Amazing. Stuff. Stuph.

Message to Statists Everywhere: Diocletian Failed!

Message to Statists everywhere; which refers to anyone who wants to have the state control everything in society, from production and prices to wages and who works at what job; this if for you! And, it can be summed up in one statement: Diocletian Failed!

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The 51st Emperor of the Roman Empire, Diocletian, ruled Rome from 20 November 284 – 1 April 285 as sole Emperor, and for much longer as the “Augustus of the East.” Diocletian was a stern, haughty Emperor who took his role as supreme lawgiver seriously. He demanded to be called a god (reminding everyone that he had the power of a god), and took the Empire to task, decreeing reforms right and left. He reigned for a while and then retired, but, in his wake, he had started the feudal system which would last for centuries to come, down through the Middle Ages, until the Reformation broke the bonds of the common everyday person and set them both physically and spiritually free.

A3M7A0 / Pound Coins

For years the Empire had been debasing its currency as a silent tax upon the population. The valuable metal was replaced by base metal, and used to fund the Empire without having to increase taxes, but having the same effect. Sound familiar?

How did Diocletian fail? He tried to enact price controls, job controls, and restore “stability” to the economy. What I’m going to focus on is his trying to stop “price gouging”, or, more accurately, “price increases causes by the states inflation or debasing of the currency and taxation.” His response is critical, and proves that the idea of price controls is as old as the state itself. Here is a quote from Mises.org (click here to read the rest of the article, its amazing!):

In 284 A.D. the Roman emperor Diocletian created inflation by placing too much money in circulation, and then “fixed the maximum prices at which beef, grain, eggs, clothing and other articles could be sold, and prescribed the penalty of death for anyone who disposed of his wares at a higher figure.” The results, as Schuettinger and Butler explain, quoting an ancient historian, were that “the people brought provisions no more to markets, since they could not get a reasonable price for them and this increased the dearth so much, that at last after many had died by it, the law itself was set aside.”

In order to ensure that the above law (which included the death penalty for non-compliance) was enforced, a literal army of bureaucrats were hired by the Empire to make sure merchants followed the rules decreed by the Emperor. A good example of this would be the current situation in the U.S., without the famine, due to a large Welfare State backing it up.

The State cannot regulate prices, jobs or production of goods, or how they’re produced, or anything for that matter, with any longer term success. They can only hamper the market, and use that one tool of the state, violence, in order to maintain their immoral laws and regulations. The Roman Empire tried it, along with dozens of other civilizations, price controls being interwoven deeply in the ancient Code of Hammurabi. Stop trying. You’ve already failed. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. The Federal Reserve has only been debasing the currency for a hundred years; we’ve already had the Great Depression and the housing crash of 2008, and it is about time it quit. Only the truly free, unregulated market has had any long term success. It is governed by human action, and human action cannot, and will not be denied. “Diocletian Failed!” And so have you.

may the truth be with you

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