Category Archives: Life

When there are no shared global values, there’s no global community

Source: JNS, Aug 2020

Globalism is a Western idea that non-Western nations never bought into.

The laws of war and the refugee system, once the moral underpinnings of internationalism, were brutally exploited by Islamic states to wage terrorist campaigns and funnel colonists into Western nations. Erdoğan’s Turkey has been the first state to openly weaponize migrants, demanding money and concessions in exchange for not sending migrants into Europe.

The global club was built for Western countries. When non-Western nations were admitted, the club, whether it was trade, travel, diplomacy, or anything else, was inevitably trashed.

Globalism is a bad idea. But what made it even worse than the loss of sovereignty and individual freedoms of the nation-state were the widespread abuses of its infrastructure.

China’s model of large-scale intellectual property theft was innovated by the USSR.

The Soviet Union’s espionage was not only directed at political and military targets, but at economic ones. Communist agents routinely stole and copied Western technology and designs. The Chinese habit of exploring a business deal with a Western company only to gain access to its trade secrets was the default tactic for industries in Warsaw Pact nations.

Where the Soviet Union failed, Communist China succeeded, not only because of a superior work ethic and skill set, but because globalist institutions welcomed it in and the internet allowed it to overwhelm domestic manufacturers in other countries, while hacking their trade secrets.

Shared Worldview

Globalism’s fatal flaw was the messianic assumption that other peoples shared its worldview. There was no reason for Beijing, Tokyo, Tehran, or Islamabad to share a particular strain of thought whose origins are distinctly European in philosophy, law and secularized religion.

They’re happy to join the club, exploit it for all it’s worth and then shrug their shoulders at any moral responsibility to what we would see as a hippie handing out free lunches to everyone.

Now the hippie experiment is drawing to a close because it doesn’t serve anyone’s interest.

Except the people taking the free lunches.

Globalism is being torn apart by the same demographic forces that are destroying the nation-state. The social contracts that govern a country or the international order depend on the willingness of all the participants to believe in the larger community. At the most basic level, that’s represented by the balance of giving and taking through the social contract.

Altruists give more than they take, deadbeats take more than they give, and abusers take everything and give nothing except where it directly serves their short-term interests.

Domestic demographic changes are destroying the social contracts of the welfare state, and internationally the social contract and its infrastructure have been hijacked by non-Western nations with no regard for the Western obsession with maintaining an international community.

Globalism was fueled by the myth of a global community that could never exist.

Communist China and the Islamists have spent the last 30 years demonstrating that it can’t and won’t. Communities are built around shared values.

When there are no shared values, there’s no community. That’s as true globally as it is in the streets of London and New York City.

Globalists have struggled with the failure of the social contract by blaming those who abide by it, middle-class native homeowners locally, and America and its allies globally. But internalizing the blame doesn’t make a community work. As we’ve seen in major American cities this year, permissively accepting abuses of the social contract out of guilt destroys communities.

A community must have a way of dealing with those who violate the social contract. If it can’t rein in nations and individuals who violate the social contract, then violations become the norm, and people and nations abandon the failed community because it doesn’t protect their interests.

When there are few shared values, then communities have to spend more time and force policing the social contract. That can mean militarized police, surveillance cameras and DNA databanks in major cities, and a constant state of war and endless military deployments abroad.

The lack of a shared social contract turns life, locally or globally, into a perpetual struggle.

Leftist political philosophies have tried to dodge this crisis by defending the perpetrators and blaming the victims. But no matter who they blame, their system is still falling apart.

Globalism is dying. The greatest enemies of the Western world are saving it from itself.

“Listen to the Scientists” vs The History of Science

Source: AIER, Aug 2020

Why is it so important to “listen to the scientists” anyway? Are they suddenly less fallible than previously? Is there any science to support that belief? Because let’s face it, “the” scientists have a pretty poor track record overall.

