Pretty darn close, actually.
In the previous post I showed that no one on the Left is a complete idiot. Does that seem like “damning with faint praise”? It’s not; it’s an indictment. Since no one is fully stupid, no one is fully good. And morality trumps mind.
They are not complete idiots, but they are stupid beyond mortal comprehension.
Set aside what you already know. Now consider this: which is better, capitalism or communism? “Better for what?” you ask, having set aside knowledge, not intellect. Since they are both economic theories, I’ll go with “better at feeding and clothing and sheltering and educating and enriching human beings.” If your definition is “eliminating the human cancer that infects Mother Gaia”, your answer will be different.
(This is why non-Leftists who interact with the Left need to insist on goals being defined prior to anything else. Some of them honestly do wish to impoverish others. A rare few even admit it.)
Anyway, let’s assume that “better economic theory” means “better at creating prosperity”. Oh, if only we could test these two mutually exclusive theories in laboratory conditions! Unfortunately, we can’t. Economics is “social science”, which means “not really science”. Every scientist agrees on the speed of light. Every economist agrees on nothing.
So, we can’t prove one or the other like an equation. But what we can do is seize post-WWII Germany and divide it in two. Make one half capitalist, the other communist. (Actually, the absolute best would be to carve the Deutschland into thirds, leaving Control Group Germany to its own devices.)
This test would be a beautiful thing. Well, not necessarily for Germans. But it’s a very simple and useful test and only a complete idiot could misunderstand it. The divided Germans are genetically similar and have an identical language and history. Best of all, their Lutheran/Protestant culture comes with a fierce work ethic! That’s perfect for testing economic theories.
Now start the ex-Reich rat race!
(Oh, you’ll also need to put a wall up in about a decade. Otherwise the experiment will fail because about half of your rats will try to escape their maze.)
Can we draw any economic conclusions from that 50-year experiment?
“What about the repeatability of phenomenon?” you ask? Well, there are other peoples and cultures beside the Teutonic one. So rather than dividing up another European country, let’s chop up an Asian one this time. Let’s say, right across the 38th parallel, northern hemisphere?
What conclusions can we draw? That Leftists are either stupid beyond all comprehension, or evil tyrants who hate us beyond all comprehension.
Another great example is the entire Warsaw Pact. Compare Eastern Europe with Western Europe and throw in neutral countries like Switzerland and Austria.
Western Europa and the pact-free, neutral ones have always done significantly better than those under left wing rule.
I always wonder about the leftists in this scenario. If the socialist/communist/whatever style in those countries was/is so great… why are people risking their lives to get the heck out of there? I grew up with messages from the Iron Curtain telling us that another load of people had managed to get through it, or another load of victims were found hanging in the barbed wire. I’ve never heard of someone trying to flee into East Berlin.
Strange, isn’t it?
Oh, but I know, what the Soviets did, what every other communist leader did, that was not real communism. That was somehow perverted. So they always say. Ok, but if that is true… why is that “perversion” ALWAYS the result? Always. Could it be that maybe communism and its big daddy socialism are perverted to begin with?
Oh noes! What gives me such an idea!
That necessity to trap victims is also why the American Left always shoots for federal control. If states can be free, productive citizens move to free states. They can’t allow that.
“Could it be that maybe communism and its big daddy socialism are perverted to begin with?”
I recently posted that I have a problem with the Lord Acton quote about “Power corrupts” because it obscures the fact that Power attracts the Corrupt.
Centralizing power and increasing government power is like spraying sugar water around your picnic area and then complaining about the ants.
Communism and Socialism is all about concentrating power, hence it will always end up perverted even if you could get it started with honest men.
It’s a great quote, it’s just not complete. But your observation is also vital; if concentrating power isn’t a viscious circle, nothing is.
LOL I like that analogy: like spraying sugar water around the picnic.
Hayek in Ch 10 (Why the Worst Get on Top) of Road to Serfdom addresses this issue beautifully (and begins w/the same Acton quote btw):
“. . . many liberal socialists are guided in their endeavors by the tragic illusion that by depriving private individuals of the power they posess in an individualist system, and by transferring this power to society, they can thereby extinguish power. What all those who argue in this manner overlook is that, by concentrating power so that it can be used in the service of a single plan, it is not merely transferred but infinitely greater than any that existed before, so much more far-reaching as almost to be different in kind.”
And boy does that infinitely greater power attract the wrong sort of ant.
I believe that every human being is stupid from time to time…but Hayek seems to be the exception that proves the rule.
All the best, Lin.
Have to derail for a second. What’s your professional opinion on this story Mr W? http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=14701
On a gut feeling I call bs.
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