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If the Nordic Countries Are Socialist, So Are These Less-Impressive Countries | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 15, 2021

Essentially, progressive politicians and economists are guilty of cherry-picking countries: while wanting to emulate the Nordic countries, which they claim to be socialist—the same countries which are just as easy to conduct business in as the United States—they ignore these three countries, Italy, France and Greece, which are, by most metrics, more socialist than the Nordics.

Eben Macdonald

The Nordic countries draw attention from democratic socialists in America thanks to their high tax rates, strong welfare states, and supposedly tight regulation of enterprise. The final indicator, however, is not exactly true: every single Nordic country except Finland ranks in the top ten on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, and they maintain high positions on the Tax Competitiveness Index. But if Progressives argue that Scandinavia is indeed a socialist region, then they must admit that the following countries are just as, and if not, more socialistic: Italy, France, and Greece. None of these three countries are ones which they refer to in order to demonstrate the benefits of their economic agenda. In fact, thanks to their low living standards, high rates of unemployment, and stagnant incomes, extreme illiberal, ultranationalist right-wing movements have thrived in every single one of these countries. Let’s examine each one.


Tax take is 42 percent of Italy’s GDP, higher than both Finland and Norway, and substantially greater than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average. Social expenditure is 28 percent, practically identical to Nordic levels. The country ranks a hopeless fifty-eighth on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, far lower than every single nation in Scandinavia. Furthermore, Italy has the least competitive tax system in the OECD, according to the Tax Foundation. Italy’s taxes and welfare spending are of Nordic style, and businesses are far more regulated. If the Nordic countries are socialist, so is Italy.

Yet is Italy considered to be more prosperous than the United States, or a poster child for a successful socialist system? Far from it. Pew Research Center gives us the following statistics: were Italy to become a part of the US, and thus adhere to US income metrics, 53 percent of Italians would inhabit the “low-income category,” as opposed to the American rate of 26 percent; and since 1990, Italy’s median household disposable income has declined by one-fifth.

Pew Research Center aside, OECD data show that Italy’s standard of living is substantially below America’s. The US ranks tenth on their Better Life Index—Italy ranks twenty-fourth. And data from The Economist magazine which attempt to apply the Better Life Index within countries by socioeconomic category find that someone in the top 10 percent of the Italian income spectrum has a standard of living no higher than someone in the bottom 10 percent of the US income spectrum. Moreover, in 2019, before the pandemic, their unemployment rate stood at 10 percent. Clearly, economic recovery from the 2008 crisis has not been easy.


Tax take is 45 percent of the French economy, the second highest in the OECD, just below Denmark. Social expenditure is 31 percent, higher than every single Nordic country, and the highest in the OECD. The country ranks thirty-second place both on the Ease of Doing Business Index and on the Tax Competitiveness Index. If the Nordic countries are socialist, France is even more so.

But does one often hear progressives lauding the welfarism and bureaucracy of the French system? Not at all. By US standards, a third of French people live in the low-income category, not as high as Italy, but still higher than the US average. Unemployment in France has fluctuated wildly over the years—perhaps a sign of fiscal instability. It reached a rate of 12 percent in the 1990s, but had declined to 7 percent by 2008, just as the global economy was collapsing. Having risen to 10 percent in 2015, it declined to 8 percent in 2019—lower than in Italy, but still shockingly high.

How does France fare on the Better Life Index? Not well. Ranking eighteenth place, it performs better than Italy, but nevertheless substantially below the United States. The Economist’s statistics reinforce this, pointing out that a Frenchman in the top 10 percent of their country’s socioeconomic pyramid is not particularly better off than someone in the bottom 10 percent of America’s.


Greece draws special attention for a particular reason. It demonstrates the danger which excessive debt and spending can pose to the overall economy. As other countries in Europe and North America clambered out of recession, the Greek economy continued to deteriorate. Between 2008 and 2013, the unemployment rate rose from 7 percent to 27 percent. Since then, it has declined to 15 percent, but the point is that Greek workers have suffered far too much thanks to fiscal recklessness: in 2008, Greek’s deficit was 10 percent of its GDP, so bondholders were not willing to lend any more money to the government for them to fund large stimulus packages. Thus, the Greek economy was drained of capital and had a prolonged depression. Its fiscal infrastructure collapsed even further: debt was 100 percent of GDP in 2008; in 2011, it was 172 percent. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, another country burdened by a high deficit, chose to cut spending, which, while unpopular, has enabled the economy to recover and avoid a debt-ridden catastrophe.

That aside, the Greek economy is undoubtedly overregulated and overtaxed, while welfare spending is indeed very high: social expenditure is 24 percent of GDP, similar to most Nordic countries; tax take is 38.7 percent of GDP, which, while the lowest rate among the countries examined here and lower than the other Nordic countries, is still significantly higher than the OECD average. On the Ease of Doing Business Index, however, Greece ranks by far the lowest of these three countries, in seventy-ninth place; it seems there is more red tape in Greece than in Vietnam, a formerly Communist country. But at least they rank twenty-ninth on the Tax Competitiveness Index, higher than the two other countries examined.

Unfortunately, the Pew Research Center has not focused on Greece much—nor has The Economist. However, other institutions have. As always, on the Better Life Index, Greece ranks thirty-sixth, out of forty countries. Greece’s median household disposable income is a paltry $17,700 a year, far below America’s $45,000.


Essentially, progressive politicians and economists are guilty of cherry-picking countries: while wanting to emulate the Nordic countries, which they claim to be socialist—the same countries which are just as easy to conduct business in as the United States—they ignore these three countries, Italy, France and Greece, which are, by most metrics, more socialist than the Nordics. Because their living standards are incomparable with the United States’s and, in some cases, akin to the Third World, they are rarely used as examples of socialist triumph. Author:

Eben Macdonald

Eben Macdonald is a 15-year-old student, a keen free-marketeer, and he wants a society which is predicated on liberty.

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The Paradox of Prosperity | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 9, 2020

De Jouvenel aptly wrote “strangely enough” to characterize the fact that as capitalists raised standards of living in each succeeding generation, the hatred of capitalists increased instead of diminished. This is paradoxical, but true. The more prosperous our society has become, the more the creators of that prosperity and the system that enables it have been vilified. How dare those wicked capitalists break the iron grip that abject poverty had held over the masses of human beings throughout millennia of history!

Mark Hendrickson

In Friedrich Hayek’s 1954 book Capitalism and the Historians, the late French philosopher and political economist Bertrand de Jouvenel noted a baffling historical trend: “Strangely enough, the fall from favor of the money-maker coincides with an increase in his social usefulness.”

In surveying the history of capitalism from its inception in the late eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century when he was writing, De Jouvenel was struck by an ironic and counterintuitive phenomenon. By “money-maker,” he meant the capitalist entrepreneurs who became rich by supplying the masses with more consumer goods. Entrepreneurs generated the economic growth that uplifted standards of living; hence, their “social usefulness.”

De Jouvenel aptly wrote “strangely enough” to characterize the fact that as capitalists raised standards of living in each succeeding generation, the hatred of capitalists increased instead of diminished. This is paradoxical, but true. The more prosperous our society has become, the more the creators of that prosperity and the system that enables it have been vilified. How dare those wicked capitalists break the iron grip that abject poverty had held over the masses of human beings throughout millennia of history!

This graph of world per capita wealth over the last two thousand years tells an amazing story. (A chart of US per capita GDP growth shows a similar trajectory over the last 230 years.)



Mass poverty was the norm for centuries. That finally began to change in the late 1700s with the emergence of capitalism. The nineteenth-century socialist reaction to capitalism condemned capitalism for not making every human being prosperous equally and simultaneously. It’s true: some prospered before others. As I have explained before, the reason that there was not faster economic progress for more people in the 1800s was not that evil capitalists were exploiting workers, but simply that there were not enough capitalists to “exploit” (employ) more workers and mass produce more goods.

Looking at the graph, you can see that economic growth accelerated explosively in the twentieth century. (Note that growth became much more rapid after the end of slavery, which debunks the fallacious assertion that America’s great wealth depended on slavery.) In the United States, per capita income rose (in 1990 dollars) from $5,301 in 1913 to $31,178 in 2008 and life expectancy from 53 years to 78 years. In short, more Americans are living longer lives at higher standards of living than ever before due to our capitalist system. That has happened despite the considerable handicaps of bureaucratic regulation, wasteful pork barrel politics, and government redistribution of wealth. (There is also more prosperity outside the United States than ever. See chart above and my article “Ready for Some Good News?”)

Despite the astounding success of the free enterprise system in producing unprecedented prosperity, antagonism toward capitalism is growing, and popular politicians are adopting platforms that are essentially socialist. Indeed, the paradox of prosperity that De Jouvenel noticed almost seventy years ago remains firmly intact, for capitalism has never been more fruitful and never more hated by its beneficiaries than it is today.

The present fascination with socialism and hatred of capitalism reflects a combination of willful historical blindness, lack of simple common sense, and inexcusable economic ignorance:

  • Anyone even casually familiar with twentieth-century history should know that socialism has failed miserably, causing economic retrogression and impoverishment wherever it has been tried.
  • Common sense should recognize that since capitalism is a system where entrepreneurs compete with each other to produce what people want, and socialism is a system in which producers produce what the state wants, then obviously people prosper more under capitalism.
  • Most appalling and bitterly ironic about so many Americans enthusiastically, even fanatically, espousing socialism in 2020 is that this year marks the centenary of the most important economic discovery of the twentieth century: in 1920, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explained with irrefutable logic that socialism must inevitably discombobulate and reduce economically rational production because it obliterates the market-based price system necessary to coordinate production. Shame on the economics profession for remaining silent about this fundamental truth and allowing dangerous economic ignorance to persist.

Fact: it is free market capitalism that has made us wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of our great-great grandparents. Fact: the socialist alternative simply does not work. For anyone to favor replacing the world’s greatest wealth-creating system with a proven wealth-destroying system is to spurn prosperity, forsake rationality, and court destruction. That is the grim reality of the paradox of prosperity. Author:

Mark Hendrickson

Mark Hendrickson is adjunct professor of economics at Grove City College. 

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Trump and Biden Squabble While America Burns

Posted by M. C. on October 6, 2020

Jo Jorgensen

Written by Ron Paul

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden spent most of last week’s first Presidential debate trading insults and interrupting each other. The result was a debate with very little discussion of actual issues or policies.

In one of the evening’s few substantive exchanges, President Trump rightly criticized Vice President Biden for saying he would listen to the “scientists” in determining whether to lock down the country. President Trump also acknowledged that the lockdowns were a harmful over-reaction that needs to end.

Unfortunately, President Trump once again pledged that Covid vaccines would soon be available. This raises the specter of a repeat of the swine flu debacle where a vaccine rushed into production for political purposes caused more deaths than the swine flu itself. President Trump also raised concerns about mandatory Covid vaccinations by suggesting the military would be in charge of vaccine distribution.

Vice President Biden vehemently denied he was a socialist, while championing increased spending, taxes, regulations, expanded Obamacare, and a modified “Green New Deal.” Biden may not consider himself a socialist, but if his economic plans were implemented it would take America further down the road to socialism — and serfdom.

President Trump also denounced socialism, while bragging about his own big government policies such as tariffs, massive spending increases, and plans to maintain the “popular” provisions of Obamacare.

One topic that did not come up was gun control. This may have been because both candidates support infringements on the Second Amendment. Joe Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee when it passed gun control measures like the assault weapons ban and the “Brady Bill.” President Trump has not only banned bump stocks by executive order, which President Obama refused to do because his Attorney General correctly determined that the President lacks the authority to do so, but has enthusiastically endorsed “red flag” laws. These laws allow law enforcement to, as President Trump put it, “take the guns first worry about due process later.”

The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the federal debt will exceed the gross domestic product next year and reach 195 percent of GDP by 2050! This report was issued before this week’s revelation that the federal debt reached record levels of $27 trillion.

This is the biggest threat to our national security, but it was unmentioned during the debate. This is not surprising since few in the political or media elite understand the debt crisis well enough to give it the attention it deserves. Although if Biden wins and Democrats seize control of the Senate, Republicans will likely remember they are supposed to be against big spending and debt.

One critical area that could have led to an interesting exchange was monetary policy. Biden has called Trump’s tweets attacking the Fed as an assault on Fed’s independence, as if the Fed were ever free from political pressure. President Trump has gone from supporting a fed audit, criticizing low interest rates, and supporting the gold standard, to pushing the Fed to adopt the insane policy of zero interest rates

The debate is the latest evidence the two major parties will not on their own restore our lost liberties. Those who want to roll back the welfare-warfare state should avoid focusing on political parties or personalities. Instead we must focus on spreading the ideas of liberty among our fellow citizens and building a liberty movement that puts principles of liberty above partisanship.

Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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New Opportunities for Marxists: Climate Change and Coronavirus | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2020

Many people do not know what capitalism really means. Capitalism is the social and economic order in which the means of production are privately owned. In its “pure” form, capitalism means unconditional respect of people’s private property, free markets, and, most importantly, a form of state that is confined to protecting people and their property against aggression from inside and outside the country’s borders. “Pure” capitalism is no doubt conducive to peaceful and productive cooperation nationally as well as internationally.

In The Communist Manifesto (1848) Karl Marx (1818–83) and Friedrich Engels (1820–95) predicted that capitalism would lead to the impoverishment of the laboring class. Why? Well, to raise profit on capital invested, Marx and Engels argued, entrepreneurs (the capitalists) would exploit the workers. They would reduce wages and worsen working conditions by, say, increasing working hours. From that viewpoint, Marx and Engels put forward an immiseration theory of capitalism.

Worker “Exploitation”

Marxists would not argue that workers’ wages would decline in absolute terms, but certainly in relative terms: the wage incomes of the many would rise less than the incomes of the capitalists, thereby making the former poorer compared to the latter over time. Especially in times of crisis, which are inevitable and recurrent in a capitalist economy, workers would be hit particularly hard, causing their economic and financial conditions to fall further behind of those of the capitalists.

Capitalist “Imperialism”

To make things worse, Marxists argue that capitalism would bring about violent colonialism and imperialism. As capitalists pay less for labor than what is appropriate, the workers cannot buy all available products. Profit-seeking capital is, therefore, seeking to open up new markets in other parts of the world. Conflicts over who controls what arise among nations, paving the way toward war. This is, in fact, the message Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924) hammered home to his readers in his 1917 book Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.

If capitalism is bad—if it brings exploitation, misery, and even war to a great many people, and all this comes to the benefit of the capitalists—isn’t it rightful and consequential to do everything to overcome capitalism and replace it with socialism-communism, the alternatives said to bring peace, equality and happier life for the people in this world? Sound economics reveals that the Marxist critique of capitalism, as well as the high-flying enthusiasm for socialism-communism, is tantamount to outright intellectual confusion.

What Capitalism Really Is: Peaceful Cooperation

Many people do not know what capitalism really means. Capitalism is the social and economic order in which the means of production are privately owned. In its “pure” form, capitalism means unconditional respect of people’s private property, free markets, and, most importantly, a form of state that is confined to protecting people and their property against aggression from inside and outside the country’s borders. “Pure” capitalism is no doubt conducive to peaceful and productive cooperation nationally as well as internationally.

It is capitalism that makes mass production possible—the production of goods and services for the consumption of the greatest number of people. The productivity gains that it creates result in a tendency toward a continuous increase in people’s average living standard. Producers are subject to the profit and loss principle: they are economically rewarded only if and when their products meet consumers’ preferences. If they don’t, entrepreneurs will suffer losses, forcing them to improve their output to the benefit of their customers.

Pure capitalism not has only a built-in mechanism to improve the masses’ material well-being. What is particularly wonderful is that under pure capitalism, people’s wages do not depend on individual workers’ productivity, but the marginal productivity of labor in general. Assume a firm makes a productive innovation. To hire new labor, it has to pay higher wages compared to those paid by other employers. The latter, to retain their staff, will also have to offer a higher wage—to the benefit of less productive workers.

It should also be noted here that pure capitalism encourages the division of labor among people, nationally and internationally. This, in turn, entices people to seek peaceful cooperation rather than conflict: everyone realizes that it pays off to cooperate, that this is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. In other words: pure capitalism is a recipe for peace. In a world of pure capitalism, there would simply be no reason for large-scale violent conflicts, let alone state wars.

Interventionism vs. Capitalism

Why do so many people harbor resentment or even hate against the concept of capitalism? One answer is that they presumably look around and see the many evils in this world, such as the recurrence of financial and economic crises; mass unemployment; bailout programs that make big corporations richer, disregarding the fate of small and medium-sized firms; chronically rising costs of living; growing income and wealth inequality; and growing geopolitical tensions and conflicts.

Unfortunately, all these evils are attributed to capitalism. A fatal conclusion, though, because there is no pure capitalism, neither in the US nor in Europe, Asia, Latin America, or Africa. What we find are interventionist-collectivist and sometimes even socialist economic and societal systems. Especially in the Western world, basically all states, and the special interest groups that exert great influence over them, have succeeded in increasingly replacing what little is left of the capitalist system in recent decades.

States have interfered in all areas of people’s lives. Be it education (kindergarten, schools, universities), health, pensions, transport, law and order, money and credit, or the environment, the states and their governments have become major players in markets for goods and services, turning free markets into hampered markets, raising taxes ever higher, and increasingly undermining and even destroying the institution of private property.

Intervention Cripples the Wealth Creation Offered by Capitalism

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Keynes Called Himself a Socialist. He Was Right. | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 12, 2020

The very same Milton Keynes that Occasional-Cortex admires.

Keynes held Vladimir Lenin in high regard. On July 6, 1922, he declared that “[Lenin’s] political control of affairs was of a high intellectual competence.

In 1997 Ralph Raico published an article titled “Keynes and the Reds.” Raico’s article highlighted John Maynard Keynes’s review of a 1936 book by the British socialists Sidney and Beatrice Webb called Soviet Communism. In his review, Keynes discusses Joseph Stalin’s USSR and concludes: “The result is impressive.” For Raico, a historian in the classical liberal tradition, this statement contradicts the conventional idea that Keynes was a model liberal.

Unfortunately, Keynes’s defenders still portray him as a model liberal. For example, Robert Skidelsky claims, “Keynes was a lifelong liberal” and “He was not a socialist.”1 Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman insist: “He was a classical liberal in his politics, being as attached to individual freedom as the most ardent libertarian, who throughout his life repudiated socialism.”2

This article is a sequel to “Keynes and the Reds.” It presents further evidence that shows that Keynes was sympathetic to Soviet socialism and not a genuine liberal.

The Bolshevik Revolution

Keynes was highly enthusiastic about socialism in Russia from the very beginning. He celebrated the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The Russian Revolution broke out on March 8, 1917, and Czar Nicholas II abdicated on March 15. The prospect of a socialist revolution in Russia elated Keynes, and he wrote to his mother:

I was immensely cheered and excited about the Russian news. It’s the sole result of the war so far worth having. An acute and even struggle is now going on between the Socialists and the Milyukov constitutionalists. I see not the remotest chance, however, of any pro-Tsar counter-revolution.3

Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks took power on November 7, 1917. Keynes happily announced, “The only course open to me is to be buoyantly bolshevik.”4 In December, he cofounded the 1917 Club in London.5 Of course, the club was named in commemoration of the year of the Bolshevik Revolution. The membership of Keynes’s 1917 Club reads like a who’s who of twentieth-century British socialists: G.D.H. Cole, Hugh Dalton, J.A. Hobson, Ramsay MacDonald, Oswald Mosley, John Strachey, H.G. Wells, and Leonard Woolf.

Again in February 1918, Keynes admitted to “being a Bolshevik.”6 The famous journalist Clarence W. Barron, founder of Barron’s magazine, met Keynes in 1918 and recorded: “Lady Cunard says Keynes is a kind of socialist and my judgment is that he is a Socialist of the type that does not believe in the family.”7

Keynes described himself as a Bolshevik, but what was the nature of this revolution? As Sean McMeekin writes, “In their first two months in power, the Bolsheviks had not so much won over the Russian people as harassed and bludgeoned them into submission.”8 Tragically, Keynes’s Bolshevik comrades killed over one hundred thousand Russians in the months that followed their takeover.

The 1920s

From 1919 to 1923, Keynes devoted most of his energy to postwar financial problems, but he remained enthusiastic about the socialist experiment in Russia. He proclaimed on April 26, 1922: “An extraordinary experiment in socialism is in course of development. I think there may be solid foundations on which to build a bridge.”9

Keynes held Vladimir Lenin in high regard. On July 6, 1922, he declared that “[Lenin’s] political control of affairs was of a high intellectual competence. The histories of revolution contain nothing more remarkable or more coldly and splendidly glittering than the career of Lenin.”10

Certainly, no genuine liberal can agree with Keynes’s endorsement of Lenin. As Robert Service writes, “Lenin relied on dictatorship and terror.”11 Lenin’s government killed over 4 million of its own people, making him the fifth-bloodiest megamurderer of the twentieth century.12 By 1923, Lenin’s regime had opened over 350 concentration camps across the USSR. These camps were the foundation of the gulag system that eventually “chewed up almost 40 million lives.”13

Keynes’s enthusiasm for the socialist experiment in Russia united him with his future wife, the Russian ballerina Lydia Lopokova. As her biographer admits, Lopokova had “natural sympathies for socialism.”14 Lopokova wrote to Keynes in April 1922, “I see you have sympathy for Russia.”15

Keynes impressed Lopokova with his involvement in Russian, or “USSRian,” societies. He wrote her on February 24, 1924, “I enclose a paper for you to look through about the new USSRian Society I have agreed to join.”16 And on May 10: “I enclose a prospectus of the new society I have joined for getting into intellectual touches with Russians!”17

What was this new USSRian society? In July 1924, Keynes was a founding vice-president of the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR (SCR).18 The SCR was a pro-Soviet society controlled and financed by VOX (All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries).19 VOX was the Soviet government’s international propaganda agency; it was essentially a front for socialist propaganda outside the Soviet Union. Keynes’s vice-presidency of the SCR means that he had been working in conjunction with the Soviet government’s propaganda machine for more than a decade before he published The General Theory.

Keynes married Lopokova on August 4, 1925, and the couple honeymooned in the USSR with the SCR. Keynes spoke to the Soviet politburo on September 14, 1925. Leon Trotsky attended, as he was the chairman of the technical and scientific board of industry. Trotsky identified Keynes as a socialist: “Even the more progressive economist, Mr. Keynes told us only the other day that the salvaging of the English economy lies in Malthusianism! For England, too, the road of overcoming the contradictions between city and country leads through socialism.”20 When Keynes returned, Virginia Woolf recorded that “Maynard has a [Soviet] medal set in diamonds.”21

Keynes addressed the SCR after his trip to the Soviet Union. He declared, “During the next fifty years the U.S.S.R. would make larger contributions to the world than any other European country.”22 At the time of this statement, the Soviets had already killed 5 million of their own people.

Keynes was certainly aware of the Soviets’ brutality. In fact, he attributed the brutality to the “beastliness” in the “Russian and Jewish natures.” He wanted to “achieve its [the USSR’s] goal” but “not in that [beastly] way”:

The mood of oppression…is the fruit of Red revolution—there is much in Russia to make one pray that one’s own country may achieve its goal not in that way. In part, perhaps, it is the fruit of some beastliness in the Russian nature—or in the Russian and Jewish natures when, as now, they are allied together. But in part it is one face of the superb earnestness of Red Russia, of the high seriousness, which in its other aspect appears as the spirit of elation….beneath the cruelty and stupidity of New Russia some speck of the ideal may lie hid.23

Keynes grew increasingly close to Sidney and Beatrice Webb in the mid-1920s. In 1926 Virginia Woolf recorded, “The Keynes’, Lydia and Maynard, are both completely under the sway of the Webbs….The great Keynes…is at her [Beatrice’s] feet.”24 That year he attended the Socialist Summer School, and Beatrice recorded: “I see no other man that might discover how to control the wealth [or means of production] of nations in the public interest.” 25

On the political spectrum, Keynes put himself as far to the left as one could possibly be. In fact, he viewed himself as even farther to the left than Sidney Webb: “I have played in my mind with the possibilities of greater social changes than come within the present [socialist] philosophies of, let us say, Mr Sidney Webb….The republic of my imagination lies on the extreme left of celestial space.”26 This statement led Rod O’Donnell to correctly conclude that “[Keynes’s] vision lay beyond the Fabian Socialism of Webb.”27

The Soviets reciprocated Keynes’s esteem. In 1927 the Soviet government invited him to the USSR to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. He wrote to his wife on October 16, 1927: “I was much flattered last night by getting the enclosed invitation from the Bolsheviks to go to Russia next month to celebrate the tenth year of the Republic. My first impulse was to accept (assuming that the invitation covers you too)….The idea is very attractive.”28

Keynes visited the Soviet Union in 1928. On his return he observed the Soviet Union is “much more normal than anyone here thinks.”29 The Soviet government had already killed 7 million of its own.30

1930–The General Theory

Keynes was closely connected with the British socialist movement in the early 1930s. He was an associate member of the New Fabian Research Bureau.31 This was Britain’s leading socialist think tank, run by fellow 1917 Club and SCR member G.D.H. Cole. Keynes was also involved with its sister organization, the Society for Socialist Inquiry and Propaganda. On December 13, 1931, he gave a speech to this society titled “A Survey of the Present Position of Socialism.”32

Keynes was an important economic advisor to Britain’s first socialist prime minister, his old friend Ramsey MacDonald from the 1917 Club. Indeed, Keynes viewed himself as a more radical socialist than MacDonald and Hugh Dalton, another 1917 Club member. In June 1930, at a meeting with those men, Keynes described himself as the “only socialist present.”33 Beatrice Webb agreed and said, “[Keynes is] certainly more advanced than MacDonald.”34

In 1923 Keynes bought Nation and Athenaeum, a weekly political newspaper. By early 1931, he had merged it with the New Statesman, Britain’s leading socialist newspaper. That paper was founded in 1913 by his close friends the Webbs. The combined paper was called the New Statesman and Nation, and Keynes was the new chairman of the board. From February 1931 until his death in April 1946, Keynes was chairman of Britain’s leading socialist newspaper.

Robert Skidelsky admits that Keynes’s newspaper had “sympathy for Soviet communism.”35 However, to distance Keynes from the bad name of Stalinism, Skidelsky blames the paper’s pro-Soviet stance on its editor, Kingsley Martin. Like Roy Harrod, Keynes’s official biographer, Skidelsky insists that “the New Statesman was unmistakably Kingsley Martin’s.”36

First, Keynes himself demanded that the socialist Martin be the editor during the merger negotiations.37 Second, Keynes asked Martin if he would make the newspaper socialist in policy, and Martin told him he would. “As it happened this was the right answer: Keynes was a Socialist in policy.”38 Finally, Martin himself contradicted Skidelsky’s claim that Keynes was just an aloof chairman of a pro-Soviet newspaper:

Maynard was the only active director of the N.S.&N. Right up until his death in 1946 we met frequently at his Sussex home at Tilton or his house in Gordon Square.…His biographer, Sir Roy Harrod [like Skidelsky], mentions his intimate connection with the Nation and then says that as the years went by he fell out of sympathy with the N.S.&N. policy. This does not tell the story.39

Keynes’s magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, was published on February 4, 1936. E.S. Goller wrote in the Daily Worker on April 16 of that year: “With little to gain and a lot to lose, Keynes was one of the chief organisers of the Congress of Peace and Friendship with the U.S.S.R. in Cambridge. Where Keynes’s sympathies are, it is easy to judge.”40 The Congress of Peace and Friendship with the USSR that Keynes helped organize was a “British Soviet front organisation.”41 A.L. Rowse wrote in his review of the General Theory:

At every single point, without a single exception, it is in full agreement with Labour [socialist] policy….No wonder Mr. Cole, in a vociferous welcome, has acclaimed the books as “the most important theoretical economic writing since Marx’s Capital”…Mr. Cole is justified…It may be described as, for the first time in this country, laying the foundations of a Socialist economics.42

John Buchan and Keynes were members of a dinner club called the Other Club, and they dined together regularly for over a decade. Just after The General Theory was published, Buchan described Keynes as a “gentlemanly communist.”43 Buchan recorded that “his line is that he despises capitalism.”44 Keynes affirmed, “Private capitalism is an out-of-date institution.”45

Keynes declared only 119 days after The General Theory was published: “Until recently events in [Stalinist] Russia were moving too fast and the gap between the paper professions and the actual achievements was too wide for a proper account to be possible. But the new system is now sufficiently crystallised to be reviewed. The result is impressive.”46

No genuine liberal can agree with Keynes that Stalinist Russia was “impressive.” The period of collectivization in the USSR coincided with the development and publication of The General Theory. In this period, Stalin “enslave[d]…100 million people” and 11.5 million of his own people were killed.47 Further, during this period Stalin rapidly expanded his gulag system of concentration camps. By the time he died in 1953, Stalin had killed approximately 55 million, making him the bloodiest megamurderer in human history.48 As Raico has insisted, Keynes’s 1936 claim that Stalinist Russia is “impressive” shows that he was not a true liberal.

Keynes’s Later Years

In 1939, Keynes praised the Left Book Club. He exclaimed, “How foolish, too, to decry the Left Book Club! It surely is one of the finest and most living movements of our time.”49 What was the Left Book Club? “The Communist Party and the Left Book Club” was published in May 1938, and it reads: “The Communist Party of Great Britain uses the Left Book Club as a channel for revolutionary propaganda and activity.”50

Moreover, this document shows that Keynes’s SCR was connected to the Left Book Club. As noted, Keynes was a founding vice-president of the SCR in 1924, and it was financed and controlled by the Soviet government. The flow chart in the document shows that the Left Book Club had connections to the “Propaganda Depts. of the Soviet Government and Communist International.”51 In short, Keynes’s endorsement of the Left Book Club was an endorsement of the British Communist Party and, by extension, the Soviets.

Stafford Cripps was the Webbs’ nephew, and in 1950 he became president of the Fabian Society. In the early 1930s he was assistant secretary of the New Fabian Research Bureau and a major funder of the Society for Socialist Inquiry and Propaganda. In the late 1930s Cripps attempted to unite the socialist Labour Party with the Communist Party. Keynes exclaimed in 1939, “I am all for Sir Stafford Cripps, and I would join his movement.”52 He told Cripps, “I am in full sympathy with what you are doing.”53 Keynes stated around this time, “The question is whether we are prepared to move out of the nineteenth century laissez-faire into an era of liberal socialism.”54

In 1939 Keynes praised “the splendid material of the young amateur communists.”55 Here he was praising the communists in the Cambridge Apostles, a society at Cambridge that he joined on February 28, 1903. By the 1930s, “Keynes was plainly the intellectual leader and the most active member of the Society,” and “he acted as a father figure for the Apostles.”56 Keynes controlled entry into the society, and a socialist orientation was “a prerequisite for election to the Apostles at this time.”57

The Cambridge Five was a notorious Soviet spy ring at Cambridge. All of the Cambridge Five were members of Keynes’s Apostles, and at least eight of the Apostles were confirmed Soviet spies: Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Michael Straight, Anthony Blunt, Donald Maclean, Guy Lidell, John Cairncross, and Leo Long. Beyond these eight, there were at least forty more Soviet spies operating around Cambridge. As yet, scholars have been unable to link some forty code names (including Poet, Chaffeur, and Professor) to specific individuals.58

Keynes ran the British treasury during the Second World War. As Skidelsky reports, “He was the treasury.”59 In July 1944 Keynes went to the Bretton Woods Conference to design the postwar world monetary system. His American counterpart was the US Treasury official Harry Dexter White. Keynes and White are the two individuals most responsible for the postwar monetary system that emerged.

Today it is well known that White was a Soviet spy.60 And while collaborating with White in 1944 at Bretton Woods, Keynes was vice-president of the SCR.61 This means that the postwar monetary system was designed by two men with connections to the socialist government of the USSR. Of course, the Keynes-White monetary system devolved into the current world monetary system.


Ralph Raico challenged the idea that Keynes was a genuine liberal.62 No doubt, Raico was correct. Contrary to sympathetic commentators, Keynes was not in the tradition of genuine liberalism. Rather, as O’Donnell states, “Keynes envisaged and espoused a particular form of socialism” and “it is clear, explicit and unambiguous; he used the term socialism to characterise his own views.”63



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Doug Casey on the Truth About Millennials and the Next Crisis

Posted by M. C. on February 27, 2020

I don’t think that Millennials as a group really believe in themselves. A lot of blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants are resentful; a lot of the whites feel guilty and unjustly entitled. Few in any of these groups any longer seem to believe in the values—like individualism, personal responsibility, and liberty—that actually made the US different once upon a time.

Forget about freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and free markets. All of these things are radically under attack. Those things are why America became what it is—or once was. It’s being washed away.

by Doug Casey

International Man: Many people perceive Millennials to be entitled, spoiled snowflakes who refuse to work hard.

Whether or not this is true, Millennials as a group will soon surpass the number of baby boomers as the largest generational group.

How equipped is this soon-to-be dominant generation for handling a financial crisis, a major war, or civil unrest?

