“With dread” is the only sensible answer

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

If you’re a socialist, you have to be concerned that so many socialists before you defended totalitarian regimes as they committed atrocities, but you might say that the best socialists spoke out:

A reasonable position. I don’t want my views judged by the quality of the typical person who shares my label, either.

Still, this raises a weighty question: How should the best socialists react when they discover that a new socialist experiment is about to start? “With dread” is the only sensible answer. After all, the best socialists don’t merely know the horrifying history of the Soviet Union and Maoist China. The best socialists also know the psychotic sociology of the typical socialist, who savors the revolutionary “honeymoon” until the horror becomes too blatant to deny.

If dread is the sensible reaction to the latest socialist experiment, then how should the best socialists react to any earnest proposal for a new socialist experiment? It’s complicated. The proposal stage is the perfect time to avoid the errors of the past – to finally do socialism right. Yet this hope must still be heavily laced with dread. After all, socialists have repeatedly tried to learn from the disasters of earlier socialist regimes. When they gained power, disaster still followed.

That’s Bryan Caplan, by the way, and he continues:

At this point, it’s tempting to shift blame to the non-socialist world. Without American-led ostracism, perhaps Cuba would be a fine country today. Or consider Chomsky’s view that the U.S. really won the Vietnam War:

The United States went to war in Vietnam for a very good reason. They were afraid Vietnam would be a successful model of independent development and that would have a virus effect – infect others who might try to follow the same course. There was a very simple war aim – destroy Vietnam. And they did it.

If Chomsky is right about U.S. foreign policy, however, the best socialists should feel even less hope and even more dread. Even if the next generation of socialists finally manages to durably build socialism with a human face, the U.S. will probably strangle it.

Personally, I’m the furthest thing from a socialist. If I were a socialist, though, I would be the world’s most cautious socialist. Socialist experiments don’t merely have a bad track record; socialist self-criticism has a bad track record.

Comments

  1. Harry Jones says:

    Politics is mainly about shifting the blame for the bad things that happen.

  2. CVLR says:

    The simple fact is that no one knows what “socialism” is. It’s a bogeyman.

    The only definition that makes any sense is “anything that the capitalists don’t like”.

    So when the government steps in to put upward price pressure on wages (or anything else that improves the station of the ordinary person), you hear the familiar screeching.

    But when you strip-mine the American economy and ship it to China, that’s basically moral, because it’s a free market, maaan.

    And when the government makes the money printer go brrr for $1.5T to give to the banks, you hear nothing but silence.

    $5,000 from every man, woman, and child in America. Totally cool, though. Because this is the height of capitalism.

    Just imagine if ordinary people benefited from the economic order. That would be pure evil. It simply isn’t the government’s job.

    Capitalist self-criticism has an excellent track record.

  3. Dave says:

    And fish don’t know what water is. Socialism is government redistribution of wealth via subsidies, taxes, and most importantly, printing money. It’s universal now but was non-existent 200 years ago. Central banks are working hard to end the socialist era by printing so much money that it becomes our new toilet paper.

    When our present first-world governments cannot pay their soldiers and police, they will dissolve, and something very unsocialist and undemocratic will take their place.

  4. Bill says:

    “Without American-led ostracism, perhaps Cuba would be a fine country today.”

    Cuba has dozens of trading partners, and has had them throughout the “American-led ostracism”. Cuba has only itself (and I suppose Castro) to blame for its current condition.

  5. Kirk says:

    The root issue with socialism and all the other utopian schemes is that the adherents thereof are generally idealists without a lick of common sense. They’re also not the sort of people who observe, living in their own self-created delusional world. Because of this, they tend to be easily gulled by the totalitarians in their midst, and they authorize those types to take control when they first run into the dichotomy between reality and what they believe.

    There is rarely any pragmatism or self-awareness among the socialist ranks. They persist in doing things that don’t work, simply because they think that if they just believe hard enough, the hard realities won’t apply. Every single communitarian utopia that humans have attempted has failed utterly, but even with that track record, we persist. We’re not wired for that crap, and I seriously doubt that any intelligent and self-aware creature in the universe would be. If they were, then the intelligence would never have evolved in the first damn place.

    No, socialism is an endemic fantasy for the dysfunctional–Which is why it will never work outside the confines of a late-night dorm room BS session where the realities of human self-interest and motivation can be hand-waved away by undergraduates with no real experience of life or the world around them.

    You want to break them? Let them try to actually run something using their ideas, and watch the horror gradually overtake them as they discover what rat bastards their fellow humans really are.

    One of my fondest memories as a mid-level NCO was the time I actually gave one of these sorts the reins, and let him try his kinder, gentler way of life out. Two months in? LOL… Lemme tell you what, when Mr. Sunnyhappyface wannabe believer in the good will of all men runs smack dab up against the asshole element in his fellow man? That’s a funny, funny thing. You could almost see his little eyes, all shiny-bright with the prospect of Showing The Man how things should really be done, only to see that light fade out gradually over the period where he had free rein to do as he willed. By the end of his rope, he’d reached the point where he wanted authority for capital punishment, and would have probably had bodies nailed up to the walls of that latrine as a measure of encouragement.

    I don’t know what the hell it is that’s so damn amusing and delightful about exploding someone else’s misbegotten fantasies, but… Man, did I derive some pleasure from that whole thing. I should probably be ashamed of myself, but I did get a pretty solid junior leader out of it all, once he’d learned things the hard way. Before that, I really couldn’t trust him with things, because he’d always take the high road and accept someone telling him something. After that months-long fiasco with running the latrine cleanup and maintenance…? LOL. He went from “Trust” to “F**k trust–Verify.”.

    To be quite honest, however, I do have to think that he should have been a little suspicious of the whole deal, what with all the senior NCOs having to hide their giggles whenever the issue of those latrines on that floor came up. The fact that the First Sergeant referred to the whole thing as “Lord of the Flies” should have been a clue…

  6. Harry Jones says:

    The world runs on other people’s misbegotten fantasies. Exploding them is anarcho-terrorism in the ideological sphere.

    I used to think this was a fine thing, until I noticed that there were plenty more bad ideas waiting in the wings.

    I no longer hope to liberate society from its own errors. The errors are mere opportunistic infections. What’s needed is to undermine everyone’s belief in the very notion of conventional wisdom.

  7. Kirk says:

    Which is better–Leave them with their illusions intact, or to inflict the reality of it all on them?

    I’ve found that you can’t afford to leave the delusions intact, if you’re going to have to lead those people under military circumstances. You want effective subordinate leaders, you have to grow them and critique them. Shattering any illusions they have about how the human mind works, and what motivates behavior in the men and women they have to lead for you is a critical part of leader development. You don’t learn from osmosis or observation very effectively until you recognize that your preconceived notions are inaccurate and inadequate.

  8. Sam J. says:

    CVLR says:,”…The simple fact is that no one knows what “socialism” is. It’s a bogeyman.

    The only definition that makes any sense is “anything that the capitalists don’t like”.

    So when the government steps in to put upward price pressure on wages (or anything else that improves the station of the ordinary person), you hear the familiar screeching.

    But when you strip-mine the American economy and ship it to China, that’s basically moral, because it’s a free market, maaan.

    And when the government makes the money printer go brrr for $1.5T to give to the banks, you hear nothing but silence…”

    HELL YEAH! It drives me bananas when they do this. What this shows you is you CAN make socialism work if you just cough up the money. Every Socialist idea should be one thing and one thing only, pay the cash and let people find the best way to deal with it themselves. Will people abuse this, yes of course they will but we won’t have to listen to any more bullshit about how we didn’t care for this person or that person because everyone knows they were sent the cash and if they fucked it up it’s their fault. I’m for some sort of universal basic income like Andrew Yang put forth. This could be used for college or whatever you wished. If you want to live in a ditch and drink whisky have at it. At the same time we should fire massive, massive amounts of government workers. I’m not against socialism I’m against the welfare state that constantly meddles in everyone’s lives.

    You can not give the bankers, businesses and damn near everyone they can find to produce campaign funds trillions (we’re talking upwards of $31.5 trillion or more since the bank bailout)year after year then complain about a program to give the actual citizens a little booty.

    Right now we pay principal and interest to the FED for every damn penny created. A laughably absurd system (mathematically doomed to failure no matter what)where they give us nothing and get paid for it.

    We could just as easily create ALL money by having the Federal Gov. create the money and spend it on the citizens. No more money would be created numerically it would just be distributed to citizens instead of banks. If the banks want money they can pay the citizens for it.

  9. Harry Jones says:

    Trying to fix all the ways people can be delusional is a game of whack-a-mole.

    I’d say let them all be fools if only I weren’t forced to share the same small blue planet with them.

    Social distancing? Just as well.

  10. Voatboy says:


    . Every single communitarian utopia that humans have attempted has failed utterly,…”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesuit_reduction

    The Jesuit reductions were remarkably successful communitarian utopia.

  11. Kirk says:

    If that’s “success”, I’m not sure I’d want to see what you thought was “failure”…

    Total Population of Guarani reductions
    Year Population Comments
    1641 36,190
    1700 86,173 Steady growth since 1647
    1732 141,242 Largest population of reductions
    1740 73,910 Reduced population due to epidemics
    1768 88,864 Jesuits expelled
    1801 45,637 Reductions in decline

    From 1732 to 1740, your “success” story managed to kill a little less than half of its inmates. As well, the system was imposed from without, and had external free market societies that provided inputs and markets for the outputs, soooooo… Yeah. Not quite the “success” you seem to think it was. And, I would submit, if they were so “successful”, why did they evaporate without the Jesuit enforcers being there to run things beneficially for the inmates…?

    Not a success, in my books. Not even close.

  12. Voatboy says:

    Well, nearly every scholar would disagree with you, but clearly you have mastered the art of becoming deaf to reason when it suits your purposes, so I am sure you can ignore reality as much as you please.

  13. Harry Jones says:

    I’m going to take Kirk’s side against the scholars, even though I’ve never met Kirk but I’ve known some scholars.

    Did I say “even though?” I meant “because.” Scholars are way overrated.

    The first hurdle any system must clear to be considered by me a successful utopia is to dominate a large part of the world. That Jesuit thingie hasn’t cleared this hurdle, so never mind the next hurdle. It doesn’t scale, so forget it.

    (This also rules out most other things that most people have never heard of, precisely because of the reasons why most people have never heard of them.)

  14. Kirk says:

    Every… Scholar… LOL. Yeah, sure… You’ve got one “success” for socialist collectivism that was a.) enforced by an advanced society impinging on a primitive one, b.) did not last into the present day, c.) supported itself by supplying outside traditional economic markets, d.) was enforced by totalitarian ideological means that also did not last past the enforcers being thrown out of the region, and, finally, e.) would be excoriated today because of the religious aspects.

    Those Jesuit experiments didn’t last much longer than the monastery systems did in Europe, and mimic the same track record as the early Christian utopian communities established during the early days of the church. None of them lasted, and all of them parasitized off of the larger surrounding cultures that followed traditional economic patterns. Nowhere is there a case where you can say that socialist patterns were ever organically developed, or that they lasted. Even if you want to throw in examples like the Inca, you’re looking at specious arguments–The Inca were an expansionist military empire with a huge ideological component to their “system”, and while they had some successes in local terms, their system was no more stable in the long term than any other fantasy economic system.

    Socialism does not scale, does not last, and does not work. Human nature being what it is, the “tragedy of the commons” hits hard (ever notice what hell-holes of ecological damage former socialist states are?), and nobody is that altruistic for that long, across generations. The feckless, foolish Stakhanovite “true believer” eventually winds up sold to the glue factory just like Boxer did in Animal Farm, Orwell’s ode to reality.

    I find it deeply and darkly humorous that you would even attempt to laud a totalitarian religious movement that any “real socialist” would decry as “colonialist” and disrespectful of the native’s true sentiments. No doubt, in another line of discussion, you’d take the position that they were better off as noble savages, and be arguing that the brutal Christian missionaries had no business or right to “civilize” them. Amazing how “intellectual yet idiot” types can contain the cognitive dissonance to make such specious arguments, but here we are with such a thing on evidence…

    The amazing thing is that you actually believe you’ve won an argument, here.

  15. Graham says:

    I was struck by the Danish reaction when Bernie described his dream as “democratic socialism” and used Denmark as his goal.

    Naturally, as an old radical, Bernie must know that socialism means collective [in practice state but there's variations including co-op] ownership of the means of production. Democratic socialism means this is carried on under a system of elective, representative and/or direct democratic leadership in both the economic and political sphere. Leave aside whether, or how much, or under what preceding socioeconomic conditions this is possible. Everything hasn’t always gone Full Stalin all at once. That’s the definition.

    Social Democracy is when the means of production are at most mixed ownership, with varying degrees of worker inputs or govt inputs, and a large, even predominant private ownership of said means, operating in the context of a market economy. The political sphere could be characterized as a liberal democracy although social democracy implies a large welfare state as an expression of state identity and responsibility. That is of course what Western Europe more or less has, with variation in how social.

    This is what it means when European constitutions refer to the state as “democratic and social”, or “democratic liberal and social” or words to that effect.

    I grew up thinking far less was “socialism”, and I still use it as an attack word. Just as proponents use far less than actual socialism [ie Denmark] to mask what might be more aggressive aspirations. This is a valid use of rhetoric and concepts, but even so, and despite pooh poohing the distinction for one of my high school teachers, the distinction above between social democracy and democratic socialism is nontrivial. hiving off money for a welfare state is never as bad as owning all the means of production. The latter takes away checks and balances still present in the former.

    Strictly speaking, the US has been democratic and social since the first Social Security or Unemployment cheques started being issued. Or the first medicare payment was made to an old person. Everything after that is a matter of degree.

    I am the last person to not recognize that those degrees are important, the basis of generations of argument even in Canada, and central for me. But there are nuances that can be used to illuminate or obscure, according to need. I assume that latter’s what Bern was doing.

    As for me, I’d really rather not go back to the pure liberalism of the Manchester School, the Whigs, or 19th century France. So I’m stuck with some social.

  16. Graham says:

    As to the Guarani reductions, yes, an experiment in hyper-Catholic Christian Socialism.

    Also, what we in Canada are now whipping ourselves for- Cultural Genocide and Colonialism and Paternalism.

    For the Guarani, possibly still better than what other Europeans had in mind for them, slavery and actual genocide. But still, those colonies are consistent with everything the left otherwise condemns in the treatment of aboriginal peoples by the churches.

  17. Longarch says:

    Kirk: “From 1732 to 1740, your ‘success’ story managed to kill a little less than half of its inmates.”

    It’s more likely that half of the inmates were going to die of disease regardless of what form of government they had. Do you always blame the government for every disease that arises, or do you only blame socialist governments?

    If the US is democratic and social, can we blame the US government for any epidemics that happen in the US? Do staunchly capitalist societies ever get struck by disease?

    “if they were so ‘successful,’why did they evaporate without the Jesuit enforcers being there to run things beneficially for the inmates…?”

    Their success, IMNSHO, depended on specific historical threats: slavery and genocide. When the threats were diminished, enthusiasm for Jesuit totalitarianism was diminished.

    Harry Jones: “The first hurdle any system must clear to be considered by me a successful utopia is to dominate a large part of the world. … It doesn’t scale, so forget it.”

    I like the second dictionary definition: “An impractical scheme for social improvement.”

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utopia

    That aside, I do agree that the Jesuit version of socialism did not scale and would not have been possible except for very odd historical circumstances.

    Graham: “Strictly speaking, the US has been democratic and social since the first Social Security or Unemployment cheques started being issued. Or the first medicare payment was made to an old person. Everything after that is a matter of degree…. As for me, I’d really rather not go back to the pure liberalism of the Manchester School, the Whigs, or 19th century France. So I’m stuck with some social.”

    Even Adam Smith wanted some kind of “social” factor to prevent the excesses of pure capitalism, but most of the later folks who wrote to praise Adam Smith forget to study those chapters.

    “Cultural Genocide and Colonialism and Paternalism. For the Guarani, possibly still better than what other Europeans had in mind for them, slavery and actual genocide. But still, those colonies are consistent with everything the left otherwise condemns in the treatment of aboriginal peoples by the churches.”

    IMNSHO, socialism worked with the Guarani only because outright slavery or genocide was the alternative being pushed by everyone except the Jesuits. As soon as the threat of slavery orgenocide was less pressing, socialism fell apart.

  18. Kirk says:

    Yeah, we get it… Socialism works. Ask any Venezuelan or North Korean.

    Never ceases to amaze me the distance the true believers will go, to find some straw to grasp at. Jesuit-run Guarani slave centers? LOL… Any other discussion, they’d be describing them as the death camps they obviously were, and cheering the Jesuits being thrown out on their asses. But, to save their beloved socialism, they’ll throw that argument into the breach, and support it all.

    Mindless twits. No idea at all how to do anything in the real world, but they insist that they just “know better” than ten thousand generations of their ancestors who’ve gotten by with a system built up from raw experience. Never mind the lessons of all the parties who tried differently, like the original settlers at Jamestown who thought they’d own everything in common. Which produced starvation until someone with a grasp on reality put an end to that BS. Jamestown and Venezuela, baby–That’s socialism. People starve, and eat 14 year-old girls in the wintertime.

    Or, their pets. ‘Cos, socialism just works, donchaknow?

    Despite abundant evidence to the contrary.

  19. CVLR says:

    Kirk, I challenge you to present a coherent definition of “socialism”.

    1. Don’t point and sputter. (Venezuela! North Korea! etc.)

    2. Is it “socialism” when the government prints infinity money and gives it to the richest and most powerful corporations on Earth? Explain why or why not.

    3. If some forms of redistribution are “socialism” and some are not, explain why this is, how it came to be, and who benefited.

    4. No one is going to take the time to explain to you why President Trump introduced that Venezuelan guy to the world in his State of the Union address.

  20. longarch says:

    Remember, everyone:

    1) Handing out $1000 is NOT socialism so long as the USA is the one doing it:

    https://archive.fo/7VaPh

    2) Asserting broad government command over critical manufacturing is NOT socialism so long as the USA is the one doing it:

    https://archive.fo/erMGF

    Socialism ALWAYS fails, EVERY SINGLE TIME it is tried. But when the USA does it, it’s NOT socialism.

  21. Graham says:

    More often than not asserting broad government command over critical manufacturing fails.

    Pre-Thatcher Britain it largely failed.

    On the other hand, basically capitalist economies with social democratic welfare states and considerable government management of manufacturing managed to sustain, rebuild, or even expand critical manufacturing sectors with the right mix of private and public choices, where Britain failed. Finland created a shipbuilding industry not quite ex nihilo. West Germany rebuilt and beat most others with such a model only lately showing its weaknesses. Even France did better than Britain in manufacturing. Germany and France are doing better in most than Britain, including aerospace and shipbuilding, the latter something Europe had almost ceded to Asia. In Britain it’s tiny now.

    I would call that a very mixed and not simple record to consider.

    With the US, apparently the idea has been to cede critical manufacturing.

    At any rate, I’m happy to consider the US a country that has limited social democratic features to its society. It’s only bouts with actual socialism, again, state or collective ownership of the means of production, have been rather few and far between, and usually emergency measures dispensed with after the war or crisis. Compared with Europeans, that’s very short term stuff.

    One other interesting caveat- governments have often owned means of production for specific good for the own needs, such as prison labour but more importantly critical defence sectors. Both Britain and the US build many naval vessels in government dockyards for centuries. One could call that socialism, but it’s usually excepted since its only ownership of the means of production by the state for the state’s own use.

    I agree Smith wanted social provision of some kind. He and many others, at least pre-Manchester, seemed to think “capitalism”, the name eventually coined for the extension of economic principles to the idea of capital accumulation and growth and opened trade, ought to exist embedded in some larged philosophical framework of society.

    Everybody assumed that would be some melange of the Christian religion, medium to light versions or maybe Calvinism for some, traditional republican or English virtues [whether constitutional monarch or not], civil loyalty, national patriotism, neighbourhood, and so on.

    Pity those all got killed. And not just by capitalism.

  22. Kirk says:

    What dolts like some of our commentariat fail to grasp is that you can only loot the base economy so much, and then you’re f**ked. Late-stage socialism always winds up looking like Venezuela or Nazi Germany, which had to start WWII to begin looting Europe after they ran out of Jews to rob. It always ends badly, always. You see the same path downward in most of the oil-rich countries that buy into the idea that they’ll buy their way to prosperity with the resources they loot from the nasty capitalists who invested in their oil industry–While simultaneously running that oil industry into the ground the way the Iraqis and Iranians did, followed by Venezuela.

    The sad fact is, there’s a lot of ruin in an economy, and the connection between cause and effect for these financial fantasists is always too vast for their microcephalic intellects to bridge. In the end, we all pay for it, as they drag down society with their wish-fulfillment fantasies.

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s on the micro-scale, like a communal apartment, or the macro-scale, like a formerly prosperous nation-state–Human nature always wins out, and the Rosseauian ideals of the noble savage and inherently altruistic common man wash up wrecked on the shores of self-interested behaviors that actually underlie most of what we do. Humans ain’t ants, and predicating your social ideas based on them is an exercise in feckless utter stupidity.

    The aftermath will always be filled with cries of “But, it worked on paper…!!!”, while the entire mess falls down around the ears of all involved, particularly the naif class of suckers who get taken to the cleaners first, and put up against the wall in the first wave of killings as the Bolsheviks cull the Mensheviks. Best advice? Get a job with the state security apparatus when the time comes, and at least get the satisfaction of getting to shoot the loony little bastards during the inevitable denouement of their fantasy lives. With any luck, you’ll have your pick of their women and wealth–If you can stomach the hair and odor of patchouli.

  23. Albion says:

    Being in the UK I live in, or have lived, under a socialist banner. Perhaps in many ways still under socialism because, as one sees with the mighty beast of the NHS, all governments are committed to maintaining it and improving it. In many ways, the NHS is the embodiment of the socialist principle that all must pay but are masked from that knowledge by not paying directly at the point of use. It gives rise to claims the “NHS is free.” But we all pay enormously every year, even old age pensioners like me must still contribute.

    Incidentally, Nigel Farage initiated storm of protest in the build up to the 2010 general election when he said it was a National Health Service, not an International Health Service. The left, aka everyone else, stridently disagreed, and therein lies the issue: socialism knows no bounds to its responsibilities. So what if a pensioner has to pay for a service that help pregnant Nigerians to fly in, take the hospital place and jet off without paying? Socialists are happy our largesse (or rather my limited income among others) has kindly helped people who have never contributed.

    Socialism marks itself out by the raiding of the treasury and the easy attendant promises all will be well afterwards. They are not Mr Micawber in any way. Socialism also pre-supposes that by appointing anyone to the role of arbiter and controller then you are going to get the best outcome. No matter that a nasty fight has already taken place in secret behind locked doors by people with agendas to find a boss they approve of, the outcome is a winner who is notable only for surviving (or bribing their way through) a night of the long knives. They do not have to exhibit any ability to make collective decisions for the good of all, and frequently immediately haul up the drawbridge to ensure their continued position.

    Socialists believe, like Candide, in the best of all possible worlds but have not in my experience managed to achieve it. Every socialist government in the UK has retreated or been beaten back by a country facing more debt, more waste, more loss than expected. Blair is the only Labour PM to ever win re-election, and his legacy was bad enough and still provokes white-hot fury among current Labour-supporters for ‘not being socialist enough.’

    The illness of Socialism, or rather the madness of believing it works, never goes away. Next time will always be better. They are the epitomy of the man who believes his next bet on a race-horse winning big money has never been backed up by actuality.

    If if I may sum up socialism it would be this: it is a changing, mercurial theory that a lack of personal responsibility and non-accountability overrides all common sense and established practice, ideally for the good of a population who will never see any benefit from it.

  24. Voatboy says:

    “Don’t point and sputter.”

    Notice that when a rhetoritician is deaf to reason, he can ignore such challenges as if he becomes stone deaf… For just as long as it suits his purposes.

    Albion,

    Your firsthand experience with British socialism provides worthwhile data, and I would be interested to refine your somewhat poetic definition of socialism. But I think it was Pangloss who held the belief that you attribute to Candide.

