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【書摘】Planned Chaos|Ludwig Von Mises


摘錄:Planned Chaos|Ludwig Von Mises

文:吳莉瑋
圖:Ludwig von Mises Institute

《Planned Chaos》選錄了一些 Ludwig Von Mises 談社會主義的文章,其中,Mises 特別強調所謂政治上的左派右派,不管是共產主義還是法西斯主義,在經濟上都是採種中央計畫制度的「社會主義」。這些文章中談了許多共產主義的發展細節,以及共產主義與納粹或法西斯的比較。有興趣的讀者,可以在 Mises Institute 網站免費下載閱讀。

正如 Mises 對社會主義的著名評論,社會主義在經濟計算上完全不可行,所以註定失敗。但其實,干預主義更糟糕,集合了眾缺點於一身,也就是我們現行世界中幾乎所有國家正實施的制度。

為什麼世界變成這樣?Mises 的回答是,那些宣傳社會主義美好的每一個知識份子都有責任。這本書裡我最喜歡的一句話在第 77 頁:
What is needed to stop the trend towards socialism and despotism is common sense and moral courage.

【書摘】

Page 7 | Added on Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:53:51 PM
It is necessary to point out this fact to prevent a confusion of socialism and interventionism. The system of the hampered market economy, or interventionism, differs from socialism by the very fact that it is still market economy. The authority seeks to influence the market by the intervention of its coercive power, but it does not want to eliminate the market altogether.
Page 9 | Added on Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:51:58 PM
In the eyes of the interventionists the mere existence of profits is objectionable. They speak of profit without dealing with its corollary, loss. They do not comprehend that profit and loss are the instruments by means of which the consumers keep a tight rein on all entrepreneurial activities. It is profit and loss that make the consumers supreme in the direction of business.
Anti-capitalistic policies sabotage the operation of the capitalist system of the market economy. The failure of interventionism does not demonstrate the necessity of adopting socialism. It merely exposes the futility of interventionism.
Page 10 | Added on Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:00:46 PM
If the government, faced with this failure of its first intervention, is not prepared to undo its interference with the market and to return to a free economy, it must add to its first measure more and more regulations and restrictions. Proceeding step by step on this way it finally reaches a point in which all economic freedom of individuals has disappeared. Then socialism of the German pattern, the Zwangswirtschaft of the Nazis, emerges.
Page 12 | Added on Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:06:32 PM
Price control is contrary to purpose if it is limited to some commodities only. It cannot work satisfactorily within a market economy. If the government does not draw from this failure the conclusion that it must abandon all attempts to control prices, it must go further and further until it substitutes socialist all-round planning for the market economy.
Page 13 | Added on Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:09:43 PM
The market is a democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. It is true that the various individuals have not the same power to vote. The richer man casts more ballots than the poorer fellow. But to be rich and to earn a higher income is, in the market economy, already the outcome of a previous election. The only means to acquire wealth and to preserve it, in a market economy not adulterated by government-made privileges and restrictions, is to serve the consumers in the best and cheapest way.
It is consumers who make poor people rich and rich people poor. It is the consumers who fix the wages of a movie star and an opera singer at a higher level than those of a welder or an accountant.
Page 26 | Added on Sunday, April 21, 2013 8:48:54 AM
Having emancipated themselves from Marxian determinism, the Russian Marxians were free to discuss the most appropriate tactics for the realization of socialism in their country. They were no longer bothered with economic problems. They had no longer to investigate whether or not the time had come. They had only one task to accomplish, the seizure of the reins of government.
Page 29 | Added on Sunday, April 21, 2013 9:00:21 AM
Those Marxians who did not surrender to the dictator in Moscow called themselves social democrats or, in short, socialists. What characterized them was the belief that the most appropriate method for the realization of their plans to establish socialism, the final goal common to them as well as to the communists, was to win the support of the majority of their fellow-citizens. They abandoned the revolutionary slogans and tried to adopt democratic methods for the seizure of power.
The communists, on the other hand, were in the early years of the Third International firmly committed to the principle of revolution and civil war. They were loyal only to their Russian chief. They expelled from their ranks everybody who was suspected of feeling himself bound by any of his country’s laws. They plotted unceasingly and squandered blood in unsuccessful riots.
Page 48 | Added on Monday, April 22, 2013 10:17:16 PM
It is a fact that the majority of our contemporaries are imbued with socialist and communist ideas. However, this does not mean that they are unanimous in their proposals for socialization of the means of production and public control of production and distribution. On the contrary. Each socialist coterie is fanatically opposed to the plans of all other socialist groups. The various socialist sects fight one another most bitterly.
Page 49 | Added on Monday, April 22, 2013 10:19:52 PM
There are no such things as abrupt sweeping transformations of human affairs. What is called, in rather misleading terms, a “turning point in history” is the coming on the scene of forces which were already for a long time at work behind the scene. New ideologies, which had already long since superseded the old ones, throw off their last veil and even the dullest people become aware of the changes which they did not notice before.
Page 52 | Added on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:15:44 PM
It is customary to call the point of view of the advocates of the welfare state the “social” point of view as distinguished from the “individualistic” and “selfish” point of view of the champions of the rule of law. In fact, however, the supporters of the welfare state are utterly anti-social and intolerant zealots. For their ideology tacitly implies that the government will exactly execute what they themselves deem right and beneficial. They entirely disregard the possibility that there could arise disagreement with regard to the question of what is right and expedient and what is not.
The irreconcilable conflict of these two doctrines, rule of law versus welfare state, was at issue in all the struggles which men fought for liberty. It was a long and hard evolution. Again and again the champions of absolutism triumphed. But finally the rule of law predominated in the realm of Western civilization.
Page 53 | Added on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 10:25:14 PM
Thus the socialists resorted to a trick. They continued to discuss the coming dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the dictatorship of each socialist author’s own ideas, in their esoteric circles. But to the broad public they spoke in a different way. Socialism, they asserted, will bring true and full liberty and democracy. It will remove all kinds of compulsion and coercion. The state will “wither away.” In the socialist commonwealth of the future there will be neither judges and policemen nor prisons and gallows.
Page 56 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 7:54:47 AM
Fascism and Nazism were both committed to the Soviet principle of dictatorship and violent oppression of dissenters. If one wants to assign Fascism and Nazism to the same class of political systems, one must call this class dictatorial regime and one must not neglect to assign the Soviets to the same class. In recent years the communists’ semantic innovations have gone even further. They call everybody whom they dislike, every advocate of the free enterprise system, a Fascist.
Page 57 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:34:47 PM
Dictatorship and violent oppression of all dissenters are today exclusively socialist institutions. This becomes clear as we take a closer look at Fascism and Nazism.
Page 60 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:51:21 PM
Fascist economic policy did not—at the beginning—essentially differ from those of all other Western nations. It was a policy of interventionism. As the years went on, it more and more approached the Nazi pattern of socialism. When Italy, after the defeat of France, entered the second World War, its economy was by and large already shaped according to the Nazi pattern. The main difference was that the Fascists were less efficient and even more corrupt than the Nazis.
Page 61 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:59:04 PM
Fascism was not, as its advocates boasted, an original product of the Italian mind. It began with a split in the ranks of Marxian socialism, which certainly was an imported doctrine. Its economic programme was borrowed from German non-Marxian socialism and its aggressiveness was likewise copied from Germans, the All-deutsche or Pan-German forerunners of the Nazis. Its conduct of government affairs was a replica of Lenin’s dictatorship. Corporativism, its much advertised ideological adornment, was of British origin. The only home-grown ingredient of Fascism was the theatrical style of its
Fascism was not, as its advocates boasted, an original product of the Italian mind. It began with a split in the ranks of Marxian socialism, which certainly was an imported doctrine. Its economic programme was borrowed from German non-Marxian socialism and its aggressiveness was likewise copied from Germans, the All-deutsche or Pan-German forerunners of the Nazis. Its conduct of government affairs was a replica of Lenin’s dictatorship. Corporativism, its much advertised ideological adornment, was of British origin. The only home-grown ingredient of Fascism was the theatrical style of its processions, shows and festivals.
Page 62 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:00:40 PM
The philosophy of the Nazis, the German National Socialist Labour Party, is the purest and most consistent manifestation of the anticapitalistic and socialistic spirit of our age.
Page 64 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:08:03 PM
For more than seventy years the German professors of political science, history, law, geography and philosophy eagerly imbued their disciples with a hysterical hatred of capitalism, and preached the war of “liberation” against the capitalistic West. The German “socialists of the chair,” much admired in all foreign countries, were the pacemakers of the two World Wars. At the turn of the century the immense majority of the Germans were already radical supporters of socialism and aggressive nationalism. They were then already firmly committed to the principles of Nazism. What was lacking and was added later was only a new term to signify their doctrine.
Hitler was not the founder of Nazism; he was its product. He was, like most of his collaborators, a sadistic gangster. He was uneducated and ignorant; he had failed even in the lower grades of high school. He never had any honest job. It is a fable that he had ever been a paperhanger. His military career in the first World War was rather mediocre. The First Class Iron Cross was given to him after the end of the war as a reward for his activities as a political agent. He was a maniac obsessed by megalomania.
Hitler was not the founder of Nazism; he was its product. He was, like most of his collaborators, a sadistic gangster. He was uneducated and ignorant; he had failed even in the lower grades of high school. He never had any honest job. It is a fable that he had ever been a paperhanger. His military career in the first World War was rather mediocre. The First Class Iron Cross was given to him after the end of the war as a reward for his activities as a political agent. He was a maniac obsessed by megalomania. But learned professors nourished his self-conceit.
Page 66 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:19:22 PM
It must be emphasized again: there is no such thing as a scientific ought. Which men are superior and which are inferior can only be decided by personal value judgments not liable to Verification or falsification.
The eugenists delude themselves in assuming that they themselves will be called to decide what qualities are to be conserved in the human stock. They are too dull to take into account the possibility that other people might make the choice according to their own value judgments. [28] In the eyes of the Nazis the brutal killer, the “fair-haired beast,” is the most perfect specimen of mankind.
Page 67 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:29:27 PM
the experience with which the sciences of human action have to deal is essentially different. It is historical experience. It is an experience of complex phenomena, of the joint effects brought about by the co-operation of a multiplicity of elements. The social sciences are never in a position to control the conditions of change and to isolate them from one another in the way in which the experimenter proceeds in arranging his experiments. They never enjoy the advantage of observing the consequences of a change in one element only, other conditions being equal. They are never faced with facts in the sense in which the natural sciences employ this term. Every fact and every experience with which the social sciences have to deal is open to various interpretations. Historical facts and historical experience can never prove or disprove a statement in the way in which an experiment proves or disproves.
Historical experience never comments upon itself. It needs to be interpreted from the point of view of theories constructed without the aid of experimental observations.
Reference to historical experience can never solve any problem or answer any question.
Page 74 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 10:58:09 PM
Freedom of thought and conscience is a sham in a country in which the authorities are free to exile everybody whom they dislike into the Arctic or the desert, and to assign him hard labour for life. The autocrat may always try to justify such arbitrary acts by pretending that they are motivated exclusively by considerations of public welfare and economic expediency.
Page 75 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:00:06 PM
The truth is that most people lack the intellectual ability and courage to resist a popular movement, however pernicious and ill-considered.
Page 77 | Added on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:15:26 PM
It is not true that the masses are vehemently asking for socialism and that there is no means to resist them. The masses favour socialism because they trust the socialist propaganda of the intellectuals. The intellectuals, not the populace, are moulding public opinion. It is a lame excuse of the intellectuals that they must yield to the masses. They themselves have generated the socialist ideas and indoctrinated the masses with them. No proletarian or son of a proletarian has contributed to the elaboration of the interventionist and socialist programmes. Their authors were all of bourgeois background.
The intellectual leaders of the peoples have produced and propagated the fallacies which are on the point of destroying liberty and Western civilization. The intellectuals alone are responsible for the mass slaughters which are the characteristic mark of our century. They alone can reverse the trend and pave the way for a resurrection of freedom.
What is needed to stop the trend towards socialism and despotism is common sense and moral courage.