used to fund activities that will promote the common good and not merely the private good of some (e.g., interest groups). The fourteenth and final point is one that certainly collides with prevailing economic thinking: completely free trade must be rejected. This is because of commutative justice: certain countries are unable to derive the same advantage as others in a free trade regimen. Some would be hurt, as when cheap foreign products flood their markets and overwhelm their domestic producers. There is no problem with some measure of protectionism.

These are just highlights about solidarism. Pesch laid out his whole system in his mammoth thirteen-volume Lehrbuch (whose translation into English, like most of his works, we owe to Ederer). It is obvious—not surprisingly—that it sounds like the social teaching of the popes. One of my very capable students years ago commented after our class had finished Pesch’s Ethics and the National Economy (his short distillation of his thought) that she thought she was reading another social encyclical.

To be sure, Pesch’s thought could not just be picked up across the board and applied to our contemporary economy. He died almost ninety years ago, and it would need analysis and updating to address the many changes that have occurred since then. Popes such as John Paul II did not mention economic restructuring, although the participatory norm he stressed certainly was part of it. Maybe John Paul thought that with the moral and cultural decline since 1926 we have to think about more basic things. What is needed is for Catholic economic scholars and other social scientists to rediscover Pesch and consider how solidarist ideas could apply today.

It also offers Catholics of a politically conservative bent economic analysis—at the systemic level—that genuinely respects private property and a rightful role for the market but avoids a view of “capitalism” that is at odds with Catholic social teaching. While needing updating, it is a theory addressing the economics of modern—as opposed to, say, medieval—times, but is rooted in the classical-Christian tradition instead of the mindset of the Enlightenment. Perhaps it’s time to rediscover and think about Pesch and solidarism, especially at a time when Pope Francis asks us to think about whether at least significant aspects of our current thinking about economics is correct amid widespread, serious economic inequalities and conditions of poverty in the world.

Stephen M. Krason

By

Stephen M. Krason's "Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic" column appears monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) in Crisis Magazine. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville and co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. His is the author of several books including The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic (Transaction Publishers, 2012), and most recently an edited volume entitled, Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System (Scarecrow Press, 2013).

  • NormChouinard

    I would quibble with a few lines but this is an excellent companion piece to the subsidiarity column earlier this week. Thanks for posting.

  • poetcomic1

    Virtually all the prescriptions of this ‘solidarism’ demand (in the real world) instruments of coercion and control. Without a shared belief in God all else becomes moot.

  • hombre111

    Very interesting. Thanks.

  • somebigguy

    I’m certainly not an economist, but this does, indeed, seem to be properly rooted in Catholic teaching. But surely its application is highly problematic in this time of appalling moral relativism.

    Society must be largely re-evangelized before its electorate can order its priorities correctly; only then will the leaders it fields, in both public and private spheres, cooperate in implementing Pesch’s solidarism.

    Such underscores the importance of asserting the Catholic faith in the public square and the need for the “New Evangelization.”

    • Adam__Baum

      “Society must be largely re-evangelized before its electorate can order its priorities correctly”

      Bingo.

      Economists (whether Catholic or otherwise, and I say this as the holder of an Economics degree) are often afflicted with a peculiar form of economic chauvinism, best seen in their assertion of economics as “the queen” of social sciences.

      Economics is, and is derived the greek “oikonomikós” that means the ordering of the affairs of the household. “Better” economics isn’t achieved by attempting to impose some concocted order from above, but affecting the values that influence individual choices.

      Consider “consumerism” that indefinite but observable tendency to acquire more “goods”, in proportions or magnitudes that make those things subject not only to the law of DIMINISHING marginal utility, but DECREASING marginal utility and reaches it’s ultimate logical end with hoarding. Make people more open to life and more cognizant of their mortality and they don’t seek out more and more things that might impair their ability to welcome a new child and that they will simply abandon when they draw that last breath.

  • Salamanca

    Catholic social doctrine needs to be grounded in reality. A school of thought built on flawed legal history or a faulty price theory, is, despite its many other virtues, a poor vehicle for propagating Catholic teaching and is unlikely to persuade anyone. The “notion of absolute rights bestowed by ownership” did not come “from the economic liberalism that became ascendant in the nineteenth century.” The notion of absolute dominium is grounded in Roman law. It is also found in the concept of allodial tenure. In late antiquity and the early middle ages, allodial lands were those whereof the owner had the dominium directum et verum; the complete and absolute property,free from all services to any particular lord. The greater part of the lands in Italy and France, for example, were held by an allodial tenure until the beginning of the tenth century. The notion of a ‘just price’ is tied to an discredited “objectivist’ theory of value, a notion that was successfully challenged by Catholic scholastics over five hundred years ago. See the works of Portuguese Jesuit Luis de Molina (1535-1600) as well as Diego de Covarrabias (1512-1572). The science of economics is not the enemy of Catholicism. It has its origin in Catholic scholasticism. Moreover, good economics is reconcilable with the deposit of the Faith. Applying Catholic moral philosophy to economic realities, however, requires not only an orthodox understanding of Catholic moral truths, but also an accurate apprehension of economic realities. Where either is lacking, the result is muddled unpersuasive thinking.

    • Nasicacato

      Salamanca, thanks for providing some actual arguments, contra Mr Baum. However, is the notion of absolute dominium rooted in pagan Rome? Also, allodial tenure. It sounds as though that applies to land ownership, not the rights/duties of lords and tenants. Also, who decided that the challenge to the “objectivist” theory of value was successful? John Locke? Adam Smith? It doesn’t sound like it was Leo XIII.

      • Adam__Baum

        I provided plenty of arguments, when I wasn’t being foolish enough to try to answer the resident calumnist.

        Beyond the fact that this essay discusses a “system” that has never existed anywhere except in the mind of a man who died almost a century ago, with ideals that are impossible to define, or agree upon, let alone enforce, i.e,. attributes like “necessary”, “good”, “stable”, there’s this blurb which shows a major problem in microcosm.

        “may be heavier on, say, investment income than income
        earned from work”

        Apart from this just being an assertion based on a pure prejudice, it’s conceptually unsound and based on the notion that investment can be done without work. It’s not even possible to effectively distinguish between income derived from investing and income derived from work. The amount of effort tax authorities make, and impose on taxpayers to make such distinctions is astounding. Of course then there’s the problem of inflation, where nominal returns consist both of a real return and an infationary component and the losses that come with investing.

        • Nasicacato

          I’ve got investment income and income earned from work. I have no trouble distinguishing between the two. I suspect the vast majority of Americans don’t either.

          • Adam__Baum

            Congratulations on living a simple life that makes those distinctions easy.

      • Salamanca

        “dominium” is merely Latin for ownership. So yes it is rooted in pagan Rome, but then again so are hundreds of other legal terms that form part of Canon and civil law. Allodium (medieval Latin) or Allod (old German) means “full” or “entirely” owned property. I would argue that Allodial property is part of the European common law (ius commune), because one sees it across a relatively wide geography (e.g. from Italy to Norway). I suspect that it has an origin separate from Roman law in the customary laws of various peoples who were Christianized in the course of Late Antiquity. I’m not sure there is much distinction between “land ownership” and “rights/duties of lords and tenants.” The notion of an allodial estate is that the owners/tenant don’t owe any duty to anyone. As the Church and various religious orders were some of the largest land holders of the middle ages, some of Church’s property was undoubtedly allodial. As for Molina’s views on the just price, I urge you to weigh his arguments yourself. For Molina, the market prices was typically just. A monopoly price (of which he had first hand experience) was unjust. He opposed a legally set price for wheat, not because he didn’t appreciate the needs of the poor, but because he believed assisting the poor was a common/shared responsibility. Aiding the poor by fixing the price of wheat imposed this common responsibility disproportionately/exclusively on the producers of wheat. On the other hand he was opposed to hoarding and speculation in times of scarcity. His arguments are far more nuanced than can be described here. You can read more in Luis de Molina’s De Iustitia Et Iure: Justice as Virtue in an Economic Context by Diego Alonso-Lasheras. I’m not saying that Molina has the last word on this topic, but only that there are many more accomplished Catholic scholars than Pesch that we should be exploring and that by comparison Perch’s views are rather naïve and outdated even by 16th century standards.

  • Adam__Baum

    “Pesch laid out his whole system in his mammoth thirteen-volume Lehrbuch”.

    Problem No. 1. The real world doesn’t deal well with lengthy tomes.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      “The first rule of economics is everything is scarce”- that first rule breaks down in the first world. The only reason food is scarce is because markets are carefully manipulated to keep it scarce, for instance. We know how to free food from the market, and now have the technology to grow enough food for a four person family in a 32 foot x 32 foot indoor space. You can feed one person in even the smallest of apartments just by dedicating 16 square feet to an indoor garden.

      We don’t, because there is far more profit to be made by keeping food markets centralized and food scarce.

      • Adam__Baum

        “The only reason food is scarce is because markets are carefully manipulated to keep it scarce, for instance.”

        No. Genesis 3.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          I counter your Genesis 3 with American Agricultural subsidies- manipulating the market since 1936!

          Did you ever wonder why we pay farmers to leave land unplowed?

          • Adam__Baum

            If you think I’m going to defend ag subsidies, you’re nuts. Of course since you “reject” the term rent-seeker you can’t really understand that and can’t see that it is an extension of the guild mentality.

            In fact this is what happens when the idea that “There is also a more particular solidarity among people in the same
            nation and within the same occupation or industry or area of the economy” is codified into law.

            Then again, I said ALL goods are scarce. It’s a finite world, and I don’t care whether you want grains of beach sand or doo-hickeys, everything is limited and scarce. Whatever you produce is scarce, because you if you are lucky-you have 2500 productive weeks in a lifetime.

            Once again, get an unimpaired, informed adult to review your screeds before you post them.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              I was hoping you would not. But ag subsidies are necessary *because* food is in abundance. Before the ag subsidies, food wasn’t at a high enough price to even pay for harvesting- and today, is produced below cost in every case.

              To insist that we live in a world of scarcity, is to deny reality.

              • Adam__Baum

                “To insist that we live in a world of scarcity, is to deny reality.”

                To insist that we can have anything we want defies description.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  I said that God gave us a world of abundance, not scarcity. That is not the same as having anything we want- but it is the same as having everything we need.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Theodore, get help.

      • Marc

        If that is true then by all means do it. Revolutionize the world.

        • Adam__Baum

          Some people love to curse the darkness and deny the existence of candles.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            Yep, they sure do. And the agribusiness corporations make a killing off of them.

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          Somebody already beat me to it:
          http://www.crisiseducation.com/

          Of course, his books seem to be a loss leader for his seed business, but the advice is sound.

          • Adam__Baum

            Too bad they can’t beat some sense into you.

  • Mother-Earth1213

    Great article. i thoroughly enjoyed reading it. i will re-read as it contained some valid alternatives to hard core secular ‘economist-view’. It certainly has a Catholic twist. One of the lines that intrigues me is the clear distinction between ‘indvidualism’ & ‘collectivism’. This obviously challenges the status quo.

