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‘Left’ and ‘Right’ fail those for whom ‘freedom of speech’ is a but a dream

This past weekend, I read a review of free speech in Australian universities. Take a gander if you must, but do so knowing that it was produced, as are all documents by the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), for a very particular sort of chap. If you (a) are a member of the Liberal Party of Australia and/or (b) have outsourced all management of your views to the Liberal Party of Australia, you may find the report, which focuses on our Stalinist schools and their snowflake trigger warnings etc., satisfying.

If, however, you’re someone with a sincere wish to nut out this whole Freedom of Speech thing, give it a skip. And, no, Milo Latham, this is not a command effectively prescribed by Helen of the Humourless Lesbian Stasi. It is simply her recommendation. You want to spend the hour with a report whose specious conclusions were prepared less with recourse to research and much more with uncritical newspaper coverage in mind—something the “left” does almost as often as the right—be my guest.

Just to safeguard your freedom: here’s another link to the report. Here’s another. Here it is again and here’s a picture of Milo in a golden gown. Published by Breitbart! Enjoy your freedoms, while you may. Someone is coming to get them.

When “the left” calls for little besides cultural regulation and chooses to represent itself as entirely ratified by all the best and most powerful institutions, it should think hard about adopting a new name.

Our freedom to express ourselves is endangered. We hear this all the time. Tim Wilson, an Australian MP, has had a good deal to say on the matter. Chris Kenny is another commentator to whom freedom of speech is the most fundamental right. Andrew Bolt is famous for fighting for the right to speak without injunction. He is also famous for strategically naming himself as one of this silenced majority. Hear Andrew’s silence, particularly on the matter of being silenced, at volume and in corporate media outlets daily. Hear Lionel Shriver complain, for a fee and to a large audience, about her struggle to be meaningfully heard. Lest We Forget.

Now, none of this is to deny that prohibitions, acts of censorship etc. can be imposed by the powerful. Australia has endured a particularly long and tedious history of it. The part of the Wilson/Kenny/Bolt argument which rails against legal or institutional prohibitions to speech cannot simply be ignored. If we are to truly think about freedom of speech within our borders, we must also think about the power we are prepared to give to the state.

This thinking is not a lot of fun. It may lead you to momentarily agree with persons you find disagreeable. If you’re a progressive person who thinks too long about the concept of unlawful speech, you might find that Kenny, Bolt, Devine, Panahi etc. have some sort of a point in opposing such state power. If you’re a conservative person who thinks too long about the surveillance to which all Australians are potentially subject, you might start agreeing with a lady like me that metadata retention laws are a bunch of anti-freedom arse.

Or, you could be torn, as I was this weekend, between revulsion for the IPA—one of many think tanks whose chief work it is to make the moral case for the unequal distribution of wealth—and the sense that universities have become bound by stuffy morals. While you may not agree with the author of the IPA report that a university’s failure to host a free screening of The Red Pill is one of the worst things to happen this year and is “seriously imperilling the discovery of truth”, you may wonder about the University of Sydney Union’s decision.

Pease let’s be honest about this—some of the persons often referred to by Chris Kenny et al as “the left” are, in fact, very fond of Big Daddy State.

After reading the Union’s rationale for withdrawing its funds for the screening, I wondered. Mostly if the document had been produced by a machine. Surely, no human who has ever had contact with other humans of typical undergraduate age would use a soothing parental tone and expect it to produce anything but tantrums. The Union explains that screening the documentary, one funded and made by “Men’s Rights” enthusiasts, was (a) against regulations and (b) potentially harmful.

So: this film is against the law, and probably no good for society. Have teenaged persons really changed so much that such advice no longer functions as incitement? I made it my business as an undergraduate to consume as many prohibited or shady things as possible. If someone told me I could or should not have it, then I made fucking sure I got it.

Of course, there were always those kids who preferred to side with institutions. I envied them at times, and not just because I knew they’d end up with better jobs, but because their spare hours were not filled by the terrible films of Larry Clark. This “question authority” thing was no picnic in my day. It still isn’t.

I imagine that some of the students who protested The Red Pill screening that did eventually take place knew this very well. Certainly, amid the chanting, “Not MRAs and not the state. Women will decide our fate,” there would have been anxiety. It is tough to make a case against one real authority while acting with the endorsement of another. The “fate” of women had already been decided by the “state” of the mini-moralisers at the student union.

Just to be wearyingly clear about the whole thing: no. We do not conclude that masculine authority is done simply because one minor authority says it should be and, no, not all young protesters are twits who seek permission above self-determination. But—please let’s be honest about this—some of the persons often referred to by Kenny et al as “the left” are, in fact, very fond of Big Daddy State.

It is common to see “the left” claim publicly and clumsily that they have scientific authority on their side in all matters. It is common to see “the left” celebrate its close alliance with establishment figures. It is common to see “the left” accept finance industry support, make exaggerated claims of intelligence authority support and give its own support without question to a militia with expensive PR.

When “the left” calls for little besides cultural regulation and chooses to represent itself as entirely ratified by all the best and most powerful institutions, it should think hard about adopting a new name. Even if just for the sake of those frustrated USyd students to whom it has absolutely denied the possibility of true protest.

Of course, the cultural right is more obnoxious than the thing that views itself as “the left”. That these Australian freedom boys are doing more damage to mass consciousness than their “opponents” at Fairfax, though, is not so certain. Unless “the left” fucks off very quickly with its published moral prescriptions and authoritative friends, the cultural right will continue to falsely function as the era’s political rebels.

Who else will occupy the territory that rightly belongs to Occupy? For as long as “the left” demands order and compliance like some cheerless middle manager desperate for promotion, your Kennys or Wilsons appear not as they truly are: unsurprising thinkers as committed to the maintenance of present order as the IPA that informs them. They appear like they’re fighting for freedom.

When a citizen finds herself without the wage sufficient to pay several of her bills, the freedom to speak becomes an academic matter, ergo not a “right”.

They fight solely for freedom of expression, of course. Wilson has written that, “Arguably freedom of speech is the most important human right”. He also says it “is the human right most being neglected.”

There are plenty in the nation and the world who are denied some of those less important human rights, including the right to work. When a citizen finds herself without the wage sufficient to pay several of her bills, the freedom to speak becomes an academic matter, ergo not a “right”.

Do you feel me, freedom boy? I am suggesting that if only a few have the means to enact a “right”, then we may think begin to think of it no longer as a right, more as a serving suggestion for the party room. If one cannot freely use the internet or the alphabet, then one might not believe, so ardently as Tim does, that the truest barrier to one’s free expression is Gillian Triggs and her PC Police etc.

Freedom of speech is the right most being neglected. A university’s failure to fully cater a Men’s Rights mixer is an assault on the truth. These are absurd claims, absurdly gaining support. We cannot leave it to “the left” to counter this absurdity. They too, are able only to make the absurd case that speech is the only thing that matters.

Speech does matter, of course. But it matters less when no new thing is spoken, and even less when we utter very little about those who have no voice at all. Who will speak for those and with those to whom “freedom of speech” is currently a dream? Not Tim Wilson. Not the legitimacy-loving “left”.

23 responses to “‘Left’ and ‘Right’ fail those for whom ‘freedom of speech’ is a but a dream

  1. How can speech be more important than action, Justin O’Connell? How much talking do the under-represented have to do before they get good social policy? How about free transparency of Governments, Big Business and the emassing of huge wealth. Then we may actually get somewhere.

    I also would like to qualify my comment below, I was not meaning all commentors, just the ones who resemble my remarks.

