The Long View

The debate between the ideological left (socialism) and ideological right (capitalism) had been ongoing for over 200 years by 1848, when Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto. By the end of the 20th Century, the conflict had raged around the world and through time, causing real wars and killing hundreds of millions of people in times of war and peace. All of this bloodshed is between two economic political systems that claim to maximize human well being. So if you have ever wondered why people get so heated in arguments about socialism and capitalism, this is why.

Prior to 1848, the socialists believed in a consensual, egalitarian, and humanistic economic theory focused on small scale communities, where everyone shared productive responsibility and productive profits equally. While there were many attempts at founding permanent socialist communities, in the small and large scale, one of the best examples of the prototypical socialist community looked like New Harmony, Indiana, founded in 1825.

It’s all gone pear-shaped.

Founded by Robert Owen, a British industrialist and humanitarian socialist, the New Harmony commune initially grew rapidly, as Mr. Owen used his personal wealth to build the infrastructure of the town. Citizens contributed in building homes, planting crops, etc. All property, land and otherwise, and profits were owned in common. By 1827, the town was all but abandoned, after only 2 years.

Without the incentive of wealth accumulation, people began to consume more than they produced, living at the expense of others (the “free rider” problem). And this was the problem with so many socialist communities that have formed and failed in the past, remaining an intractable problem until Karl Marx changed everything.

In 1848, Karl Marx’s works marked a crucial shift in the ethical and philosophical landscape of socialism. He and Engels railed against the poisonous affliction of “profit motives” that are central to capitalism, but, unlike their predecessors, they took the socialist philosophy one step further. Their solution to the “free rider problem” was to do away with the consensual element of the philosophy and replace it with violence, cleverly relabeled as “revolution”.

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

What kind of violence? In 1918, Tzar Nicholas II of Russia, after having already abdicated the throne, was executed with his entire family, including five children, and several servants who had voluntarily stayed with the family. They were shot and brutally bayoneted until dead. The two or three that managed to survive the initial round of shooting and bayoneting were shot in the head while they lay on the floor, bleeding.

Thus the butcherous Marxist Bolshevik Revolution began, killing hundreds of thousands in the years to come, until some semblance of stability for a few short years under Lenin until his death in 1924. Then Joseph Stalin came to power, and the real bloody purges began. From 1922 to 1952, Stalin continued the cycles of oppression and “revolutionary reformation” in Russia ostensibly turning the country into a purified socialist power. As many as 62 million people died in work camps, of starvation, in war, and by execution as enemies of the state.

The pattern was repeated in Mao Zedong’s China, where violence and gross incompetence caused the deaths of an estimated 45 million people in a span of 4 years, as Mao attempted to transform an agrarian peasant society into a socialist egalitarian industrial power. As many as 78 million people died as a direct result of Mao Zedong’s attempts to improve the general well-being of the Chinese people.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Even worse than the suffering and bloodshed caused by 20th Century socialist revolution, the real horror is that the transgressions of these socialist regimes would have been impossible had it not been for millions of complicit and devoted supporters of the ideologies and the governments that they spawned.

And when you consider how these individuals were able to rationalize barbarism, is it any wonder how easy western leftists dismiss complaints about western “democratic” socialism? Many of these leftists were born in the last 30 years and have never experienced a country resorting to walls and barbed wire around their country to keep their own citizens in.

This is the main obstacle to an honest dialogue about these deeply entrenched philosophies. Modern leftists see themselves as completely ideologically separate from the mid-20th Century leftists. In this way, they absolve themselves of the economic failures and barbarism of the socialism of that era.

Unfortunately, there is no absolution for the human tragedy caused by socialism, and its endless conflicts with anyone that didn’t submit to it. This legacy is established in the stone of history, and we on the right are justified in not letting those on the left disown that history.

At the end of the day, the difference between socialism and capitalism is whether or not people should be free to exchange goods and services consensually. If we, as society, truly value the concepts of freedom of association, freedom of expression, and personal liberty as a reality independent of governmental constructs, then the only legitimate economic choice is capitalism.

Liberty is For The Win!

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A Look at the Scoreboard

America needs to have a long, hard conversation about race, politics, and economics, but it isn’t possible with everyone sitting in two camps.

Americans need to have a long conversation about race, politics, and economics, but it isn’t possible with everyone sitting in two camps. One camp (the right) believes strongly that its ideology works best because cultures that have flourished and spread their influence around the world have employed political and economic ideologies of the right. The other camp (the left) believes exactly the same thing, except they believe in the political and economic ideologies of the left. Only one camp can be right.

While it may be tempting to hurl statistics back and forth, so many factors can affect statistics, and speculation abounds as to why certain classes of people suffer while others succeed. Arguing about these factors will get us nowhere, so we need to establish an objective case that can’t be dismissed out of hand. In short, we need to prove our argument the old fashioned way: democratically.

As it turns out, once framed democratically, it’s a fairly simple case to make.

Given that any population of people in a community will tend to grow geometrically over time; and given that people don’t leave a city unless the reasons they have for leaving are better than any reason they have for staying. It follows then that, in the long term, people vote with their feet. If the population increases, then obviously the citizens believed that staying was better than leaving. If the population of a city decreases, then a significant number of citizens believed that leaving was better than staying.

The time frame of this study is 50 years (basically two and a half generations), which is more than enough time for a significant amount of change (positive or negative) to be attributable to particular ideological (political and economic) cause. So, let’s look at our initial conditions, the populations of the 20 largest cities in the United States in 1960, by population:

top 20 cities 1960

Only five United States cities had a population of over one million, the lowest of which being Detroit, MI. The political party that controls the mayor’s office reflects both the political climate of the city as well as the political philosophy of government. In the case of our study, the political control is the one thing that is different in these cities. In the last 50 years, the control of these cities breaks down like this:

top 20 cities 1960 political control* Texas Law prohibits partisan party politics in mayoral candidates, so these numbers may change.

Notice that 8 of the 20 cities have had unbroken Democratic control for 50 of the last 50 years. A year for the last time a Republican politician held the mayor’s office was not included in these cases. These cities of unbroken Democratic Party domination will serve as an effective control. We know the initial conditions, and we have 50 years of political influences, so here are the results reflected in the changes in populations, in order of worst to best, along with the number of years a Republican administration was running the city:

top 20 cities 1960 population changes

Of the twenty most populace cities in 1960, only eight have had an increase in population. Every single one of those eight cities had a Republican administration in the last 50 years. Of the five best performing cities, four have had Republican administrations in the last 15 years. The three cities with the largest population growths, more than double population increase, had strong Republican influence in the last half century.

Of the five cities that had a population of at least 1,000,000 citizens, only four remain above that mark. Three of the five cities have had their populations decrease by a combined total of over 2,000,000 citizens. As of 2010, there are eight cities that have a population of at least 1,000,000 citizens, with the four cities newly over 1,000,000 citizens all being predominantly Republican (or right of center) politically.

Of the 8 cities in our control group (cities with 50 years of unbroken Democratic Party control), not a single one had an increase in population over the half century of this study. Of the twenty most populace cities in the United States in 1960, twelve cities decreased in population by little as 11% (Boston, MA) to as much as 57% (St Louis, MO). The four worst performing cities had a population decrease of between 50% to 57%.

After half a century of Democratic Party dominance of 12 of the most populated cities in the US in 1960, people have conspicuously elected to go somewhere else. Conversely, cities where Republicans have significant political influence have continued to prosper and grow for the last half century.

It’s long past time that the American left conceded that their political and economic policies not only don’t work, but people actively flee the cities in which their political and economic theories are left unchallenged and uncompromised, as is clearly demonstrated by the data. It’s time to abandon broken Utopian political theories and face the economic realities of the 21st Century.

There is room at the political table for people who care about the poor and the elderly. There is room at the political table for those who want to solve the real problems of racial discrimination and the serious economic disparities facing minority groups in the United States. There is no room for people who cling to ideologies that have demonstrably failed to deliver on their promises of equality and opportunity.

It’s time for the truth!

Liberty is For The Win!

We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW