IT DOESN'T WORK!!! | 1998-11-21
Will Durant, writing in 1957, said that capitalism was "the economic system that continued in modern Europe until the twentieth century." In praising an economic commentary from the sixteenth century, he describes it as being "as contemporary as a planned economy and the welfare state."
When Durant wrote that, he was simply saying what absolutely everybody in academia took for granted.
I remember it well, when every "with it" professor told us that, if the government owned all the industry, the economy would be EFFICIENT! Socialism was the way of the future. No liberal remembers this nowadays, and no respectable conservative reminds him of it.
Back then, both sides took socialism with perfect seriousness. No respectable conservative ever said, "Do you mean to say that if the whole economy was run like the Post Office, it would be efficient?" Oh, no. Just like today, all opponents of liberalism took the most egregious nonsense seriously.
And the bottom line on socialism is not complicated: It's silly.
The Soviet Union did not collapse because it violated any complicated theories. It collapsed because the idea of government owning all the industry is silly. Now everybody claims that nobody ever believed it made any sense.
Don't believe it. For decades, every person who was recognized as a "sophisticated intellectual" believed that the only way to justice and productivity was government ownership of the means of production.
All of those highly sophisticated "European intellectuals" we are supposed to listen to supported socialism, or at least took it very, very seriously. All of those Harvard intellectuals, all those social science professors who are still considered our national experts believed that socialism was inevitable and would be a good way to run the economy.
Every time someone tells me to pay attention to what foreigners and "with it" intellectuals think of things, and how silly the average American is, I think of this attachment to socialism. Will Durant pronounced the capitalist system dead, and clearly at the time that was considered a given. I remember it well.
I am the only person who seems to remember it at all.
I also remember when every "with it" American professor and every European intellectual insisted that the only true criminal was Society.
All the way through the 1960s, Bella Abzug was a hard core liberal. She was fighting to get every criminal back on the street as fast as possible. Then, one day in the early 1970s, she and some other liberal females announced to the press that they were the "women's movement." On that same day, Bella began to point to all those repeat rapists who were on the streets and she demanded to know why they were there.
They were there because of people like Bella, but I have yet to hear one single respectable conservative bring that up to any women's libber.
Pretty well everybody now is down on outright socialism, and rehabilitation as the only answer to crime is discredited with everybody, even most liberal blacks.
If we press leftists, we are told that they were never for socialism. They say that the word "socialism" back then really just meant more welfare. It didn't, as you can see from the quote this article begins with. Somehow, someone has forgotten that that is what "socialism" means: common ownership of the means of production is the definition of socialism.
No leftist ever admits flatly that he advocated something that was silly because no respectable conservative will ever force him to.
If you have a memory, you cannot be respectable.
Then there were the insane liberal ideas on education. Forget the basics. Forget phonics. That's was what all the smart experts - the people we are still paying to be experts - said back then.
We in the opposition said that, if that liberal nonsense was enforced, the kids would grow up illiterate. All the sophisticated people laughed at us bumpkins. It has long since been routine for a high school graduate not to be able to read his diploma.
We are calling in those same educational experts today to tell us why our kids are illiterate. They and their disciples are supposed to get out us out of the hole they dug for us. Has anybody heard any respectable conservative point this out?
Where is the liberal who will admit he was wrong for ignoring the basics? And where is the respectable conservative who will bring it up?
Then there's the absolute holy of holys: racial integration. The rate of drug use and illegitimacy that were associated with black people in the 1950s are now the average for the white population today. In fact, every single prediction made by the segregationists came true.
You just aren't allowed to say so.
Integration has been a catastrophe. Public policy is still essentially the old game of chasing down whitey: a neighborhood gets a certain number of blacks, whites move out, then busing and public housing is used to chase them down, so whites move out. This is on a worldwide scale. Immigration and integration for the third world are demanded only for every white majority country, but only for white majority countries. No one is pushing immigration into Japan (which is less crowded than the Netherlands) or any other country.
As a matter of fact, nothing that has come down the leftist pike has ever WORKED! During the Depression, running a budget deficit for public works worked, a little. Hitler did that, and he did it better. Roosevelt's Depression was still going strong six years after he took over. But the rest of the New Deal, the part that leftists like, was a catastrophe. A ninety-one percent maximum income tax rate, fifty-two percent corporate tax rates and an expanded bureaucracy kept our economy strapped down right through the present day. And the Depression dragged on, worse here than elsewhere, right down to Pearl Harbor Day.
Saving America from the Depression and integration are the two things all respectable conservatives are required to credit liberalism for. They are the only two things which liberalism still claims actually worked.
And they didn't.