If you want to end up in an argument – or worse – then you should talk about Politics or Religion. Few subjects cause that much emotion as these two. Success is guaranteed. The other 5 Belief systems cause a much different kind of trouble: Love, Money, Philosophy, Science or the Truth. The most striking example of Politics as a Belief system is communism.
My father and mother were in business for their entire working life and have always been self employed. Being self employed was common in both my father’s and my mother’s family. My mother (80) was not allowed to study unlike her younger brothers and sister. Her older brothers worked in the family business. Her younger brothers and sister studied in the late 60s / early 70s. The (extreme) left was still very popular by then. Family birthday parties could easily go very wrong in those days. And they did, as my mother still recalls.
The basic assumption in communism is that all men are equal and thus everyone should have a similar share of the entire pie. It’s a mystery to me that this assumption has ever been taken seriously. If history taught us anything then it should be that reality is the exact opposite of that assumption. No man or woman is equal. Each one of us has his/her own talents. Consequently, any social experiment with communism has failed miserably thus far and will always be doomed to fail as it is incompatible with essential human psychology. Today it’s even hard to find any examples of “true” communism. All nations that were once (alleged) communist, have taken different paths: autocracy, kleptocracy, state controlled capitalism or a combination of those 3.
For anyone, it’s hard to admit that (s)he was wrong. Let alone when it comes to Beliefs. It often takes a lot of courage and sacrifice. Many – if not most – are not willing to pay that price. It’s easier to become silent and hope that soon “the times they are-a-changin” (1964, Bob Dylan, video, lyrics).
This blog is certainly not a plea for capitalism. I do believe that talents and opportunities may rise faster in capitalism. Ayn Rand is certainly right about that (also see my March 20 blog). She died in 1982 just before the massive inequality in American society became clearly visible. I am quite sure that especially Ayn Rand – a Russian refugee – would have warned for the consequences of massive inequality in America as the 1917 Russian revolution was a consequence of such inequality. Also see my March 24 blog called “a new Moscow on the Hudson”.
The bail-out negotiations with the Greek communist government is basically a political battle about sharing. For a communist, it makes perfect sense to let the rich European countries pay for the Greek survival. Even though there is no Federation of European States in which there may indeed be an entitlement to such a redistribution of national wealth. Partly, this explains the (socialist) French support for the Greeks. However, a French write-off of their massive Greek bail-out loans could also cause a need for additional French austerity. Again: heart left, wallet right.
The European social experiment with communism belongs in the history books. It does not make any sense for Europe to give a 3rd bail-out “loan” of another 50 billion Euro to Greece with no prospect of recovery and no prospect of giving a final bail-out “loan”. Even another Greek saviour / white knight would say “OXI” to such a Greek request.
Nowadays, even (alleged) communists carry their wallets right.