MTUC’s Sarawak’s final response

FMT LETTER: From Andrew Low, via email

Medecci began his rebuttal to MTUC with this ;

I invite Andrew to read for greater understanding of its fundamentals and principles. Libertarian is about normative discipline, methodological individualism, voluntary association, non-aggression principles and private property rights. So I am proud to be both in these groups of thought. I am blessed indeed.

Medecci continued belief that others don’t read or understand what Libertarian principles are, is condescending at best and having the mind-set of him being a superior person at worse.

Austrian Libertarianism is just one of many forms of Libertarian school of thought.  I would venture to say that Medecci’s brand of Austrian Libertarian is a particularly extreme form of libertarianism that calls for the abolishment of government.

Those who subscribe to this extreme school of thought are actually call anarchists, a very correct description, I must add.

Let’s try to understand Medecci’s reasoning.

“My argument is this; those few who first thought the earth was round or that our planet revolved around the sun and not vice versa were also extreme and discredited the Church. In that era, there were only a small numbers of people such as Galileo and Copernicus who went against the mainstream and they were indeed super dedicated.

The two thinkers paid a big penalty (established by force) for advocating these extreme seeking the truth. Giodarno Bruno an Italian thinker who is best known for his cosmological theories was executed for holding opinion contrary to the Catholic Church”.

Despite sacrificing their lives and their freedom, these great thinkers never call for the abolishment of the Church. All they did was to show, through the pursuit of scientific knowledge, that some of the Church thinking were wrong.

It is also interesting to note that quite a few of eminent Austrian Libertarians are promoted and funded by wealthy individuals and right wing think tanks who were opposed to growing socialism, e.g. The Volker Fund, the Koch Family so at the end of the day it is about money and further enriching the rich.

Knowing that they have lost the argument on some issues (minimum wage for example) due to overwhelming empirical evidence and data, Austrian Libertarians conveniently rejects scientific evidence and data and fall back on moral choices and medieval ideology based on moral authority.

Medecci himself admitted: “Our economic school of thought says minimum wage is an unemployment law not an employment law no matter how many empirical findings he demonstrates”.

For all the faults of conventional economics, it relies heavily on data.  Austrianism has a methodological disrespect of data. Austrian Libertarians are staunchly against measurement: indeed, it is innumerate because it does not use measurement. Rothbard, Mises, and Hayek railed about how measurements were philosophically invalid.

I take pride in our dogmatic application of Austrian libertarian no matter the situation. I argue that I have a right to defend myself from theft and slavery which is what taxation (i.e. government steals our money and misuses our hard earned money) is.

Oh, by the way who is to do the defending against theft? Who is doing to pay for the judicial system and who is going to pay for imprisonment of the thief?  Or do we shoot them on sight?

If the debate is on abuse of tax money and the ineffeciency of the tax system, fine, but then Medecci goes on to say:

“One, we can say with certainty that imposing higher taxes on income earners will lower rather than raise people’s standard of living”.

Medecci blatantly ignores that tax money is use to build the infrastructure that allows for entrepreneurship to prosper and for all to enjoy a standard of living that allow for libertarians to engage in philosophical thinking.  As I have said, a few eminent Austrian Libertarians are wealthy individuals or funded by wealthy individuals and think tanks that have prospered and now seek to discredit the system that they themselves profited from.

In Chinese philosophy, even a dog will wag its tail.

This remind me of brilliant scientist who discovered the secret to creating life out of dirt.

He called all the people together and arrogantly declared. “I have proven that God do not exist and God did not created us.  I now show you how I can create a human being but putting a handful of dirt into this machine I have design and built”.

As he bends down to scoop up a handful of dirt from the ground, a Booming voice was heard.  “Go get your own dirt”.

Medecci confirms that consistently, he opposes drug laws, regulating massage parlors and brothel and prostitution laws. Let the market regulations takes place.

By his opposition to drug laws and prostitution law because these are against the spirit of entrepreneurship and free trade, he must concede that he is also against the 13th amendment to the US Constitution that abolished slavery.

Slavery is not just about denying another person his freedom (Yet Medecci harps about personal liberty).   It is a booming trade.

He asserted: “So long as a worker remains totally subservient to his employer’s will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary. He must work to avoid the pain of hunger, to remove himself from uneasiness. The employer provides the means of satisfying the worker’s hunger”.

If this is not anarchy, what is?  Medecci seems to suggest that the animals in the zoo should be eternally grateful to the zookeeper for feeding them. The zookeeper can even claim a moral victory and authority that he even left the gate open and the animal does wants to leave, as they love his food.

The sad part is the animals are being kept for the zookeeper profit form admission fees for so long, they do not even know how to hunt for food and survive in the jungle.

If the employer enforced his slavery by violence, I maintain, it is subjected market relationship to decide and leave plenty of rooms to uphold the non-aggression principles

No slave owner will willingly and non-aggressively give up his slaves, not ever, not in a Libertarian world where they are free to do what they please.

It is government intervention and a civil war that cost thousand of lives, not market regulation or non- aggression that stop slavery in America!

In my view, Andrew seems to be principled over anti-slavery, but not consistently, not genuinely sensitive way and hypocritical way.

Yes Medecci, I do not want to be hypocritical. I am not a hypocrite. Thank you for pointing that out.

Allow me to quote a critique of Austrian Libertarianism

The owner of a ship noticed that his ship was filling with water. Being an educated man (if not nautically trained) he knew there were many possible causes for water in a ship: leaks in the hull, the bilge pump being broken, waves washing over, condensation, and even the crew urinating in the hold. He heard the bilge pump running, he saw water from waves pouring in the open hatches, but worst of all he smelled urine in the hold! Being sensible, he ordered the crew to shut the hatches and then gave them a lengthy, stern lecture on personal hygienic. While he was lecturing the crew, his ship sank due to a combination of causes: large, unobserved leaks in the hull, a bilge pump that was running but not pumping correctly, and condensation that had shorted out warning circuitry.

Now, it’s easy to write a story to justify or ridicule any course of action, any philosophy.  But my purpose here is to illustrate ways in which the owner failed to think correctly.  Ways, which are STRONGLY analogous to Austrian economic methodology.

In every theory-rich subject, there can be a multitude of explanations of cause. For example, there might be five or more possible causes for a specific problem, be it inflation or disease or whatever. All or none of those causes might be valid or may be less or more valid that the others. Economics is just such a theory-rich subject.

There is no way to identify from philosophy which of these might be the case. You need to be able to observe enough to quantify these factors.

In the parable, the owner did not investigate condensation; he presumed the pump was working correctly without measurement; he did not attempt to measure leaks; he presumed (again without measurement) that the water sloshing in the hatches was the right amount to explain the filling; and he distracted the crew from finding the real problems with his own assumptions and moral haranguing.

When confronted with real-world problems that could have multiple causes, logical verbal models are insufficient. You MUST introduce measurement and mathematics into your models if you want to have any hope of valid answers. Logical verbal models are sufficient to specify possible chains (or networks) of causation, but telling which are significant is a quantitative problem that requires measurement.

Since Austrians are innumerate, instead they must rely on their assumptions.  Nor can Austrians really defend their assumptions: no assumption about the real world is totally true which means that there is fallacy in all their logic about the real world. They make up for this in bluster and old-fashioned appeal to their own authority.

http://critiquesoflibertarianism.blogspot.com/2009/05/parable-of-ship-why-austrian-economics.html

Medecci’s concept of Austrian economics is “is based on rationalism that claims our knowledge stems from human reason, Self-evident true and logically prior in human nature, without engaging empirical testing”.

We do not live in an ideal world and human being the animals that we are, has shown throughout history to be not very kind and sincere to his fellow human beings and other animals and the earth resources.

Medecci is entitled to his views and he is free to preach them. But the moment he tried to use this views to legitimise this anti workers stance and insist that his economic school of thought says minimum wage is an unemployment law not an employment law no matter how many empirical findings.

we will continue to show that his views are extreme and his attempts to defend them are incoherent, inconsistent and self-contradictory and is damaging our efforts to have a fairer society where the weak is protected against the strong and ruthless.

Governments and government intervention may well be a cause of the world’s economic problem but it is a fallacy to even remotely suggest that it is the only cause. To call for abolishment of governments is to kill the patient to cure the disease.

Finally Medecci said:

“Somalia. Poor me and Somalia. So many people tell me to move to Somalia, a stateless society where chaos is the rule and warlords are aplenty like Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Black Hawk Down. However, the standard allegations that abolish government would lead to chaotic warlords’ situation is misleading and unfounded”.

Enough said!

The writer is secretary, MTUC Sarawak

Also read: Rebuttal to Andrew and MTUC Sarawak