Friedman socialista?

Ouço ecos, hips e urras para Milton Friedman em todos os cantos, desde que ele foi dessa para melhor. E como a função deste blog é sempre reclamar, criticar, enfim, ser chato, resolvi fazer um apanhadinho de coisas negativas sobre o homem, só para que as pessoas por aí não fiquem muito acostumadas a endeusar ninguém. Sei que o Brasil não é (e talvez nunca será) “liberal” como o era Friedman, mas endeusar pessoas também nunca resolve nem resolverá nada. Muito pelo contrário:

“Podemos dedicar aos nossos amores humanos a lealdade incondicional que devemos somente a Deus. E então eles se tornam Deuses, e então se tornam demônios. E então eles nos destroem e destroem também a si mesmos. Quando se permite aos amores naturais tornar-se deuses, eles deixam de ser amores. Ainda são chamados de amores, mas podem tornar-se, na verdade, complexas formas de ódio.” (Adivinha Quem?, p. 12)

Assim, o “amor ao conhecimento” pode, como acontece nas universidades hoje, tornar-se uma forma complexa de ódio, cujo resultado, simplificando imensamente, é que os professores caem matando em cima de quem discordar de seu credo new leftist.

Mas voltemos ao Friedman. Lembrando-me de que a Escola Austríaca discorda de muitos dos aspectos da teoria de Friedman, resolvi dar uma pesquisada por lá. Primeiramente, achei esta interessante passagem, de Hans-Hermann Hoppe (sobre quem já escrevi antes):

“Worse, insofar as today’s intellectual output is at all relevant and comprehensible, it is viciously statist. There are exceptions, but if practically all intellectuals are employed in the multiple branches of the State, then it should hardly come as a surprise that most of their ever-more voluminous output will, either by commission or omission, be statist propaganda. There are more propagandists of democratic rule around today than there were ever propagandists of monarchical rule in all of human history.

This seemingly unstoppable drift toward statism is illustrated by the fate of the so-called Chicago School: Milton Friedman, his predecessors, and his followers. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Chicago School was still considered left-fringe, and justly so, considering that Friedman, for instance, advocated a central bank and paper money instead of a gold standard. He wholeheartedly endorsed the principle of the welfare state with his proposal of a guaranteed minimum income (negative income tax,) on which he could not set a limit. He advocated a progressive income tax to achieve his explicitly egalitarian goals (and he personally helped implement the withholding tax.) Friedman endorsed the idea that the State could impose taxes to fund the production of all goods that had a positive neighborhood effect or which he thought would have such an effect. This implies, of course, that there is almost nothing that the State can not tax-fund!

In addition, Friedman and his followers were proponents of the shallowest of all shallow philosophies: ethical and epistemological relativism. There is no such thing as ultimate moral truths and all of our factual, empirical knowledge is at best only hypothetically true. Yet they never doubted that there must be a state, and that the state must be democratic. Today, half a century later, the Chicago-Friedman school, without having essentially changed any of its positions, is regarded as right-wing and free market. Indeed, the school defines the borderline of respectable opinion on the political right, which only extremists cross. Such is the magnitude of the change in public opinion which public employees have brought about.”

[O texto inteiro, em PDF, está aqui]

Como vocês podem ver, Hoppe, que é um doidão (no bom sentido) não se esquece de que Friedman era um funcionário público! Para quem não entendeu direito o contexto, observo que o ensaio é sobre as elites intelectuais e o Estado. As elites intelectuais, hoje, são os “public employees” (quem pode negar?) e o Estado, bem, é aquele que come o **** de todo mundo.

Dando continuidade às minhas pesquisas, achei um texto de um Ralph Raico, em que este comenta um ataque de Friedman a Mises, o Grande (olha eu me contradizendo):

“A similar attack on Mises has been launched by Milton Friedman (1991). Friedman states that ‘the basic human value that underlies my own [political] beliefs’ is ‘tolerance, based on humility. I have no right to coerce someone else, because I cannot be sure I am right and he is wrong.’ Accusing Mises (as well as Ayn Rand) of ‘intolerance in personal behavior,’ Friedman traces this supposed flaw in Mises’s character to ‘his methodological doctrine of praxeology.’ Friedman explains:

‘his fundamental idea was that we knew things about ‘human action’ (the title of his famous book) because we are human beings. As a result, he argued, we have absolutely certain knowledge of the motivations [sic] of human action and he maintained that we can derive substantive conclusions from that basic knowledge. Facts, statistical or other evidence cannot, he argued, be used to test those conclusions (…) That philosophy converts an asserted body of substantive conclusions into a religion. (…) Suppose two people who share von Mises’s praxeological view come to contradictory conclusions about anything. How can they reconcile their difference? The only way they can do so is by a purely logical argument. One has to say to the other, ‘You made a mistake in reasoning.’ And the other has to say, ‘No, you made a mistake in reasoning.’ Suppose neither believes he has made a mistake in reasoning. There’s only one thing left to do: fight (1991, p. 18).’

How such an argument could emanate from such a distinguished source is quite simply baffling. Among other problems with it: Friedman’s theory would predict the occurrence of incessant bloody brawling among mathematicians and logicians; the nonoccurrence of such brawling thus falsifies that theory in Friedman’s own positivist terms. Moreover, Friedman’s position entails that no religious person who felt certain about his religious beliefs could have any principled reason to respect the conflicting religious beliefs of others, which is an absurdity. Finally, his “explanation” of Mises’s alleged personal “intolerance” fails to account for the personal tolerance of other practitioners of apriorism in economics.”

[O texto inteiro em PDF está aqui]

Sim. É impressionante que Friedman tenha dito (resumindo) que a única maneira de chegarmos à verdade (ou até menos que isso) é através de fatos e estatísticas. Mas será que é impressionante mesmo? Bem, todo mundo hoje não acha isso? Pois é. Mas Friedman foi o ovo? ou foi (parte da) galinha?

Então cheguei a um comentário de blog, de um aluno da Escola Austríaca:

“Having attended my share of Mises Institute events, I’ve heard Hans-Herman Hoppe call Milton Friedman a ‘socialist’. Moreover, I’m pretty sure I remember Stephan Kinsella defend that statement on this very blog by saying something like – While he liked free markets, technically, Milton Friedman *was* a socialist.

Is this really a sad day? Or are there celebrations going on in Alabama?”

Tudo bem. Friedman socialista? Meio exagerado. Mas fui atrás do tal Kinsella, e achei umas observações interessantes sobre graus de socialismo (tem até um gráfico), entre outras coisas. Primeiro ele diz, essencialmente, que Friedman era, como muita gente, uma mistura de socialista e liberal. Veja (grifo meu):

“As far as I know, Friedman advocates and has played a role in instituting various measures that amount to institutionalized aggression against private property, e.g., income tax withholding, the ‘negative’ income tax, educational vouchers (arguably), etc. These measures are clearly socialistic as are, no doubt, others Friedman advocates, so whether he is ‘a socialist’ or not I do not know, but he seems at least to be an advocate of some socialistic policies. Like many people, he is a mixed bag–he advocates many libertarian institutions, but dilutes this by also advocating some socialistic ones. Now he is certainly not the more extreme or principled or consistent type of socialist that advocates full-blown socialism.

Depois Kinsella diz ainda:

“I recall he said that he was in favor of liberty and tolerance of differing views and behavior because we cannot know that the behavior we want to outlaw is really bad. In other words, the reason we should not censor dissenting ideas is not the standard libertarian idea that holding or speaking is not aggression, but because the we can’t be sure the ideas are wrong. This implies that if we could know for sure what is right and wrong, it might be okay to legislate morality, to outlaw immoral or “bad” actions. This line of thinking has always bothered me a great deal, more so than the fact that Friedman, like most free market proponents, compromises on this or that concrete issue.”

O trecho de que Kinsella se lembra é o mesmo que Raico atribui a Friedman: “I have no right to coerce someone else, because I cannot be sure I am right and he is wrong.” Este é um baita pseudo-argumento filosófico. Como princípio ético então não vale nada, pois implica que o Estado, na forma da lei, só não pode impor a verdade porque nós não sabemos qual é a verdade. Ou seja, é um argumento relativista. Então voltamos ao Hoppe, que (no trecho mais acima) se referia ao relativismo ético e epistemológico pregado por Friedman e seus seguidores: “the shallowest of all shallow philosophies”, “a mais superficial de todas as filosofias superficiais”.

Uma coisa que eu achei bastante interessante é que Kinsella se diz mais incomodado com a “line of thinking” de Friedman que com o fato de ele ser meio estatista em algumas questões concretas. Eu, de minha parte, estremeço até as bases quando alguém usa a palavra “tolerância”, como o fez Friedman.

Bem, foi este o resultado de minha breve pesquisa.

~ by Evandro Ferreira on November 28, 2006.

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