Category Archives: socialism

How I awoke from being a socialist to a sane person – A review of ‘The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality’, by Ludwig von Mises


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Back in 1998, I was working in the filthy world of trade. I’d received this book from Mises.org one morning and had to wait until lunchtime before I could read it. I then sat in my car in a dreary supermarket car park and opened it up. It took less than an hour to get through. However, the clarity, the penetration, the directness, the sheer thrill of all those dense scales falling from my eyes melted my mind. Who was this Mises? And why had he made me feel so very uncomfortable?

Via the pages of this book, Mises had told me the truth about life, the universe, and everything. He’d tumbled the monuments in my mind, to Marx, by taking a wrecking ball to them.

This book essentially details the societally destructive power of human envy. Like a fine Bossa Nova dancer in perfect tune with his own epistemological theory, Mises slices and slashes at the tenets of Marxism until there’s nothing left but malevolent dust.

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President Jair Bolsonaro: “This is our flag, and it will never be red!”


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Are we beginning to witness more of a sea-change in the world? We see President Donald Trump in the United States attempting to roll back some of the American state. We see Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attempting to roll back some of the Austrian state. And now we see President Jair Bolsonaro attempting to roll back some of the Brazilian state.

[I’ll avoid talking too much about the gigantic mess of Brexit and that appalling globalist robot, Theresa May, but at least the process of Brexit has formed some part of the same momentum.]

Yes, we can all hope for the Hoppeian pipedream of waking up one glorious day surrounded by unicorns and pixies, along with a perfect constellation of tiny private law societies all over the globe, and be typically picky about each of these men and their imperfections in terms of libertarian flawlessness. We’ve been so successful with that particular strategy, over the years.

However, back here in the real world, I’m generally becoming more and more hopeful that we’re entering a new phase in history, one where we might actually reach that world of unicorns and pixies, one day, along with at least some Hoppeian private law societies.

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Gatwick Airport drone sightings may have been of police equipment, chief constable admits


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK
If a private security company closed down an airport for 24 hours and cancelled hundreds of flights because of a ‘drone’ threat, and then later discovered that its own drones were providing that threat, it would quite rightly be tossed out on its ear and lose its contract. Its CEO would probably be fired, several key employees would probably be fired, and the company would almost certainly face imminent bankruptcy and likely closure as other customers withdrew their custom. If the company was to survive such a self-imposed disaster, it would follow on from the result of a rapid and brutal reorganisation, similar to the punctuated equilibria of Darwinian evolution. (For instance, where fish become amphibians inside a rapid geological timeframe, perhaps because of a catastrophic drying of the planet caused by one of those regular instances of rapid solar heating.)
 
In this fictional Hoppe-World story, a more dynamic and better organised company would be brought in to provide a better security service, most likely for the same cost or lower. Because this is how the voluntary free market works. Service failure is constantly and often brutally punished, just as Darwinian evolution constantly and brutally punishes evolutionary dead ends. Spontaneous market evolution drives everyone’s businesses to provide better services and better products, as Schumpeter’s creative destruction process weeds out inefficient organisation and talentless bureaucracy and nourishes ever-more-efficient organisation and farsighted entrepreneurialism. Economic resources and people are constantly recycled in an ever-improving system that generates ever-better services and ever-better products for all of society. To assist with this process, technology constantly gets improved to provide better results for less cost. No oversight is required. If left alone, it all just happens. Naturally.
 
It is a beautiful thing. Just as the creatures generated by evolution are often beautiful.
 
So what will happen now back on Planet Socialist? What will the politicians do about the incompetent tax-eating police ruining tens of thousands of business trips and Christmas holidays? Alas, to ask the question is to know the answer. Nobody will be fired. Tax-provided resources will also most likely be increased to hopefully plug the gaps of the police’s stupidity. And it won’t work. Because this ‘reward of failure’ system specifically generates increasing failure. The police at Gatwick will become ever-more incompetent and ever-more expensive. We all know this to be true. This is the chaotic nature of coercive socialist organisation.
 
So what is the free market Hoppeian solution? Because of their utter incompetence, the tax-eating public police should be removed from Gatwick and replaced by a private security organisation that’s driven by internal motivations to provide a service that its customers actually like and want to renew year after year. Competition between private security agencies will keep their blades sharp.
 
Will this happen? Will the police get kicked out of Gatwick? Will a competent private security agency be brought in to take over from these idiots? Will any police officer get fired for this total utter failure? Be my guest. Guess.
 
Socialism is the essence of idiocy.

The Writing on the Berlin Wall: Pictures of the Socialistic Future


By Andy Duncan, Vice Chairman of Mises UK

If someone gave me a gold sovereign for every time in my life I had heard a variation on the following phrase, then in the words of Private James Frazer, from Dad’s Army, I would now be an extremely wealthy man. Here’s the general phrase that you may have heard too:

“Socialism is a great idea, but human nature is so perverse, selfish, and horrible, that nobody has figured out how to do it right yet.”

There are so many misconceptions buried within that simple sentence that there are few single books that can refute them with justice. One that springs immediately to mind is Socialism, written by Ludwig von Mises in 1922; unfortunately this is an immense, distilled work that requires perhaps weeks, months, or even years of study to fully appreciate.

However, I may have just stumbled across another excellent book that uses a different approach to tackle the same misconceptions. In contrast to Socialism, the main beauty of this alternative is that it hits all of its targets in just three or so short hours of delightful reading.

We’ll get to the book shortly, but first let us examine the misconceptions.

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The National Socialists were Socialists, Shock!


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

The national socialists were socialists, shock! This is as described by Sir Norman Tebbitt in a recent Daily Telegraph article:

“It is either delusional or deceitful to call the Nazi or Fascist parties “Right wing”. There could hardly be any more clear example of the tin containing exactly what is said on the label than Hitler’s Nazis, the National Socialist German Workers Party, nor Mussolini’s collectivist Fascists. They were the Left-wing of politics on the European mainland. And they both proudly wore the racist badge of anti-Semitism.”

With President Trump in the United States, President-Elect Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Chancellor Kurz in Austria, as well as several others, we’re seeing a lot of Non-Player-Character Leftists handing out epithets such as ‘Far-Right’, ‘Ultra-Right’, ‘Neo-Nazi’, and so on, to anyone who dares stand up against socialist hegemony. This is an attempt to try to link such politicians to the greatest ever bogey-man of the Left, Reichs Chancellor Adolf Hitler.

But what if it turns out that this bogey-man is actually a Leftist himself? And what if his political regime was also a totally Leftist construct? What would the NPC Left say then? Well, if they accepted it, they would probably be speechless. So they will be kicking and screaming, I should imagine, in the face of this Telegraph article, to completely deny it.

However, it remains undeniable. The national socialists were socialists.

In my opinion, the best full book on this subject is Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, written in 1944 by Ludwig von Mises. As a lover of liberty who had fled before the national socialists himself, in 1940, he knew exactly how to describe their political nature:

“The German and the Russian systems of socialism have in common the fact that the government has full control of the means of production. It decides what shall be produced and how. It allots to each individual a share of consumer’s goods for his consumption. These systems would not have to be called socialist if it were otherwise. But there is a difference between the two systems— though it does not concern the essential features of socialism. The Russian pattern of socialism is purely bureaucratic. All economic enterprises are departments of the government, like the administration of the army or the postal system. Every plant, shop, or farm stands in the same relation to the superior central organization as does a post office to the office of the postmaster general. The German pattern differs from the Russian one in that it (seemingly and nominally) maintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs but only shop managers (Betriebsführer). These shop managers do the buying and selling, pay the workers, contract debts, and pay interest and amortization. There is no labor market; wages and salaries are fixed by the government. The government tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. The government decrees to whom and under what terms the capitalists must entrust their funds and where and at what wages laborers must work. Market exchange is only a sham. All the prices, wages, and interest rates are fixed by the central authority. They are prices, wages, and interest rates in appearance only; in reality they are merely determinations of quantity relations in the government’s orders. The government, not the consumers, directs production. This is socialism in the outward guise of capitalism.”

Omnipotent Government followed on from a much deeper analysis of socialism, in my favourite Von Mises book, Socialism, written much earlier in the 1920s, which analysed every facet of socialism known at the time. In this book, Von Mises distilled out the essential point via which we know whether a particular political system is socialist or not, later reflected in the above quote:

“The essence of Socialism is this: All the means of production are in the exclusive control of the organized community. This and this alone is Socialism.”

I always love the cognitive dissonance it provokes in Leftists when one correctly describes the national socialists as socialists. They generally hate being forced to acknowledge this reality, preferring to call them ‘Nazis’ instead, to somehow obliterate the link. However, the clue, as always, is in the name. Were they called ‘National Conservatives’? No. Were they called ‘National Liberals’? No. They were called ‘National Socialists‘.

Deal with it, Leftists. He was one of your own.

Jeremy Corbyn: A View from the Right


Jeremy Corbyn:
A View from the Right
by Sean Gabb
27th August 2018

One of my books
Learn More

Seen from my point of view, on the libertarian right, there are at least three ways of looking at the alleged or real anti-semitism of Jeremy Corbyn. The first is that it is very, very funny. Since the 1970s, he and his friends have been whining about the horrors of racial prejudice. Now, every time he opens his mouth, he says something that upsets Jews – and that may legitimately be of concern to them. You tell me it is uncharitable if I fail to keep a straight face. The second is that the scandal is a distraction from the real issue in British politics. Next March, we are supposed to leave the European Union. Whether we shall or ought to leave with some kind of agreement is arguably more important than with whom Mr Corbyn shared a platform at the Conway Hall in 1987. These first two being noted, I will focus on the third, which is what impact he will have on the so far arrested realignment of English politics. Read more

Yes, The Left Stole Liberalism And Sold Out The West


By ilana mercer

Liberals have taken to promoting socialism, which is the state-sanctioned appropriation of private property. Or, communism.

In communism’s parlance, this theft of a man’s life, labor and land is referred to as state-ownership of the means of production.

Liberals are less known for misappropriating intellectual concepts. But they do that, too.

Take the term “liberal.” It once belonged to the good guys. But socialists, communists and Fabians stole it from us.

Having originally denoted the classical liberalism of the 18th and early 19th century, “liberal” used to be a lovely word. However, to be a liberal now is to be a social democrat, a leftist, a BLM, antifa and MeToo movementarian; it’s to be Chris and Andrew Cuomo.

A French classical liberal, Benjamin Constant (1767-1830), explained what liberalism stood for:

“Individuals must enjoy a boundless freedom in the use of their property and the exercise of their labor, as long as in disposing of their property or exercising their labor they do not harm others who have the same rights.” This is the opposite of communism aka socialism.

By harm, classical liberals mean aggression, as in damage to person or property. To contemporary liberals, “harm” encompasses anything from Donald Trump’s delicious tweets to the economic competition posed by a kiddie lemonade stand.

In the UK, those in-the-know still use the word liberal in the right way. The august Economist—essential reading for, unlike American news outlets, it covers The News—has recently lamented that democracies are drifting towards “xenophobic nationalism,” and away from liberal ideas.

At the same time, the magazine allows that “liberalism is a broad church.” It mentions the “Austrians” as being among liberalism’s “forerunners”—a mention that gave me, as a devotee of economist Ludwig von Mises, the opening I needed.

So, let me ask the following:

Have the Economist’s left-liberal editorializers (excellent writers all) read what liberal extraordinaire von Mises had to say about nationalism vis-à-vis immigration?

Mises was a Jewish classical liberal in the best of traditions—a political economist second to none. He escaped the Nazis only to be treated shoddily in the American academy, by the Fabian “forerunners” of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s teachers.

Another formidable, younger classical liberal thinker is David Conway (a friend). Dr. Conway has argued most convincingly and methodically—he’s incapable of arguing any other way—that nationalism is in fact a condition for the emergence of liberalism.

To that end, Conway invokes Mises. In  “Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition,” published in 1927, Mises warned that,

“In the absence of any migration barriers whatsoever, vast hordes of immigrants … would … inundate Australia and America. They would come in such great numbers that it would no longer be possible to count on their assimilation. If in the past immigrants to America soon adopted the English language and American ways and customs, this was in part due to the fact that they did not come over all at once in such great numbers. … This … would now change, and there is real danger that the ascendancy—or more correctly, the exclusive dominion—of the Anglo-Saxons in the United States would be destroyed.”

Mises was not only a true liberal, but a master of the art of argument. Still, he didn’t imagine he needed to explain why the West had to stay Western to be free.

And in “Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War,” published in 1944, Mises could not have been more emphatic:

“Under present conditions the adoption of a policy of outright laissez faire and laissez passer on the part of the civilized nations of the West would be equivalent to an unconditional surrender to the totalitarian nations. Take, for instance, the case of migration barriers. Unrestrictedly opening the doors of the Americas, of Australia, and of Western Europe to immigrants would today be equivalent to opening the doors to the vanguards of the armies of Germany, Italy, and Japan.”

As Conway surmises, “Mises feared a massive immigration into the liberal democracies of peoples of vastly different ethnicity, culture and outlooks. Without strict immigration controls, Mises thought, host populations would rapidly become national minorities in their own lands. As such, the hosts would become vulnerable to forms of oppression and persecution at the hands of new arrivals.”

As far back as 1927, when the seminal “Liberalism in the Classical Tradition” was published, Mises, a gentleman from Old World Vienna, understood the following:

Once illiberal, unassimilable people gain “numeric superiority,” they will turn their population advantage into political advantage, using the host population’s liberalism against it.

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ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

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