catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Hope for the third millenium, thanks to Greg

with 26 comments

Deepak Lal gave a talk over lunch at the Centre for Independent Studies today, hosted by Greg Lindsay, recently elected President of the Mont Pelerin Society. By the time Deepak finished talking Greg was looking very satisfied with himself, or at least with the Gregorys of the world.

Deepak Lal paid a profund tribute to two Pope Gregorys of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, Gregory VII and before him Gregory the Great. He attributed to them some major changes in the ethos and orientation of the Church that promoted individualism and also property rights which in turn laid the foundation for the European miracle of capitalism and non-predatory government.

While democratic capitalism became the powerhouse for modernisation he noted three different kinds of reaction (1) the Japanese strategy of modernising while retaining the Japanese culture (2) rejection of modernisation in the interests of traditonal culture and especially a particular attitude towards sex and the role of women (Islam) and (3) socialism, rejecting free trade in favour of hard socialism (communism) or various forms of dirigism, both of which have decisively failed.

In his view the only three economies that matter in the long term are the US, China and India. While Africa and South America are the basket cases of the world, China and India have come through periods of uncertainty to settle into strong patterns of growth. Their people are rapidly emancipating themselves from poverty though of course challenges remain, especially the unbalanced demography of China caused by the one child policy.

Gems of information and wisdom fell with such richness that your humble scribe could not keep up and we have to hope that his message is imortalised in some other written form, perhaps in his latest book. Just for an example, he reported that in 1960 about 5% of the middle class people in the world (in terms of lifestyle) were located in Asia, now the figure is over 50%.

As for Africa, the bitter lesson has emerged that there are worse things than colonial rule, especially the rule of the British Empire which was essentially a free trade zone with effective public administration. Something good could have evolved out of that Empire if it had not been unloaded by Fabian socialists and delivered into the hands of tribal kleptomanics. The Cold War made it very easy for the tribal exploiters to maintain their position by playing the two sides off against each other to maintain the flow of tribute. Lal paid tribute to Peter Bauer who was onto all of that fifty years ago.

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Written by Admin

December 4, 2006 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

26 Responses

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  1. “Just for an example, he reported that in 1960 about 5% of the middle class people in the world (in terms of lifestyle) were located in Asia, now the figure is over 50%.”

    that in itself is what should make us optimistic about the world.

    We may be too Eurocentric, when all that good stuff is happening right above above us. In other words let’s look at what could be happening in Vietnam rather than France.

    JC.

    December 4, 2006 at 3:35 pm

  2. We need to get as many countries as posssible above the US10,000 per cap. there are good arguments that people don’t want to fight wars above that figure.

    JC.

    December 4, 2006 at 3:36 pm

  3. JC,

    most great wars have been between countries of the developed world.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 3:41 pm

  4. Europe,schmoorope, it ALL happenned in Britain in the 18th century and the euroweenies have followed catch as catch can ever since.

    Next you will be referring to “European settelment” of Australia in 1788, instead of British settlement. What a load of hooey!

    Rococo Liberal

    December 4, 2006 at 3:47 pm

  5. Pope who,

    I would have thought capitalism and property rights were more a manifestation of Luther and Calvin than any Pope.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 3:54 pm

  6. Luther didn’t choose Lutheranism. He was a good Catholic. Ireland is the European tiger, Scandinavia is sceleorotic. Today we would conclude that Catholocism engenders capitalism.

    Wars happened when the State was synonomous with religion and commerce. They also fought as wars were arguably cheap then, think about the cost of a human life back in the 1800s.

    I would say we should be careful in generalising political values from religions as a whole, and to separate the church, commerce and the State from each other.

    Mark Hill

    December 4, 2006 at 4:02 pm

  7. Lex Luther and Calvin Klein were economic philosophers?

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 4:03 pm

  8. Of course the One True Church led the way on this vtial question!

    Homer, when the Archbishop of Canterbury gives back the cathedral his predecessors stole from we Catholics, then I’ll take Anglo-Protestant views on property rights more seriously. 😉

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 4:08 pm

  9. His Pope Gregory theory is explained here
    http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_05_1_lal.pdf

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 4:11 pm

  10. Mark, we are talking about how capitalism developed and it only happened AFTER the Reformation when people actually read the bible in their mother tongues and could see the lies perpetrated by the Catholic church.

    Both Luther and Calvin in their own way inspired the protestant work ethic and other things which led to Capitalism to develop.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 4:18 pm

  11. Eeek, not a sectarian squabble, please…

    (Speaking as someone with one Proddy-dog parent and one Cattle-tick parent. Which meant they got married in a registry office)

    skepticlawyer

    December 4, 2006 at 4:30 pm

  12. No no no Homer. You are equating the administration with the Church. Which is what the admin did. The Church is merely a body of followers. The same as equating Bushites with Americans. The same as equating Soeharto with Indonesians.

    I still contend that Luther was good Catholic, (should be made a saint!) and England, Scandinavia and Germany historically had strong property rights before the middle ages. I would also say that where Roman law was applied and slavery was banned or a limited practice, property rights and capitalism flourished. Although I have seen stuff done by Austrians contending that the fall of Rome was due to excessive taxes which led to a brain drain of citizens, subjects and potential soldiers to the Goths. The Church was truly the Second Roman Empire, and taxation was one of the main reasons for revolt by the German princes. Unlike Diocletian, the Papacy were not trying to restablish law and order or an effective administration.

    What about the 13th centruy scholastics? The Austrian school traces its roots or at least pays homage to these Spainish Catholic monks.

    Mark Hill

    December 4, 2006 at 4:30 pm

  13. Homer, has one of your communion’s priestesses authorised you to make these big theological statements?

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 4:37 pm

  14. SL, I wil only burn CL once at the stake once, promise

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 4:50 pm

  15. Sola fideswas hardly compatible with Catholicism as practised at the time, surely?

    Also, I thought it was well-established historically that Protestantism was a response to mercantilism and its associated work ethos, not its inspiration.

    Rob

    December 4, 2006 at 5:11 pm

  16. Homer, who could forget the Luther pamphlet that did so much to bring the essence of the Bible and new libertarian thinking to the masses?

    “Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants”.

    Ah yes.

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 5:12 pm

  17. It was Luther who said the draughtsman was a spiritual as the priest and Calvin who made people realise that how they worked showed how they worshipped the Lord.
    He also showed the fallacy of not being able to charge interest.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 5:21 pm

  18. None of which were original ideas.

    C.L.

    December 4, 2006 at 5:31 pm

  19. Thank christ.

    Although he was jewish.

    🙂

    terjepetersen

    December 4, 2006 at 5:38 pm

  20. Homer

    Is there anyting left of the established Anglican church these days?

    JC.

    December 4, 2006 at 5:46 pm

  21. terje only on his mother’s side!!

    CL of course it wasn’t original merely undistorted.

    The best thing for the Anglican denomination is to break up into believers and heretics and disestablish.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    December 4, 2006 at 7:13 pm

  22. only on his mother’s side!!

    Well thats all that it takes to be jewish.

    😉

    terjepetersen

    December 4, 2006 at 9:49 pm

  23. “He also showed the fallacy of not being able to charge interest.”

    Let me beat it into you again: “13th CENTURY SPANISH CATHOLIC SCHOLASTIC MONKS”

    Mark Hill

    December 4, 2006 at 9:57 pm

  24. Via Adam Smith, the Protestant work ethic gave us the labour theory of value.

    Jason Soon

    December 4, 2006 at 10:06 pm

  25. I didn’t know that, Jason. I’d always assumed LTV to be Marxist in origin. Oh well, back to some more economics reading…

    skepticlawyer

    December 4, 2006 at 10:33 pm

  26. “I would have thought capitalism and property rights were more a manifestation of Luther and Calvin than any Pope.”

    What do you mean by this and how does it contradict what Deepak is saying.

    You appear to be compressing hundreds of years here. But history is lived one day at a time.

    GMB

    December 5, 2006 at 1:21 am


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