Monday, June 3, 2013

Economics, Citizenship and Freedom

We intentionally skip sections 4 and 5 dealing with Economics and Universities and Economics and General Education. We now conclude with sections 6 and 7 discussing about Economics and Citizenship, and Economics and Freedom.
Economics and Citizenship
Citizens cannot withdraw from the study of economics without serious negative consequences. We cannot trust the interventionists to teach us economics. It is the solemn duty of each citizen to learn this science of human action.
It is high time that the study of economics must go beyond the confines of the academe and control of the specialists. The burning issues of today both political and social are all economic issues. No wonder, philosophers and theologians are now leaving the old problems dealt by earlier generation and are becoming more interested to participate in economic issues. Even the common man, whether he is conscious or not, is actually involved in economic affairs in his day to day activities. Civic activities like taking side to a specific political party and casting a ballot are inescapably economic realities. The relevance of economics for today is captured by Mises in summarizing the concerns of the last five centuries:
“In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries religion was the main issue in European political controversies. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe as well as in America the paramount question was representative government versus royal absolutism. Today it is the market economy versus socialism” (p. 878).
With the challenges we are facing today, the study of economics is the primary civic duty of a responsible citizen. By fulfilling this duty, you demonstrate that you care not only about your future but the future of your children as well.
Economics and Freedom
Interventionists know that the study of economics could enlighten the citizens to their civic responsibilities. This will frustrate the expansion of the interventionists’ dream and that is why all attempts are made to restrict the freedom of economic thought.
“Subversive” ideas are suppressed and only interventionists “truth” is allowed to reach public consciousness. In order to have a secure position for this truth, coercion is a necessary tool at the disposal of those who control the centers of power. Even religion is used to justify the promotion of interventionists’ agenda resulting to the gradual loss of human freedom.
Interventionists’ policy is most evident in restraining the activity of the free market. Economic issues like cutting down profits, lowering prices, lowering interest rates, and raising salary rates appear commendable in the eyes of the uninformed public. Only few are able to penetrate behind the appearances of things and fewer still are able to connect the economic disaster brought about by the widespread influence of those interventionists’ doctrines. Continued search for truth is the only weapon freedom lovers have in their arsenal to reverse the trend and provide the intellectual climate for the growth of market economy.