This is a bit of a shaggy dog story about the aversion to free speech that pervades academia and the political left – doubtless not of great interest to some.
Anyway, about two days ago I did a couple of Tweets making the dreadfully un-PC point that lefties, academics and intellectuals are anti-intellectual, e.g. they’re not too keen on open debate and free speech (see below at the end of this article). Of course I’m far from the first person to make that point.
Coincidentally and within 24 hours, I then placed a comment on Bill Mitchell’s blog, and part of my comment was censored! Bill Mitchell is a left of centre academic (who I actually agree with most of the time because he’s an advocate of MMT, as am I). But as regards my free speech point, what can I say apart from “QED”? (See first comment here.)
The part of my comment that Bill deleted referred to Positive Money, an organisation that Bill doesn’t like. His reasons are not entirely clear to me and for the following reasons.
First, Bill is a leading MMTer, and Positive Money (like MMTers) advocates a dollar for dollar matching of monetary and fiscal stimulus: i.e. both MMTers and Positive Money advocate that stimulus should take the form of government simply creating new money and spending it (and/or cutting taxes). I.e. both organisations / movements advocate helicoptering. (Incidentally, please note that I am not an OFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON for Pos Money.)
A second important element in PM thinking is their advocacy of full reserve banking, or something close to full reserve. Now at least four economics Nobel Laureates have also advocated full reserve (as did David Hume 250 years ago). Now that’s a fair amount of brain power isn't it?
Censoring stuff written by a complete idiot may be justified, but clearly PM’s ideas are not complete idiocy (even if they are wrong).
And finally, the PM work I referred to, reference to which was censored, was not actually written just by PM: the work had three authors. They were Prof Richard Werner, the New Economics Foundation and PM. The work is “Towards a twenty-first century banking and monetary system”. Are the latter two co-authors idiots as well?
Of course Bill Mitchell, like anyone else, has an absolute right to censor anything he likes on his blog. But for a neat and quick confirmation of my point that a significant proportion of lefties, intellectuals and academics are not too keen on free speech, you can’t beat the above story!
Bill has done a great job over the years combating the pro-austerity nonsense we have to put up with from politicians and the less clued up members of the economics profession, and I fully support him there. However, I don’t care for censorship, except in extreme circumstances.
@DerorCurrency When it comes to group think, censorship and everything anti-intellectual, you can't beat an intellectual.— Ralph Musgrave (@RalphMus) 1 September 2016
The four signs of bigotry. pic.twitter.com/ZytxlhAvpM— Ralph Musgrave (@RalphMus) 1 September 2016