Economics from Albion

It seems someone in England has read Adam Smith, and can explain with passion, logic, and conviction the basic truths of how the world works to those unacquainted to the world, to truth, or to logic. It is an astonishing and heartening performance. To hear common sense these days is as rare as hearing a Shakespearean sonnet.

The gentleman’s name is Daniel Hannan.

This is a shock and a surprise to me. I had thought the Socialists had castrated every brain in Europe, as well as lobotomized their manhood, and left their entire craven and neutered intellectual class unable to perform any higher mental functions aside from uttering stale ad hominem attacks.

If any socialist leaves a comment here, you will see what I mean. They cannot help themselves, since their philosophy requires first, that they respond as if intellectually superior, requires that they arrogate to themselves the moral high ground, yet robs them of any rational means to make an intellectual argument or support a moral position. So, logically, the only thing left to them is to PRETEND that they have some moral and mental superiority, and the only way to create that illusion is to indulge in ad hominem, that is, to honor themselves by dishonoring their opposition’s motives, character, intelligence, or background.

One would think they could use other illogical arguments to buttress their position, but keep in mind their position is as much an emotional security blanket to bandage their frail self-worth and smother their consciences more than it is an economic argument. The argument only has power to the socialist if it flatters their self-esteem, and nothing flatters the self esteem more than an excuse to indulge in envy and malice. How easy are all debates to the faithful socialist, since all his foes are illiterate devils!

About John C Wright

John C. Wright is a practicing philosopher, a retired attorney, newspaperman, and newspaper editor, and a published author of science fiction. Once a Houyhnhnm, he was expelled from the august ranks of purely rational beings when he fell in love; but retains an honorary title.
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6 Responses to Economics from Albion

  1. Bob McMaster says:

    If you were not heretofore acquainted with Daniel Hannan, you will be pleased to learn that he regards Shakespeare as one of the greatest writers (if not *the* greatest) of all time. As a result he will often quote him at length in his speeches. You should check out his YouTube channel; it has most of his speeches to the European parliament which are almost universally magnificent.

  2. John's Web Support says:

    Test comment. Please ignore.

  3. fabulous_mrs_f says:

    I may need to look him up on YouTube; he’s a fantastic speaker.

  4. Stu says:

    Not only did I enjoy the speech, but I am envious of the speaking/debate club venue they are enjoying.

  5. Dirigibletrance says:

    There is a certain amusing irony in the fact that bankers (who are economists and financiers and know how the economy really works, and should know better) would be the ones to suggest something like this. Indeed, to clamor for it and tell us all that it was the only recourse to avoid total disaster.

    But then again, we forgot Jefferson’s warning about bankers long ago.

    • Tom Simon says:

      Don’t forget the Desmond Glazebrooks of the world.

      For those not in the know, Desmond Glazebrook was the managing director of a bank in the incomparable Yes, Minister (played by the incomparable Richard Vernon, better known in SF circles as Slartibartfast). In one episode, Glazebrook is angling for a plum job on a quango, a government-appointed regulatory board. Sir Humphrey Appleby suggests a whole range of quangos that Glazebrook could apply for. ‘I’m afraid I know very little about any of those,’ says Glazebrook.

      ‘My dear chap,’ says Sir Humphrey, ‘what do you know about?’

      ‘Nothing. I’m a banker.’

      In another episode, Glazebrook turns up with a copy of the Financial Times tucked under his arm, but cheerfully admits he doesn’t understand it: ‘It’s part of the uniform,’ he says. ‘It took me thirty years to understand Keynes’ economics. Then, when I’d just cottoned on, everyone started getting hooked on these new monetarist ideas — you know, I Want to Be Free by Milton Schuman.’

      ‘Milton Friedman,’ Sir Humphrey corrects him.

      ‘Why are they all called Milton? Anyway, I’ve only got as far as Milton Keynes.’

      ‘Maynard Keynes,’ says Sir Humphrey.

      ‘I’m sure there’s a Milton Keynes,’ says Glazebrook.

      This is, to be sure, a parody, but there are plenty of incompetents in banking, who were promoted to high positions not because they knew anything, but because they looked plausible and excelled at office politics. And those people, ignorant as they may be of Milton Schuman or Milton Keynes, do know one thing: when they get into billions of dollars’ worth of trouble, they aren’t going to get out again by their own efforts. They need bailing out — and the public interest be damned.

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