    • Adam__Baum

      I find it fascinating that people think economics needs a “Catholic twist”.

      The problem with this essay is phrases like this:

      “While competition is valuable and plays a crucial role in economic
      life, it cannot be its ordering principle. That can only be human
      dignity.”

      What does this mean? How do you measure and apply it. Who determines when you suppress competition to ensure ensure “human dignity”. I’ll bet 100 years ago, as blacksmith jobs were disappearing as ol’ Dobbin was rapidly being replaced with the Tin Lizzie, there were a lot of blacksmiths who thought their dignity was under attack.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Tin Lizzie required MORE blacksmiths, not fewer. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the auto industry found a way to replace blacksmiths with robots.

        • Adam__Baum

          I almost spit up lunch when I read this, it’s so ridiculous.

          Perhaps there’s a unimpaired adult in your house that can read your posts before you finalize them?

          That’s just embarrassing. Blacksmiths had already picked up the farrier trade due to the adoption of interchangeable parts, and model T’s had tires, not horseshoes.

          For once, could you control yourself?

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Compare the amount of metal in four horseshoes, to the amount of metal in even a Model N.

            Now how do you think that metal gets into the required shapes? Magical elves?

            • Adam__Baum

              Theodore, I’m really tired of your nonsense. Have you ever heard of a machinist? A lathe? A drill? A mill?

              Look, I get it. You have a cognitive problem and the world is a big scary place to you. The fact that your fears and phobias are real to you doesn’t mean they are real. Your feelings don’t give you the right to engage in calumny.

              You need to consider whether your paranoid screeds are the cause of scandal.

              • TheodoreSeeber

                “Theodore, I’m really tired of your nonsense. Have you ever heard of a machinist? A mill, a press, a drill, a lathe?”

                A machinist is just another type of blacksmith. Mills, presses, drills and lathes have existed in blacksmith shops for the last 400 years.

                You seem to have a problem understanding history.

                • Adam__Baum

                  Wrong and No.

      • Mother-Earth1213

        Adam_Baum,

        You are obviously entitled to your opinions & i plus others to ours. It is amazing that you seem to suggest, quote, ” that people think economics needs a Catholic twist”, unquote. Wowsy, thats a mouthful, i used the tag ‘Catholic twist’ to imply that Heinrich Pesch’s philosophy on ‘Solidarism’ as articulated by Stephen M. Krason is an obvious example of an expert using a Catholic angle.

        The point which is clearly being made in this is one that embraces humanity and not lack of it. I read that your take is very pro-utilitarian hence your line of thoughts.

        • Adam__Baum

          You are confused, because the “catholic twist” is your mouthful, not mine.

          The reason you have that take is because you don’t know me, or what you are talking about.

          By the way, the right to hold an opinion does not carry with it a right to have it treated as mature or informed.

          • Mother-Earth1213

            wowsy…looks who got his BP up! Slow down & re-read what i wrote. Easy there AB :)

            • Adam__Baum

              Not worth a second pass, sorry.

              • Mother-Earth1213

                is it good riddance then, should i presume! ‘Bye bye love’ as the late Phil Everly sang!

  • Marc

    I want to agree with this article but I just don’t see it. There are fine words like “just” and “fair” peppered throughout which make us all feel warm, but reality is something altogether different. How do we determine a fair price, or a just wage, or what constitutes “reasonable profit?” How do we distinguish a low wage resulting from greed from a low wage signalling the need for economic correction? What if what seems like gross profit is really the reward for providing a much needed service? If the promise of reward isn’t there, will innovation diminish? Can we accomplish what every other government has failed to do, simply by rebranding Socialism as Solidarity and attaching the word Catholic? And where are the angels who will make these sorts of decisions in the place of the millions who do it every day for themselves? A businessman knows what he can pay without endangering the financial viability of his business, gouging his customers, or enslaving his employees. Only people voting with their money can determine whether a business is serving the “common good.” Government doesn’t have the necessary situational knowledge or competency to take the place of the price system. I only see waste and nepotism in the name of the common good. Lets concentrate on converting people. Change the heart of the businessman! Changing the rules and using government as a tool to force people to love one another is a fools errand.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Socialism isn’t just rebranded as solidarity. Solidarity, rightly understood, must reject the centralized planning of socialism.

      You claim “A businessman knows what he can pay without endangering the financial viability of his business, gouging his customers, or enslaving his employees.”

      The reason solidarity is necessary is precisely because I see absolutely no evidence that businessmen know the second two. They are so caught up in the first, that they rarely consider the second two.

      • Adam__Baum

        “The reason solidarity is necessary is precisely because I see absolutely
        no evidence that businessmen know the second two. They are so caught
        up in the first, that they rarely consider the second two.”

        So this is what is meant by “they have eyes, but see not…”

        I see no reason to take your testimony on anything.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Profit is made from gouging one’s customers and underpaying labor. If customers were’t being gouged, and labor was paid what the production was worth, nobody would be in business, for there would be no profit left for the owners.

          • Adam__Baum

            Go get some medication for your paranoia.

            • TheodoreSeeber

              Where is the paranoia in simple mathematics? A fair wage and a just price are intimately connected.

              • Adam__Baum

                You’re wrong and there’s no point in indulging your obsession or exceeding your understanding. Nothing as impenetrable as a closed mind.

                • TheodoreSeeber

                  What in price-cost=profit do you disagree with, Mr. paid Economist?

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Your addled misunderstanding of it. I know paranoia goes with autism, so what’s the point in answering?

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      If my understanding is so addled, then explain where profit magically comes from if not by either lowering costs or raising prices?

                  • Marc

                    Revenue less Expenses equals Net Income.
                    Assets equals Liabilities plus Owner’s Equity.
                    These statements are true but not germane to the issue at hand. Is it wrong to earn a profit?

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      As I have been reminded quite often by those more conservative than I am, the standard is not profit, but “Those who will not work, should not eat”. I’m just pointing out that the majority of profit in any given business is taken from either raising prices or lowering labor costs, and not necessarily from some magic “invisible hand”.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Wow, that confused, even by your standards.

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      Your claim is that profit can be taken without harming customers or labor. If it doesn’t come from profit or labor, then it must come from magic. Voodoo economics at its best!

            • Nasicacato

              Speaking of meds, you could use a chill pill, my friend.

              • Adam__Baum

                Have anything intelligent to offer?

                • Nasicacato

                  Speaking as someone who values the exchange of ideas on this site and has valued your observations in other areas, I’d like to point out that you have offered nothing of worth here, nothing resembling an intelligent argument. Instead, you’ve waved around your alleged economics degree and made accusations of paranoia and autism. I’m a busy man who is here to learn. You’re the guy at the party who drank way too much. And I’ve called you a taxi.
                  Goodnight Adam.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    You don’t read well because I cited the Econ degree to point out a weakness in the profession.

                    Let’s try again, we’ll see if your sincere:

                    “Pesch laid out his whole system in his mammoth thirteen-volume Lehrbuch”.

                    Problem No. 1. The real world doesn’t deal well with lengthy and weighty tomes.

                    Perhaps that’s why Two of the Ten Commandments that dealt most explicitly with economic matters. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods, and though shalt not steal. Simple, concise, direct, actionable by a five year old, applicable in all matters. God of course, doesn’t need to impress academic peers with impressive displays of logorrhea.

                    “Ederer called him an economic “system builder,” on par with Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes”.

                    Problem No. 2. These men are not “builders”. Marx, when he wasn’t passing on bathing or killing his illegitimate offspring, or inflating the “meeting” of “communists” posited the greatest excuses for mass murder and political servitude. Keynes, when he wasn’t engaging in pederasty concocted a theory that starts with algebraic elegance, but resorts to legerdemain (“animal spirits”, “aggregate demand”) to posit a cause for the intervention he claims is necessary. Of course, in the halls of legislatures, the view of economics operates like this- The first rule of economics is everything is scarce, but the first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics. As a result, only half of Keynes’ prescriptions are ever followed, and the world is awash
                    in sovereign debt, and central banks are debasing currencies through the monetization of debt under the guise of vacant labels like “quantitative easing”. His economics is revered not for its technical validity, but it’s political utility.

                    Smith is a different matter. He wasn’t a builder, but an expositor.
                    Most of his observations regarding the division of labor in the pin
                    factory, the sources of value or enlightened self interest serving
                    others were descriptive, not prescriptive.

                    In this review

                    http://www.culturewars.com/200

                    Ederer wrote “By opposing papal social teachings while championing the work of agnostics who were clearly contemptuous of those teachings”, yet there is no problem holding people who weren’t merely agnostic, but
                    in at least one case, (Marx) a furiously hostile atheist in high
                    esteem. Interesting.

                    • Nasicacato

                      Fine. This is intelligent. However, I’m not so sure that the Smith is quite as objectively descriptive as you assert. The deification of the “Invisible Hand” by his followers is no more rational than the demonification of the “Spirit of Capital” by the followers of Marx.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Nobody “deifies” the invisible hand. An economically literate person understands how it works, it’s advantages and it’s limits. You complained that I waived my econ degree around when I cited only to point out a problem with the field-and I can’t see how you can complain about the absence of substance, when you start with such a premise. Who “deifies” the IH? How? Cite your evidence.

                      On the other hand where competition flourishes products tend to improve and often be offered at lesser prices. I’m typing on a machine that has more processing power than the computers that put Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon, just 44 1/2 years ago. I paid 700 bucks for it, three years ago. (Toshiba P755-S5381). I just replaced the hard drive. A terabyte for a little over $100.00. I remember just ten years ago buying a drive with 1/100 of the capacity, it was bigger and was noisy. We all thought a grinding hard drive was a necessity a decade ago. In another decade SSD will allow better durability, less power consumption and lightning fast data transfer rates-truth is, they already do-but capacity and cost have to catch up.

                      Look where the iron fist of government is involved. Education, healthcare, housing, to name a few industries. Despite 80 years over more instrusive and denanding federal intervention, Wall Street still has scandals and cycles-but it has the additional scandal of the revolving door between Wall Street & Washington. Rubin, Paulson, Orszag are just few of the migrants. Thousands of lesser known folks switch sides every year, especially among lawyers. The government lessened the regulatory burden on railroads in 1981, and they have been revitalized.

                      Where Marxism flourishes, you get gulags and mass murder, shortages and lines. It doesn’t spread the wealth, it propogates misery. Socialism settles for economic ruin. How many more tens of millions must perish before once and for all people finally treat it with the opprobrium it deserves?

                    • Nasicacato

                      Alright, who deifies the Invisible Hand? The Austrian School
                      for starters. Also Prof. Walter Williams who used to fill in for Rush
                      Limbaugh for another. You get the idea.

                      Yes computer hardware is the premier example of a free
                      enterprise success story. But, in the end, so what? It’s
                      just a tool. Has all that memory and storage space helped save any
                      souls? Possibly. Has it endangered any souls? Probably.

                      Anybody who was reasonably informed, has any semblance of an open
                      mind and has lived in the last eighty years, knows that Marxism has
                      been a nightmare, vastly worse than anything yet produced by
                      capitalism. I fought the good fight against it in school, I don’t
                      need that lecture.

                      Now, the “Iron Fist of Government”. It caresses, and is
                      caressed by, the “Invisible Hand of the Market”. Because
                      the average capitalist, tycoon, big businessman, call him what you
                      will, doesn’t give a hoot about free markets anymore that the average
                      Soviet apparatchik cared about “From each according to his
                      abilities, to each according to his need.” Now, in their
                      younger days they might have, when they spent days on end building
                      their better mousetraps. But they all seem to end up as billionaire
                      control freaks, don’t they? And they love Federal Government
                      control, because it’s one stop shopping, not like the messy bad old
                      days when you had to buy off a whole bunch of state legislatures.
                      On the progressive side, we have control freaks who would like to end
                      up as billionaires. Why shouldn’t the good guys get rich too, right?
                      So Wall Street worms it’s way into Washington and Washington squirms
                      its way into Wall Street. Voila! Big Pharma-Contraceptive Mandate,
                      Insurance Companies-Obamacare, GM and Chrysler and Unions and Bank of
                      America, etc.-TARP and QE. The list is endless until the entire
                      thing crashes under God only knows how many trillion dollars of debt.

                      What’s the answer? Break down Big Government with subsidiarity
                      and break down Big Business with solidarity (or Solidarism if you
                      prefer). How? That’s tricky. Gotta say, Theodore Seeber put it
                      pretty well: “Socialism isn’t just re-branded as solidarity.
                      Solidarity, rightly understood, must reject the centralized planning
                      of socialism.” Something akin to evangelization must take
                      place, it can’t come from the government, it must start at the
                      grassroots. Personally I’d love to see some cross-fertilization
                      between the Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street Crowd. You may call
                      me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…Leo XIII, Pius XI, John
                      XXIII and John Paul II have all issued encyclicals calling for much
                      the same thing.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “Alright, who deifies the Invisible Hand? The Austrian School
                      for starters. Also Prof. Walter Williams who used to fill in for Rush
                      Limbaugh for another. You get the idea.”

                      You see, this is why it’s futile to discuss anything with the type of disorderly mind that is attracted to statism.

                      I said “cite your evidence”. Telling me who YOU THINK does something is not the same thing as EVIDENCE, such as verifiable quotes, participation in some religion of the free market. I didn’t ask for your opinion. You should get the idea, but I doubt it, since you’ve migrated here to troll and jam.

                      I find it odd that you would choose, as what you think is an artful flourish, the appropriation of John Lennon lyrics, who was a degenerate immoral who dreamed of a world without religion. How incredibly addled.

                      You have also conflated corporatism with capitalism. I am not a corporatist. This is the real world where politicians pass and endless array of laws that favor friends. Are you surprised that pyromaniacs want bigger fires? You ought to bone up on Buchanan and Tullock. While you are doing it consider this. Your fellow traveller (doppelganger?) Theodore Seeber “rejected” the term rent seeker as, either Calvinist or Deist (can’t remember what) the term “rent-seeker”, although it wasn’t coined until the 1960′s.

                      A final thought. You ought to look up the term syncretism before you posit the possibility of “cross-fertilizing” OWS and the Tea Party. OWS is dead because the 2012 election is over.

                      If you want to complain about the pleitropy of increased storage for computers, then go on EBAY and get a Commodore 64, with a tape drive. No, you won’t be able to get on the internet, but that’s just a side benefit.

                    • nasicacato

                      Adam, lets clear a few things up. I am not your student and this is not your classroom. This is a discussion. You are not citing your evidence, I’m not going to waste time providing citations. (Nor do I see the need to bone up on Buchanan and Tullock, whoever they might be.) I’m sure you are familiar with Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian School of Economics, etc. If you want to look up Walter E. Williams, feel free. Interestingly, when I presented the fact that I was in agreement with at least 4 popes, you chose to ignore that and concentrate instead on the John Lennon humor.
                      Regarding Theodore Seeber, I don’t know him beyond his posts on this site. He seems to overstate his case a lot but I quoted him because those 2 sentences seemed spot on. Not sure what your point about rent-seeking is, but it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the topic. However, you sir, seem a tad obsessed by TS, hence my original chill pill suggestion.
                      I’m not complaining about better computers or disputing that they have become cheaper and more efficient. I work in the IT field. They are however, simply tools.
                      Now, regarding corporatism and capitalism and “the real world where politicians pass an endless array of laws that favor friends”. You are proving my point. In the real world capitalism, because it is at odds with human nature, degenerates into corporatist Statism. Those of us who hold this faith that the unimpeded “market” will solve our ills (deification of the Invisible Hand) play right into corporatist hands , just as surely as all those sincere Marxists who maintained that Soviet communism wasn’t “real communism” played into the hands of the totalitarians. Hence the need to resist Statism and support things that advance Subsidiarity and Solidarity.
                      Occupy Wall Street may be dead because it served the purpose for which it was created. But it’s adherents held those beliefs prior to OWS and hold them still. Some of them, perhaps many of them, will be open minded enough to see that it isn’t just big business but also big government that is their enemy. The chicanery of the Obama administration provides ample evidence of this. If we take the easy route, and just dismiss them as whiners and parasites we only further the agenda of the statists in both corporate America and government.
                      Do you have a reply to this or are you just going to go on about citations, Seeber, computers, syncretism and other tangents?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Oh I can believe you’re not my student, or anyone’s for that matter.

                    • Nasicacato

                      Do you have anything of substance to offer?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Yes, plenty.

          • Marc

            If it’s true that Solidarity ensures people being paid “what their production is worth”, and paying people “what their production is worth” would lead to the elimination of profit and no one being in business, let us celebrate no Solidarity! LOL

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              There are other models that work than profit-based businesses.

