Don’t Believe the 10 Myths of the State
Fixing an Upside-Down World
by Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski
It would likely smack of excessive optimism to suggest that there was ever a time when dangerous sophisms, destructive half-truths, and self-serving biases held no sway over the public mind. And yet, it might plausibly be suggested that, due to the harsh lessons of the previous century and the widespread availability of modern information-gathering technologies, today’s societies are perhaps as well-equipped to counter their influence as they have never been before. However, one distinct set of essentially age-old, though contemporarily repackaged fallacies is still very much with us, and – such is their perverse nature – their popularity keeps feeding on the calamities that they themselves continue to bring.
They are the fallacies rooted in the denial of the existence of the logical structure of human action, and the consequent negation of economic laws. They are the sophisms that lead people to believe that with sufficient determination and coercive power, one can eliminate the constraints of scarcity. They are the supposed panacea eagerly peddled by the representatives of politically connected special interest groups, whose purported effects they often refer to as “paradoxically salutary” or “counterintuitively beneficial”. Taken together, they constitute a vision of an upside-down world, whose inhabitants are expected to believe, among other things:
That the only sure way of protecting oneself against violence, aggression and coercion is to help institute and continually support a vast, monopolistic apparatus of institutionalized violence, aggression and coercion, whose representatives do not own any of the said entity’s assets, and yet arrogate to themselves the right to expropriate any private property owner for the purposes whose utility it is up to them to appraise.
That the free market economy, whose participants – in order to prosper – have to supply one another with productive goods and services, as well as bear the full financial responsibility for the potential failures of their actions, can survive only when subjected to the regulation of a monopolistic group of non-producers, who can always shift the costs of their failures onto the shoulders of producers.