Timmy elsewhere

Monbiot’s piece was always going to get a raspberry from me. The question was, where? Turns out to be CapX:

As one of the few people to self-refer as a “neoliberal”, along with my colleagues at the Adam Smith Institute, I take umbrage at George Monbiot’s denunciation of neoliberalism and all who sail in her. It’s not simply because he disagrees with me and mine. No, the umbrage comes from Monbiot’s entire and total ignorance of what to be liberal, neo- or not, actually means.
….
But markets are the method by which human beings cooperate. If I grow apples which you make into cider, we are cooperating in that boon to mankind, enabling people to get drunk.

Competition is the relatively unimportant part of that market system: comprising the selection of who we will cooperate with. Perhaps I compete with other farmers, with other orchards, for your custom in selecting those apples. But the aim of the whole thing is still that cooperation in enabling drunkenness.

15 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The Constitution of Liberty is probably the greatest book I have ever read. It crystallised a large part of my worldview. Sadly I lent my copy many years ago and never got it back. It might be time to reacquire it. It’s not surprising Mongbat read Hayek wrong. For a start, he’s pretty dim, but he’s also the sort of Eeyorish misanthropist that can’t conceive of positive-sum outcomes. He basically doesn’t like people very much.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    But the aim of the whole thing is still that cooperation in enabling drunkenness

    I am not sure that is the best example to give. After all, the Soviets proved that you do not need markets for people to get together to enable drunkenness. On the contrary, in fact, the lack of markets seems to have done a lot to encourage it.

  3. “the Soviets proved that you do not need markets for people to get together to enable drunkenness.”

    I think they did, I seem to remember some Soviet soldiers selling their tank for a case of vodka. If that is not a market in drunkenness, I don’t know what is.

  4. Drunkenness was either a badly or a very well chosen choice. Modern Guardianistas frown very heavily on drunkenness, Tim. These are the days where more than three pints is a “binge”.

    As for getting drunk on cider…they must have shuddered with rage.

  5. but he’s also the sort of Eeyorish misanthropist that can’t conceive of positive-sum outcomes. He basically doesn’t like people very much.

    This in spades. I get this impression with Humanists (I’m not saying he is one) that they like humans in the abstract but dislike actual humans in reality.

  6. Actually, I would have thought the object (an entirely laudable one) was not the facilitation of drunkenness, but the provision of a beverage that is an agreeable accompaniment to meals and a social lubricant. Intoxication is the abuse of the product.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    David Moore – “I think they did, I seem to remember some Soviet soldiers selling their tank for a case of vodka. If that is not a market in drunkenness, I don’t know what is.”

    In Czechoslovakia. Allegedly. But that was a result of the government not selling them enough alcohol. Markets rise in response. The Soviets tried three times to limit alcohol. When they first came to power they tried to ban alcohol all together. It failed. They needed the revenue. Andropov tried a second time. He failed. Gorbachev tried again.

    However in between those periods, the Soviet government relied heavily on alcohol revenue. So they produced a lot of alcohol. Without a real market. It can be done. The Russians were supposed to drink half a bottle of vodka per person – *per*day*. It clearly worked well.

  8. There are some commentators for whom the designation “dickhead” is a valid characterisation, not an insult, Moonbat being one of them.

  9. Indeed Gamecok, and for many centuries it was the best way of drinking water that wasn’t contaminated with nasty stuff.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Gamecock – “Civilization began when Man discovered he could make beer.”

    Civilization is still highly correlated with men who make beer.

    See Saudi Arabia for instance.

  11. This is the type of Timmy Elsewhere I like to see.

    We have to recall that for a largish segment of human history the most advanced western areas were Muslim. Granted the drunken Europeans eventually pissed on their civilization but they did have one.

  12. It’s largely ‘modern’ (Wahhabi) Islam that rigorously forbids any alcohol (an Arabic word, of course) – cf. Omar Khayyam and his ‘jug of wine’. Some serious Islamic scholars have argued that the Koranic ban (the book itself is somewhat contradictory, like many holy books) only applies to distilled spirits or perhaps being ‘drunk’. Apart from anything else, beer and wine were the only safe liquids to drink for much of human history.

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