What did socialists use before they had candles?

Electricity!

A joke I heard at a wonderful Freedomfest presentation on “The Intellectual Battle for South America”. Here, however, the central question was not about economics but about philosophy. The basis for the talk:

If the evidence of failure is so striking, why keep trying with different forms of socialism?

Their answer: because it’s not about economics but about philosophy and psychology. It’s a moral question, with the almost universal mantra in South America contrary to a market based economy. Two quotes of interest which help sum up the problem. First Eva Peron:

Where there is a need there is a right.

And then from a poster that does seem to help make sense of Venezuela:

If you think greed is bad, wait till you hear about capitalism.

The perfect way to remain very poor but also extremely resentful. I was more than primed for this by my airplane book which I picked up in an op shop just before I left.

Socialism and International Economic Order by Elizabeth Tamedly

I had never come across even its title before, nor the author, but I cannot recommend it highly enough. You see it in South America but unless we are all very careful, what she describes may be coming to a country very near to you very soon.

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