“most people have accepted government as their masters.”

Sunday, September 2, 2012
By Paul Martin

The Rulers And The Ruled

Bill Buckler

The truth that without property rights, no other rights are possible has been known for millennia. In the formalised study of politics, it is more than 300 years old, having been articulated with great care by John Locke in the late 17th century. The modern study of economics is well over 200 years old. Adam Smith’s Wealth Of Nations was published in 1776 – the same year as Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration Of Independence. The great work which finally integrated money with politics and economics celebrates its centennial this year. Ludwig von Mises published his Theory Of Money And Credit in 1912 – the year before the US inaugurated an income tax and a central bank. Ten years after that in 1922, von Mises published Socialism – a book which established beyond refutation the fundamental truth that any form of central planning and/or government control of the means of production cannot work because it makes economic calculation impossible. Picture if you will the state of ANY other branch of human endeavour if ALL the knowledge about it gained over the past three centuries had been summarily dismissed.

Property rights are a prerequisite for any kind of exchange – direct or indirect. The ability to exchange is fundamental to any type of viable economic activity. The efficiency of exchange is fundamental to the success of that economic activity and the resultant prosperity of the nation that engages in it. Indirect exchange using a MEDIUM of exchange or money is hugely more efficient than direct exchange or barter. That makes money the most important economic good in existence. The tragedy of our present global plight is the simple fact that money is also the least understood economic good in existence.

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