November 8, 2012
Obama's Election Seals Our FateBy Monty Pelerin
The Obama re-election dooms the country. It ensures that his philosophy will be imposed for another four years.
His election ensures the continuing shift away from the Rule of Law, property rights, free men, and free markets. Obama's vision of how the world works ensures a dire economy until an economic collapse resets everything. The rest of the world, apparently bigger Obama supporters than U.S. voters, will not be immune from the consequences.
The Fundamentals of Progress
Peace and progress are the children of freedom. The wealth of nations was explained more than two hundred years ago by Adam Smith. Property rights and markets coordinate behavior in a manner that all are made better off by the pursuit of self-interest.
President Obama's view of the world is in contradiction to anything that has ever succeeded. He believes that elites should manage and direct people's lives. This fatal conceit, as Friedrich Hayek referred to it, produces failure and misery wherever it is tried.
Ludwig von Mises pointed out that the progress of the West was achieved on a simple idea:
The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state.
Civilization advanced and prospered on a foundation of private property, defined rights, free men, free markets, and the Rule of Law. Obama's view is hostile to these pillars of progress despite the lack of evidence of progress for any country that has not adhered to these principles.
There is no evidence of any country which has abandoned these principles ever being able to return to them without major upheaval. Mises observed:
Political ideas that have dominated the public mind for decades cannot be refuted through rational arguments. They must run their course in life and cannot collapse otherwise than in great catastrophe...
The recent election was a prime example of how ratiocination cannot combat ideology. The masses are unable or unwilling to process complex argument in logical fashion. As a result, we reelected a man who does not believe in American values or the principles necessary for progress and well-being. His re-election occurred despite the worst record of domestic and foreign policy outcomes of anyone in the last seven decades.
Where We Are Headed
The United States and Europe have abandoned the fundamentals necessary for progress. Both are hopelessly committed to the failed ideas of Socialism. Both are headed for great catastrophe. The catastrophe extends beyond economic well-being and touches the foundations of society and civilization itself.
We are headed into an economic dark age, where standards of living will continue to decline and may collapse. Societies and civilizations will also regress.
Voluntary cooperation is being replaced by coercion and division. Segments of society are set off against each other. Civilization is regressing toward a Hobbesian outcome:
Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.
Western civilization, once the shining city on the hill, has been tarnished. Western countries have abandoned the principles that made them great and have lost much of their luster. The world may soon be without this beacon of freedom and success.
The Meaning of Obama's Election
Regarding the specifics of Obama's reelection, these comments from a perceptive reader, Syrin, are reasonable:
Where Does This Go?
The mathematics of the debt situation were intractable before the election. Someone truly committed to solving this problem would likely fail because the debt burden has become so large. That assumption will not be tested, because the man elected has no intention of dealing with the issue.
A collapse is now inevitable. Spending will not shrink. Deficits will rise. Taxes will rise. Economic activity will fall. The debt death spiral will strangle economic activity, and ultimately the economy will implode. Societies themselves will likely be sucked into the abyss.
Obama had no viable economic plan for the last four years, and he is still without one. There has been no progress economically. Instead, we are $5 trillion worse off, with nothing to show for it. His spending will continue for the next four years. It is all that he knows.
This election accelerated our spiral toward collapse. Higher spending and more Federal Reserve money-creation will not alter the destination. We are now on the superhighway to ruin. The destination is known; only the estimated time of arrival is not.
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