Questions for Socialists (4)

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It’s gotten so bad in the Socialist paradise of Venezuela that even the Socialist-friendly New York Times has to take notice in order to protect its last shred of journalistic credibility.

Q: Why do you constantly condemn the monetary greed of Capitalism but never condemn the brutal, murderous political greed of Socialism?

A: Because brutalizing and murdering a population under their control is the only way to lift them up to their Socialist moral perfection!

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Two of my favorite sanctimonious Progressive scolds

I’ve had more than enough of these sanctimonious Progressive scolds who condemn the monetary greed associated with Capitalism but remain silent about the far worse political (and monetary) greed associated with Socialism.  Make no mistake, both are sinful, but the human consequences of the former pale in comparison with those of the latter.  If you doubt this statement I suggest that you review the previous posts from this series (see the first, second and third).

And yet those of us who know better have generally allowed this scandalous hypocrisy to go on unopposed.  The reasons why vary from lack of confidence in knowledge to conflict avoidance to fear of the social and personal consequences.  The fear exists because within this self-proclaimed morally superior movement is a cohort that will resort to almost any vile tactic to destroy visible opposition including: cowardly whispering campaigns that impugn our morals and motives, open vicious verbal abuse and in extreme but highly visible cases public destruction of our character and livelihood through social media mob action.

The existence of this power to demean and destroy human beings holding opposing opinions has led to a situation in which not only do most people remain silent, but many choose to parrot whatever Progressive talking points are currently in vogue in order to protect themselves.  This dynamic was brilliantly summed up by the French author Charles Péguy* (see the note at the end of this post):

“It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.”

The idea that these people — who purposefully ignore the impoverishment, murder and enslavement of whole populations in order to advance their own narcissistic, misanthropic desire for political power over their fellow citizens — should be above criticism has become untenable.

Yes, the sins of Capitalism must be identified and dealt with.  In fact many of them have been though a myriad of laws and regulations.  Do we pay anywhere near the attention to the sins of governmental bureaucrats who use their powers to silence and destroy citizens and businesses with whom they disagree (see the IRS, Justice Department, FBI, Intelligence Agencies, EPA, etc.)?  Do we call it “greed” when Progressive politicians grow incredibly wealthy while “serving” in public office while constantly preaching against greed in the private sector?

At least people and businesses in a liberal capitalist democracy who grow wealthy generally do so by providing goods and services that other free people choose to buy.  And, when these companies cease to provide useful products (or can no longer do so as efficiently as their competition) they generally go out of business.  Thus there is a powerful incentive to identify and provide what their customers want.  Yes, they want things with which others disagree.  But at least they tend to not want to be impoverished and brutalized.

But the “product” of Socialism is impoverishment and brutalization of a country’s population in pursuit of an elite’s self-serving vision of utopia.  In the process the Socialist leaders and bureaucrats prosper while the general population descends into a hellish state of hunger, fear, poverty and hopelessness.

Make no mistake, with release and support of the “Green New Deal” the Progressive movement has shown that they are contemplating a totalitarian path.  The fact that it is idiotic (e.g., a tiny sampling: ban air travel and cow farts) will not deter them any more than did the idiocy of the “Great Leap Forward” in Communist China, the collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union or the the creation of a “New Man” in Cambodia.  The point isn’t the wisdom (or lack thereof) of their policy proposals.  The real point is the pretext for narcissistic, ideology-blinded, highly-credentialed know-nothings to seize ever more power over our lives.

Yes, I understand that the chances of something like this happening in the United States is currently near zero.  However, it is also true that the younger generations have been so propagandized and miseducated that they are flirting with the desirability of a Socialist future.  There are armies of educators, journalists, governmental bureaucrats, professional organizations, church leaders, non-profits and NGOs who are selling this vile product.

Here’s how the  New York Times (!) article cited above concluded (emphasis added).

Baby portraits of the children, one of their few cherished belongings, hang prominently on the wall. The only food in the entire house is half a bag of salt, and one lime.

“This is a nightmare,” said Ms. Merchán’s sister, Andreína del Valle Merchán, 25, describing how the children start to vomit, sweat and become sluggish after days of not eating. Her own 5-year-old daughter had lost 11 pounds this year and now weighed only 17 pounds, she said.

The suffering of Venezuelan families is expected to worsen next year. Beyond the I.M.F.’s warning that inflation could surpass 2,300 percent, observers worry that the leftist government will continue to refuse international aid for political reasons.

“If they accept the help, they accept that there is a humanitarian crisis here, and officially recognize that their population is vulnerable, and just how much their policies failed them,” said Susana Raffalli, a specialist on food emergencies who consults for Caritas in Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government has used food to keep the Socialists in power, critics say. Before recent elections, people living in government housing projects said they were visited by representatives of their local Socialist community councils — the government-aligned groups that organize the delivery of boxes of cheap food — and threatened with being cut off if they did not vote for the government.

Kenyerber’s relatives do not expect the economic crisis to improve anytime soon. They fear that another child in the family may die as well.

“I worry about it day and night,” said his aunt, Andreína.

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Rep. Omar (D.) supports the Socialist Venezuelan government.

So, things are so obviously terrible in Socialist Venezuela that the New York Times feels compelled to publish this story.   And yet the New York Times remains generally supportive of the Socialist political project!

How dare you Progressive Socialists proclaim that your’s is a superior morality!  You should be ashamed of yourselves.  But you have demonstrated that “the children” only matter as props for your virtue signaling protests.  Actual children dying from the ravages of actual Socialism are apparently just the price to be paid in pursuit of your ideological holy war.

The least that we can do is to speak up against this evil, bloody ideology whenever and wherever it dares to claim its morality and utility as a means of social organization.

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Another heart-rending photograph from the Socialist-friendly New York Times article.  The  caption is: “Kenyerber’s mother, María Carolina Merchán, right, weighs just 66 pounds. Her daughter follows her for hours, begging for food.”



*Note:

Ironically, Charles Péguy was a Christian, Socialist and French patriot (1873-1914).  Thus he died well before the genocidal consequences of the first practical application of Socialism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the U.S.S.R., formed after the 1917 Russian Revolution) occurred.  Had he lived to see this tragedy, other of his famous quotes would have been put to the test.

Tyranny is always better organised than freedom

He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.

 

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The New York Times’ 1619 Project (3)

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American Capitalism and Slavery

There are times when an institution has been so hollowed out, so blinded by ideological hatred that it literally becomes idiotic.  This is one of those times.  There are so many layers of vile stupidity here that it’s difficult to know just where to start.

Slavery Predates Capitalism by at Least 3,300 Years

The Britannica web site’s article on Capitalism dates the start of this economic system to the 16th century A.D.  Therefore, once capitalism arrived on the scene in Europe the institution of slavery had already been in existence since at least the 18th century B.C. and surely far earlier than our historical record documents.  Therefore, it’s impossible for there to have been a complete separation of slavery and any economic system that started while slavery existed.

And yet, the NYT’s headline attempts to tie this evil institution uniquely to American capitalism.  For this attempted linkage to be deemed credible it would have to be shown that capitalism in America was based on slavery and that the more capitalist is a state / colony the more it supported slavery.

The exact opposite is true in both cases.

Slavery was Eradicated in the Capitalist Northern States Long Before the Civil War

Although the 13 British American Colonies (and eventually States) shared a common heritage their dominant economic systems differed between the Northern and Southern regions.  Here’s a good summary of the economic situation in the United States just prior to the Civil War.

While factories were built all over the North and South, the vast majority of industrial manufacturing was taking place in the North. The South had almost 25% of the country’s free population, but only 10% of the country’s capital in 1860. The North had five times the number of factories as the South, and over ten times the number of factory workers. In addition, 90% of the nation’s skilled workers were in the North.

Thus it is in the North that capitalism as enabled by the industrial revolution dominated.  While there certainly were outposts of industrial revolution capitalism in the South, it was dominated by a more primitive agrarian economy dependent on the plantation system which required slavery for its survival.

These economic differences led to entirely different outcomes with regard to the institution of slavery.  While the agrarian South was utterly committed to slavery’s continuance the industrial North progressively eradicated this evil system.  This excerpt from the Federalist summarizes this point.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the territory that would become the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. In 1794, Congress barred American ships from engaging in the slave trade. Additional legislation in 1780 banned Americans from employment or investment in the international slave trade. Finally, the U.S. Congress officially banned the importation of slaves beginning on January 1, 1808, the earliest date allowed under the deal made to ratify the Constitution.

Far from the bastion of racism, hate and pro-slavery sentiment that the 1619 Project portrays, much of the United States was ahead of the world in ending the horror of slavery. Shortly after the signing of the Declaration, northern states took the lead. By 1804, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had passed laws that immediately or gradually abolished slavery.

Clearly it was the far more capitalist dominated Northern states that aggressively opposed and abolished slavery.  This historic fact demolishes the NYT’s narrative about “American capitalism.”  But there’s so much more.

The Capitalist United States is a Anti-Slavery World Leader

Do you know that slavery is still an ongoing institution in the 21st century?  It is.  So, since the NYT thinks that capitalism is the most supportive economic system for slavery it stands to reason that it would be most prevalent in “capitalist” countries.  And, since the United States is the epicenter of world capitalism it must be the worst here.  But, of course, you would be pathetically wrong.

The Walk Free foundation published a Global Slavery Index that has been used by Progressive media organizations such as the Washington Post.  Here are two key figures from the 2018 report.

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Note that it is the “capitalist” countries that have the lowest prevalence of slavery in 2018.

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Note that the United States is the second highest in the world with regard to legal protection against slavery.

Given these results, the question must be asked: Why is the NYT holding the United States up as a cesspit of slavery when it clearly is a world leader in opposing slavery?  The answer is obvious to anyone not blinded by Progressive ideology.

The NYT Hides True Economic Brutality

Finally, it must be noted that the NYT has been an enthusiastic supporter of the most truly brutal ideology in world history, and one that has enslaved and murdered at a level unheard of before its existence — that being Socialism.

The NYT lied to the world about the Ukrainian Famine in the 1930s Soviet Union (and still accepts a Pulitzer Prize for their lies). Walter Duranty was then the NYT’s reporter in the Soviet Union.

In the years 1932 and 1933, a catastrophic famine swept across the Soviet Union. It began in the chaos of collectivization, when millions of peasants were forced off their land and made to join state farms. … At least 5 million people perished of hunger all across the Soviet Union. Among them were nearly 4 million Ukrainians who died not because of neglect or crop failure, but because they had been deliberately deprived of food.

Duranty continued, using an expression that later became notorious: “To put it brutally—you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” He went on to explain that he had made “exhaustive inquiries” and concluded that “conditions are bad, but there is no famine.”

Indignant, Jones wrote a letter to the editor of the Times, patiently listing his sources—a huge range of interviewees, including more than 20 consuls and diplomats—and attacking the Moscow press corps:

Censorship has turned them into masters of euphemism and understatement.  Hence they give “famine” the polite name of “food shortage” and “starving to death” is softened down to read as “widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition…

“Russians Hungry But not Starving” became the accepted wisdom.

The NYT has never ceased being a cheerleader of and apologist for Socialism.

The nostalgia for Communism is never far beneath the surface in the Progressive Left, as was recently reemphasized in a New York Times oped (emphasis added).  There could be no better confirmation of my recent condemnation of the Progressive Left’s whitewash of Communist genocide (see below figure from this post) than the statements from this oped.  Here’s how the lie looks today.

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New York Times Oped:

We can get to this Finland Station only with the support of a majority; that’s one reason that socialists are such energetic advocates of democracy and pluralism. But we can’t ignore socialism’s loss of innocence over the past century. We may reject the version of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as crazed demons and choose to see them as well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis, but we must work out how to avoid their failures…

The New York Times is the last place one should look for accurate historic information or moral instruction.

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (6)

North Korea Edition

The promised Progressive future is (NOT) bright!

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This is not satire, it’s making a serious point.  Progressives, please try to think about it.

It’s almost impossible to believe, but Representative Ocasio-Cortez is celebrating the loss of 25,000 direct Amazon jobs and all of the ancillary jobs that its headquarter would have created.  Note: “worker exploitation” to a Democratic Socialist is defined as a “private sector job.”

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The following was almost inevitable.

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O.K., I’m willing to still call this satire.  It’s not quite dead yet!

 

Making Sense of Progressive Nonsense (5)

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This in meant as satire, but is it really?

Environmental Death Cult meets Satire Killed by Reality meets Questions for Socialists meets Intentions vs. Results in the Green New Deal

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

This an embarrassing, pathetic and dangerous time for our republic.  We have reached the point at which a 29 year-old know-nothing/wrongthing can be elected to Congress who believes that her ideological purity literally enables the fundamental physical transformation of the United States from fossil fuel based to green energy based within 12 years.  The Green New Deal document, released and then pulled yesterday, was pre-supported by most of the Democrat presidential candidates.

Others have provided the necessary assessment of this dingbattery. Following are comments on just a few of the too many cringe-inducing ideas in this document.

  • Ban cars. To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
  • Gut and rebuild every building in America. Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
  • Eliminate air travel. GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?

My personal favorite for absurdity is this (emphasis added):

We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.

Strassel-Green-DealBur for sheer infuriation this item may be the tops (emphasis added).

  • Build on FDR’s second bill of rights by guaranteeing: …
    • Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work

The fact that this bizarre screed was received with almost universal mockery and disbelief gives me cold comfort.  Yes, I understand that the Green New Deal has exactly zero chance to become law.  However, the following facts bode ill for our future.

  1. Our educational system has delivered people who are simultaneously so ignorant and so confident.
  2. There were enough people in a Congressional district to elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  3. As stated in the Los Angeles Times: “Equally notable, however, was the list of who signed on — most of the major Democratic presidential candidates in the race so far.”  Thus the supposedly most seasoned and serious Democrat politicians, either by cowardly submission or true-belief, supported this proposal.
  4. Ocasio-Cortez and company wrote and released this document based on their ideological fantasies that by simply believing so completely and having such good intentions they were sure to be right in all that was contained therein.

mazie_hirono_hawaii_aoc_green_new_deal_2_7-19-1-800x489They must have been shocked by the response.  Even a natural ally like Senator Mazie Hirono couldn’t help but point out an obvious logical flaw.  For these reasons Representative Ocasio-Cortez took down the web page that had previously held the Green New Deal FAQ document.

So how do I justify my title?  Here’s how.

Environmental Death Cult

While I’m absolutely sure that it isn’t intended (see below), were the Green New Deal ever actually implemented it would make the Ukrainian Famine caused by the Russian Communists look like a minor event.  Who can doubt that, as reliable, plentiful and affordable fossil fuels are ripped away and “replaced” by unreliable, scarce and prohibitively expensive “green energy,” tens, even hundreds of millions of Americans would die from cold/heat, starvation and social  chaos as the nation’s economy collapsed?

Satire Killed by Reality

I may have to give this topic up.  I simply don’t see how anything else could occur in reality that is so far beyond what could be imagined by the greatest satirical minds (oh please let this be true).  Progressivism has now surely killed satire.

Questions for Socialists

In my series of this name I attempted to force our Socialists to address obvious but unasked questions.  In order to implement the Green New Deal the United States would have to succumb to totalitarian Socialism.  So, here’s my question based on the Green New Deal:

How is it that a political movement that claims to be the vanguard of intellectual and moral thought could generate such an absurd proposal that is so widely supported within the Progressive movement?

Intentions vs. Results

The Green New Deal is a pinnacle of “good intentions” replacing “good results” (see all of the above).  This is the end result of the “participation trophy,” “self-esteem,” and “education by ideology” culture that we have allowed to grow over the past thirty years.  Yes, I blame those among us who have successfully pushed these ideas into our educational system and mass media.

However those of us who knew better but chose to remain silent and passive in the face of this onslaught must also accept responsibility for this situation.  The day is growing late, we must decide if it’s more important to ruffle the feathers of people pushing destructive ideas or protect our nation from the chaos that they would cause.

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A political movement that knows nothing and forgets nothing is highly unlikely to be deterred by an abject failure.  They are true believers in their intellectual and moral superiority, so they can’t ultimately be proven wrong by actual events (e.g., most recently, Socialism in Venezuela).

Looking Back on 2018 and a Preview of Early 2019

Past-Future

Looking Back on 2018

As 2018 winds down so too will my blogging output.  This year I have focused on a fair number of topics, including:

Clearly 2018 was a year in which I strayed further from the core theological and denominational topics that dominated previous years.

A Preview of Early 2019

In a recent discussion with a friend he pointed out that religion, politics and economics are inextricably linked together.  While I definitely agree with this point, I also have grave concerns given the experience of Postmodern Christianity, Progressive politics and Socialist economics in the PCUSA.  Some readers may assume that I seek a combination of orthodox Reformed Christianity, Conservative politics and Capitalist economics as the preferred alternative.

Not so, for Christianity does not exist as an adjunct to any political or economic ideology. Nor is Christianity the justification for human sourced ideologies.  No, Christianity is about the saving of our sinful souls by he Triune God.  That eternal purpose transcends all human thought or action.  However, it also informs human thought and action in this fallen world.

I have come to believe that Western Christianity has failed in its attempt to mix the sacred and profane into a new theology that is better suited to the modern (or postmodern) world.  Perhaps this will be a fruitful area of discussion in the new year.

I’m also concerned that our civic discussion has veered way too far in the direction of emotion and intentions at the expense of logic and data.  I’m also thinking about this issue as we move into the new year.

Of course there is no way to predict what events or ideas will bubble to the surface in 2019 that will drive the direction of this blog.  These are dangerous, fraught times through which we are passing. We must keep our eyes fixed on Christ and our trust in God’s providential care if we hope to pass through with our faith intact.

It’s my prayer that this blog will in some small way bring blessing and hope to a dark world by proclaiming that Christ is Lord while seeking to understand how this eternal salvation translates into our brief lives here.

Questions for Socialists (3)

VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ-REMAINSQ: Why did you Democratic Socialists hail socialism in Venezuela but then fall silent when the terrible consequences became undeniable?

A: Because your primary goal is power over, not the well-being of other humans.

A Thought Experiment

Let’s imagine that there is a group of people who self-identify as protectors of the world’s poor and oppressed.  Members of this group continually boast about their good intentions for and practical expertise in improving the lot of humanity.  However, as a practical matter, we all know that what is said is not always what is actually in the heart.  Therefore, there is need for a means by which to determine if these people really care first and foremost about improving the lot of the poor and oppressed.

Let’s assume that in a specific nation the ideology and associated means by which these people propose to improve the world are embraced and implemented.  And, that the leadership of this group publicly and forcefully voice their support.

But something goes terribly wrong, and rather than the expected advance towards utopia the country descends into poverty, chaos, violence and starvation.  The fact of this utter failure is unavoidable and undeniable.  Thus, the leaders of this group must decide how to respond.

Response #1

It turns out that these leaders do indeed care first and foremost about the plight of the poor and oppressed.  Therefore, they enter into a state of public repentance followed by a ground-up reassessment of their ideology to determine what went wrong.  Although they may not (or may) throw out all of their ideology, they do honestly look into where it has led to the policies that resulted in such terrible human suffering.  After this process they reengage in the public debate, admitting their failures and seeking to advance updated solutions that they honestly believe will lead to improved human well-being.

Response #2

It turns out that these leaders didn’t really care about the plight of the poor and oppressed.  What they were really doing was to use their pretense of virtue to obtain the power by which to arbitrarily and capriciously rule over others.  Therefore, they fall silent for a time and then begin making up excuses for this humanitarian catastrophe.  These excuses place the blame everywhere but on the ideology and policies that they use in their advance towards worldly power.  They never acknowledge that they had previously supported this practical application of their ideology in a specific country, hoping that it will all be forgotten.

They also, over time, have built a predictable track record of support followed by silence followed by excuses as their ideology repeatedly fails miserably to deliver the promised results.  And yet they continue pretending to be the morally superior elite whom we should follow with unquestioning obedience.

From Thought to Reality: Venezuela

Prior to the arrival of socialism Venezuela was the most prosperous country in South America.  In 1999 Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela and reigned until his death in 2013.  He instituted an ambitious set of socialist “reforms” that were “intended” to help the poor.  He funded these schemes by the looting of Venezuela’s private property.  And, as is admitted by Margaret Thatcher, there is a time in the socialist program before they have “run out of other people’s money.”  During that brief period — between when people have property and money to seize and when the economy collapses because no-one has an incentive to be productive — the two most prominent political supporters of socialism in the english speaking world, Bernie Sanders (U.S.) and Jeremy Corbyn (U.K.),  were vocal in their praise.

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Socialism “works” only as long at there’s money and property to loot, so make the most of it while you can!

But, as always happens when socialism becomes the dominant governing ideology (as opposed to a mixed political economy like in the United States), societal collapse ensued.  Here is one description of Venezuela’s situation.

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Venezuela: From one of the world’s most prosperous countries to poverty and hopelessness.

Venezuela’s economy is in freefall. It’s probably the worst in the world — literally. The country tops Bloomberg‘s “Economic Misery Index,” which looks at measures including inflation and unemployment to find the economy where things are worst for regular people.

Here is another description of the chaos and suffering in Venezuela.

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Venezuela: Digging through trash in search of food.

Venezuela is a woeful reminder that no country is so rich that it can’t be driven into the ground by revolutionary socialism.

People are now literally starving — about three-quarters of the population lost weight last year — in what once was the fourth-richest country in the world on a per capita basis. A country that has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia is suffering shortages of basic supplies. Venezuela now totters on the brink of bankruptcy and civil war, in the national catastrophe known as the Bolivarian Revolution.

Or from even the New York Times.

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Chaos and violence in Venezuela

Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s economic powerhouses…A growing number of Venezuelans are going hungry in a food shortage and dying from treatable ailments in squalid, ill-equipped hospitals…Until political prisoners are released, the prospects for a restoration of democratic rule are very dim…Inflation has soared to an estimated 700 percent, while people in this oil-rich nation are left digging through piles of trash for scraps of food.

So, have our brave, morally-superior socialist leaders behaved more like the description of Response #1 or #2 above?  They have behaved like #2.  There has been no soul-searching, no public repentance, no reexamination of their ideology.  No, they all have run for the tall grass, hunkered down and then pretended that nothing has happened.  And, their allies in the media have issued a fog of bottom-covering stories that places the blame for Venezuela’s suffering everywhere but at the feet of socialism.

So, how can we but conclude that Sanders, Corbyn, et al. don’t actually care a whit about the actual plight of the poor, or flesh and blood humans of any kind.  What they actually care about is using the ideology of socialism to gain wealth and power for themselves and their fellow looters without having to contribute anything of real value to their society.

The daughter of Hugo Chavez, the former president who once declared ‘being rich is bad,’ may be the wealthiest woman in Venezuela, according to evidence reportedly in the hands of Venezuelan media outlets.

Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president’s second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion, Diario las Americas reports.

So, let’s summarize by reviewing the three stages of socialism.

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By the way, you will find the same pattern of support followed by denial for genocidal socialist regimes throughout history (e.g., the Ukrainian genocide-famine and the Cambodian genocide, among many others).  Yes, we can “make fun” of the Progressive Left’s love of socialism.  But we must never forget that this is in the end a deadly serious issue of life and death.

Questions for Socialists (2)

Q: Which political-economic system has been the most brutally murderous towards its own citizens since the beginning of the twentieth century?

A: Socialism, no other system even comes close.

The Data

R. J. Rummel (1932 – 2014) devoted his academic career to the study of what he called “democide,” which is defined as “the intentional killing of an unarmed or disarmed person by government agents acting in their authoritative capacity and pursuant to government policy or high command.”  This definition covers a wide range of deaths, including:

  • forced labor and concentration camp victims
  • extrajudicial summary executions
  • governmental acts of criminal omission and neglect
  • deliberate famines
  • killings by de facto governments, i.e. civil war killings.

Dr. Rummel taught at the Indiana University, Yale University, and University of Hawaii.  He left behind a large body of scholarly work and data on violence by governments.

Note that democide includes genocide but excludes deaths caused by wars that are not civil wars.  Thus, the Chinese civil war (1928 – 1949) is included but World Wars I and II (among others) are excluded.  This data thus allows us to examine murderous government actions outside the scope of warfare.  However, we will return to the issue of warfare in due course.

The following figure summarizes this democide data.  I have added color coding to the table’s rows to indicate the political-economic nature of the regimes.

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Democide data by political-economic regime type.

Based on this assessment I have generated the total number of killings for each regime type in the following figure.

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Democide total killings by regime type

Note that socialist governments murdered almost four-times more people than did fascist regimes (the second most brutal regime type) and over 133 times more than capitalist governments.  The conclusion is thus clear.  Socialist governments are the most brutally murderous by far.

However, it’s worse than that.  Dr. Rummel also studied death caused by warfare.  He then compared death by warfare and democide on an annual basis, resulting in the following figure (note that the same color coding as above is used to identify the regime type).

Democide-vs-War

Annual deaths by warfare vs. democide.  Note that it is socialist governments (red shaded) who were primarily responsible for the mass-murder of their own citizens.

The result is stunning.  Note that from 1920 to 1984 the annual rate of death by the hands of a government (i.e., democide) dwarfs those caused by warfare (even though this period includes WWII).  And, note further that it is primarily socialist governments (with a powerful contribution by fascists between 1940 and 1945) who were murdering their own citizens at rates of 5 to 20+ times greater that of warfare.

Discussion

The actual results of socialism range from economic stagnation to societal collapse to democidal totalitarianism.  The specific and undeniable examples of this last result are sickeningly numerous, including the Soviet Union, Communist China, Cambodia, Vietnam and North Korea (to name only the worst, see above for more).  Progressives may say that, well, socialism doesn’t always lead to democide.  While that’s true, doesn’t it reveal something profound when a supposedly “morally superior” ideology is by far the leading cause of governmental mass-murder?

Progressives will also say that “real socialism hasn’t been tried yet.”  But, doesn’t it reveal something profound about their actual morality when they are eager to foist a system upon humanity that has so often led to terrible consequences?  If socialism is so hard to “get right” maybe it’s because it’s an utterly evil, corrupt, idiotic idea that shouldn’t be tried anymore.

Given this track record of massive democide, why do Progressives yet embrace and recommend socialism?  In large part it may be utter ignorance about the actual results.  It still must be judged as morally irresponsible to demand that we embrace socialism while living in purposeful ignorance of its consequences.

However, I’m afraid that in too many cases Progressives support socialism while clearly knowing what has happened in the past.  For example, the editors of the New York Times shamelessly published an article that minimized and justified these unprecedented crimes against humanity (emphasis added) in order to press their demand for socialism.

We can get to this Finland Station only with the support of a majority; that’s one reason that socialists are such energetic advocates of democracy and pluralism. But we can’t ignore socialism’s loss of innocence over the past century. We may reject the version of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as crazed demons and choose to see them as well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis, but we must work out how to avoid their failures…

What possible conclusion can be drawn other than that unless socialism literally brings Hell up to earth the Progressive Left will always ignore, excuse, whitewash and deceive in order to maintain the viability of their bloody socialist ideology?

For many others the fantasy utopia supposedly sought by socialism overwhelms all rational thought or human regard.  We err greatly by underestimating the power of idealistic, utopian thought to obfuscate hard reality.  In explaining this dynamic I simply cannot improve on this final paragraph from The Black Book of Communism’s Forward.

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However, to embrace evil in order to pursue a fantasized but impossible end is not humanitarianism.

Finally, we must face up to the fact that many in the Progressive Movement lust after the absolute power that socialism can deliver.  As has been recently pointed out, there is a disturbing thread that ties the vile totalitarians of practiced socialism to the yearnings and behavior of many on today’s Progressive Left (emphasis added).

While the vast majority suffer under socialism, such suffering is by no means universal. Any number of commissars, Stasi informants, Cuban snitches, petty apparatchiks with dachas, etc., have parlayed their sadistic tendencies into good livings and what they want most, power over others. If you follow Twitter, or generally pay attention to the American Left, you see an army of would-be commissars who yearn for the day when they can accuse a neighbor of wrongthink and have him sent to an American Gulag. In the meantime, they settle for mob action, “doxxing,” and so on.
In spite of all this, Socialists pose as our moral betters; of being altruistic light bearers to humanity.  They do bear fire.  It is a fire that has lit funeral pyres made up from millions of state-murdered human beings.  And, in spite of this vile history, they demand that we once again place our lives and those of our children into their ideology’s blood stained hands.

Questions for Socialists (1)

Q: Why doesn’t anyone ever say “Real Capitalism has never been tried”?

A: Because even a small dose of economic freedom significantly increases the well-being of the great majority of a nation’s people, and, well-being tends to increase with more economic freedom.

China-Pre-Post-GDP

The results for a small dose of economic freedom.

With the possible exception of the U.S.S.R., (the first or second most murderous Socialist government, depending on whose statistics are used) no country has tried harder to make Socialism work.  However, the utter failure of Socialism in China over a bloody span of over four decades finally convinced its Communist leaders to allow a small but significant increase in economic freedom.  The result has been that around 800 million human beings have been lifted out of poverty.  While attempting to implement Socialism the government of China murdered between 40 and 80 million of its citizens and impoverished all (i.e., well over one-billion) but the most powerful government officials.

China has a long way to go before it’s people enjoy the freedoms that we have in our Capitalist Democratic Republic of the United States.  The Chinese Communist government maintains total political power and is still willing to murder and imprison thousands to maintain their position.  China is a bad actor in the world economy, for example by massive theft of intellectual property from the West.  Its human rights record remains atrocious and there are significant problems such as pollution and corruption, among many others.

Bur these considerations only buttress my main point.  That being, even a small dose of economic freedom significantly increases the well-being of the great majority of a nation’s people.