Question the motives…

Janet Delay has an article in the Telegraph, one that greatly mirrors my thinking on the subject, where she asks “why the lessons of communism and its fall have not been learned“. Seriously, why so many people still believe that there are “other” systems that are better and fairer than capitalism, after communism proved without a doubt how command economies – any economy driven by government for that matter – are abysmal failures, should make everyone do a double take. From her piece;

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism which followed it are hugely important to any proper understanding of the present world and of the contemporary political economy. Why is it that they have failed to be addressed with anything like their appropriate awesome significance, let alone found their place in the sixth-form curriculum?

The failure of communism should have been, after all, not just a turning point in geo-political power – the ending of the Cold War and the break-up of the Warsaw Pact – but in modern thinking about the state and its relationship to the economy, about collectivism vs individualism, and about public vs private power. Where was the discussion, the trenchant analysis, or the fundamental debate about how and why the collectivist solutions failed, which should have been so pervasive that it would have percolated down from the educated classes to the bright 18-year-olds? Fascism is so thoroughly (and, of course, rightly) repudiated that even the use of the word as a casual slur is considered slanderous, while communism, which enslaved more people for longer (and also committed mass murder), is regarded with almost sentimental condescension.

Is this because it was originally thought to be idealistic and well-intentioned? If so, then that in itself is a reason for examining its failure very closely. We need to know why a system that began with the desire to free people from their chains ended by imprisoning them behind a wall. Certainly we have had some great works of investigation into the Soviet gulags and the practices of the East German Stasi, but judging by our present political discourse, I think it is safe to say that the basic fallacies of the state socialist system have not really permeated through to public consciousness.

By now it is only the most hardcore of marxists that still has the gall to publically tell the lies and make excuses for the failure of communism. Telling people that real communism has never been put into practice, that communism failed because the wrong people where in charge, or one of my favorites, because evil capitalism undermined it and doomed it to failure, is a sure fire way to end up being made fun of by most sane people. And yet, in circles on the left, as this author points out, Fascism – another disease of the left that the left was quite successful at convincing many was right wing, when nothing could be further from the truth: fascism is rooted in socialism – is a dirty word, the worst kind of slander you can label someone with, but communism, calling someone a communist, does not result in a similar response. Considering communism killed and imprisoned far more people than fascism ever did, it baffles me that the class warfare mantra that is part & parcel of these collectivist ideologies, has not been discredited, once and for all.

Command economies fail because they are driven by people at the top that neither have a clue about the needs of people below them, as individuals, nor the angelic predisposition needed to obviate the unavoidable degeneration into a tyrannical state every single state to embrace communism went through. Communism fails because it basically is an attempt to create heaven on earth. To make these collectivist paradises work free would need to be eradicated. As Winston Churchill put it:

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

The truth is that there is no in between. If a totalitarian system like communism could not address the inequalities that so bother the class warriors, then what can? Was the ruling class not totalitarian enough? Seriously, is there any way short of the eradication of free will to overcome the human factor and thus redress the injustice these people claim drives them to keep fighting against a capitalist system? Why then do so many still glom onto the crap Marx cursed us with about a classless society? Why have we not discussed communism as it should have been discussed and put in its proper perspective?

The argument that the left leaning segment of our political class was too invested in this nonsense to allow this discussion about the failure of communism to take place, sure makes sense, but after communism produced such abysmal failures, so much suffering with the inequalities becoming even more pronounced, not less, why do people still remain proponents of the system or parts of the system?

Someone motivated by the need to do good and that went along with this Marxist nonsense, then realized half way there that it was doing no good at all, and actually instead was causing great harm – and communism caused great harm – would stop what they were doing. Wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t you? Yet, our disciples of the teachings of Marx seem not at all fazed by the harm communism has caused or causes. There isn’t even an inkling of doubt or shame with the class warriors. There is injustice, and government – one that looks a lot like the communist government – MUST address it. That great harm was the only result when their beliefs have been put into practice is excused with a plethora of insane arguments. Their claim to be demanding a redress to the injustice they dislike, doing good, should remain wholly and totally suspect. Communism was totalitarian and the most likely system to do what they preach. Yet all it did was inflict misery, on a grand scale, while millions where murdered, to produce a system that history shows us only exacerbated the inequalities.

If that’s the left’s way of meaning well, I am sure we can do without that. But if one where to believe, like I do, that these class warriors were driven by something else, like envy and jealousy of what others have, then it would not matter whether communism worked or was a complete failure. People driven by envy and jealousy would remain true to the cause regardless of how horrible communism was. After all, despite what they claim, they are not hoping to do good: what they are hoping to do is strike at those they dislike. And that is why I think we have not had our discussion about how evil communism and the underlying beliefs that spawned this ideology are: the end goal was never a classless society, but to get the people they dislike. As the soft collectivist states now also see their system collapsing expect more totalitarianism akin to that of the old communist states. The state will take what it wants to keep itself going, until it can go no more. And they will keep telling us they are doing to address all these injustices only they can address.

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    I found it all to be rather simple: the current crop of collectivists and their useful idiots are too involved with making everything “fair” (fair being defined as everybody gets the same thing), and capitalism doesn’t offer equal outcomes, only equal opportunities. They are the ultimate losers – they are scared to even play the game unless its rigged in their favor. After all, what if they fail? They DESERVE to win, or at least nobody gets to win more than they do.

    They also use this as a great scapegoat for their failures – it’s those evil, greedy, capitalists that get ahead by screwing people over that are at fault, not the honest, suffering, moral liberal arts hipster that wants a free iMac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, an organic free-trade Costra Rica de-caf espresso made with soy milk.

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  2. Jim

    I don’t think the majority of people pushing it even believe it, really. They have simply seen that it is an amazing vehicle to maintain power. The people in power *love* communism, because once it is fully implemented, it is nearly impossible to overthrow. If you aren’t concerned with the health of the People (Stalin) then it is a great system to have. You fool the people into thinking it isn’t a dictatorship, then you set yourself up as dictator for life.

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  3. Section8

    Seriously, why so many people still believe that there are “other” systems that are better and fairer than capitalism, after communism proved without a doubt how command economies – any economy driven by government for that matter – are abysmal failures, should make everyone do a double take. From her piece;

    Capitalism offers no goodies, it offers no revenge, it offers no blame for success or failure. Basically it doesn’t appeal to emotion like other forms of government do. But I mean true capitalism or as close as it can get. I can. however, completely understand the issue with corporatism, and a few slick politicians and a crappy education system can really blur the two, hence people’s problem with capitalism.

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  4. Monolith

    On the flip side of Jim’s coin, I think a lot of leftists aren’t that concerned with power. They really don’t want that much out of life. Give them their shoebox condo in the city with free transit, health care, maybe a job/maybe a stipend. Hell, free food and clothes. Throw in a funded vacation or two a year and they’re good. That’s it. So you throw those folks in with the power mongers and, “bam,” there’s your communism fans right there. Many people in our society would gladly give up their freedoms for the security I mentioned. We already think taking our shoes off and getting felt up is normal. Now police drones watching US citizens in the US. Scary shit all around.

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  5. AlexInCT *

    Many people in our society would gladly give up their freedoms for the security I mentioned.

    This is something that is true, and truly scares me. I know so many people that would give up every freedom for the illusion of ecurity. Notice I said illusion, because there is no security once you lost your freedoms. I have always believed that the people that would be quite content with the minimum also want others to be forced to do the same, not out of some sense of fairness or justice, but because they really hate others being better off than them simply because they have a different value system than they do and consider working hard for more a good thing.

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  6. Miguelito

    Monolith… the sad thing is, it really doesn’t take much effort to get that basic stuff. The problem is, most of those that push lefty policies want what you list, but without having to work at all for it. They want to be able to smoke dope all day, or be an “artist” essentially doing whatever they want vs doing something as a job.

    I read the “We are the 99%” stuff once in awhile to see the tripe many are pushing and I saw this one the other day that made me seriously LOL. He’s a near perfect example of exactly the above.

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  7. hohokiss

    Capitalism has gimmicks like “quality metrics” etc which requires lazy proles to fix X computers per hour, no matter how sloppily, lest they get canned for not meeting manager Ys numbers, Z, which would otherwise beget Y bonus if met. Y is never wrong. But, no, Ys can be fired and some more devout proles hired to finagle a way to meet those goddam numbers already, no matter how shitty the quality of work becomes. Quality is subjective, meeting and beating those damn numbers for the only goal anyone should focus on, ever, bonus or no

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  8. Monolith

    I read the “We are the 99%” stuff once in awhile to see the tripe many are pushing and I saw this one the other day that made me seriously LOL. He’s a near perfect example of exactly the above.

    I know. I work in the advertising industry and I swear people making 60-150Gs almost expect things to be given to them. I mean, educated people. In their heart of hearts, they hope for a world where they get theirs and everyone else gets theirs. All is good. Considering all of the arguments against all of that, it’s naivety to the Nth degree. Fuck. Now I understand how shit like Communism and Nazism take root.

    And paying for it? Great article from Glen Reynolds on Makers Vs. Takers, or something like that. I’m too ignorant to know how to post a link. The government should have a call center to tell me how to post a link. Or better yet, a czar.

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  9. Miguelito

    …and communism and/or socialism tend to have “fairness” ideals which have values set by overlords O. Said overlords living a much higher standard of life then the proles are.

    No system is perfect, but I’d rather have personal freedoms and the chance to make something of myself vs people living in their cloistered towers dictating what I can and/or can’t do.

    The whole argument about the split between the wealthy and the poorest being so horrid in the US always makes me laugh as the people complaining about it ignore the fact that the same damn thing always happens in the alternate systems they promote as well.

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