â€œI have been thinking,â€ Nock wrote in 1932, â€œof how old some of our brand-new economic nostrums really are. Price-regulation by State authority (through State purchase, like our Farm Board) was tried in China about 350 b.c. It did not work. It was tried again, with State distribution, in the first century a.d., and it did not work. Private trading was suppressed in the second century b.c., and regional planning was tried a little later. They did not work; the costs were too high. In the eleventh century a.d., a plan like the R.F.C. [Reconstruction Finance Corporation] was tried, but again cost too much. State monopolies are very old; there were two in China in the seventh century b.c. I suppose there is not a single item on the modern politicianâ€™s agenda that was not tried and found wanting ages ago.â€ Among virtually all of the political writers of the Left and the Right in the 1920s and 1930s, Nock shines brightest for seeing from the outset that the differences between the various collectivist schemes then circulating amounted to differences in branding. â€œCommunism, the New Deal, Fascism, Nazism,â€ he wrote in his Memoirs, â€œare merely so-many trade-names for collectivist Statism, like the trade-names for tooth-pastes which are all exactly alike except for the flavouring.â€
Is there a problem in the world? It follows that there is a progressive government “plan” to solve it–a plan that will centralize & ascribe control to your social, intellectual, & educational betters, reduce your liberty, and inevitably fail.
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