Monday, January 13, 2020
A case for socialism
"I am against socialism, but this article and podcast give an informative, modern perspective on the views of people who approve of and even advocate socialism. I have wondered why so many young people favor socialism, what they believe it is, and why they hate capitalism so much. The audio interview is sort of long, near 100 minutes. I listened to over half, but skipped some parts.
The person interviewed is Nathan Robinson, editor of Current Affairs, author, and a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders. He identifies as a libertarian socialist.
He says that for many of its supporters socialism isn't about government ownership of the means of production (which Karl Marx advocated), or even any business being wholly owned by its employees. It's about power, democracy, and solidarity with the many less fortunate when a few others have so much wealth, income, and power. There is a segment starting around 46:00 about Bernie Sanders. He says Bernie Sanders has a "deep moral compass." Huh?? Echoing Ayn Rand, by what standard? There is no mention of his fascist* morality of government bullying and coercion. The sort of democracy they want is in effect a dictatorship by voters, a mobocracy. Of course, a small minority of politicians would do the legislating.
*Fascist economics supported a state-controlled economy that accepted a mix of private and public ownership over the means of production. Industries must uphold the national interest as superior to private profit (link). State control is paramount for fascism and Sanders, and Sanders revels in berating profit.
Robinson doesn't say so, but it seems to me that how much income governments take, how much they spend, and how much power they amass to bully and coerce other people doesn't bother them.
I have not read his book, but peaked at it using Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature. It's fairly short, so requested it via inter-library loan. Based on what I saw inside, I will not buy it. He will not profit atmy expense. He is critical of profit several times in the book. I suspect he hasn't yet realized that workers' wages are profits, like I showed here. Anyway, reading about how capitalism works in his view -- an army of psychopathic androids -- and why I am wrong to oppose socialism -- he says every opponent is wrong -- should be worth a few chuckles. I expect another pied piper of socialism. That's alongside Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore, Larry Sanders, and many actors and actresses.
Robinson is hypercritical of corporations at the start of Chapter 3. Does he believe what he says applies to his Current Affairs LLC? 😉 To nonprofit corporations?
P.S. Shortly after writing the above, I saw this article from the Ayn Rand Institute. It's longer with more criticism of socialism. The spokesman for socialism is Bhaskar Sunkara. It includes the following about socialism's appeal to many people: "In the debates, Sunkara argues that socialism is the system that protects people’s “basic rights” to goods and services like health care, education, and nutrition. He also argues that workers should be given democratic control of the firms they staff by being given the right to elect their managers and receive a share of the profits. This, he says, is necessary to protect freedom from the “tyranny” in the workplace: from the “coercion” of having to take a job under terms set by others."
Addenda 1/18/2020 A Wall Street Journal article (paywalled) includes the following:
"Mr. Glaeser cites polling that suggests most young people’s vision of socialism might be better described as “hyperredistribution.” They don’t seek state control of the means of production, but punishing taxes on the rich to fund programs like free college for all. “They say, ‘Well, there are a whole bunch of projects—a whole bunch of government spending that helps old people. I want mine. If we’re going to spend a huge amount on Medicare, why aren’t we spending a whole lot on education for me?’
The obvious answer is that redistribution takes money out of the productive economy, which diminishes collective wealth over time. Young socialists dismiss that point, and equate capitalism with greed." [end]
Another answer not in the article is that the elderly on Medicare and Social Security paid taxes to fund them for decades. A young college student doesn't have such a history". Merjet
Good article. The "case for socialism" is all-dependent upon existing great wealth and future, ongoing production in a specific nation. Socialism needs capitalism. The 'makers' - think the socialists - will continue doing what they do, regardless, "somehow" - because they have to, they like doing it and are capable of doing it. iow, they enjoy being sacrificed. They "owe". (Anyway, *any* others can take over production and industry if they rebel. So the Marxist-socialists believe). Never do these socialist-utopian theorists ask themselves: why should the profit-makers carry on? What will happen when, inevitably, capital and creativity slowly start drying up (under even this "soft" form of socialism) and the innovators leave for better pastures? No answer, since they are people who have no idea of man's mind and don't want to know. But all the rest know that a harder socialism i.e., increasing gvment force, will become necessary to continue their fantasy of "hyperredistribution" to eke out the last remnants of wealth production. Ending very badly. On a small scale this is what I remember of Zimbabwe, and now I see the flight of able South Africans (of all races) - the looting will simply outweigh the production eventually, and all suffer. "Equality" is finally achieved in equal misery.
(But about time the AR Institute woke up! Are they afraid that opposing socialism will have to mean supporting the president?)