Doug Casey: According to William Strauss and Neil Howe in their book, The Fourth Turning, the Millennials should be a “Hero” Generation, set to face a huge threat to the country.

For previous so-called Hero Generations, the threats were the Great Depression and then World War II. The time from 1929 to 1946 was full of societally threatening events. Much like today.

The Millennials are in a generational position similar to that of the so-called Greatest Generation, who are now mostly dead. The Millennials, however, don’t seem quite ready for hero-scale challenges. They’re mostly talking about safe spaces, diversity, free college, a guaranteed income, and being gender uncertain.

When the United States encounters a civilizational crisis—which in my opinion is here, it’s unfolding as we speak—it’s questionable whether the Millennials will have what it takes. You don’t get there by being gender questioning or sitting in your mother’s basement playing video games and getting fat.

International Man: It’s no secret that Democrats are turning to socialist ideas like universal health care, universal basic income, and more.

The baby boomer generation had a significant impact on government policies and welfare programs like Medicare. From 2008 to 2018 alone, Medicare spending grew from $462 billion to $731 billion.

What’s your take on how Millennials will shape the future of the United States?

Doug Casey: Let’s look at this from a long-term perspective—0ver the last 120 years.

At the turn of the 20th century, something like 85% or 90% of Americans were on the farm, actually growing food, getting up at 6:00 AM, and working 16-hour days. They were on the ragged edge of starvation during bad years. Even people in the cities had it pretty tough.

Now, with the Millennial generation, the average American is at least three generations off the farm. A lot of them think that milk doesn’t come from cows. They think it comes from cartons.

The kind of values that you get from growing up on a farm, or at least having parents who did, tend to vanish when you grow up in a suburb, have helicopter parents, and your main relationship with the outside world is electronic.

I don’t think that Millennials as a group really believe in themselves. A lot of blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants are resentful; a lot of the whites feel guilty and unjustly entitled. Few in any of these groups any longer seem to believe in the values—like individualism, personal responsibility, and liberty—that actually made the US different once upon a time.

Forget about freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and free markets. All of these things are radically under attack. Those things are why America became what it is—or once was. It’s being washed away.

It seems like we have transitioned quite easily from a war against “godless communism” to war against Islam. Muhammedans look at the United States and Europe and see degraded societies without a philosophical center, without a belief in themselves. I suppose the Chinese are next on the dance card…

Even though they may for the most part be primitive, barefoot goat herders, Muhammedans hold the West in contempt. I’m afraid any serious conflict with the Muhammedans could end badly, regardless of our huge technological advantage. Why? Because, as Napoleon said, in war the psychological is to the physical as three is to one. And most of these people have a strong unifying faith—something totally lacking in the West.

Incidentally, I call their faith “Muhammedanism” as opposed to “Islam,” partly because you call followers of Christ, “Christians.” You call followers of Buddha, “Buddhists.” Followers of Confucius, “Confucians.” And so forth.

We used to call followers of Muhammed, “Muhammedans.” But the fact we no longer do is part of the general corruption of the language we now have in so many areas. “Islam” means “submission” in Arabic; it’s a PC word.

When you let an adversary take control of what words mean and which words are used, you’ve already lost the high ground. When you lose control of your own language, you lose control of your thought processes, and basically everything else follows. No wonder they hold the West in contempt.

If it comes down to a military conflict where the Millennial generation has to fill in for the previous so-called Hero Generation in the Strauss-Howe model, the West is in trouble. That’s true whether the conflict is with the Chinese or the followers of The Prophet.

That’s apart from the fact the US military itself is a very different animal from what it once was. With some exceptions, the US military today is made up of refugees from barrios, trailer parks, and ghettos. I don’t approve of the draft, but for what it’s worth, at least the draft was kind of a cross section of the US. Now, the military is very self-selecting.

It’s actually a completely separate culture within the US. Their first loyalty, like the police, is to other soldiers. Secondarily to their employer, the US government. And only third to America—which is no longer a republic. It’s a domestic empire.

I’m very antiwar as a matter of principle. But if it comes down to a military conflict I don’t see a happy ending, because all we have are ultra-expensive and obsolescent toys useful mainly to fatten the profits of so-called “defense” companies. Generals cozy up to them so they can cash in with fat consulting contracts after they retire. I suspect, incidentally, the next war will have huge biological and cyber elements.

There’s another x factor. The Millennial generation has grown up on first-person shooter video games. Some, if they have an extra Y chromosome, may want to put that into practice. You can really do that only in the military or the police—most of whom are ex-military today.

I’ve gone off on a few tangents, using the Strauss and Howe book as a platform. But my intention here wasn’t to do a book review. That said, I again want to recommend their work. They came up with something original and valuable, which offers a pretty solid look into the near future.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, there’s little any individual can practically do to change the course of these trends in motion.

The coming economic and political crisis is going to be much worse, much longer, and very different than what we’ve seen in the past.

Be seeing you

If THIS Continues To Happen, America Is Doomed ...




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Will the Twenties Roar? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

Government doesn’t produce anything, but rather redistributes, manages, and consumes the wealth created by the citizenry, serfs and livestock it “owns.”

The US is already a socialist country.  Friendly fascism is the name of the game, if we can believe Bertram Gross, Sinclair Lewis, or our own eyes.


The past decade’s accelerating explosion of US government spending and debt, and that of US corporations, banks, and citizens, will not only end, but will end painfully.

For all of this, the majority of voters in a presidential election seem to understand that what cannot go on forever, won’t. The 2018 examination (linked above) of why Americans increasingly don’t trust government, even as government provides so much to so many of these same Americans, suggested that it’s just a matter of explaining to Americans how great their government is. Big State needs better advertising.

Even the Deep State laughs at that idea. However, it is important to see what deep staters are really doing to maintain the current status quo, a.k.a Peak Government.

Government doesn’t produce anything, but rather redistributes, manages, and consumes the wealth created by the citizenry, serfs and livestock it “owns.” Just as a farmer, who when facing lower sales price and higher costs, re-evaluates his or her operation, so too do federal and state governments. The farmer counts his or her livestock carefully, and figures out how to do more with less, the same with less, and less with less all while squeezing more cash out of what he or she “owns.” Imagine, if you will, the gentle cow or ewe. Her value is necessarily monetized, and as the bottom line sinks ever lower, her owner will become very interested in what Bessie and Belle do all day, where they go, what they eat, and how they behave.

Depending on where you stand, some citizens are not worth as much as others, and more importantly, some citizens cost a lot more than others. How to decide? Politicians are in the business of deciding this question, and they are gamblers at heart. This predisposition shapes their calculations and actions. Win or lose, they enjoy the game. Various political groupings help them assign “value” and it’s all out in the open, as ugly and insulting as it is. You are free to choose a party or a candidate based on how you value yourself and your neighbors, and what you believe is good and valuable for you and your neighbors to have and enjoy. You can vote based on a coin toss, hairstyle or spousal charm, their pantsuit, their skin tone, or because you believe whatever they are saying. It’s all good, and it’s all good fun in this nation of equals.

The Deep State on the other hand, is not comfortable with risk, does not “enjoy the game,” and it does not play. You cannot vote for it, nor can you assign values, weights, measures or limits to it, in any realistic way. The Deep State doesn’t want your vote or your political support – it wants your money, your faith, and your obedience. It is not interested in your opinion, as it is perfectly confident that it knows what is best. We don’t have time here to put the Deep State on a couch to seek clarity or find out why it turned out this way. It’s running, and ruining, the lives of 330 million Americans, and conducting coups, wars – hot, cold, trade and propaganda – in real time, as it has for over 100 years, maybe more. Increasingly, the weapons of these wars are aimed not abroad, but at the very citizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave.

If, as an American, you found that your ears perked up when you heard “land of the free” and “home of the brave,” don’t feel bad. We’ve been worked on for generations…

The only thing roaring in the coming decade will be the furious road noise of the Deep State as it strains technology, and races for its very life, against the growing humanity of actual Americans and their growing awareness of reality…

Be seeing you


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Deplorables Versus the Ruling Class: A Global Struggle – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on December 27, 2019

The true American ideology cautions against granting power to any bureaucratic establishment.

By Chet Richards

Consider the age of monarchs.  Squabbling barons select a supreme ruler – a king or an emperor — to suppress the squabbling.  Peace and prosperity return to the land.  The king makes policy but he can’t do everything.  His minions take care of the details.

Minions mean bureaucracy.   The bureaucracy grows.  The king grows old and dies.  The dynasty continues.  The bureaucracy continues – always continues, and always grows.  The bureaucracy becomes an establishment kingdom unto itself.  The bureaucracy grows in power and serves its own interests.  The king diminishes in power.  The land grows restless under the increasing regulatory tyranny and taxes.  Legitimacy –what the Chinese called the “mandate of heaven” —  is lost and so is the dynasty.

Change the names and we are at the end of a similar cycle – a cycle that began with the guillotine.  This time it is a world-wide cycle.  The modern king is a modern tyrant – Stalin, Hitler, Mao were the worst.

The socialist idea had been kicking around since the 18th century.  This seemingly plausible notion shaped the various Marxist evils of the 20th century.  The Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Nazism, Fascism, and today’s imperious European Union, are all socialist tyrannies of one degree or another.

Bureaucratic agencies become ideal tools for tyrants.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment » Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2019

Was He? Someone read the book and let us know.

He suffered like many 20th century socialists.

by EPJ

Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?

A perfect read for the Christmas season.

From the blurb:

Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist? tackles head-on a persistent myth that has stymied individual freedom in many parts of the world. That myth takes many forms, but reduces to this: “You can’t be for capitalism or free markets and be a follower of Jesus at the same time.”

For the first time in a short and readable form, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) president Lawrence W. Reed debunks these misconceptions in powerful, convincing ways. Though he frequently references Scripture, Reed makes it plain at the start that one doesn’t have to be a Christian to understand the importance of proper interpretation of Scripture, as well as history and economics. People who simply want sound analysis or good history will appreciate it.

By examining the words of Jesus in the context of their time and place, Reed shows Jesus never called for the political process to rearrange wealth. He denounced envy. He stressed choice, accountability and private property. He endorsed keeping one’s word and honoring contracts. He emphasized principles of personal character and the Golden Rule. These things are all difficult to reconcile with political force.

Now, when anyone suggests that the teachings of Jesus are in any way incompatible with free markets or capitalism, defenders of free markets can provide concise and conclusive responses. There is no other publication that does the job as fully or is as accessible as Rendering Unto Caesar.

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1 In 3 Millennials See Communism As Favorable, Survey Finds

Posted by M. C. on October 28, 2019

“When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas,”

Is this the future of the US? Oh Mao goodness!

Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

A growing number of Millennials show support for communism and socialism, a survey from the Victims of Communism found.

The survey, conducted by the Victims of Communism and polled by the research and data firm YouGov, found that 70% of Millennials are likely to vote socialist and that one in three Millennials perceive communism as “favorable.” The survey is part of the Victims of Communism’s report “U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism,” which polled 2,100 people in the United States who were 16 and older with a margin of error of +/- 2.4%.

A little over half of the Millennials polled said the Declaration of Independence “guarantees freedom and equality” better than the Communist Manifesto.

“The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism and socialism is on full display in this year’s report,” said Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

“When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas,”…

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