While I've been on an anti-communism kick, I came across some guy on Twitter noting how "capitalism allows 20 million to starve to death each year" because of insufficient food, water or medicine. Yes, capitalism "allows" this to happen.
Of course, people who just died of inadequate healthcare in communist countries are not considered to have been killed by communists, so this is an apples-to-oranges sort of affair. Furthermore, these deaths generally happen in kleptocracies, like those in much of Africa. These are hardly the liberal, capitalist democracies ardent capitalists like me espouse. And no, I'm not saying "real capitalism has never been tried." And nor am I saying that we can't do better than what we have now. But it's ridiculous to assume that some warlord ruling a poverty-stricken country by force can be counted as a "capitalist country."
In my response, I found four graphs that show in contrary to "allowing" these deaths, capitalism certainly appears to be alleviating them at a rapid clip.
Of course, correlation isn't causation... but damn! That's a lot of progress and I dare say it wasn't all just technology. Much of it was, but much it was also capital accumulation that has proliferated the most in capitalist countries. Furthermore, free economies and free societies are highly correlated.
That being said, there are a lot of worrying signs. From the decline of the family, to the erosion of civil liberties, declines in economic freedom, environmental issues, increased polarization, ethnic tension and a more and more Marxist(ish) intellectual class. We should not take these gains for granted.
While I'm on the theme of communism bashing, I thought I would post this very cool infographic from InformationIsBeautiful.net put together with data from the WHO and OECD. Some of these causes belong in two categories, such as murders by ideology and genocide (which is under the category Murder instead of Ideology for some reason). As it turns out, disease killed a lot of people. Who would have thought?
Humanity did a lot too though. But if you split it out by actual killing, you get these results:
- War: 131 Million
- Ideology: 142 Million
- Murder: 58 Million
Under Ideology, you have the following,
- Communism: 94 Million
- Fascism: 28 Million
- Democracy: 15 Million
- Catholocism: 3 Million
- Baathism (Saddam Hussein): 2 Million
Wow. Fascism sucks, but wow, communism really puts everything else to shame. Indeed, communism is responsible for almost as many deaths (94 Million) as all other forms of government and all murders combined (106 Million).
And of course, communism was responsible for many of the war deaths too, holding most of the responsibility for the Russian Civil War and, as many forget, being an aggressor in World War II (they invaded Poland and the Baltic states prior to Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union).
Some guy who was supported terrorism and inspired the mass murder of something like 100 million people was born 200 years ago or something
So a couple days back was the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. You know, the guy that thought history worked in a linear progression, the labor theory of value was correct (i.e. if I spend one hour building a computer and you spend 10 hours building a tower of dog shit, your tower of dog shit is worth 10 times more than my computer), that human's were effectively blank slates and that we could transform ourselves into completely altruistic beings that treated people we'd never met like our children and that the state would magically wither away once achieving complete power. Oh and a bunch of people in a bunch of places put his ideas into practice and killed something like a 100 million people.
Yeah, that guy.
Dominic Sandbrook has a really good article showing that the atrocities of communism were not a perversion of communism, but instead the logical application of it. Indeed, he notes, "As the U.S. historian Stephen Kotkin has shown, the Soviet dictator was not a monster who happened to be a Marxist. He was a monster because he was a Marxist. As a young man, Stalin studied Marx's theories with obsessive dedication. Then, after winning power, he put them into practice."
He also quotes Marx' thoughts on things like terrorism and mass murder,
"There is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated and that way is revolutionary terror."
"We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you... When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."
Should it be any surprise that communists have so often been terrorists when out of power and totalitarian mass-murders when in power? I think not.
Or across the pond...
I guess Owen's is sort of a joke... maybe?
Either way, there's nothing abnormal about this on the Left these days. The New York Times published an article titled "Happy Birthday Karl Marx. You Were Right!" And The Guardian published one titled "Two centuries on, Karl Mark feels more revolutionary than ever." Medium, for its part, seems to be doing what it does and pushing more hard left nonsense by putting an article titled "Karl Marx, Prosperity Coach" to the top of my feed.
And of course we got a propaganda movie about Marx last year too. (Admittedly I haven't seen it, but I suspect it left out the part of him knocking up his maid, begging for money from Engels right after his mother dies and having genital boils, though.) Not to mention a hole assortment of articles from leftwing rags such as Salon and The Rolling Stone have praised Marx, as well as as a bunch of Hollywood morons.
And these assholes have the audacity to fearmonger about the rise of fascism...
So I signed up for Medium a while back and posted a few articles and then forgot about it. Then I started getting weekly emails and somehow virtually every one included an article from Ezinne Ukoha. I never followed her or anything so I have no idea why this is happening, but good God, this lady is a piece of work. And I can't say I'm particularly optimistic about the future if this is the kind of the rhetoric coming out of the Left. Although many of them are just nonsense. A sampling of her articles:
"Why Barbara Bush's Death Shouldn't Erase Her History of Gross Entitlement"
"An Open Letter to the White Woman Who Willfully Got Two Black Men Arrested"
"Dear White People Your Privilege is Killing Us"
"How the Kardashians Keep Getting Away With Villainizing Black Men"
"Dear Colonizers, Return the Goods You Stole Because It's the Right Thing To Do" (I don't think she's talking about the Ottoman Empire, by the way)
"Why Iggy Azalea's Privilege to Be 'Black" Needs to Be Permanently Revoked"
Hahaha, that last one... Here's how she describes Azealia Banks,
"Black male producers who help foster talent in an industry that demands a certain aesthetic for female rappers who are always ready to do whatever it takes for stardom — have pretty much demonstrated their utter disdain for Banks — as she terrorizes their crippling bias against her — which is fueled by a rebelliousness that is typically associated with Black women who refuse to take any type of shit."
Really deep analysis you got there...
Banks, by the way, once said Sarah Palin should be gang raped by a bunch of black men. I guess she was being rebellious. Regarding Iggy on the other hand, "it’s almost impossible to ignore the opportunity to examine the varied ways in which White people choose to downplay their privilege — at the expense of the very people they’ve chosen to appropriate."
The latest article that popped up first in my feed asks "Where Was The Outrage When Former First Lady Michelle Obama Was Labeled 'Ape in Heels?'" in regards to the whole Michelle Wolf fiasco. But, the comments she was discussing were not made at the White House Correspondent's Dinner but by a former director of the Clay County Development Corp and the article she links to actually discussed the outrage the post inspired; "West Virginia non-profit director, who called Michelle Obama an 'Ape in heels' in racist Facebook post, is fired."
That last bit, the bit about being "fired." That's where the outrage was Ezinne.
Anyways, there's no point in rebutting this nonsense but it is interesting to me that her posts always appear in my feed despite never having followed her or anything like that. It's almost like Medium is following in Facebook, Google's and Twitter's footsteps by being another massive tech company trying to ram leftwing politics down our throats.
One thing that I used to always wish for was to reach some sort of equilibrium in life. Namely, I wanted to reach a point where I never had to worry about my career again, or got down to the right weight or got in "good enough" shape or had enough money or had a daily routine that I always stuck by. I've come to realize that this is a fairly self-defeating desire.
While I'm all in favor of systems, I think we have to expect that things will break from time to time. This is especially true when we travel. Sometimes, our schedule will go haywire. It will take time to get back on top of things. Sometimes we'll eat terribly for a few days, or stop working out for a few weeks. Sometimes our career might be exciting, others it might feel pointless.
I've come to accept that we need to look at this from a more macro perspective. There will always be ebbs and flows in life. We should never plan on "getting there" because there is no "there" to get. We can always do better than we are now. Even Warren Buffet could make more money. Hell, Jeff Bezos has more than him.
The key is to try to build systems and align your life so that 1) you will be successful, although the "what" and "how" isn't necessary to answer and 2) will enjoy the path. Finally, 3) you need to be able to both forgive yourself for deviating from time to time and understand that you will, because no one and no system is ever perfect.
That is the type of equilibrium, if it can even be called that, that we should be striving for.
To celebrate this May Day, when anarchist and communist "protesters" are setting Paris alight, The Onion reminds us that despite its partial descent into SJW nonsense, it can still knock them out of the park from time to time:
And of course, commie twitter had to come back with responses that could be guessed a mile away.
For why communism always devolves into Not Real Communism™ every single time, see my articles for Mises.org on the subject:
"Humans are Hard-Wired to Value Some People over Others"
"Markets Are Our Best Hope for Peaceful Cooperation"
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM