Adam Smith On Conceit, Central Planning, And Disorderly Society

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Perhaps it is worth a reminder that, while every effort by the Central-Banker-In-Chief and his political play-things to proclaim free-market omnipotence in stark contrast to the wholesale manipulation of any and every market and macro-economic lever possible, Adam Smith some 250 years ago pointed out the inevitable unintended consequences of such grand conceit. As the [central planner] seems to "imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board", the end result is that "society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder."

 

"The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.

 

He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful.

 

If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder."

Adam Smith 1723-1790

 

(h/t Ralph C)

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Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:04 | 2639557 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

"What?" -Herman Van Rompuy

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:56 | 2639622 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

Sadly it looks like society is only going to get more and more disorderly.

 

http://ericsprott.blogspot.ca/

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:41 | 2639736 AldousHuxley
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http://www.amazon.com/1421-Year-China-Discovered-America/dp/0060537639

 

1421: The Year China Discovered America

 


Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:56 | 2639750 engineertheeconomy
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The loudest words are the words that you never hear, you can tell more by what a person doesn't say.

I did a google search on "the relationship between the bankers and the military" and there wasn't much to say about it. That tells me that there is an enormous relationship between the banks and the military.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:11 | 2639762 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Outside of "you better win" actually I would say there really isn't.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 03:10 | 2639880 NidStyles
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Never read into USAA then have you? How about Blackwater?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:37 | 2640145 DaveyJones
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you meant win win

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:40 | 2640250 Jay Gould Esq.
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And what of our modern, centrally-planned economy ? Has Government yet acknowledged, over the course of the past two centuries, that, in order for prosperity to flourish, capital must be allowed to find its own course ? Alas, Leviathan yet thrives...

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with most unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of man who have folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

Adam Smith,
The Wealth of Nations, 1776.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 01:02 | 2639819 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

The loudest words are the words that you never hear, you can tell more by what a person doesn't say.

I did a google search on "the relationship between the bankers and the military" and there wasn't much to say about it. That tells me that there is an enormous relationship between the banks and the military.

First, fuck Google.

Second, try bank funded war - Startpage Web Search

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 01:13 | 2639830 salvadordaly
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Fuck Google!!!!!

duckduckgodotcom!!!

 NO TRACKING!!!!!!!!!

End Google!

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 13:06 | 2640227 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

wait, how naive are you? It doesn't matter if google tracks you or not. You're assuming that the rest of the network is not compromised. Duckduckgo could be worse than google for all you know (terms of privacy are worth fuckall, and which better way to prefilter your targets than by allowing them to selfselect for a supposedly non-tracking search engine?)

Moreover, AT&T, Verizon, and other Tier 1 providers have let the CIA plant their hooks into their backbone core routers through which terabytes per second of US traffic is routed and monitored.

The CIA are also suspected to be the cause of some of the recents sectionnings of submarine communication cables, part of the internet backbone, in order to install traffic monitoring/shaping/injecting stations - it can't be subtle since entire subcontinents suddenly lose outside connectivity, such as has been happening lately, multiple times yearly in trouble zones, especially in MENA - of course, the official excuses are always that a fishing boat's anchor has ripped off the undersea cable.

So this means all domestic and most international traffic is very probably being tracked, whether you allow them the convenience of consolidating their tracking under your google identity or not.

Finally you also assume that your computer is not reporting on you, either through official means ("trusted" computing) or intelligence spyware. If it is then all precautions you use externally (using tor-like obfuscation/tunnelling networks, whether you SSH to a remote host from which you operate your browser or use any other obfuscation/encryption mechanism) are totally useless because the origin itself is plausibly spying on you.

In geek circles we say that you cannot trust your operating system unless you compiled it yourself, but you cannot trust your compiler unless you wrote it yourself, nor can you trust writing your compiler if you didn't both design and print the CPU it was built on. As if using google vs duckduckgo mattered when all of the other attack angles are uncovered while you splatter who you are all over these boards...

TL;DR : In terms fight club will understand, switching from google to duckduckgo without adressing the rest is exactly like saying "vote republican to get obama out!" or "Kick Ben out and start over with a new chairman!"

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:19 | 2639908 Disenchanted
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Banksters = War War = banksters

 

 

The U.S. central bank, called the Federal Reserve, was created in 1913. No one promoted this institution with the slogan that it would make wars more likely and guarantee that nearly half a million Americans would die in battle in foreign lands, along with millions of foreign soldiers and civilians. No one pointed out that this institution would permit Americans to fund, without taxes, the destruction of cities abroad and overthrow governments at will. No one said that the central bank would make it possible for the U.S. to be at large-scale war in one of every four years for a full century. It was never pointed out that this institution would make it possible for the U.S. government to establish a global empire that would make Imperial Rome and Britain look benign by comparison.


You can line up 100 professional war historians and political scientists and talk about the twentieth century, and not one is likely to mention the role of the Fed in funding U.S. militarism. And yet it is true: the Fed is the institution that has created the money to fund the wars. In this role, it has solved a major problem that the state has confronted for all of human history. A state without money or a state that must tax its citizens to raise money for its wars is necessarily limited in its imperial ambitions. Keep in mind that this is only a problem for the state. It is not a problem for the people. The inability of the state to fund its unlimited ambitions is worth more for the people than every kind of legal check and balance. It is more valuable than all the constitutions ever devised. ~ L. H. Rockwell Jr. ( http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/war-and-inflation.html )

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:35 | 2640251 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

The Fed feeds the military-industrial complex very, very well.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:32 | 2640136 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Bankers contribute to local police pension funds for extra protection.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:33 | 2639914 Apostate2
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I am uncertain as to the meaning of this cryptic post but the book is fantasy (i.e. historical fiction). The Chinese were coastal sailors not blue water salts. A bit like the discovery of the Terracotta Warriers. Nice narratives but without hard evidence.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:39 | 2639916 bloostar
bloostar's picture

2012, the year China BOUGHT America. There, fixed it.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 22:35 | 2641529 rayduh4life
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I'd much rather we owe them than they owed us.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:54 | 2640070 Hulk
Hulk's picture

About a dozen asians walked into North America around 15,000 years ago. I would say that was when North America

was discovered...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:40 | 2640150 DaveyJones
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they were going to take their boat but the water was too hard

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 04:55 | 2641747 A Nanny Moose
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Ice fishing accident.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 14:52 | 2640638 RiverRoad
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Someting tells me all the history books heretofore are going to get rewritten BIg Time.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 06:15 | 2639923 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

It's amazing how much we have learned since Adam Smith. LOL.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:12 | 2639642 flacon
flacon's picture

Central Planning is a scourge upon the earth. 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:24 | 2639661 midtowng
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Sadly the biggest manipulators are the ones proclaiming that we don't need regulators.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:28 | 2639666 flacon
flacon's picture

Failure is a natural regulation. If only failure wasn't deregulated. 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:58 | 2639699 Stackers
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" Doctor Franklin, what have you given us a republic or a monarchy ? "

" A Republic ...... if you can keep it"

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:30 | 2639985 Withdrawn Sanction
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“I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

--Benjamin Franklin (1787)

On the adoption of the Constitution by the Philadelphia convention

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:31 | 2639953 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

A natural regulation with harsh consequences for people other than the one doing the failing. A rather relevant detail, in retrospect.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:10 | 2639709 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Sadly the biggest manipulators are the ones proclaiming that we don't need regulators.

 

 

"I've got you this time, Brer Rabbit," said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. "You've sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?"

Brer Rabbit's eyes got very large. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you," mused Brer Fox. "No, that's too much trouble. Maybe I'll hang you instead."

"Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"If I'm going to hang you, I'll need some string," said Brer Fox. "And I don't have any string handy. But the stream's not far away, so maybe I'll drown you instead."

"Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"The briar patch, eh?" said Brer Fox. "What a wonderful idea! You'll be torn into little pieces!"

Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox's fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.

Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit's death rattle. He heard nothing.

Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.

"I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox," he called. "Born and bred in the briar patch."

And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.

 

http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/brer_rabbit_meets_a_tar_bab...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 19:53 | 2641222 FreedomGuy
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Our whole lives from birth to death are centrally planned, now. Bloomberg will tell you what sized soda you can have while Obama will tell you how much of your labor you can keep.

Without a large measure of freedom there really is little purpose to life. We are all pawns on someone else's chessboard.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:43 | 2639918 Herman Van Rompuy
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What?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:24 | 2639948 New_Meat
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"What???" - Rudy Giuliani

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:53 | 2639999 post turtle saver
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No, it's "What??? 911!" for Giuliani.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:41 | 2640151 roadhazard
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Selling F E A R ... 911! 911! 911! Those numbers have taken all the privacy of the American People. Disgusting.

Osama Bin Laden, the man who brought the Police State to America. He won.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:33 | 2639956 GMadScientist
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"Do they speak English in what?" - Jules

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:12 | 2639558 Precious
Precious's picture

There is trulee profundity in dizorber.  --  Reginald Van Gleason III

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:56 | 2639620 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. Chaos always defeats order because it is better organized." Terry Pratchett

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 06:10 | 2639922 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

Imagine, if you will, all the farmers markets in the world, (this will help visualize it...

google ( world's vegetable markets images ) below

https://www.google.com/search?q=world%27s+vegetable+markets&hl=en&client...

Chaos that works better than any central planning person, or group of persons could ever with control. (Attempts at central planning of food production result in massive starvation.)

Well, historically, until recently in a historical sense, hasn't finance functioned the same way?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:41 | 2639957 GMadScientist
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That's not chaos; everyone showing up on a random day when they felt like it with whatever they felt like selling (not just vegetables) would be closer.

How many vendors selling veg laced with shit would it take for the whole farmer's market to collapse?

Tell me again how ADM and Monsanto aren't centrally planned entities and how the free market will handle drought better than alternative economic systems.

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:39 | 2639990 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

How many vendors selling veg laced with shit would it take for the whole farmer's market to collapse?

Actually, a more useful formulation of the question would be, how many buyers would it take to recognize vegetables laced with shit before the shit-selling vendor was ostracized?  Or to put it somewhat differently, does word travel fast or slow?

And to address the other point about ADM and MON:  they may indeed be centrally planned entities, even evil, but they can only foist their evil on others at the point of gun.  Of course, they do not brandish their own guns, that would be illegal; rather, they get Uncle Stooge to do it for them under color of law.  And Uncle Stooge does so b/c they pay him to do so.  

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:21 | 2640022 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

I'm pretty sure robber barons could afford their own guns, if it came to that. There's certainly prescident in US labor history.

A further postulation: can buyers recognize which vendor gave them the shits before said vendor has changed identities?

And for pure humor's sake: can a corporation get the shits?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 22:49 | 2644479 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Chaos is how new products are invented, developed, and sold in a market.

It happens in an organized fashion because of timing and the skills of those involved, i.e. the process involved.

Government interferes with that process.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:11 | 2639567 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The ultimate conceit of man is demonstrated by his thinking that this time it really is different, that we are truly special and unique, that the lessons of history so dearly and painfully learned by countless generations before do not apply to the here and now.

Thus the endless circle of insanity goes round and round and round again.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:23 | 2639589 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Don't you think it is an age thing as well CD?  People think they know everything through their 30's.  By the time they hit 50 they have either decided to fight the machine or have sold out in the interest of their dependents in the face of the relative hopelessness of struggle.  Young people like to blame older people, but I have come to think that may be backwards.  I ask you this because I respect your opinions, and I can't say that so often around here any more...

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:34 | 2639597 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Interesting post.  I like to think the struggle is never hopeless and time is on our side in this one.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:03 | 2639635 Reese Bobby
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I hope you are right.  “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”  -C.S. Lewis

 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:38 | 2639678 Skateboarder
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Reese, the linear correlation between age and wisdom that most people hold true is false, imo. If you put in honest work toward fortifying your own wisdom, there is no correlation but which you impose on yourself. Starts with being more selfless than selfish, more truthful than decietful, more just than unjust, and more sympathetic than apathetic. There is no reward that can be seen outside of your body, but the rewards you feel from exercising and adding to your own wisdom are what makes this life worth living.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:28 | 2639720 CrockettAlmanac.com
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there is no correlation but which you impose on yourself. Starts with being more selfless than selfish,

 

If you "yourself" are considering such action then it can not be "selfless." The more we know and respect our own selves the more ready we are to act rationally and responsibly toward others. Selflessness is just another word for the suicide of one's spirit. Appreciate your own value and act in accordance with your own values.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:10 | 2639760 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

But dear Crockett, you misunderstand my sentiments. I says "more of one than the other," as opposed to "only one instead of the other." What, in the end, prevail as the best of outcomes, are the results of rational, logical, and reasonable thought.

I'm pretty poor. Sold my motorcycle at the beginning of this year and gave all proceeds to my friend so he could pay rent and eat and stuff for a couple of months. I honestly don't give a shit what labels anyone puts on that choice - I was just doing what I thought would be the best outcome.

A utilitarian approach, used in moderation and accordingly, does wonders. I already live in an ideal world in my head. The physical world is far, far away from that ideality. I do what I can to help my friends, family, and strangers in the physical and in the psychological. I don't get anything out of it, and I never expect anything in return other than for people to realize that there is humanity and if it has not been twisted, it is quite ideal.

I guess in that sense, I am selfish.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:21 | 2639771 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

I'm pretty poor. Sold my motorcycle at the beginning of this year and gave all proceeds to my friend so he could pay rent and eat and stuff for a couple of months. I honestly don't give a shit what labels anyone puts on that choice - I was just doing what I thought would be the best outcome.

 

My point is that you made that decision and took that action yourself. If acts of charity could be accomplished "selflessly" then no real individual would have to actually engage in them.  Acts can not be considered or undertaken without actors. Concepts such as "give" or "run" or "think" do not exist without an individual self to perform those actions: Skateboarder gives, the boy runs, the girl thinks.

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