Libertarian writer Frank Chodorov once mused that the appeal of radicalism increases as poverty does. The rock star rise of radical socialist and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is evidence that Chodorov was right. Corbyn is the human face of Socialism 2.0 UK Edition. But we should beware. This software (update) is flawed and will (further) corrupt our society’s operating system.
Corbyn’s promised land
Corbyn’s credibility and appeal continues to rise amongst the British public. The ironic #BlameCorbyn twitter hashtag was the top trending one in the UK at the time of writing. It has become a popular past-time to leap to his defence and shout “here here!” whenever he declares in one way or another that he wants to use government power to the benefit of ‘the people’. If the public’s infatuation with Corbyn translates into votes at the next General Election, then we should prepare for the worst.
Contrary to what Corbyn believes and promises the implementation of his proposed socialist measures will not leave the working class and the youth better off. The opposite will be true. In the long run the standard of living of the common man will fall even lower and the economic prospects of the youth will be even worse. Corbyn’s promised land is a mirage.
Why socialism isn’t dead: a modest theory
Claiming that such socialist measures will fail to achieve their aims is by no means a revelation or indeed opinion. Socialism was proven to be logically incoherent as an economic theory in the early part of the 20th century. Yes, so long ago. Accordingly, the empirical evidence against it mounted up throughout the 20th century and continues to do so in the 21st century.
Like the Flat Earth theory, socialism is long debunked, but there is a crucial difference between the two. The Flat Earth theory is of no use to the kind of person who has that impulse to coercively control others because they believe it will improve their lives. It doesn’t provide an intellectual foundation and (apparent) ethical justification for that urge. Socialism does. That’s why false theories like Flat Earth die and why the false theory of socialism hasn’t.
Corbyn the Great
There is a narrative that the public and the leftist media are weaving Corbyn into. He is the reluctant and unlikely hero. He is the man fighting to free society from the grip of a right-wing government. He is now the greatest symbol of hope to everyone who believes the government should spend more and do more. Which is most people who are particularly dissatisfied with their standard of living. And that is a lot of people.
People want the State to spend and do more even though it is drowning in debt. Even though it is still spending more than it has coming in every month. Even though it already controls people’s behaviour with tens of thousands of laws. And even though all this makes its current behaviour illiberal and unsustainable. Faith in the State is much like faith in God. Impervious to reason and evidence.
It’s like Corbyn is Frodo and the current conservative government is Sauron. Except Corbyn supporters want him to put the ring on and keep it on – not destroy it. Power is as alluring and precious to the political Left as it is to the political Right.
Prime Minister Corbyn and his legacy
I used to think Corbyn had little or no chance of obtaining power in the UK. But the amount of sympathy and support he is garnering is making me reconsider. We should face up to the reality that Jeremy Corbyn has a real chance of becoming the next Prime Minister. We would be fools to think otherwise.
Let us imagine that Corbyn serves a couple of terms as Prime Minister in the future. How will the public and the media explain why his policies failed to improve the common man’s lot? Why the housing shortage and property bubble is even worse. Why the common man’s standard of living is lower. Why our railway services are less comprehensive and even more expensive. Why hospital care is worse and why there is a shortage of doctors and nurses. Why the pounds in our pockets and our savings are worth even less. Why the national debt is even bigger.
Be in no doubt that all this will come to pass if the UK has a strong socialist government for two or more terms. (Although further inflation and increased national debt are inevitable under any future government). How will the people, the political Left and the media explain why we never reached Corbyn’s promised land turned?
Perhaps all those who were once so eager to #BlameCorbyn in an ironic fashion will do so again. But this time without a hint of irony. Or indeed amusement. But this is unlikely. More likely is that they’ll blame capitalism or terrorism for Prime Minister Corbyn’s failure to save the poor. Or any ‘ism’ apart from the false and destructive theories of socialism and Statism. We can be sure that the hashtag #BlameSocialism will not trend. The general public’s ignorance of economics will once again come to the rescue of politicians. Our ignore is their bliss.
It needs to become widely understood that all men must respect economic laws in the same way we do physical laws. Even and especially politicians. When they don’t we get poorer. Sound economics needs to become common knowledge. Far fewer people will be duped by the promises of politicians when it does. That will make the political class seem superfluous.
Socialism is incompatible with peace & prosperity
It’s true that as poverty increases the appeal of radicalism increases. But what has caused and is causing relative poverty to increase in societies as wealthy and developed as the UK’s? National and international interventionism/socialism. Thus socialism leads to more radical socialism. Expressed as an ethical aphorism we would say: violence begets violence.
Corbyn’s beloved socialism boils down to pointing government guns at people. Either to force them to do that which they do not want to or to prevent them from doing that which they do. This is why State socialism is not compatible with peace and prosperity. It’s unethical. Nor is it conducive to wealth creation. It’s destructive.
They’re all damn socialists
We should note that the current UK government is also socialist. But conservative-socialism is different to liberal-socialism. It is anti-egalitarian. It aims at keeping people in their economic positions of the past. Whereas liberal-socialism aims at shifting people up or down to equalize their economic status. Either kind leads to general impoverishment in the long-run. Sound economic reasoning and ample empirical evidence tells us so.
Every UK political party sits somewhere along the scale of socialism. UKIP being the least socialist is at one end. All the other parties are more or less clustered at the other. Looking at the UK’s current political landscape, it is hard to believe that Britain fought a war against Hitler’s national socialism only seventy years ago. We remember the war dead, but we’ve forgotten what was the false and destructive idea they died fighting against. Worse still generations of intellectuals and elected leaders since have convinced society that their version is beneficial.
The bigger picture shows that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t as radical as his supporters may think he is. Many of them may be too young or just too ignorant to know that most of his proposed schemes were already attempted a few decades ago. Nothing good came from it. In fact it set British society back quite a bit.
Conservative-socialism happens to be the least harmful kind for us to experience now. Chiefly because it involves less wealth redistribution and more lawmaking. But getting worse more slowly is not the same as getting better. Our economy will only start growing again once the State starts shrinking. The less responsibility it has the more wealth people can create for each other and keep for themselves. More wealth is the solution to poverty. And we’re only going to have more with a bigger society and a much smaller State.
Logically, we must conclude that the ideal would be no State. In other words the absence of an agency with the exclusive right to take people’s property by force. But humanity isn’t ready for that yet. The State-less society’s time will come if the potential of our fledging age is eventually fulfilled.
Before things can get better they must get worse
Reducing poverty and solving problems like the housing crisis should be the easy part in an economy as wealthy and developed as ours. But the size and power of the State makes arriving at the point at which we have the economic freedom to do so difficult.
To get there we must go through a temporarily impoverishing process of undoing the damage done by several decades of various forms and degrees of socialism. This will take the form of an economic crash or dislocation. Market bubbles will burst and swaths of resources misallocated by State interventionism will flow to where society needs them most. That’s what needs to happen. Yet how much the political class will disrupt and delay this process is hard to predict.
From faith in the State to a rational faith in freedom
At the same time we must see a complete change in public opinion about the role of the State in society. If that doesn’t happen then our painful journey will be to no avail and socialism will rise again in the future. Causing impoverishment and shrinking liberty once again.
To avoid making the same mistakes again we must develop a much greater faith in freedom. And that comes from knowledge. How wonderful and promising that we live in an age where everyone has instant access to the whole of humanity’s knowledge. The arrival of the Internet Age should enable humanity to overcome the false and destructive idea that more than any other has exerted an increasingly powerful drag on its progress in the post-war period: that individual liberty must be sacrificed for the ‘greater good’.
Corbyn the Delusional
Jeremy Corbyn will not fulfill a single one of his promises. It’s not that he is evil or dishonest. It’s that he is mistaken. He doesn’t understand that his promises are impossible to fulfil using the means he believes in: State coercion. They are only achievable through free and peaceful economic exchange – through capitalism. The very same economic system that Corbyn and his socialist pals are convinced we would all be better off without.
Worse (and less forgivable) than being mistaken, Corbyn is highly motivated and hubristic. Though this is true of every politician. It is not wise for disillusioned people to follow a delusional politician. No matter how endearing or pleasingly different to his opponents he or she is. Much wiser instead to stop listening to politicians and those who amplify their pontificating and instead seek knowledge. The truth is the only solution to the problem of false ideas.
The greatest opportunity in all of human history
At our fingertips is the greatest repository of human knowledge and wisdom there has ever been. We owe it to ourselves and all our ancestors, 99% of whom lived in inescapable ignorance, to make full use of this astounding technology. For the first time in human history the common man has enough freedom and the means to break free of the ideas that enslave him.
If we take this opportunity then something amazing will happen. We will increase our knowledge and reasoning skills beyond that of those whom we elect to rule over us. It will then seem ridiculous that we have done so for so long. And then the game will be up. That is when the stage will be set for humanity’s next great advancement.