Friday, September 5, 2008

The Flaws of Socialism and Why I Believe the Obama Campaign is so Dangerous...









Let me admit this at the outset, I am a proud and very determined ideological bigot.

I don’t merely disagree with socialism/Liberalism/progressivism because it is wrong-headed, viciously misanthropic and doomed to failure (it is), but because I was literally born to revile it as “an ideology for losers,” as much as I was born to embrace LIBERTY - self-ownership/responsibility.

I’ve reviled Kuwait which actually has made a very rudimentary form of socialism work, in fact, Kuwait has done that far more effectively than any Western European or Asian nation ever has! Kuwait has been able to do that distributing the proceeds from its oil profits to its people.

Today, Venezuela is trying to mimic Kuwait’s model.

Kuwait shared the oil wealth with its people as far back as the 1960s. When America’s poverty line began at around $4000/year, Kuwaiti citizens had a guaranteed income of $11,000/year.

I revile Kuwait, because I firmly believe that socialism’s success ANYWHERE is a threat to economic freedom/LIBERTY everywhere.

Now, I LOVE the writings of the GREAT Henry George (Progress and Poverty, among other works), a devoutly Christian, 19th Century American social reformer, reviled by both socialists and capitalist alike. George based his views on the principle that ALL the resources of a nation belonged principally and primarily to the people, just as surely as does the air they breathe.

Henry George’s philosophy greatly influenced the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, who after penning Anna Karenina and War and Peace, devoted the rest of his literary life to writing religious and social tomes, such as The Kingdom of God is Within You, The Gospels in Brief (one of the most AWESOME books I’ve ever read and I’m not at all religious) and My Confession. Tolstoy’s later works echoed and amplified Henry George’s views and greatly influenced Mahatma Gandhi , who in turn greatly influenced Martin Luther King.

I like Henry George’s philosophy very much, it transcends socialism and looks to humanize Capitalism in a very logical, thoughtful way. While I don’t see many of George’s ideas as very practical, they are, unlike the deeply misanthropic and hateful ideas of Marx, rooted in an innate decency.

I LOVE Tolstoy’s later works and admire his vast talents.

What I don’t at all admire or even respect is the dimwitted philosophy called Marxism based on “FROM each according to his abilities and TO each according to his needs.”

It is one of the most feeble-minded philosophies ever constructed and one of the most unworkable.

Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy was far more coherent, far more radical and far more frightening in its scope and vision. Nietzsche advocated “natural selection” (“social Darwinism”) for the human species so that it might evolve toward a better, what he called Uberman or super-man. In that regard he derided charity as “the curse of Christ” because it undermined this natural selection/social Darwinism and encouraged and enabled the poor, the uncompetitive and the profligate to not only survive but to thrive and pass on their defective genes to future generations.

It is indeed tragic that a man as bereft of understanding and nuance as Adolph Hitler is credited with “trying to bring Nietzsche’s vision to life.”

Again, Hitler was as much a Nietzschean as he was a Christian, which is to say he was neither.

I say all that, not merely to rationalize or justify my ideological bigotry and my red-hot hatred for hardcore Leftists, but to give some background to that peculiar affection of mine.

That said, the people running Barack Obama’s campaign (no not Ayers, or Wright or any of those), the David Axelrod’s (the people actually engaged in the day-to-day running of that campaign), have an extreme Leftist agenda. They are supported by the extremely anti-capitalistic George Soros and other American anti-capitalists.

The MSM is largely corporately owned and corporately run.

Ironically enough, even though the command economy, that Karl Marx favored, DOESN’T and CANNOT work, the highly regulated economy CAN and DOES.

The highly regulated (Corporatist economy) can work because, although it stifles new start-ups, new ideas and new products, in the name of “economic stability” – protecting established enterprises, industries and jobs, because it is STILL market-based and privately run.

Armand Hammer, a major U.S. industrialist (founder of Occidental Petroleum and Armand Hammer Cleaning Products) managed to get a contract with the former USSR and held a virtual monopoly status in that command economy.

Armand Hammer formed the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and advocated for the command economy here in the U.S.

There’s NOTHING either altruistic or even uncommon about wealthy people like Armand Hammer embracing socialism and the command economy. It greatly benefits THEM, by, in effect, “freezing the free-for-all of capitalism and free enterprise in place, while they are on top.

It is for much the same reasons that most major corporations embrace the highly regulated or “Corporatist” economy of Japan, Western Europe and America, today. It benefits themselves AND it gives workers far more stability than they might otherwise have in a constantly changing, economically revolutionary free market system.
My objection to the Obama agenda is NOT that it’s an “Afro-centric one,” (it’s really NOT that), but it IS an extreme Leftist one!

Socialism is NOT a revolutionary ideology, it is one that seeks to enslave the poor and working people to the political class instead to the “clever class,” those who run industries and businesses. THAT is why the truly rich, the Kennedy’s, the Soros’, the Hammer’s all support either outright socialism OR a heavily regulated form of corporatism.

I support Liberty and the vicious free-for-all in which clever, scheming economic bullies, harness the power of ideological book-bright elitists and use them to make fortunes for themselves, while creating jobs for the rest of society.

Capitalism IS Liberty, Capitalism is FREEDOM.

To support socialism is to support political slavery.

9 comments:

LVTfan said...

Since you're familiar with Henry George's ideas, may I point out that some things SHOULD be socialized, and other things SHOULD be privatized? (Grant us the wisdom to know the difference, and courage to act on it!)

Take a look at Bob Andelson's paper, "Henry George and the Reconstruction of Capitalism," linked online from the front page at http://www.wealthandwant.com/ (the URL is from the subtitle to HG's book Progress and Poverty, which is online at www.progressandpoverty.org)

Interestingly, Sarah Palin has done some interesting things with regard to Alaska oil -- see http://lvtfan.typepad.com/lvtfans_blog/2008/09/pbss-now----8108-alaska-governor-palin-and-oil-resources----who-do-they-belong-to.html

And you may find other things in that blog of interest ...

Land Monopoly Capitalism is not real capitalism; we ought to try real capitalism some time! I hope I get to see it.

LVTfan said...

Sorry for the incomplete blog URL. Go to http://lvtfan.typepad.com/lvtfans_blog/ and search on Palin, and you'll find it.

JMK said...

THANKS for the links LVT fan!

I've blogrolled you to keep in contact.

I'm actually heartened to see people modernizing Henry George's works.

I was struck by some of George's works awhile ago, especially in that they antagonized both Left and Right.

IF there is ANY bridge between Capitalism and what some well-meaning Leftists call "economic justice," it lies in some method of universal ownership of resources....a difficult matter to make practical.

After all, modern governments claim ownership OVER all the nations natural resources and claims the right to allow certain citizens to develop and distribute those resources both for profit and "the common good."

The question is, can any government claim such a right and be trusted to control those resources and protect anything like a "common good" most people would agree upon.

I've dismissed many of Henry George's initial proposals as unworkable, BUT I respect his decency and devotion to average, working Americans.

I do like the land value tax once called the Single Tax and I really liked the YouTube presentation by Fred Harrison on Ricardo's laws and the flaws of progressive taxation.

Barry said...

Since you mentioned Tolstoy, have you ever read much Dostoyevsky? If not, I'd recommend you get a copy of "The Brothers Karamazov" and read a chapter called "The Grand Inquisitor." The chapter is standalone, and can be read independently of the rest of the book (although the whole thing is definitely worth a read if you have the time.) I think it's one of the most effective and damning critiques of socialism I've ever read.

Don said...

I've sat and read this entry three times and I am amazed at how much information is gathered within that head of yours.

I respect your opinions towards the Obama campaign, and I think McCain's campaign might support the things which doesn't support me, but wouldn't you at least admit that America itself cannot survive 4 or possibly 8 more years of the same 'guidelines' which the Bush & GOP party maintains.

Even if McCain is a maverick Republican, how much of a difference can that make when he supports Bush the majority?

JMK said...

Hi Barry, I had to read Crime and Punishment and I tried to get through Notes From Underground, but while I've heard of Brothers Karamozov, I've never read it.

I will now.

THANKS!

JMK said...

I'm glad your around Don.

I like your outlook and I also respect your opinions even when we disagree. I admire your style and how you can disagree without ever being disagreeable - a rare trait.

I too, am fascinated by the WHYS. I like to try and find out why people believe the things they do. I see that in you and I think you carry it across far more effectively and certainly more diplomatically than myself. I am sometimes prone to bluntness and some take that, coupled with disagreement as "meanness," which is never my intent.

At any rate Don, perhaps the source of our most basic disagreement may lie in that while I have a number of problems with the Bush administration; (1) not sealing our borders post-9/11, (2) the prescription drug boondoggle, (3) the wild expenditures with the NCLB Act, (4) the recent Keynesian "Stimulus Package" and (5) the mortgage bailouts, to name a few of the highlights, I have also applauded this administration on its across the board tax cuts, which greatly INCREASED federal revenues, slashing the deficit in half over three years, his confronting the rogue executives when tose scandals first broke in the summer of 2001 (Enron, Tyco, Woldcom, Arthur Anderson, etc) - the Bush administration prosecuted those execs and passed Srabannes-Oxley to keep those kinds of things (which had flourished in the late 1990s) from occurring again and for FINALLY confronting radical Islam which had been at war with America since 1993 (the first WTC bombing, the two U.S. Embassies bombed in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the USS Cole attack, the Kobalt Towers bombing, etc.) and was only confronted AFTER 9/11/01.

Here's MY problem on the issues where I fault the Bush administration:

On the borders - the Liberal Democrats are WORSE, they support a more open border policy.

On the prescription drug boondoggle (paying for prescription drugs for seniors) - the Liberal Democrats wanted to spend even MORE!

Same with the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Act - the Liberals wanted and still WANT to spend even MORE!

The recent "stimulus package" (all those $600 to $1200 checks mailed out to the folks) have done nothing to stimulate the economy and HAVE increased the deficit, and that continued deficit spending continues to add to the national debt. BUT the Pelosi-Reid Congress supported that "stimulus package" and even wanted MORE!

I also don't like the mortgage bailout plan. I understand having to gird up financial institutions like Bear Stearns, but they SHOULD NEVER have been put in the position of having had to make bad loans in the first place.

Do you know what the etiology of the mortgage crisis was?

It goes back to a well-meaning attempt by Liberal Democrats to make credit more widely available to more people.

Sounds good, right?

Unfortunately, their methods included cutting financial institutions reliance on Credit Scores as a primary vehicle for credit-worthiness and "red-lining," the practicve of charging higher rates for mortgages in areas where there are higher foreclosure rates.

What those Liberals did was to undermine some sound banking policies, by claiming both credit score reliance and red-lining "disproportionately impacted" minority borrowers.

Bottom-line, those practices are common-sense practices. People with LOWER Credit Scores are HIGHER credit risks and places that have high foreclosure rates, also tend to be higher risk loans.

"Disprportionate impact" is a useless term (it really tells us NOTHING) that has been used to inflict a lot of misery on the country.

So, looking at all the problems I've had with the current administration, I CAN'T look to the Democrats, especially the Liberal Democrats for a solution, because they SUPPORTED ALL of those things and, in most cases, wanted to spend more or go further.

Mitt Romney gave, what I thought to be the most cogent speech of either Convention, in which he noted;

"Is a Supreme Court that gives Guantanamo Bay terrorists, Constitutional protections, Liberal or Conservative?

"It's Liberal."

"Is a government liberal or conservative that puts the interests of the teachers union ahead of the needs of our children?

"It's liberal!

"Is a Congress liberal or conservative that stops nuclear power plants and offshore drilling, making us more and more dependent on Middle East tyrants?

It's liberal!

"Is government spending - excluding inflation - liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980?

"It's liberal!

"We need change all right - change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington!"

Don, I couldn't agree more with Mitt Romney. Virtually EVERY problem we face today has been either caused by or exacrbated by Liberalism.

Saying that, I don't think Barack Obama is a bad guy...a man who deliberately seeks to do evil or harm. I see him as a well-meaning Liberal, whose ideas, because of that, are sometimes misguided and often dangerous.

Just my opinion.

And I have one more, or at least something that confuses me a good deal. I understand the ethnic pride that many blacks have for the Obama candidacy.

The confusion I have is how so many blacks who will tell me, unequivocably that on many issues they are "more Conservative than I am," will find so MUCH ethnic pride in a Barack Obama or a David Dinkins or any number of other very Liberal blacks, and have little or NO ethnic pride over a Condi Rice, or a Mike Steele or a Clarence Thomas or any number of Conservative blacks.

That, I don't understand and that's almost certainly because I'm not black.

As far as how the progressive income tax (which was endorsed and started/initiated by Liberal Democrats, but supported by many in BOTH major Parties) has hurt the working poor and benefitted the already benefit, this YouTube video that lvtfan pointed me to, explains a good deal of that.

There's more, because the progressive income tax is NOT geared to "taxing/punishing the truly rich" (the "truly rich" DON'T rely on income for the bulk of their wealth), it taxes/punishes wealth creation, by making it more difficult for working people, no matter what their incoem scale, to accrue any sizable wealth. That's almost certainly why, Barack Obama and the bulk of the Liberal Democrats quickly abandoned their pre-Summer plans to go after the Hedge Fund managers, guys like Schwartzman, many who earn many hundreds of millions of dollars per year and pay the low, fixed-rate Capital Gains tax on their earnings, as do their clients (those who've invested in those Hedge Funds).

Here's a link to that video;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkfmY1PMng

Joshua Vincent said...

Hey, nice blog! You also might be interested to know not only has been Henry George been updated a bit in theory, there's practical application of his ideas to "test drive" them.

We get cities to use his ideas, in a modified manner and it seems to have worked. Working class Pennsylvania cities have seen lower taxes for homeowners and productive business and rewarded investment and growth.

Check out www.urbantools.org, and see how we are using maps, imaging software, and plain old spreadsheets to get the land value tax considered and adopted.

Just this summer, NY Governor Paterson signed into law a bill that removes the speculative reward from holding land out of use in NYC (A08666).

Funny, Henry George not only antagonizes both left and right, but his philosophy provides common ground on which they can meet. I think Michael Kinsley and William Buckley both agreeing on Henry George was pretty amusing!

JMK said...

"We get cities to use his ideas, in a modified manner and it seems to have worked. Working class Pennsylvania cities have seen lower taxes for homeowners and productive business and rewarded investment and growth.

"Check out www.urbantools.org, and see how we are using maps, imaging software, and plain old spreadsheets to get the land value tax considered and adopted." (Joshua Vincent)


THANKS Josh!

I'l definitely check out urbantools.

It's heartening to hear that there are people today who are updating Henry George's thoughts and trying to implement some of them.

Much appreciated and thanks for stopping by.

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