    Julie

  2. This is disappointing. Again Helen is putting forward 2 constructs diametrically opposed when they need not be – free speech and the right to economic justice.
    “There are plenty in the nation and the world who are denied some of those less important human rights, including the right to work. When a citizen finds herself without the wage sufficient to pay several of her bills, the freedom to speak becomes an academic matter, ergo not a “right”.”
    I disagree and this stems from Helen’s immature Marxism in an attempt to seek some sophistication and nuance falls into the old Marxist-Leninist trap of positioning free speech as a bourgois construct and the primacy of economic justice without ever allowing the conception that the path to social and economic justice begins with the right to freedom of speech. Have a look at any dictatorship in the world that claims to stand or to have stood for the working masses. The working masses are invariably still poor, some are poorer than when the revolution started and the progress of freedom, democracy and cultural progress in still diminished to non-existent. I’m sure the likes of Chris Kenny, the Sky crew and News Limited mob like Bolt, the IPA, the CIS and dear old Gerald’s Sydney Institute have a conflicting view of freedom of speech.
    Helen how come i’ve never seen you at writer’s festivals taking on neo-liberals and conservatives? I have done so frequently at SWFs in the past. Stop screaming from a screen.

    1. I am not invited to writers’ festivals. I am not of their class.
      I have frequently spoken on television, radio and at other public events alongside alt-right and conservative persons.

  3. I get so pissed off reading the comments in your articles. Intellectualizing poverty, again. Arghhh! More uppity arseholes using their free speech to comment on the poor, obviously having no fuckin clue what it is to be poor. Having no empathy, they attack yours. Having limited perspective they look inward, rather than discuss the subject at hand. Most of the arguments have nothing to do with what you’ve written at all! Have they ever even met a poor person, or are they basing their entire knowledge on Struggle St.? Of course poor people have as much free speech as anyone else, but as you repeatedly write, where do you get to see/hear it?

    You are more often than not, born into poverty. And that comes with a lot of consequences that the well off just simply do not care to hear about. I will give you a tiny example of my own. In year 10 I did not have an English teacher for TWO terms. When it came to the final exam, instead of choosing between 3 possible options, we had no choice, we had only one option. We were not taught the curriculum in those two terms. We had PE subs, cooking subs, maths subs etc. This was in a housing commission area, of course.

    Have they never heard of the postcode filter? Where resumes coming from certain postcodes would be thrown in the bin? How about no public transport in areas where it’s most needed? How about entire suburbs manufacturing industries closing down, but that’s where most of the new immigrants settle? As politicians at the same time are telling the most vulnerable that immigrants are taking their jobs?

    It’s not poor planning, I would suggest that it’s extremely clever. Let em kill eachother or themselves. The real ugliness isn’t coming from poor people, it’s from way up high. From people who are talented, hard workers, lifters, and fine examples for all to follow… hahahaha!

    Finally, poor people have no choice but to spend 100% of their income. Be that welfare, or a shitty paid job. Stop telling them how to spend their fuckin money! Whether it’s drugs, gambling, whatever, you can be sure it’s ending up in some rich arseholes pocket.

  4. Well. What a lovely and utterly unprecedented surprise. The chaps who enjoy the ideological products of the IPA and are firm in the unexamined belief that capitalism is (a) the natural extension of human will and (b) the only system that can “lift billions out of poverty”. They are so firm, they scour the internet for any reference to their beloved band of “research fellows” (a title that seems to require no qualification other than having once made it onto The Drum or The Bolt Report) and repeat the things they’ve said.
    Look. Your view that capitalism “lifts billions out of poverty” is easily countered by boring old facts. I am no fan of China, but it is this nation that has done all the lifting in the past few decades. A very un-free market is the one that has grown a middle-class and delivered clean water, roads, sports stadiums etc. to some of the world’s most impoverished nations. World Bank data—which is what you base your claims on “billions being lifted out of poverty” on; it’s the source—will show you this, if only you dig deeper than you care to.
    As for whatsy-doodle who says “Razer is tribal and says left is whatever she wants”. FFS, mate. Get a clue. We all know what the “left” was, or is, don’t we, if we ever read any history or thought? The “left” is a movement really begun by Marx and Engels. One of their central ideas, and one that reshaped nations, is that the mode of production is the greatest determining factor in the stuff of our lives. It is hardly “tribal” of me to state what anyone who ever read a book actually knows: to be left was, for much more than a century, to believe that the base (the way a mass society organises the means for its survival) is very important.
    If you don’t know this, then you don’t know the history of western thought and politics and have no business banging on in public as though you do. It is not petty to put the “left” in scare quotes and mention that it has upturned much of what informed it. This is a huge thing. We call the time in which the “left” abandoned its interest in the base the “cultural turn”. This is not my view, but the view of scholars, left, right or “apolitical”, and ask an actually intelligent right-ish guy like Tom Switzer and he will tell you, “Yes. The left abandoned its interest in economic matters at the beginning of the market-friendly period.”
    So don’t call me tribal when I am actually just stating simple things that many people know.
    Also. Just jog on. If you want a defence of your fragile ideas that capitalism is working well, read most of the internet. If you want to pretend that you are wise old dudes who know so much more than silly people, join an archery club or something. To do this in a public forum from a basis of unexamined thought just makes you look a bit dim. And unpleasantly avuncular.
    I would not be this unkind if you had not enjoyed your middle-brow circle-jerk on Silly Little Helen quite so much. I would offer you reading lists and encourage your interest in knowledge and economics. I would engage in “respectful debate”. But comments such as these do not permit a healthy exchange. They merely restate a very old argument. I may be criticised, certainly. I am positive there are holes in my argument. But none of you has detected them. You have simply upcycled old ideas, with a charming side-order of Aussie sexism.
    Get a clue.

    1. Helen the 19c roots of the traditional English speaking left have more to do with the values etc of the Wesleyan movement than with Marx et al. They were by 1850 a significant voting block in UK elections, drivers of universal suffrage.
      They were the people who encouraged working people to , literally, stand up in the pulpit and speak out.
      BTW claiming that China has delivered ‘clean ‘ air water and food is a interesting claim.

  5. Helen Razer has taken a well merited bruising from commentators here. Regarding the inequality of income and wealth, the issue should be the reduction/elimination of poverty rather than the elimination of inequality. The astonishing, technology driven growth in global income and wealth over the last two centuries has continued in the last two decades and this has led to a great reduction in global poverty and global inequality. (This is despite the increase in inequality in many countries, quite notably, emerging economies).
    Australia has massive transfer payments and education, health and many other programs to promote growth, welfare, opportunity and social mobility. Much of this works. Certainly, aged pensioners, and certainly those with a house, enjoy a good standard of living compared to our history and other countries. Just think of the in-home entertainment now available at low cost, the quality of health care and the low cost of good food, clothing, motor cars and household goods.
    Families too get decent benefits. Educational and sporting facilities are far better than 30 and 50 years ago, the housing stock is far better than 30 and 50 years ago and domestic tourism is thriving.
    Some people are very bad parents and some people chose to spend excessively on gambling, tattoos, drugs and alcohol and the consequence is poverty and a social cost to the community. What to do? Is the answer the raft of policies that our major parties pursue which is reflected in the increasing proportion of the work force in government and other health and welfare services? Or is it the more authoritarian approach of some Asian countries? What is the Hard Left/ Alt Left answer? Perhaps it is to crack down on assortive mating?

  6. Andrew, an unequal distribution of wealth also has to be enforced – by industrial relations laws, financial sector regulation, corporate governance law, tax law, property law, and ultimately by the coercive powers of the state. There is nothing natural, inevitable, voluntary, or non-coercive about the current, highly unequal distribution of wealth.

