Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Question for Socialists, part 2

By Zach Foster
Continued from Part 1

Capitalism already has remedies for such ailments:  1)  relief organizations will be prepared to assist, and the majority of their funding comes from the private sector and private individuals, NOT from the government.  2)  the federal, state, and city governments will hire builders from the private sector who will bring their own materials; 3) though the government will oversee the rebuilding process, it may be slow and cumbersome, so many private citizens will simply rebuild their damaged private property themselves, or hire someone to do it, thus furthering their self-sufficiency and independence from government.

Still, the rebuilding process is not beneficial to the economy because the resources being used to rebuild are not creating new things.  For more elaboration on that, see Frederic Bastiat’s parable of the broken window.  Capitalism makes the economy and infrastructure able to eventually bounce back from destruction, whereas socialism collapses because destruction ruins the best laid plans of mice and workers’ councils.  Regardless of the setbacks of wars and natural disasters, capitalism produces much more than socialism, and much faster, and in better quality.  Frank Chodorov elaborates in his book Out of Step:

Capitalism, without benefit of a theory, and operating solely on the mundane profit motive, has disproven Marx on every point. To be sure, the economists of the Austrian School had done in the labor theory of value — that the value of a thing is determined by the amount of labor put into producing it — by showing that value is entirely subjective and has no relation whatever to labor. But capitalists did it in their own way; when people wanted a thing and were willing to pay for it, the capitalists made it, and when there was no demand for a thing it simply was not made. That is to say, the consumer puts a value on what he wants.

Marxists love to argue that capitalism doesn’t get anything done, that it is entirely wasteful, and that there is enough food produced worldwide to feed everyone several times.  While that much food does exist, capitalism is the system that produces that high quantity of food while socialism can only dream of doing it (and all socialists CAN do is dream).  Free market economies produce much more than socialist and centrally planned economies (which explains why the Chinese economy has grown exponentially after Maoism was replaced by some free market trade).  Kevin D. Williamson writes in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism (recommended for beginners in economics)—a very well researched book that cites economists like Hayek, Rothbard, and Von Mises—writes how socialists love to accuse the U.S. for consuming 40% of a given global food supply, but they ignore the fact that the U.S. produces MORE than 40% of that food supply.  Here are some statistics for the skeptic:

According to the Environmental Protection Agency:
-The U.S. produces 10 billion bushels of corn out of the global total 23 billion (43.47%).
-The U.S. produces over 50% of the world’s soybean supply.
-The U.S. supplies 25% of the world’s wheat exports.
-The U.S. produces 18% of the world rice supply (the U.S. is the second biggest rice producer).

According to
The U.S. exports 70% of its maize and cereal.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization:
-The U.S. is the fourth biggest supplier of potatoes in the world.

Clearly, the United States under a capitalist economy not only sustains itself with food but also exports much of the total food supply to other countries.  How many people have socialist economies been able to feed?  Not even those at home.  Famines have killed millions under socialist regimes, and massive food shortages are occurring even in countries where the economy is not socialistic but the socialists are in power.  One example of this is Venezuela, where inefficiencies in central planning cause such food shortages, meanwhile what food there is simply rots in store houses.  Not even the New Socialist Man, despite the best collective efforts, can change this brutally inconvenient reality.

What worries the author is the very collective nature of the utopia maintained by the New Man, who seems more like an ant than like a person.  Another question I have for Socialists is: other than the right to conform unquestioningly to dictated social requirements, does the New Socialist Man have any rights as an individual?

Continued in Part 3: Those who perish in the fires of Revolutionary Holocaust


  1. Democracy is walking the fine line between capitalism and Socialism. And if u can't see that or admit it, ur flaws are shown to the world. Especially if you are trying to destroy Democracy and install your bully tyranical DICtatorship.

  2. Zena,

    Thank you very much for your comment and your readership. I agree that there is a fine line to be walked, but ultimately true democracy lies in self determination both for individuals and societies, and the most important preservation of democracy lies in respecting individual rights to their full extent as long as they don't impede on others' rights.