Though pundits continue to write as if there has been an economic recovery, the raw numbers tell a different story. It is the story of a false recovery and ongoing mal-investment. The Business News headline reads, US economy shrinks for the first time since the recession ended. Here we are told that the “economy shrank unexpectedly late last year….”But was this really unexpected? Our society has fallen away from the old rules, from the old truths. Market hedonism now stands united with socialist hedonism and gives us a new kind of society which no longer understands the fundamentals of economic science. It is a society that borrows and goes deeper into debt. It is a society which suggests the idea of getting something for nothing.
And here is the beginning of our troubles. What comes of nothing is nothing. In order to grow an economy you have to have incentives, especially through the free exchange of goods and services. The enemies of capitalism and the market do not like this kind of freedom. Better to denounce it as a delusion which is no longer “sustainable.” This explains their fondness for talk of “climate change, peak oil and the internal contradictions of capitalism.” Obstacles of every kind must be placed in the way of the market system. Men must not be free to buy and sell. And finally, when poverty has resulted from trampling down the free market system, the free market system will nonetheless be blamed.
In a lecture given on July 28, 1967, the Frankfurt School “philosopher” Herbert Marcuse charted the future path of the New Left. “We are dealing with the dialectic of liberation,” Marcuse explained. This liberation was to be from a repressive system. Of course, this system had grown affluent, powerful and well-functioning; but the system (according to Marcuse) was morally bad and characterized by “voluntary servitude.” Marcuse had long abandoned rigid Marxist formulas in favor of a loose hedonistic formula for revolution. Here is the cultural Marxism of women’s liberation, gay marriage and the modern welfare state. For that is what Marxism in the affluent West now turns to.