No, I’m not talking about putting your children to bed. I’m talking about teaching the non-aggression principle to the greater portion of society.
A thought struck me early this morning about how childlike society is. The natural world has lessons to teach us about how society should function, yet like children, the majority of society refuses to listen to the lessons that the natural world is trying to teach us. Over and over again nature keeps telling us that if you beat and rob your fellow man, only poverty and destruction will be the end result.
Imagine looking at this from the perspective of a parent. Imagine how frustrating and sad you would feel watching your children continually rob and beat each other over who controls the toys. As a parent, I imagine you would not hate your children over their actions, but you would feel very sad about not being able to get the lessons of peace and generosity through their thick skulls. How many failures of violent looting statist systems must it take before people come to realize that bashing your neighbor over his head in order to rob him of his property does not and can not lead to a more prosperous society?
Let’s take a walk through recent history real quick:
- 5.1 Angola
- 5.2 Argentina
- 5.3 Austria
- 5.4 Belarus
- 5.5 Bolivia
- 5.6 Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 5.7 Brazil
- 5.8 Bulgaria
- 5.9 China
- 5.10 Free City of Danzig
- 5.11 Georgia
- 5.12 Germany
- 5.13 Greece
- 5.14 Hungary, 1922–24
- 5.15 Hungary, 1945–46
- 5.16 Israel
- 5.17 Krajina
- 5.18 Mexico
- 5.19 North Korea, 1947–2009
- 5.20 Nicaragua
- 5.21 Peru
- 5.22 Philippines
- 5.23 Poland, 1921–1924
- 5.24 Poland, 1989–1991
- 5.25 Republika Srpska
- 5.26 Romania
- 5.27 Soviet Union / Russian Federation
- 5.28 Taiwan
- 5.29 Ukraine
- 5.30 United States
- 5.31 Yugoslavia
- 5.32 Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
- 5.33 Zimbabwe
Of course, this has been going on since the begging of recorded history:
Over a period of about two centuries beginning in the year 68, the Romans experienced hyperinflation, not by printing fiat currencies, but by diluting the silver content of their coins. The Romans continuously minted silver coins with less silver and replaced the silver content with less valuable base metals like copper and broze. This chart below from Dylan Grice’s “Hyperinflation in Japan” presentation shows the decline in silver content of Roman coin during the 3rd century fiscal crisis. The Roman empire nearly collapsed as a result of the hyperinflation caused by the dilution of their silver coins.
I would argue that the Roman empire didn’t “nearly” collapse – it did collapse. In the same way the American empire is collapsing as we speak, for the exact same reasons. However, America is debasing its currency at a far greater rate than the Romans ever did.
I just went to Wendy’s the other day and ordered two double baconator combo meals for myself and a friend. The total cost was over 16 dollars. There was a time not that long ago when a double patty burger meal would cost you less than five bucks. I’m not that old and even I can remember those days.
The fact of the matter is that theft, either through inflation or taxation, does not result in the production of more goods and services that benefit humanity. It doesn’t matter if the theft is perpetrated by a common criminal or by a State, the bottom line is that no new material goods that benefit humanity are created as a result.
We must remember what gives money its value. The more goods a society produces, the more valuable the money that society uses becomes. The decline in value of money is a direct indicator of how many goods that benefit humanity a society is producing. The “benefit humanity” part is key. Imagine if the State took 50% of everyone’s income and then spent that income producing nothing but bombs and bullets. Would the value of money society uses decline or stay the same? Clearly it would decline because society has no need for an enormous amount of bombs and bullets. Further, all of those people and material resources that went into producing bombs and bullets are not available for the production of other goods that humanity actually needs!
In other words, the State sole destroyer of material wealth in this world. The money and resources that are stolen by private thieves pales in comparison to the damage and havoc caused by State looting.
How many instances of total societal collapse must humanity endure before the lessons of the non-aggression principle are finally taken to heart? How many more lives must be lost to war before the lessons of the non-aggression principle are drilled into humanity’s collective brain?
I do look at these problems like a parent trying to teach children not to hit and steal from each other. I am sad.
Historian Tom Woods teach us some economic lessons from America’s past.