    It is far more ethical to enforce a low degree of inequality than to enforce a high degree of inequality. The moral content of the rules of our society matter a great deal. The IPA and its fellow travellers pretend to uphold a natural, apolitical state of affairs, which is a fundamentally dishonest way to argue because any set of and social and economic arrangements involves the exercise of power and the enactment of a certain set of values and assumptions about how society should be organised.

  7. Why is it, Helen, that you have to be so unnecessarily voluble in this piece? I’m used to the, off the point and rabid ranting of many who comment on your writing and can dismiss their prejudice, self-delusion and misconceptions, easily. However, I’ve always found your writing to be direct, if a little too heavy on, (also unnecessary) expletives. I feel that you could have made your point here much more directly in far fewer words, but thanks anyway.

  8. This article is a perfect demonstration of the deference paid to tribalism in modern partisan politics in Australia and in the West.

    Razer is absolutely stumbling all over herself here with her “the left”, as she struggles to identify the parts of the “left” with whmo she disagrees. One cringes at the constant need to hedge her criticism of “the left” with random swipes at The Right. It demonstrates firstly, when you descend into gross generalisation – as all partisan commentators inevitably do – you end up with farce.

    It boils down to “Hey some people I disagree with make arguments I agree with some times; people I agree with say or do things I disagree with other times” – such a self-evident observation borders on trite cliche. Thanks Captain Obvious, got any more transcendental insights?

    Now it is right and proper to criticise people on one’s side of the partisan fence if one is possessed by such tribal inclinations. That indicates courage and integrity; indeed that “the left” have become so odious as to alienate even a Trotskyite like Razer speaks volumes.

    What also speaks volumes is that this particular segment has become so vociferous that even a card-carrying leftist like Razer must continually demonstrate her credentials by attacking The Other – the evil IPA, Bolt, Kenny at. al. when it’s almost entirely irrelevant to the subject at hand.

    These constant asides to attack “the right” simply make the article seem pretty incoherent at best – as if the author were grappling with their own biases and lost. Is it harder to believe that this is what these people genuinely believe than it’s some grand conspiracy by the IPA?

    On one hand, I do sympathise with Razer trying to come to grips within this new element in the Left, “the left” or as some call them, the alt-left, the New Left, the regressive Left, progressivists – (I find partisans love the monosyllabic ones) but on the other hand it demonstrates the absolute futility of a Left-Right paradigm.

    And here, Razer has no excuse, because anybody with a modicum of commonsense has known this for a *very* long time. In fact, in recent years, “Left” or “Right” no longer indicates a philosophical or policy position – but in fact an identity or ideological one. Some of “the left”s positions often reek of conservatism – just a different brand of it.

    Basing your ideology on opposition to another is not particularly useful heuristic at the best of times. Whited’s Law: it’s more complicated than that.

    Razer’s other points are equally puzzling, she argues against people complaining about free speech because the right to work is important to. Most people can chew gum and walk at the same time. People can worry about costs of living/unemployment and free speech at the same time – they’re not mutually exclusive.

    So the problem here is that firstly Razer is just searching for a new label or generalisation to put this tribe into – when tribalism is the problem in of itself. The constant “the left”s scattered through the article degenerates into an absurd parade of hasty generalisations.

    Secondly, if you’re going to criticise a decision made by a particularly vocal political group with a reputation for ruthlessly suppressing all dissent, hedging that by constantly showing your credentials by attacking The Other demonstrates a lack of intellectual courage. If you have something to criticise, just go ahead and do it.

    Finally, Razer seems to completely fail to understand the principle of “good faith” – rather than admit people might actually be deeply passionate about free speech; she invents these conspiracies about how it’s all a plot of the IPA to lower wages and rule us like a king. That reflects a deep misunderstanding of how political systems, societies and above all, how people work. Razer’s search for a label for the New Left seems to indicate an inability to separate individuals from collectives; a trait depressingly common amongst the low-information partisan crowd.

