From Democratic Socialists to Socialist Democrats

Image result for venezuela shopkeeper meme

There really is a level of communal ignorance shown by the advances made by Bernie Sanders on just how savage socialism is. The problem is not just an inability to learn from history – even from the recent history of the Venezuelan economy. It is also due to the difficulty in understanding why socialism, however nice it sounds in theory, cannot work in practice, which is why it never has. Does anyone actually think Bernie Sanders is the soul of kindness and benevolence? It is hatred and anger all the way down.

The issue is much more than pure politics.

There are lots and lots of longtime Democratic political professionals who believe that nominating a self-proclaimed democratic socialist is a recipe for disaster for their side.

What these “political professionals” are worried about is that Sanders may end up losing in a landslide and then lose the House and the Senate at the same time because there is still a toxic phobic reaction among most Americans to socialism. The reality is that on the non-zero chance that Sanders might win, it would be an economic disaster for everyone, not just for Democrats. Unfortunately, why that is remains very difficult to explain. Understanding what happens under socialism requires a deeper understanding of the processes of a market economy than most people have.

It really is incredible how lacking in any understanding among those voting for Bernie are about what they are buying into, why it would be an economic disaster. There is only a shallow understanding of why socialism will almost immediately stop the economy in its tracks and impoverish almost everyone. It is almost impossible to understand why this is, in the same way it is so difficult to understand why a market economy does work. I wrote a brief pamphlet on the fatal consequences of socialism at the start of last year with the subtitle: “Why a socialist economy can never work”. The actual title may sound odd – I, Mechanical Pencil – but was chosen because it is an extension of a famous anti-socialist publication written in the 1950s titled, “I, Pencil”. This is from the intro:

Political oppression is easy to see, but economic oppression is much more difficult to identify and understand. Anybody can see without difficulty that socialist economies are inevitably poor, but many people need instruction to understand why that is. That is the reason I have written this … to explain the causes behind the economic nightmare of socialism that accompanies the political oppression that is its twin.

You can download the article at the link.

The question asked here is Will Bernie Sanders’ long-ago praise of Socialist regimes hurt Democrats in November? If he is still there in November, one can only hope, but if he is still there in November, win or lose, it will be a very bad sign of things to come, not just in America but across the world.

Image result for bernie sanders socialist meme

 

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.