Did you know that “the” scientists once believed:

  1. That the earth is a flat disk, not a sphere, and that it resides at the center of the solar system and even the entire universe.
  2. Said earth was created like 6,000 years ago.
  3. Complex life forms spontaneously arise from inanimate matter.
  4. Species evolve by inheriting acquired characteristics.
  5. That sickness arises from an imbalance of the bodily humors or bad air (miasma!) and in either case is best restored by draining the afflicted person of blood and/or applying massive doses of mercury.
  6. Maternal thoughts cause birth defects.
  7. Human beings are not all equal but rather composed of races, some of which are superior to others. Just measure their skulls for proof!
  8. Phlogiston and caloric exist and explain combustion.
  9. If you cultivate an area, rainfall in that area will increase. “Rain follows the plow.”
  10. Another ice age was upon us in the 1970s.

And that is just a small sample of the silly and outrageous ideas once held by “the” scientists. (For some more recent whoppers, read this.) All those ideas have been dispelled by the functioning of science itself, so please do not mistake my point. The scientific method is one of the few rational methods of thought (some) humans employ and it does help to refine our understanding of important phenomena over time.

The point is that “the” scientists are often wrong, very wrong, especially early on in the study of some aspect of the real world. But the realization that “the” scientists’ understanding improves over time rather than springing from their heads fully formed like Jove gives birth to a paradox:

The more “novel” the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the less accurate “the” scientists can be about it, and hence the less reliable their policy prescriptions. (Think how our descendants will mock us for believing masks slowed viral transmission.)

Conversely, the less novel the virus is, the weightier “the” scientific evidence is against lockdowns, mask mandates, and other novel policy prescriptions. Remember, widespread lockdowns/shelter-in-place orders are entirely new policies thought impolitic, impractical, and mercury purge-like until the current crisis. They are nothing like the quarantines of old, which cloistered away only the sick, or cordons, which were of limited geographical and temporal extent and constitutionality. And outside of clinical settings the efficacy of masks depends on the type of mask, how it is worn, and what the wearer is, or isn’t, doing at the time.

So what Joe Biden and other politicians invoking “the” scientists may really mean is “I don’t care enough about you to make difficult decisions so I am going to delegate to a group that I think you are dumb enough to defer to without question.” They would never admit that, of course, so it must remain speculative, but it fully accords with Public Choice Theory.

Pax Americana (??)

Source: Quillette, Aug 2020

The level of confidence expressed by many experts that America will be overtaken by China is puzzling, given that a perusal through relevant data suggests that Beijing is still a long way from supplanting America in the three key pillars of economic, technological, and financial prowess.

Lost in much of the fretting (or boasting) about American declinism is the massive lead the American economy continues to hold over China, despite four decades of rapid growth for the latter. The total output of the US economy in 2019 was US$21.4 trillion, significantly larger than China’s output of US$14.3 trillion.

On a per-capita basis, the division becomes more stark—US$65,280 to US$10,261 (at current US$).

America’s share of the world economy has remained virtually unchanged since 1980, when it accounted for 25.2 percent of world GDP. As of December 31st, 2018, the US share only dropped to 23.9 percent. Over the same period, Japan’s share of world GDP fell from 9.7 percent to 5.8 percent, while the European Union’s share fell from 34.6 percent to 22 percent. This suggests that China’s rise has been at the expense of other countries’ share of the global economy, rather than that of the US.

Can China ever catch up?

Furthermore, China’s economy had already been slowing since peaking at 14.2 percent growth in 2007, before dropping to 6.6 percent in 2018. As Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute argued last year, the quicker China slows down, the less likely it will be able to catch up with the US. While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) insists that China will experience a gradual slowdown, internal factors suggest a more rapid slowdown would not be out of the question. In the aftermath of the pandemic, China watchers warned that the CCP had doubled down on the debt-fuelled, state-directed investment strategy which characterized its response to the 2008 global financial crisis.

This emphasis on massive infrastructure investments (conducted largely through state-owned enterprises) will arguably prove a drag on future growth.

The crowding out of private investments makes it harder for China to transition from an investment-driven economy to a consumer-led one, a long-stated goal of the CCP. Household consumption as a percentage of GDP in China remains relatively low at 38.7 percent in 2018—on par with countries such as Algeria and Gabon and dwarfed by 68.1 percent household consumption in the US. A lack of competition also hinders productivity growth—data from the Conference Board found that China’s projected level of output per worker in 2019 was only 22 percent of America’s.

