I wrote the following to a friend who is now retired, but who worked for most of his life for the Austrian National Railroad (the ÖBB), an entity that has been strongly governed by socialist thinking. It therefore came as no surprise to me early on that my friend was completely governed by a socialist mindset (when I first got to know him about three years ago, he was reading some biography of Karl Marx!)
While this friend has never lived in luxury, his standard of living throughout his life and unto this day would most certainly be considered “luxury” by a good portion of the world population.
And, yet, my friend complains that he does not have enough (he thinks he should have more), and blames for this the evil, capitalist system.
My friend’s reason for blaming the evil, capitalist system for his allegedly „struggling-to-survive“ existence is that according to him, a bunch of greedy, rich guys have exploited „us“ by not turning over to „us“ more of their wealth (he believes that wealth should be more evenly distributed).
But my reason for why my friend is blaming capitalism is „envy“.
In all our discussions and arguments, I had thought some time back that I had finally convinced my friend that capitalism (in its classic sense) was not the problem. And that socialism was not the solution.
However, recently, my friend has returned to his default position which is capitalism, bad; socialism, good. After a near-falling-out in our friendship recently, I have written to my friend the following email, which I want to share here.
Here now, my email –
Real and classic capitalism = free-markets
Free markets = un-manipulated, un-rigged markets, a non-centrally controlled economy
Socialism = a highly centralized and controlled economy (An economy can only be controlled when it is centralized.)
A controlled economy = a manipulated and a rigged economy (meaning that the control is used to get the economy to function in some preferred manner as opposed to just letting the economy do what it will.)
It is only a highly centralized, strongly controlled and manipulated/rigged economy that is vulnerable to a situation where most if not all the wealth is funneled up to a small group at the top (i.e., the 0.0025%).
A free-market economy cannot possibly function with such predictable and dismal results. That is because the classic capitalist, free-market system goes according to the laws of nature. (Too large a subject to touch on here, but this can be easily explored via a wide range of publications available at no cost on the Mises.com website.)
In a free-market economy as in nature, when something emerges that is non-natural and which tries to block nature and prevents the natural system from running, that non-natural element is quickly rooted out. Hence, the classic, capitalist, natural economy has built in protections against greed and corruption.
The reason that we in the west (Europe, US, Australia, Canada) are in the deteriorating situation we are in today, with most of the wealth being siphoned off to the top 0.0025% is because we are not in a real capitalist system (i.e., capitalism in its classical sense).
The economic system we are in today may be defined in the following ways:
(2) Corporate capitalism
(3) Monopoly capitalism
Crony capitalism is a form of capitalism based on favors handed out by government to a few select entities (generally with the aim of shutting down competition with the favored entities). In the case of Europe, the US, Canada and Australia, these select entities are the banking cartel and the mega-corporations.
Corporate capitalism and monopoly capitalism also exist for the benefit of the banking cartel and the mega-corporations. Both are designed to ensure that money/profits are sucked out of the Main Street economy and flow upwards to them. And as is the case in crony capitalism, this is accomplished by using the strong hand of government to assist in the paring down and centralization of markets by shutting down all competition.
The shutting down of competition for the mega-corporations is accomplished by an endless array of heavy-handed and mostly unnecessary government regulations instituted at the bidding of the banking cartel and mega-corporations. (I witnessed myself how this works some years ago when in my Vienna neighborhood, a small, family-run bakery that had existed for many years was forced to shut down when government regulators appeared one day to tell them that almost all of their equipment had to be replaced and that their facility had to be upgraded for the purpose of “hygiene”, despite the fact that this bakery had never had any complaints regarding “hygiene,” etc.).
Fascism as defined by the guy who created fascism, Benito Mussolini, is a system where the mega-corporations and banking cartel are in bed with government to the mutual benefit of each.
And so it is that we today, in Europe are in a fascist (crony capitalist, corporate capitalist, monopoly capitalist) economy (the EU has all the required components of fascist government). We are not by any stretch of the imagination in a capitalist economy.
Why a crony-capitalist, corporate capitalist, monopoly capitalist, fascist economy is actually socialist —
One of the basic ideas built into the socialist, fascist system is that the individual is nothing, and only something in relationship to the collective and state. Under Mussolini, the individual became the property of the state and so did nearly everything else. The individual was expected within this system to sacrifice his/her own personal desires and personal good for the good of the collective which also translated into the good of the state (collectivist societies cannot function as a collective without a large and highly centralized state). This is because it has always been the nature of socialism to serve an entirely exclusionist, élitist agenda.
The above concept is essential to socialism, which is a system in which the individual sacrifices his/her own personal existence to the collective and thereby the state. In such a system, the proceeds (that which is earned) from the individual labor of each person (their job) go to the state, which then distributes the earned wealth to the collective, — the population at large. (All income tax is thus inherently socialist in nature.)
A key point here is that for any socialist system to function at all, you need to have a small group of individuals at the top that are in control of all the wealth (all the resources + the money) and who have the freedom to decide how everything gets distributed. (But, who controls the controllers?)
Then you need a big bureaucracy working under the supervision/direction of the small group at the top. This bureaucracy does not just carry out the distribution of money and resources, but it also carries out the implementation of the endless laws and regulations required for the system to function. In such a system, there is always on ongoing proliferation of rules and regulations, because without endless rules and constraints (now including widespread electronic surveillance), the people on the top would not be able to control the public. Socialism has always been about people control.
If you look at every single socialist country since the beginning of socialism, you will find that it always starts out okay, but then year-by-year, such a system always inevitably begins to un-ravel until finally each and every socialist system collapses.
The first reason is that without exception the people at the top have always used their power to rig the system in such a way that most of the wealth is siphoned up to them, while the remaining wealth is divided up among the public in such a way as to provide bare subsistence only. The endgame of socialism has always been “bare subsistence” for the masses, thus little or no incentive and/or ability to perform.
The second reason socialist systems always collapse is because there is no longer any incentive to work and/or to produce or do anything of quality. The reason for this is the absence of meritocracy, which is essential to the classical capitalism system. With meritocracy, those who produce and do the best are rewarded with more money and more benefits; those who produce the least and those who are lazy and do nothing generally earn less. (The reason that the arts, literature, etc. can still thrive in such a situation, provided they are adequately funded, is that those who engage in such pursuits have always done this for satisfaction and pleasure and not for financial gain.)
In a socialist system, everyone gets the same. It does not matter if you are the best or the worst, you get the same. It does not even matter if you work or do not work, because everyone gets the same in a socialist system no matter what. (Again, the arts, literature, etc. can still thrive in such a system, provided there is adequate funding and that the producers do not go hungry for the reasons given above. Though it may be added that both surveillance and censorship are rampant in socialist systems so that artists, writers, etc. are constrained as to what they can express in their artistic and literary efforts.)
Is it not interesting that the shining star on the horizon, the new member of Congress, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, is now proposing guaranteed money each month for everyone, including those who simply do not want to work. What do you think will happen to the American economy if and when she and all her socialist cohorts begin to dominate it?
Another important point about socialism —
Socialism can only come into existence in an economy that already has wealth. Socialism cannot begin to operate within an entity that is poor, that has nothing or very little. The reason for this is that you need a significant amount of already accumulated wealth if you are going to have a system that from the start provides the goods, services, infrastructure, etc. for everyone without any longer having access to private entities to perform such functions.
The reasons that you see socialist economies always doing extremely well at the beginning of their existence is that these economies are always at the start living (as a parasite) off of previous wealth. In the case of Austria, when socialism got started up in Austria in the early 20th century (“Red Vienna”), Austria was a very wealthy country, based on Hapsburg wealth. But now it is 2019 and it has been about one hundred years and finally most of that Hapsburg wealth has been exhausted. Austria and the Austrian economy are no longer the wealthy entities that they were in former times. Is there any question as to why?
You might then ask. In a free-market economy, what about all the people who cannot work? Do they just starve and die?
The very young, the old, the sick and infirm, etc. do not just starve and die in a free-market system.
In all free-market systems in the past there have existed strong families and strong organizations, such as the church, as well as scores of successful/wealthy private individuals who, strongly imbued with ethics and morality, took it upon themselves to help the poor, the sick and the infirm.
But what has happened in the present-day fascist economy is that the family and Christian religion have been all but destroyed, and along with that morals and ethics. As a consequence, previous social safety nets, along with the required morality and ethics, have been removed and in their place there is now “almighty socialism” (fascism).
By religion I mean the following. In former times in western societies, religion meant Christianity. But what I mean by religion is the primacy of a spiritual component in people’s lives, in contra-distinction to a focus on material existence (as exemplified by a “consumer society”).
