Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Don’t blame the communists for all those deaths?

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2022

I was just telling one of my daughters about my college days, when one of my professors expected us to buy our books at a store called Revolution Books.

That place had portraits of Mao and the usual list of mass murderers hanging on the walls.

Oh, those deaths weren’t the communists’ fault! Those people died because of bad weather!

(Ain’t it funny how much bad weather there is in communist countries?)

A few years ago I was delighted to read a column by Pierre Yared, a professor at — of all places — Columbia Business School, who had studied the agricultural and demographic record of the period of mass death in Maoist China, and who said we should pay no attention to leftist excuse-making.

First, chuck the “bad weather” excuse. China’s food production was three times what would have been necessary to feed everyone. And second, China did not lack an effective food-distribution network, as has been claimed.

Could the famine have been avoided? Yared answered:

Perhaps — if the Communists hadn’t outlawed agricultural markets. In a market system, any local food shortage would result in higher food prices, inducing those with a surplus to direct resources toward those with a deficit. Indeed, according to historical accounts, Communist Party members, who could engage in black-market transactions with impunity, escaped the worst hunger.

As for people who celebrated communism one the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, they “should be honest about its deadly track record, rooted in a set of failed ideas — such as abandoning free markets and relying on government bureaucrats to distribute resources, thus making entire societies vulnerable to the effects of even small human errors.”

As I’ve mentioned over the past few days, the next course we’ll be adding to our collection of on-demand courses (we have 28 so far) at Liberty Classroom, my dashboard university, will be on the crimes of communism. Talk about history they didn’t teach you!

As with all our other courses, you’ll be able to consume it any time of day or night.

If you’re like me, you were a victim of educational malpractice. Here’s your chance to put things right.

In honor of that upcoming course, I’m having a flash sale: take a full 50% off our master (lifetime) membership when you use coupon code communism (but the offer expires at midnight tonight):
Tom Woods

Be seeing you

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