              • Adam__Baum

                No, there are no businesses that aren’t profit based. You either run at a profit or you become insolvent.

                • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                  Mondragon Corp in Spain is not profit based.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Nonsense.

                    They haven’t survived since 1956 without paying attention to their results of operations.

                    I could hear the same kind of nonsense from the National Football League, in the documents that it filed to get a 501(c) exemption.

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      Paying attention to the results of the operations is not the same as keeping a portion of profit back due to paying your workers low, like Walmart does.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Stupid, just stupid.

    • DevotedCatholic

      Marc, i want to agree with you but i just don’t either! ooppss pardon my slip…i was just regurgitating back your lines with a ‘twist’. You have articulated your thoughts so well. It sounds so rational & precise. It smells of ‘economic efficiency & output’. This obviously contradicts the very essence of the Catholic lens this article is based on. Is it just a case of utilitarian v Kantian?

      Anyway, the bottom line, i seriously will take my ques from these ’50 Smartest People of Faith’ & nothing less. ref link http://www.thebestschools.org/blog/2013/01/06/50-smartest-people-faith/

      • Marc

        Taking direction from people who are wise and full of faith
        is a good idea. However, once your mind is fixed on something worth your attention, subject it to scrutiny. Use your God-given faculty of
        reason. I object to the statements in this article that suggest an
        ignorance of demonstrable economic truths. The field of economics makes certain positive statements that can be denied and ignored and supposedly legislated away, but we do so at our own peril. Some government intervention may be necessary and there are theories as to why this might be the case (market failure), but denying truth in an effort to solve inequality doesn’t make much sense. It bears mentioning that economics is a social science partially based on the examination and prediction of human behavior (praxeology), and so there is much room for informed disagreement since the human being cannot be reduced to an agent merely working to maximize utility. So let’s make sure we hold on to the truths in economic thought even if we recognize its limitations. Remember, if something is true, it’s Catholic.

        • DevotedCatholic

          Thank you for your speedy response. Indeed, scrutiny of information & the source of it is vital. Could not agree more with you on this. However, as a believer, there is a tendency to consult and/or sought expert views i.e economics, legal etc from those within the fold first & foremost. I guess discernment from a Catholic ‘value’ perspective plays a key component in these choices. Economics is a fact of life & best left to experts to unpack these as the case is with this article. The question lay people like me asks, why is it that there has been so many financial crisis? Is it due to this game of assumptions or even cooking the books as some may say? What i gathered the article emphasize, is the inclusion of the human element within the economic zero sum game.

          • Adam__Baum

            “economic zero sum game.”

            Economics is NOT about zero sum games.

            • DevotedCatholic

              If it isn’t than what is it? Why then in a game theory & economic theory that zero sum game is one of a rational “mathematical representation of a situation in which a participant’s gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s)”~Princeton University

              So in essence that Italian economist Pareto used similar lines of thoughts. Experts argued that it all had to do with the economics of allocation & distribution.

              • Adam__Baum

                There are”zero sum” games in game theory, and in some extremely limited situations actually describe the outcome of some process, however you said “the zero sum economic game” as though all transactions are zero sum. They are not.

                However, I will tell who does see ALL of economics as a “zero sum” game-money worshippers. To them, the money they exchanged for a loaf of broad isn’t a tool, but a god. They clutch it to their bosom and resent parting with it, they deform thrift and prudence into vices.

                • DevotedCatholic

                  For lay people economic promotes capitalism. It means ‘win or lose’ in the $$$ game. So there is mingling of ‘game theory & ‘economic theory’ hence the comment ‘zero economic game’. There is nothing wrong with coining a new label is it?.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Repeating the same grammatically disordered, incoherent nightmare three times just wastes bandwidth.

                    • DevotedCatholic

                      Please take some ‘chill-pills’ AB! This page does not allow one to edit or delete typo! Highly strung are you? Seriously, done with your ‘zero-sum’ debate.

                • DevotedCatholic

                  or lay people economic promotes capitalism. It means ‘win or lose’ in the $$$ game. So there is mingling of ‘game theory & ‘economic theory’ hence the comment ‘zero sum economic game’. There is nothing wrong with coining a new label is it?.

                • DevotedCatholic

                  For lay people economic promotes capitalism. It means ‘win or lose’ in the $$$ game. So there is mingling of ‘game theory & ‘economic theory’ hence the comment ‘zero sum economic game’. There is nothing wrong with coining a new label is it?.

          • Marc

            I think it is imperative that we ask why these things happen. I couldn’t agree more. Take the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the States. Banks were signing people up for mortgages they knew borrowers couldn’t afford, but they didn’t care. They didn’t care because the plan was to bundle those mortgages together and sell them immediately. There was a hungry market with willing buyers and so the risk of default was simply passed on. Buying and selling mortgages isn’t a problem. It is knowingly selling bad debt that is a problem, an ethical problem. Buying greedily to make a quick buck regarless of risk is a problem. Managers in businesses disregarding law and sound accounting practices is a problem. But these problems and the individuals who cause them are no more representative of the economic system than pedophilia and miscreant priests are representative of what it means to be a Catholic.

            • DevotedCatholic

              Marc, one would guess, it is the gaps created in these deals ‘by hook or by crook’ that brings in the $$$ or so i think.

    • Mark

      The word “fair” is never used in this article. Did you actually read it?

      • Marc

        Hey thanks. Fair isn’t there. And yes, I read the article. :-)

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I’m starting to think that the economic restructuring can’t happen, without first the internal and individual restructuring of human culture into a more moral system. Much like democracy itself, an economy based on solidarity and subsidiarity simply does not work without first having a moral foundation.

    • Adam__Baum

      So we now know you are capable of forming a coherent and lucid thought. Now the question is why are the rest paranoid rants.

      • TheodoreSeeber

        Because I can’t find a moral man anywhere in the free market.

        • Adam__Baum

          You couldn’t find one in a mirror, either.

          • TheodoreSeeber

            Oh, you are quite correct there! I can’t find the moral man in the mirror either!

            Which is the reason why capitalism doesn’t work and can’t work.

            • Mother-Earth1213

              Free market is a contemporary ills for developing nations. So very little moral-men to be found there. :)

              • Adam__Baum

                Most “developing nations” aren’t doing anything of the sort. They are stagnant or regressing, because they are unrestrained statist kleptocracies.

            • Adam__Baum

              It works every day, or have you completed the interface to that rope and pulley computer?

              • TheodoreSeeber

                Really? Then why are there people still starving, if capitalism works so well?

                • Adam__Baum

                  Unworthy of response.

                  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                    I’m sure to you, living in the halls of “Academic Freedom” with a sincure of a job, it is.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      I’m not an academic, and I don’t have a “sinecure”, but rather a job that requires me to confront reality. We all can’t be part of the state welfare complex, somebody has to actually pull the wagon.

                    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

                      I thought you said you were an Economist. There aren’t very many jobs in economics that I would consider to be confronting reality. Heck, software barely qualifies as confronting reality.

                      What is your physical product that you are creating to sell? If you don’t have a physical product- somebody else is pulling your wagon for you.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      I never said I was an economist. Just another episode in mouth wide open and ears shut. In microcosm, it explains much.

                      I see no point in reading past the extraneous and irrelevant comment about software.

  • Matt

    The ignorance of economic theory displayed in this article absolutely flabbergasts me. Wilhelm Ropke is rolling over in his grave for his name being misused to promote such sophism. Read Ropke’s actual work, and you will find it to be much more in tune with reality than this utter nonsense.

    • John200

      OK, silly me, I have read some “utter nonsense.” This is a misfortune, but only a small one. It seems you can sure it.

      But “Read Ropke’s actual work,…” is not as helpful as you think. Show your cards; you don’t need to hint at secrets.

      Perhaps you can get us more in tune with reality, and pour light on our ignorance, in your next comment?

      • Adam__Baum

        “is not as helpful as you think.”

        If you can’t or won’t, buy the Cliff Notes.

        • John200

          Hah! OK, got me there.

          I was hoping Matt would point out some economic ignorance so we could go to specifics. Looks like we wait some…

          • Adam__Baum

            Do your own homework.

            • John200

              Go find someone to right with…

              Consider every commenter on CrisisMag.

              Oh, I see, you are already doing it.

              Carry on.

              • Adam__Baum

                I don’t suffer fools or the lazy gladly, sorry.

                • John200

                  Of Ropke I know several essays and three books: A Humane Economy, the Economics of the Free Society, and John Zmirak’s bio of Ropke. I doubt that makes me a fool in your eyes, but I might be lazy.

                  Then I read Professor Krason’s article, which does not mention Ropke. Matt informs that the article is utter nonsense, basing this conclusion on Ropke, but does not offer a specific bone of contention.

                  Because Ropke’s thinking developed over his career, I wondered what point(s) Matt was talking about, with the aim of discussing it further with him.

                  Carry on.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Well, he apparently thinks it’s obvious.

                    • John200

                      Yes, that could be.

                      You know, regardless of our little exchange, he still has not said a word.

                      And Ropke wrote much more than I have read.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “he still has not said a word.”

                      Do you blame him? I don’t.

                      When I hear people discuss the dismal science, especially here, I’m reminded of the people that call the local college football coache’s call in show and offer something like this “Uh coach, do you think WE can get the tight end more involved crossing routes”?

                      It can’t ever be uttered, but you know the coach is thinking what’s this “we” stuff from a guy who never took a snap past high school?

                  • Mark

                    “Professor Krason did not mention Ropke”

                    Yes, he did, did you read the article?

                    • John200

                      Oops, that’s right. Thank you, he did use Ropke’s name, but made little of it, so I did not consider it important. I’ll edit.

  • Nasicacato

    Good article Dr. Krason. There seems to be a general agreement here in the comments that society needs to embrace the teachings of the Church in order to make the world more just economically. Thinkers such as Heinrich Pesch, Chesterton and many of our popes in the last 100+ years are doing just that: applying Church teaching to economics. Ergo, Mr. Baum, no need to have a cow.

    • Adam__Baum

      Society isn’t going to embrace anything. It’s a construct, it’s composed of people, of distinct individuals who shouldn’t be regarded as cogs in a machine to be manipulated to satisfy the people who think that they are capable of re-engineering everything.

      • Nasicacato

        Society is shorthand for “a critical mass of individuals in a culture” you are splitting hairs.

        • Adam__Baum

          No, it’s not splitting hairs. People aren’t fungible blocks and that’s important.

          For the sake of argument then, let’s see if we can get “society” to show up for Mass every week, stop contracepting and cohabitating before marriage, accept the teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman, not two men or a woman and a roller coaster before we try to get them to try to swallow a thirteen volume disquisition.

          If you’re worrying about some economic matters and no doing anything about putting butts-in-seats on Sunday (and out of the mall) then you have a serious problem of understanding your mission, which is to save souls, not re-engineer the marketplace.

          How many people do you think who work hard everyday read one of Seeber’s screeds that the only way any kind of prosperity is to lie, cheat and steal, say “wow” that’s a place that’s joyful and will help me on my journey?

