On Sunday, Salon magazine contributor Jesse Myerson published an article on the uber-left website aimed at clearing up the egregious misconceptions Americans have about communism and capitalism. As you may expect, “Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism),” is 2,000+ word diatribe on the evils of capitalism and benefits of communism.
“About a month ago… I said: Watch, there’s going to come a time when they are so out-of-control and arrogant, they are going to just start saying, ‘Okay, so we are socialists.’ ‘We are communists.’ This is the second time this happened in the last 60 days,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Far-left magazine [Salon] published a defense of communism, revealing what it claims are seven huge misconceptions about communism and capitalism.”
Myerson lays out seven “bogus” claims people make about communism and capitalism:
1. Only communist economies rely on state violence.
In capitalism, competing ownership claims are settled by the state’s willingness to use violence to exclude all but one claimant… Communism necessarily distributes property universally, but, at least as far as this communist is concerned, can still allow you to keep your smartphone. Deal?
2. Capitalist economies are based on free exchange.
The mirror-image of the “oppressive communism” myth is the “liberatory capitalism” one… Most find ourselves constantly stuck between competing pressures and therefore stressed out, exhausted, lonely, and in search of meaning. — as though we’re not in control of our lives. We aren’t; the market is…
3. Communism killed 110 million* people for resisting dispossession.
Making up a big-sounding number of people and chalking their deaths up to some abstract “communism” is no way to enact a humanistic commitment to victims of human rights atrocities… For one thing, a large number of the people killed under Soviet communism weren’t the kulaks everyone pretends to care about but themselves communists. Stalin, in his paranoid cruelty, not only had Russian revolutionary leaders assassinated and executed, but indeed exterminated entire communist parties… It is also worth remembering that the Soviets had to fight a revolutionary war – against, among others, the US – which, as the American Revolution is enough to show, doesn’t mainly consist of group hugs… The most horrifying episode in 20th Century official Communism was the Great Chinese Famine, its death toll difficult to identify, but surely in the tens of millions… The experiment’s results were extremely grim, but to claim that the victims died because they, in their right minds, would not volunteer for “a left-wing dream” is ludicrous. Famine is not a uniquely “left-wing” problem.
4. Capitalist governments don’t commit human rights atrocities.
Whatever one’s assessment of the crimes committed by Communist leaders, it is unwise for capitalism’s cheerleaders to play the body-count game… Since the pro-capitalist set cares so deeply for the suffering of the Russian and Chinese masses, perhaps they’ll even want to account for the millions of deaths resulting from those countries’ transitions to capitalism…
5. 21st Century American communism would resemble 20th century Soviet and Chinese horrors.
…For me, communism is an aspiration, not an immediately achievable state. It, like democracy and libertarianism, is utopian in that it constantly strives toward an ideal… Steps towards that state of affairs needn’t include anything as scary as the wholesale and immediate abolition of markets (after all, markets predate capitalism by several millennia and communists love a good farmer’s market). Rather, I contend they can even include reforms with support among broadly ideologically divergent parties…
6. Communism fosters uniformity.
Apparently, lots of people are unable to distinguish equality from homogeneity… That so many great artists and writers have been Marxists suggest that the production of culture in such a society would breed tremendous individuality and offer superior avenues for expression.
7. Capitalism fosters individuality.
Instead of allowing all people to follow their entrepreneurial spirit into the endeavors that fulfill them, capitalism applauds the small number of entrepreneurs who capture large portions of mass markets…
Communism has failed over and over and over again, and yet articles like this seek to sweep that failure under the rug by pointing out the issues with other economic systems.
“Salon is not some crazy thing. It’s the Barak Obamas of the world, in and out of office, they all read Salon. It’s not some crazy publication,” Stu said. “One of their defenses is: Well, next time it will be different… Every communist thinks, ‘I’ll do it better than the last one.’ Stalin thought he could dot it better. So yes, you did it better – you killed more people. That seems to be the end result. How many people will you be responsible for murdering?”
As Glenn explained, once a system stops respecting the individual, anything is fair game.
“That’s the problem. That’s why Mao didn’t stop. He was like, ‘No, this farm policy will work.’ Yes, but the people are starving to death. ‘It doesn’t matter. It will work in the end, and it will be better for everybody in the end.’ So you are going to have to break a few eggs to make an omelet,” Glenn concluded. “That’s why communism and fascism and totalitarianism – once you don’t respect the individual, once the individual is expendable, everybody is in pain, it doesn’t matter.”
Read the entire Salon article HERE.