An astounding number of current world problems are traceable directly, or indirectly, to the intellectual infection called Marxism. Just last century an incomprehensibly large number of persons were directly murdered, or indirectly caused to die as a result of applying Karl Marx’s ideas.
This fact is damnably avoided by current socialists, who when the topic is raised, pretend there could be no connection between China’s and the USSR’s Marxist beliefs and their own. Yet, they share the same red thread, inexorably woven between the two. For both are atheistic ideological systems, built on the writings of a failed academic, that outlaws free markets, private property, free speech and free exercise of religion as well as all other natural rights.
That America today has committed itself to a type of socialism is shocking and deeply troubling. In the aftermath of the discovery of ObamaCare’s myriad failures, does no one recognize that ignorance and failure are the coins of the realm of Marxism? This is yet another step on the long road of subjugation and slavery. If not repudiated, our descent will cause future generations of Americans to fall under the whip hand of incompetent Marxist slave drivers. One can never tell the story of the evil of Marxism, and its bastard children—socialism, communism, and fascism—enough to help recall their innocent hundreds of millions of victims.
There really is no such thing as a functional “Socialist Economics,” or Marxist economy. In fact, socialists have always struggled to even define the word “economy,” let alone create a system to express their ideals. According to Marx, socialism is the phase after capitalism, and the step right before full-fledged communism is instituted. Marx never really addressed what an economics of socialism would look like, according to a Econlib.org article Socialism:
It is often thought that the idea of socialism derives from the work of Karl Marx. In fact, Marx wrote only a few pages about socialism, as either a moral or a practical blueprint for society.
To understand this, let’s consider the first Marxist state, the USSR. The first true attempt at a Marxist economic system was created by Vladimir Lenin after the Russian Revolution:
The true architect of a socialist order was Lenin, who first faced the practical difficulties of organizing an economic system without the driving incentives of profit seeking or the self-generating constraints of competition. Lenin began from the long-standing delusion that economic organization would become less complex once the profit drive and the market mechanism had been dispensed with—“as self-evident,” he wrote, as “the extraordinarily simple operations of watching, recording, and issuing receipts, within the reach of anybody who can read and write and knows the first four rules of arithmetic.”
Lenin believed his First 4 Rules were a panacea of economics. Contra, their application presaged a catastrophe:
In fact, economic life pursued under these first four rules rapidly became so disorganized that within four years of the 1917 revolution, Soviet production had fallen to 14 percent of its pre-revolutionary level. By 1921, Lenin was forced to institute the New Economic Policy (NEP), a partial return to the market incentives of capitalism. This brief mixture of socialism and capitalism came to an end in 1927 after Stalin instituted the process of forced collectivization that was to mobilize Russian resources for its leap into industrial power.
The Soviet leaders grappled with the problem of a government being responsible for creating an entire economy, which Lenin and Joseph Stalin struggled to master. Neither Lenin nor Stalin knew anything about economics. The answer the Russians created was a command economy, based upon a top down pyramid controlled by the Gosplan, defined by Russiapedia:
The Soviet Union was a country with a state-controlled economy. Every five years, government developed plans for all plants and collective farms in USSR, ordering them to produce exact amounts of goods in the following five year period. The committee responsible for the creation of those plans was called State Planning Committee (Gosudarstvenny Komitet po Planirovaniyu), or, in short, “Gosplan”.
Neither Lenin nor Stalin knew anything about economics. Marx himself never received any training in economics, but was self-taught. It was the blind leading the blind. To put the problem in a nutshell, Marx’s socialism is not even theoretically possible. In a socialist economy, there is no manner to efficiently price the various items and services, nor guess which products and services to offer the public, or in what amounts. These flaws, outside of any other problems, makes certain such a system cannot work in practice, according to Mises and Hayek:
Ludwig von Mises in particular contended that a socialist system was impossible because there was no way for the planners to acquire the information—“produce this, not that”—needed for a coherent economy. This information, Friederich Hayek emphasized, emerged spontaneously in a market system from the rise and fall of prices. A planning system was bound to fail precisely because it lacked such a signaling mechanism.
Socialism is state-directed economic activity in the name of morality. The chief problem in a socialist economy is that its real purpose is not to order markets in the most efficient and productive manner, but to apply the moral balm of Marxism to the evils of capitalism.
There may be many persons who fatuously believe that socialism is designed to help the poor and downtrodden. But this high-minded, kindly view of helping others was notably absent from the greatest and most influential Marxists, such as Lenin, Stalin and Mao, who remain the greatest murderers in history. At least 150 million were murdered by these three.
Socialism is morality masquerading as science. As Hayek writes in The Fatal Conceit, The Errors of Socialism,
The demands of socialism are not moral conclusions derived from the tradition that formed the extended order that made civilization possible. Rather, they endeavor to overthrow these traditions by a rationally designed moral system whose appeal depends on the instinctual appeal of its promised consequences…To follow socialist morality would destroy much of present humankind and impoverish much of the rest.
In other words, the very appeal of socialism is not a more prosperous world, but rather one where the rich are punished for daring to become wealthy, regardless the result.
How is it possible that so many today look to Marx and socialism as an answer to the world’s ills, let alone as a way to fix the West’s leaky economies? Perhaps for the same reason that Chairman Mao Zedong believed that Stalin’s 5-year plans had been a success, instead of the jaw-dropping failures they really were. In a phrase, it could be an example of Information Cascades, where even the most disreputable and nonsensical ideas can be entrenched as “common knowledge” if believed by enough people.
Faulty Information Cascades occur when waves of shared ignorance sweep aside common sense. For instance, such beliefs as Global Warming are examples, where the vast majority of those who support this theory are directed by the media, various experts and celebrities. The Cato Institute defined these:
Informational cascades are the most basic sort of cascades. In them, people form their beliefs using information obtained by observing the behavior or opinions of others. UCLA economists Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch define an informational cascade as a situation in which “it is optimal for an individual, having observed the actions of others ahead of him, to follow the behavior of the preceding individual without regard to his own information.” Although “actions speak louder than words” and economists rely more on actions to reveal individual preferences, cascade theory also applies to opinion conformity.
All groups are susceptible to herd thinking. But amongst neo-liberal, or socialist believers, the group itself is a semi-sacred notion. Therefore, groupthink takes on an even larger role for finding truth. In Marxist soteriology—salvation theory—one cannot find the good or true outside the group. Further, this group opinion is delivered from the top down.
The support for and belief in the efficacy of ObamaCare is another unsavory and undeniably hilarious example of false Information Cascades. When Barack made his pitch for healthcare reform, the left was smitten and instantly persuaded by the project. Today, despite the fact the all ObamaCare was sold as a shiny fairytale upon an enormous raft of lies, the left refuses to let go of their dream. The simple conjuring up of the phrase universal healthcare, Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act caused even elderly politicians with a lifetime of experience to guarantee its delivery, sight unseen. In fact, not only were the details of the program unknown to these leftist polticos, but the bill itself remained famously unread before passage. This is certainly an example of toxic informational cascade.
It appears the president himself fell victim to his own socialist rhetoric. This is reminiscent of Chairman Mao’s belief that ideas, in and of themselves, would transform the world simply by being uttered, according to Judith Shapiro’s Mao’s War Against Nature. Barack could probably identify with how Mao’s personal secretary described his mind, “He found systematic scientific knowledge annoying and constricting.” Mao influenced his society to set aside known laws and believe they could achieve anything they could conceive, despite the details—a sentiment certainly reminiscent of ObamaCare.
The biggest problem with a socialist economy is bureaucracy, according to Oskar Lang, who wrote—“The real danger of socialism is that of a bureaucratization of economic life.” Famed economic and philosophical writer Robert L. Heilbroner, a former lifelong socialist, said near the end of his 85-year-long life—“capitalism has been as unmistakable a success as socialism has been a failure.”
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico.Commenting Policy
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