Archive for the ‘Socialism’ Category

Zimbabwe, the road to disaster

Inflation, price controls, property redistribution, a leftist utopia?

The fact sheet says it all

(From Gabriel’s blog)

Keep an eye on Venezuela and Chile.

Is Green the new Red?

To Al Gore: can you name a problem with our planet that can’t be cured by government intervention?

On that theme, Brussels Journal has an interesting new piece:

Why Green is Red

A rallying cause

These movements also provide an enemy, and enemies are useful for defining your place in the world. While it is difficult to share friends, you can easily share enemies, since hatred is far less demanding than love and requires no shared judgment—only a common target.

But I object to the statement that environmentalism is necessarily Red. Just because the movement has been subverted does not make it an invalid concept.

Next: Capitalism and the environment, how can they make good friends

The Global Warming Swindle (documentary)

One for Gore:

Bastiat knew it all along

This is too good of a quote to not post. Total ripoff from Mises blog:

Socialism, like the old policy from which it emanates, confounds Government and society. And so, every time we object to a thing being done by Government, it concludes that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of education by the State — then we are against education altogether. We object to a State religion — then we would have no religion at all. We object to an equality which is brought about by the State then we are against equality, etc., etc. They might as well accuse us of wishing men not to eat, because we object to the cultivation of corn by the State.

How is it that the strange idea of making the law produce what it does not contain — prosperity, in a positive sense, wealth, science, religion — should ever have gained ground in the political world? The modern politicians, particularly those of the Socialist school, found their different theories upon one common hypothesis; and surely a more strange, a more presumptuous notion, could never have entered a human brain.

They divide mankind into two parts. Men in general, except one, form the first; the politician himself forms the second, which is by far the most important.

In fact, they begin by supposing that men are devoid of any principle of action, and of any means of discernment in themselves; that they have no moving spring in them; that they are inert matter, passive particles, atoms without impulse; at best a vegetation indifferent to its own mode of existence, susceptible of receiving, from an exterior will and hand, an infinite number of forms, more or less symmetrical, artistic, and perfected.

Moreover, every one of these politicians does not scruple to imagine that he himself is, under the names of organizer, discoverer, legislator, institutor or founder, this will and hand, this universal spring, this creative power, whose sublime mission it is to gather together these scattered materials, that is, men, into society.

Starting from these data, as a gardener according to his caprice, shapes his trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, cones, vases, espaliers, distaffs, or fans; so the Socialist, following his chimera, shapes poor humanity into groups, series, circles, subcircles, honeycombs, or social workshops, with all kinds of variations. And as the gardener, to bring his trees into shape, wants hatchets, pruning hooks, saws, and shears, so the politician, to bring society into shape, wants the forces which he can only find in the laws; the law of customs, the law of taxation, the law of assistance, and the law of instruction.

The socialists’ love affair with war

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A socialist cannot honestly oppose war, as always a time the state grows, bureaucracy develops and people acquiesce under the flag waving. A great time to push forward your own collectivist agenda.

As Murray Rothbard shows in this extensive article, there is no shortage of ideas of what to do with the tool that the state and its extension — war — can be used for.

http://mises.org/story/2543

The article traces back the roots of American socialism, down from puritannical Protestantism, to the Temperance movement and the Prohibition, to more recent times. A tale of religion, sex and other nice details that you won’t want to miss out on.

The Surveilance Society

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A potentially interesting movie to watch, if you get your hands on it – The Lives of Others

A review:

The Lives of Others is a deep condemnation of socialism in all its forms. The usual grounds for rejecting socialism are economic: state control of the economy cripples it, and generates poverty rather than prosperity. The Lives of Others suggests a different reason for believing that it is not (as apologists for socialism frequently maintain) just an accident or a conspiracy of capitalist states that explains why “real existing socialism” always ends up so drab, dismal and depressing. It is rather an inevitable consequence of the way power in a socialist society is organised.

Scooped off the FDR forum.

Why healthcare is so expensive

Franc Tremblay explains

There is a movement dedicated to bringing about socialized health care in the “United States.” Such a movement, as we have seen in “Canada,” would ruin the health care market and make it conditional to political considerations instead of consumer demand. And contrarily to statist claims, it drives spending on health care up, up, always up.

To understand why the health care market is fucked up, we need to understand the main considerations of freedom and efficacy in a market, which are (in increasing order of integration):

(1) Peaceful competition.
(2) Division of labour.
(3) Technological progress.

The health care market is under attack by the State on all three fronts.

(1) Insurance companies are not allowed to compete in offering the best packages- they are forced by the State to inflate their prices by providing all sorts of needful and needless treatments. This is all good and well for the big insurance companies, because it prevents competition from smaller and more adaptable insurance businesses. Furthermore, the State favours corporations providing insurance over individual initiative. Both of these drive prices up, make insurance out of the reach of the poor, and prevents competition.
The alternative now proposed by statists- to force people by law to buy insurance- would only drive prices even higher and give more power to the big insurance companies. As usual, statism is corporatism at its finest.

(2) The medical guilds do not prevent vertical division (doctors can specialize in all kinds of areas) but they do prevent horizontal division, thus ensuring that the price of labour remains high.

(3) FDA regulations prevent medical advances in order to fulfill political ends, depriving us of life-saving medications and medical tools.

Free healthcare is a perfect self-antonym.

Why Rome Fell

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This is a very interesting article I’ve picked up from vizigot at the liberalism.ro forum

http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html

Taxation, inflation, price controls, then pure and unabashed slavery is what led to the near dissolution of a social system. But interestingly (not paradoxically), the end of the state was a great relief for the strangled populace.

In the end, there was no money left to pay the army, build forts or ships, or protect the frontier. The barbarian invasions, which were the final blow to the Roman state in the fifth century, were simply the culmination of three centuries of deterioration in the fiscal capacity of the state to defend itself. Indeed, many Romans welcomed the barbarians as saviors from the onerous tax burden.

Although the fall of Rome appears as a cataclysmic event in history, for the bulk of Roman citizens it had little impact on their way of life. As Henri Pirenne (1939: 33-62) has pointed out, once the invaders effectively had displaced the Roman government they settled into governing themselves. At this point, they no longer had any incentive to pillage, but rather sought to provide peace and stability in the areas they controlled. After all, the wealthier their subjects the greater their taxpaying capacity.

In conclusion, the fall of Rome was fundamentally due to economic deterioration resulting from excessive taxation, inflation, and over-regulation. Higher and higher taxes failed to raise additional revenues because wealthier taxpayers could evade such taxes while the middle class–and its taxpaying capacity–were exterminated. Although the final demise of the Roman Empire in the West (its Eastern half continued on as the Byzantine Empire) was an event of great historical importance, for most Romans it was a relief.

Feel free to check it out.

Media Success – A Primer (How to get laid as a social scientist)

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Gabriel Mihalache over at Economic Investigations has a great New Year’s piece:

Short Guide to Media Success

Some highlights:

— Try and cultivate a healthy ignorance of everything related to the operation of free markets and finance capitalism. […] Values come from the warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Anything else is Bushie propaganda

Always be sure to imply, but quite never spell out, that “having a right” means that the State must (forcefully, if necessary) expropriate (or de facto enslave) some people to the benefit of your chosen disadvantaged group du jour. Remember, the State is a fine mean to show your compassion, with other people’s money.

— Remember… patriots want to protect their country. So they’re protectionists! It makes sense. Anyone who says otherwise wants to have foreign corporations rape the pristine, virginal, natural landscape and resources of the land. Pie them. That’s a fine argument. It shows intellectual depth.

If you follow these easy steps, you’ll soon become a sweetheart of the media, you’ll get book deals, documentary deals, and middle-class, white, entitled, pol-sci majors from Europe, with a vague moral outrage and a head full of Galbraith, will have sex with you on your conference tour.

Read the rest HERE

Update: I was looking for a picture of J. K. Galbraith on wikipedia and this is what was listed in the article:

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Hats off to the wikipedian with a sense of humor 😀

(preserved for posterity: wikipedia-galbraith1.PNG )

An Inconvenient Lie – Debunking Al Gore

CEI.org is letting rip on the man:

as opposed to: “OMG, dude, we’re all going to die! Quick, give us all your money and freedom!

Addendum: An entry on the BBC documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” Worth a watch.