Basic Economics. Probably the cornerstone of western civilisation in many respects these days, as to follow one’s own path requires a person to deal with it.
If during your trip to the shop you paid too much or too little, someone has probably committed a crime. So, we know, when we go to the shop to pay the exact amount the particular item we needed or wanted is worth – including the perception of what it’s worth.
This is why it’s called BASIC economics. In fact this is merely the starting point of basic economics. Hint: the rest of the subject is just as basic.
It is unfortunate therefore that so many people cannot understand why paying nothing for something intrinsically devalues that particular item of value. In fact it also devalues all of the work that goes into making it. All of the labor and creativity – fundamentally worthless.
If one were to start in a capitalist society, it might well take years – even decades – to devalue the item in question, however in the end the outcome is fixed.
This is the basic problem with the Soviet Economy, there was only one time a particular good was worth something – when it was hard to get. So, it became a game for people in power to withhold goods and services knowing they could dole them out piecemeal in order to raise their value. Everything was valueless unless there was a shortage. (This is a simplified explanation).
In basic terms this means that people stop caring if they are producing a reasonable quality of the good or service or not.
The realisation of this, is at least part of the reason for the Chinese Socialist government to embrace open market trading of stocks, in order to produce economic strength through these shortages and produce more growth overall.
At present they want the free market growth, but not the risk – and at some point they will either need to decide to run with it and take the risk or lose the growth by hampering the markets through their overabundance of regulation.
The Chinese market has just left a period of fluctuation, the reason for this was the regulation on the kinds of companies people are allowed to invest in. Occasionally the government deregulates part of their economy. This creates a huge amount of speculation on the market which then normalises after a year or so. Every time it happens everyone thinks the economy is crashing, and indeed, the belief that it is could bring it about if they aren’t careful.
This is a far cry from the theories of Frederick Engels “Formula for Capital”. Where Engels espouses his Marxist philosophical ideals in full and devalues investment in everything and anything – including the individual.
This is how a chimney sweep gets paid the same as a Doctor or a Sailor, this is a good thing in his views because time is worth the same for everyone, and therefore the output derived from a persons’ time is worth the same. The flaws here are numerous and obvious even to the casual observer. Where does the Doctor get recompense for his time spent in University? Where does the sailor get paid for the risks of the seas ?
Unfortunately, this is not a question to be asked these days.
Today, the Marxism Conference starts in Melbourne (I pause to laugh as tickets are on sale for the event) to be hosted by the University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts.
I have to wonder at where it all went wrong for western society, as thoughtful questioning human beings seem to be more and more rare. I can only surmise that we have allowed so many of the pillars of society to be pulled down, that it has created a social and political vacuum that is being filled by the loudest voices. No matter how distraught, unintelligible or downright intellectually dishonest.
Attempting to fix the problem seems to be a struggle in itself of epic proportions. Everyone wants to change things, but nobody wants to change as per usual.
To be honest, the system is far too far gone for even a Trump to really change things for the better. He’d have to get in and rip the still beating heart out of the university system and feminism both (I will lay odds that guy came from a single mother household – his contempt for an actual rational perspective and for other men speaks to his barely concealed femininity.)
In order to fix the problem we have to study a time when the problem didn’t exist or where there were enough checks and balances that the problem was manageable.
We’ve torn down men, the church, rational political discourse and objectivity.
If unsure of your identity when you’re young, you often find yourself just following the crowd. This unsure person has their identity seated in their own ego, an ego so weak that it can’t even self-define. It has to look for constant third party validation.
Once upon a time, a young person could count on a Father to provide this role, failing this, the Church, Academia, the Army or even rational Political Discourse – all of these bodies could pose the questions to give oneself pause to reflect on basic questions of right and wrong. These bodies could also be relied upon to provide reasoning for and an authoritative stand for moral and ethical values that anybody could aspire to.
Taking a good look around the only one that still seems to offer is the Armed Forces – and then only if you’re willing to fight side by side with women who – so obviously – are going to put you at greater risk. And you’re willing to die when commanded to, by people who frankly should be far below you on the pecking order.
So what is filling this vacuum?
Every baldfaced lie and bad idea we, the human race, has ever come up with and over a period of time (sometimes hundreds of years) discarded.
I don’t see any amount of Trump-ism fixing the real problem without first removing it from our institutions root and branch.
But, then, replace it with what?
Nature abhors a vacuum.