How much is that socialism in the window? 8

To a conservative who lived in a Western country through the decades of the Cold War, the current fashion for Socialism in America is likely to be shocking and terrifying. To those who lived under the iron heel of Soviet Socialism in Eastern Europe, or any other Marxist regime, it must be many times worse.

(Throughout this article, “Socialism” and “Communism” are used interchangeably – as was customary in the USSR.)

Some dangerously under-informed American women entering the political arena seem really to think that it is a pretty thing, Socialism.

Here’s one of them – Democrat Cynthia Nixon, who fortunately lost her challenge to the Democrat Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo by a difference of 30% of the votes – smilingly, in all the self-deceiving self-confidence of ignorance, urging Socialism on New York voters:

 

And here’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district – demonstrating how innocent she is of Economics:

Another fan of Socialism, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, wants to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2020.

Lloyd Billingsley writes at Front Page on Cory Booker’s claim to be Spartacus: a hero of resistance to ancient Roman tyranny re-canonized by Communists in the 1950s. Booker founded his claim on the extreme daring he showed in rising against the Left-alleged tyranny of President Trump – by making public certain documents, in relation to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that were in fact already public.

As Billingsley says, “Booker’s gambit was something of a bust.”

He goes on to tell us how one Communist, the author of the novel Sparticus, lost his faith.

The movie Booker cited is based on the 1951 novel Spartacus by Howard Fast, a Communist pisseur d’encre whom Time magazine had dubbed “Big Brother’s U.S. pen pal.” In 1953, Fast won the Stalin Peace Prize, the only American to win the award other than Paul Robeson, a black American Communist who spent his life defending all-white Soviet dictatorships.

Stalin died in 1953 and three years later, Soviet boss Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s crimes and mass atrocities to the Soviet Communist Party’s 20th Congress. The revelation devastated many American Communists and motivated Howard Fast to write The Naked God: The Writer and the Communist Party, released in 1957.

Khrushchev’s revelations, Fast wrote, “itemizes a record of barbarism and paranoiac bloodlust that will be a lasting and shameful memory to civilized man”.  Communism is not social science but “naked terror, awful brutality and frightening ignorance“.  Fast denounced “Stalin and the collection of hangmen and murderers around him” and charged that the Communist Party is “based on pseudo-religious cant, cemented with neurotic fear and parading ritualistic magic as a substitute for reason”.  And the Spartacus scribe wasn’t done.

The only people who resisted the revelation of Stalin’s crimes, Fast wrote, were “the mental revolutionaries, the parlor pinks, the living-room warriors, the mink coated allies of the working class”. These were “Sick people who had seen no death [other] than a painted corpse in a funeral parlor, no other violence than an auto crash – these people lusted for an Armageddon their mad dreams had promised them.” …

The Spartacus screenwriter was Dalton Trumbo, who joined the Communist Party during the Stalin-Hitler Pact, when many others left, and remained in the Party after the Khrushchev revelations. Trumbo hated Fast’s Naked God but he wasn’t going to pass up a big payday. And since Trumbo had been one of the famed Hollywood Ten, Spartacus remains a classic on the big screen of the left, which duly consigned The Naked God to the forbidden list.

While some fled the Communist Party after 1956 many others remained and the Soviets continued to run candidates in American elections. In 1976 their candidate for president was Gus Hall, an old-line Stalinist, with Jarvis Tyner for vice president. College student John Brennan voted for Gus Hall and incredibly enough, only four years later in 1980 Brennan gained employment at the CIA, which he headed under POTUS 44.

One of those Americans who remained faithful to Communism and the Soviet Union was Angela Davis. In 1979 Davis won the Lenin Peace Prize, her primary for the Communist ticket in 1980, with Davis for vice president under Hall. The same duo lost to Reagan and Bush in 1984, and thereafter the Communist Party USA declined to run candidates and urged their supporters to vote for the Democratic Party.

In 1988, American Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, where the gulags were still functioning and Soviet bosses torturing political prisoners in psychiatric hospitals. If Hillary Clinton had not rigged the primaries, Sanders would have been the Democrats’ candidate in 2016.

Cory Booker wants to be the candidate in 2020, and his bid for a  “Spartacus moment” suggests that he knows the Old Left back story. For their part, Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Gillum [Florida’s Democratic Gubernatorial nominee. also advocating Socialism without perhaps fully realizing that he is], like their media supporters, show little if any familiarity with The Naked GodThe God That Failed, and The Road to Serfdom.

Right. They show no familiarity whatsoever with the theory or practice of the Socialism that charms them so. If Cory Booker knows, and yet desires to impose the horror that is Socialism on his fellow Americans, he is a lot worse than they are.  

On every hand they rise crying “I am socialist!” thereby confirming ignorance of the actual record. Howard Fast, who died in 2003, knew what socialism was all about. So did Milan Kundera, who wrote, “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”.

Candidates can’t recall what they never knew in the first place.

They need to be told, but their teachers have not told them, and will not tell them: Socialism is hungry, bleak, smelly, shabby, hopeless, poor, cold, painful and very frightening.

The injustice of “social justice” 9

Now that the Democratic Party has “come out” as proudly Socialist, the American electorate has a clear choice: vote Trumpist Republican and be free and prosperous OR vote Big Brother Democrat and be collectivized and poor.

Nobody has ever explained why the free market is “just” AND creates wealth, better than the great economist Friedrich von Hayek. Here he is explaining why to William F. Buckley Jr. in 1977, supported in his argument by George Roche III, president of Hillsdale College.

Hayek explains that in order for a ruling power to make people economically equal, it would have to “treat people very unequally indeed”. (Some would have to work and be robbed of their wages,  while others would be able to sit back, do nothing, and receive the bounty of the stolen funds).

Buckley, who was actually strongly conservative, plays “devil’s advocate”, putting the (sentimental) case for Socialism to his two interlocutors.

We would have preferred Hayek to use the word “fair”, or “equitable”, rather than “just”, because justice can only apply to the individual. George Roche’s argument for freedom on moral grounds comes close to making this point, if not very clearly. We understand that Hayek had to say “just” because “Social Justice” is the subject and title of the discussion.

Posted under Economics, Ethics, liberty, Socialism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 10, 2018

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The ruinous cost of free health care 1

“Free” government benefits are the most expensive goods in the world.

The Democratic Socialist Party – formerly the Democratic Party – is trying to win votes by promising free health care for all.

Supposing a national health service were to be introduced into the USA, what would it cost?

Investor’s Business Daily reports and comments:

Democrats have been falling over themselves to endorse Bernie Sanders’s government takeover of health care. Maybe they should have taken a closer look at his “Medicare for all” plan before signing up. The gargantuan price tag is just one of its many terrible flaws.

Last year, 16 Senators, including three presidential hopefuls, co-sponsored Sanders’s “Medicare for all” bill. And earlier this month, more than 70 Democrats signed on to form a “Medicare for all” caucus. Support for the bill is now something of a litmus test for Democratic hopefuls.

Do they have any idea what they’re endorsing?

A new study out Monday from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center finds that the Sanders plan would add $32.6 trillion to federal spending in its first 10 years, with costs steadily rising from there. That closely matches other studies — including one by the liberal Urban Institute — that looked at the Sanders plan.

To put this in perspective, “Medicare for all” would nearly double the size of the already bloated federal government.

Doubling corporate and individual income taxes wouldn’t cover the costs.

Even this [estimate of $32.6 trillion over 10 years] is wildly optimistic. To get to this number, author Charles Blahous had to make several completely unrealistic assumptions about savings under Sanders’ hugely disruptive plan.

The first is a massive cut in payments to providers. Sanders wants to apply Medicare’s below-market rates across the board, which would amount to a roughly 40% cut in payments to doctors and hospitals. Blahous figures this will save hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Democrats are also apparently unaware that “Medicare for all” would be a more expensive than anything that exists anywhere else in the world … 

Sanders’ plan would eliminate all out-of-pocket expenses for medical, dental and vision care. The only exception would be a small copay for brand-name drugs. …

There is no industrialized country in the world that does this.

Even in the Scandinavian countries that Bernie Sanders directs us to admire (rather than Stalinist Russia which is actually his ideal), “people pay as much as 30% of their nations’ health costs out-of-pocket”. 

And – perhaps surprisingly to American communists –

In Communist China, almost a third of health spending is out-of-pocket.

In Bernie’s USA, the illusion of all medical treatment being “free” would need to be maintained. But how? After all, doctors cannot work for nothing. Hospitals have running costs.

Because Sanders would eliminate prices entirely from health care, the only way to control health spending would be to slap stiff price controls on doctors, hospitals and drugs, or ration care.

Rationing is inevitable in any government-run health service. Administrators have to decide how to allocate resources. When you are in control of your own medical decisions, you decide what treatment, what drugs you are able or prepared to pay for. When the state decides for you, it will not consult your preferences. It will make kill-or-cure, life-or-death decisions for you. The “death panels” that Sarah Palin warned against will determine how long you live; and, for as long as you live, in what state of health.   

Here’s what health care in the U.S. would look like as a result:

There would be chronic shortages of doctors nationwide. Hospital overcrowding would be epidemic. Waits for everything from hip replacements to cataract surgery to cancer treatments would be extensive. Drug innovation would come to a virtual standstill. And there would be endless fights over the size of the government’s health budget, along with massive amounts of waste, fraud and abuse.

How do we know this? Because this is precisely what’s happened in countries that have already gone down the “Medicare for all” road.

In Canada, the average wait time for a hip replacement is nearly two years in some provinces. Patients with cataracts can end up waiting a year for surgery. The UK has fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita than any other industrialized nation, and is in a state of almost constant crisis.

