There was an extraordinary programme on the BBC last night discussing the life and times of Friedrich von Hayek. Although subjecting Von Mises to the usual ‘unperson’ treatment, in which Hayek is treated as the absolute centre of the Austrian movement and its ‘most radical thinker’, there were many good things in the programme.
The first of these was the link behind evolutionary theory and free markets (although they got this the wrong way round), claiming that Hayek developed many of his his ideas from his study of the undirected path of evolution. (Whereas, of course, Darwin got many of his ideas on evolution by studying the ideas of undirected economics as popularised by the Spanish scholastic precursors of the Austrians, and before them by St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle.)
Whichever way round it is, this linking of ‘evolution’ and ‘economics’ is interesting, because most leftists will always place themselves firmly in the camp of the Darwinists and undirected evolution, to stymie Christian (and other) religions, with their divinely-directed ideas of human origins. But leftists will conversely always place themselves in the camp of divinely-directed economics, with a small group of elitist men and women – the government – playing the role of god when it comes to directing society’s economic evolution, with these ‘angels’ never skewing those directions in favour of themselves and their friends, of course.
That most leftists are incapable of recognising the cognitive dissonance of being able to understand how markets work through the same logical mechanisms as evolution, perhaps requires a whole documentary of its own. However, the programme was interesting in a number of other ways, which included Mervyn King, the chief central planner of the British government, quoting Hayek on the impossibility of central planning before falling into the usual platitudinous state of stating it was obvious that governments ‘had to’ intervene in markets, with no explanation as to why it is so obvious, especially given his personal failures in the last decade at the helm of this ‘necessary’ intervention.
Again, another elitist man capable of understanding why government economic control always fails – with a straight line relationship between increasing government control and increasing economic failure – but another elitist man incapable of linking the dots to realise that the reason we are in such a declining mess is because of all these government interventions, the chief one being their refusal to let bad companies go bankrupt to clear out malinvestments caused by money printing to fund government stupidities.
Other highlights were the Federal Reserve being discussed as the cause of the 1930s depression, for their easy credit policies in the 1920s. Now, this is meat and drink to any Austrian. But this is the first ever time I have seen this mentioned in a major mainstream media outlet.
Alas, much that was good about the programme was mixed in with much that was bad, particularly the occasional appearances of that revolting little man, Paul Krugman, and his excruciatingly rose-tinted socialism, broadcast from a room he would quickly vacate to run away from his nightmare of a night with Bob Murphy.
Another annoyance was the self-important pontification of Paul Volcker, one of the Rockefeller family’s most important ever hirelings. However, if you can get to see this programme, in one form or another, it might be an interesting hour for you.
More important than its entertainment value, I believe it shows further cracks in the edifice of our ruling elite’s confidence. That one of their major organs, the BBC, is beginning to broadcast such truth, even if layered with the usual lies, may indicate that we are close to a major ‘meme-war’ breakthrough. Alas, next week, the arrogant tax-fed BBC is back onto more comfortable ground with an hour discussing the appalling Karl Marx, after an earlier week on the even more comfortable ground of discussing (and no doubt worshipping) the appalling Keynes. But, all in all, this programme on Hayek was worth spending an hour of time to watch.
For those in the UK, here is the BBC iPlayer link to the programme.
For everyone else, your mileage may vary. If experience is anything to go by, the Hayek programme will appear on YouTube soon, and then disappear within a couple of days when the BBC’s lawyers discover it. Good luck trying to straddle that particular time gap.