Welcome everyone to Finance and Fury, the Furious Friday edition. Today’s episode is part 5 of the miniseries. The last part looked at the ‘fair go’, what is fair for some, isn’t for others. Nearing the end of the series, I want to put forward a case. The constant need to make things ‘fair’ i.e. have an equal distribution of goods = destroys equality of opportunity for a nation. It destroys what makes nations great (no opportunity from authoritarian governments, we covered this in episode 2), and starts to reduce the freedoms of the nation which is the equality of opportunity. Where does this ‘fairness’ mandate come from? Because it’s a relatively new concept in society. The cause is our progressive nature.
  1. Progressivism is the support for the improvement of society by reform
    • A philosophy based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development, and social organisation are vital to the improvement of the human condition
    • Progress is what separates us from other animals, which is why we are the ‘king of the jungle’
    • Our desire for never-ending improvement is great! Allows us to better our positions.
      • We are hardwired to do it. However, there are not many inventions from those being coerced into creating verse those people who are passionate
    • This is where reform comes into it, and I have an issue with it. The reform is a type of social movement that aims to bring a political system (in Democracy) closer to the community’s ideal
    • Reforms are mandated changes by the government. Reform in a democracy, politicians will pander to the crowd. This is seen across civilisations, like in Rome with Caesar and the mob rule
    • At the core of progressive philosophy is the improvement of the human condition
    • As the human condition is measured on the individual level, progress is great. But when you measure it in collectives (groups), that’s where you can find issues
      • Measure progress: All individuals doing relatively better, but some groups did better than others
  2. This is when progressivisms will make any country socialist if left unchecked/or goes unnoticed. This is the focus of today’s episode.
    • Swapping the focus of individual conditions to group conditions, in the nature of progress, seems to lead a nation to become socialist

Progress itself:

Humans always change, nature is always progressing. Progress is fantastic, only when it benefits everyone
  1. Technology throughout history, with fire, the wheel, and the printing press, the internet, and telephones
  2. During the age of enlightenment during the 18th + 19th century lead to an explosion in knowledge sharing and technology, and wealth (free market)
    • First adopters got very wealthy through the new industries like banking, oil, and railroads. These are all relatively new technologies and they built empires for the individuals who managed to corner the market
      • In society, up until about the 1600s most western countries were ruled under a monarchy, which people genuinely accepted. It was understood as the monarchy having the divine right to rule. But then, people were given the freedom to do what they want.
    • The feudal system then shifted to more free markets. The wealth of monarchs never helped anyone, whereas, the wealth of robber barons helped millions of individuals
      • Got wealth through providing cheaper oil, heating, steel, and general goods that people use
      • These resources, now available at the turn of the age of enlightenment, helped many people, but also generated a lot of wealth for the owners
  3. 1900’s progressives originally thought the problems society faced could best be addressed by providing good education, a safe environment, and an efficient workplace. This all sounds brilliant, but slowly changed the focus on solutions
    • What happens when equality is now a mandate of the government? Now progressivism is about equalising economic and social conditions
    • The problem? Some people have more money than others. The solution under this mandate? Something is wrong with the system, and you just need to redistribute the wealth
      • Do you want to help those at the bottom? What is help?
      • Give a man a fish to eat, or teach him how to fish? Which is the better solution?
    • Enter in new economic theories for new inequality and how to equalise the wealth distribution. Not let anyone own anything in the first place.
  4. In the early 20th Century, theories were put into action with ‘reform’ like communist/socialist movements (economic/eugenic)
    • Socialism upbringing across a lot of nations lead to the starvation, from reform, 110 million dead
    • The reforms themselves come from the legislate for compliance in society. That’s with the governmental power over the population. Increased when some of the population want it (Social organisation – One of four Core Components of Progressivism)
      • This all comes back to activism: with groups campaigning for laws as votes equal change
    • Question: Is it better to let people choose to adopt something for themselves, or is it better to force them into adopting it? Well, I guess it depends on the thing
      • Small groups campaign for laws based around the common views, and it is what most of the population (in areas) wanted
      • Plenty of examples in history, like the Jim Crow laws in the USA as racial segregation laws. These laws are why Rosa Parks was arrested for, which is where the Civil Rights movement came out of
      • Put into place by Democrats, they really wanted racial segregation laws in the South. It got removed by LBJ (D) – ‘ill have those N voting democrat for 200 years’
      • KKK used as the militant wing of Democratic Party. They are both on the left, the KKK, racist socialists like neo-Nazi’s, and the democratic party all have the collective ideologies. It’s just the KKK are far more vocal about their racist views
        • Wanted to improve genetic breeding through extermination of blacks, which is horrible, they used reform for them to achieve this
    • Question: when ‘intellectuals/experts’ do studies, and prove that they can improve the human race and that the government are the only ones who can help
      • A lot of the population get behind it, the active ones anyway, wouldn’t it be great to have the government make these reforms?
    • Worse example: Eugenics was a big movement pushed by intellectuals and put into place by the government – Strap yourselves in, as this is an extreme example of why the government shouldn’t have power over these reform decisions
      • The project of improving the human population through a statistical understanding of heredity 
      • Developed by Francis Galton, closely linked to Darwinism and his theory of natural selection (cousins)
      • Galton was a polymath came up with a multitude of concepts in multiple fields, like meteorology (weather maps), statistics (regression and correlation), psychology, biology (heredity), and criminology (fingerprints). He also came up with the concept of eugenics.
    • Picked up interest with the progressive era in the US around the 1900s through to the 1920s or so. This is where it took a dark turn, as 60,000 (1/3 in California) people were sterilized in the United States based on eugenic laws. 32 U.S. states passed sterilization laws between 1907 and 1937
      • Surgeries reached their highest numbers in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Designed to remove weak genetics from the gene pool against criteria on individuals
      • Things were more direct with surgeries without consent or a person’s knowledge
      • Still happens today, from 2006 to 2010 in California 146 female inmates were sterilized
    • Why don’t we hear of Eugenics much today? Hitler was a big fan, in Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler credits American Eugenics as the inspiration for his final solution. ‘Aryan’ comes from Galton and Eugenics, Nazi’s just used the term
      • Progress on the scale, the Nazi’s prefer to commit genocide. It’s horrible, but it was the German efficiency way
      • Joseph Mengele (Rockefeller Foundation funded), before going to Auschwitz, he was conducting more experiments in conjunction with Californian scientists
    • Word got out late in the war. These US scientists had to change marketing strategies now that Hitler had ruined the party
  5. Mobilisation and Destruction has also progressed, as seen in Wars
    • WW1: Nobody had seen war in the ‘modern’ era. With machine guns, artillery, UBoats, basic planes, and tanks at the end
      • Biggest in 100 years in EU since the Napoleonic war, where 5m people died (one other war in this period in China with more casualties), the type of fighting was trench warfare
      • WW1 13-14m died in just over 4 years. There have been wars in past that killed as many, but took decades
      • Everyone said ‘never again’ to world wars, until WW2 broke out
    • WW2: War fought over ‘progressive’ ideas at the time, and left 84m dead in 6 years (horrible thing was mostly civilians)
      • Mongols had the gold medal until this with 50m deaths but took 163 years (1206). Comparing the two, we have 200k vs 14m per year (68 times more). Hence, we have come a long way in 700 years in progressive natures of the wars. The countries with most death as a % were by authoritarian governments
        • Russia (32% of war causalities translates to 13.7% of their population), Germany, (8.7% of war causalities and barely a percent of the population)
    • Manhattan Project gave the ability to decimate an empire with nuke bombs
      • End of the war with Operation Paperclip took in 1,600 Nazi Scientists, they started working on NASA with rocket technology
    • Cold war (war of progress and race for more power) Russia made the Tsar bomb in 1961 which was a 50 megaton bomb (of TNT)
      • Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons (of TNT) – the Tsar bomb is 3,333 bigger and was meant to be 100 megatons
      • The Tsar bomb created a fireball 8km wide, mushroom cloud 65km up (planes 10.5km), and 95km wide at the top
      • Village 55km away destroyed, wooden hundreds of kms, windows 900km shattered, and a shock wave 3 times around the earth’s circumference
      • Imagine setting a bomb off in Brisbane and shattering windows in Sydney
    • Thankfully, it was decided to be mutually assured destruction. This has kept world powers from another WW but has sparked a conflict by trying to keep them away from some countries. Still hasn’t helped stop smaller wars though
  6. What happened? Progress had been going well up until the turn of 20th The focus changed
    • Enlightenment had been about progress for the betterment of the individual. Also, for individuals to have equal opportunity
    • Classical Liberalism from the 1600s. The 10 values are: 1) Liberty as the primary political value; 2) Individualism; 3) Scepticism about power; 4) Rule of Law; 5) Civil Society; 6) Spontaneous Order; 7) Free Markets; 8) Toleration; 9) Peace; 10) Limited Government. This is where the government is needed though, for the law, creating peaceful environments and building infrastructure
      • J Locke, wrote a lot on classical liberalism and is one of the major influencers for the American constitution. From 1680 – 1950: an explosion of wealth from these concepts
      • End of True Monarchy (now Constitutional), this increased freedom of choices. Created a prosperous society.
    • Morphed at the end of the 19th century (1860). Modern/Social Liberalism, the role of the government includes addressing economic and social issues such as poverty, health care, and education. Increasing government size and responsibility, no longer a limited government
    • Changed during the 20th century as influenced by socialism: Social democracy as a progressive modification of capitalism
      • Broadly defined as a project that aims to correct what it regards as the intrinsic defects of capitalism
        • Reducing inequalities through government reform
      • Characterised by a commitment to policies aimed at curbing inequality, oppression of underprivileged groups and poverty. The focus is on groups
  7. View of who holds the solution changed. Used to be individuals and small communities to now it being governments (Biggest community of all)
  8. When you get everything you want and the problem still isn’t solved, what then? Keep pushing for the government to make it fair, rather than the people. When people are the solution, people build their own wealth and the government helps to facilitate an environment that allows us to be wealthy. But, if the government is the solution, all it has to do is take and then redistribute
    • Socialism: The power of governments is embraced and expanded, we lose the free market as it’s now controlled, collectivist rule. This is the polar opposite of civil society because we lose spontaneous order. Which is the matter of individuals being able to organise themselves properly, rather than being forced to by a government. You also lose toleration, because now society is intolerant of those with wealth. You lose all the foundations, except maybe the rule of law.
    • Now you have entered into reducing equality of opportunity for increased equality of outcome
    • As soon as the government is seen as the solution, society is doomed
    • They paint themselves as the solution. Every campaign is on what they can do for you, they need your vote so they need to sell you what they can do for you
    • What do politicians have? They have power, large groups of them have a lot of power. A recent example is the Anti-Encryption Act that was recently passed
      • Power is addictive, politicians tend to behave like addicts. Do and say anything short term to get what they want
      • With ever-increasing demands from the population, ever-increasing power given to the government
    • We went through examples of importance to limit government powers/involvement with ‘progress’
      • Authority/Power of governments increased again after monarchy at the turn of the century
      • Governments had conscription and Central Banks. The Fed in 1914 provided almost unlimited funding
      • WW1 should have been the 1000th Balkan war. Austria and Hungary annexed land from Serbia, and the Black Hand shooting Franz Ferdinand. But, thanks to treaties between Russia, France, and the UK they created this global extent of death and destruction.
      • WW2 (less avoidable, however, WW1 set it up) Hitler 1933-1939 he ruled fairly peacefully, but he was seen as the solution for German problems. Because Germany wasn’t doing so well in the 1930s, he even one times person of the year in 1938. All of a sudden, he invaded Poland 6 years later, Stalin and Hitler were to split it 50/50. Once again, all large governments (Communists were seen as the solution there) because they promised people everything. But skip forward, they don’t turn out too good, as they end with a lot of death and destruction.

The whole point of ep?

That government with too much power end up destroying freedoms. We are what makes it happen
  1. I hope that I have been able to explain it properly: Solution = Government, going to lead to the population voting for more government
  2. Population driven shift on the political spectrum to authoritarian regimes
    • It’s a cycle: more power (to do) they have, then they start to become the solution for more things = authoritarian
  3. May be a secondary consequence of belief in government solutions for problems. Say for instance you have 2 scenarios:
    • Grow up in a world where the government can’t help you, there’s no social support, or housing. It’s a harder world
    • Government provides social support, the government provides solutions to your problems
    • What scenario would you be more likely to make sure you don’t fail?
    • I think that the more someone else says they will solve your problems, the less you will look for your own solution
      • The world is a scary place, but only if you don’t learn how to prosper in it. Like when the solution is the government.
    • Makes a very easily controlled population, when everyone is reliant on the government
  4. Why it is important to have balance, like different policies and what the government should be involved in
    • You either want the government to have more, or less interference in your life. And right now there is nothing that the government isn’t involved with. For e.g. Rego (car), bike (gst, helmet), Owning an animal (getting it registered)
    • The current speed on reforms, takes a lot of time to see how reforms will impact society. If too many changes are done at once, it can be the downfall of freedoms for the individual

What is another option?

If the government can’t give it to you, then you won’t ask for it. Now, imagine how scary the world would be if the government wasn’t there to help?
  1. This is what the final episode will look at, and how would a world like that look
  2. What the core classical liberalism models are based on
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