EppsNet Archive: Socialism

Privilege

12 Jul 2017 /
Theodore Roosevelt

There can be no grosser example of privilege than that set before us as an ideal by certain socialistic writers the ideal that . . . the man who is vicious, foolish, a drag on the whole community, who contributes less than his share to the common good, should take out what is not his, what he has not earned; that he shall rob his neighbor of what that neighbor has earned. This particular socialistic ideal would be to enthrone privilege in one of its grossest, crudest, most dishonest, most harmful and most unjust forms.

— Theodore Roosevelt, 1908

Bernie Sanders is Wrong About Everything But He’s Raised the Intellectual Climate

4 Jul 2016 /
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Socialism has been discredited about as thoroughly as possible, but one thing I greatly admire about Bernie Sanders is this: He’s never made a political issue of the fact that he’s Jewish.

He doesn’t say “It’s high time we had a Jewish president.” He doesn’t say “If you’re Jewish, you should vote for me because I’m Jewish.” And most importantly, he doesn’t dismiss criticism or critics as anti-Semitic.

And because he doesn’t do any of the above, I don’t see his supporters or the media doing it either.

It would be easy for him to do those things because it’s what people expect. Political discourse in America consists mainly of people calling each other racists, sexists, homophobes and bigots. It’s hard to complete a sentence without someone taking offense to a trigger word, a microaggression or a dog whistle.

Abraham Lincoln once said this:

If you have ever studied geometry, you remember that by a course of reasoning, Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles. Euclid has shown you how to work it out. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, and to show that it is erroneous, would you prove it to be false by calling Euclid a liar?

Today people would be more likely to refute geometry by calling Euclid a racist or attacking his position on same-sex bathrooms, but Lincoln’s point remains valid, i.e., if you disagree with someone, make an argument and knock off the name-calling.

President Obama could have taken a Lincolnesque stand on this if he had wanted to — it would have been a valuable contribution to American life — but instead chooses to use ad hominem politics to his own advantage, to further the impression that there’s no legitimate reason for anyone to oppose his agenda other than the fact that he’s (half) black.

So kudos to Bernie Sanders for his efforts, however futile, to raise the American intellectual climate.


A Lesson in Free Markets

20 Mar 2016 /

A lesson in free markets


Talking About the Benefits of Socialism is a Capitalist Luxury

1 Mar 2016 /


I’m Pretty Sure Those Are Nouns

22 Feb 2016 /

This is a real Bernie Sanders tweet, not a parody, although it has since been deleted . . .

I'm pretty sure those are nouns


A Lesson in Socialism

11 Feb 2016 /

Haha, a lesson in socialism! You work hard to earn something, it gets taken away from you and given to someone else. Hahahahahahaha!

Posted by Paul Epps on Thursday, February 11, 2016


‘I Am a Marxist’ Says Dalai Lama

2 Feb 2015 /
The 14th Dalai Lama

The 14th Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama identified himself as a Marxist on Tuesday while addressing capitalism, discrimination and violence at a lecture on world peace in Kolkata, India. This is not the first time that the 14th Dalai Lama has spoken about his political leaning – in 2011 he said: “I consider myself a Marxist…but not a Leninist” when speaking at a conference in Minneapolis . . .

The Tibetan spiritual leader partly blamed capitalism for inequality and said he regarded Marxism as the answer: “In capitalist countries, there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. In Marxism, there is emphasis on equal distribution,” he said.

— Newsweek

Hello, Dalai? An emphasis on equal distribution is not the same thing as equal distribution. In practice, there never seems to be equal distribution, because whoever gets to be in charge of actually distributing the goodies equally acquires a dictatorial level of power that would be wasted were it not used to make sure that most or all of the goodies get distributed to themselves and the people they like. This is followed by shortages, starvation and mass murder.


Everyone Was Equal

20 Oct 2013 /

Or as fellow grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi wrote in his autobiography: “The Soviets were very successful: everyone was equal — equally poor.”


Pursuing the One True Good

27 Jun 2010 /
George Orwell

Most of us believe in our hearts that there is only one good and that ideally everyone should pursue it. In a perfect centrally planned socialist state everyone is part of a hierarchy pursuing the same end. If that end is the one true good, that society will be perfect in a sense in which a capitalist society, where everyone pursues his own differing and imperfect perception of the good, cannot be. Since most socialists imagine a socialist government to be controlled by people very like themselves, they imagine that it will pursue the true good—the one that they, imperfectly, perceive. That is surely better than a chaotic system in which all sorts of people other than the socialists perceive all sorts of other goods and waste valuable resources chasing them. People who dream about a socialist society rarely consider the possibility that some of those other people may succeed in imposing their ends on the dreamer, instead of the other way around. George Orwell is the only exception who comes to mind.

— David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom