This is tangentially related to my series on High Southern Culture. I’ve read the Austrian economists almost ten years now. I remain almost convinced. Their frequent atheism and anti-Jesus-ism should be a warning. However, logical conclusions follow from logical premises, so they aren’t easily dismissed. The following is a work in progress:
- Conservative values and raw capitalism are incompatible simply because the latter demand a consumer culture which almost always erodes the values that made the former possible. This critique is routinely made by monarchists, paleo-conservatives (the guys at Chronicles, Eugene Genovese, etc) to Marxists.
- Socialism fails on the other hand because it cannot mathematically account for market prices. Even socialists like John Milbank concede this point (his essay “Socialism of the Gift, Socialism by Grace”). Therefore, any socialist country will necessarily end up with simultaneous gluts and shortages.
- Further, socialism does not encourage wisdom and thrift. The entrepreneur understands that resources are limited and so must make wise choices. This is impossible in a socialist economy (since the US Treasury can print more Federal Reserve notes to bail out the government’s latest bad idea).
- Therefore, socialism is incompatible with godly dominion.
- Theses 2-4 create a problem with Thesis 1: if socialism fails for the reasons I’ve listed–and it does–how can one avoid raw capitalism?
- The tentative answer is in refocusing teleological values.
- (6) is created by empowering local farm communities.
- A protective measure must be in place to protect a currency from outside speculation.
(To be continued)