The Courageous State

My word, this book is going to be interesting, isn\’t it?

The Courageous State, among other things, will:

Support the broader goals of family, community and society and the achievement of purpose through identity;

It\’s not quite Kinde, Kuche und Kirchen but I can\’t be the only person to find something vaguely fascist about it can I?

This is even better:

I realised how absurd conventional economics was during my first year as a university undergraduate. Being asked to believe in the myth of neoclassical economics was a demand too much for me,

He really is trying to overturn the entirety of neo-classical economics. Not just neo-liberal you understand, but neo-classical. Marshall, Pigou, Samuelson, Friedman, Keynes, all a bunch of know nothings, here is the true and valid path unknown to all of them.

It\’s just going to be fascinating.

54 thoughts on “The Courageous State”

  1. “First that neoliberalism has given us feeble politicians who think anything they do will be worse than the market outcome, so they do nothing”

    This confirms my belief that RM is living in an alternate reality to the one I inhabit.

    Maybe I could pop over to his reality and see what free markets really look like and he can come to mine where government ‘tinkering’ is wreaking havoc across Europe.

  2. “First that neoliberalism has given us feeble politicians who think anything they do will be worse than the market outcome, so they do nothing”

    Wasn’t he a politician?

  3. “the achievement of purpose through identity”: personally, I’d prefer the achievement of identity through purpose, but to each his own.

  4. Perhaps I needed to withstand the abuse of so many (mainly from the right wing extremes of the economic blogosphere) for so long before taking the risk of putting forward the ideas contained in this book. What I do know is that the time for an alternative has arrived, and I can wait no longer.

    Good God, man, you’re publishing a book, not leading a slave army into Italy.

  5. Playground sniping.

    You lot can’t even acknowledge that the situation for the majority of people is steadily getting worse as a direct result of the last few decades of right wing economics.

    Yet the Worstall gets SO much wrong with its nonsense pretence at understanding how real people actually work and live, as opposed to theoretical posturing.

    Just saying he’s wrong, or that doesn’t fit in with what I’ve been taught, is not an argument.

    The economy is shit now, why not some fresh ideas? As opposed to just pointing at an old book and saying “look”. That’s what’s been happening, and it isn’t working…

    …unless you’re rich, blind or mad.

  6. a direct result of the last few decades of right wing economics.

    Sorry, which bunch of clowns were ruining the economy between 1997 and 2010?

    I think that was the Labour party and, whatever you think of their non-existent liberalism, they were faithfully applying the traditional lefty economic policy of throwing large heaps of borrowed money at their client voters.

    Unfortunately, I expect enough people believe your trope that we are unlikely to have long enough in the hell of right wing economics to get through the pain to the benefits.

  7. ‘the situation for the majority of people is steadily getting worse as a direct result of the last few decades of right wing economics’

    Whatever about how we define ‘right wing’ economics, I too am baffled by how anyone (even Arnald) could believe that most people would be better off living 30 or so years go than they are now.

    The veritable panoply of figures purporting to prove that middle-class incomes have declined over the past thirty years can’t overcome the fact that no one in their right mind wakes up in the morning and wishes it was still 1979, with the unreliable cars, cold houses, dearth of good food, bad tv, conspicuous lack of iPads, virtually no foreign holidays and a shorter lifespan.

    I suppose reliving all this might be worth it for Mr Murphy though, so long as he could bring about ‘strength through joy’, or ‘purpose through identity’. Which one was it again?

  8. Ritchie is just like the “climate change” loonies.

    The justification – anthropogenic global warming or vague slogans like “family, community and society” – might be different, but the agenda is always the same: tax, redistribute, control.

    The State is a kind of religion for these authoritarian personalities.

  9. If, as Arnald posits:

    ‘that the situation for the majority of people is steadily getting worse as a direct result of the last few decades of right wing economics’

    How come the previous government instituionalised political correctness, and increased government expenditure by a factor of three? – quite ‘right wing’ policies I’m sure he would agree.

    Furthermore, any analysis of the standard of living from, say 1971 or 1961 in comparison with 2011 will reveal hugely increased quality of life, as measured by life expectancy (for example) for every decile within society. What has increased, undoubtedly, is income differentials – but that is the price of having a free market economy.

    I’m all for some fresh ideas, but what I get from Murphy could quite easily have been transposed from the wirtings of communist fellow travellers throughout the 1950’s , 1960’s and 1970’s – it’s basically a recreation of the Soviet Union, or to be charitable, Tony Benn’s ‘siege economy’ of the 1970’s, and in a globalised world has really almost zero relevance. Murphy’s notorious unwillingness to allow any critical comments on his blog, his total failure to engage in any debate with people who do not share his opinion (witness the comments regarding ‘right wing extremes – apparently unreconstructed communist beliefs – extreme Left wing is acceptable) means that the book probably has as much relevance as a trawl through the KCNA website.

  10. “Sorry, which bunch of clowns were ruining the economy between 1997 and 2010?”

    I had no idea that left-wing economics extended to what Blair/Brown were about. Complain about the application of the results from following failed economic dogma all you like, but have the intelligence to understand what fucking application means. Just like all of you.

    It has been a right-wing ideology that has been ruining the social landscape, not some pitiful and stupid men who listen to the same garbage you praise.

    They have done exactly what neolib bollocks predicated. And this is where we are.

    Blaming that on anything but laisser faire is fucking outrageous.

    “Living better off” Implies that society can evolve for the better without adhering to your mentally deficient theories. Of course, the grounding of a ‘science’ is the practical observance and codification of cause and effect. But it does not apply to the real world as it does mathematically.

    It’s not rocket science, after all.

    Economics is not politics. But that’s what we’ve got.

    What Murphy is attempting is to veer away from your dogmatic, religious approach to a more human one.

    I do not recognise the human condition (apart from the comments about washing cats and other shit) in anything any of you right. Just pure academic blathering on subjects that need social insight.

    Look at everybody’s least favourite trader in rare earth metals’ idea about how the US health system is better than the NHS.

    Fucking toss on every level.

    You lot are deluded, unoriginal, and unable to understand what ‘progress’ means.

  11. Van Patten,
    Show me extreme left communist posts on his blog.

    Show me where Murphy does not believe in the Market?

    Are you all fucking blind?

  12. “What has increased, undoubtedly, is income differentials – but that is the price of having a free market economy.”

    And this s classic.

    So you do not deny the differential, but are you telling me there is no impact on perpetrating this injustice?

    Blind, wilfully.

  13. The only reason to go back to the 70’s would be for the music.

    The problem with Murphy attacking neo-classical/neo-liberal/capitalist/free-market economics is that he doesn’t.

    The sad point is that we don’t live in a free-market liberal economy that supporters of this blog would like to. There is to much bad regulation and intervention and too high a degree of cronyism (any degree is too high). Murphy then attributes all the problems caused by these factors as reasons why the economics isn’t sound. Therefore he then back-fills his economics to suit what he wants to ‘prove’ a la Marx. Complete idiot.

    Arnald – If you want to know how ‘real people actually work and live’ then you can either take the minute or two to work it out or I’ll tell you know. Everything that real people do is to enable one of the following – Eating, drinking, fucking and staying comfortable (warm, pain free, mentally sane). Perhaps there are the few who really love their jobs and you could add that in there but I can’t imagine there are that many people who in exchange for their dream job would happily live on their own on the street with nothing to eat or drink or fuck.

  14. Anyone who believes there are such things as ‘left wing economics’ or right-wing economics’ does not have the privilege to comment on economics.

    Economics is not about the outcomes that you want be they right or left leaning. It is about understanding the tools to achieve our desired outcomes.

  15. @Arnald

    “Show me where Murphy does not believe in the Market?” – I direct you to the name of his book. It’s a bit of a give-away. If he’d written a book called the Humble State you might have a point here.

    As for income differentials, do we really need to point out again that you can have differences while still raising absolute quality of life for everyone? Without injustice?

    As for Labour’s policies, where on the spectrum do you put ‘tax and spend’ then?

  16. Look at everybody’s least favourite trader in rare earth metals’ idea about how the US health system is better than the NHS.

    No, that would be “one reason why is the US health system expensive”. Having the equipment and specialists around with the free time to take short-notice patients costs more than having a longer rationing period. This is not specific to health services – spare capacity costs.

    You lot are deluded, unoriginal, and unable to understand what ‘progress’ means.

    In 1979, there were something like 26 countries professing themselves “Communist”. Now there are 5 – and China, Cuba and Vietnam are all moving away from the Marxist economic model, however tyrannical their political systems remain. Smells like progress to me.

  17. Are you really stupid, Evil?

    Every poster underneath no one’s favourite twat’s post has said they got rapid emergency service from the NHS. It makes Worstall look like a peen.

    What the fuck has communism got to do with anything?

    Niels”

    As for income differentials, do we really need to point out again that you can have differences while still raising absolute quality of life for everyone? Without injustice?”

    What like now? Or maybe 300 years ago. Or at any time? What are you like. Just people *own* more stuff doesn’t mean their quality of life is better.

    It’s things like the NHS and free education that have done that, not differentials.

    Jesus fucking wept.

  18. Why does the market have to exist without the State?

    Where are you getting this theory from?

    You can rightly moan at an inept state, but the market can, and is often uniquely damagingly inept.

    See financial crises.

    Markets are anathema to democracy. Only the few companies that end up controlling the markets can win that game.

    Or do you really believe that cannot and is not happening?

    Libertarians really cannot see their arse nor their elbows, let alone recognise the difference. Too busy calling everyone else names.

  19. I think anyone who has wasted a small part of their life reading his aborted revolutionary new economic theory on “Enough Economics” will know what’s coming, and how delusional it’s going to be.

  20. Arnald – NHS death rates following emergency surgery are four times what they are in the US

    The NHS delivers some of the worst health care in the developed world.
    Unfortunately and inexplicably some people still regard it as a religion and will not tolerate criticism. So nothing gets done and thousands of people needlessly die.

  21. @ Arnald
    The situation for the poor in the UK has got worse thanks to Gordon Brown. Under every previous government (even Wilson) where there is available data the poor in aggregate ended up better off, both absolutely and relatively, when the government left office than when it started. New Labour changed that.
    And the reason was Brown’s left wing policies, not Thatcher’s right-wing ones that made the “poor” richer.

  22. RM moaning about abuse is a bit rich, isn’t it (no pun intended). How about the rudeness and discourtesy he dishes out daily to people who have the courage to say they don’t agree with him?

  23. @Hugo

    That blog is quite remarkable. Proof of his ignorance. He is a fucking idiot. Anyone who bases any economic idea on what he says should read that. He claims that when being taught economics at uni it was a load of rubbish and that is didn’t take into account the constraints of living. Did he miss the lectures on PPF’s (although that’s AS-level)? Perhaps he bunked those dealing with Lagrange after a heavy night in the union bar.

    This man is dangerous. He produces a well read blog supposedly dealing with economic issues and he is either making stuff up for his own benefit or is genuinely stupid .

  24. @ Frances Coppola
    That is only when he can pretend to have an answer: he just suppresses those posts that he cannot pretend to answer.
    In the dim, distant, days of my youth when the way to increase income was capital investment to enable workers to produce more with less effort, my school encouraged boys who were quite good at maths but deemed not bright enough to go to university to become accountants. Murphy went to a third-class university to become an accountant and thinks that he has a better understanding of economics than Keynes etc and that the way to increase income is for the state to confiscate it and waste chunks of it before passing it on to someone else, so that you produce less with more effort.