Almost constant crisis”? There is no break, no pause, no relief for the briefest of moments from the crisis that is the National Health Service of Great Britain.

Here at home, the Veterans Health Administration — once touted by the left as a model of socialized medicine — has seen deadly delays and massive corruption, even as its budget ballooned in size.

Almost 10% of Medicare spending today is for what the government euphemistically calls “improper payments”, but anyone else would label it waste. Extend this across the entire health care system and Sanders’s “Medicare for all” would result in some $400 billion a year in “improper payments”.

But the biggest problem with “Medicare for all” — and any plan to socialize medicine — is its underlying assumption. Namely, that a handful of government central planners can manage trillions of dollars’ worth of resources better than hundreds of millions of people making trillions of decisions every day in the free market. They can’t.

We already know central planning never works, since it has miserably failed where it’s been tried. It didn’t work in the Soviet Union. It doesn’t work in North Korea or Cuba, and it’s causing untold misery in Venezuela.

A socialist government – which is what the government would be that saves or executes its subjects by controlling their health care – is always, necessarily, inescapably, one big Death Panel.

Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists 1

The people who were to lead the Russian revolution in 1917 called themselves Social-Democrats.

Here’s an extract from an essay by the Leader of the leaders, V. I. Lenin, written in 1897 when he was in exile. It is titled The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats: 

The object of the practical activities of the Social-Democrats is, as is well known, to lead the class struggle of the proletariat and to organize that struggle in both its manifestations: socialist (the fight against the capitalist class aimed at destroying the class system and organizing socialist society), and democratic (the fight against absolutism aimed at winning political liberty in Russia and democratizing the political and social system of Russia). We said as is well known. And indeed, from the very moment they appeared as a separate social-revolutionary trend, the Russian Social-Democrats have always quite definitely indicated this object of their activities, have always emphasized the dual manifestation and content of the class struggle of the proletariat and have always insisted on the inseparable connection between their socialist and democratic tasks — a connection clearly expressed in the name they have adopted.

As is well known, when the Revolution had been accomplished in 1917, and Lenin was supreme dictator, there was no political liberty for the Russian people. No liberty at all.

Stella Morabito wrote (March 2016) at The Federalist (in an essay chiefly recalling the execution by Joseph Stalin of his faithful friend and follower, Nikolai Bukharin):

[Socialism is] a system in which suspicion and the smell of treason tend to hang in the air. … This is the case whether you call it by any other name, whether communism, utopianism, or collectivism. Oh, go ahead and slap some lipstick on that pig and call it “democratic” socialism or “progressivism” or “communitarianism”. 

Lenin and his gang all started out calling themselves socialists. Social democrats, to be exact. So the fact remains: the path of socialism is ultimately paved with coercion, censorship, and, yes, terror.* Does stating this make me an alarmist? No. It makes me a realist.

Socialism demands that we place blind trust in whomever takes the reins of power to distribute society’s goods and services. …

Socialism also has a way of producing bloated bureaucracies that in turn produce ever greater scarcity. Along the way, this produces ever more corruption and cronyism. Censorship puts down deep roots because dissent cannot be tolerated or the system would collapse. Those are all prime ingredients for a closed society and surveillance state. …

And for gulags, torture, mock trials and executions.

We are … witnessing a new trendiness for all things socialist and communist among college youth. They sport T-shirts featuring the image of nauseatingly murderous tyrants like Che Guevara.

Thanks to the popularity of the avuncular Bernie Sanders, coupled with an astonishing ignorance of history, millennials have fast become trusty mouthpieces for socialism. This is ironic, because socialism has a way of redistributing power away from the “99 percent” and puts it into the hands of the few central planners—a teensy fraction of 1 percent — at the top.

And Bernie Sanders is forever sniping at “the 1%” – “millionaires and billionaires”, “the rich”, ie. Lenin’s “capitalist class” – when he himself is a millionaire.

Then what? …  There’s an indisputable correlation between big government and terror that keeps turning up throughout history. …

We need to remember that, when soft socialism with its siren song of “equality” is left to its own devices, it takes ever more rigid forms. The political hubris of “progressives” who know better than you and me — and with such utter certainty — always leads to central control, corruption, cronyism, censorship, and abject conformity.

The more than 100 million victims of communism shows just how slippery a slope socialism is. Any person of goodwill who is familiar with the history and realities of socialism would do everything possible to avoid going down that minefield of a road.

How is it possible that young Americans can emerge from long established universities with degrees in history, political science, economics, international relations, and not know what happened to the millions of victims of socialism?

Or if they do know, and maintain that their socialist revolution would be different, bringing equal happiness for all, what possible reason can they produce for saying so? They don’t, of course. They cannot.

Because socialist economics do not, cannot work.

Because no one will study for years to become a doctor when he/she/ze is going to be paid the same as a janitor who doesn’t have to study at all.

Because when everyone’s been given equal pay with nice freshly printed banknotes, their money goes chasing too few goods, or none at all.

Because no one is going to make and sell goods if he cannot make a good living out of doing so.

Because state ownership of the means of production means Venezuela under Maduro. Because the state cannot know what goods to produce, how many, at what price. Because only the market sends the messages, the signals, that provide that information. As Hayek teaches the student of economics. If he/she/ze is  allowed to read his works in the universities. But they are not.

They are allowed to read Marx.

We doubt that many of the democratic socialists emerging from the academies actually ever bothered to read Marx for themselves. Their professors told them what he said was right and good. Told them that democratic socialism was the happy future of mankind.

That is the faith, and they keep it.

 

 

*Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky all explicitly advocated the use of terrorism. See The Soviet Union and Terrorism by Roberta Goren, ed. Jillian Becker, Introduction by Robert Conquest, George Allen & Unwin, London 1984.

The North American Venezuela 28

The choice is becoming increasingly clear. Stark would be an even better word for it.

Voters can choose between –

Keeping the Republic set up in 1787 and prospering now as never before under the leadership of President Trump, by voting for his Republican followers.

Or changing into the North American Venezuela by voting for the other major political party forming rapidly to replace the Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, under the leadership of an old communist, Bernie Sanders, and a young communist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The North American Venezuela. It is a vision hovering in the spacious skies over the purple mountains and the fruited plain.

AP reports:

A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn’t quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization’s values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He’s now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.

Ringelstein’s leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement’s farthest left flank. As Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.

“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told AP. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”

There are 42 people running for offices at the federal, state and local levels this year with the formal endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, the organization says. They span 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan.

The most ambitious Democrats in Washington have been reluctant to embrace the label, even as they embrace the policies defining modern-day democratic socialism: Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition and the abolition of the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congress’s only self-identified democratic socialist, campaigned Friday with the movement’s newest star, New York City congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former bartender who defeated one of the most powerful House Democrats last month.

Two-head Communism

Her victory fed a flame that was already beginning to burn brighter. The DSA’s paid membership has hovered around 6,000 in the years before Trump’s election, said Allie Cohn, a member of the group’s national political team. Last week, its paid membership hit 45,000 nationwide.

There is little distinction made between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships”. 

Note that, voters. Even private relationships will be monitored by the planners of the social order. It completes the totalitarian vision. 

Members during public meetings often refer to each other as “comrades”,wear clothing featuring socialist symbols like the rose and promote authors such as Karl Marx.

Four-head Communism

The common association with the failed Soviet Union has made it difficult for sympathetic liberals to explain their connection.

“I don’t like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history,” said Kansas congressional candidate James Thompson, who is endorsed by the DSA and campaigned alongside Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, but is not a dues-paying democratic socialist. “There’s definitely a lot of their policies that closely align with mine.”

Thompson, an Army veteran turned civil rights attorney, is running again after narrowly losing a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Even in deep-red Kansas, he embraces policies like “Medicare for all” and is openly critical of capitalism.

In Hawaii, 29-year-old state Rep. Kaniela Ing isn’t shy about promoting his status as a democratic socialist in his bid for Congress. He said he was encouraged to run for higher office by the same activist who recruited Ocasio-Cortez.

“We figured just lean in hard,” Ing told the AP of the democratic socialist label. He acknowledged some baby boomers may be scared away, but said the policies democratic socialists promote — like free health care and economic equality — aren’t extreme.

Republicans, meanwhile, are encouraged by the rise of democratic socialism — for a far different reason. They have seized on what they view as a leftward lurch by Democrats they predict will alienate voters this fall and in the 2020 presidential race.

The Republican National Committee eagerly notes that Sanders’ plan to provide free government-sponsored health care for all Americans had no co-sponsors in 2013. Today, more than one-third of Senate Democrats and two-thirds of House Democrats have signed onto the proposal, which by one estimate could cost taxpayers as much as $32 trillion.

The co-sponsors include some 2020 presidential prospects, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Those senators aren’t calling themselves democratic socialists but also not disassociating themselves from the movement’s priorities.

Most support the push to abolish ICE [the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency] which enforces immigration laws …

… and want to abolish national borders.

So not even a North American Venezuela?

No nations, no nation-states. No national governments, no voting, no political parties, no law to enforce.

The hovering vision fades.

If the comrades have their way, the reality will be even worse than Venezuela.

Socialism rising for demons and dummies 4

 

Commenting on what is said in this video, John Hinderaker writes ironically, shockingly, and accurately at PowerLine:

[The] entertaining video of Tucker Carlson and Cornel West … offers a good explanation of why socialism always fails, from the perspective of the vast majority. … Tucker asked West: If democratic socialism works, why doesn’t Venezuela have toilet paper?

Of course West’s answers are lame –“real” socialism has never been tried, blah, blah, blah. You could infer from this that West is an idiot and, if he were arguing in good faith, that would be a fair assessment.

But I think the truth is worse. I think the leaders of the socialist movement are perfectly well aware that the inevitable result of socialism is tyranny and mass poverty. But for them, this isn’t a bug, it is a feature. In fact, it is the whole point. Socialism is now, and always has been, a pretext under which power-mad psychopaths seize power and terrorize their fellow humans.

Viewed with cold realism, socialism works very well for those who bring it about. It worked for Lenin and Stalin. It almost worked for Trotsky, but socialism is like Game of Thrones – it is a risky business. It didn’t work for the Old Bolsheviks for the same reason: they lost out to the more vicious and more power-crazed socialist, Stalin. It worked for Yezhov, Yagoda and Beria, although they, too, lost out after years of demented revels. It worked for Khruschev, Brezhnev and Andropov.

Socialism worked for Mao. It worked for Fidel Castro. It worked for Erich Honecker and Nicolae Ceaușescu, until the very end. It worked for Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, again with sad ends that didn’t inflict anywhere near enough pain to negate the years of glory and power that went before. It worked for Hugo Chavez, who like Castro, parlayed socialism into a multi-billion dollar fortune, and it has worked so far for Nicolas Maduro. All of these psychopaths, and many others, got exactly what they wanted out of socialism. From their point of view, it is a successful ideology.

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.

Socialism isn’t misguided, it is evil. Socialism isn’t a failure, any more than the Black Death was a failure. Sadly, it has worked all too well for more than a century. 

Those cunning human demons who get power, riches, and sadistic satisfaction out of imposing Socialism, need dumb believers to let them impose it.

Kurt Schlichter, a master of sardonic derision, writes at Townhall:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is less hideously unattractive than the usual Democrat potentate or potentatette and has therefore been anointed the new face of her pathetic party. This dumb woman, who looks like Huma Abedin without the pedohubby and the weird relationship with Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, took advantage of her even dumber New York district in order to get elected to Congress by calling herself a “socialist”.  Yeah, the subject of a thousand Trader Joe’s house brand chardonnay toasts is a proud adherent of the ideology that butchered 100 million people in the last century. …

Ocasio-Cortez is an idiot, like all adolescent socialists, so she qualified to be the Great Pinko Hope for a party in decline. Here’s how bad she is – she apparently went to college, got a degree in economics, and still ended up a socialist. If she went to med school, she would have probably left a chain smoker.

As for life experience, she was a bartender. Now, being a bartender is an important occupation that provides demonstrable social benefits, and everyone should have at least one crappy job on their resume because it builds character, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you’ve ever done if you want to be in Congress. …

It was only a fun job for her anyway. Not a necessary one. Contrary to what she pretended – in typical socialist style – she did not grow up in the Bronx (though she was born there). She is the daughter of a successful architect and grew up in one of the richest counties in America.

The left is always trying to make [Socialism] happen. It’s not going to happen, not least of which because us militant Normals have about 400 million or so guns and we aren’t super excited about giving up our stuff or our freedom to a bunch of Marxist weirdos who think we should work harder so their voter base doesn’t have to. But they keep trying to sell us this polished fecal matter of an ideology. In 2009, they put Obama’s smug mug on the cover of Newsweek and announced “We’re all socialists now, but it soon became obvious that we aren’t anything like socialists now. And, in fact, Newsweek is barely anything at all now, though under socialism, instead of teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it would be nationalized and we’d all be working to subsidize it so its hack staff could keep their loser sinecures.

A few years later, they tried again by releasing Bernie Sanders from the Old Commies Home to nearly beat Stumbles McMyTurn. That failed and now it’s this nitwit’s turn to spray perfume inside the outhouse.

Naturally, the Pink Dummy was summoned to make the rounds of MSNBCNN in the wake of her win over some other liberal tool. This avatar of a failed nineteenth century death cult was hailed as the future of the Democrats because as the leftist precincts in New York City go, so goes America. She did the same tap dance about socialism that all these twits do – see, socialism isn’t scary. Why, “socialism” is just another word for things we all do together, except when the socialists are in charge they kill you if you defy them. …

Pampered spawn of history’s most prosperous and freest society, these goofs are really excited about something they can barely articulate, so they sputter and spit out words like “justice” and “equality” and then get on their iPhones to call their disappointed dads because they are short on cash …

It’s amusing that so many of us Normals understand socialism better than the socialists do not only in terms of what Marx said, and what history says, but in terms of firsthand knowledge. A lot of us Normals have seen socialism up close and personal. Guys like me actually went and lived in its ruins. If you spent significant time, as I have, in the former Yugoslavia, or Ukraine, or even helping to guard the West German border from those friendly fraternal socialist dudes to the east, you’ll be stripped of any illusions about that garbage ideology.

Socialism is about taking your stuff and your freedom and killing you if you complain. They try to pass it off as just Liberalism 2.0, but then you usually don’t call something by a name unless you mean it. If they don’t mean “socialism” why do they call themselves “socialists”?

They use the term, counting on the stupidity of people educated in public schools (Yah government!), but they are coy about what they really mean. They always point to Sweden and Denmark and Norway when they talk about “socialism”, as if those were their role models … Yet, how come we always see the most excited champagne socialists trekking off to visit the dictators in Havana and Caracas and not the elected leaders in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo?

Venezuela is the socialist paradise that dare not be spoken of. I guess when people are so equal they all have to break into the zoo to eat the zebras, equality stops sounding so awesome.

But see, Venezuela isn’t true socialism. Nothing is ever true socialism, which is super convenient since any country that has ever dabbled in socialism tends to run short of food, medicine, and toilet paper. But I bet smart people like Gulag Barbie can totally make socialism work this time, and you’ll be prosperous and free and have your own pet unicorn.

They are always sure to stick the “democratic” in front of the “socialism” when they try to sell it to the suckers, but that’s a grift. Do they contend that if we vote in socialism and find that it sucks – as every single country that has tried it has found – we can vote it out again? Yeah, uh huh. Seems legit.

[But] Socialism is a train that, once you board, never stops except if you derail it – which we would have every moral right to do if this hateful creed were imposed upon us.

You see, socialism is the doctrine [by which] people like you and I get to slave away for the benefit of the people those in charge decide are worthy – especially those in charge. …

Socialism means what’s theirs is theirs and so is what’s yours. Our private property – what we have worked for and accumulated over decades – is no longer ours. It’s theirs, to be done with – to be redistributed – as those in power wish. And if you object, they will send people with guns to make you comply.

In contrast, in freedom and capitalism, the people with guns protect you from having what’s yours taken.

They don’t say it, but we Normals are the engine that they intend to power their socialism. We’re supposed to continue working and building and creating just as hard as we did when we kept the rewards. Note how the recipients of socialism – the elite, the bums, the hipster doofuses with their stupid Che T-shirts – never seem to expect that they might be asked to sacrifice too? We’re supposed to give up our property and labor to benefit them, but what do they contribute? New grievances? …

Marxgirl wants to start off with free college, which means you pay for other people’s college too. Notice how there’s no expectation that her fans contribute toward the benefit they are receiving? And then she’s for free health care, which means you pay for other people’s doctors too. Again, the recipients are not expected to work for their own benefit. Want to guess what she wants to do with the means of production? And with private property? And the rights of people who oppose her schemes?

Oh, and she’s also for banning guns. Gee, I wonder why.

The New York idiocracy’s anti-education plan 3

They’ve been the jewel in the crown of New York City’s public school system: Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech (here’s a longer list). They provided a chance for any of New York’s students, regardless of finances or race or creed or religion, to pass the qualifying test and get a fabulous education among their peers. 

So Neo-Neocon reports and comments.

But that opportunity has met the diversity police in the form of Mayor De Blasio, who has proposed an end to all that …

Mayor de Blasio of New York has a plan to “do away with the single entrance test, instead offering admission to the top 7 percent of graduates from all middle schools. That would make up 90 to 95 percent of admissions, with the remainder coming from a lottery”.

If this plan is implemented, either the failure rate will go up or the curriculum will be dumbed down, or both.

Michael Goodwin writes at the New York Post:

Under Mayor de Blasio, New Yorkers watch as their City Hall becomes a font of bad ideas. Day in, day out, the dumb and the dumber tumble forth with a common flaw: little bang for big bucks.

But de Blasio tops himself with his plan to impose a virtual racial quota on the city’s top high schools. In a single move, he surrenders the effort to improve hundreds of failing schools while simultaneously aiming to undermine the truly excellent ones.

Without doubt, this is his Worst Idea Ever. …

The plan would throw objective, proven test standards out the window, and thus qualifies as educational malpractice. The mayor inadvertently admits as much by saying his new chancellor, Richard Carranza, “is focused on social justice”.

The mission of the Social Justice movement is to ensure that the stupid, the mad, and the criminal (of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and “genders”, except “cis-heteronormative” white males, and Asian scholars because they are not stupid, mad, or criminal anyway) inherit the earth. (No matter that the criminals will then despatch the stupid and the insane.)

Not so long ago, chancellors were hired to run schools and promote educational excellence for all students. Now they’re hired to engineer outcomes based on race, ethnicity and family income.

The lower the family income the more virtuous and worthy the appointee.

This is justice only if you believe identity trumps all other human attributes, including effort, character and achievement. Sadly, de Blasio and Carranza worship that false god.

It follows that they aim to make the student body at the top high schools more closely reflect the citywide student population, which is 70 percent black and Latino. As it stands, black and Latino students make up about 10 percent of the 15,000 enrolled at the most selective public schools.

That is a serious and longstanding concern, but a fundamental problem with the argument that the schools are not diverse is that Asian students are the single-largest group at most of the schools. They constitute 73.5 percent at Stuyvesant, 65.6 percent at Bronx Science and 61.3 percent at Brooklyn Tech. Overall, Asians of all backgrounds comprise less than 20 percent of students.

Their extraordinary presence in the top schools belies de Blasio’s claim that the schools are exclusionary because many Asian students belong to poor immigrant families where English is not spoken in the home.

If the mayor wanted an honest answer to the imbalance, he would order educrats to study why so many Asian students excel and try to duplicate their work habits among all students. Instead, Asian success is now being treated as a problem that must be overcome, just as several generations ago, high-achieving Jewish students were restricted by quotas at Harvard and other Ivy League institutions.

De Blasio’s plan would be phased in over three years and do away with the single entrance test, instead offering admission to the top 7 percent of graduates from all middle schools. That would make up 90 to 95 percent of admissions, with the remainder coming from a lottery.

The change would be a case of fixing what isn’t broken. For generations, the vast bulk of the students admitted under the current system succeeded, making those high schools prime feeders for the best colleges in America.

But those facts are ignored by de Blasio because they reveal the real problem — too many elementary and middle schools in black and Latino neighborhoods are perennial failure factories. He talks a good game about fixing them and is throwing a ton of taxpayer money at them, but has little to show for it.

He, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg before him, is making it easier to take the selective school test and offer free prep courses. None of it has made much of a difference in part because de Blasio has turned the schools over to the teachers union and has given up trying to get rid of the teachers who can’t teach.

The mayor is also a big fan of dumbed-down tests and graduation requirements, always with an eye toward engineering a phony racial and ethnic balance in results.

But if those results were real, he wouldn’t need a quota to gain more balance in the top schools.

He even made it next to impossible to suspend unruly and violent students because of a racial tilt, with principals complaining that many classrooms are now chaotic.

The only silver lining is that eliminating the test for some of the schools requires state legislation, and there is little chance of that happening now. Gov. Cuomo, thankfully, doesn’t appear interested, so opponents, including Asian parents’ groups, have an opportunity to organize and stop the quota travesty in its tracks.

They shouldn’t assume common sense will prevail. Not in Albany, and certainly not with de Blasio at City Hall.

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Sex, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 7, 2018

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Shrinking the welfare state 19

Welfare is Socialism Lite.

Socialism, in whatever brew, is the enemy of freedom.

If the tax-payers’ money spent by government on welfare were to be  … switched, say, to …

We are tempted to say “to the military”, because it is merry sport to bait the Left.

But to be sober about the matter: if it wasn’t confiscated from the people in the first place, if there were no government welfare programs, government would be much smaller and the people would be more prosperous.

Among President Trump’s many achievements in his first fifteen months in office, working continually against spiteful harassment and every kind of impediment the Left can devise, is a reduction of welfare provision. Not a huge reduction, no, but a change  in the right direction.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Earlier this month [April, 2018], the government reported that enrollment in food stamps plunged by nearly 600,000 in one month. Is this part of a broader trend toward greater self-reliance?

The Department of Agriculture, which runs the food stamp program — officially called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — reports that enrollment in January was 40.7 million, the lowest it’s been since May 2010.

In the months since President Trump has been in office, the number of people collecting food stamps plunged by nearly 2 million.

The same is true for welfare. Enrollment in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program dropped 12% last year, to reach 2.3 million.

Better still, the number of workers on Social Security Disability Insurance was down to 8.6 million in March — a decline of more than 100,000 since January 2017, and the lowest level since February 2012.

So far this year, disability applications have averaged 179,000 a month, compared with more than 193,000 a month in 2016. And the number of people dropping off disability rolls is up. Even enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP — the health care program for the poor and children — dropped by almost a million in 2017, to 74 million. …

In other words, millions of people are now free from at least some of their dependence on federal benefit programs. …

The best measure of success for any poverty program is for enrollment to keep trending toward zero.

Here’s Milton Friedman speaking, way back in 1976, about what is wrong with the provision of welfare by the state. You will notice he uses words that political correctness has since eliminated from public discourse. But the points he makes are still valid.

And here he is again on the same subject in another extract from the same source:

 

Posted under Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 29, 2018

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A famous socialist advocates “humane” mass murder 59

In this video, the Socialist George Bernard Shaw advocates the gassing of people he regards as useless to society.

Shaw, an amusing and much acclaimed playwright, was highly sympathetic to the National Socialist Adolf Hitler, the Fascist Socialist Benito Mussolini, and the Dictators of the Union of Socialist Republics Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.

Where does the idea that you need to justify your existence come from?

And with it the idea that the justification must only be according to what and how much you do for others? 

As a general moral theory, it was given birth to by Christianity. It is the very essence of Christian moral doctrine. It drives the Christian conscience towards self-sacrifice and martyrdom.

It was inherited by Socialism/Communism/Marxism/Progressivism. The Left. (Not by Hitler’s  National Socialism. Shaw was inconsistent there.)

We live in an age when the Left is so ungrateful for what the Enlightenment and capitalism have done for humankind, its minions so bent on destroying the great achievements of liberty and prosperity, that they deserve to lose the inventors, the doers and makers, the sustainers of our civilization – the Atlases who carry our world on their shoulders. Beware! Atlas can become exasperated. As he does in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. 

Ayn Rand has the characters who speak for her say:

We are on strike against martyrdom — and against the moral code that demands it. We are on strike against those who believe that one man must exist for the sake of another. We are on strike against the morality of cannibals, be it practiced in body or in spirit. We will not deal with men on any terms but ours — and our terms are a moral code which holds that man is an end in himself and not the means to any end of others.

And:

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Like Adam Smith, she and all capitalists know (whether they express the notion or not), that the best way of earning a living is to provide other people with something – goods or services – that they will pay you for. The benefit is mutual.

We cannot live without others. We cannot help having an effect on them or stop them having an effect on us, and we are happy when the effect is beneficial. But we do not need to live for them.  

It’s surely hard enough sustaining your own life and the lives of your natural dependents. To think up a single formula for sustaining and ordering the lives of millions, as the Left does, is to be absurd or insane; and the implementation of it is tyranny and mass murder. No two lives are so exactly matched that the same conditions will affect them equally. Let them be free, each to choose his own path. He may be self-centered, he may be avaricious; he may be self-denying, he may be altruistic. He pursues his own happiness.

Because of her insistence that we do not live for the sake of others, Ayn Rand has been likened to Friedrich Nietzsche. (By, for instance, Steven Pinker in his book Enlightenment Now. See our post, Enlightenment, atheism, reason, and the humanist Left, April 12, 2018.)

Nietzsche was a weak, unhealthy, mentally deranged German philosopher who invented and adulated an imaginary super-strong Super-Man. The Super-Man would be above conventional morality. His existence would be far more important than the lives of the superfluous multitudes who are fit only to be trampled down. (A belief of his that was shared by Hitler.)

Ayn Rand’s philosophy is nothing like Nietzsche’s. Rather, it is close to that of the Epicureans. They were atheists (though to save themselves from contumely and attack they would wave the subject away by saying yes, yes, okay, there are gods, but they live very far from us human beings and have nothing whatever to do with us). They accepted that to live is to suffer, so the best way an individual can live his life is by finding ways to enjoy it as much as he can. To pursue his own happiness. As a school of thought they were not sybarites; they did not advocate living luxuriously, though they had nothing against anyone doing so if he chose. Their chief pleasure lay in intellectual exploration. They were not Atlases; they did not carry the world on their shoulders. But they saw no sense in creeds of self-sacrifice, whether to men or to gods.

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the link to the video)

 

Agenda 21 and the Ministry of Loneliness 19

In our town, and almost certainly in your town, and most of the towns (cities) of the United States, tall buildings are springing up at or near railway and bus stations, consisting of hundreds of very small living-units for single occupants. No areas are provided for cars, though there is accommodation for a limited number of bicycles. Occupants are encouraged to use public transport.

The living-units we have seen contain a narrow bunk bed, a small wardrobe and a couple of drawers to hold a few (standard issue) clothes, a desk big enough for a (frequently called-in and replaced) lap-top computer to stand on, a shelf where a very few books or a framed photograph or two might be displayed. And there is a narrow shower-closet, with the usual facilities, where the luxuries of rationed soap and toilet tissue may perhaps be enjoyed in the hours when the water is centrally turned on. We do not know for sure that there are recording devices hidden here and there, but we very reasonably suspect there are.

These buildings are part of the implementation by your local council of Agenda 21.

A video, issued in January 2009, explains what Agenda 21 is:

So families are to be broken up or never formed. That’s why the new living-units are for single people only.

Yes, the single persons will be lonely. That’s a vital part of the plan. 

The British Prime Minister (by what accumulation of errors?) Theresa May is the first political leader to appoint a Minister of Loneliness. Her name (it would of course be a woman) is Tracey Crouch. She is also the Minister of Sports (and “Digital, Culture, and Media”) who knows everything about team work, uniforms, mass transport, rules, penalties … Good choice, Theresa!

So as not to offend the Muslim community – which must never be offended even if its members rape and murder that little daughter of yours who has been taken away to be educated in group-think – males and females will be separated for all communal activities (pretty well the only kind of activities that will be allowed).

But also not to offend the LGBQTetc communities, there will have to be further separation for sports teams, work forces, organized social gatherings … Public toilet facilities, however, will be as open to all-comers as the borders of the late nation-states.

The human race will be relieved of the sin of private ownership. And of the burden of self-support. And of the responsibility of family support.  And of any cause to envy your neighbor.

Oh, brave new low-CO2 world that has such collectives in it!

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