Friday, June 26, 2009

The Non-Orwellian View of American History (Tom Woods)

Tom Woods takes on the conventional wisdom for "monopolies":

Tom WoodsThe other day I was briefly quoted in a segment for National Public Radio that dealt with the changes in American capitalism that will come about as a result of the current crisis. Everyone agreed that we needed major changes, though my proposed changes were in rather a different direction from those of everyone else. (I spoke to them for half an hour, though in this segment they used only a few sentences.)

The segment gave us a neat little history of the expansion of government power and the various transformations of the economy that have taken place over the past 150 years. Each time, the segment explained, a terrible problem created by the free market was followed by a brilliant government response. For example: "When the free-market system allowed monopolies to emerge in the nineteenth century, the Interstate Commerce Commission was created to control them."

I love that sentence. It has fourth-grade teacher written all over it, as in: You see, children, our wise overlords, when they saw greedy people taking advantage of the public, did just the right thing, as usual. Without them, we’d all be living in rickety tenements begging for food, and at the mercy of men with white mustaches carrying money-filled sacks with dollar signs on them.

It is just this kind of thing that it gave me so much pleasure to take apart in The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. And it comes up so often that I can’t resist addressing it here.

Read the rest

No comments: