Citat i repris

Med anledning av de ”nya” moderaterna vill jag återigen uppmärksamma människor om vad dr George Reisman skriver i det sista kapitlet av Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, som handlar om hur man ska etablera ett laissez-faire kapitalistiskt samhälle. Många pragmatiska moderater skulle onekligen kunna lära sig ett och annat av dr Reisman:

…it should scarcely be necessary to say that at no time should the advocacy of sound principles be sacrificed to notions of political expediency, advanced under misguided ideas about what is ”practical.” The only practical course is to name and defend true principles and then seek to win over public opinion to the support of such principles. It is never to accept the untrue principles that guide public opinion at the moment and design and advocate programs that pander to the errors of the public. Such a procedure is to abandon the fight for any fundamental or significant change–namely, a change in people’s ideas–and to reinforce the errors we want to combat.

It is definitely not impractical to explain to people that if they want to live and prosper, they must adopt capitalism. It would not be impractical to do so even if for a very long time most people simply refused to listen and went on supporting policies that are against their interests. In such a case, it would not be the advocates of capitalism who were impractical, for they would be pursuing the only course that is capable of working, namely, explaining to people what they must do if they are in fact to succeed. Rather it would be the mass of people–perhaps, indeed, the entire rest of the society–that would be impractical, pursuing as it did goals which are self-destructive and refusing to hear of constructive alternatives. If, to use an analogy from the world of engineering and business, someone knows how to build an airplane or a tractor that people could afford and greatly benefit from, but is not listened to, such a person is not at all impractical because others refuse to listen to his ideas that would greatly benefit them. Rather it is those others, whatever their number, who are impractical. In the political-economic realm, it is the current state of public opinion that is impractical: it expects that men can live in a modern economic system while destroying the foundations of that system–that, for example, they can have rising prosperity while destroying the incentives and the means of the businessmen and capitalists who are to provide the prosperity. The advocates of capitalism, who tell people that the opposite is true and that the opposite policy is necessary, are not impractical. They are eminently the advocates of practicality–of what is achievable in, and by the nature of, reality.

It is the grossest compounding of confusions to suggest that those who know truths that masses of impractical people refuse to hear, accept error as an unalterable given for the sake of which they must abandon or ”bend” their knowledge of the truth. Nothing could be more impractical, elevating as it does, error above truth and making knowledge subordinate to ignorance. The essence of true political practicality consists of clearly naming and explaining the long-range political program that promotes human life and well being–i.e., capitalism–and then step by step moving toward the fullest and most consistent achievement of that goal. That the initial effect of naming the right goal and course may be to shock masses of unenlightened people and invoke their displeasure should be welcomed. That will be the first step in awakening them from their ignorance.


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