Monday, September 5, 2011

History of Socialism

A few months ago I picked up an early twentieth century edition of a late nineteenth century tome by Thomas Kirkup entitled History of Socialism.  I opened it up to the chapter on Marx and noted a couple of things.

First, the introductory paragraph about Marx himself focused on his Jewish ancestry.  No surprise, I suppose.

Second, much of the chapter was spent on arguing that Marx was not the father of Socialist thought but merely its most outspoken prophet.  Indeed, Marx's labor theory of value was traced all the way back to John Locke's conception of property and Ricardo's iron law of wages.

Which leads me back to the poster child of rationalist arrogance: MMT shill Philip Pilkington, who for some unknown reason gets a lot of air time over at Yves' site.  I've complained before about the rationalist arrogance of CHS (or even Jesse, actually), but that's because they're not typically arrogant people.  My complaints are about their behavior on a given occasion, not on who they are on a daily basis.  My complaints about PeePee are about his arrogance, which is a feature of who he is and not a behavior.

I guess it all boils down to this: if Locke's revolutionary theory of natural law (including property) can be perverted to enslave the masses in the name of liberty, what hope does MMT have?  Yes, I've skipped quite a number of steps in asking that question, including explaining what I mean about Locke, but rationalists are smart enough to figure out what I mean, right?