In a society where religion is widespread/prevalent, the material world is not the be-all-and-end-all and primary significance is given to the spiritual realm. The way that the spiritual realm has for hundreds of years been manifest in the material world is via morality and ethics. This explains why the strongest morality and ethics (the strongest good) have always been prevalent in un-manipulated, un-rigged, free-market (classic capitalism) societies. And this also explains why in all societies that shed religion (the spiritual), one has an ongoing deteriorating social situation going hand in hand with a rapid decline in morality and ethics.
There you have it in a nutshell. Socialism.
It would take too many words to explain here why it is that free-market (classic) capitalism has always and will always provide for maximum wealth and security for the world population broadly speaking. And if such systems are re-instituted anywhere, then you can be sure that a strong family and religion will once again move into the spotlight. That is because just as we need air to breathe and just as we need water to survive, so to does a classical capitalist (completely free-market) economy require strong families and religion (the spiritual) to survive and to thrive.
I will conclude with a focus on one of the most primary aspects of a socialist economy and that is its manipulated nature. Here again, religion comes into play.
What you are seeing today is the widespread manipulation of everything.
The food supply is being manipulated with genetic engineering of most of its components and through the widespread use of toxic pesticides (the biotech industry, Agribusiness).
In many places, the water supply is being manipulated with additives such as fluoride, but who knows what else?
In science, there has been a good deal of focus on how to manipulate the human gene system; it may not be long before this type of science is turned into practical application, what then?
The human organism has already been strongly manipulated via the medical/pharmaceutical industries. But not only the physical aspects of the human body; it is also the human mind via the action of psychotropic and other types of drugs on the neurological system.
(There have also for sometime now existed mind-control programs within the US military-industrial complex, — with MK-ULTRA being the most famous example.)
Life support systems keep “vegetable” humans artificially alive for months on end (and sometimes years). One might ask, for what purpose?
The earth’s atmosphere and its weather has for sometime now been manipulated via geo-engineering (aerosol spraying and HAARP, among other things).
There is also strong evidence of manipulation of the earth’s surface and of its interior, — reasons to believe that earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis can now be artificially caused and that “events” such as Fukushima were artificially induced.
There is even strong evidence that the unusual and far from normal wildfires that took place in California during 2018 – 2019 were artificially created via aerosol spraying, smart meters and Directed Energy Weapons.
And if “global warming” and/or “climate change” do actually exist, why then is there total media blackout on government/corporate/banking cartel sponsored weather manipulation? Even if controversial, why is such an important subject hardly ever mentioned?
Knowledge is being manipulated by the media and by the educational systems, where the intent is the blocking off of knowledge, the manipulation of information (knowledge) in such a way as to control the perceptions of the population at large to the advantage of a small élite. Along with this, there has been a widespread “dumbing-down” operation in effect, intended to produce a woefully uninformed, uncritical and mentally lazy public.
In all western societies (but also in many countries outside the west), central banks have been instituted to manipulate the money supply with un-elected officials artificially lowering and raising interest rates and printing money (now digitally generated) to suit their own ends (under the false pretense of “helping” the Main Street economy).
The latter is an important point because it is simply a fact that all the current economic woes around the globe, including wide wealth disparity, are the direct result of central bank money manipulation and are not the fault of capitalism (in fact the very idea of a central bank is contra-capitalism). The crony capitalist, corporate capitalist, monopoly capitalist and fascist economic system are all tied to central banks. It is therefore no surprise that in the writings of Karl Marx and in Marxist ideology, central banks are primary.
There is a quite direct relationship between the highly rigged (manipulated), fascist/socialist system that we are in today and the issue of religion, which is to say the issue of spirituality.
In a world where God is absent, something else had to be put into place to fill the vacuum and that something in the modern world has been man/woman-as-God. Men and women have taken it upon themselves to act in the role of God in controlling all of human existence, all of life on this planet, including the upper reaches of its atmosphere. And without a spiritual entity (god, the Christian religion), widespread manipulation of everything takes place absent ethics and morality.
It may be said that men and women have in today’s world created their own ethics and morality, but there is indeed a problem with this. In our world ethics and morality are all understood as relative and as things that are in constant flux, always adapting as the times change and as situations change. In other words, there are no longer any absolutes, where things change with time but the morality and ethics always stay the same.
The current transient nature of both ethics and morality may be compared to a lawless society. In a society governed by law, as traditionally understood, laws do not change over time or change because of expediency. In contrast, in a lawless system, the laws (rules) such as they exist, are constantly subject to both major and minor alteration depending on who or what is in control. In a society governed by law (and not individuals), the individual can rest at ease and have peace-of-mind, knowing that he/she will be protected no matter who is in charge.
The same goes for ethics and morality, both guaranteeing the existence and continuation of a civilized way of life and which are not open to alteration via the changing whims of those who control the system. In societies with shaky morality and ethics, we find a population that may be characterized as insecure, unsecure and understandably anxious.
Beyond the 0.0025% élite, there are other individuals who thrive within a fascist/socialist system — these individuals consist of a vast bureaucracy, academia, the media, and the upper echelon within the educational system for the young.
Those in the upper echelons of the vast government bureaucracy who carry out the enforcement and implementation of endless rules and regulations are duly rewarded for their complicity with the élites. They are provided the means to live in luxurious homes, their offspring are provided with high quality schooling, they are provided with the means for an abundance of first class travel.
The same goes for academia, used as a tool by the élite to put the mask of knowledge, authority and expertise on the concocted elitist agenda. Those at the top are amply rewarded financially and are also given an abundance of added perks. For the lower echelons within the ranks of academia, there generally are no big financial rewards, but nevertheless an abundance of perks (such as constant meetings, symposia, conferences and all sorts of other events providing ample diversion and opportunities for all-expense-paid travel [with the tax payer picking up the tab]).
And also, for academia, unlike the rest of the world, these individuals are not required to work year-round although many do [either because of typical academic inefficiency, but also because of a kind of obsession that exists among most academics to create an endless array of projects, etc. beyond what is actually required practically speaking].
One can also say the same for the media, for the upper echelons it is vast financial benefits plus a nice array of perks (travel, special treatment, etc.) and sometimes fame, and for the lower echelons, an adequate array of comfort producing perks.
The same holds true for those running the educational system for the young and for all others who play a role in maintaining the élitist agenda and assuring its continuity.
As for those in the very lowest echelons of government bureaucracy, academia, the media and the public education system who do not receive either significant financial benefits or a generous sum of perks, there is something else important to keep them in line. That something is a kind of instilled fear/anxiousness so that if ever they were to pose a challenge to the system, they will be strongly punished (by being side-lined, ostracized or simply eliminated). The bottom-line of such punishment is that they will be removed from the comfort zone that they once had and might then be tossed into the general public realm, where they will live at a bare subsistence level. [Bare subsistence is always what is meant by socialist equality.]
In the case of higher up government officials, there is an additional item when it comes to keeping these people in line with the agenda. That something is blackmail. The “democratic” system that puts people into power is also strongly rigged. [Significantly, the advent of the rigged nature of modern-day democracy coincided with the emergence of the modern-day central banking system.]
Via this rigged, democratic (mob rule) system, most of the people who get into power are people who are on record as having done something illegal, unethical and/or immoral (though it can be added that present day legalities, morality and ethics are quite slippery and always defined according to the prevailing laws of expediency). In other words, there is always with such individuals the existence of material evidence that can suddenly surface to bring them down, remove them and destroy their credibility should they ever turn against the system, refuse to conform to it and/or choose to leave it. This, plus financial rewards from the forces controlling government (banking cartel and mega-corporations), is what keeps modern day government officials in-line.
So there we have it.
Take a look at all socialist/communist systems of the past and the present. No religion, everything manipulated and everything rigged. No absolutes in terms of morality and ethics (with expediency the rule), and to the extent that morality and ethics exist, the morality and the ethics are always murky and unclear.
The bottom-line of socialism with its removal of religion and its substitution of man/woman as the god of all things is that it is anti-nature. It is anti-nature because it does not accept nature as it is, but seeks to manipulate it. Now in the 21st century, no single aspect of nature is left un-manipulated by the [fascist] system (the élite).
But among those still cognizant of natural truth, we are in full knowledge of why this cannot work and why no socialism instituted anywhere by anyone has ever worked throughout the course of history. At the very top of the power hierarchy sits nature herself and there is ample evidence from the past and the present to clearly demonstrate that you cannot mess with nature and that in the end, nature will always have its day (when things will backfire).
It should be amply clear to most rationally thinking people that there are things that we can do both as individuals and via group efforts to oppose the fascist system in the hope of ending it. But, at the same time, we can, I think, rely on nature to do what nature has always done best, which is to ensure its own survival.