Paul Krugman, Amity Shlaes, and Tom DiLorenzo
Let's talk dirty.
Yesterday, in response to Tom DiLorenzo's testimony at Ron Paul's first monetary hearing, Paul Krugman offered a short respone titled: "Johnny Reb Economics."
Mike Konczal has a post about Ron Paul’s first hearing on monetary policy, in which he points out that the lead witness is a big Lincoln-hater and defender of the Southern secession.
And it’s true! I went to his articles at Mises, and clicked more or less idly on the piece about American health care fascialism — I guess that’s supposed to be a milder term than fascism, although he seems to equate the two. And sure enough, he ends:
"This is not likely to happen in the United States, which at the moment seems hell-bent on descending into the abyss of socialism. Once some states begin seceding from the new American fascialistic state, however, there will be opportunities to restore healthcare freedom within them." - DiLorenzo
I presume that Amity Shlaes is already working on her Lincoln assessment, The Even More Forgotten Man.
Let's break this down:
In the first sentence, Krugman's method (and that of Konzai) is clear. Smear the man to smear the message. Lincoln-hater = wacko. Heck, the blog is titled "Johnny Reb Economics," a reference to Confederate soldiers.
Krugman wants you associate Austrian School economics with the Confederacy (say that like Kartman would say it, it's more fun) and therefore with...... (key ominous music).....racism! slavery!
And judging by the comments section, it works. Then again, a Krugmanite isn't exacly a scholar. If he/she was, they wouldn't be taking advice from Krugman.
But back to the issue at hand,
Victory for the Austrian School
As Bob Roddis points out,
I hereby declare total victory for the Austrian School.
Our opponents have nothing. Ever. That's why they engage in name-calling. They have nothing else.
Absolutely right. Since Krugman has been thoroughly crushed in the blogosphere for his weak interpretation of Austrian Business Cycle Theory and his flimsy attacks on sound money, he has little choice but to engage in a smear campaign. This is a victory for the Austrian School.
What the heck is fascialism?
Here's where it gets really. In the Mises article that Krugman claims to have read, DiLorenzo explains exactly what he means by this phrase in the first paragraph!!!:
Some time ago I invented the phrase "fascialism" to describe the American system of political economy. Fascialism means an economy is part fascist, part socialist. Economic fascism has nothing to do with dictatorship, militarism, or bizarre racial theories. Fascism is a brand of socialism that was the economic system of Germany and Italy in the early 20th century. It was characterized by private enterprise, but private enterprise that was comprehensively regulated and regimented by the state, ostensibly "in the public interest" (as arbitrarily defined by the state). - DiLorenzo
The very first paragraph!
Of course, Krugman knows that his sheeple readers aren't going to actually read DiLorenzo's article. Voila! Look at the first comment that Krugman allowed on his blog:
1.Michael Halasy Rochester, MNFebruary 9th, 20118:06 pm
This is somewhat comical to a degree.
Equating Fascism and Socialism seems to be all the rage now, and yet, they two political ideologies could not be farther apart on the political spectrum...
They are diametric opposites...
Actually, they're not. Diametric opposites would be collectivist ideologies (fascism and socialism are both collectiveist) and individualist ideologies.I actually tried to respond to this comment with a reasoned (honestly) explanation of the similarities between fascism and socialism, but Krugman did not post it. Surprise, surprise.
Here's the summary:
Both replace voluntary exchange with force.
Both rely on government decree to direct economic activity.
Both fascism and market socialism (Krugman's fav) require cooperation between state and corporate interests.
Both centralize power.Both view individual liberty as a threat, rather than something worth cherishing.
Krugman doesn't want his readers to know that there are views outside of the liberal/conservative false paradigm.
Who the heck is Amity Shlaes?
To be honest, I had never heard of this person.
I'm going to let Robert Wenzel take this one:
So why is Krugman making the broad swipe to link Shlaes to the dishonest Clay attack, when the linking is absolutely absurd?
It's because Shlaes is a member of a group that Krugman is very much concerned about keeping in line with the Ben Bernanke view of the world. Shlaes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. What's more, she is starting to have an impact at the CFR with her positive view on Hayek and Mises. That's a major problem for Krugman and his former Princeton colleague Bernnake.
Just recently, maybe a week or two ago, I talked to a very senior person at the CFR who brought the name Shlaes up to me. This person mentioned Shlaes positive views on Hayek. Further, Shlaes was described to me as, "a serious scholar." In other words, she's having impact, and Krugman is desperate to stop it, regardless of what absurd smears he needs to use.
Do you get it? Krugman is trying to smear Shlaes by associating here with LvMI. Very clever. He figures, correctly, that if his readers have gotten this far, they already view LvMI in a negative way. Associate Shlaes with the institute and you kill two birds with one stone.
Very clever, Paul.
David in Qatar