Einstein when it came to economics was no Einstein

This was written by Albert Einstein, yes that Albert Einstein, in 1949: Why Socialism?. He begins:

Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.

One reason being to discover that however high someone’s IQ, when it comes to economics there is no guarantee they won’t be a complete idiot. You should read it all, but here is the core proposition:

I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

The “today” of “as it exists today” was 1949. This was at the height of the Cold War when Stalin’s Russia – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – threatened the peace and prosperity of the entire planet, the year of the Communist Revolution in China. And if you read the article through, it states every cliché known to every soapbox revolutionary since the start of time. Even geniuses can be morons.

1 thought on “Einstein when it came to economics was no Einstein

  1. It can not be stressed highly enough that an expert or even genius in one field, i.e. physics in case of Einstein, can be a blithering idiot in another field.

    Even so called experts in the field are often captives of an ideology which in turn dismisses the practical knowledge of the average citizen.

    The immigration crisis is but one example where the elite signal their “virtue” but ignore the resultant crime wave suffered by the working class.

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