Inefficient in innovation

Productivity growth remains the engine of capitalism, and is more often than not driven by technological development. While much has been made of the so-called “tech war” between the US and China, the US largely remains at the forefront of technological innovation. The 2019 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII), considered the most comprehensive measurement system of global innovation, ranked the US third worldwide, while China stood at a respectable 14th.

Furthermore, a February 2020 report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) noted that while China has become more innovative since 2017, it still suffers from low innovation efficiency (meaning that the significant amount of resources it puts into innovation still produces a smaller level of outputs). The report warned that certain metrics used to demonstrate Chinese innovative excellence can be misleading.

For instance, although China is the world’s largest patent producer, about two-thirds of the patents produced every year tend to be utility model patents (defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization as providing protection for “minor inventions” based on incremental improvements to existing products), while only a third can be considered “higher-quality invention patents.”

Without a major boost to productivity, China will instead have to rely on the sheer size of its market. However, current demographic projections suggest that’s a looming problem for China. A recent forecast by the United Nations World Population Division projected that the number of working-age Chinese (aged 15–64) will fall by about 42.8 percent between now and 2100, while the number of Americans of working age will rise by about 14.2 percent.

Furthermore, GDP does not necessarily measure the size of an economy, but annual economic activity. As already discussed, not all economic output adds value to an economy. Scissors argues a better indicator of the size of an economy is national wealth—the value of real estate, stocks, and other assets (which accumulate over time).

By this metric, the US remains far ahead of China, with Credit Suisse’s estimations of America’s total household wealth in 2019 standing at US$106.0 trillion, compared to China’s US$63.8 trillion.

The Greenback is still supreme

The US Dollar remains the settlement currency of choice for the majority of international payments, with data from financial services network Swift showing the US$ being used in 45.78 percent of international payments in May 2020 alone, while the renminbi only saw usage in 1.22 percent of cases.

As noted by Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times: “The slogan on the greenback is ‘In God we Trust.’ The world’s appetite for dollars sends back the implicit message—’In America we Trust.’ If that trust survives coronavirus, so will American primacy.”

American financial infrastructure remains robust, even in the worst of times. In a time of great uncertainty in the international economy, investors continue to flee to US Treasury Bills, not Chinese bonds.

Wall Street remains the financial trading center of the world, with the New York Stock Exchange alone worth US$23.12 trillion in market capitalization in March 2018—nearly 40 percent of the world’s total stock market value.

By comparison, the world’s fourth largest global exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, only measured at US$5.01 trillion. Even when combining the three independent stock exchanges of the PRC—Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong—China remains dwarfed by the US.

Why socialism is the pursuit of unhappiness

Source: American Thinker, Aug 2020

Where are the happy socialists? The socialists I spot are either snarling with anger or shrieking with hubris. In fact, they seem intent on pursuing unhappiness as their misguided dictums controvert nature — human and physical. It’s simply hard to be sanguine when going against nature.

 So what is it about this desperate ideology that’s so disparate to nature, and so antithetical to happiness — besides the fact it creates nothing except poverty?

There is much wisdom behind the notion that happiness is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the ride. An analogy is a ship sailing the seas, seeking temporary refuge in port before embarking on another exciting expedition. There’s brief allowance for reveling upon attaining a goal, but then there’s another…and another, so don’t get too complacent in port.

If we obsess about outcomes, about reaching port, satisfaction and lasting happiness remain elusive. Yet that’s what socialists demand — equality of outcomes.

Rather than embracing the journey by equipping explorers with equality of opportunity, they’re fixated on reaching the port of communism before mutiny festers. Once there, everyone except the dictator’s sycophants finds equality, all right — all become equally impoverished.

Turns out so-called “equality” is just not everything it’s cracked up to be as the proletariat are dictated to — not in some salubrious transition on the way to utopia, but an indefinite dictatorship in dystopia. Rather than an abundance mindset, which grows the pie for all thanks to technological advances, it presumes a zero-sum scarcity reminiscent of the dark ages

collectivism subdues our essential essence; our very consciousness is quelled.  It destroys human creativity, which is necessary to wrestle prosperity from a state of nature.  …  individuals thrive when we are free — free — to enjoy the fruits of our labor; governments thrive when baleful bureaucrats coalesce power in order to institute centralized planning.

Socialism is clearly a state of unhappiness floundering in its futile resistance to the imperatives of physical and human nature.  

By subjugating the human spirit to the will of the organic state, it also restricts the flow of thoughts in our neuronal networks.  No ingenuity, minimal invention — mostly theft.  …

Where socialism prevails, human consciousness is literally repressed, and enlightenment is futile.  Quite simply, the scourge of socialism surely ensures a dark-age mentality.  No wonder all the socialists I know are so dour and dark: socialism, after all, is the pursuit of unhappiness. 

 

Lost in Translation

Source: WeAreAwake,

Translated dialog from the hilarious Suntory Time whiskey commercial scene from the film Lost in Translation.

Bob, who is in town to make a whiskey commercial, doesn’t speak Japanese. His director (Yutaka Tadokoro), a histrionic Japanese hipster, doesn’t speak English. In one scene, Bob goes on the set and tries to understand the director through a demure interpreter (Akiko Takeshita), who is either unable or (more likely) unwilling to translate everything the director is rattling on about.

Needless to say, Bob is lost. And without subtitles, so is the audience. Here, translated into English, is what the fulmination is really about.
DIRECTOR (in Japanese to the interpreter): The translation is very
important, O.K.? The translation.

INTERPRETER: Yes, of course. I understand.

DIRECTOR: Mr. Bob-san. You are sitting quietly in your study. And then
there is a bottle of Suntory whiskey on top of the table. You
understand, right? With wholehearted feeling, slowly, look at the
camera, tenderly, and as if you are meeting old friends, say the
words. As if you are Bogie in “Casablanca,” saying, “Cheers to you
guys,” Suntory time!

INTERPRETER: He wants you to turn, look in camera. O.K.?

BOB: That’s all he said?

INTERPRETER: Yes, turn to camera.

BOB: Does he want me to, to turn from the right or turn from the left?

INTERPRETER (in very formal Japanese to the director): He has prepared
and is ready. And he wants to know, when the camera rolls, would you
prefer that he turn to the left, or would you prefer that he turn to
the right? And that is the kind of thing he would like to know, if you
don’t mind.

DIRECTOR (very brusquely, and in much more colloquial Japanese):
Either way is fine. That kind of thing doesn’t matter. We don’t have
time, Bob-san, O.K.? You need to hurry. Raise the tension. Look at the
camera. Slowly, with passion. It’s passion that we want. Do you
understand?

INTERPRETER (In English, to Bob): Right side. And, uh, with intensity.

BOB: Is that everything? It seemed like he said quite a bit more than
that.

DIRECTOR: What you are talking about is not just whiskey, you know. Do
you understand? It’s like you are meeting old friends. Softly,
tenderly. Gently. Let your feelings boil up. Tension is important!
Don’t forget.

INTERPRETER (in English, to Bob): Like an old friend, and into the camera.

BOB: O.K.

DIRECTOR: You understand? You love whiskey. It’s Suntory time! O.K.?

BOB: O.K.

DIRECTOR: O.K.? O.K., let’s roll. Start.

BOB: For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.

DIRECTOR: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut! (Then in a very male form of
Japanese, like a father speaking to a wayward child) Don’t try to fool
me. Don’t pretend you don’t understand. Do you even understand what we
are trying to do? Suntory is very exclusive. The sound of the words is
important. It’s an expensive drink. This is No. 1. Now do it again,
and you have to feel that this is exclusive. O.K.? This is not an
everyday whiskey you know.

INTERPRETER: Could you do it slower and ?

DIRECTOR: With more ecstatic emotion.

INTERPRETER: More intensity.

DIRECTOR (in English): Suntory time! Roll.

BOB: For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.

DIRECTOR: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut! God, I’m begging you.

Related Resources:

Creative Screenwriting, Mar 2015

Mental Floss, Mar 2016

Scotch Whisky, Apr 2019

Murray’s gift for improvisation conjures some of Lost in Translation’s finest moments, such as the filming of the ad (Coppola wouldn’t tell him what the director was shouting at him), the unscripted exchanges with the photographer and the ‘black toe’ scene at a sushi bar (the script simply says: ‘He makes her laugh’).

 

Motivating Yourself – Focusing upon Growth and Innovation

Source: Scott Young blog, Jul 2020

There may be few Elon Musks, then, because our instincts can’t fathom the idea that an individual may be able to create wealth or drive progress. We’re colorblind to these opportunities, more easily perceiving the same status climbing pursuits of our ancestors.

These two perspectives suggest two different approaches you should take:

  1. If you believe motivation is mostly rational, the correct attitude is to listen. Pay attention to what motivates you. If you feel uninspired, it might be that your current opportunities aren’t particularly good. If you feel obsessed, that’s a good sign you’re on the right path.
  2. Believe motivation is biased and some nudging is necessary. Even great opportunities require discipline to recognize. Rules, systems and habits can nudge you out of your lazier self.

My own view is in-between. I do think nudging is needed in the short-term. Procrastination that melts away after you begin. Frustration that fades with a good night’s rest. Motivation is always bumping up and down, so momentary changes don’t mean very much.

In the long-term, however, your motivation is an important signal. If you can’t motivate yourself for months or years, the problem is probably with the project.

Gender Biased Languages

Source: Fast Company, Aug 2020

languages that heavily associate men with careers and women with family also have speakers who live out those biases. “

The researchers looked at the statistical relationship of words to each other, finding that in many languages, for example, “man” often occurs near “work,” “career,” and “business.”

They also found that gender associations are heightened in languages that have gendered occupations, such as “steward” and “stewardess.” The results indicate that languages’ gender associations may partially shape (rather than reflect) people’s implicit gender biases.

Pivotally, the researchers discovered that countries with high male-career gender bias also have low percentages of women in STEM fields, and fewer female students in STEM higher education.

Here are the languages, listed from most male-career biased to least:

  1. Danish
  2. German
  3. Norwegian
  4. Dutch
  5. Romanian
  6. English
  7. Hebrew
  8. Swedish
  9. Mandarin
  10. Persian
  11. Portuguese
  12. Hindi
  13. Italian
  14. Finnish
  15. French
  16. Korean
  17. Spanish
  18. Indonesian
  19. Arabic
  20. Japanese
  21. Croatian
  22. Turkish
  23. Filipino
  24. Polish
  25. Malay

Thinking is something you have to do FOR yourself

Source: FS.blog, Jul 2020

Wisdom is earned, not given. When other people give us the answer, it belongs to them and not us. While we might achieve the outcome we desire, it comes from dependence, not insight. Instead of thinking for ourselves, we’re dependent on the insight of others.

There is nothing wrong with buying insight, this is one way we leverage ourselves. The problem is when we assume the insight of others is our own.

Earning insight requires going below the surface. Most of us want to shy away from the details and complexity. It takes a while. It’s boring. It’s mental work.

Yet it is only by jumping into the complexity that we can really discover simplicity for ourselves.

If wisdom was as simple to acquire as reading, we’d all be wealthy and happy. Others help you but they can’t do the work for you. Owning wisdom for oneself requires discipline

The Covid Coup

Source: American Mind, Jul 2020

Bad judgments and usurpations—the scam, not the germs—define this disaster’s dimensions.

What history will record as the great COVID scam of 2020 is based on 1) a set of untruths and baseless assertions—often outright lies—about the novel coronavirus and its effects; 2) the production and maintenance of physical fear through a near-monopoly of communications to forestall challenges to the U.S.. ruling class, led by the Democratic Party, 3) defaulted opposition on the part of most Republicans, thus confirming their status as the ruling class’s junior partner. No default has been greater than that of America’s Christian churches—supposedly society’s guardians of truth.

The U.S. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) modeled the authoritative predictions on which the U.S. lockdowns were based. Its model also predicted COVID deaths for un-locked-down Sweden. On May 3 it wrote that, as of May 14, Sweden would suffer up to 2800 daily deaths. The actual number was below 40. Whether magnifying this falsehood was reckless or willful, it amounted to shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater. What justifies listening to, and paying, people who do that kind of science?

In May the Centers for Disease Control, by then discredited professionally (though not, alas, in the mass media), was forced to conclude that the lethality rate, far from being circa 5% was 0.26%. Double a typical flu. The CDC was able to keep the estimate that high only by factoring in an unrealistically low figure for asymptomatic infections—never mind inflated figures for deaths. But the U.S. government, instead of amending its recommendations in the face of reality, tried to hide reality by playing a shell game with the definition and number of COVID “cases.”

they toyed with reporting deaths by attributing to COVID any that “involved” or looked as if they might have involved it. They then included pneumonia, influenza, and COVID into the category PIC. That is how the death figure came to exceed 100,000. But if the CDC had used the same criterion that it did with the SARS virus, namely “severe acute respiratory distress syndrome,” the figure by the end of June would have been some 16,000.

By the July 1, even using the CDC’s inflated figures for COVID-responsible deaths, COVID-19’s Infection Fatality Rate for people under 70 was 0.04%.

The Imperial College, London’s tally for Great Britain, broken down by age of death, shows that the chances of dying from COVID-19 infection roughly track the chances of death from all causes at any given age, except for the very young. For men, the chances of death co-incident with the virus don’t exceed 1%, or the average death rate, until age 70. For women, they don’t exceed the average death rate until close to age 90. In Spain, the death rate for infected persons over 90 years old was 10%.

The measure of “excess deaths” tells a similar story. During the six-week peak of the COVID event in 2020, deaths in the U.S. exceeded deaths during the same period in the previous year by 82,000. Considering that, concurrently, the 2020 flu season was one of the worst on record (typically the flu is responsible for some 50,000 deaths during the season) and given the CDC-mandated conflation of COVID numbers with others, the COVID-19 pandemic in and of itself did not amount to much—except in New York City, for reasons only partly known. By the week of June 20, 2020 the CDC was reporting ZERO excess deaths—meaning that the figure for weekly deaths was within the long-term normal curve for that time of the year.

In short, COVID-19 is not America’s plague. It did not shake America. The ruling class shook it. They have not done it ignorantly or by mistake. They have done it to extort the general public’s compliance with their agendas. Their claim to speak on behalf of “science” is an attempt to avoid being held accountable for the enormous harm they are doing. They continue doing it because they want to hang on to the power the panic has brought them.

By contrast, COVID-19’s effect on ordinary healthy persons is considerably milder than those of ordinary respiratory diseases. What sense, then, could general isolation ever have made in the context of COVID-19?

The U.S. authorities, the “experts,” the ruling class, chose to do precisely the opposite. They “locked down” a general population that is at virtually no risk, thereby delaying the virus’s spread to people it could not harm and whose infection would build herd immunity. Keeping millions of people indoors also worsened their health. Keeping people from interacting and working normally wrecked economic and social life.

Power

All of the above served the ruling class’s overarching interest in its own power. Are there any categories of people who benefited from the shutdowns? Government gained. We know of no employee of federal, state or local government who was furloughed or had his or her pay reduced. On the contrary, all got additional power. The federal government created trillions of dollars, the distribution of which is enriching the usual suspects involved in administration. The teachers’ unions gained the power to extort concessions as a price for reopening schools. Among them, restrictions on or elimination of charter schools.

The ruling class’s gains of power and money have been at the country class’s expense, and have depended on suppressing truth.

An egregious example of forcible official lying is the ruling class’s political campaign against the drug Hydroxychloroquine. President Trump had pointed to the truth that this standard treatment for malaria for more than a half century is effective against the early and mid-stages of the COVID disease. This fact had been discovered accidentally and confirmed by studies and practices in France, Spain, India, and South Korea. In April, U.S. doctors started prescribing it widely, reported good results, and took it themselves prophylactically. The ruling class found this intolerable because it contradicted its narrative that nothing could prevent the sky from falling, but above all because its success might cast a favorable light on Trump. Hence it set about canceling truth about drugs from public consciousness and substituting its own narrative.

Perspective

It should be clear that the COVID event in America is only tangentially about health. It is essentially a political campaign based on the pretense of health. Mere perusal of news from abroad is enough to see that this is true as well throughout the Western world. Throughout, the campaign by governments and associated elites has essentially smothered social and economic activity. Not least—and by no means incidentally—it has smothered the overt political opposition which had increasingly beleaguered said governments and elites throughout the Western world.

Creating: Capitalism vs Communism

Source: Alhambra Partners, Jul 2020

Communism, you see, isn’t meant to compete with capitalism, rather it is meant to replace it. The capitalists create all this marvelous technology which the Communists then expropriate as the basis from which to create their perfect human society.

As I wrote last week, that’s why Karl Marx had envisioned (demanded, in some parts of his work) that the socialist revolutions would take place only where industrial capitalism had already contributed such grand innovations and knowledge. To attempt to impose communism on a pre-industrialized society was, even to Marx and his partner Friedrich Engels, madness. Doomed to failure.

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) wouldn’t wait, however, even though Russia was nowhere near this prerequisite state. Instead, he’d try it his own way; the revolutionaries would take over before the country was ready economically, and then, often using capitalist practices, they would bring the country up to snuff (central planning) beginning with the first National Economic Plan in 1921.

And, as much as possible, pilfer, filch, and steal every single bit of technology and innovation they could from the capitalist pigs to speed up the process and narrow the gap.

So long as some in the world industrialized and took the capitalism road as far as it would take them, pre-industrialized societies had the right to expropriate those gains, catch up to them, and then even lead the entire world, capitalist, too, in a global socialist revolution overthrowing the entire old order.

In his Pre-Requisites of Socialism, written back in 1919, Trotsky argued how the technological gap had become so large it wasn’t realistic to expect the socialist system (of co-operatives) to have to catch up. Instead:

“It is evident that if this took place, the co-operative societies would then simply have automatically to expropriate all capitalist undertakings, after which it would remain for them to reduce the working day sufficiently to provide work for all citizens and to regulate the amount of production in the various branches in order to avoid crises. In this manner, the main features of socialism would be established. Again, it is clear that no revolution and no dictatorship of the working class would be at all necessary.”

That would mean to literally “expropriate all capitalist undertakings” everywhere; not just what little had been induced in Russia.

Like Russia, China had been forced into its socialist revolution too soon. The Chinese economy was even less industrialized in 1949 than Russia’s had been three decades earlier. Not much had changed by 1989 when the massacre at Tiananmen Square turned world opinion solidly against them. Cooperation wasn’t much of an option.

If China’s Communist Revolution hoped to survive, it would have to go all the way – on the economy. Embrace the wealth and technology that only a capitalist system could invent and then multiply. And, of course, stealing, pilfering, and thieving as much as possible where possible; that’s the part of Trotsky they all seem to agree on.

Unlike the Russians, though, the Chinese would keep a tighter political grip while this happened. That’s the lesson they ultimately learned; more wealth first, and even more authoritarian to achieve it. So long as the rest of the world’s workers refused Trotsky’s old invitation, China would have to do it Stalin-style: Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in One Country.

They keep waiting for “enough” wealth to be created, or just show up at their doorstep delivered clandestinely by whatever they might call their own version of Line X in Chinese, since communism doesn’t create its own wealth. They’ve been indoctrinated into believing that the capitalist West will, eventually, exhaust itself, the Communist countries industrialized as well as pre-industrialized will catch up, and then the workers of the world will unite!

It just never happens. Those countries unfortunate enough to fall victim to this misanthropic, ill-conceived, and, really, stupid ideology end up with authoritarians trying to transition their economy from wherever it was before to where it cannot and never will go. Instead, they’re just stuck with the authoritarians and their quixotic quest to impose their utopia which justifies the authoritarianism – and all its evils – in the minds of the authoritarians.

communism doesn’t create its own wealth. They’ve been indoctrinated into believing that the capitalist West will, eventually, exhaust itself, the Communist countries industrialized as well as pre-industrialized will catch up, and then the workers of the world will unite!

Capitalism sure is messy, unpredictable, and, most of all, lumpy. It doesn’t go in a straight line, can cause tremendous stress and pain, and there are times when it gets caught up, for prolonged periods, in the bureaucratic messes of interfering morons. But once it is eventually set free, stable money, the world’s workers end up united if only in having no interest in the deplorable Marxist revolution – Trotsky, Lenin, or Mao – and its authoritarian Hotel California.