If you want to know how socialists think

I was alerted by the title of Graham Richardson’s column today: Diplomacy’s a challenge when Trump goes rogue. Not his own title, of course, but as usual more anti-Trump rubbish that one expects from the socialist cabal. But it was more than that; there was this:

President Xi is a dictator and, in my view, China will need to be run by a dictator for a long time yet. Democracy is just too slow for a nation building its economy at the rate the Chinese are achieving.

Possibly the most revealing statement we have seen from the Labor Party, revealing their true sentiments towards democracy and the market economy. How do we ever trust these people in government?

There was more, of course, but this truly made me wonder how out of it such people are.

The biggest problem in the area of energy policy is the gap between supply and demand, which has not been plugged by the market — we lack a large, new power plant on the east coast…. The failure to lure any investment to bridge the energy sector’s coal deficit will mean the wide-eyed proselytisers of the new world energy renewables push will get to see the implementation of more of the schemes they have been promoting in recent years, and see if they work and at what cost.

And who does GR think is responsible? Does the Labor Party have anything to do with it? Perish the thought:

The Green-GetUp coalition has had enormous success in ensuring that no finance from any source can go to coal…. For the past five decades we were the country with abundant cheap power so the logical question is how did we manage to squander this advantage? When you have abundant reserves of coal of good quality at a good price the tragedy of worrying about energy supply is obvious.

Clearly, Australia also needs to be run by a dictator. At least in China there is no hesitation to burn coal to produce electricity.

Defining socialism in the modern world

Here is the original story: Socialism is losing its stigma thanks to Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez as a MAJORITY of American women age 18-54 would prefer living in a socialist country to living in a capitalist country. That story was replied to here: 55% Of Women Prefer Socialism To Capitalism. Here’s Why They’re Wrong. But what is of particular interest is the list of attributes being sought in the socialist system these women are seeking to have introduced, in descending order of approval, from 76% for the first through to 52% for the tenth.

  1. Universal healthcare (76 percent)
  2. Tuition-free education (72 percent)
  3. Living wage (68 percent)
  4. State-controlled economy (66 percent)
  5. State control and regulation of private property (61 percent)
  6. High taxes for the rich (60 percent)
  7. State-controlled media and communication (57 percent)
  8. Strong environmental regulations (56 percent)
  9. High public spending (55 percent)
  10. Government “democratizes” private businesses—that is, gives workers control over them—to the greatest extent possible (52 percent)

“State-controlled economy” pretty well defines socialism with 66 percent signing up for whatever it might mean in practice. Goes very neatly with “State-controlled media and communication”. The full socialist box and dice.

Socialism may not be the answer but do socialists know that?

The reality is that you have to be kidding yourself if you think your standard issue modern leftist knows that. The video is taken from here. Watch it for yourself. If you understand why socialism is not the answer, then it is hard to fathom that people in bulk numbers can really be this insane, but they are.

So let me continue with this. I have been sent an article from a friend in New Zealand – Why Call it “Socialism”? – which opens in the following way.

I’ve been coming around to the belief that most modern arguments over “socialism” are a waste of time, because the content of the term has become so nebulous. When you drill down a bit, a lot of “socialists” are really just saying that they would like to have government play a more active role in providing various benefits to workers and the poor, along with additional environmental protection.

Socialism is thus, as he sees it, nothing more than an unfocused desire for better social welfare and a more egalitarian society. Well, maybe, but pay attention to the video. It is beyond ignorance and beyond stupidity. We are truly looking at a cult of some kind, but it is a cult that encompasses near half of the population. This was my reply to my friend.

Thank you for that. Very interesting, and yet, and yet…. Socialism is a personal belief system that has no specific definition. Everyone makes up their own version so whenever some actually existing socialist economy is set up and then inevitably fails, everyone else can say that what they did was not what they had meant by socialism, that what was done was not what they had had in mind.

No one any longer describes what they believe in as “socialism” but I know it when I see it. It is ever and always a means to supplant the market through some kind of government direction in which individuals are not made responsible for their own personal welfare. Instead, governments manage and direct major economic entities; there are huge burdens placed on enterprises, through the taxes that are levied, the wages and benefits they are made to provide, and the regulations that they are made to follow; and there are huge amounts of public expenditures, almost inevitably more costly than the economic benefits they provide, that shape the direction in which an economy is made to follow. There are then large efforts to equalise incomes between those who provide more value than they are paid and those who either do not work or who are allowed to receive incomes well above the value added they have personally created. There are other features too, but you get the picture. The incentive structure is completely warped so that economic returns are very badly correlated with economic contribution.