  25. Arnald,

    You can rightly moan at an inept state, but the market can, and is often uniquely damagingly inept.

    See financial crises.

    The free market was about to do what it’s supposed to do to bad companies, when government stepped in and bailed them out (in order to prop up the illusory wealth of the housing market). Bailing out failing companies isn’t free market.

  26. Arnald

    I’d advise you to calm down, a la Cameron’s riposte to Angela Eagle, only for fear it would inflame your somewhat (on this evidence) fiery temper.

    In terms of the context of what you quote – what I was saying is that Murphy seems to deride any right wing viewpoint as ‘extreme’ whilst happy for all manner of delusional Leftists (including some whose philospohies garnered from the few comments he permits on his blog I can only describe as ultra left verging on Communist) to spout nonsense.

    In terms of income differentials, barring probably maybe five countries (Norway, Germany, Finland, Denmark, possibly Sweden) I can see no evidence that the beliefs you seem to posit (what I can make of them amidst the insults) would work for the UK. It’s commonplace for people like Toynbee to quote the above countries as ‘exemplars’ for the Uk to emulate whilst ignoring the enormous differences that exist between them, not least in terms of racial homogeniety and, Germany excepted, much smaller populations. Indeed if Murphy was advocating a corporatist model along German lines, I might find him at least worth reading, but the German Union Leaders at least appear to have a basic, not to mention a historic understanding of the need to raise productivity to increase wages. Bob Crow would be considered there a dangerous lunatic, which he of course is.

    What we have had is more a form of ‘crony capitalism’ than a Laissez-faire economic system. However, despite the issues (and I acknowledge inequality does have some problems, certainly) the alternative Murphy appears to propose, which is basically the stealth nationalisation of the economy is a recipe for disaster. If recognising the defects of his theory is being ‘wilfully blind’ I’d plead guilty as charged.

    If you could avoid peppering your response with various expletives thaat would be appreciated – as I have often been told, ‘courtesy costs nothing’

  27. I’m sure you all know that Arnald is actually Richard Murphy, hiding behind a fake name. How do I know? Google it and you will find the connection if you try look deep enough.

    Tim adds: No. We’ve had a commenter here who actually knows who Arnald is in real life. Not he same person as R Murphy.

    There’s enough to go on with either or both of them not to have to make up stuff.

  28. “the achievement of purpose through identity”: personally, I’d prefer the achievement of identity through purpose, but to each his own.

    Not in the Courageous State looking at that link in the OP. More a case of to each what the State allows.

  29. “Just people *own* more stuff doesn’t mean their quality of life is better.

    It’s things like the NHS and free education that have done that, not differentials.”

    This very interesting Arnald. You appear to be implying that merely giving poor people more money does not necessarily improve their quality of life, and that we should take into account the free goods and services the State provides, when calculating this quality of life.

    This rather runs contrary to everything the Left has strived for over the last 100 years – the confiscation of monetary wealth from the ‘rich’ and the giving of it to the poor (redistribution), in order to improve their quality of life. More money has always been seen as ‘better’.

    Do you feel that we have reached the end of road with regards to redistribution of wealth? That we should aim our efforts at more improving more intangible factors that improve quality of life?

    Please expand.

  30. John77

    He starts with insults when he has no response to an argument. If you stay on board and continue to provide evidence undermining his claims then he suppresses the post and blocks further comments. I speak from experience.

    Van Patten

    “…the alternative Murphy appears to propose, which is basically the stealth nationalisation of the economy, is a recipe for disaster.”

    Nothing stealth about it. He’s openly advocated nationalising all the banks without compensation to shareholders and has drawn up outline proposals for a fully nationalised banking system. If the banking system is fully nationalised then the economy is, pretty much.

  31. Frances Coppola

    – absolutely agree re: the banking sector – so far I haven’t seen specific proposals to nationalise other sectors but agree given the primacy of finance in the current economy that’d be the likely result.

