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Posts Tagged ‘Socialists’

The Socialists’ Plan for “Ecological Leninism” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2020

Regardless of whether the problem is attacked from the supply or the demand side, the race to zero [carbon emissions] would have to be coordinated through control measures—rationing, reallocating, requisitioning, sanctioning, ordering…ecological Leninism leaps at any opportunity to…break with business-as-usual as sharply as required and subject the regions of the economy working towards catastrophe to direct public control. It would mean that “one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part”, to speak with Engels. (pp. 145, 151)

https://mises.org/wire/socialists-plan-ecological-leninism

David Gordon

Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century
by Andreas Malm
Verso, 2020. 215 pages.

Some critics of the draconian lockdowns alleged to be needed to cope with covid-19 have claimed that these measures are merely preparatory steps to accustom Americans to centralized control. Once the covid-19 hysteria dies down, we will face permanent restrictions to deal with “climate change.”

These critics, and other readers as well, are likely to find Corona of interest. The author, Andreas Malm, a scholar of human ecology at the University of Lund, calls for using covid-19 and climate change as tools to promote a world socialist revolution. Lenin and Trotsky are for him heroic figures, though he acknowledges they were far from flawless, and we can learn much to guide us through our current troubles from the “war communism” they instituted.

The world is heating up and we face a global pandemic. Neither of these assertions is to be questioned, says Malm. “Science” tells us that they are true, and that is that. What causes these problems? The answer, you will not be surprised to learn, is capitalism. Marx long ago predicted that capitalism would collapse because capitalists, greedy for profit, would expand production to a greater extent than the market could absorb. The revisionist Marxist Eduard Bernstein objected that capitalism had so far surmounted its crises and hadn’t collapsed, but Rosa Luxemburg, another heroic figure for Malm, had high hopes for future disaster.

And she turns out to be right. The culprit is capitalist exploitation of nature. Capitalists disturb rainforests and other areas with large numbers of animals. This disturbs the animals found there, such as bats, causing them to flee elsewhere. In doing so they spread pathogens all over the world. “If it weren’t for the economy operated by humans constantly assailing the wild,…destroying it with a zeal bordering on lust for extermination, these things wouldn’t happen. The pathogens would not come leaping toward us. They would be secure among their natural hosts. But when these hosts are cornered, stressed, expelled and killed, they have two options: go extinct or jump.” (p. 35) Malm calls this lamentable state of affairs “zoonotic spillover.”

It is thus a great mistake to contrast, as leftists unenlightened by Marxist dialectics often do, humanly caused climate change with natural catastrophes such as covid-19. (Remember, the scale and scope of these is not allowed to be questioned.) Both result from capitalist exploitation of nature. This comes about through stripping the rainforests and expelling carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The rise in temperature that results from the burning of fossil fuels also disturbs the pathogens ensconced in the forests.

Following Lenin, he asks, what is to be done? The answer does not lie in anarchism. A stateless world may be a dream for the far future, but right now we require a strong state to curb the capitalist exploiters responsible for our woes. Some find the anarchist theorist James Scott insightful, but he is at fault for his failure to respond to the exigencies of our current crisis.

It is not James Scott whom we need now but Lenin. He realized that before the state can wither away, it must be strengthened to deal ruthlessly with the class enemy. Lenin in his “The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It,” written in September 1917, said that to combat Russia’s loss of territory and resources, the state should control the economy in the same way the belligerent powers had already done during World War I. “Here, then, was Lenin’s wager: to take measures already instituted by the warring states, step them up a notch, and deploy them against the drivers of catastrophe” (p. 127, emphasis in original). Readers of Mises will not fail to note that he too saw the central control of the German economy during the war as a way to establish socialism.

What we need now is “war communism.” Malm admits that “this term leaves an acid taste. Rightly so. The warring Bolsheviks committed no small amount of cruelty” (pp. 158–59). But contrary to anticommunist propaganda, war communism in one respect succeeded magnificently. “Having the Whites and the allied empires arrayed against them—zero fossil fuels versus all the reserves in the world—the Red Army won the war. In this isolated respect, the period from late 1918 to late 1920 was the finest hour of the Soviet state” (p. 160).

What would “war communism” be like for us now? Malm has little in the way of a velvet glove that conceals the iron fist. He says,

Regardless of whether the problem is attacked from the supply or the demand side, the race to zero [carbon emissions] would have to be coordinated through control measures—rationing, reallocating, requisitioning, sanctioning, ordering…ecological Leninism leaps at any opportunity to…break with business-as-usual as sharply as required and subject the regions of the economy working towards catastrophe to direct public control. It would mean that “one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part”, to speak with Engels. (pp. 145, 151)

Malm says that “the journey [to an economy along ecological Leninist lines] would obviously be fraught with danger. A state thus expanded could…become bloated.” (p. 167) Nevertheless, he believes the risk worth taking. It is best to leave Malm to his fantasies. I prefer Murray Rothbard to Lenin, and I do not share Malm’s opinion that Theodor Adorno of the Frankfurt school was “the greatest thinker of the twentieth century” (p. 171). Author:

Contact David Gordon

David Gordon is Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and editor of the Mises Review.

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Why the Free Market Liberals Underestimated the Socialists | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 13, 2020

Capitalism gave the world what it needed, a higher standard of living for a steadily increasing number of people. But the liberals, the pioneers and supporters of capitalism, overlooked one essential point. [p. 865] A social system, however beneficial, cannot work if it is not supported by public opinion. They did not anticipate the success of the anticapitalistic propaganda.

It was precisely this fact that the immense majority did contest. The essential point in the teachings of all socialist authors, and especially in the teachings of Marx, is the doctrine that capitalism results in a progressive pauperization of the working masses. With regard to the capitalistic countries the fallacy of this theorem can hardly be ignored.

https://mises.org/wire/why-free-market-liberals-underestimated-socialists?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=a6f6f8b0e5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-a6f6f8b0e5-228343965

Ludwig von Mises

[A selection from Human Action.]

The masses, the hosts of common men, do not conceive any ideas, sound or unsound. They only choose between the ideologies developed by the intellectual leaders of mankind. But their choice is final and determines the course of events. If they prefer bad doctrines, nothing can prevent disaster.

The social philosophy of the Enlightenment failed to see the dangers that the prevalence of unsound ideas could engender. The objections customarily raised against the rationalism of the classical economists and the utilitarian thinkers are vain. But there was one deficiency in their doctrines. They blithely assumed that what is reasonable will carry on merely on account of its reasonableness. They never gave a thought to the possibility that public opinion could favor spurious ideologies whose realization would harm welfare and well-being and disintegrate social cooperation.

It is fashionable today to disparage those thinkers who criticized the liberal philosophers’ faith in the common man. Yet, Burke and Haller, Bonald and de Maistre paid attention to an essential problem which the liberals had neglected. They were more realistic in the appraisal of the masses than their adversaries.

Of course, the conservative thinkers labored under the illusion that the traditional system of paternal government and the rigidity of economic institutions could be preserved. They were full of praise for the ancient regime which had made people prosperous and had even humanized war. But they did not see that it was precisely these achievements that had increased population figures and thus created an excess population for which there was no room left in the old system of economic restrictionism. They shut their eyes to the growth of a class of people which stood outside the pale of the social order they wanted to perpetuate. They failed to suggest any solution to the most burning problem with which mankind had to cope on the eve of the “Industrial Revolution.”

Capitalism gave the world what it needed, a higher standard of living for a steadily increasing number of people. But the liberals, the pioneers and supporters of capitalism, overlooked one essential point. [p. 865] A social system, however beneficial, cannot work if it is not supported by public opinion. They did not anticipate the success of the anticapitalistic propaganda. After having nullified the fable of the divine mission of anointed kings, the liberals fell prey to no less illusory doctrines, to the irresistible power of reason, to the infallibility of the volonté générale and to the divine inspiration of majorities. In the long run, they thought, nothing can stop the progressive improvement of social conditions. In unmasking age-old superstitions the philosophy of the Enlightenment has once and for all established the supremacy of reason. The accomplishments of the policies of freedom will provide such an overwhelming demonstration of the blessings of the new ideology that no intelligent man will venture to question it. And, implied the philosophers, the immense majority of people are intelligent and able to think correctly.

It never occurred to the old liberals that the majority could interpret historical experience on the ground of other philosophies. They did not anticipate the popularity which ideas that they would have called reactionary, superstitious, and unreasonable acquired in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They were so fully imbued with the assumption that all men are endowed with the faculty of correct reasoning that they entirely misconstrued the meaning of the portents. As they saw it, all these unpleasant events were temporary relapses, accidental episodes to which no importance could be attached by the philosopher looking upon mankind’s history sub specie aeternitatis. Whatever the reactionaries might say, there was one fact which they would not be able to deny; namely, that capitalism provided for a rapidly increasing population a steadily improving standard of living.

It was precisely this fact that the immense majority did contest. The essential point in the teachings of all socialist authors, and especially in the teachings of Marx, is the doctrine that capitalism results in a progressive pauperization of the working masses. With regard to the capitalistic countries the fallacy of this theorem can hardly be ignored. With regard to the backward countries, which were only superficially affected by capitalism, the unprecedented increase in population figures does not suggest the interpretation that the masses sink deeper and deeper. These countries are poor when compared with the more advanced countries. Their poverty is the outcome of the rapid growth of population. These peoples have preferred to rear more progeny instead of raising the standard of living to a higher level. That is their own affair. But the fact remains that they had the wealth to prolong the average length of life. It would have been [p. 866] impossible for them to bring up more children if the means of sustenance had not been increased.

Nonetheless not only the Marxians but many allegedly “bourgeois” authors assert that Marx’s anticipation of capitalist evolution has been by and large verified by the history of the last hundred years. [p. 867] Author:

Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises was the acknowledged leader of the Austrian school of economic thought, a prodigious originator in economic theory, and a prolific author. Mises’s writings and lectures encompassed economic theory, history, epistemology, government, and political philosophy. His contributions to economic theory include important clarifications on the quantity theory of money, the theory of the trade cycle, the integration of monetary theory with economic theory in general, and a demonstration that socialism must fail because it cannot solve the problem of economic calculation. Mises was the first scholar to recognize that economics is part of a larger science in human action, a science that he called praxeology.

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Doug Casey on What Happens After The US Election

Posted by M. C. on October 9, 2020

Serious populists, socialists, Marxists, and other authoritarians can pull that off because they’re completely unbound by conventional notions of morality. They sincerely believe the ends justify the means, and nothing is off the table when it comes to gaining and maintaining power. They always say they’re working for the people and invariably promise lots of free stuff. The hoi polloi want to hear that during a crisis—like the one we’re entering.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-what-happens-after-the-us-election/

by Doug Casey

Whenever a really radical group takes over—and the Democrats are serious radicals—they try to cement themselves in power. I’ve explained my reasons for believing the Democrats are going to win, and it only takes a small number of people working as a cadre to do it. I’d like to discuss what happens next.

At the time of the Russian Revolution, the hardcore Bolsheviks only numbered in the hundreds. That was enough to take control of a hundred million Russians and stay in power for 70 years until they totally ran the wheels off the economy.

The same thing happened with Fidel Castro in Cuba. He landed with only 50 or 60 guys, but once he took over the country, his apparatchiks were able to keep control of it.

Serious populists, socialists, Marxists, and other authoritarians can pull that off because they’re completely unbound by conventional notions of morality. They sincerely believe the ends justify the means, and nothing is off the table when it comes to gaining and maintaining power. They always say they’re working for the people and invariably promise lots of free stuff. The hoi polloi want to hear that during a crisis—like the one we’re entering. When things get tumultuous, once they’re in, it’s almost impossible to get them out. Democracy—which is a sham anyway in today’s world—be damned.

If the positions discussed by the twenty final contenders for their presidential nomination are any indication, the Democratic Party has been completely captured by leftists like AOC and her gang of four, who really want to change the very nature of the US. If they win, they’ll be able to do so.

In order to succeed in an American Purple Revolution, they’ll need to cement themselves in place. It takes time for cement to dry. Even though the Republicans are just ineffectual and spineless “me too-ers” with no core beliefs, the Democrats will see there’s no point in letting them regain power.

How will they ensure that? First, it seems almost certain that the Democrats will make both Washington DC and Puerto Rico states; there will then be 104 senators voting—and they will without question be left-leaning Democrats. That will also help assure control of the Electoral College—assuming it’s not abolished—since it will have two more reliably Democratic states. Second, the 20 million undocumented people—illegal aliens—now in the US will undoubtedly be made citizens; they lean heavily toward the Democrats. Third, they’ll expand the size of the Supreme Court and pack it with leftists, so any new laws they pass can’t be challenged effectively.

There could be more, of course. Perhaps they’ll reduce the voting age to 16; such is already the case in Argentina and a growing number of other countries. Young people, especially once they’re freshly indoctrinated by the State schools, always tend to favor socialist ideas. Maybe they’ll even engineer a new Constitutional Convention to change everything. The 2nd Amendment will go, of course, and the rest of the Bill of Rights would be heavily modified. Most of it is already a dead letter—but that would formalize the change once and for all. There will probably be “free” college in order to ensure an extra four years of intense leftist indoctrination for all. State-administered and paid medical care is a sure thing, as well.

These things would cement the Democrats into office for at least a generation. But please don’t think I support the Republicans. That would be like supporting tuberculosis just because it’s better than terminal cancer. Could things get violent? Yes.

There are quite a few examples, and these things can come out of almost nowhere, like the witch hysteria in Salem in the late 17th century. It was completely irrational, of course, and couldn’t have been predicted. But if you argued against the prevailing hysteria, you too could be accused and hung.

Sometimes, these things are ethnic. Look at what happened in Rwanda a generation ago. The Hutus and Tutsis had lived together, more or less amicably, for generations. Then, all of a sudden, a million people were hacked with machetes. The wave blew over, and now things are peaceful again. But if you weren’t out there slaughtering Tutsis during the hysteria, you might be accused of being a sympathizer and be killed yourself.

Sometimes, these things are religious, like the war between Christians and Muslims in Bosnia, or Lebanon, or the Central African Republic—among other places.

Sometimes, conflict is political, like the gang warfare between the National Socialists and Communists in 1920s Germany.

But what the US seems to be facing isn’t so much political, or religious, or ethnic as it is cultural, which is much more serious. The country is on the cusp of a full-blown cultural revolution. It happened during the Terror of the French Revolution. In a short period, perhaps over 20,000 people were murdered, mostly guillotined. Who would have guessed that simple regime change could get so out of control? It did, however, because it wasn’t just a political revolution. It was a cultural revolution, right down to changing the names of the months.

It famously happened in Russia in 1917, when the Bolsheviks succeeded in changing the basic structure of society. And it happened in Cambodia in the late 1970s with Pol Pot, when a quarter of the population was murdered. Who would have thought that even possible in modern times? That was also a cultural revolution against the educated and essentially anyone who wasn’t a peasant.

Of course, the mother of all social convulsions was Maoist China’s Great Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. The whole country, or at least what looked like the whole country, was bamboozled into overthrowing what they called the Four Olds—old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas. It went on for ten years, killed perhaps two million people, and destroyed the lives of tens of millions more.

Right now, the same meme is spreading in the US. Absolutely anything could happen after the November election, no matter who wins. But with the serious financial, economic, and social problems the US is facing, authoritarians will know how to use them to their own advantage.

The people promoting a US cultural revolution aren’t getting much resistance. The old regime—the conservatives, the Republicans—are totally intimidated. They’ve been brainwashed into accepting the righteousness of the Left’s cultural, political, economic, and social agendas. They don’t like it, but they sheepishly accept it. The schools, the NGOs, corporations, Hollywood, and the media are completely controlled by leftists and have inculcated their notions into society.

This is a real problem. When these things get out of control, the consequences can be genuinely terrible. Trends in motion tend to stay in motion—and this one is even accelerating.

America was unique among the world’s countries because it was founded on the premise of individualism and capitalism, free minds, and free markets. More than any other country, it’s lived up to those ideals.

But these people don’t want just a change of government; they want to overturn the actual things that have made America—America. There’s no other place to go once America goes.

Where can you run? In fact, the whole world is moving in the same direction.

That’s really dangerous because the president has a lot of power, including the power to make several thousand direct appointees with immense influence. Trump has been very unsuccessful in all his appointments. Most of them turn on him viciously. He might as well have picked random names out of the telephone directory. The Democrats, however, can be counted on to plug in fully vetted idealogues.

If Biden wins, he’ll probably get the Senate and the House, too. The Democrats will get a vast array of programs and departments approved. The changes will be much more radical than either Roosevelt’s New Deal or Johnson’s Great Society. Taxes will skyrocket, along with unlimited money in a world of Modern Monetary Theory. The US will get a makeover. America will cease to exist.

I don’t know how the red areas of the country will react if/when the Dems win. They’re culturally conservative, so I doubt there will be serious counterviolence. But if Trump does wind up in office, after a seriously contested election, we can count on more Portlands and Kenoshas. A domestic version of the leftist saying during the ’60s: “Two, three, many Vietnams.” It’s really serious.

The consequences of the Greater Depression will go far beyond a simple bear market. If Trump does win, no doubt the Republicans will crack down on the country in an attempt to keep order. The Dems will have cause to say they were right about his dictatorial tendencies. Then, assuming we have an election in ’24, we’ll certainly get a leftist Democrat in office.

On the (kind of) bright side, gold will go a lot higher. So will Bitcoin, partly because FX controls will be installed. And the next financial bubble will be in gold mining stocks. They’re very cheap right now; those in production are coining money. Ten-to-one shots will be thick underfoot. Buy them now, so you have the capital to insulate yourself from the bad things to come.

Then it’s game over for the Old America. Even if we don’t have an actual civil war.

Editor’s Note: Right now, the US is the most polarized it has been since the Civil War. 

If you’re wondering what comes next, then you’re not alone.

The political, economic, and social implications of the 2020 vote will impact all of us.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The Day After—How to Prepare for What’s Coming After the 2020 Election

That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released this urgent new video about how to prepare for what comes next. Click here to watch it now.

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America’s Riots Are Just the Latest Version of Marxist “Syndicalism” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 29, 2020

At the root of the chaos and upheaval on our streets is an attempt at disrupting society and taking more control of it by Marxists, socialists, and “anarchists.”

The fundamental error that syndicalism makes is to think that entrepreneurs and capitalists are “irresponsible autocrats” free to pursue their personal agenda. The reality is that business leaders must follow the interests of consumers in order to further their self-interest in making profits. They have to find correct prices, production levels, and correct means of production. These things are determined by entrepreneurs with various types of feedback from the marketplace.

The riots, looting, and violence against people and their property is mostly motivated to achieve Marxist ideals via syndicalist activity (i.e., violence).

https://mises.org/wire/americas-riots-are-just-latest-version-marxist-syndicalism?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=bdc838c443-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_08_28_02_44&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-bdc838c443-228343965

The year 2020 is one of the most disrupted times in at least the last half century, maybe longer. Global protests and riots, the covid-19 virus, lockdowns, and police killings of unarmed citizens. Add to that widespread rioting, looting, arson, homelessness, and destruction of property, including the tearing down of statues. This chaos in the streets is being facilitated by mayors, governors, and police chiefs who are unwilling to enforce the law.

The great Ludwig von Mises included a discussion of “syndicalism” in chapter 33 of his Human Action: A Treatise on Economics. Most people have never heard or read of this concept, but it is highly relevant to the situation we find ourselves in today. Mises’s analysis is even more important for understanding and fixing some of the most important problems we face today. In general, I define syndicalism as being able to do whatever you want at the expense of others.

In part, it represents the ideas of French philosopher, Georges Sorel, who thought relentless violence should be used against the institutions of capitalism. This would include the “general strike” so familiar in Europe to this day. This is in direct contrast to mutually beneficial exchange and the social cooperation of the division of labor. His ideas were influential with Marxists, fascists, Nazis, and advocates of unionism.

A Key Chapter in Mises’s Human Action

When I first tried to read Human Action, I found it extremely difficult. I ended up skipping entire chapters and reading through others without understanding the material. Chapter 33 is a good example of that. Today, reading the book is much easier, because we now have things like Jeff Deist’s Human Action Podcast, which now contains a series of interviews on the book, and Robert Murphy’s Study Guide to Human Action: A Treatise on Economics.

In the 1990s I taught a course in Austrian economics at Auburn University, an advanced undergraduate course. It was listed in the catalog next to the econometric and mathematical economics classes. I spent classes reviewing chapters, but the most difficult aspect was trying to relate Mises’s words and concepts to current events. Due to time constraints, I never covered chapter 33.

Fast-forward to more recent times. The Rothbard Graduate Seminar reviews Human Action every few years along with Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State and other selections during other years. I have always been assigned to teach a section of chapters at the end of the book which includes chapter 33. Once again, due to time constraints and my perceived view of its relevancy, I have decided to skip the chapter. That is, until this year.

What Is Syndicalism?

So, what is syndicalism? Political syndicalism is direct violent revolutionary action against the institutions of capitalism, such as security forces, property, particularly business property, and the rule of law. This approach is often adopted by Marxists, socialists, and fascists as a means of gaining power. At the root of the chaos and upheaval on our streets is an attempt at disrupting society and taking more control of it by Marxists, socialists, and “anarchists.”

The fundamental error that syndicalism makes is to think that entrepreneurs and capitalists are “irresponsible autocrats” free to pursue their personal agenda. The reality is that business leaders must follow the interests of consumers in order to further their self-interest in making profits. They have to find correct prices, production levels, and correct means of production. These things are determined by entrepreneurs with various types of feedback from the marketplace.

The riots, looting, and violence against people and their property is mostly motivated to achieve Marxist ideals via syndicalist activity (i.e., violence). Those employing these means include Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and especially the “anarchist provocateurs” who adeptly turn peaceful protests into violent riots. Of course, there is also some violence on the right, some of which I witness on the campus of Auburn University. But in either case, with mayors, governors, and police chiefs restraining and even defunding the police, the violence often goes unchecked.

The Other Type of Syndicalism

This use of the word “syndicalism” should not be confused with the better-known syndicalism as a social system, which is an alternative to socialist central planning. This system in theory would give workers control over the industries in which they work. They would make the decisions on things entrepreneurs decide in the market, such as wage rates, benefits, hours, production, etc. The workers can do anything they want at the expense of others. But if everyone is raising their prices and reducing output, how can anyone gain from the arrangement? Both forms of syndicalism ultimately rest on the Marxist notions that entrepreneurs and capitalists exploit labor and have no real purpose worth rewarding. Obviously, each industry would want higher wages, higher prices, shorter working hours, and this would result in lower output. Raw material prices increase and get passed on to consumer goods industries, which must pass those increases on to the consumer along with their own increases. This happens across the entire economy. As a result, production plummets and prices become unhinged from market prices. The “economy” would collapse if syndicalism were attempted on an economywide basis.

Democracy Fails to Provide a Solution

With democracy and voting and the military not likely or viable options, an individualist option must be developed to solve the problem. People are arming themselves in various ways. They are using various security devices like cameras and stronger locks. Businesses are hiring security firms and protecting storefront windows. Others are simply moving from cities to the suburbs and beyond. Don’t expect government to solve the problem, although more secessionism and decentralization would surely help.

Author:

Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Thanks Socialists: Venezuela Refugee Crisis to Become the Largest in Modern History

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/12/thanks-socialists-venezuela-refugee.html

Thanks Socialists: Venezuela Refugee Crisis to Become the Largest in Modern History

The Venezuelan refugee crisis is about to surpass the scale of the Syrian crisis.

According to Hearts on Venezuela, as 2019 comes to a close, four years since the start of the Venezuelan socialist-caused humanitarian crisis, 4.6 million Venezuelans have fled the country, about 16 percent of the population. The figure is strikingly similar to the 4.8 million people that had fled Syria by 2015, four years into the massive forced displacement crisis there.

The Venezuelan refugee crisis is one of the largest in modern history, and, if current trends continue, there could be as many as 6.5 million Venezuelans living outside of the country by 2020 (based on estimates from the U.N. Refugee Agency)—far outpacing the speed of displacement seen in Syria.

Socialism, in terms of a successful economy, can’t exist  (SEE: Hayek Explains Why Socialism is Impossible).

RW

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Doug Casey on What Happens When Socialists Win Elections

Posted by M. C. on November 8, 2019

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-what-happens-when-socialists-win-elections/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Earlier this year, it became apparent a socialist would win Argentina’s presidential election.

The Argentine peso lost 30% of its value in a single day. The same day, in US dollar terms, the value of the Argentine stock market was cut in half.

Doug, you spend a lot of time in Argentina and the Southern Cone. What’s your take on the situation? Is Argentina headed for another currency collapse?

Doug Casey: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected vice president and Alberto Fernández was elected president in the October 27 election. They basically destroyed the incumbent Mauricio Macri.

It’s a real pity because Macri is a decent human being whose heart was is in the right place politically and economically. But he was too timid. He did too little too late. Typical of “conservatives” everywhere, he didn’t make a moral argument to the populace. He made no effort to pull the corrupt fascist welfare state out by its roots, explaining why it’s destructive and why the state is the cause, not the cure, of the country’s problems. Instead, he just made some marginal improvements around the edges, and made things more comfortable for the Peronists now that they’re back in office.

And—since he’s associated with the free market—he actually discredited the free market.

In any event, Argentina is going back into the toilet. Who knows what kind of new stupidities, in addition to the usual old stupidities, the two Fernándezes are going to impose upon the country?

On the bright side—but only for tourists—Argentina is one of the cheapest countries in the world right now. That’s because the currency has collapsed. Good news for tourists and foreign speculators but a disaster for Argentines, most of whom have all their savings and earn their salaries in the increasingly worthless peso.

If you’re a long-term believer in Argentina or if you want to enjoy a great lifestyle, now’s the time to go shopping there. Real estate is at bargain levels again. There’s really no bid for a lot of properties. In Buenos Aires an apartment costs 5–10% of its equivalent in New York or London.

Things are definitely in crisis in Argentina. But the fact is that just about every other country in the world is heading in the wrong direction—at a faster or slower rate—certainly including the United States, Canada, and countries in western Europe. The socialists, the fascists, and the jingoists are in the ascendant all over the world.

There are many reasons for this. One is that Marxist-oriented professors have been indoctrinating the younger generation in high school and college for decades. The left has totally taken over educational systems everywhere. The average person has been inculcated with perverse and destructive ideas about economics, politics, philosophy, and ethics from roughly age 6 to age 22. It’s hard to get these things out of their heads once they’ve learned them in their youth.

Also, remember that, especially since the end of the 19th century, “democracy”—really just a polite form of mob rule—has been the world’s ruling ideology. It’s resulted in the politicization of all areas of society. When every parliament or legislature in the world meets, they believe it’s not just their right but their duty to pass new laws. And that’s idiotically applauded as a good thing by the hoi polloi. Those laws tell you what you must do and what you must not do and designate penalties if you don’t obey. And all that legislation, which accrues like barnacles on a ship’s hull, has to be paid for with taxes.

Fortunately, science and technology are still advancing at the rate of Moore’s Law. Unfortunately, the world is degenerating politically at about the same rate. Argentina is not an aberration from that point of view. It’s just a generation or so “ahead” of the United States in sliding down the slippery slope.

That said, it’s more important than ever that you have a crib in a second country, no matter where you live—because anything can happen anywhere. If you can afford it and are able to do so, you should have a backup plan someplace else in the world…

Over the coming decade, governments and their central banks are going to destroy their national currencies. The average guy—if he’s able to save at all—saves in dollars, euros, or yen, etc. He’s going to be wiped out.

The rich will continue to get richer, because they stand next to the fire hose of money being created. The middle and lower classes resent the politically favoured classes getting more. The middle and bottom levels of society could see real social upset, with catastrophic political ramifications.

It’s one of the reasons the odds favor Trump losing in 2020. I say that as someone who bet that he’d win in 2016. If the economy gets ugly, you’re going to get one of these absolutely crazy socialists or welfare statists that we see lined up on the Democratic debate stage. The best case is that somebody like Bloomberg—basically kind of a mellower Trump—steps in for the Democrats.

On the off chance that Trump wins in 2020, then the storm is going to definitely break during his next administration. That guarantees that the crazy Democrats—which is to say the socialists, radical welfarites, and cultural Marxists—are going to win in the next election. The conflict in basic belief systems between the Red and Blue counties is so acrid and radical—it’s the kind atmosphere you see before a civil war.

Who knows what either the Red or Blue people will do? They’re capable of absolutely anything. None of it good. I don’t see a way out.

But let’s go back to Argentina for a minute. As I said, the US is only about a generation behind the Argentines, and the Argentine electorate has been totally corrupted. The place is a blueprint for where the United States is going.

The US’s size, accumulated capital, and the productivity of its people have insulated it from a lot of the stupid things its government and the Fed have done. But if the US destroys its currency—and it’s well on the way to doing so—it will be much worse than when the Argentines destroy their currency.

Argentines have hundreds of billions of dollars stored abroad in foreign banks. When the Argentine peso collapses, that money can be brought into Argentina to pick up the bargains and bring capital into the country to get things going again.

If the US dollar is destroyed, however, it will be completely different.

First, the dollar is the major asset of most banks all around the world. It’s actually the world’s currency. If the dollar goes, it’s going to destroy their balance sheets.

Second, people all over the world who have foreign bank accounts generally save in dollars. They’re going to be devastated.

Third, Americans don’t have a lot of money abroad to bring back into the country to get things going again. In fact, the US government has made it quite hard for the average American to diversify internationally.

Fourth, the major US export for decades hasn’t been wheat or Boeings. It’s been dollars. The foreign trade deficit of $600 billion per year has given Americans an artificially high standard of living for many years. Nice foreigners give us real goods in exchange for fiat dollars. When confidence in the dollar collapses, Americans will feel it.

So, it’s going to be extremely serious when the chickens come home to roost this time. It’s a consequence of what the Federal Reserve is doing to the dollar. They’re inflating it—but they call that “Quantitative Easing.”…

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Socialists Want To Destroy the Family – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/michael-s-rozeff/socialists-want-to-destroy-the-family/

By

A previous blog suggested and made some arguments that congressional policies pushed by Democrats and democratic socialists are achieving the destruction of the family. Statistics on family breakdown, drug use, divorce, single-parent families, out-of-wedlock births, struggling and poor single-parent families, higher crime and delinquency from progeny of fatherless families, and dropout levels of children of single-parent families all attest to the destruction of stable nuclear families.

One factor explaining this is the welfare state. The deterioration of families coincides with its presence and expansion.

Is this what leftists and socialists wanted and still want? Do they intend to enact legislation to destroy the family? Or are they mistaken in thinking that their legislation helps people and in overlooking the actual effects? Or are both intent and blind ignorance operating together?

Motivations are a more difficult thing to ascertain, hidden as they are. One source is what the socialist intelligentsia say. A first example of socialist thinking is the article “Love and Socialism” (Feb. 13, 2018). It’s explicit:

“The end of the family as a social and economic unit will form the basis of free love, where people will be able to enter and exit relationships at their will and without fear of economic consequences. It will form the basis of equality between men and women, and remove the structural imperative of gender roles. It will open society up for love as expansive comradeship rather than as private possession.”

Even as the welfare state destroys the family, an alternative philosophy of free love is on the rise to replace it. Lew Rockwell has a 1998 article on this subject, and he refers to the pathbreaking work by Mises titled “Socialism”:

“Proposals to transform the relations between the sexes have long gone hand in hand with plans for the socialization of the means of production. Marriage is to disappear along with private property…Socialism promises not only welfare-wealth for all-but universal happiness in love as well.”

Trotsky, a major communist/socialist, had this to say in 1937 in his book Revolution Betrayed:

“The revolution made a heroic effort to destroy the so-called ‘family hearth’ — that archaic, stuffy and stagnant institution in which the woman of the toiling classes performs galley labor from childhood to death. The place of the family as a shut-in petty enterprise was to be occupied, according to the plans, by a finished system of social care and accommodation: maternity houses, creches, kindergartens, schools, social dining rooms, social laundries, first-aid stations, hospitals, sanatoria, athletic organizations, moving-picture theaters, etc. The complete absorption of the housekeeping functions of the family by institutions of the socialist society, uniting all generations in solidarity and mutual aid, was to bring to woman, and thereby to the loving couple, a real liberation from the thousand-year-old fetters.”

What this means is that the state controls the raising of children through social institutions. The family becomes an empty shell….

Socialism 2019, a conference of radical socialists had an anti-family panel:

“Transgenderism, gender nonconformity, and abolishing traditional family structures were huge issues at Socialism 2019.

“One panel, ‘Social Reproduction Theory and Gender Liberation,’ addressed how the traditional family structure reinforced capitalism and contended that the answer was to simply abolish families.

“Corrie Westing, a self-described ‘queer socialist feminist activist based in Chicago working as a home-birth midwife,’ argued that traditional family structures propped up oppression and that the modern transgender movement plays a critical part in achieving true ‘reproductive justice.’”

The conclusion is warranted that socialist philosophy, expressed by socialist intellectuals, aims to destroy the traditional family. When the welfare state causes family deterioration and amplifies the role of the state, far from this bothering these thinkers, they understand it as helping to achieve their goal.

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FALSE: Hillary Clinton Said the Role of the State Is to ...

 

 

 

 

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Why Male Soccer Players Make More Than Female Soccer Players

Posted by M. C. on July 12, 2019

The women are actually paid proportionally more than the men, however — 13% versus 9% of total revenues.

Few understand that everything is a function of some sort of economics.

Will I mow the lawn or watch the big game? Which is more valuable at this particular time? That is an economic decision. The commodity is personal time, a high value item.

According to this and other places we have read women’s soccer is light years away from mens soccer in how people want to spend their personal time and money.

Unfortunately for Megan Rapinoe’s paycheck women’s soccer is not as valuable a commodity as some other things.

I have no data but this does not seem to be the case in women’s tennis or golf, at least complaints don’t seem so prevalent.

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/07/why-male-soccer-players-make-more-than.html

By Thomas DiLorenzo

A stadium full of French socialists chanted “Equal Pay!  Equal Pay!” after the U.S. women won the World Cup over the weekend.  They were supporting the complaints of perpetually-angry-and-complaining Megan Rapinoe, the star of the U.S. women’s soccer team, about how the women are paid less than the men.
A little elementary economics can help explain why Megan is way out in left field on this.  In a competitive market economy world one’s pay is correlated with one’s marginal productivity.  That’s an economics term for how much you, as an employee, contribute to your employer’s profits.  The more skilled, experienced, educated, and hard working you are, the higher is your marginal productivity and your value to employers.  An important element of this is what the product or service is that you are involved in producing.  If there is strong consumer demand for the product or service, then your services in producing it will be worth more to employers.  I could be the best horse-and-buggy whip maker in history, but if there is slight demand for horse-and-buggy whips I won’t make much money.
Now, back to soccer.  In the last men’s world cup event in Russia, revenues, mostly from television, were about $6 billion.  For the recent women’s world cup they are estimated to be about $131 million, a small fraction of the men’s revenues (a little less than one-fiftieth).  Orders of magnitude more people watch men’s soccer than women’s soccer.  Compared to men’s soccer, hardly anyone cares about women’s soccer.   The women are actually paid proportionally more than the men, however — 13% versus 9% of total revenues.

 

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Black Markets Show How Socialists Can’t Overturn Economic Laws | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/black-markets-show-how-socialists-cant-overturn-economic-laws

If we consider economics to be an objective science, its rules should also have universal significance and use, despite differences in societal order. However, socialists of the materialist camp are committed to the idea that common ownership of the means of production would change the way economic laws unfold under socialism. Basically, they reject the notion of the universality and objectivity of economic rules by suggesting that the laws would change along with a change to the social formation.

Thus, communists adhered to the Marxian idea that socialism would rectify a “surplus value” law, end the “exploitation” of workers, and efficiently regulate the production, distribution, and consumption aspects of the economy. They sought to eliminate the market regulatory mechanism and replace it with directives of the central planning authority. Bolsheviks enthusiastically got down to business: they eradicated private property, collectivized everything and everyone, and implemented an official planned economy.

Did it effectively turn off market relations as they thought it would?

No. In contrast to the common perception, socialism has been unable to kill the market economy. The market went underground and turned into a black market. Black markets existed in capitalist countries as well, but they worked underground because they dealt in illegal commodities and services. The black market under socialism served the same purpose, but the list of commodities and services included mostly items of everyday and innocent consumption that people under capitalism could easily purchase in stores. Virtually all groups of personal consumption products found their way to the black market at some time and in some places. Everything from jar lids to toilet paper was subject to black-market relations.

Despite the proclaimed planned economy, people were engaged in market relations on all levels and trusted more the price of the goods and services that were established by the market and not dictated by the government. The official exchange rate of the ruble to the dollar was 0.66 to 1 in 1980. But nobody except party nomenclature was able to enjoy such a favorable exchange rate. At the same time, the black market offered 4 rubles for 1 American dollar.

There was no production of jeans in the Soviet Union, but like all their peers abroad, Soviet youth wore jeans. The price was 180–250 rubles for a pair depending on the brand, which was almost twice as much as the monthly wage of an entry-level engineer. A visiting nurse charged 1 ruble for one injection if a patient lived below the fifth floor. The price reached 1.5 rubles for patients who lived on the fifth floor and up. A plumber happily repaired a faucet for just a bottle of vodka.

Two Prices for Everything

Therefore, in the Soviet Union, any significant goods had two price tags: one real and another virtual. The state set the first price through some obscure methods; the usual mechanism of supply and demand established the second price on the market. If you were lucky, after several hours of standing in a queue, you could purchase goods at the state price. However, due to the chronic lack of everything for everyone, the same product could be bought on the black market at a much higher price. The virtual price became real on the black market and reflected the actual value of the goods for the buyer. The presence of two price tags is a confirmation of the thesis of Ludwig von Mises regarding the impossibility of economic calculations under socialism. At the same time, this is proof of the immortality and immutability of the economic laws of the free market, even under a totalitarian regime. Therefore, two economic systems and two sets of prices co-exist under socialism…

Socialism is a set of systems that try to artificially inhibit the free flow of objective economic laws by creating subjective barriers in the form of specific legislation and punitive policies. Socialists mistakenly think that if they assault private property and market relations, the economic laws will also change. They have taken up the task which, in principle, has no rational solution. Nothing good comes from the idea of ignoring or violating the fundamental laws of economics. These laws still exist, regardless of opinions and neglect to recognize their real character and the impossibility of changing them.

Socialism disrupts the evolutionary process and leads society to a dead end. The desperate economic situation of ordinary folks in Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea — the remnants of socialist undertakings — is a direct result of building a society in defiance of the natural action of the fundamental law of economics. As a rule, socialist regimes were buying time by employing slave labor, plunder, coercion, and everything else that an aggressive totalitarian regime could offer. However, in the end, the means of socialistic life support was exhausted, and than returning to the natural and healthy market relations, where the laws of economics work for the benefit of the human race.

The same laws of market economics have worked in different human societies: from pre-historic to post-industrial, but still socialists continue to entertain the idea of tampering with these forces of nature.

 

 

 

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Dear Socialists: The People HAVE Seized the Means of Production… Using Capitalism.

Posted by M. C. on February 13, 2019

The government is what is standing in the way of the people fully seizing the means of production. Not the capitalists…

https://www.grnewsletters.com/archive/thedailybell_newswire/Dear-Socialists-The-People-HAVE-Seized-the-Means-of-Production-Using-Capitalism-656599203.html?e=&u=S6bT5&s=oHMPjb

By Joe Jarvis

The proletariat did not have to seize the means of production in a violent socialist coup.

Capitalism handed the means of production to the workers voluntarily.

And it did so for a profit.

We traded violent destructive revolution for peaceful productive markets… and accomplished more than socialism could ever imagine. And we are just getting started.

Socialists have long seen injustice in the fact that the workers who do the labor don’t get to keep the entire product of their labor.

And capitalists have responded by claiming that providing the means of production and organization entitle them, not the workers, to the profits.

But the entire argument is moot.

Production costs have dropped so low that basically anyone can accumulate the capital to launch an independent endeavor.

And that has revealed that it was never really about the capital…

Socialists are right about one thing: labor is the main driver behind production.

Unfortunately, they fail to see the value in the labor of the capitalists and managers.

Allocating capital to productive endeavors takes skillful labor. Organizing and running a business takes skillful labor. That’s why most new businesses fail.

But any worker who has these skills can now buck their capitalist overlords, seize their own means of production, and the socialist revolution is complete…

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