And with every turn of the electoral cycle, we move further in a socialist direction. Scott Morrison is hardly a free-market capitalist, but he is well ahead of anyone on the Labor side. Your own PM is a complete economic dunce who will do you in if she is given half a chance. Everyone wants to be Mr, Miss, Ms and Mrs Niceperson. I only wish they had some prior understanding of how economies work before they bought in on it.

There you are. Interesting article, but economists turn out to have no political or philosophical sense whatsoever.

I would be placated to some extent if everyone before they waded in on the need for more regulation and re-distribution first explicitly stated that of course, free market capitalism is the only way to manage an economy so these suggestions are only intended to slightly alter the way we go about things. But no one ever says that. Replacing capitalism with something else is the underlying aim, or so it seems to me. There are so many gadgets around, from computers to widescreen television, that everyone will be easily lulled into disaster as in Venezuela with no way out at the end. And none of it will be mentioned by our media who are more into an apathetic torpor than anyone in Orwell’s time could ever possibly have imagined.

The aim is to replace capitalism with something else

I have been sent an article from a friend in New Zealand – Why Call it “Socialism”? – which opens in the following way.

I’ve been coming around to the belief that most modern arguments over “socialism” are a waste of time, because the content of the term has become so nebulous. When you drill down a bit, a lot of “socialists” are really just saying that they would like to have government play a more active role in providing various benefits to workers and the poor, along with additional environmental protection.

Socialism is thus a desire for better social welfare and a more egalitarian society. Well, maybe. This was my reply.

Thank you for that. Very interesting, and yet, and yet…. Socialism is a personal belief system that has no specific definition. Everyone makes up their own version so whenever some actually existing socialist economy is set up and then inevitably fails, everyone else can say that what they did was not what they had meant by socialism, that what was done was not what they had had in mind.

No one any longer describes what they believe in as “socialism” but I know it when I see it. It is ever and always a means to supplant the market through some kind of government direction in which individuals are not made responsible for their own personal welfare. Instead, governments manage and direct major economic entities; there are huge burdens placed on enterprises, through the taxes that are levied, the wages and benefits they are made to provide, and the regulations that they are made to follow; and there are huge amounts of public expenditures, almost inevitably more costly than the economic benefits they provide, that shape the direction in which an economy is made to follow. There are then large efforts to equalise incomes between those who provide more value than they are paid and those who either do not work or who are allowed to receive incomes well above the value added they have personally created. There are other features too, but you get the picture. The incentive structure is completely warped so that economic returns are very badly correlated with economic contribution.

And with every turn of the electoral cycle, we move further in a socialist direction. Scott Morrison is hardly a free-market capitalist, but he is well ahead of anyone on the Labor side. Your own PM is a complete economic dunce who will do you in if she is given half a chance. Everyone wants to be Mr, Miss, Ms and Mrs Niceperson. I only wish they had some prior understanding of how economies work before they bought in on it.

There you are. Interesting article, but economists turn out to have no political or philosophical sense whatsoever.

I would be placated to some extent if everyone before they waded in on the need for more regulation and re-distribution first explicitly stated that of course, free market capitalism is the only way to manage an economy so these suggestions are only intended to slightly alter the way we go about things. But no one ever says that. Replacing capitalism with something else is the underlying aim, or so it seems to me. There are so many gadgets around, from computers to widescreen television, that everyone will be easily lulled into disaster as in Venezuela with no way out at the end. And none of it will be mentioned by our media who are more into an apathetic torpor than anyone in Orwell’s time could ever possibly have imagined.

You cannot trust a party of the left with the management of an economy

From New Data Shows Absolute Economic Destruction During Obama Years. And these figures are not from some ratbag bunch of observers. This is where they are from:

The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis just released this single snapshot of economic performance over the Obama years.

And what do the figures show:

Federal debt went through the roof as we added more debt than all other previous periods combined.
We printed lots of money to paper over the monetary effects.
Health costs went way up when we were told they would drop. Obama care was a flop.
Labor force participation went down as unemployment increased and many just dropped out of the workplace altogether.
Inequality went up and up, as the rich got richer and the middle class shrank.
Median income dropped.
Home ownership also fell way down.
Overall, Americans were far worse off than before and we were told there was NO hope.
The country was losing to China and our children and grandchildren would not live as well as their parents and grandparents had.
Jobs would never return.

Venezuela is all that parties of the left know since they know nothing about allowing a market economy to work. Politically totalitarians and economically socialists. Yet they are the almost-governments everywhere and are only stopped because the damage they create causes a backlash before they can go much farther. But eventually they return and carry their projects a little further along.

Nazis were socialists

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What amazes me more than anything is that I have never seen this picture before. You can easily understand that our modern socialists do not wish anyone to recall their ancestry but it is undeniable. The following text is from the introduction to Arnold Lunn’s 1939 Communism and Socialism: A Study in the Technique of Revolution. Here again we see that there was a time when it was perfectly well understood that Nazis and socialists shared the same ideology.

We are indebted to Soviet Russia not only for the horrors of Russian Communism, but for the example which Russia set and for the consequences of that example in other countries. The Nazi Gestapo is modelled on the Ogpu and the atrocities of Dachau rival the brutalities of the Russian penal camps. Socialism, which necessarily involves compulsion, cannot be imposed on a State without tyranny and terrorism, but neither tyranny nor terrorism are peculiar to Russia. Nazi Germany has not only adopted the incidental features of revolutionary Socialism, in Russia and elsewhere, but is approximating more and more in its economic structure to the Socialism of Soviet Russia. “While Germany has retained the outward forms of capitalism,” writes the well-known economist, Paul Einzig, “for all practical purposes her economic system is that of Bolshevism – the nationalistic brand of Bolshevism, it is true, but not the less Bolshevik for that.

“The owners of property,” Dr. Einzig insists, “are little more than paid managers of their own factories and landed estates. Their profits are strictly limited by the fixing of a maximum rate of dividends, by heavy taxation which is likely to increase, and by the ‘voluntary’ contributions to Winterhilfe. Their activities are surrounded by innumerable regulations and are subject to interference by various organs of the Government, by petty local party officials, and by workmen’s committees. They are ordered to sell their products at a fixed price, irrespective of whether it allows them a margin of profit. They are ordered to export at a loss, irrespective of whether they can recoup themselves by selling in the home market at a profit….

“One of the characteristics of the Communist system is that production is not dependent upon the working of the financial system, but on the amount of labour, raw material and industrial capacity available. This fundamental principle has been taken over in full by the German brand of Bolshevism.” (Lunn 1939: x-xi)

From Lunn, Arnold. 1939 Communism and Socialism: A Study in the Technique of Revolution. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode.

I will also add this which was posted by some anonymous commenter on a different thread, but captures to perfection why every socialist denies that every single actual existing form of socialism is not real socialism.

The reason why Socialist ideology convinces impressionable people it would work is that it preys upon the narcissism of everyone by tricking them into believing their own personal vision of what socialism would look like is the vision that will in fact happen.

Since only one overall plan can be enforced however, each socialist sees something different happen in socialist experiments than what their own personal visions looked like.

Hence every socialist can then claim every past socialist experiment is not real socialism, which doubles as an excuse for them all to keep rabble rousing for more socialist experiments…

Until they each see their respective personal visions realized…

Which requires each of them to be the dictator to enforce their vision…

But only one plan can be implemented…

One party or one person “wins”.

Then every other socialist begins to hate that socialist and claim not real socialism because it wasn’t their personal vision for socialism…

So socialism naturally becomes a fight to the death for whose plan is to be enforced…

Which is why all socialist experiments have been totalitarian nightmares of socialists killing other socialists…

And at the same time they all keep thinking real socialism never existed…

There is a lesson there but only if you can understand it

The analogy is not perfect. Socialists do not want to kill you, it just sometimes happens that they do. It is often the only way to keep the power they were given by offering free things to people who, based on these promises, allow them to take the reins of government.

People’s lives are then plunged into darkness because they took the word of political leaders who offered them what cannot possibly be afforded, who had no means to deliver on their promises.

No socialist will ever solve a single one of your economic problems. They will inevitably make the ones you have worse than they were before while adding new ones onto the old.

Are there degrees of ‘socialism’?

I had a brief query from a friend the other day:

This is probably a red-herring but I did wonder if there are degrees of ‘socialism’ in which some degree of government ownership and control of the means of production is acceptable but with private sector ownership and incentives the dominant force. I’m thinking of the so-called ‘mixed’ economy concept.

Here in NZ we are having a debate about how we should frame objectives for the economy, with a shift away from a predominant focus on growth (in GDP) towards a ‘well-being’ framework (currently being developed by the NZ Treasury. I don’t think most economists are persuaded by this but it’s politically appealing because it appears to offer more emphasis on distributional fairness and the environment.

Well, I do go on a bit, but the question is an interesting one and important. My reply, off the top of my head, but more consideration still needed.

Interesting issue since everyone who now declares themselves a socialist doesn’t define socialism in the same way. There are plenty of “socialists” who think socialism is a heavy duty form of the welfare state. It’s fantastically costly, and in rich economies like ours, we typically allow plenty of free riding which will eventually have to be paid for one way or another. We are ruining ourselves because we think we are richer than we are, to subsidise plenty of people who ought to be contributing to their own upkeep. But once you get into the various forms of attempting to create greater equality, you are in an endless spiral since you can never create enough of it since there are always going to be income differences, many of which have no cosmic justification but just are what they are.

We already do an incredible amount of redistribution from those with high incomes to those with lower incomes. But if you take from some who earn high incomes they will provide less output to the common pool. And funny enough, if you give to people with lower incomes, they too will provide less to the common pool. Very destructive of an economy based on personal incomes related to one’s own contribution to the total. In a bygone era, most individuals felt a responsibility to remain as productive as possible for as long as possible, so we invented a system of welfare to assist those who fell by the wayside. Now there are so many who sit by the wayside picking up whatever they can, and this is now made much much worse by the increasing numbers who never intend to contribute anything but intend to be subsidised merely for existing. You can call that socialism if you like. It is immensely destructive, but since we have so much productive capital to run through it may take a while before we really notice. By then, alas, it will be too late. An inbred lack of industriousness in the midst of a crumbling economic structure is what you have right now in California which has more people on welfare proportionately than any other American state. And as rich as they are, it will not survive another decade before some kind of collapse overtakes them. Already the productive are escaping to other states. Unfortunately they are taking their welfare mentality with them.

As for the more traditional forms of socialism, virtually no government now seeks to take over the commanding heights of the economy, other than idiots like in Venezuela. There it took around a decade for the full horror to manifest itself, but now that it has, everyone has backed off from that version, at least for the time being. The version we are in the midst of is what I think of as the “crony capitalist” version, which is based on governments squeezing the last dollar of tax revenue, plus whatever they can extort from their central bank money creation process, to direct spending in a politically advantageous direction. Australia is at the start of a fall in living standards that is in large part based on the notion that all public spending adds to demand and therefore is positive. Which is augmented here by a superstitious belief that bringing in many many migrants makes the economy rich because we have to build infrastructure and housing for them to live in. Quite insane, but if you really think economies are driven by C+I+G, you cannot see the problem until the economy finally does fall apart and even then won’t understand the problem although it will be right before their eyes. The RBA and Treasury keep expecting the economy to turn around, and are ever-amazed when it does not.

Socialist anti-semites

Racist anti-semitic socialists. Lots of people once thought being a Nazi was the height of political sense. Now they are often just called Democrats. That cover was published by Rolling Stone which is designed to appeal to those who are in and with it.

Just so you know who we are dealing with:

1) Rep. Ilhan Omar: Anti-Semitic to the Bone.

Rep. Ilhan Omar is once again under fire for using an anti-Semitic trope about the “dual loyalty” of supporters of Israel.

It’s beginning to look like her anti-Semitism is embedded so deeply that she has no conscious thought about Israel and Jews that doesn’t drip with Jew-hatred.

2) After years of infighting, the Democrats may finally have found an environmental consensus in the Green New Deal. From The Atlantic in an article that supports AOC and details her green agenda. Every bit of what they support requires total control of not just the economy but the whole of society.

I have no idea whether the Green New Deal will result in a federal climate law two or five or 10 years from now. The proposal clearly has momentum on the left. Since early November, I’ve seen the Green New Deal talked about as a story of Democrats in disarray, or as another example of the party’s turn toward socialism. Both analyses miss the mark. The Green New Deal is one of the most interesting—and strategic—left-wing policy interventions from the Democratic Party in years.

3) Rep. Tlaib Blows Up Cohen Hearing: It Was a ‘Racist Act’ for a Republican to Bring a Black ‘Prop’. Vile from head to toe, Tlaib goes beyond merely anti-semitic.

During today’s House Oversight Committee’s interrogation of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, Tlaib suggested that Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) is a racist for bringing a black “prop” to the hearing [that is, she described Meadows’ black advisor as tokenism and only there to provide cover for the Republicans].

There is also a rundown here: Pelosi/Schumer Protect Jew Haters in Congress.

You think such sickening mindsets and policies cannot gather a majority? Nazis and socialists don’t get to take over because they promise to ruin the countries they are governing. They do, of course, and that is inevitable with socialism, but in the meantime there are a lot of lessons that get to be learned the hard way. Look at the picture from the cover of Rolling Stone and then compare them with this video of all the young, idealistic Nazis of the 1930s.