COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: Schools teach communalism. Capitalists are vilified. And Progressives like to toss around the word, “socialism” as if it were a bright and shiny new object. George Reisman, Ph.D., Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics, has waded hip-deep into the socialist dream and shattered it with reason and facts.
The title of his book says it all:
“Marxism/Socialism, A Sociopathic Philosophy, Conceived in Gross Error and Ignorance, Culminating in Economic Chaos, Enslavement, Terror, and Mass Murder, A Contribution To Its Death.”
In 114-pages, Reisman eviscerates those who call themselves Social Democrats. They, who look to the Nordic social democracies for guidance misread those countries’ economic systems. Reisman advises:,
“When they come to power, the social democrats retain capitalism as the economic system, though they may further hamper its operation with additional taxes and regulations . . . Sweden, Norway, France, et al, are capitalist countries, not socialist countries . . . the means of production in these countries are privately owned to more or less the same extent as they are in the United States.”
Much of the current political polarization within America, the advent of “political correctness,” a synonym for “censorship,” being taught in schools, and the demonization of certain facts, we already somewhat are resembling socialism.
According to Reisman, a socialist government totally annihilates freedom.
“It turns the press and every public forum into a vehicle of hysterical propaganda in its own behalf, and it engages in the relentless persecution of everyone who dares to deviate by so much as an inch from its official party line.”
You can thank Socialism for your country’s ruin
The source of this officious clamping down on dissent, according to the author, emanates from the actual misery likely felt by those dependent on the state for everything.
As matters worsen in a non-incentive government, people, as in Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, and so many other failed socialist states, grow angry.
“It follows that the rulers of a socialist state must live in terror of the people. By the logic of their actions and their teachings, the boiling, seething resentment of the people should well up and swallow them in an orgy of bloody vengeance.”
“The rulers sense this, even if they do not admit it openly; and thus their major concern is always to keep the lid on the citizenry.”
Reisman believes excessive concern for “the workers” as socialists bandy the concerns of worker need and employer greed is a misread of the capitalistic system vis-à-vis “the worker.” He clarifies (and a huge point, it is,) that money workers earn is not really wages. It is sales revenue.
“Workers are producing and selling their products, not their labor. Wages are money paid in exchange for the performance of labor. What is paid in exchange for a product of labor is a sales revenue, not a wage.”
John Stuart Mill is a British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. Mill who is also an influential thinker in the history of classical liberalism, agrees.
“As soon as one joins with Mill in realizing that the purchase of a commodity is not a purchase of the labor that produced it, a fatal problem arises for the whole philosophy of Marxism/Socialism.”
“And that is, that not only do the workers under simple circulation earn sales revenues rather than wages, but they also have zero costs of production to deduct from those sales revenues, since, as yet, no one has expended any money for the purpose of bringing in sales revenues.”
Reisman has no use for the inexactitude of those who profess themselves socialist or democrat socialist. Their thinking is incomplete and as such, dangerous to governments who push governmental ownership of the means of production.
Bernie Sanders, America’s foremost proponent for socialism is a case in point.
Reviewing Sanders own tax returns, it is clear that he has himself operated as a capitalist. Furthermore, that he has at best an imprecise idea of socialism. His income topping $1 million in 2016 and 2017, puts him within the top 1 percent of taxpayers.
As John Phelan of the Foundation for Economic Education, FEE, reports:
“Sen. Sanders said, ‘I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.’ Then reporter Bret Baier asked him, ‘When you wrote the book and you made the money, isn’t that the definition of capitalism and the American dream?’
After an uncomfortable pause, Sanders says, ‘No.’
But Phelan disagrees. Continuing, Phelan says,
“But he is wrong. Having an idea, acting on it, and making a pile of money is the very definition of successful entrepreneurship. Sen. Sanders took a laptop costing a few hundred dollars and produced “Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In,” for which he was paid $795,000.”
In so doing, he took “an input valued at a few hundred dollars and turned it into an output worth $795,000 is the essence of entrepreneurial capitalism.”
Before men like Sanders preach to Americans of the virtues of socialism, they might want to walk the talk. At a minimum, they may wish to educate themselves in the reasons for socialism’s failure. Failures around the world, throughout history.
One man, George Reisman, following his research into socialism, is not a fan.
“In every essential respect, the philosophy of Marxism/Socialism is a philosophy designed for sociopaths, for people who attempt to appear merely as seeking to do good, by posturing as friends of the poor and of humanity at large, but who have no respect for the individual rights of others, who have no awareness that others have independent minds and think and plan on their own initiative, who denounce such thinking and planning as ‘anarchy,’ (an “anarchy of production,”) and try to squelch it, who regard others as mere objects to be willingly or unwillingly manipulated in the achievement of the Marxists’/Socialists’ grand plans for the human race, and whose response to the suffering and deaths of millions is along the lines of “to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.”
After reading Reisman’s study of Marxism/Socialism, a looking once again at American history post-Revolution may be in order. Capitalism has proven itself over the years. It has valued human individualism and effort. Capitalism doesn’t crow about creating heaven on earth for everyone, as does Socialism.
It only promises the freedom for anyone within its jurisdiction to make of and for himself what he will. No one will stop him. No one will seek to rob his profits in unfair taxes and shaming talk.
The shame is in killing men’s dreams. The shame is in curbing his speech, thoughts, and efforts. And Reisman has helped us to understand it.