Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Social Imperative of Sound Money

"This past week, the government announced that it would take Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the mortgage giants, under conservatorship, which is a nice way of saying that they will be nationalized.

We don't use the word nationalize any more. We can try an experiment and read the new term conservatorship" back into history. In fact, we might say that Stalin and Lenin put Russia's industries under a kind of conservatorship. Or we might say that Mao pushed a kind of land conservatorship, or that Hitler's policy was one of national conservatorship. Marx's little book could be re-titled: The Conservatorship Manifesto.

You see, the government keeps having to make up new names for these things because the old policies, which were not that different in content, failed so miserably. The old terms become discredited and new terms become necessary, in an effort to fool the public.

It's as if a restaurant served a shrimp dish that gave all the customers food poisoning, and so each night it decides to serve the same shrimp but name the dish something new: crangon cocktail, prawn pasta,
scampi salad, or what have you. But no matter what they call it, it is still poison.

Such a restaurant would be out of business in a matter of days. People would not be fooled. But the government gets away with it mainly because we have no real choice about the matter, and because people are predisposed to believe the government far more than they should. It doesn't help that the media are willing to echo the government line on this, adopting every new phrase as if it were the gospel."

The Social Imperative of Sound Money by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

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