1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11201/aristophanes-on-inflation/

Aristophanes on Inflation

December 9, 2009 by

“The Frogs” is the oldest expression of Greshman’s Law. Let us, with the same cruel humor, make fun of our condition as Americans the same way Aristophanes did of the condition of Athenians. FULL ARTICLE by Clifford F. Thies

{ 8 comments }

Matt December 9, 2009 at 11:45 am

I was required to read Aristophanes during my physics training in college (physics was a major course offered within the college of arts and sciences and as such, majors in that field were subjected to spending many thousands of dollars and the equivalent of a full year studying things such as this seen fit by the academics in charge of the degree programs). You present a nice lesson which was sadly not touched on by my classics professor at the time. Imagine, students being forced to study the classics of philosophy, religion, the Roman world, etc., but not one bit on economics. Not a lick. I would have preferred not being forced to study anything at all; but I can’t help but wonder if the scarcity of any economics requirement isn’t on purpose!! Heaven forbid the masses understand the scheming of the elites. I am quite thankful for the Internet. Thanks for your contribution.

Paul Stephens December 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Beautiful, Clifford!
Who was it who said that “The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.” That was one of my father’s favorite sayings.
For those who want to castigate you for implying that Jefferson, Mises, et. al. are in Hades rather than Heaven, let me offer a pre-emptive caveat.

The Greek Hades isn’t the same as the Christian Hell, and if von Mises, Jefferson, et. al. are in Heaven, there’s no way we could “bring them back” to this “Hell on earth”, even if we wanted to!
It should be sufficient merely to study their lives and work….

But your main point stands. It isn’t so much “debased currency” that is the problem. It’s debased leadership, academic and otherwise. And especially the debased media (free press), which almost never acts to really inform us and provide a “watch-dog” function.

Chrysotheras December 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm

….excellent idea!

…send a delegation to Hades and -like a contemporary Hercules- bring back the right people to take over from the troupe of clowns in charge of our economies!

…there’s a small snag though: you have to get past the twelve-headed watch-dog Cerberus!

….how many districts does the FED have…?

Stephen Grossman December 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm

>[Clifford F. Thies]Let us send a delegation to Hades to resurrect Ludwig von Mises, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and Aristotle to replace the corrupt, debased politicians we now have.

I’m sorry but you need a license from the Dept. of Transportation to go to Hades. Please fill out these forms in triplicate and include your birth certificate.

Ohhh Henry December 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Aristophanes … reminds me of this old episode of The Odd Couple.

Jason Dillard December 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I appreciate the spirit of your article, but sure wish you’d read “The Frogs,” before writing it. The two “citizens,” that descend into Hades are Dionysus and his slave. Dionysus is a god and slaves were not considered citizens at the time in Athens. Further, their decent into Hades was not motivated by a desire to replace new politicians with old. They were dissatisfied by the current crop of tragedians, rather, and journeyed into Hades to resurrect the old, either Aeschylus or Euripides.

Stephen Perry December 10, 2009 at 9:05 am

In one short essay, Prof. Thies explains why empires fall, a topic that has excited many historians over the years. Every empire must necessarily be a “state” before it can become an empire. As Hans Hoppe defines it, a state is a monopolist of the production of security and the resolution of disputes. As a monopolist, it will necessarily charge more and more for its “services,” until (I would suggest) there is literally not enough money to pay for them. At which point it must begin debasement, undermining the very economy that sustains its imperial power.

Has it ever happened otherwise? It seems to me this regression should be considered a law of nature. Were the political class to turn its back on debasement, it would be turning its back on “state-ness” and “imperium.” Other than the American experience described in the article, has that ever happened before in a polity where the intrinsic prosperity and potential of the place actually offered the political class equally attainable paths to either empire or non-empire?

Capitalist Pig December 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

Jason Dillard

“The two “citizens,” that descend into Hades are Dionysus and his slave. Dionysus is a god and slaves were not considered citizens at the time in Athens. Further, their decent into Hades was not motivated by a desire to replace new politicians with old. They were dissatisfied by the current crop of tragedians, rather, and journeyed into Hades to resurrect the old, either Aeschylus or Euripides”

Jason, perhaps you should read the article again, Mr. Thies is referencing a new translation of the play and not the original. However, the main point of the original play was to depict the tragedy of how original quality, value, and virtue were being lost over time and how it was being replaced by the shoddy, the shallow, and the fake worthless knockoffs of cheap second and third hand charlatans. And as long as the moral of the play remains in tact I do not think that it diminishes Aristophanes original in the slightest if the particular subject matter or the characters are somewhat altered.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: