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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5748/yunus-the-wonderful/

Yunus the Wonderful?

October 13, 2006 by

Some time ago, the Nobel Prize committee changed the definition of the antiwar prize to include activism for government welfare and environmentalism (exactly the sort of coercive redistributionism that undermines social peace). This was a direct betrayal of the founder, who had stipulated that the prize be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

Not that this was the only act of treachery. In the years since Alfred Nobel’s death, “great leaders” such as Teddy Roosevelt, Elihu Root, Woodrow Wilson, and Henry Kissinger have been honored. I suppose we should be grateful they didn’t give it to Bush. But this year the treasonous committee awarded the prize to Muhammad Yunus, head of the state-supported, quasi-socialist, regimentation-promoting Grameen Bank. See two of Jeff Tucker’s demolitions here and here.

Once again, though the peacemakers shall be called the sons of God, they will not be named Nobel laureates.

Note that graphic below, from the Grameen site, which sums up the creed they require of all their “borrowers”: Discipline, Unity, Courage, and Hard Work — in all walks of our lives

Did your local banker ever insist on this kind of fascist sloganeering?

{ 10 comments }

Reactionary October 13, 2006 at 10:35 am

All right, I’m in a quibbling mood so here goes.

If discipline, unity, courage and hard work are “fascist” values, then libertarians face an uphill fight against fascism. What’s the competing slogan? Laxity, Strife, Cowardice and Sloth?

But that aside, I had forgotten about Jeff’s harpooning of this Bengali bolshevik. Good job, Jeff and Lew.

Roger M October 13, 2006 at 11:14 am

Right on, Lew! Another subtle message I think the micro-loan people hope to get across is that starting and succeeding is business is so simple and easy that even poor, ignorant Bangladeshi women can do it. So why the big bucks for entrepreneurs in the West like Bill Gates? And why the big bucks for CEO’s? The truth is that entrepreneurship is very difficult and that’s why so few successful entrepreneurs exist.

Dan Coleman October 13, 2006 at 11:48 am

The great irony is that, if Yunus functioned almost completely off of private funds, he would be denounced as a great exploiter of the poor–in whichever services he could accomplish on his own. Yunus would serve as one of the great examples of capitalist pigs who use their wealth to control the poor. (This may be a moot point, however, as there is little chance that he–like all truly exploitive businessmen–could do this without government sponsorship).

Instead, many governments and left-wing academics have invested their trust in his system. Yunus has been permitted to steal funding from around the world in order to power his bank, he promotes a collective ideology, and he involves people’s entire lives–including family planning–into a contract. It’s social engineering on a scale that no private business is able to attempt without being met by laughter.

And so in the news we will learn that Walmart exploits the poor and that Yunus is their savior. Right.

Francisco Torres October 13, 2006 at 12:12 pm

If discipline, unity, courage and hard work are “fascist” values, then libertarians face an uphill fight against fascism. What’s the competing slogan? Laxity, Strife, Cowardice and Sloth?

Remember that discipline, unity, courage and hard work have been used, together, in many pro-state slogans. Of course the statist would insist on such values on people so they can work hard, with discipline, courage and unity, to maintain the lifestyle of their masters.

Sam October 13, 2006 at 12:13 pm

Ccomplaints that he’s government-funded are legitimate. But if you’re going to accuse his of “almost-coercion,” you should probably show that some sort of fraud was going on. Ater all, DiLorenzo says high interest rates at rent-to-own places are fine here, and Block supports the idea that you should voluntarily be able to sell yourself into slavery here. Hopefully Lew and Jeff aren’t calling them hypocrites.

gene berman October 16, 2006 at 10:38 am

Lew (and the rest of the commentors here):

It may not be quite as exciting or assist with circulation problems first thing in the morning, but it’s well to remember it’s usually a mistake to ascribe to malice and conspiracy what is more usually (though prosaically) due to stupidity and ignorance.

Hasib October 16, 2006 at 2:25 pm

Yunus is in many ways following the footsteps of Gandhi. There is remarkable similarity between how Gandhi ran his Ashrams and how Yunus is ranning Grameen projects.
Very well deserverd Nobel prize.

TokyoTom October 17, 2006 at 6:31 am

Lew, what exactly do you consider “environmentalism” to be? Is it dedicated to “coercive redistributionism that undermines social peace”? Or are many environmentalists simply people who are tired of how statist corporations have been able to manaipulate laws in their favor, get sweet deals of “public” assets, and pass risks off to others, and feel like they need to fight in the legislatures, administrative agencies and courts to protect themselves?

Are guys like Cordato, Block, Rothbard, Baden, Anderson and Adler NOT environmentalists?

Cordato, Block, Rothbard and others show that “environmentalists” are the creation of rent-seeking by corporations, who wanted to avoid liability for pollution under the common law for violating the property rights of others by seeking and paying for legislative fiat. Why is it that you Austrians always bash the enviros, but forget how corporations and big government created them? And why do the rent-seeking corporations always get a free pass when the enviros are bashed?

Besides pure struggles over resources that amount to rent-seeking, there are plenty of open-access resources where there are not clear or effective property rights. These are the cases that concern “environmentalists”. Do you deny that there are any environmental problems at all?

Respectfully,

TT

Francisco Torres October 17, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Is it dedicated to “coercive redistributionism that undermines social peace”?

Considering the fact that you have advocated for a “risk distribution” system of liability for CO2 emissions – not too much different to what many enviromentalists advocate -, I would tend to agree with the above definition.


Or are many environmentalists simply people who are tired of how statist corporations have been able to manaipulate laws in their favor, get sweet deals of “public” assets, and pass risks off to others, and feel like they need to fight in the legislatures, administrative agencies and courts to protect themselves?

To protect themselves against what? The problem is one of liability, TT, an frankly, I do not think many environmentalists are concerned with pinning the proper blame on one individual, but on making all of us pay dearly for daring to live better lives – or even daring to live at all.


Cordato, Block, Rothbard and others show that “environmentalists” are the creation of rent-seeking by corporations, who wanted to avoid liability for pollution under the common law for violating the property rights of others by seeking and paying for legislative fiat.

They did not create the environmentalist movement. Many companies do take advantage the political advantage that many cranks and mountebanks possess in order to hinder their competition by way of “environmentally friendly” legislation. However, environmentalism is basically a leftist ideology spawned from the many socialist groups.


And why do the rent-seeking corporations always get a free pass when the enviros are bashed?

Environmentalism and rent-seeking of some companies are not related issues.


Do you deny that there are any environmental problems at all?

This is a loaded question. Please rephrase it.

TokyoTom October 18, 2006 at 12:57 am

Francisco, thanks for your comments. I am still hoping for your more substantive replies on the two recent Reisman threads, Armed and Dangerous http://blog.mises.org/archives/005669.asp#comments, and Britain’s Royal Society http://blog.mises.org/archives/005667.asp#comments. In the meanwhile, let me respond briefly

TT: Is it dedicated to “coercive redistributionism that undermines social peace”?
FT: Considering the fact that you have advocated for a “risk distribution” system of liability for CO2 emissions – not too much different to what many enviromentalists advocate -, I would tend to agree with the above definition.
TT: Of course those who defend corporate statism would also fall within Lew’s definition of an environmentalist, and I could as easily direct this charge at you. But is that a productive manner of discourse? I am simply hoping to get Miseans to recognize that where enviros are calling “wolf”, there frequently is one – due to a lack of clear and enforceable property rights. Enviros in general just don’t know what to do about it. But there is a role for government; see this recent piece by Ron Bailey at Reason about solving fishery problems, for example: http://www.reason.com/rb/rb082506.shtml

TT: Or are many environmentalists simply people who are tired of how statist corporations have been able to manaipulate laws in their favor, get sweet deals of “public” assets, and pass risks off to others, and feel like they need to fight in the legislatures, administrative agencies and courts to protect themselves?
FT: To protect themselves against what? The problem is one of liability, TT, an frankly, I do not think many environmentalists are concerned with pinning the proper blame on one individual, but on making all of us pay dearly for daring to live better lives – or even daring to live at all.
TT: More hyperventilating, Francisco. I have many times conceded that most enviros don’t have clue about either the reasons for or the solutions to environmental problems. But I do suggest that where there is smoke there is often fire. Rational people can discuss what the solutions might look like.

TT: Cordato, Block, Rothbard and others show that “environmentalists” are the creation of rent-seeking by corporations, who wanted to avoid liability for pollution under the common law for violating the property rights of others by seeking and paying for legislative fiat.
FT: They did not create the environmentalist movement. Many companies do take advantage the political advantage that many cranks and mountebanks possess in order to hinder their competition by way of “environmentally friendly” legislation. However, environmentalism is basically a leftist ideology spawned from the many socialist groups.
TT: Miseans show that the environmental movement has its root in the fact that rent-seeking corporations went to their legislatures to circumvent common law liability for nuisances. While there are certainly crackpots and leftists within the environmental movement, at its core the movement is supported by ordinary people who are drawn to coercive means of discourse (legislatures, admin agencies, federal courts) for the simple reason that the government wants to be in the business of selling rents, and because the government owns or controls too many resources – so purely private transactions with respect to some contested resources are not possible. I don’t think your ideology-burdened language really helps your understanding or open discourse.

TT: And why do the rent-seeking corporations always get a free pass when the enviros are bashed?
FT: Environmentalism and rent-seeking of some companies are not related issues.
TT: Are the issues related for “some” but not others? I’m not following you.

TT: Do you deny that there are any environmental problems at all?
FT: This is a loaded question. Please rephrase it
TT: My contention is that there are many serious, real-world environmental problems. Lew does the debate about how to address them no services when he simply directs an ad hominem at those who are concerned about such issues. Such an approach would paint many Austrians with the same brush – and not only them, but also the resource users themselves, who would like to move from unrestricted open-access use to private or jointly-managed common property regimes.

Regards.

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