HispanicPundit + history + socialism   13

The Rich Can’t Get Richer Forever, Can They? | The New Yorker
In the “liberal meritocratic” world, inequality arises from the way capital is accumulated. The rich are able to save more than the poor, and thus come to own a disproportionate share of the capital and the wealth in the economy. Since the return on capital, a major source of income for the rich, tends to be higher than the growth of wages, the rich become richer. Almost as potent is the way the benefits of education are distributed: rich people tend to be more highly trained, and can earn higher salaries; they are also able to earn higher returns on their capital, since their wealth gives them greater tolerance for illiquidity and risk. In addition, they tend to marry other rich, educated people and are able to pass on more capital to their children, thereby perpetuating inequalities from one generation to the next.

The “political capitalism” of China has its own inequality-generating dynamics. Although China has become capitalist to the core—almost eighty per cent of the country’s industrial output is produced in the private sector—the commercial classes are under the thumb of a highly disciplined, autocratic bureaucracy. The rule of law is attenuated, decision-making can be arbitrary, property rights are not fully secure, and corruption is endemic. China is essentially going through a hugely accelerated version of the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age rolled into one. Add in the insidious impact of cronyism, and a very unequal society results. Income distribution in China, it turns out, is even more skewed than in the United States, approaching the sort of levels one finds in the plutocratic republics of Latin America.
capitalism  Socialism  Inequality  History  newyorker 
5 weeks ago by HispanicPundit
A Kindler, Gentler Gulag
Sunkara’s Platonism is especially pronounced with respect to socialism’s political problem, its demonstrated propensity to culminate in oppression and, frequently, mass murder. “Any ideology built around a notion of destiny,” he posits, “runs the risk of calamity.” Happily, “The solution is a banal one: valuing and protecting rights and liberties, while ensuring that ordinary people are not only consulted through rallies and speeches but actually have democratic avenues to make choices and hold their leaders accountable.” Whatever wicked things were formerly done in the name of socialism have little connection with real socialism, and can be detached from any future socialism simply through willpower, astute consciousness of the dangers, and a warm-hearted commitment to democracy. Or, as Niemietz writes, “The only lesson from the Gulags is that we should not build Gulags, the only lesson from the show trials is that we should not have show trials, the only lesson from the Berlin Wall is that we should not build walls through Berlin.”
Books  communist  History  Socialism  ClaremontInstitute 
june 2019 by HispanicPundit
The "Real X" Defense, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
By these historical standards, real socialism has happened dozens of times.  Look at Lenin's Bolsheviks.  Before World War I, they were a powerless band of socialist fanatics.  Fellow socialists often loathed them, but for their dogmatism and cruelty, not lack of commitment to socialism.  Then, a perfect storm gave the Bolsheviks absolute power over Russia - power that lasted over 70 years.  The origin stories of the other triumphant Marxist-Leninist movements fit the same mold, though the socialists of the Soviet satellite states did have to compromise with the socialists of the Soviet Union proper.

And by these standards, I'm sorry to say, real libertarianism has never happened.  Yes, plenty of libertarian groups manage to become self-conscious fringe movements.  But none of these movements were ever more than junior partners in a broader political coalition.  Reagan and Thatcher gave a few libertarians a place at the table of power, but they were hardly libertarians themselves.  You could point to the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, but they included plenty of mercantilists and slavers.  Even post-Communist Georgia doesn't qualify.
communist  socialism  anarcho-capitalists  history  caplan 
may 2017 by HispanicPundit
Crooked Timber » » Say what you will about Stalin … he was no Babbitt.
"to what extent did people believe, in the 30’s and early 40’s, that capitalism was doomed?" To a large extent.
History  capitalism  Socialism  CrookedTimber  sidebar 
february 2008 by HispanicPundit
RealClearPolitics - Articles - To Dodd: Education Is Not Always the Answer
The role of intellectuals in the atrocities of the past...and why liberals tend to favor education so much.
liberalism  education  academia  communist  Socialism  History  Stalin  sidebar 
november 2007 by HispanicPundit
George Reisman's Blog on Economics, Politics, Society, and Culture: More on Pinochet and Marxism: The Necessity of Evil Means to Achieve Socialism
When I hear the 'evil' that Pinochet did by killing communists, I think he is just as 'evil' as someone who killed Nazis, or Fascists. Reisman explains why.
Chile  economics  History  latinamerica  communist  Socialism 
january 2007 by HispanicPundit
Catallarchy » The Ethics of Killing Commies
I'll be honest, I don't weep over communist deaths. Why Pinochet's 3,000 deaths should be taken in context.
Socialism  communist  latinamerica  Chile  History  sidebar 
january 2007 by HispanicPundit
The Great Thanksgiving Hoax
The real story of how capitalism saved Thanksgiving from its socialist failures.
Socialism  History  usa  capitalism 
december 2006 by HispanicPundit
EconLog, The Misconception of the Twentieth Century, Bryan Caplan: Library of Economics and Liberty
"The Big Story of the century wasn't a left-versus-right struggle, or a struggle of moderation versus extremism. It was a struggle of cosmetically different totalitarian socialisms to enslave the world. They fought freer countries to subjugate them; they
communist  Socialism  history 
september 2006 by HispanicPundit
TCS Daily - Why Isn't Socialism Dead?
Why, after repeated failure after failure, after resulting time and
communist  history  philosophy  capitalism  Socialism 
june 2006 by HispanicPundit
Chavez Keeps Expanding His Ties » VivirLatino
A discussion with Maegan La Mala from VivirLatino, I end the discussion with, "I guess there are some people that will continue to deny the holocaust, no matter what evidence you present them".
discussion  communist  history  socialism  chile  latinamerica 
june 2006 by HispanicPundit

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