As a service to my readers, I herewith bring you a complete and unabridged list of successful attempts to create a functioning socialist society:
Thanks for reading!
There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. – Ayn Rand
Whenever something gets to be seen as a “problem”, you hear clamors for prohibition. People drink themselves to death, we need alcohol prohibition. People ruin their lives with drugs, we need drug prohibition. People spout hate speech, we need censorship. People shoot each other, we need gun prohibition, or at least gun control.
That’s because prohibition always works, you know, like government always works! See for yourself:
In 1919, the U.S. government decided that alcoholism was such a grave problem that they passed – not just a law but a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit the production, transportation, importation, sale and not least consumption of alcohol in the United States. This prohibition became such an enormous success that you couldn’t find alcoholic beverages anywhere within the U.S. of A. Ask any citizen, for example in Chicago, and they’d tell you there was nowhere to find so much as a can of beer.
Evidently, government control of alcohol was a giant success but for some reason the same government decided to abolish the prohibition in 1933. This so annoyed a large number of organized criminals that they went out of business, contributing to the unemployment problems of the 1930s and putting a serious dent in the violent crime statistics.
During the 1960s, habitual use of mind-altering drugs became fashionable among hippies and quickly spread to other groups. Such drugs had been illegal for some time but the prohibition had not been enforced. The governments of the world quickly realized that life without an enforced prohibition was life not worth living, and besides we couldn’t just let them damn hippies smoke pot, now could we? This was the start of the highly successful “War on Drugs” that revitalized the Organized Crime trade and made it impossible to obtain any kind of narcotics, anywhere in any country that took care to enforce the prohibition. I mean, just ask any teenager today if they know where to buy marijuana, hashish, cocaine, heroin, LSD, or anything else illegal! They will probably look at you cross-eyed! This of course to signify that they don’t know, that stuff is ILLEGAL dude!
To take another example, up until the late 1960s, pornography was illegal in Denmark. Rest assured that, as a result, such filth didn’t exist in Denmark. At all. Just like people in those countries where pornography is still prohibited would never dream of surfing X-rated websites. Yup!
Another problem plaguing the world today is that of racism, bigotry, and intolerance. This, of course, is caused by hate speech. If people would stop saying ugly things about each other, they will also stop thinking those things. Political Correctness would have ended all kinds of hate speech decades ago if it were only enforced by governments, but sadly it isn’t. It would be just as great a success as the War on Pornography was or is. Or the War on Drugs. (Just ask anywhere in Europe where to find a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf! You won’t find a single copy, anywhere! Especially not in those countries where it is prohibited by law.)
The really great thing about censorship is that the government gets to decide what you can and cannot say, ensuring that the decision will be wise, unbiased, and will not be designed to protect those currently in power from criticism.
Guns. They kill people. People don’t kill people, only guns do. That is why we have strict gun control laws in Europe, so criminals don’t get their hands on dangerous firearms. It is such a great success that you never hear reports of armed criminals over here. Make guns illegal, and they vanish into thin air. Betcha! (I can prove this! I can point to no more than ten or twenty shooting episodes between rivaling gangs in the Greater Copenhagen area this year, and we’re nearly in April!)
In Mexico, I am sad to say, gun control is only a partial success. Citizens don’t have guns. Police officers have small sidearms. Army soldiers have rifles. Drug gangs (which don’t smuggle drugs, because drugs are illegal and therefore don’t exist) have pistols, rifles, shotguns, assault weapons, machine guns, mortars, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and whatever else they can lay their hands on. That is why I called it a partial success, because the honest part of Mexico’s population has no guns. Only the criminals do.
Yep, if anything offends you, the easiest solution is to get government to prohibit it. That will make it go away, immediately, and it will never offend your eyes again.
And if you believe this, I have a bridge for sale. Real cheap!
Throughout the last 11 years, I have constantly heard politicians telling me about the necessity to send Danish troops to fight terrorists and evil dictatorial regimes, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. The troops were to kill some people in order to set other people free. The theory was that, once we had removed the evil oppressors, the survivors would hail us as liberators, elect enlightened democratic governments like the ones we have in the west, and be happy ever after.
And they would never develop weapons of mass destruction like the ones Saddam Hussein was KNOWN to have – honest! He had hidden them so well that the UN inspectors couldn’t find them, but it was dead certain that he had tons of nukes and nerve gas hidden away in the Iraqi desert. (In fact they were hidden so well that the allied forces haven’t found them after nine years’ search in Iraq!)
Furthermore, we would soon kill off that wicked man Osama bin Laden, thus bringing an immediate end to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. Which we did – after ten years of warfare in Afghanistan the American Navy Seals managed to kill Osama. Of course there was the embarrassing detail that he was killed, not in Afghanistan, but in neighboring Pakistan, which is one of our gallant allies in the war on terrorism and which we therefore (and because they have weapons of mass destruction; nuclear ones to be precise) don’t
dare wish to invade.
But on to my main point: Since the politicians believe it is absolutely essential that we, for our national safety and in order to set the locals free (or kill them), invade nations halfway around the globe, I am prepared to make the following offer to any politicians who voted in favor of the Danish participation in the wars
against in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since I do not have unlimited means, the offer is limited to the first five politicians who accept:
That is my offer to those politicians who believe that others should put their lives on the line – while the politicians stay at home in safety! Here is a chance to practice what they preach.
Given that “we have to” liberate the suppressed and unhappy people from their evil oppressors (and, in hundreds of thousands of cases, liberate them of their lives), one would certainly expect politicians to line up outside my door.
Anybody want to bet there will be no takers?
Politicians: We have to protect non-smokers in the workplace, so we need a “No Smoking” policy at work.
Politicians: People still go outside to smoke but they just go right outside the entrance so smoke gets back into the building. Smoking has to be prohibited within 50 feet from all buildings.
Politicians: Smoking also sets a bad example. It should be prohibited within 500 yards from schools.
Politicians: In order to protect the public, smoking should be prohibited anywhere (including in your own garden) if it can annoy others.
Politicians: And we need to prohibit smoking in peoples’ homes, to protect their children!
Citizens: We can’t smoke at work, at home, in our gardens, or in the street. Wouldn’t it be easier to just prohibit smoking?
Politicians: No, are you crazy? It’s a free country!
Disclaimer: Most (but not all) of the above is fiction. Danish politicians have suggested prohibiting smoking just about everywhere but for now you are still allowed to smoke in your own home. Or in the street. Employers in the private sector are also allowed to set up indoor smoking facilities, though they rarely do.
(I used to smoke; I quit 10 years ago. But that doesn’t mean I need to tell others they should quit, too!)
When defending the latest war, and in particular the so-called “collateral damage” (meaning innocent lives lost or ruined), politicians will often cite the old saw that “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs!”
The same is also often said in connection with “Eminent Domain”, which means that the government (local, regional, or federal) confiscates private property “for the common good” and pays the owners what the government claims is a “fair price”. (See for example the case of Kelo vs. the City of New London.)
When I hear this particular bromide, I am always reminded of the words of Harry Browne: “It is always somebody else’s eggs that get broken, and the omelet never seems to materialize!” This holds true in Afghanistan and Iraq a decade after the invasions of these two countries. It holds true in New London, Connecticut, where the government-aided theft of a number of private homes (not just “houses”; to the people who lived there they were HOMES!) never led to the development which the developer promised.
Leave other people’s eggs alone!
Barrack Obama, Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, and Mitt Romney are traveling by train. At one point, the train enters a tunnel. The compartment goes black for a few minutes and the travelers hear a slap. On exiting the tunnel, the three others notice a large red mark on Romney’s face. Of course each traveler thinks their own thoughts…
Michelle Obama: I’m sure Mitt tried fondling Ms. Rice and she slapped him. Serves him right, that old pig!
Mitt Romney: Must have been Obama who tried fondling Condie, and she thought it was me. Better not say anything…
Condoleezza Rice: Hmpf! I guess Mitt couldn’t keep his hands off Michelle and she slapped him! That old pig!
