Quotebag #80

“The ‘genius’ of capitalism is that premature death is regarded not as systemic failure but as a matter of personal choice. ”—Purple

“If all the employers who’ll hire you will make you pee on camera, if all the municipalities have obnoxious zoning laws, then you don’t have much choice, other than who you’ll pee in front of and exactly which obnoxious regulations you’ll live under.”—Damien S.

“Given the ease of data collection, question is no longer how to block data flows, but how to assure ‘Equal Surveillance Under Law’ (the title of a ‘Ewen Lecture on Civil Liberties’ I recently gave at Brooklyn College).”—Frank Pasquale

“Bringing it back to the debate over libertarianism and the workplace, it’s worth noting that ‘voluntary’ versus ‘coerced’ is not a binary distinction but a spectrum, with one end representing virtually no costs for choosing something different, whilst the other represents death/torture.”—Unlearningecon

“Hayek loved Pinochet more than Paul Robeson ever loved Joseph Stalin.”—Mitchell J. Freedman

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1 Response to Quotebag #80

  1. Hayek’s published writing about Pinochet is an awful example of politically-motivated excuse-making. But it’s hard to know what in the world the out-of-left comparison to Robeson in the pull-quote here is supposed to be based on, other than wishful thinking about the people that the author would like to admire. Certainly if we are supposed to draw some kind of conclusion from what Robeson actually wrote and said about Stalin, it’s hard to imagine anything Hayek could possibly have published that would indicate a greater ”love” for Pinochet than what Robeson said in, say, ”To You Beloved Comrade” (1953):

    ”. . . Suddenly everyone stood—began to applaud—to cheer—and to smile. The children waved. In a box to the right—smiling and applauding the audience—as well as the artists on the stage—stood the great Stalin. I remember the tears began to quietly flow and I too smiled and waved. Here was clearly a man who seemed to embrace all. So kindly—I can never forget that warm feeling of kindliness and also a feeling of sureness. Here was one who was wise and good—the world and especially the socialist world was fortunate indeed to have his daily guidance. I lifted high my son Paul to wave to this world leader, and his leader. For Paul, Jr. had entered school in Moscow, in the land of the Soviets. . . .

    . . . Colonial peoples today look to the Soviet Socialist Republics. They see how under the great Stalin millions like themselves have found a new life. They see that aided and guided by the example of the Soviet Union, led by their Mao Tse-tung, a new China adds its mighty power to the true and expanding socialist way of life. They see formerly semi-colonial Eastern European nations building new People’s Democracies, based upon the people’s power with the people shaping their own destinies. So much of this progress stems from the magnificent leadership, theoretical and practical, given by their friend Joseph Stalin. They have sung—sing now and will sing his praise—in song and story. Slava – slava – slava – Stalin, Glory to Stalin. Forever will his name be honored and beloved in all lands. In all spheres of modern life the influence of Stalin reaches wide and deep. From his last simply written but vastly discerning and comprehensive document, back through the years, his contributions to the science of our world society remain invaluable. One reverently speaks of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin—the shapers of humanity’s richest present and future. Yes, through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage. Most importantly—he has charted the direction of our present and future struggles. He has pointed the way to peace—to friendly co-existence—to the exchange of mutual scientific and cultural contributions—to the end of war and destruction. How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief. But, as he well knew, the struggle continues. So, inspired by his noble example, let us lift our heads slowly but proudly high and march forward in the fight for peace—for a rich and rewarding life for all. . . .”

    Hayek wrote a lot of rubbish about Pinochet and about Chile. But as far as I can tell — and please feel free to tell me if there is something that I am missing — he never wrote anything that even comes within an order of magnitude of this.

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