    Frankly, partisan punditry has always been the lowest form of journalism but to describe this piece as mediocre by even those standards would be too generous.

    1. Well said!
      Indeed, much more informative than the piece it responds to.
      “Razer’s search for a label for the New Left seems to indicate an inability to separate individuals from collectives” – for Razer the individual has no agency in her ideology (although embarrassingly, she desperately tries to portray herself as one).

  9. Sigh… every time I read one of your articles I find myself challenged, challenging myself and learning. Keep up the good work i.e. getting our minds out of our anodyne comfort zones.

  10. Suggesting that support for greater (not absolute – impossible and undesirable) equality of wealth is ‘Stalinist’ is absurd, not least because Stalinism ensured that the Soviet ‘Nomenklatura’ copped the vast majority of wealth as well as power, but also because genuine equality of opportunity, recognition of different contributions to the society/economy and avoidance of squalor and suffering by the less fortunate are marks of a civilised society.

    And I agree with Razer about a tendency for some of the self-styled left to avoid ideological challenges and impose censorship (now THAT”S Stalinist). I’m a bloke who reckons the ‘Men’s Rights Movement'(I’ve never noticed men lacking rights!) is a load of crap, but unless they promote violence or illegal discrimination, they’have a right to rant.

  11. I agree with the proposition that people should be assumed smart enough to view whatever doco’s they want to view and draw their own conclusions – presumably there’ll be some note worthy points; and some crap in the Red Pill and we can sort the wheat from the chaff etc. Good on ya Helen for calling out activist censorship.

  12. Another excellent piece Helen. Those smug IPA twits need to be outed for what they are….a right-wing “thinktank”of the most dire ilk…where do they get their funding? And, if Get Up is going to be caught up in the new rules Lord Trumble has in mind, so should the IPA.

  13. Razer’s disdain for those who (she says) make ‘ … the moral case for the unequal distribution of wealth’ is curious. An equal distribution of wealth needs to be enforced, given the unequal incidence of earning capacity and ability to create wealth. Compulsory levelling of wealth has its costs, most obviously the reduction in overall wealth when financial incentives are muted. Razer presumably is a Stalinist (collectivisation) rather than a Leninist (a New Economic Plan incorporating entrepreneurship). And we all know the fearful consequences of Stalin’s reign. We can be thankful Razer is a scribbler rather than a ruler.

    1. Nah, mate. It’s not curious. It’s a statement of fact. Like the classical economists who made some stuff up about the “natural balance” capitalism achieves, a moral case is used by the IPA to justify the maths.
      Even Adam Smith did this. John Locke totally did it as well. It’s not curious. It is actually true that economics is not a science but something with a moral foundation. We can also say this about other economists, not just the classical/neoliberal sort at the IPA. It’s a thing. It’s true. If you are going to make like a clever clogs, best to be clever in advance.
      I guess you are over here from the IPA page, which would explain your adorable reference to Stalin.
      Finally, If you think wealth is not, in fact, redistributed by present regulation (never has there been more regulation) and is just something magical that happened, you’re a prize twit. The wealth has been redistributed upward. This is what our economic regime has explicitly sought to do for forty years. Go back and read your von Mises. Or at least pretend to know his name if you want to be friends with those IPA ratfuckers.

      1. Think the centrist counter argument would be ; some have more talents than others, if we encourage those who have the talent , to create surpluses (much more than they need themselves ) then we have ,surpluses that can be redistributed.
        I.e If we pluck the goose too hard it will stop laying.

        As for the left-right BS:
        “We were the Leopards, the Lions; those who’ll take our place will be little jackals, hyenas; and the whole lot of us, Leopards, jackals, and sheep, we’ll all go on thinking ourselves the salt of the earth”

        1. Well said, whether capitalist or communist, there will always be those with abilities which allow them to prosper, relative to those who do not. The difference is that in capitalism it’s those with new ideas, for goods and services that people choose voluntarily, or at least a range of price options, and those who satisfy their customers will prosper by gaining more resources and more freedom to become greater. In communism, or indeed at some universities, it is those who can through powers of persuasion, aggression and violence, and who are prepared to be a greater sociopath than their predessor, prosper by gain power.

          The left never differentiate between relative and absolute differences in wealth, and keep repeating the falsehood that the rich become rich at the expense of the poor. Those who become wealthy become so because they have increased the size of their business, and overall increased the size of the economy. Even if their customers are poor, they would go out of business if they charged more than they could pay, even for essentials such as food, because there will always (assuming no government cronyism) someone willing to sell a substitute for less. Given the profit margin of a company how much money from the full cost paid by the “poor” consumer becomes profit for the owner, how much goes to workers, suppliers, taxes to recirculate back in the economy?

          When Bill Gates made $50 billion in 20 years, did all this money come from third world workers? Of course not. In those 20 years economic growth literally produced money out of thin air – it always does. In the 2008 meltdown, the money does literally disappear. Those who expouse the false zero-sum-game are either ignorant about the credit system or are just trying to mislead. If there is a true source of inequality, it is an inequality in those who can obtain credit, at a scale of rates, and those who cannot. It is discriminatory, but only in the sense that loans are usually given to those who have been assessed as low risk, as opposed to the US mortgage crisis where the State forced institutions to lend to those who couldn’t pay, resulting in billions of dollars dissapersring into thin air.

          It is not relative poverty that matters, but does the poor continue to live better lives than 20 years ago. Money as a store of value is not linear, it is logarithmic, in a time of growth, banks are creating money out of thin air at an exponential rate, there are millionaires being created by the millions, and the absolute ratio between the total money supply and fixed incomes at the bottom always increase exponrentially, but most of this money goes to the middle, not the top. Eventually through taxes and government spending the incomes of the poor rise, and everyone is better off. Ability and genius is rewarded commensurate with its value, there is no “right” to work, the question is do you have the skills to make something that someone else wants. If not, we still have a right to a government welfare payment.

      2. Yes, wealth is “in fact, redistributed by present regulation” This present regulation is centralised, forced collectivised regulation (Communist traits)- these are not compatible with Capitalism. Capitalism requires competition – not monopolisation be it in garment making or regulation. A free market, as in uncoerced market, is at odds with coerced centralisation. Are you attempting to strawman Capitalism with a socialist system??

        “The wealth has been redistributed upward.” Yes, of course! That is what always happens in centralised systems. Nor does Capitalism have anything in common with Trickle-Down Economics.
        There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics
        The point is not to transfer wealth up and down but rather to create universal opportunity.

        “natural BALANCE” – has only to do with a LEVEL playing field. This simply requires non-intervention/the absence of coercion. It is not a synonym for Utopia, only a standard for peaceful relations.

        Mises (the Austrian School) is scientific. Their scientific method is called Praxeology. From the science however moral principles may be extrapolated – but are not part of the economics
        Nonetheless, the moral should precede all else – otherwise you have shaky foundations, moral relativism, and a slippery slope into all sorts of perfidy.

      3. Thanks for the reply, Helen, and thanks for the suggestion to read Ludwig von Mises. I dipped into Ludwig briefly when a student, prior to getting into the more substantial and illuminating Hayek (possibly one of those who you think ‘made things up’ when developing positions contrary to the ‘wealth is distributed upwards’ school of thought). I wouldn’t attempt to try to wean you off your beloved Marxism (life is too short), but your advocacy for free speech and disdain for modern forms of censorship is commendable (assuming I’ve understood your article correctly). I find a partial view of wealth creation is the most useful when accumulating material goods (‘Sell when you can, you are not for all markets,’ as Rosalind advises Audrey). I suspect you favour a more holistic view (possibly at the expense of short term gains). In the long run, we are all dead, as the great aggregator said.

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