The Goal Of Socialists Is Socialism - Not Prosperity

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by William Anderson via The Mises Institute,

About 40 years ago, economist Bruce Yandle went to Washington to work for the Council on Wage and Price Stability, ready to apply his knowledge of economics and educate his fellow workers. After all, he reminisces, one eye-rolling, head-scratching decision after another was coming from government regulators that surely someone versed in economics could expose as stupid, wasteful, and downright ridiculous.

Government Serves the Interests of Government

At some point, Yandle realized that the lay of the regulatory land looked quite different in Washington than it did in Clemson, South Carolina, where he was on the faculty at Clemson University. Regulators — and the representatives of the enterprises they regulated — were not looking to create an atmosphere in which the government tried to find the “optimal” set of regulatory policies that both minimized regulatory costs and allowed for the maximum removal of whatever “externalities” were created.

No, as Yandle writes:

… instead of assuming that regulators really intended to minimize costs but somehow proceeded to make crazy mistakes, I began to assume that they were not trying to minimize costs at all — at least not the costs I had been concerned with. They were trying to minimize their costs, just as most sensible people do.

The more he examined the situation, the more he realized that all of the various actors in the system were acting in their own perceived self-interests — regulators, politicians, and those being regulated — and the combination of their interests created perverse outcomes. The “big picture” view that those on the outside of the situation might have is irrelevant to what actually happens, and understandably so.

Far from the stated goals of the regulators and those involved in the process - that regulation was pursued in order to promote a lofty “public interest” -  the real purpose of the regulatory apparatus is the promotion of the regulatory apparatus. The system exists to preserve and protect itself.

Socialists Are Interested in Control, not Economic Prosperity 

As I observe (and participate in) a few discussions on Facebook and elsewhere about socialism, I have come to a few conclusions about the nature of the arguments and the reasons why socialists remain socialists even as we see the utter failure of socialist economies throughout history. Maybe the meme that appears once in a while — “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists” — might be true, but I doubt it. As I see it, the purpose of establishing socialism is to further promote socialism, not improve the lot of a society and certainly not to promote prosperity.

First, and most important, the minds of socialists work differently than do the minds of economists that see an economy as a mix of factors of production, prices, final goods, markets, and entrepreneurs that drive the whole route. Those of us who are economists are fascinated by this process because we see human ingenuity, the coordination of the goals of numerous people, and, when the system works, a higher standard of living for most people.

Socialists, however, don’t see what we see. Instead, they see chaos and unequal outcomes. Not everyone benefits, right? In some situations, someone may lose a job or a way of doing things becomes obsolete. In the end, some people won’t be helped at all, at least not directly, and in the mind of someone that has an organic view of society, the fact that certain entrepreneurial actions taken by some individuals have created goods that meet the needs of others is irrelevant. Society should be providing those goods for free! People should not have to pay for what they need!

Are you a surgeon who had done well financially because you have performed medical miracles for people who desperately needed your services? You have exploited sick people! Are you like Martha Stewart, who became wealthy in part by showing people how to make holiday celebrations better? What about the poor? They don’t have nice houses!

When I first started writing about economics nearly 40 years ago, I was like Bruce Yandle, believing that all that was needed to convince socialists to stop being socialists was a well-reasoned economic argument. You know, explain that entrepreneurs don’t earn profits by exploiting workers, but rather entrepreneurs make workers better off by directing resources to their highest-valued uses. You know, explain how a price system really does result in morally-just outcomes because, in the end, it directs resources toward fulfilling the needs of consumers. And so on.

I still believe the arguments, and over the years have come to understand them even better than I did when I wrote my first article for The Freeman in 1981. (It’s funny how Economics in One Lesson continues to become increasingly relevant to my thinking each time I read it.) However, I believe that the end of all of this activity is — or should be — the improvement of life for people in a way that is not predatory and brings about voluntary cooperation among economic actors. In other words, economic activity is a means to an end, and the end is free people gaining in wealth and standards of living.

