2009 02 22 Sean Gabb speaking to the Marlborough Group



  1. We would do well to rediscover much of the policy and philosophy which came from the Founding Fathers, and ‘take it back’ into our own philosophy. Ron Paul has done much to promote this philosophy in the US, and it has caught on amongst British Libertarians. I’m certainly an admirer of his.

    Insofar as Charles is concerned, I think he’ll probably tow the line. If he was going to say something about the EU and so on, he’d have done so by now.

  2. Steven Northwood:

    [ FX: “You can’t get there from here!” ]

    Ron Paul is both disingenuous and he’s dangerously misleading voters and other people.

    He’s NOT ‘libertarian’ at all, even though he makes Ersatz-libertarian noises.

    He’s a niche-market Texas “Rebulican.”

    Oh, sure, he takes some seemingly ‘libertarian’ positions on _some_ issues, especially the ideologically-driven Rightist ones.

    This enables him to garner a few votes and some Campaign funding from Rightist nut-jobs.

    But nothing has, does or will come of it. He’s just another Social Darwinist flirting with Ultra-Rightists, (including even EMPLOYING some outright RACIST BIGOTS…)

    In the words of Hoover Institute scholar Robert G. Wesson:

    “All ideologies are covers for unconfessable interests.”



    The very

  3. Tony;

    I realise there must be some reason why the American electorate and the Republican Party membership failed to endorse Ron Paul, but it is a bit much to say he’s disingenous. Moreover, it should be like cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face. I mean, the real disingenous and misleading people there are John McCain, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Hilary Clinton, whenever Bill’s not with her.

    But why always the messenger? Dr Paul told it like it is, with some of the best economic philosophy to be had, and gave the US the opportunity to return to the culture which is its traditional home and the past source of its wealth.

    If Ron’s wrong he ought to be debated and corrected. It’s the others who are the problem.

  4. Steven:

    [a] The “Republican” Party has no use or time for Ron Paul because the “Republican” Party is a craven instrument of Crony-Capitalists and redneck bigots and Xtian fundamentalists. Ron Paul’s agenda is not only contrary to their Social Control agenda, it’s a direct threat to their own political positions. AND he’s outright unelectable nationally.

    I keep on telling you that “Austrian School Economics” cannot provide testable novel predictions. This is closely-argued by the top-flight philosophers of Science.

    That is; “Austrian School Economics is incapable of predicting what will happen in any real attempt to put its precepts into practice. That’s identical to the problem-situation with Marxism. It’s also th reson why Austrian School ‘Economics’ has no academic credibility outside George Mason University, which is paid to ‘teach’ it by rich Right-wong ideologists who have other motives — unconfessable motivations…

    So the politician Ron Paul — who I accept is probably sincere in his faith — is in fact asking the American people to travel with him on an ENTIRELY unpredicable journey. Ron Paul has absolutely no econometric models offering any testable (hence scientific) capacity to predict and describe what the results of Ron Paul putting his ideas into practice. Yet he’ll be playing with the futures of ,illions of people — exactly what folks herabouts dislike so much concerning the ‘Marxists.’ They _pretend_ to know when they cannot know.

    Islam asks you to believe that following its precepts will land you up in Paradise: do you believe that it will indeed do that? How could you possibly know or check?

    I’m sure that there are parts of Austrian School Economics which appeal to your intuitions. For me, too.

    But it’s entirely chimerical.

    I and most other people (insofar as they’ve even HEARD of the thing) recognize it as pseudo-science — just like Nancy Reagan’s astrology. And you would willingly embark on a long day’s journey into night on this???

    WHY, in Heaven’s name, Steven? Ever heard about frying-pans and fires??


  5. Tony;

    Very good. I think you’re right about my interest in the Austrian School, and I acknowledge myself that if all of it’s prescriptions were followed, things may well get much worse for many people. I’m more up the Chicago School alley really.

    But in any case, I maintain that if a person wants to really understand economics, they’d do much better to study the works of the likes of Smith and Friedman than the Mysterious Ways of Karl Marx et al.

    And regarding Ron Paul, I think objective criticism is right, but let’s face it, if we rubbish Ron Paul, who else is there? We’d be doing the work of Obama and McCain.

  6. Tony if you consider Austrian Economics to be unscientific, then I would assume that you consider Mathematics to be the same?

  7. PC:

    Fortunately,before his untimely death, Imre Lakatos write two books, both of which I have.

    [A] “Proofs and Refutatiions” addressing issues in Mathematics; and:

    [B] “The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes”, which is perhaps the finest, most valuable and most useful book I’ve ever read.

    For a short essay on Lakatos (“The Keymaker”), see Wiki..

    It’s absolutely “Must-Read” work on so many if he key fundamental problems.



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