  25. Harry Jones says:

    Pangloss was an exemplar of well-reasoned pedantry. Nothing he said was falsifiable because none of it meant anything.

  26. CVLR says:

    Voatboy: “Notice that when a rhetoritician is deaf to reason, he can ignore such challenges as if he becomes stone deaf… For just as long as it suits his purposes.”

    Just so.

    Kirk… lol. You are a parody of yourself.

    What dolts like some of our commentariat fail to grasp is that you can only loot the base economy so much, and then you’re f**ked.

    Great point, though. I unironically agree with this.

    You should give us your grand speech about how the bankers, corporatists, and other capitalists should stop looting the base economy with their infinity bailouts.

    Or does that not compute?

    Late-stage socialism always winds up looking like Venezuela or Nazi Germany, which had to start WWII

    Venezuela is under siege, and post-Weimar Germany had no interests to its western front. Do you even into history?

    to begin looting Europe after they ran out of Jews to rob.

    How did the Jews come into possession of fully one-third of all real property, anyway?

    And are you really sure that you want to say that returning German property and the German financial system to Germans led directly to an economic renaissance the likes of which have not been seen before or since?

    Because that would be pretty antisemitic of you.

    It might also be illegal.

    It always ends badly, always. You see the same path downward in most of the oil-rich countries that buy into the idea that they’ll buy their way to prosperity with the resources they loot from the nasty capitalists who invested in their oil industry–

    “The rightful owners of a country’s oil fields is a coterie of Anglo-American international capitalists.”

    Actually, I can get on board with this, provided that I receive my share of the dividend checks.

    While simultaneously running that oil industry into the ground the way the Iraqis and Iranians did, followed by Venezuela.
    The sad fact is, there’s a lot of ruin in an economy, and the connection between cause and effect for these financial fantasists is always too vast for their microcephalic intellects to bridge. In the end, we all pay for it, as they drag down society with their wish-fulfillment fantasies.

    I agree.

    Oil extraction is practically a labor of love.

    Just imagine if citizens benefited: it would be pure evil. Entitlements to “unearned”[1] revenue streams are disgusting, immoral, and wrong.

    Except for corporate dividends, which are right and just.

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s on the micro-scale, like a communal apartment, or the macro-scale, like a formerly prosperous nation-state–Human nature always wins out, and the Rosseauian ideals of the noble savage and inherently altruistic common man wash up wrecked on the shores of self-interested behaviors that actually underlie most of what we do. Humans ain’t ants, and predicating your social ideas based on them is an exercise in feckless utter stupidity.

    Is “the economy” even a real thing?

    The aftermath will always be filled with cries of “But, it worked on paper…!!!”, while the entire mess falls down around the ears of all involved, particularly the naif class of suckers who get taken to the cleaners first, and put up against the wall in the first wave of killings as the Bolsheviks cull the Mensheviks.

    “If you try to benefit from the economic order, the result will be your genocide.”

    Best advice? Get a job with the state security apparatus when the time comes, and at least get the satisfaction of getting to shoot the loony little bastards during the inevitable denouement of their fantasy lives. With any luck, you’ll have your pick of their women and wealth–If you can stomach the hair and odor of patchouli.

    Imagine working for a living.

    I shall sit like an effendi and eat.

    [1] https://apps.irs.gov/app/IPAR/resources/help/unearn.html

  27. CVLR says:

    No response, Kirk?

    Sad!

  28. CVLR says:

    Kirk, I know you’re reading this, you shirker.

    We’ve all witnessed the activities of the Federal Reserve over the past couple of weeks.

    Drumpf and his tribe just gave away 6 TRILLION dollars, magicked ex nihilo, to save “the economy”.

    That is 17 thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in this country.

    (Do you hear any barking dogs?)

    But it isn’t going to the men, women, and children, is it? No, no it is not.

    Inferentially, the men, women, and children of America are not — I repeat, not — “the economy”.

    It’s going to the banks, the megacorporations, and certain other capitalist entities. They will use it to buy up distressed assets at firesale prices.

    Explain to me how this isn’t capitalism.

    Real capitalism has never been tried! cries the Boomer.

    Debate me.

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