Brilliance from Cafe Hayek's Don Boudreaux

By the Left Coast Rebel  

Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek finds inspiration after reading a Michael Gerson’s column excerpting a 2008 campaign quote wherein then-candidate Obama instructs Americans to cast aside negative feelings about politics and, "just believe."

The "just believe" Obama quote was one of many 2008 elections examples where team Obama ™ effectively created a cult of personality (the Messiah Obama!) using completely undefinable bromides.

Cafe Hayek
The swooning brainwashed Obamunist masses (and ignorant, uninformed American public) gobbled up the various undigested slogans ("hope!" "change!"and so on) without even batting an eye to what the Obamessiah may have actually meant when he said them (ie., hope & change just actually = socialism)...

Anyway, though it is ancient political history today, Boudreaux rationally counters the "just believe" statement as thus and I simply just had to post it:

Believe in what? Believe in the miraculous power of power? Believe that a handful of telegenic and charismatic individuals will sacrifice their personal welfare to work as servants for millions of strangers simply because those strangers are citizens of the same political entity as are the telegenic and charismatic individuals who furiously fight each other for the privilege of sacrificing their personal welfare to work as servants for millions of strangers? Believe that a handful of telegenic and charismatic individuals – who do not know you personally – can spend your money and regulate your behavior better than you can spend your own money and regulate your own behavior? Or believe that if a majority of your fellow citizens vote to give power to a handful of telegenic and charismatic individuals, then it’s moral and right and proper and economically sensible for that handful of telegenic and charismatic individuals to take money and autonomy from some politically impotent people in order to enrich you and other people less politically impotent than are those whose money is taken and whose freedom of action is constrained?
And, Boudreaux brilliantly concludes with:

Religion of no sort has ever appealed to me.  This fact is one important practical reason why I strongly advocate freedom of religion.  I wish that that freedom extended to being free of having to support the cult of the state and to participate in the rituals that the state’s priests and faithful laity impose on us all.
I believe, in short, that collectivism of any sort is a religion without rational foundation or beneficial consequences.

This last point is something that Ayn Rand noted years ago: that although the Soviets of her homeland rejected religion and were in fact atheistic, it did not mean that they didn't adhere to a religion, or to a faith.

For them, the Almighty was the state.

Collectivism was their religion without a rational foundation or beneficial consequences.

And tens of millions died at the alter of collectivism in that dark, dreary prison state - and way too many Americans want the same thing here; blindly and foolishly thinking that somehow America will get (and is getting) collectivism "right".

We know better. There is no right way to go about collectivism. Collectivism, wherever it is tried, has always created misery and prison-state societies. Capitalism and individual liberty, wherever it has been tried, has created the exact opposite.

FURTHER READING: At Cato, "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?"


  1. This is Boudreaux's shopworn 'patriotism is for suckers' schtick.

    He seems to have no problem with collectivism when it's corporate collectivism funded by the Koch brothers. Funny that.

    1. I think you have it totally wrong; Boudreaux's beef us with collectivism, not patriotism. Do you any evidence to back your crony capitalism assertion?

    2. I'd be interested in the explanation/definition of "corporate collectivism" so I can decide whether I think your point has merit or not.

  2. "I think you have it totally wrong; Boudreaux's beef us with collectivism, not patriotism."

    I think Don Boudreaux can speak for himself on that subject:

    "My son is almost 15 years old. I’ll be damned if he will be forced into being fodder for the Pentagon or into becoming a serf whose labor is at the disposal of politicians longing, as the would-be lords that they are, for the glories of feudalism."

    "It cannot be said too often or too loudly: one of the greatest curses that humankind has brought upon itself is the curse of nationalism."

    And here he is praising Eduardo Saverin for renouncing his US Citizenship:

    So I think you just haven't bothered to learn what you are talking about.

    "Do you any evidence to back your crony capitalism assertion?"

    I never said anything about crony capitalism.

    1. Dude, your logic is so convoluted that I don't even know where to start. I'm not going to waste my time further but will answer a few of Boudreaux's points.

      First (from the first link) - are you telling me that being a critic of the Pentagon and warmongers in general is somehow "unpatriotic"? I agree with everything he says in that post.

      Second, (a quote from the second link):

      "Nationalism, in contrast, is widely seen as an acceptable excuse for horrific crimes against outgroups"

      Do you disagree with that? I don't.

      Third, google Left Coast Rebel's material on Eduardo Saverin. We praised him as well.

  3. There is some truth to what you say. If we had a Republican saying it's okay for unpiloted planes to kill American citizens that the president suspects of treason, the streets of Madison would be packed with protesters. I lean to the left, but I'd almost like to see a Republican president so ideology wouldn't get in the way from our recognizing the executive branch has too much power.

    1. Thanks. Unfortunately, I have overwhelming doubts that a Republican president will recognize the executive branch has too much power.


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