          • Nasicacato

            I’m doing plenty of work putting butts-in-seats on Sunday, thank you. I’m not sure why you think that combating sexual libertinism and combating financial libertinism are mutually exclusive. The Church certainly doesn’t.

            • Adam__Baum

              What is “financial libertinism”? If you insist on talking in personal neologism that have no accepted meaning, then you are going to have to define them.

              One if the great things about actually knowing something about a field is recognizing people that evidence understanding by using common parlance, and acrimonious poseurs who concoct terms to give life to their indignities.

              • Nasicacato

                Ok Adam, I know it’s late, but I think you could figure out financial libertinism. It is an anything goes attitude relating to money making, just as sexual libertinism would be an anything goes attitude relating to sexuality. Although it is not in “common parlance” it is not quite a “personal neologism” as I did not make it up but have read it here and there. It is what those of us who are not “acrimonious poseurs” might refer to as a “ten dollar” word or phrase. Regarding your third paragraph, I am in total agreement.

                • Nasicacato

                  So…now that we have our definitions cleared up, why do you think they are mutually exclusive?

                  • Adam__Baum

                    I never said anything was mutually exclusive. Sexual morality is clearly degrading, and maintaining and encouraging it is a primary responsibility of saving souls. I could care less about issue vainglorious statements on the economy when the family is under attack.

                    • Nasicacato

                      OK, just looked up the James Bowman piece in the New Criterion. He seems to be saying what I’m saying: the erosion of sexual and financial morality may well be bound up with one another. He also didn’t bother to define “financial libertinism” because its pretty self evident. You have yet to offer any evidence that these statements are technically unsound, in fact you’ve worked pretty hard to dodge my arguments on the thread further down this page. Nebulous? Of course, and deliberately so. There is no top down, statist solution here. It has to be worked out at the grassroots. The family is under attack by the same statist, corporatist, liberal forces that are also hell bent on controlling us economically.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      I read it differently.

                • Adam__Baum

                  “I did not make it up but have read it here and there.”

                  Here and there? I “googled” it last night. Four (4) hits, and Five(5) this morning, thanks to this thread.

                  it was used by two individuals notably James Bowman. He used it quite differently from you in the New Criterion and his own website. You might want to read the rest of what he wrote.

                  So what is obvious, is you saw this isolated term, appropriated it and began using to describe something completely different than what the originator meant. It’s your personal neologism used to establish a strawman of “anything goes” that no free market advocate would ever promote or subscribe to-it’s not a free market when people lie, cheat and steal. Do people lie cheat and steal, of course, welcome to sin. But the existence of lying cheating and stealing free markets is no more invalidating of free markets as the natural state for human commerce than adultery is for the natural state for the expression of human sexuality.

  • Mother-Earth1213

    Seriously, someone should blow the whistle on A.B! This article has obviously challenged status quo. Period! Economist for far too long thought the world was at its finger-tips to manipulate. The ‘doctrine of assumptions’ have been proven wrong overtime. Classic example is articulated in this great article. A.B et al should just bite the bullet & accept the ‘winds of change’!

    • Adam__Baum

      You couldn’t be more wrong.

      “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little
      they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

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  • Tacitus

    A significant error of Fr.Pesch:he held that the German General Staff was justified in its aims in WWI to wage the war to obtain LEBENSRAUM.Do you know the word?In Ederer’s translation of Ethics and theNational Economie Pesch uses that very word,and does explicitly endorse the designs if the German General staff to obtain Lebensraum,or,in translation,”living room”.Any nation dominated by a protectionist regime finds it difficult to trade with other countries,as the subsidies given to producers with protective tariffs raise the costs of locally produced goods,and make such goods difficult to sell to foreigners.The tariffs are also imposed to the harm of the general citizenry in the protected country,as they make the protected goods costlier.If other countries find the goods costly,they will not trade,not buy the more expensive products.As Germany under the Kaiserreich had a very protectionist regime,Germany had a very difficult time with its foreign trade,and needed,from its own statist regime to go to war,so as to include new territories within its borders,and thus within its protectionist regime.Pesch was a statist par excellence,and held that governments could manipulate the whole of the economic order at will.More at another time on Pesch.However,to pass on to Rupert Edered.

    Ederer wrote that in his youth that he had wanted to become a priest,but that during a visit with his hero Father Coughlin at the shrine of the Little Flower he discovered that Fr.Coughlin, as other priests in that day, was under the discipline of their Bishops,and if they were to remain priests in good standing thay had to be obedient to their Bishops.Coughlin’s anti-Jew propaganda was silinced by his bishop.Ederer explicitly rejected that discipline,since he wanted to say whatever he wanted about “the Jews”,and not be silenced as Fr.Coughlin had been.One of Ederer’s major ways of calling the Austrian School of economics invalid was that it was “Jewish economics”.Ederer specifically declared thet the economcs of both Von Hayek and von Mises was JEWISH ECONOMICS,a very stupid charge,as Hayek was born and raised a Catholic.Mises was indeed a Jew.His magnum opus is significantly titled because Mises was a student of and an advocate of a phenomenological approach to social theory,and especially in economics.You will parhaps note that another significabt author of the 20th century wrote a book with a somewhat similar title.JPII.John Paul IISee Rocco Butiglione on the basis for the similarity in titles.They may or may not have agreed in many many matters,but they both were advocates of phenomenological personalism,call their systems what you may.But enough of my clarification of the positions of Pesch and Ederer,and some the genealogy of their ideas.Another day.Perhaps on Pesch,perhaps on Ederer.

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