On the value of the hereditary principle in politics

Jesse Jackson Jr:

Clearly needs to brush up on his \”creative destruction\” stuff.

13 thoughts on “On the value of the hereditary principle in politics”

  1. At least the States doesn’t seem to enjoy the hereditary principle in journalism to go with it.

  2. Murray Rothbard demonstrated rather convincingly that one of the great errors in Anglosphere thinking arises from the overwhelming, if rarely stated, influence of Calvinism and its disastrous work ethic on our worldview; Adam Smith (Calvinist) then Ricardo and ultimately Marx assumed a labour theory of value, and that labour theory is endemic to our philosophy.

    Hence, we see the purpose of the economy as being to provide “work” and “jobs” and “employment” rather than as to create value in goods and services. As with this dipstick in yer video.

  3. Murray Rothbard? Interesting, but his anarcho-capitalism is ultimately unconvincing. Libertarianism admits of degree…

  4. Yes I agree, an-cap is a kind of nice thought experiment but not plausible certinaly in any conceivable near future. He’s much much better as a pure economist and as a historian. There’s nobody else who comes close to synthesising economics and history from a free market and individualist perspective.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of libertarians, particularly those on the consevrative side of things, intensely dislike his historical work; I suspect because it supplies answers they don’t want, particularly in his observation, which seems to me to be correct, that many of the presumed virtues of Protestantism (such as the work ethic) are actually what have led to the collapse of liberalism in the anglo nations.

    In particular he shows beyond so far as I can see reasonable doubt that there was a long history of proto-subjectivist economics in Christendom- prototypical marginal utility, supply and demand, etc understandings of value- that were swept away by the unfortunate triumph of the tepid free marketeer and (predictably) Calvinist Adam Smith. Even Smith himself had, as a younger man, discussed subjectivist value, before returning as he aged to his dour Scottish religious roots and plumping for the Labour Theory in the confused mess of The Wealth Of Nations.

  5. Ian B,

    dunno whether Calvinism really comes into it. The problem is much less one of wanting to work hard, and much more one of not wanting to retrain to something profitable once someone finds a way to do your old job more cheaply than you ever could.

  6. Ian B — Big themes there, and I can see that Rothbard’s case against Calvinism might be plausible. But the ascription of causation in history is fraught with difficulties: mono-causal historical explanations are often implausible, and yet it is very difficult to weight particular causes in multi-causal explanations…

  7. The Pedant-General

    Have had this on my watch list for a few days and only got round to it today.

    What a doozy…

    The really frightening thing is that the collected wisdom that is the members of congress (/sarc) is not rolling in the aisles at this abject nonsense. From this I conclude that few if any of them are able – in a single sentence as Ian does with his reference to Gutenberg – to refute this line of thinking.

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