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Free Minds & Free Markets

Sorry If You're Offended, but Socialism Leads to Misery and Destitution

Socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence.

On the same day that Venezuela's "democratically" elected socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, whose once-wealthy nation now has citizens foraging for food, announced he was lopping five zeros off the country's currency to create a "stable financial and monetary system," Meghan McCain of The View was the target of internet-wide condemnation for having stated some obvious truths about collectivism.

During the same week we learned that the democratic socialist president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, is accused of massacring hundreds of protesters whose economic futures have been decimated by his economic policies, Soledad O'Brien and writers at outlets ranging from GQ, to BuzzFeed, to the Daily Beast were telling McCain to cool her jets.

In truth, McCain was being far too calm. After all, socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence. Whether implemented by a mob or a single strongman, collectivism is a poverty generator, an attack on human dignity and a destroyer of individual rights.

It's true that not all socialism ends in the tyranny of Leninism or Stalinism or Maoism or Castroism or Ba'athism or Chavezism or the Khmer Rouge—only most of it does. And no, New York primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't intend to set up gulags in Alaska. Most so-called democratic socialists—the qualifier affixed to denote that they live in a democratic system and have no choice but to ask for votes—aren't consciously or explicitly endorsing violence or tyranny. But when they adopt the term "socialism" and the ideas associated with it, they deserve to be treated with the kind of contempt and derision that all those adopting authoritarian philosophies deserve.

But look: Norway!

Socialism is perhaps the only ideology that Americans are asked to judge solely based on its piddling "successes." Don't you dare mention Albania or Algeria or Angola or Burma or Congo or Cuba or Ethiopia or Laos or Somalia or Vietnam or Yemen or, well, any other of the dozens of other inconvenient places socialism has been tried. Not when there are a handful of Scandinavian countries operating generous welfare-state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism and natural resources.

Of course, socialism exists on a spectrum, and even if we accept that the Nordic social-program experiments are the most benign iteration of collectivism, they are certainly not the only version. Pretending otherwise would be like saying, "The police state of Singapore is more successful than Denmark. Let's give it a spin."

It turns out, though, that the "Denmark is awesome!" talking point is only the second most preposterous one used by socialists. It goes something like this: If you're a fan of "roads, schools, libraries and such," although you may not even be aware of it, you are also a supporter of socialism.

This might come as a surprise to some, but every penny of the $21,206 spent in Ocasio-Cortez's district each year on each student, rich or poor, is provided with the profits derived from capitalism. There is no welfare system, no library that subsists on your good intentions. Having the state take over the entire health care system could rightly be called a socialistic endeavor, but pooling local tax dollars to put books in a building is called local government.

It should also be noted that today's socialists get their yucks by pretending collectivist policies only lead to innocuous outcomes like local libraries. But for many years they were also praising the dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the nation's most successful socialist, isn't merely impressed with the goings-on in Denmark. Not very long ago, he lauded Hugo Chavez's Venezuela as an embodiment of the "American dream," even more so than the United States.

Socialists like to blame every inequity, the actions of every greedy criminal, every downturn and every social ill on the injustice of capitalism. But none of them admit that capitalism has been the most effective way to eliminate poverty in history. Today, in former socialist states like India, there have been big reductions in poverty thanks to increased capitalism. In China, where communism sadly still deprives more than a billion people of their basic rights, hundreds of millions benefit from a system that is slowly shedding socialism. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the extreme poverty rate in the world has been cut in half. And it didn't happen because Southeast Asians were raising the minimum wage.

In the United States, only 5 percent of people are even aware that poverty has fallen in the world, according to the Gapminder Foundation, which is almost certainly in part due to the left's obsession with "inequality" and normalization of "socialism." Nearly half of American millennials would rather live in a socialist society than in a capitalist one, according to a YouGov poll. That said, only 71 percent of those asked were able to properly identify either. We can now see the manifestation of this ignorance in our elections and The View co-host Joy Behar.

But if all you really champion are some higher taxes and more generous social welfare, stop associating yourself with a philosophy that usually brings destitution and death. Call it something else. If not, McCain has every right to associate you with the ideology you embrace.

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  • Iheartskeet||

    Once again, a superb Harsanyi piece. Damn that was good.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Except for admitting to watching the View.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I give him extra credit for subjecting himself to that in the name of journalism. Its downright heroic.

  • Grabthar's Hammer||

    Like downtown Beirut on Free Crack Night.

  • Peryno||

    He watches it so we don't have to.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I'm surprised Reason hasn't put a disclaimer on all his pieces disavowing his views yet like they have with Stossel.

    It's probably just a matter of time though!

  • Iheartskeet||

    On Stossel, I wonder if its some legal thing, as he has (apparently) some kind of separate production company.

    Thats the non-cynical view.

    I know better though.

  • MasterThief||

    They don't technically disavow his views, but it does read that way when so much of the editorializing here runs counter to the arguments Stossel makes. It's sad that I was so surprised to read this seemingly boilerplate libertarian article on a site that is supposed to be ideologically libertarian.

  • marshaul||

    They don't technically disavow his views, but it does read that way when so much of the editorializing here runs counter to the arguments Stossel makes. It's sad that I was so surprised to read this seemingly boilerplate libertarian article on a site that is supposed to be ideologically libertarian.

    Literally every single person I've heard voice this meme here isn't remotely libertarian.

    Do you think you're going to coopt the word the way that socialists coopted the word "liberal"?

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Flinch||

    Could it be that Stossel himself demands that, as a means to stay independant and not get curtailed elsewhere? I wonder if he doesn't like to hang his hat on just one hook, given his experience of being professionally marginalized at a certain network years ago... for making too much sense while appealing to the public. The progs can't stand that sort of thing, I note.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He's showing up here pretty sparsely lately. Doesn't mesh with the narrative.

  • Mark22||

    Except for the part where he gave Meghan McCain any credence.

  • Iheartskeet||

    WTF ? He simply pointed out that she was correct. Which is true. Jeez dude, chill.

  • Mark22||

    She's neither correct nor wrong; she's simply posturing. Why associate someone like her with a serious political point?

  • Iheartskeet||

    He's not "associating" with her, he's merely using her as a jumping off point for an article, because, you know, MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WATCH THE VIEW.

    McCain isn't the most eloquent critic of socialism, but I don't see the View inviting Thomas Sowell to co-host anytime soon. You go to battle with the army you have, etc etc.

    You're being awfully petty.

  • DajjaI||

    The next election will be a referendum on socialism vs Trumpkinism, and it will be great fun to watch. It really will be epic. I think we're finally getting to the nugget of politics. Why doesn't socialism work? Basically the problem is that it only amplifies all the faults and foibles of human nature. For example if we had socialized medicine, then everyone would get diagnosed with 'autism' or 'depression' or one of many such fake debilitating diseases and no one work (except for me of course, and maybe Mangu-Ward). Why does it work in Scandinavia? Because they are not suckers to our propaganda. UK is falling big time for 'mental illness' nonsense. If you visited recently you will see what I mean. (Also have you seen the latest opiate addiction campaign? Oh man.)

    Also many people think the bible supports socialism. It doesn't. It's very capitalistic (both old and new testament) and I'm happy to have this discussion. Yes there are lots of calls to help the orphan and widow. But otherwise you spend charity on yourself and your clan, first hand, and freely as your heart wills.

  • DajjaI||

    And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household. - Deuteronomy 14:26

    Another problem with socialism is they lose their sense of humor as they become more radicalized. This will become increasingly obvious and will be a source of great delight. The fake video about AOC is a perfect example - they all thought it was real and demanded it be retracted. The calls for censorship and a gulag (which they will call sensitivity education programs) will start up soon enough. Don't overreact. Just ridicule mercilessly.

  • mpercy||

    For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

  • Trollificus||

    OMG! I wondered what the folks at "The Truth" organization would do if smoking decreased enough to effect their budget, now I know. Great plan to give this bizarrely-named group of expert liars, msirepresenters and abusers of statistics the opiod campaign so they can keep their jobs. No WONDER there's a crisis, soon to be followed by a "War on...". Gotta keep that budget up, only this one won't be paid for by a huge punitive settlement imposed on the dealers.

  • albo||

    The more often that Brooklyn bartender goes on TV and tells people that the Democrats want to enact massive social welfare programs, the more likely it's going to be a problem for the Democrats. She's is making them the party of socialism now. The GOP needs to keep that meme going through the fall.

  • NashTiger||

    She Guevara

  • perlchpr||

    *applause*

  • Flinch||

    I like Approximately Cortez, but... your idea is better.

  • ||

    HERnan Cortez?

  • Fmontyr||

    She is well advanced over the gutter policies of the right. There is no GOP, only the disaster of Trumpism.

  • woodNfish||

    Yes, it is terrible to have almost a 5% growth in GDP, jobs and help wanted signs everywhere you look, the government stealing less of my money, fewer job-killing fascist regulations. Yeah, just terrible!

  • Dizzle||

    It works in scandanavia because the entire regions population is about equal to nyc and los Angeles combined. The energy, healthcare, and this tax needs in those 2 cities eclipse those of all of scandanavia combined.

  • mjerryfuerst||

    The Bible predates the words "socialism" and "capitalism"
    Any belief the Bible supports or opposes the then non-existent concepts is absurd

  • Fmontyr||

    Right on! The bible is just a book of stories, nothing else.

  • IndependentTexan||

    In Matthew we are commanded by Jesus to care for the least of those among us. Nowhere in Matthew (or any other book) does Jesus suggest we should outsource this obligation to Caesar.

    Giving voluntarily to the poor, infirmed, elderly or imprisoned or to organizations that help them (or rolling up your own sleeves to help the poor with your own labor) are most definitely blessed activities. Paying taxes to avoid serving prison time (and then watching your expropriated money used first to pay the overhead of a corrupt oversight bureaucracy that then allocates what's left in a corrupt manner) is most definitely not blessed.

  • tzx4||

    The Sermon on the Mount is pretty damning towards current right wing (self proclaimed) Christians.

  • JesseAz||

    Jesus never told his followers to "let the government handle that" or "make others do it at the barrel of the gun." He was kind of about free choice.

  • IndependentTexan||

    tzx4, you are so right. So much of Jesus' teachings are perfectly targeted at today's incarnation of the Pharisees: those showy, in-your-face Christians who moralize against everyone else's flaws but cannot see their own, let alone would acknowledge it.

    I'm a Christian because I know to my core that I am sinful, and could not possibly do the right things without God the Father (the source of love), God the Son (the exemplar of love), and God the Holy Spirit (the love for others that is available to believers).

  • Agammamon||

    That's kind of sad, really.

  • mpercy||

    "In Matthew we are commanded by Jesus to care for the least of those among us. Nowhere in Matthew (or any other book) does Jesus suggest we should outsource this obligation to Caesar."

    Nor does Jesus ever advocate forcing your neighbors to pay for your care (or anyone else's) at the point of a gun.

  • Flinch||

    The human connection is the thing. Outsourcing charity to government breaks that connection, and leads to using committees to pick our neighbors pockets. Legal theft is a corruption that leads to social implosion, seems to me.
    How the modern church laid down in silence to allow the conflation of legal theft with charity is flat out amazing - they had to throw their own scripture on the ash heap to do it, which probably explains dwindling attendance. Here's what is not being preached at all costs today: "...if any would not work, neither should he eat". [Note it does not say "could not", which is a different subject completely - "would not" implies a choice made by the able bodied]. You would think a full repudiation of socialism would emerge from that, but no.

  • ||

    You realize that Scandinavia has put great effort into not being socialist the last decade? They still have socialist rules and ethos, but they have come a long way.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I have come to the conclusion that "socialism" is a magic word because communism came of age in a secretive society that had been so backwards and primitive that any industrialization seemed like a miracle, whereas Fascism and Nazism were in "civilized" countries so the disaster was obvious. Communism was fighting both Nazis and the remnants of the Tsar, so of course it seemed more heroic. All the Communist deaths were hidden away; the Nazi death camps were exposed due to the glorious Communists fighting for survival against great odds.

    Never mind that Stalin divided Poland with Hitler; Russia was the underdog and it made their glorious socialist achievement all the more impressive.

    And so on.

    People are pretty damned stupid when educated by government schools.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The Intellectual Left defended Socialism (and Communism) because they desperately DESPERATELY want to be the "Experts' in charge of everything. Most of them aren't particularly expert in anything useful (Chomsky is a Linguist, which sounds useful until you understand that he studies the roots of language, not translates) and SOOOOOO want to be Important.

  • Microaggressor||

    Chomsky is a particular scumbag. If only we could measure how much blood is on his hands.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Sadly, Chomsky isn't that extraordinary for an Academic. Universities have long been infested with vermin who have parlayed defense of political popular views into invitations to the Cool Parties, Powerful Patronage, and the like. Going right back to the founding of the Medieval Universities, if not farther.

    Noam Chomsky is simply one more in a long line of self-styled 'Intellectuals' who, having achieved a small degree of success in actual Scholarship, abandoned the only field in which they had any qualifications for the heady arena of Politics and Lying For Socialism.

  • LarryA||

    Sort of like the Occupy movement: people who couldn't manage a decent campsite telling folks how to run the world.

  • ||

    So, the Club of Rome in a nutshell.

  • woodNfish||

    The Fascists (NAZI was a socialist political party) are just another brand of socialists. Both Hitler and Mussolini were socialists before they became fascists. Obama and the left are fascists. The big lie about the whole NAZI/fascist thing is that jews had nothing to do with it even though the NAZI jews helped elect Hitler to power. They only fled and invented the lie that they are the victims after Hitler turned on them. Today we see the leftist jewish elite trying to do the same thing to conservatives that Hitler did to them. You see, they hate it when they are the victim, but they don't mind dishing it out at all.

  • Bill||

    wtf?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    All I want is for the government to take care of my ass without working until I die.

    If that's wrong, then I don't want to be right!

  • Trainer||

    And all I want to do is control everyone in the country so that I can provide those things. What's a little oppression, murder and genocide in the pursuit if that Utopia as long as we both get what we want?

  • Nardz||

    Well then, as long as you have good intentions...

  • tzx4||

    WTF are you talking about?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    This bitching is completely comprehensible. Thumbs down.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Socialism leads to misery and destitution.

    Conservatism leads to backwardness, bigotry, gullibility, and can't-keep-up communities.

    Thank goodness neither is America's future.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Odd set of "opposites" ya got there.

    Cling on, carrier.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm pretty sure Arty is a cross dresser. So you could legitimately say "carry on Klingerl.

  • Kivlor||

    Conservatism leads to backwardness, bigotry, gullibility, and can't-keep-up communities.

    History does not bear out this assertion...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Ah, but he soesn actually KNOW any history. He knows a bunch of Political Class narratives that he's gullible enough to believe.

  • Pudgeboy||

    The Rev is nothing more than a cliche generator. No original thought... a middling intellect and hollow character that reminds me of the bar scene in Goodwill Hunting where that loser memorizes ideas from a text book in order to sound smart.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "The Rev is nothing more than a cliche generator."

    Oh, like Noam Chomsky (see above)?

  • JesseAz||

    I wouldn't include any level of intellect when describing AK.

  • Fmontyr||

    Amen!

  • NashTiger||

    Yes, whenever Conservatism is discussed here, voila, your backward gullible bigoted ass shows up

  • TeamsterX||

    Below average IQ leads to the Special Olympics....good luck in 100 yard stagger!

  • Fmontyr||

    Amen!

  • Samshile||

    CONSERVATIVE COALITION leader Everett Dirksen, an Illinois Republican, drafted the 1964, 1965 and 1968 Civil Rights Acts to end the southern Democrats' filibuster of the Act. It was Senate Minority Leader Dirksen who often took to the Senate floor to declare, "This is an idea whose time has come. It will not be denied." Dirksen's greatest triumph earned him the Leadership Conference of Civil Rights Award, presented by then-NAACP Chairman Roy Wilkins, for his remarkable civil rights leadership.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No. Socialism is the #2 cause of misery after RELIGION.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Socialism murdered (not counting wars) 100M people in the 20th century.

    How many did religion kill? How many of what you call religious deaths were actually garden-variety political machinations, such as feudalism?

    I don't have much use for religion, or why people need to believe in sky fairies, damnation, limbo, reincarnation, any of that stuff. But to attribute deaths in the name of religion to anything other than plain old power politics is pretty naive.

    Unlike socialism, where the murders were explicitly to further socialism, for the greater good and all that rot.

  • Kivlor||

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Numbers are way off. Stalin more like 40M, Mao 60M.

    I have mixed feelings about the crusades, since so many of the crusaders were just adventurers and grabbers. Just ordinary political thieves.

    But even adding crusaders, gladiators, jihads, and other "religious" deaths doesn't come close to socialism's planned and designed murders.

  • Kivlor||

    The picture is giving the low-end estimates. Being quite charitable.

    It doesn't include crusades b/c that is war--and we don't include wars fought by the commies in their numbers, so it's a fair reduction.

    It's quite interesting to realize that in 300+ years, the infamous Inquisition only claimed ~4,000 lives, many of whom actually weren't killed, but given an execution in effigy and then exiled.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Tens of thousands of witches were burned at the stake. Nearly a third of the German population died during the 30 Years War.

    The first of the crusades wasn't waged against Muslims, it was waged against the Cathars who were a Christian sect. "Kill them all, God will know his own!" was first said by the mayor of a city that contained a large Cathar population.

    If communists killed more people it was because 1) there were more people in the 20th Century than in the 13th and 2) communists had much better killing machines available to them than to medieval Christians and Muslims. If the crusaders had machine guns, fast moving vehicles and poison gas the death tolls would have easily matched those of the communists.

    The motives for both mass murderers were the same - Non believers prevent the coming of paradise and therefore must die. Whether it's the Second Coming of Jesus, the appearance of the 12th Imam, the return of the Caliphate or the rise of the New Communist Man, an impossible future was always promised but the only thing delivered was death to those saw through the lies.

  • BYODB||

    Well, communism is basically a religion so it seems fair enough. You can tell it's a religion because if you're a communist, you're only allowed to worship the state. True story.

  • ||

    Tens of thousands of witches were burned at the stake.

    Nope.

    Nearly a third of the German population died during the 30 Years War.

    As noted by Wikipedia: "the war became less about religion and more of a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence." As Scarecrow said, religion is more often an excuse than a cause.

    The first of the crusades wasn't waged against Muslims, it was waged against the Cathars who were a Christian sect.

    The First Crusade was, in fact, against Muslims, specifically Turks who had invaded the last remaining territories of the Roman Empire and had closed off the pilgrimage road to Jerusalem to westerners. Most of the people killed were probably Christian, but the Crusaders didn't know that.

    Arguably, though, the real "First Crusade" was the conquest of Toledo in 1085, also against Muslims, but as any student of the Reconquista knows, the struggles between the various Iberian kingdoms didn't fall neatly along religious lines at all.

  • ||

    The Crusade against the "Cathars" happened over a hundred years later, and as a military action had more to do with the King of France taking out rivals in the South under the pretense that Count Raymond of Toulouse was a "heretic" (when he didn't actually even support the so-called "Cathars" or care all that much about theology generally).

    Arnold Amaury, supposed speaker of the famous line "Kill them all, God will know his own!" was not the mayor of Beziers (the city you're talking about) - he was a monk who was put in charge of getting the local authorities to condemn the Cathars by besieging the city. The slaughter was actually something of an accident when some kids playing a prank on the besiegers left a door open and allowed the army to enter the city in a frenzy. If Arnold spoke those words (which he probably didn't), it was while the slaughter was already underway.

    Just a little history lesson for the next time you want to try to make this argument.

  • Kivlor||

    Just a thought... Wasn't the "Crusade" against the Cathars called by the Pope after he sent a delegation to treat with them, and see what could be done to peacefully bring them back into the Church only to have the delegation executed?

    You send diplomats, they kill your diplomats, so then you send an armed force to handle diplomacy their own way...?

  • ||

    You send diplomats, they kill your diplomats, so then you send an armed force to handle diplomacy their own way...?

    Therein lies a tale.

    There is (and always has been) some controversy about the murder of Pierre de Castelnau. It's been suggested that Raymond was framed, as he had no reason to kill Pierre, and lots of reasons not to (his immediate excommunication being the most obvious).

    But, that aside, it is true that Pope Innocent had a particular war boner about the Cathars, largely due to their belief that a "saintly" individual could perform sacraments without being ordained (with obvious implications for whether or not you need the Church). Pierre's reception when he went to demand that they acknowledge the heresy in that was less than cordial.

    But already at that time, the monarchs were chafing against the idea that they were vassals of the Pope, and they mostly only half-heartedly complied with the order to crusade - with the exception of France. The King of France saw the Count of Toulouse and the King of Aragon (Pedro) as primary rivals, and Aragon would today possibly still be an important European country (instead of France) if not for the King of France's zeal in pursuing the crusade against the Cathars long after Innocent had died.

  • ||

    tl:dr: yes the Pope had it in for the Cathars, but he was fortunate in that the King of France also had it in for the Count of Toulouse and the King of Aragon.

  • ||

  • ||

    That link just went to the Amazon homepage, for some reason - The Formation of a Persecuting Society by R. I. Moore. He argues that there never was any such thing as Cathars - that the whole thing was made up so that the King of France and Pope Innocent could take down the Count of Toulouse and the King of Aragon and amplify their own power.

  • Mark22||

    It is incorrect to say that "religion" in general either advocates violence or causes misery. Some religions do, others don't.

    It is correct that socialism advocates violence and causes misery, because both of those are intrinsic to socialism.

  • mtrueman||

    I don't think Stalin's 40 million were planned or designed murders. On learning of the terrible famine in the early thirties in places like Kazhakstan and Ukraine, Stalin actually reversed himself a number of times on such issues as buying foreign grain, releasing domestic reserves and similar measures that undoubtedly saved lives.

  • BYODB||

    It's possible that socialisms deaths could be attributed to, say, compounding unintended consequences coupled with over-powerful centralized apparatus but that would be something like saying that the gunman didn't kill all those people, it was the gun.

  • mtrueman||

    "that would be something like saying that the gunman didn't kill all those people, it was the gun."

    The gunman did kill those people but it wasn't murder. Murder requires intent and there's plenty of evidence that Stalin had no intent to kill large numbers in famine. Maybe manslaughter is the better word.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I don't see how it matters a lot what the socialists intent was...we are critiquing a decision making system that despite all manner of good intentions keeps ending with a lot of people dying.

    This is because the decision making system itself is flawed, as it concentrates power and economic decision making. Whether Stalin meant to starve people or not, it is equally damning.

  • ||

    I don't see how it matters a lot what the socialists intent was...Whether Stalin meant to starve people or not, it is equally damning.

    ^ This.

    The whole point is that socialism is well intended. The problem is that socialism emphasizes intentions over results.

  • mtrueman||

    "The whole point is that socialism is well intended. The problem is that socialism emphasizes intentions over results."

    Murder swings on intent. Without intent it's manslaughter or something.

  • ||

    Murder swings on intent. Without intent it's manslaughter or something.

    Yes. That's what you said.

    What the response to you was: that you think that distinction is the most important thing is itself symptomatic of what is wrong with socialism.

  • mtrueman||

    "that you think that distinction is the most important thing is itself symptomatic of what is wrong with socialism."

    Comes from English common law, I imagine. Murder requires intent. Nothing communist about that. A number of commenters here have already conceded that 'their intentions were good.'

  • ||

    A number of commenters here have already conceded that 'their intentions were good.'

    And yet 20 million people wound up dead. With the best of intentions.

    This is what people are trying to get you to understand.

    Explain again how "intent" is important to using the word "murder."

  • John C. Randolph||

    The whole point is that socialism is well intended

    BULLSHIT.

    The whole purpose of socialism is to provide a pretext for totalitarianism. Socialism is NOT well-intended, and it never was.

    -jcr

  • mtrueman||

    "we are critiquing a decision making system that despite all manner of good intentions keeps ending with a lot of people dying."

    Good intentions mean its not murder. Why try to inflate crimes which are bad enough already?

    "This is because the decision making system itself is flawed"

    No doubt that is true, but switchover from one mode of economics of a people to another is often traumatic, always if it's forced as is seen repeatedly in history.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.27.18 @ 1:19PM|#
    "I don't think Stalin's 40 million were planned or designed murders."

    That's because you're an uneducated imbecile.
    Even that apologist Figes is forced to admit those 10s of millions of murders were condoned and often directed by Staling himself.
    What a fucking idiot.

  • mtrueman||

    Think about it, You're planning and designing to murder a bunch of people. Starve them to death. You don't dip into limited foreign funds and buy food to distribute among them. But Stalin did. He back tracked on a number of decisions throughout the period of famine as the magnitude of the suffering became clear to him finally. The idea that Stalin set out and planned the murders is not supported by the facts.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.27.18 @ 6:56PM|#
    "Think about it, You're planning and designing to murder a bunch of people. Starve them to death. You don't dip into limited foreign funds and buy food to distribute among them. But Stalin did."

    You are bound and determined to prove how stupid you can be, aren't you?
    Read Red Famine ("Applebaum") if you can read a book.
    Yes, Stalin made a show of disstributing some food in some locales, while vast areas had seed grain stolen under his specific direction, while the USSR was *exporting*grain, you fucking ignoramus.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yes, Stalin made a show of disstributing some food in some locales, while vast areas had seed grain stolen under his specific direction, while the USSR was *exporting*grain, you fucking ignoramus."

    The question is did Stalin intend to kill all those people. The evidence says no. Stalin used to stay up nights poring over lists of names, even thousands of them, going through, name by name, signing their death warrants. That's pretty clearly murder. But the famines didn't go down like that. The famine was due to the same mistake that communists everywhere make again and again. They assumed that the working classes and peasants would welcome the chance to throw in their lot with the communists. The tet thing in vietnam also hinged on the idea that city dwellers this time were ripe for the communist picking, and it was another fiasco.

  • ||

    The idea that Stalin set out and planned the murders is not supported by the facts.

    That's why people are telling you that intentions don't really matter. 20 million dead is 20 million dead.

    Call it manslaughter, and not murder.

    Your argument that this wasn't intentional, that it was just collateral damage from attempting to run the country in a socialist manner, IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO YOU.

  • mtrueman||

    "that it was just collateral damage from attempting to run the country in a socialist manner, "

    More specifically, it's about centralizing and concentrating production, two tendencies that have been taken up with gusto in today's America. Before, Kazakhstan was millions of nomadic shepherds. After Stalin half the population was gone and meat production took place on vast factory farms. It took us a while to get there, but we went willingly.

  • mtrueman||

    "That's why people are telling you that intentions don't really matter. 20 million dead is 20 million dead."

    If you are dead, then it doesn't matter. If you are interested in the historical events, the how, whys and wherefores of it all, then a clear understanding of the intent of the perpetrators is worth noting. I don't see what purpose is served by claiming, contrary to evidence, that Stalin intended on killing all those millions.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "You don't dip into limited foreign funds and buy food to distribute among them. But Stalin did. He back tracked on a number of decisions throughout the period of famine as the magnitude of the suffering became clear to him finally."

    This is some straight bullshit. Stalin was not only aware what was happening, but he actively directed it. There are countless letters and reports that individuals made to him on the conditions in Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Stalin did nothing and actively traded grain and bodies for hard currency that the Soviet's needed to pay for foreign experts to help them reach their great communist utopia.

    It was an active campaign to bring communism and collectivization to the backward serfs. Shipping whole families from Ukraine to Siberia with no food and not calling this murder because they didn't receive a bullet in in the head is asinine and the height of sophistry.

  • mtrueman||

    For a long time, Stalin believed what he wanted to believe, only the rosiest assessments and that the transition was going on as he wished.

  • DesigNate||

    Buttchug doesn't count deaths by jihad. Icky Christians are the real Taliban.

  • Robert Crim||

    Unless you count what they did to the Indians.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Well...left off the chart are the Muslim conquests. These stretched from the Indian subcontinent to Spain...reaching a high water mark in France.

    Just taking the Indian subcontinent, its something on the order of 80 million people killed. I don't think its fair to chalk it up to "war"...these were an ideological conquest just like communism. I'll note that the killings were especially brutal and sadistic, which ought to count for something. Its fair to count the crusades also, but note these were in response to the Muslim conquests. Its amazing to realize that countries like Egypt were once Christian. In any case, the Crusades killed

  • Iheartskeet||

    Dammit tried to use the less than sign. The Crusades killed less than 2 million.

    So, religion is plenty murderous, just not Christianity particularly.

  • tzx4||

    I have heard it said that religion is the social too by which goo people are enabled or manipulated into doing evil.

  • Kivlor||

    People say a lot of things. Communism/Socialism/Nazism seem to put the lie to this. As it turns out, religion was not necessary to convince or enable or manipulate people to do evil.

    The Catholics have the right of it with their doctrine of Original Sin.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Well...left off the chart are the Muslim conquests

    We don't talk about Islam. Only faiths that can be pinned on white Europeans.

    Muslims, though largely Caucasian, have been classified as 'brown' and are not tainted by whiteness so they can murder with impunity.

  • Nardz||

    And next time there's a Muslim terrorist attack, let's remember that white Americans had the crusades

  • ||

    And next time there's a Muslim terrorist attack, let's remember that white Americans had the crusades

    Well - blaming Muslims in, say, Indonesia for terrorist attacks carried out by people in, say, Saudi Arabia, would make about as much sense as blaming white Americans for the Crusades, when you get right down to it.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    And at some point some tiresome fool will bring up Buddhism and claim it's non-violent.

    Look up the word "Yamabushi", with emphasis on Court Intrigue, and get back to me.

  • ||

    And at some point some tiresome fool will bring up Buddhism and claim it's non-violent.

    There was actually quite an ugly series of wars in China in the early medieval period between the Buddhists and the Taoists. Further evidence that having two different "religions of peace" in the same geographic region can get nasty.

  • mtrueman||

    Having a religion of love never helps either. China's bloodiest religious war was the boxer rebellion, which would have to be recognized as a Christian undertaking.

  • mtrueman||

    I noticed the chart didn't include the millions of aboriginal new worlders who were slaughtered by European Christians a few hundred years back.

  • BYODB||

    Why use 'European' when 'Spanish' would be more accurate? Also, are we including disease pandemics introduced by settlers in the numbers?

  • mtrueman||

    "Why use 'European' when 'Spanish' would be more accurate?"

    The English and French were also involved and were in America for religious reasons. The puritans came to America out of religious motivation. If you want bigger numbers, then include those who died from disease. If you want smaller numbers, don't include them.

  • ||

    The puritans came to America out of religious motivation.

    And lived peacefully among the natives, in contrast to the Spanish military, which didn't.

    And the Spanish weren't motivated by religion. Sure the ship was launched under the pretext of "Bring God to the World," but if you read everything that was written subsequently, the primary goal was not bringing God to the World, it was about bringing gold back to the Spanish Crown.

    Bartolome de las Casas famously complained in the sixteenth century that no one was coming to the New World with God in their hearts.

    Even the Missions were sent out as a means of cultural conquest only when outright military conquest failed.

  • mtrueman||

    "And lived peacefully among the natives,"

    Within acouple generations, black slaves from Africa outnumbered white settler types. That's not peaceful.That requires coercion.

    As for the spanish, they had clergy following every step of the way.

    "Bartolome de las Casas famously complained in the sixteenth century that no one was coming to the New World with God in their hearts."

    Could be true from a priest's point of view. a lot of those coming over were Jews and Muslims escaping from the other thing that happened in 1492.

  • ||

    Within acouple generations, black slaves from Africa outnumbered white settler types.

    And the slave traders and the religious refugees were two different groups of people behaving entirely differently for entirely different reasons.

    You're indulging in a form of racist collectivism that says "this white guy did a thing, that white guy did a thing, therefore both white guys did both things."

    As for the spanish, they had clergy following every step of the way.

    No, they didn't. And where the clergy were involved, you are correct that they were "following," not "leading the charge." Read up on the history of the Mission system - you might learn something.

    a lot of those coming over were Jews and Muslims escaping from the other thing that happened in 1492

    Um . . . no. They weren't. There were lots and lots of much closer (and much safer) places to go after the Jews were expelled. Like Malta.

    Think about it this way - you are arguing that everyone going over to the New World were religious fanatics hell bent on spreading their Faith. Do you think the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 were going to sequester themselves on a small, dangerous boat with a bunch of religious fanatics who are expressly on a mission to wipe them out?

    Your own historical fantasies don't line up with each other.

  • mtrueman||

    "Do you think the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 were going to sequester themselves on a small, dangerous boat with a bunch of religious fanatics who are expressly on a mission to wipe them out?"

    They'd probably keep their Jewish background on the hush hush, need to know basis.

    "And the slave traders and the religious refugees were two different groups of people behaving entirely differently for entirely different reasons.

    You're indulging in a form of racist collectivism that says "this white guy did a thing, that white guy did a thing, therefore both white guys did both things."

    I'm pointing out that a society is not peaceful if slaves outnumber freemen. What goes on in the hearts of slavers and refugees is not important.

  • Mark22||

    Yes, the English and the French fled religious persecution in Europe, and that's why they came to the US. They didn't come with the intention of killing Indians, and their religion certainly did not advocate killing Indians. And most of them didn't have to kill anybody even in self-defense because the US was depopulated by disease.

    Socialism, in contrast, advocates violence, theft, and oppression; it's an integral part of the ideology. And when socialists go and kill others, it's because they are in power.

    Suggesting that the 100 million victims of socialism are somehow morally equivalent to Puritans fleeing persecution to the Americas and occasionally having skirmishes with natives is not just absurd, it is reprehensible.

  • mtrueman||

    "They didn't come with the intention of killing Indians, and their religion certainly did not advocate killing Indians. "

    Yes, intentions matter, the point I've repeatedly made throughout the thread. I'm glad to have persuaded at least one here.

  • Mark22||

    You're apparently not applying your insight consistently.

  • mtrueman||

    It is consistent. Neither the settlers nor the bolsheviks intended to exterminate or dispossess millions. Yet in both cases it happened. In both cases you have peasants or indians refusing to adopt the ways of those who know better. And getting punished for it, big time.

  • Mark22||

    It is consistent. Neither the settlers nor the bolsheviks intended to exterminate or dispossess millions. Yet in both cases it happened

    The stated intent of socialism is to forcibly take property from one group of people and redistribute it to another group of people. Socialism preaches that the working class should act out of a feeling of anger and a desire for personal material gain. Socialism elevates greed, envy, sloth, anger, and pride to an ideology. When it delivers on its promises (as it did in the Soviet Union), it's not an accident, it is socialism doing what it set out to do.

    The stated intent of Christianity is to bring the Christian message to the world so that people have a choice of becoming Christians. Nowhere does Christianity advocate dispossessing non-Christians, committing violence against them, or oppressing them. Nowhere does it promise material or personal gains for this. Christianity is crystal clear that you should not fuck with your neighbor's possessions or family and that you should stop obsessing over them. Christians may kill out of self-defense and steal out of greed and selfishness, but when they do, that is contrary to what Christianity preaches.

    So, yes, the bolsheviks did intend to "exterminate and dispossess" the bourgeoisie and they delivered. Christianity did not intend to exterminate and dispossess the Indians, it didn't justify doings so, and it actually isn't actually responsible either.

  • mtrueman||

    "So, yes, the bolsheviks did intend to "exterminate and dispossess" the bourgeoisie and they delivered."

    I just went through this with Sevo. Why would Stalin reverse himself on these key issues if his intention was to starve the people? His intent was to collective agriculture. Surely, you can understand that much. Save your preaching for someone else.

  • Mark22||

    His intent was to collective agriculture. Surely, you can understand that much.

    Yes, and collectivizing agriculture requires "dispossessing" the people who owned those lands previously, and once "dispossessed", they starve. And that's consistent, since socialism explicitly calls for the elimination of large parts of society.

    Why would Stalin reverse himself on these key issues

    He didn't reverse himself, he followed the socialist program.

  • mtrueman||

    "He didn't reverse himself, he followed the socialist program."

    You rely too much on Sevo. And there's no need to repeat his points. I've read them
    already.

    "And that's consistent, since socialism explicitly calls for the elimination of large parts of society."

    Again, I'm not interested in reading second hand Sevo comments. Keep it original, please.

  • Iheartskeet||

    BYODB...This.

    I believe the vast majority of New World aboriginals were taken out by disease.

    To those killed beyond that, I think its flimsy to chalk it up to religion. For sure there was some of that, but it looks more like simple land and resource competition, perhaps with a good sprinkling of racism, not that it makes those deaths any less tragic. Its more akin to the Mongol invasions of the middle ages.

    This is in contrast to the Muslim conquests which were quite specifically in the name of religion.

  • ||

    For sure there was some of that, but it looks more like simple land and resource competition

    ^ This. People conflate all "Colonialists" together, but there was a marked difference in behavior between communities of religious refugees and mercantilist colonies.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.27.18 @ 2:33PM|#
    "I noticed the chart didn't include the millions of aboriginal new worlders who were slaughtered by European Christians a few hundred years back."

    Cite missing, idiot.

  • Mark22||

    Most aboriginals were killed by disease, most of the survivors were killed in wars. And those were wars conducted and justified by monarchies, not by the Catholic church.

  • ||

    Well...left off the chart are the Muslim conquests. These stretched from the Indian subcontinent to Spain...reaching a high water mark in France.

    You're conflating a lot of things. The groups that came into Spain in the eighth century were not the same people who invaded India in 999, and the motivations were 100% different.

    The Arabs in the eighth century were engaging in good-old-fashioned militaristic expansion. That wasn't part of Muhammad's plan - it was Omar I's, as a way of dealing with the fact that the Arab tribes pretty much immediately fractured and started fighting again the moment Muhammad died. Omar re-united them and turned the aggression outward. It just so happened that at the same time Syria, Egypt and Libya were so discontented with Roman rule that they barely put up a fight, and the Arabs rode a wave of seemingly-divine victories.

    The Ghazis who invaded India in 999 were Turks who had been enslaved by the Persians and made into border-guards, not unlike some of the confederated Germanic tribes under the Romans. The Ghazis were Muslims-in-name-only, and their invasion of India was them riding a wave of momentum after having overthrown their Persian masters.

    Likewise, the Crusades were not were not a response to Muslim conquests as such - they didn't care when the Muslim Arabs took over Jerusalem in the late seventh century, they only cared when the Turks cut off the trade routes three hundred years later.

  • Iheartskeet||

    I'll take your word for some of the historical details, but it doesn't seem like any of this contradicts my major point. While motivations may have changed over time, in the end it was all a religious conquest. They conquered as Muslims, conquered to spread Islam as a major (if not THE major) goal, implemented sharia law in conquered lands and ruled with the Quran as their guide.

    On the Crusades, as far as I know they WERE specifically to take back the holy land from Muslim control. I don't know what you mean by "as such". IIRC Christians were permitted to pilgrimage (and trade) with the Levant after the initial Muslim conquest...so perhaps the motivation to take it back wasn't initially strong. Plus they were probably a bit preoccupied fighting off the Muslims in Spain, which the Muslims conquered less than 100 years after the Levant.

  • ||

    While motivations may have changed over time, in the end it was all a religious conquest.

    Doesn't the first half of this sentence sort of pull the rug out from under the second half?

    This isn't motivations of people "changing over time." The eleventh-century Ghazis and the eighth-century Arabs didn't have anything to do with one another. The Ghazis didn't even invade India in the name of converting them - they just did it because Central Asian Horde gonna Central Asian Horde.

    Timur Leng may have called himself "Muslim" while Ghengis Khan called himself "anti-Muslim," but that is the only distinction between them - one pile of conquered heads is pretty much like another, and Timur also had no interest in converting people.

    So I'm disagreeing 1) that these conflicts you are pointing to are accurately characterized as "religious," 2) that there's some common teleology to "Muslim Conquests," and 3) that the Crusades can accurately be described as a "reaction to Muslim Conquests," in which you seem to want to see religion as a primary cause of war and death, but you want to exempt Christianity from that and only blame it on Muslims.

  • Iheartskeet||

    What I mean by the first sentence is that what prompted action at the start may have differed, but in the end it became a religious conquest. Kind of like how "No taxes without representation" morphed into "Fuck it, let's have our own country".

    I certainly don't mean to exempt Christianity as a cause of a lot of bloodshed. I said "not particularly" a bunch of posts above...and thats what I mean. There is a lot of religious bloodshed, but it often seems to just be "Crusades Crusades Crusades..." and the point was there is plenty of shame to go around.

  • ||

    There is a lot of religious bloodshed, but it often seems to just be "Crusades Crusades Crusades..." and the point was there is plenty of shame to go around.

    I've noticed it's one of the many, many things that has become a knee-jerk-partisan wedge.

    The same way you rarely find people willing to advocate religious freedom for both Christians and Muslims, I find there's very little overlap between the "The Crusades were just self-defense against the evil Muslims" crowd and the "The Crusades were an evil act of religious imperialism against the innocent Muslims" crowd.

    But honestly I'm not sure "in the end it became a religious conquest" is a very meaningful statement. These conflicts may have ultimately resulted in one religious group being sovereign over a different religious group with all that that entails, but that makes pretty much any conflict that has ever happened a "religious conquest."

  • ||

    If you take India as an example, though, there was never actually any significant effort to convert the Hindus to Islam. Hindus served in very high positions in Mughal governments, and the biggest "religious" conflict was arguably the revolt of the Sikhs in the late seventeenth century, which was started by the Sikhs (Sikhs would disagree, but you have to get into the weeds about what it means to "start something"). There was also a rebellion by Hindus in the south some decades before (can't remember the name of the leader now, but it was derived from "Vishnu" in some way - Vishnayva, maybe?), but in both cases these are better described as separatist uprisings than as religious conflicts.

    In fairness, part of the Sikh uprising had to do with Shah Aurungzeb taking a distinct lurch toward the ultra-religious in his rhetoric, but Aurungzeb in reality was about as religious as Stalin.

  • ||

    They conquered as Muslims, conquered to spread Islam as a major (if not THE major) goal, implemented sharia law in conquered lands and ruled with the Quran as their guide.

    Sort of. This was the narrative behind the initial wave of the seventh-century jihad, but implementation was not really like that at all. They realized very quickly that they needed to learn to coexist with the vast populations they had conquered that weren't Muslim. And a key feature of Islamic law is that non-Muslims aren't bound by it, even if they do live in the "House of Peace" - this was actually a significant factor in how the English East India Company was able to gain its footholds.

    And this only describes that initial wave, and then only very loosely.

    Christians were permitted to pilgrimage (and trade) with the Levant after the initial Muslim conquest...so perhaps the motivation to take it back wasn't initially strong.

    You are exactly right - see my post above. Ergo the motive behind the Crusades didn't have anything to do with the religion of the people in charge of the Levant. If Christians had cut off the trade routes, Christians would have been the target (as they explicitly were in the Fourth Crusade, when the crusaders wound up turning on the Byzantines).

  • ||

    they were probably a bit preoccupied fighting off the Muslims in Spain, which the Muslims conquered less than 100 years after the Levant

    By that point, they weren't "fighting off" Muslims in Spain - they were invading polities that had been Muslim for hundreds of years and, as I point out in my post above, those battle lines were pretty far from being "Christian vs. Muslim."

  • Iheartskeet||

    When you say "sort of" it sure sounds like they did. IIRC non-muslims aren't allowed to just coexist but had to pay (forgot the name) a fine/fee to continue to live is areas of Muslim rule. Even if the initial wave, and even if loose, its still a duck, so to speak.

    On the Crusades, well, it DID have to do with who was in charge, because those in charge changed the rules. I don't see how starting off "hey we're good with it" and then changing to "we aren't good with it, and we are gonna take it back" means that the "take it back" part wasn't religiously motivated. That the Crusades often went off the rails an attacked non-muslims...these armies were on the road for years on end, often foraging as they went...I think we have to paint motivations in broad strokes, even as we realize there are numerous contradictions.

  • ||

    When you say "sort of" it sure sounds like they did.

    In the same way that, as I note in another post above (or below, I don't remember now), the Spanish were "sort of" motivated by religion in colonizing the New World. It was what they regarded as their most attractive motivation, rather than being their most fundamental one (which it wasn't, by far).

    IIRC non-muslims aren't allowed to just coexist but had to pay (forgot the name) a fine/fee to continue to live is areas of Muslim rule

    Jizyah. Which wasn't often enforced. It tended to come as a political maneuver if you needed to demonize some handy internal group and punish them in some way. Compare/contrast with the way Muslims and Jews were treated in Europe during the same period.

    those in charge changed the rules.

    Those in charge changed. You're looking through a lens that says "the region was ruled by Muslims," when a more accurate lens would say "the region had been ruled by Arabs, but was now ruled by Turks, who behaved differently, being an entirely different and unrelated brand of people practicing an entirely different religion that they also refer to by the name Islam."

  • ||

    the Crusades often went off the rails

    Only if you assume a unified, religious intent behind the Crusades. Most participants were simply looking for a paycheck, and the organizers had distinctly identifiable political motivations unrelated to the religious rhetoric.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Square, I largely agree with most of what you posted. I do, however, think you underplay the importance of religion (ideology) in past wars. Some were true believers and acted as such. It is hard for our more rationalistic society to wrap our heads around this irrationality, but I do think it was an important motivator for past, highly religious leaders.

  • Mark22||

    Christianity does not have "religious conquest" as its objective. Christian states may abuse Christianity to justify military action, but that doesn't make it a "Christian conquest".

    Islam, on the other hand, does have "religious conquest" as its objective, from its very first days being led by a prophet who was also a military leader and conquered vast amounts of land by force.

  • Brian||

    Funny how safe religion gets when it's separated from state.

  • ||

    You need to do some research, dipshit. Every religious war in history (and there are not very exclusively religious wars) combined has taken a small fraction the nearly 200 million lives that socialism ended in the last century.

    Religion tends to make people happier, which probably explains your problem...

  • sarcasmic||

  • lap83||

    Knowing PB, he probably counts religious persecution as violence caused by religion

  • Iheartskeet||

    If it resulted in death, shouldn't he ?

  • Drake||

    Uh... why wouldn't he, dumbass? You think muzzies blowing people up for jihad isn't religious persecution? LOL. Fucking moron.

  • Rossami||

    I can't believe I'm actually going to defend something that PB wrote but maybe.

    There are two challenges. First, the proper measure is not absolute number of people killed but people killed as a percentage of total population. Religious wars may have killed many less people but they did so at a time when there were many less people.

    Second and much harder to control for, socialism tends to kill in large, easily identifiable numbers. Religion-induced deaths should properly include not just the large-scale campaigns and atrocities but also the little decentralized instances like honor killings, forced abortions and covered-up abuses of religiously strict villages and families.

  • Davy C||

    Rossami, are we counting forced abortions now? You may want to have a peek at what China is doing.

  • Rossami||

    Forced abortions when they are performed in the name of religion, yes I think that would apply to the comparison we're being asked to make in the thread above.

    The Chinese forced abortions are equally abhorrent. But they are not being forced in the name of religion. And I don't think you can count China as socialism either. At least, not based on the definitions in the article above. So I think that leaves them out of the equation. But it is an interesting point.

  • Mark22||

    Forced abortions when they are performed in the name of religion

    "In the name of a religion" is not the same as "caused by religion".

    Christianity is crystal clear about opposing almost all the violence done "in its name". It is incorrect to attribute the violence committed by evil people contrary to Christian principles to Christianity; under different circumstances, they would simply have used some other ideology to justify their actions.

    The violence committed by socialists, on the other hand, conforms to socialist ideology, since redistribution of material possessions is an essential part of socialism, and such redistribution intrinsically involves violence, even deadly force.

  • ||

    First, the proper measure is not absolute number of people killed but people killed as a percentage of total population.

    This is a very fair comment. If you went back in time to the late medieval period and killed everyone in Europe, you probably still wouldn't hit Stalin's death toll.

    But still, there are few, if any, wars in history that can properly be called "religious" in motivation (unless you count pagan war gods).

  • MarkLastname||

    You're retarded. There are no "religionists." No one practices "religion." That's like saying "politics is the worst thing ever." It's not a worldview, just a category of world views. Jains, Quakers, etc. are probably less harmful on average than atheists even by atheist standards.

  • Mark22||

    No. Socialism is the #2 cause of misery after RELIGION.

    Socialism is one ideology, and it is an ideology that explicitly advocates violence and oppression in order to achieve its objectives.

    Religion is thousands of vastly different ideologies whose only commonality is that they are not entirely materialistic. Many of those religions explicitly advocate either the non-aggression principle, or even total pacifism.

    So, your statement may be literally true, but it is meaningless. It's like saying that "cancer is the #2 cause of misery and death after eating".

  • tzx4||

    "Socialism is one ideology, and it is an ideology that explicitly advocates violence and oppression in order to achieve its objectives."
    Are there forms of what you would label "socialism" in the USA today? If so can you please truthfully descrive the "violence and oppression" that gave rise to that socialism?

  • Mark22||

    Are there forms of what you would label "socialism" in the USA today? If so can you please truthfully descrive the "violence and oppression" that gave rise to that socialism?

    First, saying that an ideology "advocates the use of violence" in order to achieve its ends doesn't mean that it is the only means of change it advocates. Furthermore, often merely a credible threat of violence is sufficient to cause people to comply; that is also "the use of violence". That doesn't change the fact that violence is something socialists advocate and apply when they have the power to do so and it serves their purposes.

    Now, having said that, I would label the social welfare state in the US "socialist" in a broad sense, and the kind of forcible redistribution is certainly advocated by socialists, even "democratic socialists" (listen to Sanders, for example). And that social welfare state is backed up by the threat of violence: if I don't pay my taxes, the state will come and take my property away by force, and if I resist, I will get shot. That is what socialism is explicitly advocating, and it is textbook state violence.

  • Outside the Box||

    You know what the number one killer is and always be?

    Killing.

    That is, violence.

    Who gives a rat's ass in who or what's name the killing was done? Arguing over those is angels on a pin. Let's go after, you know, killing, violence, never considering it legitimate or acceptable in any "ism"s or "ory"'s name, then see where we are.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    PB, I'm the modern age, if you subtract deaths caused by Islam form the number of deaths caused by religion, it becomes barely a blip. Not even a good rounding error for the socialist murder tolls.

  • ||

    No, idiot. Even at its worst the collection plate is optional at a church, not so with the government.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Don't you dare mention Albania or Algeria or Angola or Burma or Congo or Cuba or Ethiopia or Laos or Somalia or Vietnam or Yemen or, well, any other of the dozens of other inconvenient places socialism has been tried. Not when there are a handful of Scandinavian countries operating generous welfare-state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism and natural resources.

    Of course, socialism exists on a spectrum, and even if we accept that the Nordic social-program experiments are the most benign iteration of collectivism, they are certainly not the only version. Pretending otherwise would be like saying, "The police state of Singapore is more successful than Denmark. Let's give it a spin."


    As a born-and-bred capitalist, it fucking pains me to point out that the math appears to indicate the manner of government is moot, such that the economy can afford it.

    And also, we can use all the words we want to describe this as 'capitalism', but the key factor appears to be whether economic production exceeds consumption. You know. TANSTAAFL.

  • sarcasmic||

    it fucking pains me to point out that the math appears to indicate the manner of government is moot, such that the economy can afford it.

    That is a good point. We give to the people in government the power to do violence so that we can concentrate on being productive. Governments usually start off small, with justice as their stated purpose. Before long though, that power to do violence becomes a license to steal, and government becomes a parasite on the back of society. So it doesn't matter if that government is socialist, capitalist, communist, or whateverist, what matters if whether or not the host can support it.
    Good observation.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You make the assumption that the two are independent in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. Systems which collectivize destroy the incentive to produce and breed cronyism and corruption leading.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    I will give you the manner of government if you give me the nature of the people (and yes, they are strongly inter-dependent).

    The Scandinavians are NOT typical people, if compared to cultures in the Mediterranean, Middle East, South America, Africa, Asia, etc. Considering some superficial character, they embrace a strong work ethic and both individual and group humility, along with some unfortunate tendencies like enforced conformity. Think Minnesota.

    And their socialism is both supported and tempered by very strong capitalism.

    My expectation for the socialist dream in the US is not Norway or Venezuela, but something like Greece.

  • soldiermedic76||

    And a tendency to invade the British Isles. Though it has been a while since we last did that.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Culture is vastly under appreciated imho.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bernie doesn't stand a chance. He was soundly routed in 2016 when he briefly joined the Democratic Party.

    "it is important to remember that capitalism has been the greatest driver of prosperity and opportunity the world has ever seen."

    https://goo.gl/G3bv6b

  • Longtobefree||

    Bernie was snookered by Saint Hillary and her minions in the (pardon the expression) democratic party. No fairness at all, and yet he gave a credible performance.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    *credible in terms of generating support, not credible in terms of having sustainable policies

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Bernie was mugged by the Democrat Establishment, who used the Super Delegates to squash him. Maybe he would have lost to Her Shrillness anyway, but it's kinda murky.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Too late now anyway. He's getting pretty old. A presidential campaign and being president are a lot of work.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    That doesn't seem to be stopping Her Shrillness Hillary the (would be ) First, and compared to Bernie, she looks halfway embalmed.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We didn't see her day after day after day during her 2016 run. Even if she overcame some undisclosed health obstacle, Time is not being kind to her health.

  • DarrenM||

    So? Those were the rules of the Democratic Party. It was no secret.

  • ||

    The "so?" is that "Bernie was soundly routed" is not really an accurate statement.

  • MarkLastname||

    The leading Dem prospects for 2020 all support socialized medicine; most back 'guaranteed jobs' and free college. Then there's free child care, UBI, and all the other communist pipe dreams gaining traction.

    Bernie doesn't have to win; the party is coming to him. You have to be delusional to not see that the trajectory of the Democratic Party is toward socialism (with hatred of white people and men mixed in for good measure).

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The de ocrat party must be destroyed for those reasons.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "The leading Dem prospects for 2020 all support socialized medicine"

    That's because the leading Dem prospects for 2020 all desperately NEED socialized medicine, as their physical and mental problems require expensive long term care.

    Her Shrillness, for example (I know, in a sane world she wouldn't be a 'leading prospect'. Watch her) looks about three days dead and reanimated by a cut-rate Frankenstein.

    Our Lord and Savior on a flaming pogo stick, will somebody please titrate that bitch's meds and get them adjusted?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    It's true that not all socialism ends in the tyranny of Leninism or Stalinism or Maoism or Castroism or Ba'athism or Chavezism or the Khmer Rouge—only most of it does

    I see Harsanyi is not one of those revisionist idiots who lumps Nazism/Fascism in with socialism. There are a few of those idiots sprinkled around conservative dry holes.

  • Longtobefree||

    Yep, bunch of damn fools who accept the self-designation of the "National Socialist German Workers' Party".

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And you're an idiot if you confuse "from each according to their ability to each according to their needs" with Aryan Supremacy/genocide.

    They are not like each other, nigga.

  • Brian||

    And scientific socialism is different from the Nordic model of socialism, is different from national socialism.

    Still socialism.

  • Kivlor||

    Isn't it quite strange how Socialism does not have any direct calls for genocide in its holy texts, yet somehow it commits it at a rate that would have made Torquemada quake with fear?

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    "And you're an idiot if you confuse "from each according to their ability to each according to their needs" with Aryan Supremacy/genocide.

    This is irrelevant. Communist states espouse the principle of "from each according to their ability to each according to their needs" and end up committing oppression and mass murder against their own version an out group--the bourgeoisie, kulaks, etc.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Could it be that the people in communist states can't agree with each other, and their fearless leaders, on abilities and needs?

  • creech||

    " A common Nazi mantra declared they must put "collective need ahead of individual greed"
    Claudia Koonz, "The Nazi Conscience"

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The Nazis had nice sounding slogans, too. In CONSEQUENCES Nazism and Communism differ mostly on how they picked 'undesirables' to kill. A death camp is different from a Gulag only to the degree that the Western Intellectuals managed to ignore it's existence.

  • harpac||

    And you're a blind fool to ignore the ethnic cleansing committed by the Soviet Union.

  • Mark22||

    And you're an idiot if you confuse "from each according to their ability to each according to their needs" with Aryan Supremacy/genocide.

    Your confusing ideology and outcome.

    The ideologies of fascism and communism are both collectivist and staunchly anti-capitalist; the differences between them were minor and mostly came down to the hair splitting justifications for their totalitarianism.

    The outcomes of both ideologies were tens of millions of people killed, namely anybody who the fascists/communists considered outsiders.

    As for anti-Semitism, that was a common feature of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, less so in other fascist/communist countries.

    Yes, baby, learn your history.

  • mtrueman||

    "As for anti-Semitism, that was a common feature of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, less so in other fascist/communist countries."

    Anti-semitism in USSR was not significant compared to how the Bolsheviks ravaged the Russian people, her churches and culture. Only the Kazakhs suffered anywhere nearly as bad. Jews didn't do too badly under communism. The pogroms that had been plaguing Russia's Jews for centuries stopped the moment Lenin took power.

  • Mark22||

    My Jewish friends who fled Russia beg to differ.

  • mtrueman||

    A bunch of professional victims. You should be more careful in your choice of friends.

  • Mark22||

    Wow, good going, mtrueman, calling victims of the USSR fake in order to defend your delusion that Stalin wasn't quite as bad as Hitler.

  • mtrueman||

    Stalin elevated Jews to perform his most difficult and important tasks, like the liquidation of the kulaks. Lenin entrusted Jews to liquidate the Tsar and his family. Unlike aristocrats, for example. Jews in USSR are more notable as victimizers than victims. Jews were singled and persecuted. Isaac Babel lost his life. But this happened with all nationalities, especially Russians. Any Jew choosing Hitler over Stalin would have to be crazy. I doubt you can find any examples.

  • Mark22||

    Stalin elevated Jews to perform his most difficult and important tasks

    Yeah, and Hitler elevated homosexuals to do his dirty work, and then carted them off to the camps.

    You're not merely confused, you're an a-hole.

  • mtrueman||

    "You're not merely confused, you're an a-hole."

    By all means, let's forget about this Hitler stuff and talk about me.

  • mtrueman||

    "Yeah, and Hitler elevated homosexuals to do his dirty work, and then carted them off to the camps."

    It was the SS who did Hitlers dirty work. They weren't Jews or homos, for the most part. I did read "The Kindly Ones," however, a novel about the antics of a homosexual SS officer. Are you thinking about that?

  • Mark22||

    It was the Brownshirts under Roehm who were instrumental in Hitler gaining power. Hitler eliminated Roehm in the knight of the long knives in 1934.

    Seriously, man, pick up a history book some time before you sing the praises, as you do, of mass murdering 20th century totalitarian regimes.

  • mtrueman||

    Hitler gained power because his party garnered more votes than the others.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Before the SS there was the SA, who's leader was homosexual. Hitler never could have come to power without the SA.

  • mtrueman||

    "Hitler never could have come to power without the SA."

    Underestimating Hitler is something you'd have thought people try to avoid, especially in right wing/ reactionary circles.

  • Echospinner||

    I agree. Very little of what is said here reflects the actual history of Russian Jews.

    There are few left so not much to talk about. Most are in US or Israel. It was a mass emigration which took place over a century.

    Today it is another relationship. There is no way for Americans or Israelis to not take Russia into account. Netanyahu has been to Russia more than Washington.

    Trump is not at all anti Semitic. Putin could care less about it.

    Syria is the issue. The end game needs to be a truce.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    And Hitler's many speeches and writings espousing socialism. Guess he was deluded.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, Hitler spoke about all that "free stuff" for Jews.

    Really, you are not that stupid.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Is it not possible to have leftist totalitarianism while at the same time rightist religious/naturalist zealotry? The worst of both isms?

  • Brian||

    When the same people who say "police are socialism" say "National Socialists aren't socialist", you know they're full of shit.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    But you are.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why Are We Socialists?
    We are socialists because we see in socialism, that is the union of all citizens, the only chance to maintain our racial inheritance and to regain our political freedom and renew our German state.
    [...]
    The sin of liberal thinking was to overlook socialism's nation-building strengths, thereby allowing its energies to go in anti-national directions. The sin of Marxism was to degrade socialism into a question of wages and the stomach, putting it in conflict with the state and its national existence. An understanding of both these facts leads us to a new sense of socialism, which sees its nature as nationalistic, state-building, liberating and constructive.

    Nazi propaganda pamphlet 1932

  • Microaggressor||

    Try reading a book some time.

    We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.
    The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
    Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
    We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
    We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
    We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
    We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses...
    The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program... We demand the education at the expense of the state of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

    I don't suppose you're weaseling into the strictest definition of socialism. This is more like the Bernie definition of socialism.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Look, the major difference between The Despicable Austrian, Uncle Joe, and The Chairman is, and always has been, the amount of effort the Progressive Left have put into whitewashing that latter two. Stalin and Mao both ordered multiple times more murders than Hitler did. Mao's Red Guard is recorded as having forced 'enemies of the State' to eat their own family members, an embellishment of basic barbarism that even the SS didn't come up with.

    Maybe the THEORY is different (though I believe that can be argued). The effect; a monstrous State that grinds its subjects up like hamburger, is the same.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Mao's Red Guard is recorded as having forced 'enemies of the State' to eat their own family members, an embellishment of basic barbarism that even the SS didn't come up with.

    There are also eyewitness accounts of kids being forced to pull the trigger to kill their own parents, etc. The SS was all about murder as an industrial process, while the Reds were aiming for inflicting the maximum possible terror on their population.

    -jcr

  • John C. Randolph||

    Hitler was a socialist, and was acknowledged as such by all of his contemporary leftard rivals right up to the day that he launched Operation Barbarossa. You can lie about it all you want, but reality doesn't give a a shit what you want to believe.

    -jcr

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Dang it, you're ruining the Left's narrative that Nazism is "right wing" and thus Republicans are just Nazis in disguise.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    "To be a socialist," says Goebbels, "is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole."

    Looks like the Nazis practiced what they preached.

  • Rhywun||

    Their ideology was the freaking definition of socialism. And let's not pretend that today's kinder, gentler socialists aren't racist too. I don't what else to call policies that are designed to trap them in ghettos for generation after generation.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nazis just added in Nationalism and racism to their Socialist agenda.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    When you get right down to it, it doesn't really matter whether the State's goons are rounding up Jews because of their race or because of their economic Class. The result is still a bunch of murdered Jews. The delusion that Lenin and Stalin (and by extension Mao and Castro) were in some way morally superior to Hitler is the great moral failing of the Left.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Yup, this

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I assert that today's progressives are incredibly racist. Antagonistic towards whites, and paternalistic towards Latinos and blacks.

    But absolutely fixated on race.

  • Nardz||

    ^true

  • Mark22||

    Not much of an addition: the Soviet Union was nationalistic and racist as well.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Why would anyone quote Goebbels on anything? He was a professional lier. Anything he says is suspect.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    True. I'm fact, he often appended a statement, with the phrase "yeah, that's the ticket!"

  • DarrenM||

    The Nazis called themselves "Socialist" as a way to trick real socialists into joining their party. Once a real socialist joined, he was then transmogrified into a right-winger.

    We are supposed to also ignore the fact that Mussolini was a Socialist prior to founding the Fascist Party in Italy.

  • Jerryskids||

    one of those revisionist idiots who lumps Nazism/Fascism in with socialism

    I can't help but notice you capitalize "Nazism/Fascism" but not "socialism", the same way Harsanyi doesn't capitalize the word. Just as there's a difference between "Libertarian" and "libertarian", there's a difference between "Socialism" and "socialism". Perhaps, as Harsanyi seems to suggest in the opening paragraph, "socialism" is synonymous with "collectivism". Any system that denigrates the sovereignty of the individual, that holds the individual exists merely to serve the interests of the State or of society, whether that be Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Trumpism or Clintonism, is collectivism and it's literally inhuman. Human beings do not exist to serve the interests of others. Period.

  • Brian||

    1. Roads, schools, and police are socialism
    2. National Socialists had roads, schools, and police
    3. Nazis are socialist

    QED.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    It's simpler than that. Hitler bragged about being a socialist. What more do you need?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The revisionist history is entirely on the left when they tried to disavow one of their most successful offspring: hitler.

    Their platform:

    We therefore demand:

    11. The abolition of all income obtained without labor or effort.

    Breaking the Servitude of Interest.

    12. In view of the tremendous sacrifices in property and blood demanded of the nation by every war, personal gain from the war must be termed a crime against the nation. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalization of all enterprises (already) converted into corporations (trusts).

    14. We demand profit-sharing in large enterprises.
  • Nardz||

    Hitler was a model Progressive, (possibly) surpassed only by Stalin. Mao rounds out the top 3 most accomplished Progressives.

    After that, you'd have to rank FDR and LBJ. Not sure which is #4 and which #5, but within the confines of the US system their achievements were extraordinary.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Woodrow Wilson was worse than ether FDR or LBJ.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Woodrow Wilson's reputation and the relative obscurity if his vile Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer, is another thing the Progressive Lefts owes to Joe McCarthy. If that opportunistic sonofabitch hadn't jumped on the anti-Communist bandwagon, thereby greatly discrediting it, people might remember what a vile racist bastard Wilson was, and how his AG pursued anti-anarchist witch hunts and demurred legal immigrants on slim pretexts or no protect at all.

  • Nardz||

    Fair.
    Let's call #4: Wilson/FDR/LBJ

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I think some mention should be made of Pol Pot. He didn't have the gross numbers, but murdering between a quarter and a third of your country's population shows real enthusiasm!

  • Mickey Rat||

    Ba'athism is an explicitly fascist type political party.

  • Rebel Scum||

    lumps Nazism/Fascism in with socialism

    Nazis were expressly socialist. Deal with it.

  • MarkLastname||

    You're not a socialist, you just defend it at every turn.

  • Trollificus||

    Such people are as stupid as those who view Congress selling legislation in return for campaign contributions as "a failure of capitalism". But not stupider.

  • Rockabilly||

    I think socialisms is groovy man.

    I got my degree in male feminist yoga studies from Oberlin and I can't find a job. Under socialisms I can go to post graduate school for free at the Kennedy School of Huge Government and study the Transgender Moment: the next wave of new rights and how to apply them to the workplace and government. The world will be a better place with new rights and laws to follow.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "I got my degree in male feminist yoga studies"

    Being a male studying female yogis is a hobby, son. Or a porn-niche. Get a real job.

    *gigglesnort*

    Yes, I know your post was *sarc*. I just couldn't resist playing with it.

  • Horny Lizard||

    You crazy freaks do realize in Louisiana the state basically offers every average student 'free' tax payer funded college tuition?

  • Brian||

    You do realize that no one knows what point you're trying to make, right?

    Is Louisiana a bastion of socialist progressive thought now?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Well, it's been a bastion of political corruption since before it was US territory....

  • lap83||

    Yeah, I do happen to know that since my brother and his family live there. I also know they're experiencing the worst budget crisis in their state's history.

  • Robert Crim||

    There's nothing wrong with Louisiana that couldn't be fixed by Huey Long or Hurricane Katrina.

  • Schamsie||

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Very odd.

    For instance, Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark. Swedish-Americans have a living standard 53 percent higher than the Swedes, and Finnish-Americans have a living standard 59 percent higher than those back in Finland.
  • MasterThief||

    BUT our healthcare system is ridiculously expensive. Can't argue with the point that our healthcare costs too much, but I'd certainly argue that their solutions are worse.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Well, DOES it 'cost too much'?

    And compared to what? I don't actually KNOW of any free market in health care. Does anyone here?

    I do know that in the vast majority of the places that offer 'free' health care, it's great if you are young and basically healthy, or if you have a very expensive condition that isn't common or hard to treat. If you are old and dealing with common complaints like bad hips, cancer, and so on, you are basically SOL.

    It's free because they don't actually deliver.

  • DarrenM||

    It's free because they don't actually deliver.

    And it's worth every penny.

  • Mark22||

    Our healthcare system is expensive for the same reason or cars are expensive: overregulation and rent seeking.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Socialism works until you run out of other peoples' money." -The Iron Lady

    "Equality is the lowest common denominator." -sarcasmic

    Socialism depends on a vibrant private sector to rob. Robbing them of course takes away the incentive to create wealth, and soon there is nothing to steal.

    As far as equality goes, as long as someone can do something better than someone else, life isn't fair. The only way for life to be fair is to reduce everyone to the capabilities of the dumbest, ugliest, and weakest among us. Wasn't there a short story about that?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Diana Moon Glampers wants a word with you.

  • Deelerious||

    To eliminate this, genetically test all fetuses. Abort any out of acceptable parameters. In a few generations we'll have a population of average proportions. Equality, Its for the greater good.

  • Grabthar's Hammer||

    We' re still going to need the Epsilon pluses

  • Deelerious||

    Yes...A Brave new world!

  • I'm Not Sure||

    Harrison Bergeron
    Author Kurt Vonnegut
    Plot
    In the year 2081, the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the Constitution dictate that all Americans are fully equal and not allowed to be smarter, better-looking, or more physically able than anyone else. The Handicapper General's agents enforce the equality laws, forcing citizens to wear "handicaps": masks for those who are too beautiful, loud radios that disrupt thoughts inside the ears of intelligent people, and heavy weights for the strong or athletic.

  • NoVaNick||

    The 214th amendment will state that all Americans must have their genitals removed and only be identified by the pronoun Xi.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Humanity 2.0........

    Like cybermen. All emotions, creativity, individual thought, and physical differences removed.

    A Marxist dream.

  • Tony||

    You don't really understand what people mean when they talk about equality. Your whole post, and your whole worldview, relies on absurd strawmen.

    We're all socialists if you define "wanting government to do stuff" as socialist. You, me, and everyone else here except the most hardcore of anarchists. Your list of government functions might be shorter than mine, but that's just a difference of priorities, not anything fundamental.

    And obviously when liberals promote equality, what they mean is equality of opportunity, to put it succinctly. Existing social injustices mean that how you're born determines to an extent how possible it is for you to succeed in our society. If you're saying you want to maintain that status quo, do absolutely nothing about it, then you shouldn't be surprised if other people work for a more just society. Some of us see it as the defining project of post-Enlightenment societies.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You are all about equality of outcome and don't give a shit about opportunity. Keep up the big lie; it's the fascist (socialist) way.

  • Tony||

    It would be convenient for you if that were true, I suppose. You wouldn't have to think much.

  • harpac||

    bingo

  • Microaggressor||

    And yet I don't see any egalitarians working toward breaking down barriers to escaping poverty. Rather, they prefer to pile them on and mask the harm they're inflicting by giving more and bigger wealth transfers. It's a recipe for increasing inequality by creating a two-class society of makers vs takers, with the takers being further isolated from productive endeavors. You should do something about that, unless more poverty is your goal.

  • Nardz||

    ^this is exactly the goal, and it's ambition is universal
    Global Socialism = Gazi

  • MarkLastname||

    So, we need to kneecap people with high IQs and good parents to make sure the "less fortunate" can succeed? Some equality.

    Some of us believe prosperity and freedom are more important than having the same amount of stuff as everyone else, especially when you have less stuff in the latter than in the former.

    And of course, the only way you can achieve equality (since most of the bullshit injustices you people cite are about upbringing and genetics, not patriarchal white supremacist conspiracies)is to fully regulate and control reproduction; take children away from single mothers, sterilize drug users, etc. But as long as people can make poor choices and reproduce, inequality will persist.

    We already have equality in law; to have it in your retreaded sense of the word without handicapping productive people, we'd have to eliminate the most rudimentary freedoms. That's why people like you should rightly be feared as harbingers of totalitarianism.

  • Tony||

    I think I said something about absurd strawmen.

    I will admit that a just society requires to some extent not letting the economic elites get away with looting the entire place for themselves.

  • Trollificus||

    Yeah, I can be displeased by "theft by the elites" too. Do you completely fail to notice that those very elites, the media, academics and all the major corporations, are totally down with, and promote, your very schemes to achieve "equalilty".

    Somehow, producing college students who think 'merit" is a dog-whistle for white supremacy, and getting black students admitted to schools they are ill-equipped to succeed in, cannot be viewed as something that's going to produce "equality". And that's not a straw man, that's the reality on the ground. If 70% of black students take nothing but "Critical Race Theory" classes and "Victimhood 101: Finding, Amplifying and Profiting From Grievances", your good intentions must be aimed at entrenching income disparity.

    Unless, in typical backwards-thinking fashion, you think a surfeit of holders of useless degrees confers upon society an obligation to create jobs that require said degrees. Which DOES sound like a straw man, but I dunno...

  • Tony||

    You said something about grievance?

  • Mock-star||

    "economic elites get away with looting the entire place for themselves."

    You have noticed that this is exactly what happens in a centralized controlled economy, right? In a free market economic elites dont loot anything. They become rich by providing goods and services that other people wish to pay for.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    What I want the government to do is mostly enforce contracts, deliver the mail, and run the military. And the only reason I want them to run the military is I am painfully aware of the history of outsourcing that function. See The Hundred Years War and or the Thirty Years War, special reference to the behavior of mercenary companies.

    Tony; Socialism had the Twentieth Century to make a case for itself, from ultra civilized nations like Sweden to third word hell holes like Cambodia. The BEST it has been able to do is 'meh, it could be worse', and this are in a distinct minority. Socialism may someday surprise me and form the foundation of a truly wonderful society, but it has used up any benefit of the doubt to which it might ever have been entitled.

  • Tony||

    The term "socialism" is so fraught that I prefer not to even use it in conversation. The Bernies are deluding themselves when they assert that the real key to winning in America is patiently explaining why socialism isn't such a bad thing after all. It's a form of "If only politician X agreed with ME on everything, they'd win all the elections!"

    Labels are not terribly interesting to me. We all believe in mixed economies, and the only debate to have is what the mix is. The problem I have with libertarians is that they want to pretend they're on some separate plane from the rest of us, when all they want is a mixed economy with very little government, without, of course, any real-world evidence to back up their preference.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Free market or bust!

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Shorter Tony: "It's only socialism when it works the way I want it to."

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We do have a mix in place. It's called our constitutional republic. Backed by our constitution. In addition to bieng the law of the land, it's pretty fucking awesome.

  • Mark22||

    We're all socialists if you define "wanting government to do stuff" as socialist. You, me, and everyone else here except the most hardcore of anarchists. Your list of government functions might be shorter than mine, but that's just a difference of priorities, not anything fundamental.

    The list of priorities of socialists consists of "guillotining all the bankers", "castrating the degenerates", and "forcibly reeducating dissidents in labor camps". My list of priorities includes "protecting borders" and "protecting personal property". I consider those differences quite fundamental.

  • Mark22||

    And obviously when liberals promote equality, what they mean is equality of opportunity, to put it succinctly. Existing social injustices mean that how you're born determines to an extent how possible it is for you to succeed in our society.

    Since socialists and progressives measure equality of opportunity by equality of outcome and then attribute any differences due to "social injustices", as you just did, you are, in fact, just advocating equality of outcome. You're simply trying to obfuscate that fact.

    If you're saying you want to maintain that status quo, do absolutely nothing about it, then you shouldn't be surprised if other people work for a more just society.

    Even if your beliefs about social justice were true, what you are advocating doing about it is unjust. Namely, progressives and "liberals" are punishing people for social injustices who simply aren't responsible for those injustices.

    Some of us see it as the defining project of post-Enlightenment societies.

    True enough: you throw the principles of the Enlightenment out the window and attempt to take us into a new Dark Ages of tribalism and oppression.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Equality is the lowest common denominator." -sarcasmic

    True.

  • albo||

    so-called democratic socialists

    Because they take a vote before they take all your stuff.

  • Arkansas Classical Libera||

    Agreed.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    "Nearly half of American millennials would rather live in a socialist society than in a capitalist one, according to a YouGov poll. That said, only 71 percent of those asked were able to properly identify either. We can now see the manifestation of this ignorance in our elections and The View co-host Joy Behar."

    So what? The basement apartment generation has embraced the childhood-for-life model, and without thinking too hard, socialism looks like the best way forward.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But you don't understand reforming or eliminating entitlements will break America and those greedy corporations will never pass along any OASDI/FICA savings to their exploited workforce. A millennial told me so.

  • Mark22||

    The basement apartment generation has embraced the childhood-for-life model

    They didn't "embrace" it, they were never taught anything else. It's their parents who are ultimately responsible.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Bernie Sanders, the nation's most successful socialist

    But is he really? The 'Democratic Socialist' crowd is usually just advocating more welfare and higher taxes, not state ownership of the means of production.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Distinction without a difference. The level of intervention escalates with every failure until there's some push back. Free college paid for by government means that the government controls it through monopsony power alone let alone the inevitable escalations. Same applies to Medicare for all or guaranteed government jobs.

    At best you can claim that they don't realize the ultimate form that their socialism will take. I don't think the "I'm stupid" defense is an especially good look.

  • NoVaNick||

    They will keep asking for higher taxes and more regulations until inequality disappears, which it never will-kind of like the equation for a hyperbola-for inequality to be zero, government will have to approach infinity.

  • Microaggressor||

    Both doctrines are a desire to infringe on private property rights, which I think is the most useful definition of socialism.

  • DarrenM||

    They're more for controlling the means of production rather than outright state ownership. (I think there's a word for this.) Bad results can then be blamed on the private entity while good results can be credited to the state.

  • Mark22||

    No, technically Bernie Sanders is a fascist (private ownership of the means of production for the benefit of society, as determined by government), not a socialist (state ownership of the means of production).

  • NoVaNick||

    Hayek's Road to Serfdom ought to be required reading for all high school seniors. For those who can't read, they should have to listen to the audio book.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Maybe a pop up book for people like Tony?

  • mjerryfuerst||

    A worthless article. The writer does not even give us a definition of what he call "socialism". One wonders if the writer can even provide a concise definition. The article laments about word "socialism" that is practised in multiple way and degrees, almost none of which would be supported by the US population. Opposing this writer's amorphous "socialism" is like opposing "religion."

  • harpac||

    He says its on a spectrum. Which, by definition, defies a "concise definition."

    Government schools strike again

  • Tony||

    I see people are competing over who has the shortest dick with respect to human death toll. I'm not sure how relevant atheism itself was to the death tolls of Mao and Stalin, and let it me known that nobody in the world except Kim Jong-Un subscribes to those ideologies anymore, but the wars of religion in Europe were no small potatoes. A third of Germany died over who had the better Jesus.

    I wonder how we would characterize the colonization of the Americas on the capitalism-socialism spectrum. Upper estimates put that at the single highest man-made death toll in history. Neither atheism nor socialism played much of a role in that.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Colonization was a government led enterprise as was the dominance over resources. Virginia Company. Hudson Bay Company. Ring any bells? These were government monopolies closer to socialism than capitalism I think.

  • Tony||

    Well it's not a competition since you can't have capitalism without government.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    This is an especially stupid statement even for you.