Barrack Obama: I sure hope we go through another tunnel soon so I can slap Mitt again! 😉
In 1917, Russia was at war with Germany and the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Things weren’t going too well for the Russians, and in the end the people rebelled and demanded a cease-fire and peace negotiation. This led to the revolutions of 1917; the February revolution which happened in March, and the October revolution which happened in November. The latter brought about the “communist” regime which would plague Russia, and eventually the USSR and all of Eastern Europe, for the next 70 years.
In the West, the left wing was in ecstasy. Communism, they said, had finally triumphed, a new era was at hand! Things might be bad in Russia, but just wait and see – with Comrade Lenin in charge, things were about to change and soon Russia would have the world’s finest schools, universities, factories, hospitals … you name it!
(The right wing would also be in ecstasy, for different reasons; for the next 70 years they would have a scary picture and scapegoat with which to prove that their particular brand of collectivism was better than the left’s! But I digress…)
Lenin started by abolishing all property rights. Nobody could own anything, and everything belonged to the big happy family. This didn’t work out too well, and people were starving. Lenin concluded that people should be allowed to own a little, like a small piece of land, and some of what they produced.
Communists in the West were happy to hear this. “Comrade Lenin” may have gotten off to a bad start but had quickly corrected his error, and it would only be a matter of a few years before Russia would have the best and finest schools, universities, … etc.
Nothing good lasts forever, and in 1924 Lenin passed away. By this time Russia had changed its name to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or “Soviet Union”. Western left-wingers were sad to see that the Soviets Union still didn’t have the world’s best factories, hospitals, schools, etc. but were still biding their time. After all, the Tzar had left a terrible mess and it would take a few more years before… etc.
(“Soviet” is Russian for “Council”, since the new-born workers’ and peasants’ paradise needed to be ruled by a set of councils who knew better than the people what was best for the people. This often turned out to be what was best for the council members…)
It took some years of internal bickering, and I’m sorry to say that a lot of people died. But in 1928 a new leader finally emerged from the fray to seize control of the free and happy people of the USSR. His name was Josef Stalin, and left-wingers of the West bid him welcome. Lenin had been a rather weak leader, they would tell you, but Stalin was just the man needed to whip things (and people) into shape.
Stalin got off well with the first five-year plan to double the industrial output of the Soviet Union! (“See?” asked Communists in the West. “Only a few years now…”) Unfortunately, the next five-year plan didn’t go too well, and it was found that this was caused by sabotage by Stalin’s political rivals in the party. This was quickly proven, because the guilty reactionaries readily confessed their crimes after only a bit of pressure (OK, torture) by Stalin’s secret police.
Western Left-wingers regretted that such hard-handed methods were necessary but these reactionaries *did* sabotage the great Soviet Union and delayed the day when the USSR would have the world’s finest… etc. Fortunately, without the saboteurs in their midst, it was a matter of years, if not months, before… etc. In the meantime at least comrades in all countries could agree to denounce the National Socialists in Germany.
At least until news of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty emerged in August of 1939. Then it became clear that the National Socialists were ALSO comrades! Soon they became comrades-in-arms with the invasion of Poland but this was only necessary to bring about the happy day when the Soviets would have… etc.
Sadly, the war delayed the happy day. Not least after the new German friends double-crossed Stalin and Molotov by invading the workers’ paradise in June of 1941. The subsequent four years of warfare cost 28 million Soviet citizens their lives – even more than Stalin had managed to
kill purge! Western left-wingers mourned the loss of life and property which would delay the day when the USSR would finally overtake the evil West and have the world’s finest hospitals, banks, schools, factories, … etc.
In fact the happy day didn’t arrive until 1953 when Stalin finally died and was succeeded as
dictator General Secretary by Nikita Khrushchev. The Western left were happy to see the end of Stalin, who clearly hadn’t been the right man after all, since the USSR, contrary to expectations, still didn’t have the world’s finest… etc. But NOW, with Khrushchev, it would be a matter of a few years. Of course some doubters were beginning to emerge but they were easily denounced as “not true socialists” or “class traitors”. Worse, dissenters were emerging in the new happy Communist states of Eastern Europe, and in 1956 it proved necessary to invade Hungary and suppress the reactionary forces there (this would repeat itself in Czechoslovakia in 1968). But such use of force was necessary if the socialist states should ever overtake the evil capitalists and achieve the goal of having the finest factories, hospitals, …etc.
Unfortunately, Khrushchev proved a bit too aggressive for the job, especially when speaking to the United Nations…
In 1964 it proved necessary to replace him with Leonid Brezhnev, a pragmatic “Apparatchik” who would rule the Soviet Union until his death in 1982. Western left-wingers bid him welcome – it was by now clear that Khrushchev was not the man who could ensure … etc. but with Brezhnev in charge, this would be a matter of a few years.
Sadly, the world’s best factories, schools, hospitals, etc. didn’t materialize before Brezhnev’s death, nor during the interregnum of his short-lived successors Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko, and Andrei Gromyko. Sad that they were so short-lived, as all had been predicted to realize the day when the Soviet Union would have the world’s finest … you should know the drill by now. Gromyko was succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev who would surely have made the dream come true, except the Soviet Union collapsed during his reign.
Which is sad because left-wingers will still assure you that it collapsed under the pressure of relentless Western propaganda, NOT because it was a hopeless mess such as liberalists, conservatives, capitalists, capitalist lackeys, and other reactionaries claim!
Bring back the Soviet Union, and in a few years it will prove itself by having the world’s finest schools, universities, factories, hospitals, etc. etc. etc.!
Another ten days, and the sale of traditional light bulbs will no longer be allowed in the European Union. This to save energy and protect the environment, so tell us the environmentalistas.
And of course no sane person would argue against this law. After all, saving energy means saving the environment means saving the planet and the human race!
Well, maybe not really. I think the politicians are (as usual) barking up all the wrong trees.
How much energy do you save by switching from a traditional to a low-watt bulb? A traditional 60-Watt bulb uses roughly 380 kWh per year – that is, if you let it burn constantly, day and night! An 8-Watt bulb only uses 50 kWh per year. Assuming that you leave the light on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you save roughly the energy used to power an old refrigerator, or two modern fridges of energy class A+.
Furthermore, the assumption that you leave a 60-Watt bulb on all day and night is spurious, to say the least. But I have found that many people are less hesitant to leave a low-watt bulb on around the clock, and around the calendar. “Hey, it’s just a low-watt bulb, it doesn’t use that much electricity anyway!” In other words, the attempt to save energy may well even lead to less energy-conscious habits.
The claim that low-watt bulbs are “environmentally friendly” becomes even more spurious when you consider that they contain mercury, a highly poisonous heavy metal which is fluid and emits vapors at normal room temperatures. Break an old light bulb and you pick up the shards. Break a new light bulb and you may have to clean the carpet, air the room and take your kids to the ER.
The new bulbs can’t be disposed of with your normal household trash; they are too dangerous and have to be disposed of with other electric or electronic waste. Which of course everybody will remember to do, yes sir!
But of course, and I also believe in the Tooth Fairy! 😉
Low-watt bulbs are more expensive than traditional bulbs but at least they last longer. Up to ten times longer, so they tell me. Maybe I’m just an unlucky guy but my experience is that the new, expensive bulbs last about as long as traditional light bulbs. Meaning that I pay four or five times as much for lighting my home, and just have to hope that electricity has become so expensive that my electricity savings make up for the loss on light bulb expenses.
I will not even get into the fact that the new bulbs give off a less natural light, or that they often take forever to “warm up” before they give off enough light (causing a risk that your frail, old grandmother will fall and break her hip)!
(Hey wait, didn’t I just get into all that?)
I will just conclude that if you want to save energy and protect the environment, you should leave your old light bulbs where they are and instead replace your old fridge and oven – this will save you much more energy without the risk of getting mercury in your living room carpet.
So why are politicians so eager to force people to use the new, expensive, not-that-long-lived, and potentially dangerous bulbs? Not to save the planet for sure, politicians rarely care about that. I suspect the real reason is that producers of expensive, “environmentally friendly”, short-lived low-watt bulbs complete with heavy metals have lobbied the EU to force us to use their expensive product, and that the poor “environment” is just the buzz words used to ram their new and not-so-improved light bulbs down our throats!
By the way, any insinuations that politicians may also be “Low-watt bulbs” in the figurative sense are absolutely intentional. 😉
I have posted this simple idea on two different Danish sites and the readers didn’t like it at all! But here it is again:
EVERY SINGLE PERSON OWN HIM- OR HERSELF!
Well, I don’t see any alternative to this statement, except to accept slavery. If you don’t own yourself, then who does? Well, somebody else, obviously.
And this somebody else decides how you should spend your life, what you should be doing, and what compensation (if any) you should receive for this.
So why don’t people like the idea of self-ownership? You would think it was a nice enough idea that you own yourself.
But maybe people don’t like the idea that their neighbours can’t be ruled. And then they conveniently forget that by the same token their neighbours can’t rule them.
They dislike the idea that they don’t have a right to the life, and the product of the life, of everybody else. And they forget that by the same token, everybody else has a right to their lives, and to the product of their lives.
So I guess this is why people don’t like the idea of self-ownership: Because they prefer the status quo, which is “known” and considered “safe”, to the unknown – and because they imagine that in a society where self-ownership is not generally recognized they will have to work for others some of the time, but others will also have to work for them more of the time. So they will come out a bit ahead.
Problem is, I don’t think anybody stands to gain in the long run by giving up their right to self-ownership and self-determination.
An argument I often see in discussion forums on the internet is that everybody is created equal, or that everybody IS equal. Or that, well, maybe everybody is not an Einstein or a Mozart, but Einstein or Mozart wouldn’t have gone far if they had been the only people alive on Earth.
Meaning that any large company is equally reliant on all its employees, from the lady at the checkout line right up to the CEO, and that therefore they ought to receive the same salary, or at least almost the same.
Consider this scenario: You are setting up a concert with an orchestra performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, generally recognized as one of the finest violin concertos ever.
You have everything in place. Mendelssohn’s concerto is scored for:
So, do you notice anybody indispensable above? Not if you want to conduct the concert the way it was written. So far, it looks like everybody is equally important.
Now, let’s say one of the members of the orchestra falls seriously ill and can’t play at the concert. Naturally you would want to replace them. Ah, but there’s the rub – you don’t just replace people. Whoever has to be replaced, must be replaced with somebody who can take over their role and play their part without ruining the concert.
It is reasonably easy to find a replacement if one of the violins in the orchestra becomes ill. There are plenty of people who can play a violon. But it is considerably harder to replace the soloist. Any violin virtuoso can play in an orchestra but far from all violinists are virtuosi. Mendelssohn’s concerto is said to be devillishly difficult for the soloist.
The conducter may be just as hard to replace. His or her job is not just to stand in front of the orchestra and wave a wand, it is also to instruct the orchestra before the concert.
And that is the reason why the conducter or the soloist are more famous and better paid than the members of the orchestra: They are much harder to replace!
If one of the violas in the orchestra falls ill, you find another viola and have them rehearse their Mendelssohn. A bit fast, if the concert is to take place the same night.
If the conductor falls ill, you find another conducter and start over with the rehearsals! If necessary, you postpone the concert.
If the soloist falls ill, you postpone the concert and search desperately for a violin virtuoso who knows Mendelssohn’s violin concerto or can learn it within a reasonable time frame.
Have I forgotten something?
Yes. I have forgotten one man: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Without him there wouldn’t have been a violin concerto to perform! (Well, there are plenty of other violin concertos but so far I haven’t heard one I liked better than Mendelssohn’s.)
So no, all men and women are NOT created equal. They are created with equal rights, and these rights should be respected at all times, but they are not created with equal abilities.