Monthly Archives: October 2012

VOL 1 NO 3 – Contents

  1. EDITORIAL: Secession is Patriotic
  2. POLITICAL ADVICE HOTLINE: Letters to the Editor
  3. GINA RINEHART COLUMN: A Call for Action on Serious Challenges
  4. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: Why we couldn’t abolish slavery then and can’t abolish government now, by Dr. Robert Higgs
  5. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: Correcting 50 years of Buchanan and Tullock’s The Calculus of Consent, by Dr. Murray Rothbard
  6. MINIMUM WAGE: Andrew Shuen Debates Socialists on the Harm of the Minimum Wage
  7. POETRY: “Thought Criminal”, by Timothy W. Humphries
  8. ARTS POLICY: George Jean Nathan Mocks the Moral Arguments for Government Funding of the Arts
  9. CLIMATE POLICY: A look back with Bert Kelly on how weather prediction changes with the fashions and the seasons

EDITORIAL: Secession is Patriotic

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

Why is it that Beijing allows Special Economic Zones like Hong Kong, but Canberra doesn’t allow Western Australia to secede? Why does Canberra insist on being so centralising, controlling and all-powerful?

Instead of saying, “Good day” and “How are you going?,” Australians say, “G’day” and “Owya?” Long-windedness, as is displayed in the buzzword-filled attempts to oppose secession and support extra layers of bureaucracy, is not an Australian virtue. Australians support secession.

Our long-winded politicians in Canberra might be well-meaning, but when they start showing concern about voluntarily-contracted foreign workers and voluntarily-acquired foreign ownership of property in Australia, they are succumbing to ideas whose origin is unAustralian, and they have not been voluntarily accepted by Australian property owners.

The Australian mining legend Ronald Kitching called Australia’s capital the Canberra Kremlin. It is a foreign power, using long-windedness against the short quick independent language of Australia proper.

Karl Marx was not an Australian.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was not an Australian.

Maynard Keynes was not an Australian. Read the rest of this entry

Letters to the editor

by Benjamin Marks, Capitalism.HK and Economics.org.au editor

Dear Ed,

My name is Mavis, and I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for three weeks now. He’s alright, but when we talk about politics, he says he’s a Marxist and votes for the Labor Party. What should I do?

Thanks,
Mavis Coombes, from Balmain, Sydney, Australia

Thanks Mavis. This must be a difficult time for you. This serious situation may require more than one of the following remedies:

Firstly, if he’s really sympathetic to Marxism, it is not clear why he would vote for the Labor Party rather than the Liberal Party. They both decrease the scope for free-markets and believe in exactly the same (lack of) principles, differing only in degree. And they both support nearly all of the short-term communist aims as outlined in, say, The Communist Manifesto.

Secondly, he cannot possibly be a Marxist. Read the rest of this entry

Andrew Shuen Debates Socialists on the Harm of the Minimum Wage

Newsline Hong Kong ATV debate, May 6, 2012, with Andrew Shuen of The Lion Rock Institute.

Transcript available in the print version of Capitalism.HK, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 16-22.

“Thought Criminal”

by Timothy W Humphries, an emerging writer who has been published at Menzies House and the Australian Libertarian Society. He has almost finished a graduate qualification in Journalism and is intent on producing an anti-tax play into a film in the next 12-18 months. He can be contacted via twitter at @mothyspace

“Thought Criminal” is about the recent SOPA and PIPA battles in the US. It can be seen as Orwell’s 1984 in song.

Verse 1

Wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time
You’re the Thought Criminal.
Tarted up for convention,
Smashed into a cage, every day.

Verse 2

Tarted up for convention,
In every single way.
A paper pushing prop,
In the death machine! Read the rest of this entry

George Jean Nathan Mocks the Moral Arguments for Government Funding of the Arts

George Jean Nathan (1882-1958) was one of the great theatre critics. Here are some brief selections from his writings mocking the same moral arguments that are today used to justify government funding of the Arts.

1.
George Jean Nathan, Materia Critica (New York: Knopf, 1924), p. 60.

If the combined aim and object of art lies in the stirring of the emotions, and is praiseworthy, why should the similar aim and object of the vices be regarded as meretricious? If the Madonnas of Raphael, Holbein, Murillo and Da Vinci are commendable in that they stir the imagination to the contentments of faith, why are not the whiskeys of Dewar, Macdonald, Haig and Macdougal commendable for the same reason? If a Bach fogue is praised for stimulating the mind, why not a Corona Corona? If the senses are commendably excited by Balzac and Zola, why shouldn’t they be excited, and equally commendably, by means that may be described as being somewhat less literary? Read the rest of this entry