Kristian Niemietz powerfully explains what’s wrong with the recent round of calls for socialism. (HT David Levey) A slice:
Socialists usually react with genuine irritation when a political opponent mentions an earlier, failed socialist project. They cannot see this is anything other than a straw man, and a cheap shot. As a result, they refuse to address the question why those attempts have turned out the way they did. According to contemporary socialists, previous socialist leaders simply did not really try, and that is all there is to know.
They are wrong. The Austro-British economist Friedrich Hayek already showed in 1944 why socialism must always lead to an extreme concentration of power in the hands of the state, and why the idea that this concentrated power could be democratically controlled was an illusion. Were Hayek to come back from the dead today, he would probably struggle a bit with the iPhone, Deliveroo and social media – but he would instantly grasp the situation in Venezuela.
It’s a reminder that conservative belief in limited government and free trade is rather situational; very apparent when a Democrat is in the White House, much less so when a Republican occupies 1600 Pennsylvania.
Jeff Jacoby likes the new movie Little Pink House, which is based on real-life events involving innocent property owners, a rapacious government and its cronies, a U.S. Supreme Court that failed to uphold the Constitution, and the ever-admirable Institute for Justice.
The irrational actor in this whole drama, Mr. Caplan says, is the voter, who almost without exception wants to keep the tax money flowing. “Only about 5% of Americans say that we should spend less on education,” he says. Even among self-identified “strong Republicans,” the figure is a mere 12%. In this regard, Mr. Caplan is quite the nonconformist. In the new book [The Case Against Education[, he says his ideal would be a complete “separation of school and state,” a position he describes as “crazy extremism.”