It seems to me, the invisible hand is much preferable to the iron fist. The new class however, believe just the opposite, that self interest can be replaced with the lash to motivate the people. Arguments can be made for both sides, the one that poor performers will become good performers, when motivated by physical pain, and the other that the human want to get ahead will drive people to perform well. The new class, being trained by academia who’s motivations, world view and personal history is outside the norm. As such the new class sees the world through a very different lens than those not in the new class. Of course, not all members of the new class have incorporated the propaganda into their psyche, but most have. That is why so many, especially economists, (who’s science was invented by Adam Smith and therefore get their authorization from him), consider Adam Smith’s invisible hand to be fiction, to the detriment of humanity as a whole.
Those in academia that train the new class live in a different world than the rest of humanity. Their ideas don’t have to be tested in the crucible of reality, they need not give actual value for their labor and they live in a cloistered world. The result has been an academic class who’s ideas have become ever more disconnected from reality. Up to ninety percent of academics are socialists and the top echelon are outright Marxists and anarchists. When confronted with the real world results of socialism, they respond in one of two ways, real Marxism has never been tried, or the wrong people were in charge. Their ideas need not comport with history, reality or even humanity, their ideas are based in the logic of ideas, which as Hegel said, in logic, if a pen is held in the air and let go, it need not drop… that past experience doesn’t necessarily predict future results.
So the new class, is inculcated with ideas that need not necessarily rely on past experience to predict the results of their actions, and so, given their position in society as the executives of our corporations, media moguls, Presidents, Legislators, judges, lawyers and doctors, in short the leaders of our society, their personal views differ from the common man’s. They seek to use human labor to their own ends, be it corporate profit, maintaining political power, enhancing their pay, or simply continuing the status quo. Since the advancement of the human condition, as they see it, is their bailiwick, the rest of us are merely here to serve their wants. As such they believe that whatever motivation to labor is used, all that counts is that the unproductive be forced to be productive. Given their world view, hubris and power, the iron fist is far more effective than self interest.
I, however, as I said in my first sentence, am of the opinion that all people benefit when self interest is the primary motivation for human endeavor. While the lash is a powerful incentive to labor, it creates a strong resentment to the person holding the whip. That resentment then causes the labor to be undermined by the laborer. While it is true, a slave can be forced to work him or herself to death by the lash, (as has been proven throughout history), they will not willingly help their master improve the efficiency of the process, lower the input cost or improve the product. The resentment that builds up when the lash is used prevents that. Human nature being what it is. Moreover, the iron fist discounts the very real probability of societal, economic, cultural or technological advancement originating from those not in the new class.
Economists should know this as a matter of course. After all, it was Adam Smith, the founder of the science of economics that explained this paradigm far better than I could, hundreds of years ago. Their authority is based on his work, but the science of economics has moved away from empirical reality to the desires of the new class. Marx, Rousseau, John Maynard Keynes, Veblen and others gave the new class a theory that fed their egos and hubris. They taught that self interest as a motivator of humanity is flawed and that the new class can plan an economy far better. The planned economy only requires as a motivator, the iron fist, to bring even the lowest producers into production. Of course they couldn’t tell labor their true intentions, labor would have rebelled aught, so they usurped the motivations of labor to enslave it. That is why those who seek to use the lash as a motivator of men and women, always talk about equality and fairness, to fool the average woman and man into believing theirs is the cause for which the statist is fighting.
Those wielding the whip never taste it’s bite, and so see no problem with it’s use, those who feel the sting however, understand the evil of it. The new class has no worry about the hoi polloi wielding the lash against them, the new class are the leaders and so only see the results second hand, in the labor that it inspires. The new class has no need of competition from the masses for their position in society, and the iron fist is the best means to both achieve good productivity from labor, while at the same time insuring their continued place. The new class seeks low cost, high efficiency and submission from those that work for them, while at the same time, high wages, power and prestige for themselves.
So there it is, one of the primary differences between a socialist and a capitalist, is the means to motivate people to work. The socialist believing the lash as the best motivator of people while the capitalist is of the opinion that self interest works best. Adam Smith, Mises, Hayak and many others fall into the latter category. Their philosophy however dis-empowers the new class, it teaches the planned economy itself is flawed, and therefore is an anathema to the new class. The new class is egoistically self interested, forswearing the good of mankind for their own narrow good, and so the iron fist is to them the ideal means to motivate people. What do you believe, is the iron fist the best motivator of people, or self interest? Your answer shows who you are.