Reisman och objektiva värden

För ett tag sedan gjorde jag reklam för George Reismans artikel om globaliseringen. Då hade jag inte haft tid att läsa den, men den tiden har jag nu tagit mig. Därför kan jag konkludera att det var en fantastisk text. Det fanns en del saker som inte var nytt (om man har läst hans bok), men det fanns också en del saker som var nytt. I vilket fall som helst är det något som bör läsas.

Jag vill citera ett par stycken som jag tycker är guld, eftersom det visar på hans förmåga att integrera och därmed hans förmåga att se fundamentala samband. Och då är det inte bara fråga om fundamentala samband mellan ekonomiska fenomen utan även mellan dessa fenomen och en rationell etik. Detta är inget man ser varje dag. I synnerhet inte bland ekonomer. Detta beror på att den sortens integrationer som Reisman gör, kräver att man faktiskt har en genuin kunskap i ämnet.

Reisman skriver:

Ironically, no matter how successful my business may be, if the foundation of its success was government coercion—however improbable it may be that government coercion can ever be the foundation of economic success—that coercion takes away any objective basis on which to now label what I have achieved as a ”success.” Viewed prospectively, by people being compelled against their will to provide financing for my business, the value they attach to retaining their funds is greater than the value they attach to any prospective success I may have. Precisely that is why they wish to retain their funds rather than turn them over to the government and to me, and do turn them over only under the threat of physical force—i.e., they pay their taxes to avoid being hauled off to jail and offer no resistance to the tax collectors to avoid being injured or killed in a physical struggle with them.

And viewed retrospectively, after my alleged success, all those who were the victims of the coercion imposed to finance my business can no more reasonably view the outcome as a success than the victim of any other act of violence, such as an armed robbery or a rape, can view the outcome as a success even in the highly unlikely event that the perpetrator is in a position to pay substantial damages. In the nature of the case, no one who values his own person can ever desire to be the victim of any act that overrides the judgment of his mind and violates his freedom of choice, or accept the existence of such acts without the strongest possible rejection and protest. In the utmost favorable circumstances, Gomory and Baumol’s policies could be a success only to those who attached no value to themselves.

The ultimate foundation of economic success is man’s reasoning mind, which acts only on the basis its own voluntary free choice. The position of Gomory and Baumol, and all other supporters of statism and government intervention reduces to the absurdity of holding that the violation of the essential foundation of economic success is the cause of economic success.

Det finns mycket mer som jag skulle vilja citera, men jag avstår från att göra det. Vill ju inte avslöja för mycket för de som ännu inte har läst igenom hela artikeln. Men detta citat bör ändå räcka. För här ser vi ett perfekt exempel på hur Reisman lyckas göra en bra integrering av rationell nationalekonomi med rationell filosofi. Det Reisman säger är nämligen en direkt följd av Ayn Rands filosofiska insikt om att värden faktiskt är objektiva.

Ayn Rand skrev:

The objective theory holds that the good is neither an attribute of ”things in themselves” nor of man’s emotional states, but an evaluation of the facts of reality by man’s consciousness according to a rational standard of value … Fundamental to an objective theory of values is the question: Of value to whom and for what? An objective theory does not permit context-dropping or ”concept stealing”; it does not permit the separation of ”value” from ”purpose,” of the good from beneficiaries, and of man’s actions from reason. (”What is Capitalism?”, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, s 23)

Lite längre fram:

The objective theory of values is the only moral theory incompatible with rule by force … If one knows that the good is objective–i.e., determined by the nature of reality, but to be discovered by man’s mind–one knows that an attempt to achieve the good by physical force is a monstrous contradiction which negates morality at its root by destroying man’s capacity to recognize the good, i.e., his capacity to value. Force invalidates and paralyzes a man’s judgment, demanding that he acts against it, thus rendering him morally impotent. A value which one is forced to accept at the price of surrendering one’s mind, is not a value to anyone; the forcibly mindless can neither judge nor choose nor value. An attempt to achieve the good by force is like an attempt to provide a man with a picture gallery at the price of cutting out his eyes. Values cannot exist (cannot be valued) outside the full context of a man’s life, needs, goals, and knowledge.

Så väldigt sant.

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