A socialist does not and will not see things this way. The end of socialism is not a higher living standard or even making life better for the poor, as much as a socialist will talk about the well-being of poor people. No, the end of socialism is socialism, or to better put it, the ideal of socialism. Once socialism is established, as it was in Venezuela or in the former USSR or Cuba, the social ideal had been met no matter what the actual outcome might be.

But what about the problems that inevitably occur in a socialist economy? Are not socialists shaken by the economic meltdown in Venezuela? The answer is a clear NO. For example, The Nation, which has supported various communist movements for generations, takes the position that Venezuela suffers from not enough socialism:

If socialism is understood as a system in which workers and communities (rather than bureaucrats, politicians, and well-connected entrepreneurs) exercise effective democratic control over economic and political decision-making, it would appear that Venezuela is suffering not from too much socialism, but from too little. Who can deny that Venezuela would be much better off if the hundreds of billions of dollars reportedly diverted through corruption were instead in the hands of organized communities?

The author assumes, of course, that socialism can be separated from the state, which shows either dishonesty or naivety, or perhaps both. After all, the author continues by claiming that the vast system of price controls the government has laid down over Venezuela’s economy has had little economic effect and certainly has not been harmful, just as the author assumes that because most businesses in Venezuela officially are privately-owned, the government has little economic control over their operations. (As we know, the government there has seized businesses, arrested store owners for raising prices in the face of blizzards of paper money, and made ridiculous claims about conspiracies to overthrow the government.)

The one thing the author does not suggest is the government backing off its policies and its socialist ideology. To do so, obviously, would mean that socialism had failed and no socialist is going to ever embrace the idea that socialism could fail.

Perhaps the best example of this is Robert Heilbroner’s famous 1989 New Yorker article, “The Triumph of Capitalism,” written even before the Berlin Wall went down, along with the communist governments of Eastern Europe and the USSR. He followed this a year later with “After Communism,” also in the New Yorker. In his first article, the Marxist Heilbroner wrote:

The Soviet Union, China & Eastern Europe have given us the clearest possible proof that capitalism organizes the material affairs of humankind more satisfactorily than socialism: that however inequitably or irresponsibly the marketplace may distribute goods, it does so better than the queues of a planned economy ... the great question now seems how rapid will be the transformation of socialism into capitalism, & not the other way around, as things looked only half a century ago. 

Yet, it is clear, especially after the second article, that Heilbroner was not advocating the establishment of free markets, but rather saw the collapse of the communist system as little more than a strategic pause of the Long March to Socialism. To reach that Utopia, wrote Heilbroner, socialists needed to turn to environmentalism to deliver the goods. (That most of the socialist countries also were ecological disasters did not penetrate Heilbroner’s mind, and that should not surprise anyone. To Heilbroner, the end of socialism was not a better way to produce and equally distribute goods; no, the end of socialism was socialism.)

In other words, even after seeing the socialist system that economists like he, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Paul Samuelson praised for a generation melt down right in front of him, Heilbroner could not bring himself to admit that maybe socialists needed to turn in their membership cards and promote capitalism. No, Heilbroner decided that socialists simply needed new strategies to find ways to have state (read that, social) control of resources and economic outcomes. Interestingly, he wrote these words even after acknowledging that Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek were correct in their assessment of socialism’s “economic calculation problem,” but even that admission did not bring Heilbroner to the logical end of his analysis: total rejection of the socialist system.

Like the Fonzie character from Happy Days that never could admit being “wrong” on an issue, Heilbroner — and others like him — could not concede that socialism in any form still would run aground, be it in providing medical care, establishing strict environmental policies, or the establishment of a vast welfare state. The central problem facing socialism — economic calculation — does not disappear just because a government does not directly own factors of production and engage in five-year economic plans.

This hardly means that economists like me should stop writing about the failures of socialism or stop explaining how a private property order and a free price system work. First, one never can be too educated in economic analysis and neither can anyone in public life. Socialists may not be able to abandon their faith, but others who might like to hear well-reasoned arguments might not be willing to join the Church of Socialism in the first place.

Second, there is nothing wrong in speaking the truth and just because socialists and their followers are averse to truth does not mean we give up saying what we know to be true. Just because socialists refuse to believe that socialism fails - even when the evidence points otherwise - does not mean they have the moral and intellectual high ground.

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Alok's picture

maybe...    and the goal of capitalism is prosperity, right? For very few...

WernerHeisenberg's picture

Don't confuse the crony capitalism (call it fascism or communism - very little difference) of statist societies with free markets. The settlers of New England almost starved trying to impose a utopian collectivist ideal.  Respect for private property and free enterprise rescued them.

endereng's picture

You can apply the same argument to the socialism in the USSR last century and say it was not a real socialism but a crony one...

Haus-Targaryen's picture

How was it not real socialism?  

State owned everything and distributed it as it saw fit.  Advancement was only possible within the confines of the state and political structzures.  

Again, how to you impose the ideals of socialism without a large big-brother government?  

css1971's picture

Fairies and pixie dust.


Though in reality that means guns and death camps.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

OK, another ZH rave against "socialism". I agree! Let's get rid of socialism. Start with ending socialism for Wall St, then the military-industrial complex, then the energy companies, Big Pharma. End socialism for the Surveillance-industrial complex. Instead it always seems to be about the socialist crumbs the people receive rather than the huge loafs of socialist bread the big end of town gets.

dchang0's picture

Actually, now that you mention it, I would argue that Karl Marx was wrong--he blamed capitalism for various ills that really should have been blamed on oligarchy+oligopoly+cronyism.

Oligopoly seems to be the common theme amongst failing economies--no matter whether they are considered socialist, communist, capitalist, theocratic, despotic, or some mix thereof. A small group of rich, powerful people dominate the market, turn the institutions extractive (see "Why Nations Fail") to systematically rob the poor, and then the economy collapses.

sinbad2's picture

Capitalism cannot function without oligarchs and cronyism. Everyday you see American oligarchs on TV, Blankfein, Cheney, Buffet, etc.

treefeller's picture

Exactly. Read Marx's seminal work on Communism. He waxes on and on about the failures of capitalism. Chapter and verse about the condition of entire families living in dirt floor hovels. The book makes Dickens books seem like a happy ending massage by comparison.

He reserves an entire racist screed chapter on the Irish and how they almost enjoy living in privies given the opportunity to do so. How fucking lazy they were and mercurial to boot, then they start to breed with their laconic English counterparts which then inject their unreasonable strain of indolence into an otherwise respectable bunch.

He hates the Polish Jews and mentions the Rothschilds as being basically an indecent bunch. Funny how some family names continue to crop up. Then he talks about the American anamoly. Dynamic and agitated and excited all the time. Never ceasing to stop in their push forward. NEVER does this son of a bitch make the connnection that the ownership of the banking system is perverse and counter productive in any way and indeed, back in the day, after that crazy red haired Andrew Jackson killed the national bank, monetary policy was very much a local affair. Local banks could print money, LOCALLY, under the auspices of the US Treasury, as long as they held the correct amount of capital.

Even Alex De Toqueville remarked about the incredible American spirit. Chapter after chapter talking of how Americans, though uneducated and not having much in the way of arts because they did not have time to enjoy them because their main concern was that of living and striving to make something of themselves. Entire communities pushing themselves into greatness. THAT'S Capitalism. Not this shit we have today. Socialism is a fucking cancer and Commies are even worse. Look at the poor Chinese and now the North Koreans. How awful.

nmewn's picture

Socialism always leads to cronyism.

How did Russia's assets wind up in the hands of oligarchs...they are socialists & communists were they not? Why is Dianne Feinsteins husband so rich? Why is Harry Reid? Soros? Buffet? Hugo Chavez's bratty little bastard kids? How is it that the Clinton's are now multi-millionaires without ever having invented anything or created anything or had an original idea for profit in-their-entire-lives?

Now, these fuckwad parasitical bureaucratz who feed off the masses below, these apparatchiks that empower and do the bidding of all the above, does anyone think it proper and justifiable that they should be allowed to keep their ill-gotten gains?


Apparently some fuckwad parasitical bureaucrat thinks they should get to keep it.

Kefeer's picture

All forms of government lead to corruption because at the heart of every government a common thread exists; mankind's inherent nature as fully and accurately described in the Bible, the word of the true and living God.

19 Now the works of the flesh are clearly seen and understood: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

You will not enter into His presence except to be judged as "already guilty"; this Judge is not to be "toyed" with as His judgments are accurate and just.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

css1971's picture

"Not Real Socialism"


Is practically a meme. Yes. All failed socialist experiments are Not Real Socialism.

New_Meat's picture
  • "we needed moar socialism, we didn't have enough"
  • "we didn't have the right leaders, who truly knew what was needed.  They were weak"
  • "we didn't kill enough non-believers to purify the population (or the race)"
endereng's picture

As are all failed capitalism ones 

TheReplacement's picture

And you can stick your hand up a bull's ass to keep it warm.

All centralized systems invite the power hungry (really fucked up people like Stalin, Mao, PolPot...) to exploit that high level of control.  Assholes like you cheer as millions starve because you think great leader (Clinton) will make everything better.  Fuck you for being an imbecile and an asshole.  Everyone with an IQ over 80 should understand that human nature overrides any human system but you fuckwads want to give bloodthirsty batshit crazy people a means to power over others. 

Nexus789's picture

i thought it was the local Indians that took pity on them as they were too dumb to survive.  Anything else is a myth like much of US history.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

Articulate a better system then. 

From each according to his ability to each according to his ability seems more "just" than the alternative. 

itstippy's picture

Not just ability: efforts.

There are plenty of people who are "less able" in various ways but who work their asses off to overcome their disadvantage(s) and succeed.  I have peripheral artery disease in both lower legs; they hurt like Hell often, but I grit my teeth and keep going.  I have 40% hearing loss in one ear and 60% in the other.  Very few people know I have this; they think I find what they're saying fascinating and are flattered (I'm not "fascinated"; I'm reading your lips).  Whatever; I pull my own weight and more.

 Marx's "From each according to his ability to each according to his need" is utter bullshit.  Who determines ability and who determines need?  The State?

dchang0's picture

"For very few" is not part of capitalism per se. Oligarchy, oligopoly, and plutarchy are more accurate words for "very few" being in power.

Ckierst1's picture

This is properly mercantilism.

WernerHeisenberg's picture

They are just evil little people who want to enslave their betters, they have no interest in general prosperity or wellbeing at all

Batman11's picture

“All for ourselves, and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Mankind first started to produce a surplus with early agriculture.

It wasn’t long before the elites learnt how to read the skies, the sun and the stars, to predict the coming seasons to the amazed masses and collect tribute.

They soon made the most of the opportunity and removed themselves from any hard work to concentrate on “spiritual matters”, i.e. any hocus-pocus they could come up with to elevate them from the masses, e.g. rituals, fertility rights, offering to the gods …. etc and to turn the initially small tributes, into extracting all the surplus created by the hard work of the rest.

The elites became the representatives of the gods and they were responsible for the bounty of the earth and the harvests. As long as all the surplus was handed over, all would be well.

Later elites came up with money.

We pay you to do the work and you give it back to us when you buy things, you live a bare subsistence existence and we take the rest. There would be just enough there to keep everyone on board and those at the top could skim off nearly all the surplus to live in luxury.

The money scam for extracting the surplus forms the basis of capitalism and quite a few early companies had a company shop where wages had to be spent to ensure there was no leakage into the pockets of others.

The UK’s aristocracy has seen feudalism, early capitalism and modern capitalism; they all fulfil the primary function of human society, keeping them in luxury and ease while others do all the work.

Until the early 19th Century the poor lived in squalor and the rich lived in luxury, the 5,000 years of human civilisation.

Then this awful chap Marx comes along with ideas of organised labour movements and those at the bottom start to get a larger slice of the pie. The threat of Communism means the masters of mankind need to be a bit more generous in the Keynesian era.

As memories of the Russian Revolution fade the elites start planning and come up with neo-liberalism. They give it some early trials in South America, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it’s perfect.

The Berlin Wall falls and it’s time to roll it out globally.

Underlying neo-liberalism, is neoclassical economics, 1920s economics, but it has now developed a language of its own and mathematics that makes it impenetrable.

A technocrat elite ensure the days of 1920s inequality are back with a vengeance and its diktats are beyond question.

The economics isn’t very good but the idea is more similar to the earlier elites, it’s just some hocus-pocus to justify extracting all the surplus produced globally. The Central Bankers are the high priests of the new religion, neoliberalism.

2014 – “85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world”

2016 – “Richest 62 people as wealthy as half of world’s population”

2017 – Richest 8 people as wealthy as half of world's population

Nearly there.

But it works so well the populists start to rise and the economics is so awful the global economy lurches from boom to bust and ends up in the new normal of secular stagnation.

Batman11's picture

You put some redistribution in to maintain a consumer society.

Basic capitalism was around in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The rich lived in luxury and the poor lived in squalor.



New_Meat's picture

"Mankind first started to produce a surplus with early agriculture."

Then came beer.

itstippy's picture

And onions.  Apparently the pyramids of Ancient Egypt weren't built by slave labor, but by laborers paid in beer and onions.  They've found the ancient stone pay slips.

iAmerican3's picture
iAmerican3 (not verified) Feb 16, 2017 4:14 AM

Socialism, like Marxism, Communism, Bolshevism, Zionism, Fascism, Nazism, and Maoism, is but another of the Roman Anti-Christ's promulgated foils to satanically overthrow Godly Smithian Capitalism, Annuit Coeptis, and the prophesied "New Israel," America; and to reenslave the sovereign People, the actual "Chosen of God," the American "El-ectorate."

Memedada's picture

Marxism is not socialism.

Marxism is a method - that can be used to study all economic systems. Including - and that was the methods first use - the study of capitalism.

Marx was a pro-capitalist. He saw it as the highest form of economic organization at his time. He was, however, historically conscious and therefore knew that no systems lasts forever. That’s why he started to envision what would come after capitalism.

Kefeer's picture

the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the basis for the theory and practice of communism.

Memedada's picture

And? A person can not contribute with more than one thing to the intellectual pond?

Yes, he and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto. But that had nothing to do with “Marxism”.

Marxism refers to his philosophical work – his invention of a new method to study societies/history: the historical materialism.

Historical materialism is not "pro-" or "con-" socialism, communism or capitalism. It is just a way to analyse an economy and/or epoch by focussing on the development/changes in material basis of a society - and how the material basis is creating the "intellectual environment" of that society. Like on this site where the majority has integrated the ideas of their masters - like celebrating the “merits” of capitalism.



iAmerican3's picture
iAmerican3 (not verified) Memedada Feb 16, 2017 9:44 AM

You are "misinformed."

Marx, like Herzl, was a virulent atheist.

Capitalism, by definition, requires all parties to transactions be conscious of the presence and interests of the Creator, God Almighty. This Consciousness is encapsulated in America's credal civil religion's Annuit Coeptis tenet: divine Providence blesses our righteous endeavors. See: Adam Smith's "Th. of Moral Sentiments."

Vatican banker Rothschild's cancelled check to his cousin, Karl Marx, is at the British Museum. 

N.B. God Almighty is Eternal, infinite, living, present, ineffable, invisible, holy, righteous, unique, and perfect.

MPJones's picture

"No, the end of socialism is socialism, or to better put it, the ideal of socialism."

Well, you can of course express it that way. I like tro express it slightly differently: the end of Socialism is to steal from those who create wealth through their talent and hard work. It is a political ideology based on theft, thus completely dishonorable. The Socialists steal in order to keep a small privileged class of cronies: union bosses, politicians, agitprops, academics, selected libtards and globalist capital-users, in a privileged lifestyle on the back of those who work and create.

Many are power-hungry losers who would not be able to make it under their own steam, dishonest people, morally low-life . So, if that is Socialism you can say thet the goal of Socialism is Socialism. I would say it is power and undeserved enrichment.

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

it is not left right, it is colectivism vs the individual

1925 - The trial - Franz Kafka

1939 - La Bureaucratisation du Monde - Bureaucratisation of the World - Bruno Rizzi

1941 - The Managerial Revolution - James Burnham

css1971's picture

I'd also make this argument. Socialism effectively collapses to authoritarian in reality (see hate speech laws) and economic and social freedoms are synonymous, so the real spectrum is from the collective to the individual.

And only the individual is a real thing. All collectives are imaginary.

Kefeer's picture

Socialism is a form of communism and it does not value people nor excellence and tries to put everyone in the same mold, while our Creator made each of us unique.  We kick against the natural order of the creation and become further and further removed from our Creator's design for us, in His image.  What a sad story - human history.

Ckierst1's picture

I respectfully submit that you have it bass ackwards, although I support your sentiments.

sinbad2's picture

In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.


Does that sound like the America you know?

Aquarius's picture


We argue the point Capitalism vs. Socialism - bad move as we do it on false assumptions and unfounded definitions.

Whatever Ideology rules could work, if those that rule, or govern, sic, did so Objectively. There has never ever been such a Government. Government is Oppressive by definition and dictates as well as adjudicates the Law. The enemy of the Government in all cases, are the peoples that it represents. The peoples or masses, are fools and "muppets" to believe otherwise.

In the case of Trotsky and Stalin, neither had much of an argument against the other, except who would be Number #1. Stalin fixed ths by indelicately placing an ice pick into the head of Trotsky. {Trotsky wanted World Communism with himself as Head while Stalin settled for USSR Communism with himself as Head}

As regards Lenin's interpretation of Marx's State Ideology (communism or socialism, whatever), it took less than 6 months for those that wanted to receive, to lay down tools, and run the land out of food. The Solution by Lenin was to murder 10 million of his peoples over the first 12 minths of his reign (I have read he never gave it a second thought). That didn't work so well either, so he decided to genocide another 24 millions of his peoples, up to 1927, whereupon, he died. So much for self-proclaimed Academic Intellectuals and their Ideologies. Today they call then "neocons" - same disease, same tribe and they infest the governments of the USA and other nations. And doing the same shit - bombing, muder, theft, looting, genocide, etc, Sigh.

Looking ahead, aas well as back in history, this game will be played out repeatedly thousands of times with the same results and the same arguments: But let us try to get it right:

Government is the Problem (even Reagan recognised this).

Some people believe that "God" created them to rule over men. I, for one, believe that "God" created me, not to be rulde over, except by myself. 

Most people do not want to labour. And the masses are generally incompetent, lazy, and prone to lying and theft.

Today, Capitalism is Looting. The Banks are one of a series of Middlemen in every transaction: this is not Capitalism; It is Theft.

Let me summarize: The Banks Rule the World, and are Senior. The rest. such as "governments", all governments -at all levels, are their servants.

The USA is finished  as dog cronically infested with fleas.

Ho hum


stiler's picture

I believe the goal of individuals should be to mind their own business and work with their hands to provide for themselves and their families. It's simple and ideal. Not everyone will do this. It's a proof of the faith. You are an infidel if you don't do it. And shouldn't be given anything.

stiler's picture

However, this falls under church discipline and was not written to anyone else. So, what to do when the culture becomes overwhelmingly Christian, but with not so many Xians? Unbelievers should be happy to live under it, because it provides everyone with so many benefits. Governor Wihthrop addressed this good problem. especially his Second Reason:

stiler's picture

Then, there's umm, Thomas Morton, an olden-day Socialist.

css1971's picture

First of all... Fascism, National Socialism, are forms of Socialism, just as Communism is.




socialism + private enterprise + nationalism = fascism


As espoused by mussolini and hitler. i.e. Hitler and Mussolini were socialists.

Why is this important? Because, if you remove the nationalism, you get:


socialism + private enterprise = corporatism


And today, we in the west live in corporatist (not capitalist) states. You can think of crony capitalism as corporatism, because that's what it is, and it's quite deliberate.

The US Deep state, MIC, Establishment -> Corporatist

The EU -> Corporatist.

Corporatism is the only form of socialism which didn't accidentally starve millions of people to death. The international socialists, won WWII, and took the core economic facet of Fascism for their own. Yes, we live in proto-fascist societies, not liberal ones.

CO2isLife's picture


The Goal Of Socialists Is Socialism - Not Prosperity"


Perfectly said. Just look at how all the educational spending is directed towards the adults in the system, not educating the children.

New_Meat's picture

and, as in the British health system, not to those directly engaged in the endeavour.

we used to say "ass in the grass" and use it as a measurement

Canadian earmuffs's picture

Limited socialism seems to work quite well until the central bankers fuck it up. Canada is a socialist country and was doing well until it started borrowing money from the central bankers in 1974 instead of printing its own as it had always done. Canada has a trillion dollar debt but the actual capital due is a little over a billion, the rest is interest. When I say limited socialism, I mean that there is a real effort not to encourage abuse (for ex:  inviting Islamic immigrants that will never get a job), and not offering endless benefits like France that eventually sink the system. The biggest problem however is as the author says, eventually the syste starts to exist to perpetuate itself.  With the current technology one could automate and robotise 80% of the government jobs. But the government would never reduce its power by doing so. 

So in the end, maybe the system does needs to crash and be rebuit from the bottom up. 

Aristofani's picture

Typical superficial understanding of economics and society. Always confusing capitalism with free market and democracy. Also government with socialism. There has and will always be a need for government. Let's say the one of the people, by the people for the people.

Lets keep it simple though.  I am free do as I want as long as I dont hurt anyone else. Who is to determine that you are not hurting someone else?

PS free market, prosperity ? Is that some kind of metaphysics like god, holy ghost and the blood of the lamb?

Ckierst1's picture

Socialists will always claim that they have a hammerlock on all economic revealed truth (faith, a religion?), despite a landscape littered with tyranny, shared poverty and wrecked national economies that drank the Koolaid.  Laissez faire free enterprise has been stifled by corrupt politicians in democratic governments bent on bribing voters and rewarding campaign contributors/ cronys/ constituencies, despite its clear success at developing robust middle classes, normally the incubator of innovation.  It has never had a pure implementation but has nearly invariably operated in pervasive mercantilistic or socialistic mixed economies.

orangegeek's picture

The european queens and kings had to give up their thrones (well not really) in order for their countries to compete with the US industrial revolution in the 1800s.


Europe has, ever since, stuck their fucking noses into US interests (instigating and supporting slavery and civil war) to slow US prosperity, but the nail in their coffins was their own civil wars - WW1 and WW2.


By the end of WW2, the US was the clear economic leader, but Europe changed tactic and went from bullets to politics/money.


All these "isms" are the bullshit mechanics behind Europe trying to maintain control of their colonies.


And hopefully Trump will finally cut the head off the global problem - Berlin/ Brussels.

milo_hoffman's picture


Socialism is not for spreading the wealth, Socialism is for spreading the poverty.