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The State and Moral Chaos, by Michael S. Rozeff

On Panarchy.org :

The State manufactures many façades of order: stately Capitols, bound volumes of laws, robed justices, columned halls and columns of soldiers, lawyerly deliberations, testimony of polite, well-dressed and articulate experts, ceremonies, and Social Security cards and checks. Behind these trappings of order, the State creates social disorder and chaos. This disorder is usually invisible, but nonetheless it is very damaging. Despite its first-order importance, socialists either do not understand it or disregard it. States and voters routinely ignore it.

My thesis in this article is that we do not all have to be economists to understand how this chaos is produced, even if we can’t always predict the ultimate consequences of socialist acts of State. We need to understand that the chaos is what I call moral chaos.

Free individuals in free markets reach agreements, understandings, arrangements, and contracts with one another. These stipulations create duties and responsibilities on both sides. They are at a moral level. Free market exchanges are built upon a foundation of what has been called a contractual or private property order. It is a moral order. Every such agreement creates a preferred ordering of events within this moral order which typically has physical counterparts affecting matter in space and time. The State’s socialist activities disrupt this moral order and thus the economic order, creating hidden moral and economic chaos.


Deciphering chaos

Unfortunately, as Bastiat long ago observed, there is "what is seen and what is not seen." He writes: "In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them."


(emphasis mine)

Read on :


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