James Murdoch of News Corporation has delivered an an excellent and timely speech attacking the BBC and the massive level of state intervention in the British media. One point he makes is one I’ve made in arguments with statists and which I think needs to be emphasised more-
The consensus appears to be that creationism — the belief in a managed process with an omniscient authority — is the only way to achieve successful outcomes. There is general agreement that the natural operation of the market is inadequate, and that a better outcome can be achieved through the wisdom and activity of governments and regulators. This creationist approach is similiar to the industrial planning which went out of fashion in other sectors in the 1970s. It failed then. It’s failing now.
It has often struck me as ironic that technocratic “liberals” are generally hysterical defenders of the theory of evolution and derisive of creationists, and yet they entirely fail to grasp that their scepticism of markets and market forces is precisely the same reasoning as evolution scepticism; it is a disbelief that order can arise without planning. Using the theory of natural selection, we can understand how humanity, elephants, dung beetles and entire rain forests came into being without anybody, or any God, needing to sit down and write a specification and decide in advance that they would exist. Natural selection produced all these things, without any plan, starting with a few proto-bacteria. It’s amazing and astonishing, and counter-intuitive; but the evolution market did it all by itself.
But when one starts discussing economies, and markets, the same people who are maniacal promoters of natural selection suddenly turn into creationists; not only will they insist that state planning was behind every development and invention since the wheel, they will insist that the economy can neither work nor develop without the control of a benevolent god- or, a gaggle of philosopher kings- and snort derisively down their noses at the idea that mere market forces can result in order and advancement. Belief in the necessity of state planning is the same belief system as Intelligent Design. It amazes and depresses me how few educated intelligent people can understand this.
So well done for saying so James Murdoch. It’s something we need to hear more often.
Hat tip: Letters From A Tory