Letter: Revealing fallacies in liberal ideology
Recent letters lauded a popular Democrat candidate and the European style of government known as social democracy. In different ways they reveal fallacies in liberal ideology that most voters are either unaware of or do not believe to be true. First, some definitions: Socialism is the system whereby the means of production are under the control of the government. It has taken various political variations, such as Marxism, communism, Maoism, and Naziism. It has been blended with capitalism into hybrid forms like fascism, crony-capitalism (also known as interventionism), and social democracy. Fascism is a system wherein production is privately owned but tightly regulated by the government.
There are two principal schools of economic theory, known as the Keynesian school, named after its founder, and the Austrian school, named after its several founders in the country of Austria. Its greatest modern proponent was Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973). Keynesianism is socialist, and Austrianism is free-market capitalist. Socialism is a very complicated subject, as evidenced by Mises’ 592-page book, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis. The essence of it may be, in part, that under socialism economic calculation is impossible. Without it, a socialist economy must eventually fail.
Mises once wrote that any government that uses socialism, in whole or in part, will destroy itself. Well-known examples include the USSR, Nazi Germany, Mousillini’s Italy, Venezuela, and Detroit. Governments create no wealth, so what they spend must taken from people who do create it by taxation, inflation, and borrowing. “The trouble with socialism is that it eventually runs out of other people’s money.” The US national debt is 21.3 trillion dollars, and the annual interest on it is approaching our national GDP. Our “democratic,” crony-capitalist, interventionist system is economically faltering, and folks leaning toward socialist thinking are pushing it hard toward collapse.
Jim Mulholland, Granby
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