  • Microaggressor||

    It's a required faith for Tony's worldview.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Not really. He comes up with comparably idiotic pronouncements on a regular basis. I think he's compiling a book of internet humor.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Yea, people don't trade unless the government tells them to. //sarc

    Fuck off.

  • Tony||

    Trade and capitalism are not synonymous.

  • Trollificus||

    Uh, yes, yes they are, unless you consider "exchange mandated by government, under terms established by government" to constitute "trade". Which nobody, not even the Romans, could possibly believe.

  • Tony||

    Capitalism by definition depends on things like private property, competitive markets, and, let's assume, non-slave labor. What guarantees that these qualities exist?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    People who work to produce something they later wish to trade for something else.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I don't like the fact that my preferred ideology is the greatest weapon of mass destruction ever invented, therefore I conveniently dismiss it.

  • MarkLastname||

    So you're still retarded I see. Colonialism wasn't driven by capitalism: it was driven by mercantilism. Early proponents of capitalism like Adam Smith were generally critical of colonialism.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "let it me known that nobody in the world except Kim Jong-Un subscribes to those ideologies anymore, "

    I think you're overly optimistic on that score. I've been kicked off lefty sites where they were discussing the merits of those ideologies, and I'd pissed in the punch bowl by mentioning the gulags and pyramids of skulls.

    Having been banned, they got right back to discussing those ideologies as though they didn't know how they worked out in the real world.

  • Trollificus||

    Well, once they'd banned you and deleted your comments, they didn't! That's how reality works for some people.

  • Mark22||

    the wars of religion in Europe were no small potatoes. A third of Germany died over who had the better Jesus

    A third of Germany died over people objecting to having to submit to a totalitarian, corrupt church power structure. The religion itself, on both sides, did not tell people to kill each other, to impose religion on each other, or to take each other's stuff. That's in sharp contrast to socialism, whose stated, primary objective is to take stuff from people by force.

    'm not sure how relevant atheism itself was to the death tolls of Mao and Stalin, and let it me known that nobody in the world except Kim Jong-Un subscribes to those ideologies anymore

    You subscribe to them, you just delude yourself into believing that this time it will be different.

  • Tony||

    So defending socialism on its successes is forbidden, because that's the rules you just made up. Does libertarianism get to defend itself on any of its successes? Oh, there aren't any.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Still waiting for some successes. But it's never real socialism when your policies inevitably fail.

  • MarkLastname||

    Other than the greatest economic progress in human history driven by economic liberalization, yeah, nothing at all. That stark correlation between economic well-being and economic freedom, that's nothing. You guys killed half of Cambodia! Now there's an accomplishment!

  • MarkLastname||

    Oh, and socialism has no successes. Countries like Sweden are successful despite (and were before) their pseudo-socialism, not because if it.

  • Rebel Scum||

    defending socialism on its successes

    Define "success".

  • Robert Crim||

    Not exactly sure, but I think it's similar to "French military victories."

  • Sevo||

    Robert Crim|7.27.18 @ 11:40PM|#
    "Not exactly sure, but I think it's similar to "French military victories.""

    Did you have a point, or just random bullshit?

  • Microaggressor||

    Hong Kong and Singapore.

    I assume you're talking about the Nordic model which are mixed economies like most developed countries, whose success can not be simply attributed to the socialist aspect when there coexists a strong capitalist component.

  • Tony||

    And I assume that means you understand that nobody in the American political spectrum is actually advocating for a capitalism-free society.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Of course not! Even dimwits like you understand that people need to be able to make capital (somewhat, or OK, maybe just a little, with the right Top Men regulating them to the last inch) before you can take it away.

  • DarrenM||

    No one advocates killing the goose until they forget where eggs come from.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Tony, I give you the Democratic Socialists of America.

    https://www.dsausa.org/about_dsa

    At the root of our socialism is a profound commitment to democracy, as means and end. As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people.

    This strongly suggests that "an immediate end to capitalism" is their ultimate goal, but for now they're content to chip away at it until it's eventually gone.

  • ace_m82||

    I'm sorry, those were "successes"?

    I'll just steal this from NotAnotherSkippy's above comment:

    www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2.....1tQGmrwaHt

    "For instance, Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark. Swedish-Americans have a living standard 53 percent higher than the Swedes, and Finnish-Americans have a living standard 59 percent higher than those back in Finland."

  • Tony||

    People don't immigrate overseas to America in order to be poorer than they were at home.

  • ace_m82||

    But why would they be more rich than the people who stayed (who were presumably the ones better off)?

  • Tony||

    Immigrants from India are also richer than the average person who stays in India.

    America is a land of extremes. You can be wealthier than you ever can be in Denmark, perhaps, but you can also be poorer. Politics is about figuring out where the floor and ceiling should be.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Politics is about figuring out where the floor and ceiling should be.

    And of course you want to be the one to figure out what that ceiling is, right? Make one dollar more that what Tony thinks you "deserve", and the jackboots come out!

    Your definition of politics is a nasty authoritarian one. Kinda like yourself.

  • Tony||

    Well, you want to tell people that the floor is dead of poverty, so who's doing more harm in the end?

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    I note that you did not contest what I said; you just dragged out your standard intellectually vapid tu quoque.

    Also, since when did you become a mind reader?

  • Tony||

    I addressed your point perfectly. Neither of us wants to control people collectively more than the other. You may slap a bumper sticker on your collective policies that says "freedom," but I would argue that mine result in far, far more freedom, and that's all we should really be debating. The idea that you just want to leave people alone as if there is some kind of default state of being in the modern world is fallacious.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    What a complete load of crap, unless you consider wanting to keep the fruits of my labor "controlling" other people. Which, of course, you do.

    You really do consider my life to be the property of the State, don't you. There's no other way to understand the drivel you just wrote.

    Fuck you for wanting to make my kids slaves to your fucking State.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "You may slap a bumper sticker on your collective policies that says "freedom," but I would argue that mine result in far, far more freedom"

    Yes Tony, our only freedom are the socialist chains which bind us.

  • ace_m82||

    "Immigrants from India are also richer than the average person who stays in India."

    Exactly.

    "America is a land of extremes. You can be wealthier than you ever can be in Denmark, perhaps, but you can also be poorer."

    Yes, but it looks like being wealthier is more likely. Ideally, it would be a meritocracy, and it looks like America is more of that than Denmark is. Why do you hate choice?

    "Politics is about figuring out where the floor and ceiling should be."

    Yes, it's about sending men-with-guns to stop some from having something, and "giving" it to another. It's covetousness, theft, and murder.

    The free market is about trading voluntarily what you have or make to someone who values it more than you do. The "floor" is self-determined", and the "ceiling" is (potentially) infinitely high.

    Politics is evil, and the free market is life.

  • Tony||

    If politics is evil then stop trying to make policy for the rest of us. Stop describing how you would change policy to make my society a better place. Just butt out and be a good capitalist and stop whining all the time. Or aren't you just as interested in affecting other people's lives as I am?

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Just butt out and be a good capitalist and stop whining all the time.

    Translate: If you know what's good for you, keep you head down and keep making that sweet sweet dough.

  • ace_m82||

    "If politics is evil then stop trying to make policy for the rest of us."

    I'm not. I'm trying to get you to stop sending men-with-guns against those who haven't initiated force against you. I'm trying to stop politics.

    "Stop describing how you would change policy to make my society a better place."

    I'm trying to stop you from stealing, assaulting, and murdering. I'm trying to stop you from politics.

    "Just butt out and be a good capitalist and stop whining all the time."

    Stop it with the theft, assault, and murder and I will. I have no interest in running your life, or letting you start your own commune if you wish. Go for it.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    We all know you're interested in affecting peoples' lives. That much is obvious.

    As is the fact that you'd be perfectly happy doing so over the barrel of a gun. While wearing a spiffy uniform and really classy jackboots.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    We all know you're interested in affecting peoples' lives. That much is obvious.

    As is the fact that you'd be perfectly happy doing so over the barrel of a gun. While wearing a spiffy uniform and really classy jackboots.

  • Tony||

    But you want government to do only those things that require guns and cages.

  • ace_m82||

    Tony:

    If that was directed at me, you're dead wrong. I want no state (aka: government). I'm an An-Cap.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Pay no mind -- it was just Tony's standard "I have no rational argument so I'm just going full tu quoque." It could have been directed at either of us, or maybe just the voices in his head. Doesn't matter.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    I'm sure he'll be back real soon to call us both Republicans. Or cousin-fuckers.

  • Tony||

    I think we can safety assume that most people in, say, America don't want to live in an an-cap society. Most of us really just want to tweak aspects of the existing order. So if you can successfully explain how we achieve your preferred form of society without forcing anyone to do anything, you might blow my mind.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    You don't want to "tweak" anything -- that's just another leftist weasel word like "common-sense", "reasonable restrictions", "take just a little bit more". You want to rip it all apart, replace the whole thing with a system where the right Top Men determine what each person's ability is, and what each person's need is.

    Admit it. Stop using weasel words and just admit what you really want.

  • Tony||

    Uh, no. I probably don't even want taxes to be much higher than they were under Reagan (noted leftist totalitarian).

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    "probably"
    "much higher"

    More weasel words. You can't make any statement without qualifying it three ways from Sunday.

    You're only fooling yourself. It's blatantly obvious to the rest of us what you really want.

  • Tony||

    I don't get why you don't appreciate that you guys are the radicals who want massive change (against people's will). Is it that you don't understand that people can be another way?

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Tony's autobiography: "From Tu Quoque to Weasel and Back Again".

    I'm now a radical who wants the massive change of not wanting your Top Men to decide what I can do with my life.

    Done with this bullshit. You're hopeless.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Tony it's almost comical how all you do is constantly move goal posts, evade questions, and parrot typical leftist talking points.

    I wonder if you've ever have had an original thought.

  • ace_m82||

    "I don't get why you don't appreciate that you guys are the radicals who want massive change (against people's will)."

    I am a radical. I don't want to steal, assault, or murder. I've been called a "child" for being so radical!

    I do want massive change. I don't want to steal, assault, or murder.

    It is against people's will. They want to steal, assault, and murder.

    "Is it that you don't understand that people can be another way?"

    People can be whatever way they want. If they choose to steal, assault, or murder (privately, or using the state), they ought to be forced (yes, forced) to repay what they've taken, pay back their debt. They ought to return their stolen goods (plus interest for inconvenience) and pay back the damage for their assault and murder (to the victim or victim's next of kin). This used to be called "justice".

  • ace_m82||

    "I think we can safety assume that most people in, say, America don't want to live in an an-cap society."

    Majority makes right fallacy.

    "Most of us really just want to tweak aspects of the existing order."

    Most people perceive that they benefit from theft, assault, and murder.

    "So if you can successfully explain how we achieve your preferred form of society without forcing anyone to do anything"

    Wrong. I "force" them to not initiate force. It's still using force, but only in defense, or in response.

  • Tony||

    I suppose that's the best possible response, as much as it hinges on semantics and other bullshit.

  • ace_m82||

    Theft: the taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.
    Assault: the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action.
    Murder: The killing of another person without justification or excuse, or
    To kill (another human).

    Word definitions are now "semantics and other BS"...

    I see why the others grow impatient with your nonsense, Tony.

    What, do you want me to define what "force" is, next? How about "using"? Maybe "defense"?

    If you're going to argue like that, just quit and save face!

  • Brian||

    Tony:
    "But you want government to do only those things that require guns and cages."

    When you figure out how to tax people without guns and cages, go ahead.

    Otherwise, are you arguing for the post office?

    If that's your progressive ideal, then go ahead, but providing goods and services to paying customers sounds like the most libertarian government at all: no cages required.

  • Tony||

    You're literally saying that it would be a better society if there were no crime. Do you guys never get tired of debating how many unicorns can dance on the head of a dick?

  • Brian||

    You're basically saying that people pay taxes voluntarily.

    Do you ever come to terms with how your actual preferred policies work?

  • Tony||

    That's a useful fiction that's actually been put into practice.

  • Brian||

    Pro tip: when you can't come to terms with how your own worldview actually works, it's not because of how awesome it is.

    "We need government force to stop murder, rape, and slavery, but everyone pays taxes voluntarily, out of the goodness of their hearts! No guns and cages there! The automatic withholding of 20%+ of your income and the threats of fines and jail time are just technicalities, really!"

    I'm not sure if that level of obtuseness is intentional or pathological.

  • Tony||

    But do you want to mitigate murder and rape or not?

  • Brian||

    Sure.

    BTW, that's using violence to defend people from murder and rape, not "using violence for gun/cage fetish."

    If you have to straw man out of the gate, you're already wrong.

  • ace_m82||

    Tony, if that's directed at me:

    "You're literally saying that it would be a better society if there were no crime."

    Well, sure, that's true. Let's substitute "crime" for "initiations of force" because they are easier to define and don't change.

    But we aren't Utopians. There will always be initiations of force among you, but that doesn't imply you should initiate force to stop it. You should respond with force, yes, but you don't need to tax or claim a monopoly on force to do it (both are initiations of force).

    Justice has happened outside of a state system, and does today, and will tomorrow.

    If you fight fire with fire, you just get more fire. If you fight initiations of force with initiations of force, you get 262 million unarmed murders in 100 years!

    www.reason.com/archives/2014/0.....-and-proud

  • Tony||

    As any reader of Pinker will note, things were not better for people before we had large-scale governments. The entire point of a (good) government is to minimize violence in society that would naturally exist as a behavioral fact of our species. It's a technological innovation that people in every corner of the world have decided to keep around because it works.

  • Brian||

    It's funny how you hold up methods of human organization that are literally millennia old, and have their roots in superstitious theocracy, as "innovation."

  • ace_m82||

    "things were not better for people before we had large-scale governments"

    Thank you for showing the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    "The entire point of a (good) government is to minimize violence in society"

    It fails. It always fails. The "best" government is the smallest one, even to the point of non-existence.

    "It's a technological innovation"

    Theft, assault, and murder are not "technologies".

    "people in every corner of the world have decided to keep around because it works"

    People like theft, assault, and murder.

    Government "works". Only 262 million unarmed murdered in 100 years! Technology and progress!

  • ||

    things were not better for people before we had large-scale governments.

    Correlation =/= causation.

    The first "big governments" were the European monarchies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (those ones that engaged in colonialism). The wealth that was coming out of the New World and out of financing land wars in Asia drove the ability of monarchs to consolidate their powers into the embryos of the modern police state.

    When Louis XIV said "L'Etat, c'est moi," he didn't mean "now at last I can feed the Poor."

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "If politics is evil then stop trying to make policy for the rest of us"

    You first.

    Do you understand that if things run right, people don't need your help. Amd it may shock you to know that an awful lot of folks out here do not WANT your help either. You're just so unjustifiably arrogant that you believe everyone is helpless without your socialist pals deciding how they will live from on high.

  • DarrenM||

    Politics is about figuring out where the floor and ceiling should be.

    I think that's a reasonable way of putting it, though I disagree there should be any ceiling at all. However, we do have anti-trust laws which might be the kind of thing you are referring to.

  • markm23||

    "America is a land of extremes. You can be wealthier than you ever can be in Denmark, perhaps, but you can also be poorer."

    It is possible to _choose_ to be very poor in the USA, like a homeless person who refuses assistance and refuses to follow the rules of a shelter, but American welfare pays enough to be middle-class in Europe. When a welfare family is living in squalor, it's because of several factors that reduce what they get for the welfare money:

    1. They trashed their apartment.

    2. Their neighbors trashed the building or robbed them - and this crime continues because they don't cooperate with the police.

    3. They spend whatever cash they receive from welfare and anything they manage to get by conversion of food stamps and other assistance on luxuries - cigarettes, alcohol, illegal drugs, bling, $200 sneakers, etc.

    4. Criminals in their own family suck up their cash for bail and fines, get them kicked out of housing, etc.

    5. But not _all_ of their problems are by choice - there are also regulations that make housing and other necessities far more expensive.

  • Robert Crim||

    Tell that to the Pilgrims.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Are you asserting that pilgrim collectivism was successful? The opposite is true. Their collectivism. Early caused them to starve their first winter as a colony.

    Apologies if you were saying the opposite.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing is, all political/economic systems are criticized on the basis of their worst case by their opponents and defended on the basis of their bast case by their proponents.

    On that basis, Socialism doesn't come off too well. Its actual application in the Low Countries was limited until fairly recently, at which point (coincidently? Who knows?) conditions started to accelerate downhill. On it's worst case, it makes the Emperor Palpatine look like a humanitarian. Alderan at least never knew what hit it.

    One system that comes off rather well is absolute Monarchy. In the first place it has seldom been tried (monarchs almost always need the military support of SOMEBODY,and that somebody is unlikely to ceded all power) so that awful examples aren't widely available. In the best case you have somebody bred and educated to the job running things. And in the worst case, you only have to kill one idiot.

  • Tony||

    I can't remember if Plato made your last point when he was endorsing a version of this system, but it's a good one.

    For all the fuss America has made over ridding itself of institutional classism and monarchy, it's not like Britain became a tyrannical hellhole, and Canada skips along just fine without ever having needed to violently divorce itself from the monarchy.

    And for all the trouble of being the first modern democracy we get stuck with an antiquated system that is in the process of totally breaking down.

  • ||

    Are you under the impression that Britain has rid itself of "institutional classism?"

    If so, all I can say is that you've clearly never been there.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think he's saying that they didn't bother to remove it, and they're doing fine.

  • ||

    I think he's saying that they didn't bother to remove it, and they're doing fine.

    Okay, yeah - I can see reading it that way. But that almost seems worse. Isn't upthread-Tony lamenting class inequality as a de facto bad thing?

  • Tony||

    Not at all. I actually lived there for a time, and it was palpable. People content with their station. Yet still feeling superior to Americans, who are, despite our problems, actually a more sophisticated people.

  • ||

    People content with their station.

    Hmm. That's not the feel I got from the working class people, but I'm guessing you were hobnobbing with people who had less reason to lack content with "their station."

  • Mark22||

    So defending socialism on its successes is forbidden

    Socialism has had no successes. None. Zero. Zilch.

  • Hattori Hanzo||

    "And no, New York primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't intend to set up gulags in Alaska. Most so-called democratic socialists—the qualifier affixed to denote that they live in a democratic system and have no choice but to ask for votes—aren't consciously or explicitly endorsing violence or tyranny."

    Except for the fact that she is. It's the endgame of socialism. Always has been and always will be. Ocasio-Cortez knows this or she's a fucking idiot. No more coddling these people. It's time to call them out as evil or useful idiots. She and her ilk are one or the other.

  • Microaggressor||

    Most of them are in fact just ignorant of history and human behavior. Factually challenged, like Tony.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Ocasio-Cortez knows this or she's a fucking idiot."

    Embrace the power of 'and'.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " And no, New York primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't intend to set up gulags in Alaska. "

    How do you know that? It's not like the socialists who DO intend to set up gulags tell you before they're in power.

  • mtrueman||

    "How do you know that?"

    Because there are already plenty of prisons in Alaska which were set up by capitalists. When Americans invaded Iraq, for example, they didn't need to build new prisons, they simply took over those built by the fascistic Saddam regime.

  • Trollificus||

    And why is anyone making assumptions about her degree of understanding of ANYTHING? Not saying a person can get too far with just a good complexion and great smile and 2 or 3 "Intersectionality Stack Points" in her favor but...oh, wait...

    (LOVE that the spell-check STILL insists that "intersectionality" is not a real word.)

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "And why is anyone making assumptions about her degree of understanding of ANYTHING?"

    Because she is openly advocating a political and social system that oversaw the destruction of the French and British economies, and the creation of the Shoah, the Gulag, the Laogai, and the Killing Fields.

    Since she doesn't look like anyone's picture of a cannibalistic monster (that's more Hillary's look) they tend to thinks she's an idiot.

  • ||

    Good piece. We need more of these. Too many illiterates are hogging the stage today.

    "...But none of them admit that capitalism has been the most effective way to eliminate poverty in history."

    They don't admit it because they don't believe it.

    Socialism is pure evil. And supporting it makes you a useful idiot.

    Ironically, progressives like to say they're on the 'right side of history' but it's McCain who has the facts of history on her side.

  • mtrueman||

    "Socialism is pure evil. And supporting it makes you a useful idiot."

    No, the supporters are pure evil too. They are our enemy and need to be eliminated.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes and no. I know some that don't really understand what they're talking about and are just along for the ride. If it came down to a shooting war, they wouldn't be involved. The real movement socialist types are another story. I do not see how we survive as a country over time with that group intact.

  • Mark22||

    If you want a principled condemnation of socialism, why do you care about the opinions of a wealthy, overpaid, self-righteous art history major whose only claim to fame are her last name and her hairstyle?

  • DarrenM||

    What's really bizarre is that Socialists want more spending but simultaneously advocate policies that would reduce the revenue needed for that spending. They seem to think wealth is generated merely by a judicious use of the printing presses at the US Mint.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Capitalism is the expectorating pejorative coined by worshippers of Karl Marx to refer to slaveholding mercantilism before the Civil War. Capitalism and Slavery, the corresponding smear book, was countered by Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom. But the late Petr Beckmann, Reason boardmember emeritus, warned against "your enemy's terms" in an Access to Energy essay. Conservatives who sneeringly call communists "liberals" expose their Comstock Law and prohibitionist proclivities. Communists who compliment fascists by calling them capitalists blunder no less stupidly. Friedman hinted at the law-changing power of spoiler votes--votes that terrify every fascist and communist on the planet. So rather than malapropisms of senile parties, why not prefer terms like libertarian and looter that express the concept with no distortion?

  • Sevo||

    Hank, seek help.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed.

  • Pudgeboy||

    When I was younger, I enjoyed debating and arguing about politics, religion, music, sports, whatever; now, I usually just feel like I'm rehashing debates I had, and won, decades ago. Socialism. Seriously? It's been tried. The results are available. I have heard of Sweden. It's akin to thinking that the health effects of cigarette smoking are inconclusive because your uncle who smoked for 50 years was never sick a day in his life and died at 95, quietly in bed.

  • John B. Egan||

    Utter nonsense... RWers always trot out Venezuela which is failing not because it is Socialist, but because it 'turned Socialist' as a result of the 1% ripping off the nation, leaving it with massive debt and being beaten up by the World Bank.. This is well known.. Here are real Socialist nations.. Not those which fell to dictatorships.. but those nations that actually are successful. Having lived in several of these nations, I can attest that they have a much better quality of life than we drones do here in the US as our Congress sells us out to their donors.

    Below, you will see some of the most socialistic nations in the world today:

    China.
    Denmark.
    Finland.
    Netherlands.
    Canada.
    Sweden.
    Norway.
    Ireland.

  • Pudgeboy||

    China? Seriously? I rest my case.

  • Robert Crim||

    Actually, the average Chinaman today makes about 17 times what he made only 25 years ago. This is the equivalent of going from horses to modern cars.

    China has many things to criticize; but, it has come a long way economically and in part because, increasingly, it is socialist in name only -- "SINO."

  • Toom Tabard||

    Wow, I don't know what to say about your comment Robert. Google this and then come back with the SINO comment again:

    China has started ranking citizens with a creepy 'social credit' system

  • Sevo||

    Robert Crim|7.27.18 @ 11:48PM|#
    "Actually, the average Chinaman today makes about 17 times what he made only 25 years ago. This is the equivalent of going from horses to modern cars."
    Yes. Liberalizing the economy, even in the limited form the Chi Coms have done, makes an amazing difference. But then you support keeping the economy under government control, don't you?
    Why, Robert Crim, are you in favor of promoting poverty? Are you stupid or dishonest?
    Actually, I don't give a shit. Fuck off, slaver.

  • Sevo||

    "Utter nonsense... RWers always trot out Venezuela which is failing not because it is Socialist, but because it 'turned Socialist' as a result of the 1% ripping off the nation,..."

    Complete and total bullshit; a lefty's fantasy.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Consider the poster=retarded DU troll boy who Mom let out of his playpen for a sippy cup of juice.

  • Sevo||

    Where did JBE come from? He showed up last week, has posted lefty bullshit claims as if a claim were an argument and never bothers to respond with anything like a cite.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Probably some asshole who saw that as a talking point on a Media !atters or somewhere similar, then copy/pastes it on sites like Reason.

    That would explain the lack of follow up.

    Or, in the alternative, it's a Reason intern doing the same to gin up clicks.

  • Sevo||

    John B. Egan|7.27.18 @ 5:55PM|#
    "... but because it 'turned Socialist' as a result of the 1% ripping off the nation, leaving it with massive debt and being beaten up by the World Bank."

    OK, bullshit artist, let's see evidence other than lefty scumbags like you making assertions.
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • NashTiger||

    IRELAND is Socialist now

    Tell us, What is the income tax rate in Ireland? What are the corporate tax rates in Ireland? Denmark, Sweden, Finland, etc?

  • Outside the Box||

    "Socialism Leads to Misery and Destitution"

    No. *Violence* does. An abstraction such as "socialism" is impotent without the *action* of initiating human violence. This is easy to see if you consider a socialistic government that for whatever reason did not use violence to enforce its socialism: it would look a lot like the English Queen, nothing more than a figurehead.

    I really think it's a mistake to get stuck on some "ism" and ignore actual human action. If you got rid of socialism, there'd still be communism, and mutualism, and Marxism, and SJW-ism, etc.,etc. You get rid of the initiation of violence, and *none* of those have any power.

  • Outside the Box||

    And mea culpa, I really was responding to this "Socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence."

    Of course socialism leads to misery and destitution, I'm saying that the leading man-made cause of death and misery is the initiation of violence.

  • nychotpilot||

    All true but pols like Ocasio-Cortez are more likely to get elected dog-catcher than anything else if they didn't spew economic illiteracy. A significant portion of her constituents want a government check and not a pay check.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    New Yorkers really suck. They elect Cuomo governor, they elect The Hag Senator, they elect DeBlasiio mayor, and now they want to make this valid commie bitch a congress critter?

    "Escape from New York" is starting to look pretty good.

  • drisco304||

    Socialism is only really complete if it's in a one party country, like today's North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and China. Or like in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. Scandinavia may have some elements of socialism but they are still democracies - they still hold elections. They still have private business which is why they are successful.

  • mtrueman||

    Hitler's Germany had private business's. Germany's business elite continued to run and profit from their operations. Same goes for smaller businesses. This toleration of capitalism is something Stalin would never put up with. Stalin believed in communism, while Hitler was more interested in race, conquest and destiny.

  • Sevo||

    "Hitler's Germany had private business's. Germany's business elite continued to run and profit from their operations."

    What an ignoramus.
    So did Russian businesses,. UNTIL Lenin secured his base and stole them.
    If you had read any serious history of Nazi Germany, Hitler's intent was precisely the same. The Herman Goring Steel Works were not an aberration.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Good point Sevo. Tired of hearing leftists trot out how 'capitalist' Hitler was.

  • mtrueman||

    Hitler had all sorts of schemes and flights of fancy. But it was race and conquest that were always most important to him. He showed that he was perfectly at ease with the business world as long as they were on board with his primary obsessions.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.27.18 @ 7:03PM|#
    "Hitler had all sorts of schemes and flights of fancy."

    So did Lenin, you fucking imbecile.

  • mtrueman||

    Lenin was more intellectually disciplined than Hitler and had fewer sorts of schemes and flights of fancy than Hitler. The important thing to focus on is what happened, rather than delving into the hearts and minds of people long dead. Hitler never liquidated the army, the business elite, the aristocracy. The Bolsheviks liquidated all that and much more.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.27.18 @ 9:23PM|#
    "Lenin was more intellectually disciplined than Hitler and had fewer sorts of schemes and flights of fancy than Hitler."
    Says an imbecile who claims "Stalin didn't really kill all those people!" Hint: your rep for historical 'knowledge' approximates those who find "Parade" magazine informative. That is a claim without one bit of evidence; you are full of shit.

    "The important thing to focus on is what happened, rather than delving into the hearts and minds of people long dead. Hitler never liquidated the army, the business elite, the aristocracy. The Bolsheviks liquidated all that and much more."
    Yes, and those smarter than a cockroach do some research and also include "time" in drawing conclusions. So we can easily see that you are not one of those people.
    You are a fucking ignoramus.

  • mtrueman||

    ""Stalin didn't really kill all those people!"

    No, I'm saying Stalin didn't murder all those people, as some here insist. You see, murder requires intent and the evidence doesn't suggest that Stalin intended to kill. Deal with it.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You see, murder requires intent and the evidence doesn't suggest that Stalin intended to kill. You see, murder requires intent and the evidence doesn't suggest that Stalin intended to kill. Deal with it.

    Commie liar lies about commie murders.

  • Darr247||

    Lenin was murdered in a de facto coup by Stalin.
    That's why Trotsky said 'screw this' and moved to Mexico.

  • Sevo||

    "Lenin was murdered in a de facto coup by Stalin.
    That's why Trotsky said 'screw this' and moved to Mexico."

    You're full of shit; Lenin was not murdered.
    Trying to come up with some lame apology? Or just an imbecile?

  • mtrueman||

    It was Rosa who was murdered. Lenin died of a broken heart.

  • Sevo||

    Imbecilic. Expected.

  • mtrueman||

    Feelings! Hurt!

  • Gus diZerega||

    Kind of a dishonest post since "socialism" means many different things, from the state planning as an alternative to the market, such as Albania, to public provision of many goods within the context of a market, such as Norway.

    Combining them is the kind of thing the least informed libertarians do, who do not really understand politics or economics. F. A. Hayek, by contrast, made it explicit that his "Road to Serfdom" was aimed at British Labor who at the time thought they could replace the market with state planning, and keep a free society. Hayek rightly argued that was impossible.

    Hayek also explicitly exempted Sweden (which was called socialist at the time) from his critique because the Swedes did not propose to weaken or replace the market process. Hayek was skeptical the Swedish model would work in the long run, but that was an empirical claim that time could test. So far the Swedes are doing pretty well almost 80 years after the Road to serfdom was published.

  • Sevo||

    Gus diZerega|7.27.18 @ 6:32PM|#
    "Kind of a dishonest post since "socialism" means many different things, from the state planning as an alternative to the market, such as Albania, to public provision of many goods within the context of a market, such as Norway."

    You should have RTFA before making an ass of yourself.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Article? I thought there was a head,one as a base premise with an author, probably a bad one attached to it. Then we start posting comments to argue about them and point out that Tony, AmSoc, and PB are pieces of shit.

  • Pudgeboy||

    Reality doesn't care about what was written in books 80 years ago, regardless the author. That world, that Sweden, doesn't exist anymore. The global economy, banking, currency are not comparable to what existed then; the post-war period has not seen the world move in a socialist or democratic socialist direction. To think Sweden operates under a unique model is to misunderstand and to make a distinction without a difference.

  • Spookk||

    The stupidity of illiterates equating "socialism" and Democratic Socialism knows no bounds.

  • Sevo||

    Spookk|7.27.18 @ 6:45PM|#
    "The stupidity of illiterates equating "socialism" and Democratic Socialism knows no bounds."

    The dishonesty and stupidity of fucking lefties knows no bounds; you're full of shit.

  • john willow||

    You're quite the angry little, boy, sevo. Do you have any purpose in being here?

  • Sevo||

    john willow|7.28.18 @ 11:25AM|#
    "You're quite the angry little, boy, sevo. Do you have any purpose in being here?"

    You're quite the infantile, imbecilic lefty john willow.
    Yes, I hope to piss off every slimy supporter of mass murderers. Like you.
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "The stupidity of illiterates equating "socialism" and Democratic Socialism knows no bounds."

    Is that like not acknowledging the difference between a serial killer who rapes you until you're dead with a serial killer who rapes you eve after you're dead?

    Stupid, right?

  • DRees||

    This is ad hominem crapola.

  • FusterCluck||

    Keep using phrases you don't understand to describe an article you surely won't comprehend.

  • Sevo||

    DRees|7.27.18 @ 6:52PM|#
    "This is ad hominem crapola."

    When dealing with fucking lefty ignoramuses, it is often easier to simply call them what they are rather than attempt any sort of reasoning with fucking lefty ignoramuses.
    Just so you know, fucking lefty ignoramuses.

  • tzx4||

    socialism (sōˈshə-lĭzˌəm)►
    n. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.


    Seriously, who here can name any "means of producing and distributing goods " that are owned by the US government?
    All the current Rightist screams of "socialism" are just plain irrelevant if they can't even use the work socialism by its dictionary definition.

    So I guess any taxes count as socialism?
    Are the national parks, the military, national forests, interstate highways all "socialism'?
    There are advantages to the public realm. There are certain needs in a society that for profit organizations will not, or cannot do.

    Methinks most people in the USA need a basic civics lesson, as well as a course in political science 101.

  • Sevo||

    tzx4|7.27.18 @ 6:54PM|#
    "Seriously, who here can name any "means of producing and distributing goods " that are owned by the US government?
    All the current Rightist screams of "socialism" are just plain irrelevant if they can't even use the work socialism by its dictionary definition."

    Did you bring that strawman all the way from home, or steal; it from someone on the way?

  • Darr247||

    You forgot public libraries and the Post Office.
    Oh, and socialist security/medicare (FICA-SS/FICA-HI).

  • Robert Crim||

    VonMises suggested that we use the word, "interventionism," to describe the American system. However, the idea never caught on.

  • Sevo||

    Robert Crim|7.27.18 @ 11:56PM|#
    "VonMises suggested that we use the word, "interventionism," to describe the American system. However, the idea never caught on."
    Crim posts irrelevant bullshit. Did you have a point?

  • Sevo||

    Linked this morning, relevant here (especially since we seem to be attracting lefty ignoramuses from all over:
    "How Venezuela Struck It Poor
    The tragic — and totally avoidable — self-destruction of one of the world's richest oil economies."
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/16/how-
    venezuela-struck-it-poor-oil-energy-chavez/

  • babybird722||

    Get a grip! What is going on in this country? Republicans in a tizzy over nonsense about Socialism and the Democratic working themselves into a lather over Row V Wade. We are devouring each other over propaganda started by crooks. While we debate fantasy, the cat is stealing our supper.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Except the hardcore leftists are taking over the DNC and want to take over the government and run our lives with massive taxation, regulation and inflict government takeover like single payor on us.

    The republicans suck, but not like that. There is no equivalence.

  • WillPaine||

    And where has a social democratic system ever been put in place? The wealth of a society should be to the benefit of those who make it, yes? Yes; 2020 vision: Bernie

  • FusterCluck||

    Since society is an abstract, I definitely believe wealth should benefit those individuals who create it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "But look: Norway!"
    Yeah. And Denmark and Sweden.

    Do socialists have any examples that are not historical indigenous white ethnostates?

  • Mark22||

    Those countries were quite libertarian for much of their existence. They turned a bit "socialist" in the 1970's when they got insanely wealthy, and they are slowly reversing that again.

  • rajpe||

    You neglected to mention that other Socialist disaster: Nazi Germany

    You might also mention that Socialism (Engles, for example) invented genocide to eliminate "lesser races."

    So actually, Hitler was simply being a good Socialist with his racial policies.

  • Uncle Jay||

  • GaryA||

    Sorry to disappoint, but in the wake of the Bankster/Wall St. conflagration in 2009 ff, "socialist" Portugal reversed the neocon austerity policies demanded by "capitalist" northern European contries before loans were let. Why? Those "pro-capitalist" policies were implemented in 2011 and they crippled Portugal's economy. So in 2015 Portugal fipped and pursued "socialistic" solutions.

    And guess what?

    As Foreign Policy put it, "Despite the threats and doomsday prophesies from EU officials, the measures rekindled domestic demand and investment in 2016. Growth became steady. A year after assuming office, Costa's government with a leftist menagerie behind it could flaunt a 13 percent leap in corporate investment. "Portugal has increased public investment, reduced the deficit, slashed unemployment and sustained economic growth," Guardian columnist Owen Jones wrote earlier this year. "We were told this was impossible and, frankly, delusional." In September, Portugal regained investment-grade credit status from international rating agencies." Portugal Has Emerged as Europe's Booming Anti-Germany

    If one starts out poor in America one's chances of rising to prosperity are worse than in all those neo-socialistic First World countries: David Wessel, Wall St. Journal: "As Rich-Poor Gap Widens in the U.S., Class Mobility Stalls"
    Those in Bottom Rung Enjoy Better Odds in Europe; How Parents Confer an Edge

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Portugal has been socialist for decades.

    Amy capitalism is crony capitalism. Like all socialist states, its just a matter of time before they implode and or murder millions.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Many commenters on this site get upset when I suggest extreme measures to ensure the defeat of Marxism in the US. I believe as I do because what you just said is absolutely correct. I would rather stop them now and risk far less life than if we are ever foolish enough to give them total control.

  • gormadoc||

    Portugal started out at lower numbers than the rest of Europe. Any increase will be proportionally big there. Simply stealing a Spanish car doubles their wealth.

    Best down by the fact that this was reported in 2015, other countries (besides Sweden!) didn't implement austerity, and now three years later Portugal is still the donkey's ass of Europe.

  • ddavel||

    Here's proof: Oksana Shachko, one of the founders of the Femen feminist protest movement, has been found dead in her Paris flat. Suicide. Apparently she didn't find any "happiness" in her liberalism.

  • Shinbanger||

    Yes, and sorry if you're offended, David, but please inform the rest of the Reason writing staff that uncontrolled illegal immigration can lead to Socialism by other means.

  • J2Hess||

    Yep - socialism is definitely to blame for all the assaults on the public welfare of authoritarian regimes. Did you know the French Revolution was caused by the socialism of the French king and aristocrats?

    If every penny "spent in Ocasio-Cortez's district each year on each student, rich or poor, is provided with the profits derived from capitalism", all the profits of capitalism arise from social investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and yes, the regulations that are needed to keep competitive markets functioning.

    Perhaps if Venezuela's "capitalists" had invested more in the working people, Chavez wouldn't have had much appeal.

  • Sevo||

    J2Hess|7.27.18 @ 8:20PM|#
    "Perhaps if Venezuela's "capitalists" had invested more in the working people, Chavez wouldn't have had much appeal."

    They were "investing" in those people; they poured capital into companies providing employment.
    Perhaps you should learn what personal "responsibility means" rather than whining about not getting enough free shit.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    If every penny "spent in Ocasio-Cortez's district each year on each student, rich or poor, is provided with the profits derived from capitalism", all the profits of capitalism arise from social investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and yes, the regulations that are needed to keep competitive markets functioning.

    Demonstrably false.

    The Gold Rush happened before the Transcontinental Railroad and Interstate Highway system were even considered possibilities. The Industrial Revolution didn't come about because a bunch of politicians enacted laws to make it happen. Bill Clinton didn't regulate Amazon.com into existence.

  • mikekrohde||

    How does writing like this get into a publication called Reason? Did he think it was reezin or something else? Because this is just a low rent hit piece with name calling for evidence. Ok, we understand you are a good Republican, but I thought that nonsense got left at the door of a publication with this name. Stalin was just a brutal dictator. How does that discredit a school of thought. That a mad man identified with it? Or that he just used it as a convenient name to get done what he wanted. Avoiding garbage like this is is why I subscribed. I could just watch fox and get the same BS.

  • Sevo||

    mikekrohde|7.27.18 @ 8:58PM|#
    "How does writing like this get into a publication called Reason? Did he think it was reezin or something else? Because this is just a low rent hit piece with name calling for evidence."

    I notice how lefties really get upset when someone points out that socialism is murderous.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    How does writing like this get into a publication called Reason?

    DRINK!

  • The Pessimistic Shrink||

    Very fine little article -- makes me proud of my libertarian roots (planted in the early '70s), even though I'm now a dried up and minimally ideological oldster. I do wish the author had included a few more of the problems of the so-called socialist successes of Scandinavia, though I know that was not his main focus. I also wish there were a group email address -- "Millennials" -- to hit "send" to, so the mass of those pretty-thinking folks could get a glimpse.

  • Cloudbuster||

    socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence

    Can we just agree on that?

  • Sevo||

    Apparently not.
    There are the equivalent of Holocaust Deniers posting here claiming such bullshit as 'Stalin really didn't kill those tens of millions of people'.
    And those who simply say the article is wrong without any cites, just the dim-bulb lefty wishes that there really is the "New Soviet Man", but he lives in Sweden and therefore Marx was right!

  • mtrueman||

    This dark-haired female vocalist was born of Hitler's ambition to create a master race. Her father was an SS officer apparently who was part of a programme set up by Himmler, Hitler's right hand when it came to crack pot ideas.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.27.18 @ 10:20PM|#
    "This dark-haired female vocalist was born of Hitler's ambition to create a master race. Her father was an SS officer apparently who was part of a programme set up by Himmler, Hitler's right hand when it came to crack pot ideas."

    ^ Here is an example of fucking lefty ignoramuses. Right here.

  • mtrueman||

    "Who is ABBA?" is the correct response.

  • Sevo||

    Imbecilic.

  • mtrueman||

    Surprised? It's meant just for you.

  • Robert Crim||

    I was perusing my copy of Wealth of Nations the other day, looking for information on the collapse of the Ayr Bank (an important incident in the lead-up to the American Revolution) and found the following passage:

    "Labour, it must always be remembered, and not any particular commodity or set of commodities, is the real measure of the value both of silver and of all other commodities."

    Should it shock us to learn that, in addition to all his other failings, Karl Marx was a plagiarist?

  • Atanu Dey||

    Robert Crim:

    Not quite. Karl Marx did not get his labor theory of value from Smith.

    "The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What every thing is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who wants to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people."(Wealth of Nations Book 1, chapter V)

    Value is what you are willing to give in exchange. If I have paid $10 for a painting, and it took me two hours to earn the 10 bucks, that's the value of the painting for me. The painter may have toiled on the painting for 5 hours for all I care.

  • Sevo||

    Robert Crim|7.27.18 @ 9:53PM|#
    "I was perusing my copy of Wealth of Nations the other day, looking for information on the collapse of the Ayr Bank (an important incident in the lead-up to the American Revolution) and found the following passage:
    "Labour, it must always be remembered, and not any particular commodity or set of commodities, is the real measure of the value both of silver and of all other commodities."

    How long did it take you to find that particular cherry to pick?
    Your stupidity is obvious, but some clarification is always appreciated, idiot.

  • gormadoc||

    Smith was talking about how an individual judges the value of a commodity, ie. one movie ticket is about 1/3 an hour of pay. He was not talking about pricing.

  • Darr247||

    So, we've been doomed since the 1930s when our ancestors setup Socialist Security, right?

  • Robert Crim||

    It is a Ponzi scheme, and while it cannot go broke, it can demand so much more in taxes that, inevitably, it will lose its political support. At that point in time, as the Supreme Court, itself, has acknowledged, Congress simply can and will end it.

  • Sevo||

    "So, we've been doomed since the 1930s when our ancestors setup Socialist Security, right?"

    You're very close to the truth, and if that comes as a surprise, I'm guessing you are relatively young and "educated" in the government schools program.

  • Michael Cook||

    When talking about failed socialist states, people frequently mention Cuba and Venezuela, but forget about Vietnam. In fact, the country ruled from Hanoi is a pure example of the failure of Marxism. For whatever reason, the Vietnamese communist party was unable to get off the stage gracefully, as happened in Russia, or convert themselves into a bunch of plutocrats, as has happened in China.

    The Viets I know here who have gone back mainly are struck at how frozen and backwards the nation still seems socially and culturally, not just economically. The Vietnamese people seem to still be proud that they won basically a nationalistic crusade to kick out those white people with the colonial ideas, but they are genuinely puzzled why their economy can't work better!

    Some Viets advance complicated theories blaming China for the failure of unified Vietnam after 1975 to become an "Asian Tiger" economically. That kind of China-blaming goes back thousands of years.

    When I left Vietnam in 1972 I certainly didn't think of the locals as an inherently backwards people incapable of racing right up to speed in the modern world. Yet somehow they have sandbagged themselves.

  • ||

    I just worked on a long comment for about a half hour and when I clicked "preview" I was taken to a blank page with nothing except "voluntaryist" in the top left corner. I clicked that and I was given a blank box to type in. WTF??
    Where's my comment? It didn't post. I couldn't "preview". WTF just happened? This format pisses me off.

  • Nardz||

    This comment system is awful.
    Always select-all-copy any comment you're invested in before posting

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I always do that on lengthy posts.

  • Atanu Dey||

    Mr Harsanyi, great piece. Kudos.

    One small point. You wrote, "Today, in former socialist states like India ..." I believe India continues to be a socialist state. No political party can run for elections without declaring that they support socialism, and the constitution of India declares that India is a socialist state. India's poverty is mind-boggling. Why no revolts or revolutions? MK Gandhi brainwashed them into passivity and spinelessness. (Disclosure: I was born and brought up in India.)

  • sophia0393||

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  • Hoosier||

    This is absurd. I am astounded at the literalism and absolutism demonstrated in this article. The author completely misunderstands the meaning of socialism (that the state provides public goods) and confuses it with communism (that the state owns the means of production). It is not either/or but a continuum of reality. The United States has arguably been socialist for at least 80 years since the New Deal, though in a minimalist fashion. State-supported fire, police, K-12 education, parks, etc. are all socialist in orientation. Furthermore, to lay down a blanket accusation that socialism is not compatible with capitalism is to ignore pretty much all of Europe and its successes. As someone with lots of practical experience with the Scandinavian models of democratic socialism, I can attest that they work incredibly well. The data support my assertion. In fact, their state socialism of tax-supported healthcare, childcare, etc. creates MORE freedom, not less. People are free to be more adventurous and creative. Ever heard of IKEA? Not exactly a communist haven.

  • Sevo||

    Hoosier|7.28.18 @ 10:35AM|#
    "This is absurd. I am astounded at the literalism and absolutism demonstrated in this article. The author completely misunderstands the meaning of socialism (that the state provides public goods) and confuses it with communism (that the state owns the means of production)."

    One more idiot lefty trying to convince us that the dog has five legs.

  • mtrueman||

    You've done well, and severely rebuked our evil enemies who are also idiots.

  • john willow||

    Here's how it goes, sevo. Under communism, the working class owns everything collectively. Under socialism, the government owns the means of production. Obviously, communism has never happened anywhere. The Soviet Union was not communist. Tyrannical leaders and party apparatchiks controlled everything. If you don't understand the difference between being liberal and being a communist, you have big problems.

  • mtrueman||

    "you have big problems"

    Sevo is a slave, didn't you know? Because he pays taxes.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.28.18 @ 12:17PM|#
    "Sevo is a slave, didn't you know? Because he pays taxes."

    trueman posts here in the vain hope that someone will click on his name and double his blog hits for a month.
    Here's as good as trueman ever gets:
    mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
    "Spouting nonsense is an end in itself."
    Try asking Trueman for a cite for his bullshit; you'll get the above.
    Fuck off, you uneducated piece of shit.

  • mtrueman||

    "Fuck off, you uneducated piece of shit."

    We love the uneducated. We love slaves too.

  • Sevo||

    mtrueman|7.29.18 @ 12:32PM|#
    "We love the uneducated. We love slaves too."

    "We" being you and that turd in your pocket.

  • Sevo||

    john willow|7.28.18 @ 11:24AM|#
    "Here's how it goes, sevo. Under communism, the working class owns everything collectively. Under socialism, the government owns the means of production. Obviously, communism has never happened anywhere. The Soviet Union was not communist. Tyrannical leaders and party apparatchiks controlled everything. If you don't understand the difference between being liberal and being a communist, you have big problems."

    Here's how it goes, imbecile:
    You invent new ways to claim this sort of "socialism" isn't really "socialism" and besides, this sort of "socialism" is really different and will really work this time!!!!!!!!!
    Do you know how often we've heard that sort of bullshit from imbeciles like you? Do you realize how fucking stupid you have to be to promote that sort of lame cherry-picking?
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • FusterCluck||

    It's just that nobody has tried socialism hard enough...something something...Right Top Men...Utopia!

    See? It's plain as day.

  • Hoosier||

    Ad Hominem: the last resort of a lazy mind with an empty arsenal.

  • Nardz||

    Hoosier|7.28.18 @ 1:29PM|#

    Ad Hominem: the last resort of a lazy mind with an empty arsenal.

    So is "social democracy"

  • Sevo||

    Hoosier|7.28.18 @ 1:29PM|#
    "Ad Hominem: the last resort of a lazy mind with an empty arsenal."
    Not, you fucking idiot, it is the first resort of those who have examined the same bullshit you're peddling for the Nth time and are tired of pointing out your idiocy/
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • john willow||

    From Social Security on down, the socialist idea that citizens have a right to a living, healthcare, etc. has been incorporated into democracies. And this works despite all the screaming libertarians do about it. A government is not socialist unless it controls the means of production. In other words, there is no private business. Where is that happening? North Korea, maybe? Countries naturally evolve into capitalism. But that doesn't mean they can't choose to take care of their citizens. There is real ignorance in the U.S. about subsidized healthcare a being a government plot. The Scandinavian countries have much better social safety nets than America does, and their economies are still doing well. Writing scary articles about how awful Socialism is, based on the Soviet Union, is ridiculous. What to watch out for is wannabe strong men who try to take over countries and run them for their own profit. Kind of like Donald Trump. .

  • FusterCluck||

    The problem is force. It's what government is, no more, no less. Everything you expressed a desire for in your comment necessitates the use of force on individuals to operate.

    A voluntary system is the moral system.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    If I have a right to healthcare, housing, and a job, that means I have the right to the labor of a doctor to treat my ills, workers to build and maintain my house, and an employer's wages to which I am to be paid (said wages invariably being the end product of some other person's labor.)

    News flash: America fought a war in the 19th century to end the practice of one person having a right to the labor of another.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Fuckin LOL at this commie shitstain claiming communism's never been tried anywhere.

    The Scandinavian countries have much better social safety nets than America does, and their economies are still doing well

    As opposed to the Latin American socialist kleptocracies? Funny how countries with small populations run mostly by white people are able to make social democracies work, but south of Rio Grande everything turns to shit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Crony capitalism is the incremental manner in which strong capitalist democracies like the USA are bent into socialist nations.

    Many Americans are still fighting this slant.

  • Fmontyr||

    I consider you to be an idiot, David Harsany. Sorry If You're Offended, but Socialism Does Not Lead to Misery and Destitution. It is selfish people such as you who have it made who prefer that other people suffer. How I hate your kind, crony-capitalists, robber barons, cheats and frauds, who with your wealth disparage and humble the rest of humanity. You know that socialism works and it works well! You cherry-pick some poor examples and make little mention of the highly successful nations which practice a democratic and capitalistic form of socialism. Humans in such countries have a life quality which far exceeds that of the citizens of the USA. You need to re-educate yourself. Better yet, give up your citizenship and leave.

    You can begin by reading the comments to George Will's column, "Our Socialist President."
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions....

    To assist you in getting started, I will provide you with one by "aletheia101" -

    "I think America should embrace "socialism." It's the most ethical, humane and moral social/economic and political system ever devised. Brilliant, incredibly creative, amazingly compassionate people throughout the history of the modern world have called themselves socialists -- for a reason."

  • FusterCluck||

    I bet you consider yourself "tolerant".

    How much of my money do you get to spend and why?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    a democratic and capitalistic form of socialism

    Sort of like a centrally planned and well regulated form of anarchy, right?

    Meanwhile, Venezuelan Money Now Officially Worth Less Than The Paper It's Printed On

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So, Fmontyr, are you gong to defend your position, or just rant and run?

    Your statue is full of contradictions. Like "capitalistic form of socialisism". Mostly though, it's just soft headed, vague, subjective garbage that isn't backed up by anything.

    You're not better than anyone else for believing in this garbage, you're worse.

    Go read Bastiat's "The Law". Maybe you'll learn something.

  • Sevo||

    Fmontyr|7.28.18 @ 12:01PM|#
    "I consider you to be an idiot, David Harsany."

    We don't have top "consider" you to be an idiot; you are.
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Fmontyr||

    and to continue, another, by "city reader" -

    "I'll take socialism like the Scandinavian countries have ANY DAY of the week over what we have. The spirit of entrepreneurialism is greater in Sweden than here, and you have a much better chance of achieving the American dream there.

    What we have in the United States today is a country where capitalism has run amok. Everything is slanted to give the advantages to the wealthy - at least when Republicans are in charge. Look at their latest tax bill: the vast majority of the benefits go to large corporations, where executives often make OBSCENE amounts of money, and the wealthy."

    What a shame a site called "Reason" allows tripe such as yours to be published.

  • FusterCluck||

    You seem obsessed with Sweden. You tell DH to renounce his citizenship so you can proceed with your plan to make America more like Sweden. I'll suggest you save a lot of folks a ton of work and you can move to Sweden. Win win.

  • Sevo||

    Fmontyr|7.28.18 @ 12:02PM|#
    "What we have in the United States today is a country where capitalism has run amok."

    Lemme guess:
    You have a masters in some worthless major, plus you are really not skilled enough to be a barista at the coffee joint, so you end up walking dogs. And none of that is your fault, right, lefty loser?
    Somebody owes you a job commensurate with that pile of cash your daddy paid to keep you away from the house so he didn't have to listen to you whining day and night, right?
    Well, guess what: You're a loser because you refuse to take responsibility for your life. You DESERVE to be a loser; don't bother pestering us about it.

  • imppress||

    "Don't you dare mention ...dozens of other inconvenient places socialism has been tried. Not ...countries operating generous welfare-state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism and natural resources."

    Seems like we need a third word to describe those "generous welfare-state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism" as opposed to stingy welfare-state programs with vibrant capitalism.

    Which causes more death? Generous or stingy?

    By the author's own accounts, despotic socialism was stingy too. Thus the long lines for bread.The oversimplification hinders progress in development of political philosophy.

  • FusterCluck||

    Having money taken from you by force is by no definition "generous".

  • Sevo||

    imppress|7.28.18 @ 12:14PM|#
    "Don't you dare mention ...dozens of other inconvenient places socialism has been tried. Not ...countries operating generous welfare-state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism and natural resources."
    Seems like we need a third word to describe those "generous welfare-state programs propped up by underlying vibrant capitalism" as opposed to stingy welfare-state programs with vibrant capitalism."

    Nope. We have one to define those who claim stealing from others is "generous": Fucking imbeciles.
    ----------------------------------------------
    "Which causes more death? Generous or stingy?"

    Easy. The ones claiming to be "generous" caused the mass murder of 100000,000 innocent people (Hitler's murders are a rounding error for the fucking murderous lefties).
    Why do fucking murderous lefties continue to try to put lipstick on that pig?

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Sorry If You're Offended

    God I wish this stupid phrase would die in a fire. First of all, you're not actually sorry and second of all, you can't apologize for an action that was not your own.

  • Sevo||

    Uh, RTFA.

  • Clarke||

    Great article. But if I may add, the Nordic countries are hardly examples of socialism thriving. As a European, it is always odd to see the American left point to the Nords as the dream. They are some of the most efficient market economies in the Europe and have nowhere near the expansive state that America has. If America were to become more like, say Denmark, it would mean massive reductions in corporation tax, and reduced tariffs. It would mean more investment freedom, ending renewable energy subsidies. Immediate reductions in public spending, public debt and deficit spending to Danish levels.

    That doesn't sound like the Sanders platform to me.

    In fact, as the Heritage Economic Freedom Index points out, both Denmark and Sweden have greater economic freedom than the USA, and all the Nordic Countries are in the top 26 in the world's freest economies (USA is 18th).

    If the American left wants to see socialism in action in Europe look to Greece, and Italy (on the verge of becoming Europe's Venezuela) and to a lesser extent France and Portugal (both of which have recently begun free market reforms and some economic recovery).

    As you so rightly point out, a generous welfare state built on a dynamic market economy is not socialism. Especially when these countries are slashing the welfare state which has damaged their competitiveness and standard of living.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Socialism is a state that controls some means of prodcution. Nordic states have state run and partially state run companies. They also have huge welfare state per capita.

  • Clarke||

    I don't think you can limit the definition of free-market and socialists policies to state ownership of industry and welfare spending. The scope of possible state interference in markets goes way beyond this and that's why in my opinion the economic freedom index is so helpful. It covers all aspects of economic freedom.

    However, even under the categories that you chose, the USA does not fare well against Denmark (granted it does better against the other Nordic countries but not by as much as you think).

    A quick internet search shows there are many more state owned companies in the USA than Denmark. Not leaste the two key mortgage lenders in the USA Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which account for a huge segment of the economy. The EU's single market rules make nationalisation of industries in Denmark extremely difficult.

    According the OECD net social spending in America is higher than all the Nordic countries based on both % of GDP and per capita calculations accord to the OECD. http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/OE.....8pages.pdf

    That's just social spending. Overall state spending and subsidy in the US is massive compared to Denmark and is mostly funded on debt. Whereas in Denmark they a lower debt to GDP and budget deficit.

    The Nordics are not socialist countries when compared to the USA. The American left's appeal to be more like them is disingenuous.

  • swampwiz||

    The libertarian-capitalists are getting scared since they know that we are in the stage of Late Capitalism, and Working Class folks are beginning to question whether the current nasty & brutish labor system will ever be able to get back to the Clintonian boom years (yes, the one that RAISED taxes on upper-income folks) as they keep hearing story after story of robots, driverless cars, etc.

    Capitalism must constantly justify its existence to ... well, exist. Being a "ubertrepreneur" is not what the Working Class wants, which is why many of them support a POTUS who wants to REDISTRIBUTE from the pockets of consumers to the LOSER rentiers who can't compete in the New Economy.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Question: Why does a country suffering from "Late Capitalism" with a "nasty & brutish labor system" attract so many immigrants from countries that are by any definition more socialist?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Socialist Gotta destroy the USA or they can never get 'true communism to work'.

  • Sevo||

    swampwiz|7.28.18 @ 8:58PM|#
    "The libertarian-capitalists are getting scared since they know that we are in the stage of Late Capitalism, and Working Class folks are beginning to question whether the current nasty & brutish labor system will ever be able to get back to the Clintonian boom years (yes, the one that RAISED taxes on upper-income folks) as they keep hearing story after story of robots, driverless cars, etc"

    Remember 1989? Do you understand what happend?
    I'm guessing too fucking stupid to know, even if this shitbag is old enough to know.

  • Flinch||

    Congress not only raised taxes on upper income earners, sevo... but they did it retroactively, with Clintons smiling approval. Did republicans stand up and declare it un-American? No - in spite of constitutional guidance prohibiting ex post facto laws. The window was short, but I'm sure a number of people deceased during that time, and their estate had to go back and amend returns, so we have an unanswered question: what ward/precinct did the dead belong to, and who were their representatives in congress? Of course, the dead can't sue. Combine that with tax courts accepting suits only after somebody has paid, and... there is a definite problem, and the legislation should have been called the Seditious Estate Looting Act. We had a revolution over taxation without representation many moons ago...

  • GILMORE™||

    "The libertarian-capitalists "

    You mean libertarians.

    there are no libertarian socialists. those are 'idiots'

  • ThomasD||

    All libertarians are free marketeers. That would include the right to own, and contract for capital.

    Capitalism is a word coined by Karl Marx, as such it is embedded with negative connotations. Rhetorically speaking use of the term it is the equivalent of fighting on your enemies home turf.

    Personally I reject the term. People who use terms like 'anything'-capitalist are marking themselves as disciples of Marx and Engels.

  • Flinch||

    Almost clever, swampwiz. I might argue the opposite: that after a century, the age of socialism approaches a rocky and fitful finish that will be driven by the bankruptcies of nations. Pickpockets never give up, admittedly - the lure of "free" money tends to cloud thinking. I would suggest that Late Capitalism is a fiction, as evidenced by Brexit, the election of Trump, and a handful of European states quietly arresting growth of social programs as it becomes clear the Bundesbank is severely stressed underwriting too much. Your points are timely: do you believe them, or are you just poking the bear?

  • Heartless Libertarian||

    Those who believe socialism works are the same folks who believe it's possible to pick up a dog turd by the "clean" end.

  • ThomasD||

    Sadly unsurprising how many commenters at this 'libertarian' web site are collectivist statists.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists want the USA to fail and socialists want the USA to fail.

    Libertarians are at home in the USA as a small and limited constituional government can protect property rights, free market, and maximize freedoms under rule of law. Therefore us Libertarians must be destroyed.

  • Sevo||

    Checking in from time to time to see if we are still collecting lefty ignoramuses trying to convince those not as imbecilic as they are that it just, really, really, (sob!), hasn't yet been done right. That Momma handing out free shit is the way the world should work. Really!
    Cause the imbecile really WANTS it, and that should be enough, right?
    Next imbecile?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    But when they adopt the term "socialism" and the ideas associated with it, they deserve to be treated with the kind of contempt and derision that all those adopting authoritarian philosophies deserve.

    Problem with that, coming from libertarians, is that libertarians consider popular sovereignty on the principle of majority rule—the Founders' system for the U.S.—to be authoritarian. So pretty much everything except libertarianism is authoritarian socialism—which is nonsense.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    No, libertarians think fascism is authoritarian too.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Reread my comment.

  • ThomasD||

    Except what you describe is pointedly NOT the "Founders' system for the US.'

    The Founder's system, starting with the Declaration of Independence through to the Constitution is explicitly predicated on the liberty of the individual, the dangers inherent in any form of the state, and includes substantial checks on any sort of tyranny of the majority.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    The Founder's system, starting with the Declaration of Independence through to the Constitution . . .

    That's where you go wrong, by not getting back to the foundation on which those proclamations rest. That foundation was, and is, the notion of popular sovereignty. It's an idea expressly presented in both documents. In the Declaration: That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    See. The People make the government, and they get to choose whatever they want, not only when they do it, but also, forever after. It's up to them. The Constitution constrains the government, because that's what the People decreed. The checks on tyranny of the majority you mention are to be found among the constraints on government.

    The Constitution does not constrain the People, because they are sovereign. The People make the government, and limit the government, however they choose. If times change, the People remain as free as ever to change government again, and to do so with the same complete freedom from restraint they exercised initially.

    In saying these things, I'm just repeating to you what the founders said themselves. James Wilson was one founder who explained the sovereignty principle at the time.

  • ThomasD||

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

    Kinda omitted that, didn't you? Rather sort of prefaces everything that you noted, doesn't it?

    No, you are not repeating what the Founders said, you are engaging in sophistry, grossly misrepresenting what they established - a constrained system of government intended to maximize the liberty of the individual.

    Any government that attempted to abrogate those inalienable rights being both improper and unjust.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I am telling you faithfully, in substance, what James Wilson said. Wilson was an ally of Washington and Madison at the Federal Convention, and probably also of Franklin. He was one of only a few founders who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Washington appointed Wilson to the first Supreme Court. He is worth more attention than historians have given him.

    I think it is safe to say that insofar as the role of popular sovereignty on majority principles was the bedrock of the founding, agreement with Wilson can be found in the writings of at least Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin. Undoubtedly there were many others, but those are figures who's specific agreement I have noted mentally while reading their own remarks.

    As for maximizing the liberty of the individual, well yes. That was a big deal at the time of the founding, but not in the libertarian sense of what that means. More the opposite. The notion of maximizing individual liberty that loomed largest among the founders who actually authored the founding documents was the liberty of self-government—something libertarians tend to oppose. People who opposed the Constitution, the anti-Federalists, were more similar to modern libertarians, but still not close.

    Libertarianism as you understand it has nothing to do with American history prior to the 20th century.

  • Michael Cook||

    To be less theoretical about the subject, today's Scandinavia seems to be adjusting some policies. Partly that may be because the North Sea oil boom is not the profit maker it once was. Partly it may because some days common sense does overtake long held dogmas. Rare those days, but they do happen.

    Sweden, I've heard, does not have a minimum wage. I'm sure some type of guaranteed income is picking up the slack, but still, it is a boon to society when you let people who have minimal skills or productivity anymore get out of the house and work for employers at little jobs here and there that would otherwise go unfilled because the position and functions simply are not worth paying someone a full-time "living" wage to occupy.

  • vek||

    The Scandinavian countries have been slowly but surely becoming LESS socialist since the 70s/80s. The only reason they can even keep their systems afloat is because they're small, homogenous countries that are underpinned by thoroughly capitalist economies. You can add on chunks of socialism here and there without completely destroying a society, you just incrementally mess things up. The problem is when people don't know when/where to stop and keep going farther and farther left... Then you get Venezuela.

  • Flinch||

    The View? More like dueling yentas, but I digress. They are as useful to dialogue as sterno huffing bums in the Bowery are to greek philosphy.
    Americans don't see socialism properly, because as our leftists point to Europe as a "success", they refuse to explain how they got the money to play these games. Simply put, it's NATO that birthed Eurosocialism, where the US absorbed the lions share of military security costs, which subsequently freed up an unprecedented amount of cash to play games with. It makes me wonder if the Soviet Union didn't play the US like a fiddle to expand socialism globally - they took Europe [intellectually] using our hardware. No wonder Breznev was such a cocky s.o.b. in his day.
    So for those americans that think socialism is a-ok, tell us: who will step up and pay 85% of our military bill? It will be a cricket fest, I promise. I don't doubt the yougov poll... we are woefully underinformed as a people. Can anyone name a republican who has made my same point? I'm drawing a blank...

  • Sevo||

    "Simply put, it's NATO that birthed Eurosocialism, where the US absorbed the lions share of military security costs, which subsequently freed up an unprecedented amount of cash to play games with."

    Correct.
    The American taxpayer is covering the costs of the Brit's NHS and the French 35 Hr. work week.
    In return, they commonly call us "uncivilized".

  • Peter||

    " Most so-called democratic socialists—the qualifier affixed to denote that they live in a democratic system and have no choice but to ask for votes—aren't consciously or explicitly endorsing violence or tyranny."
    Except they have/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O4EHISQ6Uw

  • Sevo||

    " Most so-called democratic socialists—the qualifier affixed to denote that they live in a democratic system and have no choice but to ask for votes—aren't consciously or explicitly endorsing violence or tyranny."

    I'd say this is commonly true. Until they gain monopoly political power, it which case, it's starvation and murder.
    Lefties are all for freedom, so long at they aren't in power.

  • RobertK||

    I'm curious what measures the author is using. These countries that he calls failures relative to America have longer life expectancies, shorter work-weeks, and better health care. The author clearly doesn't understand that across America life expectancy for the working class is the same as Sudan. A working class woman in the United States has the same life expectancy as a woman in war torn humanitarian crisis Sudan. Men have few family prospects because the industrial jobs require high divorce rates. The highest divorce rates occur on those with industrial jobs and rotating shifts. This is driving family break down and other issues. By objective measures relative to the United States, the socialist countries are the opposite of failure. Only for the Tesla ownership class is Socialism bad, and that's because eventually the high goods market shrivels. But for the majority of the country, the only way to go is up with socialism. Pick an objective measure and compare the data. By what objective measure, other than total wealth for people who own everything and live decades longer than others, are those countries worse than the united states? They are not. The United States is a moral failure and economic failure.

    The same life expectancy as Sudan, and its been decreasing for years now. Thats the shit that is non-socialist America.

  • FusterCluck||

    So people have to get divorced to work rotating shifts? Most of what you're saying here has nothing to do with any -ism, it's just your assertion.

    As someone who lives that life, I'll calm your fears by letting you know a whole bunch of us are still happily married. We even own homes and cars, take our kids on vacations and all kinds of stuff. It's great.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Please.

    Life Expectancy, both sexes:
    United States: 79.3 years.
    Sudan: 64.1 years.

    Life Expectancy, Females:
    United States: 81.6 years.
    Sudan: 65.9 years.

    Life Expectancy, Males:
    United States: 76.9 years.
    Sudan: 62.4 years.

    Health Adjusted Life Expectancy:
    United States: 69.1 years
    Sudan: 55.9 years.

    Wiki's source is the World Health Organization in 2015.

    Try to come up with lies that are at least a little more difficult to disprove.

  • Sevo||

    RobertK|7.29.18 @ 1:50PM|#
    "I'm curious what measures the author is using."

    I'm amused that lefty imbeciles will pick cherries from the farthest branches in the vain hope their murderous fantasies can somehow be made acceptable to civilized people.
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • vek||

    Did you forget the part where in the USA our AVERAGE income is considerably higher (pre tax, but ESPECIALLY after tax take home pay), we live in houses nearly twice the size, we can all afford to own cars, we have higher net worth, etc etc etc.

    That is all true comparing the USA to all the countries in Europe, barring the really tiny ones and ones like Norway that are built off of a single high income industry, oil in Norway's case. Also, try comparing WHITE Americans to European averages and you will find we beat them in even most of the ways they supposedly come out ahead of us... High rates of problems in black/minority communities in the USA skew our averages WAY down, and since Europe doesn't have a ton of minorities it's not an apples to apples comparison.

    Their socialist ways do achieve some things that some people consider desirable, BUT they come at a tremendous cost to their standard of living in other areas.

  • Quintus Slide||

    I'm confused.

    Is this a broadside against socialism per se, or it it against nominally socialist authoritarian regimes? Does the author know the difference? Is the author aware that Denmark is not a socialist country? Is the author aware that it's intellectually dishonest to use the predations of nominally-socialist-but actually-just-authoritarian regimes to discredit successful experiments in democratic socialism? Because if democratic socialism breeds misery, no one has told the people who have very successfully adopted it and who are among the world's happiest people.

  • FusterCluck||

    I'm always trying to figure out why so many people think it's just fine to force others to adhere to their preferred -isms.

    Start an organization where you get people to voluntarily practice democratic socialism. Then go to town with it. Just leave the rest of us alone please. You lose all your morality points forcing people to participate.

  • gormadoc||

    We both know why. It's because they know they have a free rider problem and must force their betters to provide.

  • wearingit||

    Or....it's the democratic will of people to live in a society like Norway, etc. Heaven forbid someone wants to pay more taxes for more things and can band with a bunch of other people to form a majority to make it happen.

  • Sevo||

    wearingit|7.30.18 @ 8:28AM|#
    "Or....it's the democratic will of people to live in a society like Norway, etc. Heaven forbid someone wants to pay more taxes for more things and can band with a bunch of other people to form a majority to make it happen."

    Yeah, getting a group of thugs together with the guns makes it right, according to lefty losers.
    Lefties love freedom, until they get in power. Then it's "hand over the money for my firends or get shot."

  • vek||

    What about the 49.99999% of the population that DOESN'T want it? And who is most likely the ones having to pay for it all? Just screw those guys right? Their opinion doesn't matter at all?

    I say this to all left leaners: If you want socialism, MOVE! Practically the entire world is more socialist than the USA, so if that's what you want just move to Canada or Europe or whatever. It's already the way you want! But there is no other country on earth of any size that is as free as the USA, sad as that may be, so please leave the rest of us alone to go down the path WE want. If Australia went hardcore liberty minded tomorrow I would strongly consider moving there, but leftists seem to ignore that they already have a ton of choices to move to for socialism... Freedom minded people don't. So leave already!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Vek, don't you know that a parasite prefers a HEALTHY host? Not one that is already dying. Hence the desire for socialism here, instead of moving to Europe.

  • vek||

    LOL

    Ugh... I suppose so. The truth is Europe is pretty healthy. The levels of government they have, combined with the strength of their economies etc seems to be more or less at stasis level. They have equilibrium IMO. They're going to stay poorer than us because of their socialism, but if they don't become more socialist they probably won't collapse either.

    Well, if they stop the flood of unskilled African/Middle Eastern immigration anyway... THAT is enough to sink them.

  • vek||

    LOL

    Ugh... I suppose so. The truth is Europe is pretty healthy. The levels of government they have, combined with the strength of their economies etc seems to be more or less at stasis level. They have equilibrium IMO. They're going to stay poorer than us because of their socialism, but if they don't become more socialist they probably won't collapse either.

    Well, if they stop the flood of unskilled African/Middle Eastern immigration anyway... THAT is enough to sink them.

  • gormadoc||

    Of course, I missed the retard party. Sevo deserves much gratitude for mocking these idiots.

    "Ad hominem! Capitalists don't have an argument against socialism so it's true!"

    No, you're far dumber than Marxist politicians in the 20th century and they were all refuted by reality and theory. You don't deserve a response.

  • Sevo||

    Appreciate the comment and I'd add that I was certainly and ably assisted by those equally fed up with lefty imbeciles hoping that some how, some way, the New Soviet Man will arrive.
    Fuck off, slavers, Your New Soviet Man is the slave you hope is yours.

  • Sparky Wilson||

    I've read all these comments and I feel dumber for it. Thank you to the liberals who can't comprehend shit past a couple seconds. Thank you to the liberals who thank they are libertarian. Thank you to the liberals who can only post a couple sentences that only the dumbest of the human species would believe. And most of all, thank you to Facebook. Without Facebook, and other platforms, people wouldn't be the subject matter experts they are. My years of schooling and studies were only a waste. My years of gathering books and studying the patterns were all just a waste. Obviously, I could have just clicked a couple links on Facebook and become a proponent of socialism instead of wasting my life actually learning and embracing freedom and personal responsibility. Guess I go work at the Walmart now.

  • wearingit||

    Complete nonsense article. "Ignore the good countries, remember the bad." What complete garbage. I'm surprised Reason even allowed this to run. Pathetic.

  • Sevo||

    wearingit|7.30.18 @ 8:27AM|#
    "Complete nonsense article. "Ignore the good countries, remember the bad." What complete garbage. I'm surprised Reason even allowed this to run. Pathetic."

    Complete bullshit from one more lefty apologist.
    Yeah, ignore Stalin's 40 million dead and cherry pick a place which has not killed as many.
    At least you got the "pathetic" part right, loser

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It never ends, does it?

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Sorry If You're Offended, but Socialism Leads to Misery and Destitution

    No, it doesn't.
    Just ask anyone from Cuba, North Korea or Venezuela.
    They'll set you straight.

  • ohdelilah||

    Capitalism also leads to misery and destitution. Funny how often Socialism is vilified by its worst incarnations, but supporters of Capitalism never make their point by showing pictures of homeless encampments, the elderly wasting away in the halls of privately owned nursing homes, or the thousands of people who die every year for want of medical care. You'd think that reasonably intelligent, committed people could find a workable way to combine the best of both systems.

  • vek||

    Maybe that's because capitalist countries have LESS of all types of poverty? A "working poor" person in the USA lives in a house that is bigger than a "middle class" person in Europe. The world isn't perfect, crack head hobos exist... Always have and always will. But it is a fact that capitalism has made the whole world wealthier and less impoverished. Socialism, at best, can move around money from one person to another in a mostly capitalist system... But at worst it has taken wealthy and prosperous societies and turned them into hell holes.

    A country going more capitalist has NEVER made that country poorer or worse off. EVER. Socialism can't say that!

  • ChuckieH||

    Amazes me the cult of personality there is around the Venezuela narrative. Lots of high 5's and grunting about how idiotic everyone is to believe socialism would work because look at VeNeZUelA duuuhhh. Well if you actually research and understand how things came to be you would understand that anytime socialism is attempted Papa America comes in and institutes some "DEMOCRACY" to counter any potential at Socialism working. Please anyone before you reply to this triggering post listen to this podcast and learn something please.(remove spaces)

    https://congressionaldish.com/ cd176-target-venezuela-regime -change-in-progress/

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Are you leftists ever accountable for anything you fuck up? Ever?

  • vek||

    Why didn't the Soviet Union work then genius? They had HUGE swaths of land, tons of people, and every natural resource you can imagine within their borders. China is much the same. Our meddling didn't make them inferior to us, them having an inferior system did!

    It's no coincidence that the second a country abandons central planning of the economy, even incrementally like in China, that their economic growth starts to go up dramatically. How people can be as retarded as you with all the facts right out there in the open is beyond me.

  • Star1988||

    Everything exists along a spectrum. Most of the young people who prefer 'socialism' over 'capitalism' really just prefer Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Norway over the US, Singapore, China and the UAE. The preferred countries are clearly base on capitalist systems, with some redistribution thrown in to maximize freedom for the largest percentage of the populace. People, in general, and particularly lower class people feel much freer in the preferred countries.

    http://dailyhive.com/calgary/c.....-life-2018

  • Star1988||

    Everything exists along a spectrum. Most of the young people who prefer 'socialism' over 'capitalism' really just prefer Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Norway over the US, Singapore, China and the UAE. The preferred countries are clearly base on capitalist systems, with some redistribution thrown in to maximize freedom for the largest percentage of the populace. People, in general, and particularly lower class people feel much freer in the preferred countries.

    http://dailyhive.com/calgary/c.....-life-2018

  • vek||

    Everything does exist along a spectrum... But here's the thing, by objective statistics MOST people in the USA have it waaay better than MOST people in any large foreign country. Norway, the Saudi Arabia of Europe doesn't count.

    If you overlay incomes between the USA and Europe or other Anglosphere countries you will see that our working poor make as much money as middle class people in Europe... And live in bigger houses... And have bigger/nicer cars... And once you get into lower middle class on up we ALSO have a better healthcare system.

    I have always been willing to concede that the lowest 10% to MAYBE 20% of the population are "worse" off in the USA versus a super socialistic country... But the thing is, is they really aren't. They still have a bigger house, can own a car, have more of everything! The only thing the very lowest rung in the US don't have is perhaps medical care. But the overwhelming majority of Americans have better medical here too!

    So the question is is it worth screwing 80-90% of the population to benefit the 10-20% biggest slackers in the country? I say no. That is more immoral than just letting slackers lie in the bed they made for themselves.

  • Salero21||

    The majority of 'Crats are Socialists and many like Bernie, Chucky, Corey, Cuomo, Jerry, Lizzie, Maxine, Pelousy and de Blasio are Despicable, Detestable and Disgusting Commies. Commies are a Despicable, Detestable and Disgusting bunch.

  • GeorgePenman||

    A mixed economy is best. Infrastructure requires public effort. For example, the US has the most expensive health care in the world, because it is private and a corporate feeding frenzy, and outcomes are not the best. Lessons from other countries are that it should be half the expense per person, cover everyone, and be at least highly regulated if not public. Go ahead and throw up your hands when someone shouts SOCIALISM, but your own eyes should show that US health care is being undermined by the GOP.

    Studies show US government responds to the wealthy, not the people. The 90% top marginal tax rate under Ike, was reduced to a current rate of around 25%. Resulting deficits, social misery, and infrastructure decay followed, as Corporate tax revenue has fallen to record lows.

    Over time, Rs reversed FDRs vision. At Republican rallies racist discomfort motivated the election of a charismatic, strong-man, xenophobic, President who declared that the press in the enemy of the people, dismantled the State Department, appointed cabinet officials who oppose the very purpose of the agencies they oversee, packed Courts, called for a splendid military parade. Fascism won.

    FDRs Second Bill of Rights is nearly identical with Bernie Sanders proposals. With legitimate elections, if the popular vote mattered, we would have that.

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