  32. @ Frances Coppola
    Speaking from experience, Murphy suppresses comments that demonstrate total stupidity in his original post without even trying to answer them (I sent Tim an example last month because it amused me and, predictably Murphy suppressed it). Murphy has published some of my comments, but only when he has thought of a misleading or lying response and blocked fllow-ups showing that he is wrong

  33. Wow. I’ve just read all the posts on that blog. I think the key quote is this:

    “When I was 19 I realised that a graph like this could never explain the complexity of the world in which I lived.”

    In these words lie the all arrogance and incomprehension of The Murph which have followed him through life. The diagrams he puts forward as replacements have to be seen to be believed. This is a favourite:

    http://enougheconomics.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/plotting-people/

    These are juvenile scribblings of stupefying banality, relating to neither life nor economics. I can imagine the spotty, sneering 19 year old Murphy jotting them down at the back of class now.

    He expects people to give him £16.99 for this drivel? New economics indeed.

  34. Pingback: FCAblog » Quote of the day: modern life isn’t rubbish

  35. I wonder if Murphy might be persuaded for his next project to knock up a book that explains how to reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics and recalls when he first saw the Higgs Bosun atop a fried egg while eating a full English breakfast in a Torquay hotel.

  36. These are juvenile scribblings of stupefying banality, relating to neither life nor economics. I can imagine the spotty, sneering 19 year old Murphy jotting them down at the back of class now.

    Word.

  37. “These are juvenile scribblings of stupefying banality”

    Aye, and you have to love the way “people come first”, but anyone who wants a lifestyle that doesn’t fit his silly graphs must be wrong. Because ‘Balance is best’. Although, since he has no scales on his graphs (has the man never seen a spider graph?), and I don’t know how you compare materialistic satisfaction units to whatever you use to measure ‘Purpose’, balance has no practical meaning.

  38. And this is a classic:

    “The axes are deliberately diagonal: I hated the idea that we might be back on the conventional economist’s graph already. We’re not. Each of these quadrants has equal positive value for example, but by using horizontal and vertical axes this might not be obvious.”

    Wha? ‘Conventional’ graph axes are only set up that way to make it easier to read. Rebel without a clue.

  39. Chris Snowdon

    Murphy may call that economics but it’s nothing of the kind. It belongs firmly in the realm of psychology. Evidently Murphy has never studied Maslow or any of the subsequent work on human needs – or alternatively, he may have decided that’s all useless rubbish too. Whichever is true, it seems he doesn’t know much about this either.

  40. “It’s not quite Kinde, Kuche und Kirchen but I can’t be the only person to find something vaguely fascist about it can I?”

    Well, if you define supporting families and community as Fascist, then that sounds like the Tories since 79 – isn’t this what that woman was always banging on about? Isn’t this the hear of the Big Society- improving communities and society?

    “faithfully applying the traditional lefty economic policy of throwing large heaps of borrowed money at their client voters.”

    Well they did throw money at their clients – though the banks and stock exchange are not normally considered ‘lefty’. Blair won Murdoch’s support by promising to be ‘New Thatcher’, continuing her policy of “Living on Thin Air”, the belief you can make do with just a service sector.

    Given that posters are linking GW with the current financial problems lets us understand exactly the level of denialism going on. If a study financed by the Koch brothers manages to agree with the 97% who are shouting GW is real, isn’t it time for you to either a) Shut up and take note, b) provide some solid research that can’t be debunked supporting your claims?

  41. @ ExTax Collector
    Try reading the whole of Murphy’s advert before criticising Tim.
    As to Global Warming – I have for years been pointing out that if we burn 180 billion tonnes of coal, as we have done over the last 40 years, it’s going to warm things up. However, I can notice that global warming and cooling cycles are more important, so that while using energy more efficiently (or less, when that is an acceptable option) is to be encouraged, it won’t be enough to prevent solar-induced global warming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *