UPDATE: Just like the rest of the world, I’m over debating TZM. Feel free to comment, I will not respond or read. I have corrected a lot of errors on this post. Some remain but not worth my time to really give it due diligence. I have shifted my position since writing this and am no longer an Austrian nor do I think the ECP makes socialism ‘impossible.’ I do think the article still shows state socialism as unworkable and illustrates an important problem with the redundantly named “resource-based economy”
Recently a skeptic blogger Muertos issued a challenge to The Zeitgeist movement in this video:
In it he cites a book that discusses proposals by other futurists with concepts identical to The Venus Project and how they do not work and always transitions with violence no matter if they advocate it or not. The book he sites is James C. Scott’s “Seeing Like A State.” He will not debate anyone from The Venus Project or The Zeitgeist Movement unless they have read this book first so they understand his position first. This is a more than reasonable request considering Zeitards demand you watch 2 long Zeitgeist Films.I decided this was absolutely a great idea for me too. I haven’t read the book in question just yet, but I will propose my challenge to the Zeitgeist/Venus Project community. I have a hard time nailing these guys down to one subject at a time, or tossing straw man arguments about my position.
My main objection to The Venus Project is predominantly the economic calculation problem in socialized systems as proposed by Mises. The argument is this; in a centrally planned economy, and more so in cashless economies, you cannot properly gauge where resources should be allocated unless you turn these heterogeneous things into something homogeneous that reflect the most up-to-date needs as an organic free-market price system. A central computer, no mater how smart, can not correctly calculate an iPhone4 minus a cheeseburger unless there is a bottom up price system that reflects the time, energy, resources, incentives and demands to fulfill the needs of the consumer.For example let’s say on a very small scale we wanted to make a small calculation. What should we make given we can only create so much in a small amount of time, given limited resources. An iPhone4 for person #003443 or a cheeseburger for person #003533 and have extra time and resources to spare for other requests. Unless there is a system that reflects to both the consumer and the producer the true time, energy, resources, demand and scarcity that is homogeneous, you would not know what to calculate.
iPhone4 = $399.99.
Cheeseburger = $2.99
So iPhone4 – Cheeseburger = $397.00
iPhone4 – Cheeseburger ≠ iPhone3Gs
It seems to fall in line with black and white thinking when I bring this up to TZM people. If I disagree with their system then I support the ‘status-quo.’ Nothing could be further from the truth for me, and ifMises were alive today he would have nothing but bad things to say about how the American Government has done since his death. So it’s a moot point bringing up criticisms of the current system we all share.
Now, because of the type of non-responses I get I am now issuing my price of admission for this debate. It’s cheaper than Muertos’ read a whole 400 page book price, but it’s as challenging. Read the 50 page article and postscript to Economic Calculation In The Socialist Commonwealth by Ludwig von Mises. It was written before Mr. Fresco was even born, but it doesn’t negate the overarching problem with The Venus Project; whats an iPhone4 minus a cheeseburger in a world with no prices?
After you have read the book you may not argue with me any of these points:
- This is different, he’s talking about socialism, this is a straw man!
Not really, he’s talking about ideas proposed by socialists that The Venus Project has adopted into the R.B.E.; central planning of an economy. Now explain how socialist calculation problem does not apply in an R.B.E.
- Price is controlled by the Federal Reserve inflating the money supply.
Right, however Mises is not in favor or arguing for fiat currency. Fiat money cannot be a true reflection of marginal utility and is causing a lot of the problems we’re seeing today. There’s a vast array of workable non-coercive value based monetary systems that have been tried or are still being used today to see as examples.
- You do not understand The Venus Project, do your research.
I think I have done a fair job of understanding it, please tell me where I am wrong on my assessment of the economic model as it is pertains to The Venus Project. Enlighten me, don’t make empty rebuttals. Also if there is a key piece of information I neglected to notice, don’t tell me to go though a stack of information and find it. If you know where it is, point it out to me.
- How does the current…
Let me stop you there, we’re not talking about the current disasters. We both share your criticism of the current model in America. The issue is your solution.
- No wait, how does this current system help the starving people in Africa?
The current system in America is not the cause of starvation in Africa. Africa is suffering from the same ideology Mises was advocating against; central planning. It’s also an appeal to emotions, making me feel bad about people suffering in foreign lands does not mean we should go along with the R.B.E.. I feel bad kids are starving in Africa, so let us not have more of what’s killing them.
- How does the “invisible hand of the market” work other than a God-of-the-gaps fallacy?
This tells me not only have you not read the paper, but not read anything about Austrian Economics. Please read the paper, then discuss it.
- Oh, I get it. You think we’re Communists with robots! Hahaha! Please, it’s not Communism you’re just using a Red Scare tactic.
No, it has to do with empirical observation. Please read the paper.
- I don’t want to read that paper, I’ll just go by your summary.
No read, no debate, no exceptions. In this paper they address many objections you will bring up. Why should I explain what the paper already said about your argument. I’m not your mother, read it yourself. If you object to reading, I have an audio book version on YouTube for you. If I watched 8 hours of Peter Joesph Merola movies for you and you won’t read for 2-3 hours for me then you’re not worth my time. If you think your system can stand up to the test if rational discourse and not blind faith, read the paper and spank me intellectually. I’ll take 2 kinds of correspondence, Skype or e-mail. Just leave a comment below. Remember: I will record/log the entire discussion and present it on this blog and/or my YouTube Channel.UPDATE: I have reduced the requirement for this challenge. All you need to do is watch this 1 videos in its entirety.