According to recent polls, “left-winger” Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn is “first choice for Londoners”.
This is a politician who believes that public ownership (i.e. government ownership) of industry and means of production is a good idea; who wants to re-nationalise the railways and everything else deemed ‘too important’ to be left to free markets; who wants to introduce rent controls in London; and who wants to implement ‘People’s Quantitative Easing’ (which is printing money to fund governments projects like house building). These are all reasons why we should find his increasing popularity and candidacy for the Labour leadership very troubling.
Behind every zealous socialist like Jeremy Corbyn is a dictator whose disguise is so convincing that he fools even himself. Corbyn probably sees himself as some kind of Robin Hood figure, but what his economic ignorance and hubris prevents him from realising is that his grand plans can and will only end up robbing people of their current standard of living.
Public ownership of industry and means of production, in practice, requires totalitarian government. Also, there’s no such thing as public ownership. Public property is government property. And we, the people, are not the government. The exclusive control over and right to decide how resources are used is ownership – that and nothing else. And It’ll be Corbyn and his band of merry men, armed with nothing but good intentions, that will be deciding how vast swaths of the economy’s resources are distributed – not any of us.
Under this system, the common man can do nothing but hope and pray that the value judgements (i.e. guesses at what millions of individuals need/want most at any given moment) of those few in power will someone perfectly align with his, so as to leave him better off in some certain aspects of his life than he was when private producers/suppliers could distribute resources according to their own profit-seeking choices. The odds of this miraculous alignment happening, by the way, are zero.
Precisely because the knowledge required to solve the problem of knowing what everyone needs and wants is dispersed, ever-changing and by its nature uncollectable (because it’s in our minds), only an omnipresent and omnipotent being could possibly succeed. In short, it is a task beyond any one human mind or super computer, which is a truth that makes Mr Corbyn’s numerous economic and social pledges impossible to achieve. I have no doubt, however, that this will not stop him trying to and as a result leaving the common man worse off as a result.
In the absence of a God prepared to spend all his time doing economic calculations, the task of distributing resources is best left to us imperfect beings who must remain free to acquire, exchange and dispose of property in order to do so. Whenever and wherever this system of individual freedoms has manifested itself and has been sustained, everyone within it has had their standard of living raised on the rising tide of prosperity. This is a glaringly evident truth, which men like Corbyn must continuously decide not to see in order to sustain their convictions about the virtue and efficacy of State socialism.
I suspect that most of the younger people who are finding Corbyn’s rhetoric and political stance appealing do not understand the immorality that State socialism as a political system necessitates nor the rank impoverishment it results in. I suspect they have only a vague notion of socialism as action to achieve ‘equality’ by taking from those who have ‘too much’ and giving it to those who have ‘too little’. Nothing could be further from the truth. State socialism, if it continues long enough, ends up destroying everything the poor have and almost everything the rich have.
There are countless examples from history of the impoverishment and human suffering that has resulted from the implementation of socialism by governments the world over, but for living proof, as it were, we need only look at what has been happening in Venezuela over the past year or so.
The Venezuelan government, populated by individuals who are equally convinced of the virtue and efficacy of State socialism, has plunged its people into desperate poverty in the space of a year by believing they could do a better job than free markets of determining what people need, how much they need, and where and when they need it.
As a result of their inevitable failure to produce superior results to the spontaneous order of capitalism, there is now shortages of necessities such as food, medicine, drinking water and even toilet roll. So much so, in fact, that some people have had to resort to looting just to feed themselves and their families. It’s a human tragedy created by the hubris and economic ignorance of individuals possessing the legal power to control people bestowed upon them by the State.
In case you’re wondering, it’s not the case that Venezuela lacks natural resources and thus that poverty is unavoidable – it’s an oil-rich country. To put it another way, Venezuela has a lot of something that the rest of the world is willing to pay for, so there’s no natural reason why the people of Venezuela shouldn’t be enjoying a decent standard of living and why poverty shouldn’t be minimal. The sudden drop in their standard of living is entirely unnatural, man-made by the delusions of a few men in power.
Given his apparent lack of support within the Labour party itself, the chances of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Leader of the Opposition seem slim, for the moment anyway, but the mere possibility of it and his apparent increasing appeal to younger generations should have us all very concerned indeed.
When people begin to feel like these are drastic times they will listen to those politicians promising more drastic measures. The less satisfied people are with their standard of living and their prospects, the more action they want from the people whom they believe have the power to improve their lives.
The more difficult it becomes for young adults to live the lives they believe they should be able to, especially in London, the more drawn they are to politicians who propose the drastic action they believe is appropriate and necessary; the more drawn they are to the guy who ‘gets it’ and whom has a plan to improve their lives. Drastic times call for drastic measures, as the old saying goes.
The concern is that if increasingly more younger people feel as if they have nothing to lose, then the more will vote to get Corbyn the power he needs to implement his textbook socialist plans, which have always promised heaven and always produced living hell. Just ask Venezuelans. They thought they were poor. Then they got a massive dose of socialism, and now they long for the luxury of toilet paper.