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The Many Errors Inherent in Central Planning


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#1 dennislmay

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:22 PM

I view the economic errors of central planning as an exercise in information theory. A few months ago
I was on the extropy discussion site and realized during a discussion of the economic fallacies of
central planning that a great many involved in the discussion were die-hard socialists who embrace
socialism and central planning as a religious matter.

One strain of utopian thought seeks to design compact ideal efficient societies and pre-planned cities.
Hence China has several empty cities and empty shopping complexes. I seem to remember the Soviets
created some ghost cities as well.

One utopian strain is attempting to move agriculture into compact highrise form. Several are interested
in compact tightly controlled cities resembling this form of agriculture.

It isn't difficult to discover the dangers of compact living:

http://www.usatoday....-outbreak_N.htm

Some agricultural utopians [Stalin and Mao liked to play farmer as well].

http://www.verticalfarm.com/

http://en.wikipedia....ertical_farming

Generally you don't have to look very deep to find a socialist central planner's goals behind it all.

Of course with central planning comes one size fits all and widespread uniform catastrophe when it fails.

Back to the extropy discussion - I was amazed that those who embrace information to solve so many
problems were literally unable to apply it to economic theory.

George help us with the topic of religions without traditional god concepts.

Dennis

#2 Selene

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:48 PM

Dennis:

Precisely the point that Mark Levin is making in his new book, Ameritopia, which I would suggest everyone read.

He traces the Utopian statist religious zealot's belief that he, and he alone, is the mastermind and he leads his followers with the absolute certainty that
he alone knows what is best for all and he requires an "army of drones" to make "building a rainbow to paradise" the goal of the state.

Adam
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#3 dennislmay

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

Dennis:

Precisely the point that Mark Levin is making in his new book, Ameritopia, which I would suggest everyone read.

He traces the Utopian statist religious zealot's belief that he, and he alone, is the mastermind and he leads his followers with the absolute certainty that
he alone knows what is best for all and he requires an "army of drones" to make "building a rainbow to paradise" the goal of the state.

Adam

I will have to get the book. I listen to Mark Levin on XM radio on and off - he is my favorite talk radio guy - I wish he was on earlier in the day.

Dennis

#4 Selene

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:22 PM


Dennis:

Precisely the point that Mark Levin is making in his new book, Ameritopia, which I would suggest everyone read.

He traces the Utopian statist religious zealot's belief that he, and he alone, is the mastermind and he leads his followers with the absolute certainty that
he alone knows what is best for all and he requires an "army of drones" to make "building a rainbow to paradise" the goal of the state.

Adam

I will have to get the book. I listen to Mark Levin on XM radio on and off - he is my favorite talk radio guy - I wish he was on earlier in the day.

Dennis


Dennis:

You can download his podcasts for free from his website of the prior nights show.

http://marklevinshow.com/home.asp
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#5 dennislmay

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:39 PM



Dennis:

Precisely the point that Mark Levin is making in his new book, Ameritopia, which I would suggest everyone read.

He traces the Utopian statist religious zealot's belief that he, and he alone, is the mastermind and he leads his followers with the absolute certainty that
he alone knows what is best for all and he requires an "army of drones" to make "building a rainbow to paradise" the goal of the state.

Adam

I will have to get the book. I listen to Mark Levin on XM radio on and off - he is my favorite talk radio guy - I wish he was on earlier in the day.

Dennis


Dennis:

You can download his podcasts for free from his website of the prior nights show.

http://marklevinshow.com/home.asp

Thanks. I'll have to give that a try. They also re-run some on XM late Sunday nights.

Dennis

#6 studiodekadent

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:21 AM

I view the economic errors of central planning as an exercise in information theory. A few months ago
I was on the extropy discussion site and realized during a discussion of the economic fallacies of
central planning that a great many involved in the discussion were die-hard socialists who embrace
socialism and central planning as a religious matter.

One strain of utopian thought seeks to design compact ideal efficient societies and pre-planned cities.

Of course with central planning comes one size fits all and widespread uniform catastrophe when it fails.

Back to the extropy discussion - I was amazed that those who embrace information to solve so many
problems were literally unable to apply it to economic theory.


This syndrome of most Statists was pointed out by Hayek, who diagnosed it as "Constructivist Rationalism" (the belief that someone can armchair-philosophize their way to a blueprint for Utopia... basically, turning political philosophy into pseudoscience).

Perhaps the reason so many Extropians get into it is due to a real mischaracterization of human reason. Reasoning is empirical, contextual and fallible; plus, when looking at matters of politics and philosophy you will invariably be dealing with some data which can't exactly be verified in the scientific manner. However, some Extropians seem to believe the scientific method delivers the kind of knowledge that divine revelation claims to bring; perfect intrinsic eternal acontextual super-truth.

Hence, these Extropians will fall into Constructivist Rationalism; they will treat the conclusions of reason like divine revelations, closed to new evidence or debate or discussion or contextualization.

The American Progressive movement of the Depression era was an example of the Constructivist Rationalist tendency. As was orthodox Marxism. Fascism was a more complicated case given it was explicitly anti-rational but the Nazi variant embraced racialist psuedoscience (plus, philosophically it descended from the same Continental Counter-Enlightenment background that Marxism did).
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#7 dennislmay

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:43 AM


I view the economic errors of central planning as an exercise in information theory. A few months ago
I was on the extropy discussion site and realized during a discussion of the economic fallacies of
central planning that a great many involved in the discussion were die-hard socialists who embrace
socialism and central planning as a religious matter.

One strain of utopian thought seeks to design compact ideal efficient societies and pre-planned cities.

Of course with central planning comes one size fits all and widespread uniform catastrophe when it fails.

Back to the extropy discussion - I was amazed that those who embrace information to solve so many
problems were literally unable to apply it to economic theory.


This syndrome of most Statists was pointed out by Hayek, who diagnosed it as "Constructivist Rationalism" (the belief that someone can armchair-philosophize their way to a blueprint for Utopia... basically, turning political philosophy into pseudoscience).

Perhaps the reason so many Extropians get into it is due to a real mischaracterization of human reason. Reasoning is empirical, contextual and fallible; plus, when looking at matters of politics and philosophy you will invariably be dealing with some data which can't exactly be verified in the scientific manner. However, some Extropians seem to believe the scientific method delivers the kind of knowledge that divine revelation claims to bring; perfect intrinsic eternal acontextual super-truth.

Hence, these Extropians will fall into Constructivist Rationalism; they will treat the conclusions of reason like divine revelations, closed to new evidence or debate or discussion or contextualization.

The American Progressive movement of the Depression era was an example of the Constructivist Rationalist tendency. As was orthodox Marxism. Fascism was a more complicated case given it was explicitly anti-rational but the Nazi variant embraced racialist psuedoscience (plus, philosophically it descended from the same Continental Counter-Enlightenment background that Marxism did).

I have noticed several extropians embrace the abilities of the hypothetical M-brain as their "perfect intrinsic eternal acontextual super-truth". Some also abandon basic thermodynamics in asigning super powers to potiental gray-goo. The extropians I have conversed with have a variety of views for sure but attract a great many central planner types. Some seem unable to question certain popular extropian views - as though so much thought has been put into them that they cannot possibly be wrong. There seems to be a great deal of overlap into left-libertarian thought - which is to say socialist. There are enough interesting ideas that I might visit them again some time but also enough dead end thought to make it work to sort through conversations.

Dennis

#8 studiodekadent

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:56 AM

There seems to be a great deal of overlap into left-libertarian thought - which is to say socialist.


If by "left-libertarian" you're talking about people such as Roderick Long, and the "free-market anti-capitalists," than I'd disagree with you there. That type of left-libertarianism isn't socialist.

The free-market anti-capitalists use "capitalism" to mean either "corporatism" or "a system where some people own capital and some people do not." If they're using the first definition of "capitalism" then they are completely in accordance with Objectivism; they simply don't use the term "capitalism" the same way we do (and honestly, I prefer not to use the term "capitalism" either... I prefer "laissez-faire free markets" because its more precise). And if they mean "some people own capital and some people do not" well that doesn't necessarily mean they're socialists; they might be Individualist Anarchists who believe everyone (as in every individual) should own capital, and thus they're advocating a society where every individual is a capitalist in the Marxist sense of the term.

That said, not all left-libertarians are people like Roderick Long or Kevin Carson. Some are indeed socialists, I agree.
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#9 dennislmay

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:57 AM


There seems to be a great deal of overlap into left-libertarian thought - which is to say socialist.


If by "left-libertarian" you're talking about people such as Roderick Long, and the "free-market anti-capitalists," than I'd disagree with you there. That type of left-libertarianism isn't socialist.

The free-market anti-capitalists use "capitalism" to mean either "corporatism" or "a system where some people own capital and some people do not." If they're using the first definition of "capitalism" then they are completely in accordance with Objectivism; they simply don't use the term "capitalism" the same way we do (and honestly, I prefer not to use the term "capitalism" either... I prefer "laissez-faire free markets" because its more precise). And if they mean "some people own capital and some people do not" well that doesn't necessarily mean they're socialists; they might be Individualist Anarchists who believe everyone (as in every individual) should own capital, and thus they're advocating a society where every individual is a capitalist in the Marxist sense of the term.

That said, not all left-libertarians are people like Roderick Long or Kevin Carson. Some are indeed socialists, I agree.

You are correct about the diversity - I should have been more precise.

In various discussions with libertarians one thing has always bothered me. Many are willing to and often do work with collectivists when they believe they share common goals. The pattern goes back to the roots of the libertarian movement. I see many libertarians as fundamentally compromised. Rand spoke of the problem in terms of a lack of clear set of principles or philosophy. While that is true I think there is more to it than that - there seems to be an influential subset of libertarians using libertarians to further socialist goals - useful idiots as the saying goes. I have heard Mark Levin mention that the Ron Paul camp contains several advisors with socialist backgrounds and Paul himself has worked with the socialist Bernie Sanders on legislation. It seems to be a case of compartmentalization. Many libertarians do the right thing for liberty until they suddenly get in bed with those opposed to it - a deep seated need to seek approval. These internal problems become more obvious when displayed on a big stage. With already small numbers it makes it difficult to encourage libertarians to divest themselves of those in bed with socialists - but if they don't the movement is doomed in any case. Those willing to divest [political movement] will need a new name or carry the burdens of those they left behind.

Dennis

#10 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:40 AM



There seems to be a great deal of overlap into left-libertarian thought - which is to say socialist.


If by "left-libertarian" you're talking about people such as Roderick Long, and the "free-market anti-capitalists," than I'd disagree with you there. That type of left-libertarianism isn't socialist.

The free-market anti-capitalists use "capitalism" to mean either "corporatism" or "a system where some people own capital and some people do not." If they're using the first definition of "capitalism" then they are completely in accordance with Objectivism; they simply don't use the term "capitalism" the same way we do (and honestly, I prefer not to use the term "capitalism" either... I prefer "laissez-faire free markets" because its more precise). And if they mean "some people own capital and some people do not" well that doesn't necessarily mean they're socialists; they might be Individualist Anarchists who believe everyone (as in every individual) should own capital, and thus they're advocating a society where every individual is a capitalist in the Marxist sense of the term.

That said, not all left-libertarians are people like Roderick Long or Kevin Carson. Some are indeed socialists, I agree.

You are correct about the diversity - I should have been more precise.

In various discussions with libertarians one thing has always bothered me. Many are willing to and often do work with collectivists when they believe they share common goals. The pattern goes back to the roots of the libertarian movement. I see many libertarians as fundamentally compromised. Rand spoke of the problem in terms of a lack of clear set of principles or philosophy. While that is true I think there is more to it than that - there seems to be an influential subset of libertarians using libertarians to further socialist goals - useful idiots as the saying goes. I have heard Mark Levin mention that the Ron Paul camp contains several advisors with socialist backgrounds and Paul himself has worked with the socialist Bernie Sanders on legislation. It seems to be a case of compartmentalization. Many libertarians do the right thing for liberty until they suddenly get in bed with those opposed to it - a deep seated need to seek approval. These internal problems become more obvious when displayed on a big stage. With already small numbers it makes it difficult to encourage libertarians to divest themselves of those in bed with socialists - but if they don't the movement is doomed in any case. Those willing to divest [political movement] will need a new name or carry the burdens of those they left behind.

Dennis


Unfortunately it is the "socialists" (actually statists) who have their hands on the levers of power and control. One works with the material one has at hand for the present and tries to bring about basic changes later on, as one can. Nothing can be gained by pissing up a rope.

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#11 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:46 AM

Central planning for a primitive economy is just plain unnecessary. Where there are very few goods and services being bartered, the participants can plan on the go. All that is need is a village griot to make sure no one cheats.

For a society and its economy even slightly advanced over a nuts and smoked fish economy the combinatorics of trade are so daunting the central planning is a practical responsibility. There are just too many permutations and combinations of production and exchange for any one or even a small group of people to optimize, especially when it is not clear what "optimal" really means. The only way of regulating such a system, is self regulation with the appropriate negative-feedback controls keeping the whole in some kind of dynamic equilibrium. Central planning is not only wrong, it is impossible. The history of Command Economies shows this to be the case. The only time when central planning has any practical value is in time of war and wars (fortunately) only last for limited periods of time (this is the case in modern times).

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#12 dennislmay

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:07 PM

Central planning for a primitive economy is just plain unnecessary. Where there are very few goods and services being bartered, the participants can plan on the go. All that is need is a village griot to make sure no one cheats.

For a society and its economy even slightly advanced over a nuts and smoked fish economy the combinatorics of trade are so daunting the central planning is a practical responsibility. There are just too many permutations and combinations of production and exchange for any one or even a small group of people to optimize, especially when it is not clear what "optimal" really means. The only way of regulating such a system, is self regulation with the appropriate negative-feedback controls keeping the whole in some kind of dynamic equilibrium. Central planning is not only wrong, it is impossible. The history of Command Economies shows this to be the case. The only time when central planning has any practical value is in time of war and wars (fortunately) only last for limited periods of time (this is the case in modern times).

Ba'al Chatzaf

The impossibility of being able to gather enough information to make rational decisions is what seems to elude many. It is the same issue preventing useful modeling in chaotic systems such as ozone modeling and climate change. The same people seem to get fooled for the same reason - they simply have no grasp of complexity - feedback in systems - and information theory.

Dennis

#13 dennislmay

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:51 AM



There seems to be a great deal of overlap into left-libertarian thought - which is to say socialist.


If by "left-libertarian" you're talking about people such as Roderick Long, and the "free-market anti-capitalists," than I'd disagree with you there. That type of left-libertarianism isn't socialist.

The free-market anti-capitalists use "capitalism" to mean either "corporatism" or "a system where some people own capital and some people do not." If they're using the first definition of "capitalism" then they are completely in accordance with Objectivism; they simply don't use the term "capitalism" the same way we do (and honestly, I prefer not to use the term "capitalism" either... I prefer "laissez-faire free markets" because its more precise). And if they mean "some people own capital and some people do not" well that doesn't necessarily mean they're socialists; they might be Individualist Anarchists who believe everyone (as in every individual) should own capital, and thus they're advocating a society where every individual is a capitalist in the Marxist sense of the term.

That said, not all left-libertarians are people like Roderick Long or Kevin Carson. Some are indeed socialists, I agree.

You are correct about the diversity - I should have been more precise.

In various discussions with libertarians one thing has always bothered me. Many are willing to and often do work with collectivists when they believe they share common goals. The pattern goes back to the roots of the libertarian movement. I see many libertarians as fundamentally compromised. Rand spoke of the problem in terms of a lack of clear set of principles or philosophy. While that is true I think there is more to it than that - there seems to be an influential subset of libertarians using libertarians to further socialist goals - useful idiots as the saying goes. I have heard Mark Levin mention that the Ron Paul camp contains several advisors with socialist backgrounds and Paul himself has worked with the socialist Bernie Sanders on legislation. It seems to be a case of compartmentalization. Many libertarians do the right thing for liberty until they suddenly get in bed with those opposed to it - a deep seated need to seek approval. These internal problems become more obvious when displayed on a big stage. With already small numbers it makes it difficult to encourage libertarians to divest themselves of those in bed with socialists - but if they don't the movement is doomed in any case. Those willing to divest [political movement] will need a new name or carry the burdens of those they left behind.

Dennis

An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing.

Dennis

#14 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:04 AM

An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing.

Dennis


Perhaps they are forming an alliance of convenience against the Cronies. One works with the material that is at hand.

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#15 dennislmay

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing. Dennis

Perhaps they are forming an alliance of convenience against the Cronies. One works with the material that is at hand. Ba'al Chatzaf

I'm sure there are many ways to justify their involvement with socialists. And when the socialists finally gain power they will be the first against the wall.

Dennis

#16 dennislmay

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing. Dennis

Perhaps they are forming an alliance of convenience against the Cronies. One works with the material that is at hand. Ba'al Chatzaf

I'm sure there are many ways to justify their involvement with socialists. And when the socialists finally gain power they will be the first against the wall.

Dennis

Against the wall or the back of the head in a ditch is old school. I suspect the next generation of socialists will go with mobile body disposal units where bodies are rendered to pulp then disposed of using water and normal water treatment plants. If the scale gets too large for water treatment you dispose of in large bodies of water using direct discharge. Leaving mass graves to be found later hasn't worked out so well in the past.

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#17 dennislmay

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:23 PM

Against the wall or the back of the head in a ditch is old school. I suspect the next generation of socialists will go with mobile body disposal units where bodies are rendered to pulp then disposed of using water and normal water treatment plants. If the scale gets too large for water treatment you dispose of in large bodies of water using direct discharge. Leaving mass graves to be found later hasn't worked out so well in the past.

When they run out of other people's money just pointing guns no longer works - socialists have to use guns to maintain power.

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#18 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:42 PM

An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing. Dennis

Perhaps they are forming an alliance of convenience against the Cronies. One works with the material that is at hand. Ba'al Chatzaf

I'm sure there are many ways to justify their involvement with socialists. And when the socialists finally gain power they will be the first against the wall.

Dennis


The socialists gained power in Norway and Sweden and nobody was put up against the wall.

These ex-Vikings are remarkably easy going.

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#19 dennislmay

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:54 PM


An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing. Dennis

Perhaps they are forming an alliance of convenience against the Cronies. One works with the material that is at hand. Ba'al Chatzaf

I'm sure there are many ways to justify their involvement with socialists. And when the socialists finally gain power they will be the first against the wall.

Dennis


The socialists gained power in Norway and Sweden and nobody was put up against the wall.

These ex-Vikings are remarkably easy going.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Though Sweden was within 1/8" of being taken over by the Soviets when I was in the Air Force. Like all of Europe their security has been heavily subsidized by the US since WWII. They have mixed economies but their monolithic society both culturally and ethnicly will likely allow a higher percentage and longer run of socialism before collapse. No one has been required to be put up against the wall since the 1940's - a solid 2 1/2 generation run so far.

Dennis

#20 studiodekadent

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:04 PM

An interesting comment on Glenn Beck this morning - he said extremist libertarians are beginning to join the Occupy Wallstreet movement. I am not surprised - many active so called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing.


Beginning?

OWS actually had quite a few libertarians at the start, since at the start of the OWS thing, the movement was complaining about Corporatism and Cronyism.

However, after it turned out that OWS was just manufactured by Adbusters, libertarians quickly started leaving the movement.

That said, I disagree with the premise that "many active so-called libertarians are socialists in libertarian clothing."
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