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#168981 - 04/23/19 01:09 PM THESE are the most telling failures of socialism
jmill Online   content
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5581
Now that the Democratic Party has finally pulled back the curtain to reveal its true self, we need to get serious about letting everyone know where they are trying to take this country. This article is a good start. ( https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/lee-edwards-socialism-failures )

Lee Edwards: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism
By Lee Edwards

Published April 23, 2019

Fox News

Some conservatives may be discouraged by the latest surveys confirming that nearly one-half of millennials are receptive to living under socialism and regard capitalism as a captive of greed. In fact, they present us with a golden opportunity to educate all Americans about the manifold failures of socialism and the miraculous advances the world has made under free enterprise.

For example, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson revealed at a Heritage Foundation event that between 2000 and 2012, “the rate of absolute poverty in the world fell by 50 percent.” That is, “the poor in the world are getting rich at a rate that is absolutely unparalleled in all of human history.” Heritage’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom reported that the greatest advances came in African and Asian countries (such as Botswana and Taiwan) that limited rather than expanded the role of government. More than 100 countries, many of them with less developed or emerging economies, showed marked advances in economic growth and individual prosperity.

Such good news is seldom reported by the mainstream media, Dr. Peterson said, because of the technological revolution that’s occurring in every form of media. All the broadcast networks, leading newspapers and magazines exist in a shrinking market with dwindling margins of profit. To attract attention they are turning to an old journalism axiom: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

The news media obsess over the latest school shooting and bloody street riot. And yet, Dr. Peterson pointed out, the rates of violent crime in the United States and in most places “have plummeted in the last 50 years.” The U.S. is now safer than it has been since the early 1960s, but the reporting of violent crime in America has materially increased as the mainstream media, in pursuit of ratings and revenue, have highlighted the dark side of society.

Conservatives must step forward to tell the truth about capitalism: the better life it has brought to billions of people, the diversity and freedom of choice it celebrates, the individual responsibility it encourages, the continuing miracle of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” its rejection of government planning that always leads to dictatorship.

Which brings us to the urgent task of exposing the chimera that socialism is just another political system. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and their fellow socialists carefully omit any mention of the principles laid down by Karl Marx, the founding father of Socialism, such as the abolition of private property and the centralization of the means of production and of decision-making. But make no mistake: there are radical socialists waiting in the wings to promote these extreme initiatives.

It’s up to us to tell the truth. Socialists promise a classless society but create the prison camps of the Gulag and the Isle of Pines. They assure peace but engage in wars of national liberation. They abolish private property but depend upon the underground economy. They stamp out religion but worship Big Brother. They bring down corrupt dictators but institute a dictatorship of the Party.

Here are some of the most telling failures of socialism.

One, socialism has never succeeded anywhere, including the Marxism-Leninism of the Soviet Union, the National Socialism of Nazi Germany, the Maoism of Communist China, the Chavez-Maduro socialism of Venezuela. It has never come close anywhere to Marx’s ideal of a classless society.

Two, Karl Marx has been wrong about nearly everything he predicted. The nation-state has not withered away. Capitalism didn’t break down as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Workers haven’t become revolutionaries but capitalists. The middle class hasn’t disappeared; indeed, it has expanded exponentially around the world (see the above about the sharp decline in global poverty). Marx’s attempt to use Hegel to create a “scientific socialism” has been an abject failure.

Three, socialism denies the existence of an essential human trait – human nature. Marx borrowed from the Enlightenment to declare that human nature was malleable, not constant. Christian theology with its idea of a fixed God-given nature infuriated Marx. The socialist state established by Lenin tried for seven decades to create an entirely new human being – Soviet Man. In December 1991, Michael Gorbachev gave up trying and dissolved the world’s most spectacular failure in human engineering.

Four, socialism depends not upon the will of the people but on the dictatorship of the Party to remain in power. In “The God That Failed,” six famous Western intellectuals describe their journey into socialism and their exit when they encountered the gigantic gap between their vision of a socialist utopia and the totalitarian reality of the socialist state.

After visiting the Soviet Union, the French Nobel Laureate writer Andre Gide said: “I doubt where in any country in the world – not even in Hitler’s Germany – have the mind and spirit ever been less free, more bent, more terrorized and indeed vassalized than in the Soviet Union.”

What price socialism? The Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang listed the “little terrors” that prevailed in China – making children of 12 subject to capital punishment, sending women to work in underground coal mines, harassing workers during their lunchtime with threats of prison if they were late returning to work. A Soviet defector said of the perpetual surveillance: “We lived in a world swarming with invisible eyes and ears.”

Given the ignorance of so many of our fellow especially young Americans, telling the truth about socialism has become an imperative. If we do not, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and their fellow travelers will fill the vacuum with their misleading rhetoric. This is the truth about socialism: It is a pseudo-religion founded in pseudo-science and enforced by political tyranny.

Dr. Lee Edwards is The Heritage Foundation’s Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought and chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation


Edited by jmill (04/23/19 01:11 PM)

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#169001 - 04/28/19 04:17 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: jmill]
Silence Offline
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Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 30
Loc: South Africa
Here is an interesting take

https://youtu.be/W-6nrAnDGyU?t=295

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#169003 - 04/28/19 09:48 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Silence]
Enright Offline
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3515
Loc: CA
Thanks for that. I see state capitalism (communism) as having been superseded by international capitalism, with no turning back. Marx wrote Das Kapital between 1867-1883, using the term "modern" on many pages, but it's 2019, and many points would seem to be obsolete now. We know in science that theories are judged as reliable if their predictions turn out to be verified. However, based on his theories, Marx made predictions involving certain inevitabilities that never came about. His materialist view of society and history was perhaps too narrow and one-sided, as well. Certain societies in which people professing to be socialists or neo-socialists have gained the upper hand – e.g., The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Syria, Iraq (the latter two when run by the "Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party"), Red China, North Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, etc., – have turned out to be suppressive of individual rights, tyrannical, and murderous of their own citizens in operation. Economically over the long run, the most successful economies in the world have generally been more of the free enterprise type rather than socialist, at least as I see the record. I believe that people inevitably find more creative uses for capital when it is dispersed over many businesses, corporations, and individuals, than when it is more concentrated and dribbled out by the decision makers in some socialist government. So those are some of my thoughts.

ETA: As for this guy's example of greedy capital going overseas for the lowest wages, he misses the point that we are living in an international economic system now. Take one of the great companies in the world, Honda, a Japanese company. How are you going to compete in the world market against a company like that by limiting your manufacturing and hiring to North America? If American companies had not gone overseas to some extent for additional, skilled workers and their expertise, and the benefits that an ever-expanding knowledge base brought to them by doing so, they would have inevitably lost out in the world-wide competition. That was one of the major reasons for the collapse of Soviet Russia: it didn't quite fit in as part of the international capitalist system.


Edited by Enright (04/28/19 06:01 PM)
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Jim

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#169004 - 04/28/19 11:35 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Enright]
Silence Offline
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Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 30
Loc: South Africa
Hi Enright,

 Originally Posted By: Enright
Marx wrote Das Kapital between 1867-1883, using the term "modern" on many pages, but it's 2019, and many points would seem to be obsolete now. We know in science that theories are judged as reliable if their predictions turn out to be verified. However, based on his theories, Marx made predictions involving certain inevitabilities that never came about.

Do you have a specific example?


 Originally Posted By: Enright
His materialist view of society and history was perhaps too narrow and one-sided, as well.

I agree

 Originally Posted By: Enright
I believe that people inevitably find more creative uses for capital when it is dispersed over many businesses, corporations, and individuals, than when it is more concentrated and dribbled out by the decision makers in some socialist government.

Is the capital in capitalist societies not becoming ever more concentrated, though, to the point that individuals own more than entire countries? That small businesses have been wiped out by huge corporations sometimes paying little to no taxes like Walmart or Amazon? That someone like Jeff Bezos also owns one of the most influential newspapers in the country, has deals with the CIA and controls government officials via donations so that they represent him instead of the people they are supposed to, and allow him to pay little to no taxes in the first place?

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#169005 - 04/28/19 11:56 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Silence]
Enright Offline
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3515
Loc: CA
Thanks, I'll be responding to this later. For now, I'll just draw your attention to something I added to my original post after "ETA," edited to add.
_________________________
Jim

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#169006 - 04/30/19 05:59 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Enright]
jmill Online   content
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5581

Never having heard of it before, I'm suspicious of this term "state capitalism". Here's a quick definition from Google: "a political system in which the state has control of production and the use of capital."

That does not sound like capitalism of any sort to me. In fact, it sounds like a subtle attempt to link the word the word "capitalism" with socialism (or communism) so as to hide the socialism. Kind of like hiding the dog's antibiotic pill in a piece of cheese so the dog will swallow the medicine and not know the difference. It sounds like disinformation.

State capitalism seems like an attempt to turn an M.C. Escher painting of an eternally ascending staircase into reality. Looks great on paper, but can't be done in reality.

Intellectually, one can probably split enough hairs to artificially conceive of a state capitalist system that should theoretically work, but in practice, at least in the examples I can find, it's really just a disguise for state-run economies. It's not really private enterprise when President Bernie Sanders can tell private enterprise what to do, beyond ensuring simple regulation for honesty and safety: how much to produce, when to produce it, what price to sell it for, what to pay the workers, what the CEO can make. There is little practical difference between that system and socialism or communism. If government can set prices, control what profit can be taken from the business, then it is no longer private enterprise.

Noam Chomsky applies the term to the United States because of the bailouts in 2008. I think that's too convenient. It may have smacked of that system, but try and get a bail out today. Not a chance. It was a public relations disaster, and besides, bailing someone out for fear of a market collapse is not the same thing as controlling the means and strategies of production from top to bottom.

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#169007 - 04/30/19 06:23 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Silence]
Enright Offline
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3515
Loc: CA
 Originally Posted By: Silence
Hi Enright,

 Originally Posted By: Enright
Marx wrote Das Kapital between 1867-1883, using the term "modern" on many pages, but it's 2019, and many points would seem to be obsolete now. We know in science that theories are judged as reliable if their predictions turn out to be verified. However, based on his theories, Marx made predictions involving certain inevitabilities that never came about.

Do you have a specific example?

Thanks. This is only what I have heard, but I heard that he predicted that first the workers would strike, and then they would take over the factories. When you look at countries generally, this has not happened, but should have happened, particularly in the U.S.

 Originally Posted By: Silence
 Originally Posted By: Enright
I believe that people inevitably find more creative uses for capital when it is dispersed over many businesses, corporations, and individuals, than when it is more concentrated and dribbled out by the decision makers in some socialist government.

Is the capital in capitalist societies not becoming ever more concentrated, though, to the point that individuals own more than entire countries? That small businesses have been wiped out by huge corporations sometimes paying little to no taxes like Walmart or Amazon? That someone like Jeff Bezos also owns one of the most influential newspapers in the country, has deals with the CIA and controls government officials via donations so that they represent him instead of the people they are supposed to, and allow him to pay little to no taxes in the first place?

It could be that this “concentration thing” of private industry is something like the tide. Industrial wealth seems to grow ever more concentrated at times, particularly at inflection points, and then it relaxes, to be repeated again. Speaking roughly just of the U.S., first it was the railroad and coal-mine businesses (e.g., the "railroad barons"), then it was the steal and auto companies ("the big three" auto companies) then the airlines, then IBM and Microsoft, and now it’s the Internet companies. Of course there were the banking and finance industries too. Given that this sort of thing has not provoked a revolt in the past, it seems unlikely to do so now. It would appear to be more of a political talking point than anything. Far more likely to cause real angst and difficulties all through society is the trillion dollar student-loan crisis, for example. Young people in their most productive years starting out with this huge, built-in debt. Now there is a problem.

I remember back in the 50s when all the talk was that the U.S. , with just 5% of the world’s population, had 20% of the world’s wealth. Perhaps the U.S. then should have cut its standard of living by 3/4ths, and given the money back. Somebody had to be cheating, and obviously it was us.

Actually, there is a pretty good rival to Marxist theory to account for these kinds of inequalities. It is called Pareto’s Principle: “In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country. Pareto observed that 20 percent of the people owned 80 percent of the nation's wealth. He could not know it, but in time that rule would be found to apply with uncanny accuracy to many situations and be useful in many disciplines, . . .” [ F. John Reh. Actually, I believe it was 20% of the land owners owned 80% of the land.]

Pareto’s rule pops up frequently in nature as well, e.g., something like 20% percent of the earth’s forests account for 80% of the vegetation. In business, 80% of customer complaints are filed by 20% of the customers. Often around 20% of a company’s employees do about 80% of the work. 79% of NBA players come from 13% of the population, and so on. It appears that almost all of the mathematical innovations that led to modern mathematics were created by European or American men.

I like Pareto’s rule because it seems to explain the inequalities we see in socialist regimes, something that might be more difficult to do under Marxist theory. In the heyday of the Soviet Union for example, about 5% of the population, the members of the Communist Party, controled vast amounts of the political, military, and econmic power of the country.

Anyway, given that Chicago alone has a gross domestic product of something like $940 billion a year, I think there is plenty of wealth in the country independent of Amazon.
_________________________
Jim

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#169014 - 05/05/19 06:34 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: jmill]
Silence Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 30
Loc: South Africa
 Originally Posted By: jmill

Never having heard of it before, I'm suspicious of this term "state capitalism". Here's a quick definition from Google: "a political system in which the state has control of production and the use of capital."

That does not sound like capitalism of any sort to me. In fact, it sounds like a subtle attempt to link the word the word "capitalism" with socialism (or communism) so as to hide the socialism. Kind of like hiding the dog's antibiotic pill in a piece of cheese so the dog will swallow the medicine and not know the difference. It sounds like disinformation.

State capitalism seems like an attempt to turn an M.C. Escher painting of an eternally ascending staircase into reality. Looks great on paper, but can't be done in reality.


Isn't state capitalism coined to describe China? The most efficient poverty-eliminating economic system ever created?

Not saying either that life is all honky dory in China, but if we want to stay honest, we have to give them that.

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#169016 - 05/06/19 01:03 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Silence]
ScottSA Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 14306
Loc: Canada
 Originally Posted By: Silence
 Originally Posted By: jmill

Never having heard of it before, I'm suspicious of this term "state capitalism". Here's a quick definition from Google: "a political system in which the state has control of production and the use of capital."

That does not sound like capitalism of any sort to me. In fact, it sounds like a subtle attempt to link the word the word "capitalism" with socialism (or communism) so as to hide the socialism. Kind of like hiding the dog's antibiotic pill in a piece of cheese so the dog will swallow the medicine and not know the difference. It sounds like disinformation.

State capitalism seems like an attempt to turn an M.C. Escher painting of an eternally ascending staircase into reality. Looks great on paper, but can't be done in reality.


Isn't state capitalism coined to describe China? The most efficient poverty-eliminating economic system ever created?

Not saying either that life is all honky dory in China, but if we want to stay honest, we have to give them that.

No we don't. It's simply not true.
_________________________
If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?~Albert Einstein

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#169018 - 05/06/19 03:05 AM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: ScottSA]
Silence Offline
enthusiast


Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 30
Loc: South Africa
 Originally Posted By: ScottSA
 Originally Posted By: Silence
if we want to stay honest, we have to give them that.

No we don't. It's simply not true.


Well, last time I checked, that's what the World Bank says

http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/country/CHN

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