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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14186/reason-tv-on-cantor/

Reason TV on Cantor

October 8, 2010 by

Great thinker, great book, great presentation!


David C October 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I don’t think it’s really the natural state of things for the arts and literature to be socialist. I’ve always speculated that IP and the public funding of universities distorts the incentive structure in some way such that socialists rise to prominence. IMHO, now that society is transitioning to the information age, that trend could be reversed.

Juraj October 10, 2010 at 5:35 am

LOL. My colleague had the picture of that girl with her mouth covered @4.17 on his desktop as wallpaper!

Stephan Kinsella October 11, 2010 at 10:22 am

Cantor briefly mentions Thomas Mann and hyperinflation–he has a great article on this, a modern classic really, Hyperinflation and Hyperreality: Thomas Mann in Light of Austrian Economics. Very highly recommended–you MUST read this piece.

A. Viirlaid October 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thank you to Paul Cantor and to Stephan Kinsella for that link —— somehow this hits so true and close to home that my TRUE-BONE (as opposed to the funny-bone) is detecting something sublime and very profound here.

IMHO Paul Cantor has tied Moral Relativism in with Money Relativism very successfully in his essay “Hyperinflation and Hyperreality: Thomas Mann in Light of Austrian Economics”. The question arises as to how contemporaneously all of this “Relativism” arose. That it arose, is beyond question.

Did we lose religion, and take up Moral Relativism in its place? Did the central bankers only follow the trends of Western societies, and thus did we all move along the same path together?

Or did the central bankers lead us down that path with first John Law in 1720-s Paris and later in 1920-s Germany with the Weimar Republic’s central bankers?

Along with many other intervening tragedies brought on by phony-baloney money from central banks, including the rise of Napoleon and later Hitler? Even Lenin knew the ways of destroying a society’s cohesiveness with the introduction of inflationary money, which not one man in a million supposedly would detect.


Excerpt from Paul Cantor’s essay, “Hyperinflation and Hyperreality: Thomas Mann in Light of Austrian Economics”:

Thus in a way very different from Marxist approaches,⓵ Mann suggests a connection between the spiritual history of the twentieth century and the economic, making us wonder whether the world became merely an image when money became merely an image.

As I said at the beginning, deconstructionist and poststructuralist theories paved the way for Marxist takeovers of humanities departments by calling into question any standards of truth and reality, and thus making the demonstrable failure of socialist economic policies in the real world seem irrelevant in the thinking of literature professors.

[As Paul Cantor points out in the video, it is the same left-leaning academia who only see 'failure' of the market, as being "Failures of Capitalism" —— how can the failure of the Soviet Union be explained away?]

But analysis of “Disorder and Early Sorrow” suggests that these very theories do not, as they claim, provide insight into the human condition as such, but are in fact just a response to specific economic conditions in the twentieth century, the Age of Inflation.

Theorists who triumphantly proclaim the illusoriness of human existence are merely reflecting the world created by government monetary policy, the web of illusions endemic to the era of paper money.

In a strange way, one may say that Foucault, Derrida, and the other poststructuralists are right; they have evolved a philosophy appropriate to the Age of Inflation, the age when money itself comes to represent nothing, and hence all representation becomes problematic.

The mistake occurs when these philosophers universalize from their limited historical experience, and see the world brought about by Keynesian economics as co-extensive with human life in general.

Reading Mann’s story can help remind us that it is not human life as such that is unreal —— it is the money our governments have surreptitiously imposed upon us in an inflationary policy that has caused our sense of reality itself to attenuate in the twentieth century.

⓵ Mann himself drew this distinction in a public address: “man braucht nicht materialistischer Marxist zu sein, urn zu begreifen, dass das politische Fiihlen und Denken der Massen weitgehend von ihrem wirtschaftlichen Befinden bestimmt wird” (“one does not have to be a materialistic Marxist in order to grasp that the political feeling and thinking of the masses is largely determined by their economic condition”).

See “Deutsche Ansprache: Ein Appell an die Vernunft,” Gesammelte Werke, 11: 871.

Above taken from http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE7_1_1.pdf

Italics added for emphasis by me.

A. Viirlaid October 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Just to clarify, in my opinion, this is not simply a theoretical or academic construct that Paul Cantor is discussing.

Indeed, this is reality: Paul Cantor has explained why the history of the 20th century in large measure went so badly. (That includes our current economic experience as well.)

MORAL RELATIVISM ties into that crazy world which our Central Bankers have, and are, creating with their phony-baloney “Relative Money”.

That the Western governments can more easily create family-destroying socialist-welfare states and exercise total control over their subjects, via their insidious use of central banking in an age of fiat paper money, makes it clear to me how evil the institution of central banking is.

That all of this is done with “Good Intentions” offers little solace.

Without easy-money printed by central banks, Western ‘liberal’ governments could never have done the damage that they have done and are continuing to do.

For anyone to claim that the whole socialist-welfare governmental complex is not based on fiat paper money which is created by central banks is hogwash IMO. For anyone to deny that the evils of one boom followed by yet another bust are not brought on by our current broken model of central banking, is simply denying the truth.

This approach has almost destroyed our societal links to the extent that Western civil societies’ existences hang in the balance.

There is some small solace in that The FED and the other central banks will likely eventually destroy the currencies they operate via hyper-inflation.

There is no solace in the fact that through those currency collapses, these central banks will destroy the economies that they oversee —— millions of people will lose everything they have, that millions will suffer needlessly.

As a result, the 21st Century may even get the “20th Century REDUX” —— revolutions and even world war may be in the outcomes that can be envisaged as a result of the crazy Broken Money System we live and work in.

If we cannot get off this crazy merry-go-round then we will revisit the horrors of the past all over again.

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