Another brilliant historical analysis that won't be found anywhere else!

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Malthus came to his conclusion about humanity by studying...


That's all you really need to know about Malthus.

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The General Theory and the Road to Serfdom were both right in terms of economics, though Hayek ultimately accepted in a letter to Keynes that it wasn't tenable to let creative destruction run wild. In his concluding chapters of the General Theory, Keynes concludes that depressions are caused by 'usury' by the 'vested interests'. He went on to say that it would take a volume of an entirely different nature to define the vested interests. You have done a good job of writing it for him and there is no doubt Keynes supported the objective of the vested interests. In the General Theory he just wanted to get the economics right, as an academic. Socially and politically he was as you say, a supporter of imperialism and social laissez faire.

The truth is that no economic theory works if oligarchies corrupt it with the extraction of rent of various kinds, including usury.

I agree with all you say about the need for a mixed economy as per FDR. FDR described himself as a Keynesian because he knew Keynes was right about how to get out of depressions and stay out of them; but FDR's heart was in the right place, and Keynes' wasn't.

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Before I read on I want to comment on this Hitler quote: “The day will certainly come when the whole of mankind will be forced to check the augmentation of the human species, because there will be no further possibility of adjusting the productivity of the soil to the perpetual increase in the population.”

The adjusting of the soil is a ruse, those who implemented the current cut burn and poison form of agricultural methodology are ruining the fertility of the soil. The right question is did these totalitarians know reducing soil fertility causing declining nutrition then declining productivity as a means to institute the new world order with them in control. Of course they do. Patient gradualism as a means to nick humans, weaken them over time. But something happened here recently which jolted them out of these long term plans.

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Hayek's argument that (as Matt explains) "...all progress of human history is the result of unconstrained individualism liberated from all top-down intention ('spontaneous self organization')..." ignores the truth that corporations are not individual people, but artificial entities chartered by government. "Unconstrained individualism" is not the same as "unconstrained corporatism." Shareholders do not have a natural right to shed responsibility for the torts they allow corporate management to create. This is a privilege granted by government (the State) to corporate shareholders at the expense of the rights of individuals who are not shareholders. Without that grant of privilege, nobody would invest in a corporation because the risk to personal wealth would be too great.

Mandeville's argument "...that morality itself has no intrinsic existence..." is demonstrably false, as shown by Nicky Case (https://ncase.me/trust/), which I learned of recently from a substack post by Matthew Crawford (https://roundingtheearth.substack.com/p/games-of-trust). Note that neither altruism nor psychopathy are winning strategies in Nicky's game, except under very unusual conditions (systems). Thus, if the system is causing psychopaths to rise to the "top," then something in the system is causing that. However, if the psychopaths are ever able to get control of the political system, they can manipulate the "rules based order" to benefit themselves (eg, by lowering the payoff to cooperate/cooperate from +2 to +1. Nicky does not explore that possibility, but in her visualization, such control would presumably be done through weight of numbers. In the real world, it is accomplished with the influence of money on the media.

Mandeville's philosophy is that of Nicky's "Always cheat" psychopath. Smith's philosophy (as far as anybody really follows it) is that of Nicky's "Always cooperate" altruism. In the real world, the psychopathic British Empire won by convincing the rest of the world that altruism is great, while itself practicing psychopathy.

Matt writes, "While Keynes’s doctrine promoted top-down controls, the Mont Pelerin Society created a counter pole of “bottom up” free markets." However, by refusing to distinguish individuals from corporations the right-libertarians of the Hayek-Mises Austrian School by default gave hegemony to corporations and their management. It was not truly "bottom up," but rather "corporate up." It was dominated by those C. Wright Mills referred to as the "power elite," who wasted no time in turning the whole system into what Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarianism."

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