Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bad history repeating itself

Samizdata has the following news item posted:

"Party boss Ed "bulging eyes" Balls told a respectful yet cheerful gathering of tractor workers in Omsk that the 10-year plan to increase tractor production by 1000% between now and 2018 was achievable. "Men," he said, his voice quavering slightly as the chill Siberian wind blasted through, "we can and will produce more tractors, of higher quality, over the next 10 years. Britain needs tractors. Tractors need Britain. It is true that despite our heroic efforts, and the massive, Soviet resources spent by Comrade Gordon, that tractor production continues to lag. But let us not be downhearted. We know that tractor production in the past has been held up by the capitalist sympathisers, wreckers and revisionists working for the late traitor, A. Blair. We can and will do better over the next 10 years."

Well not quite. The story above is not quite a parody, unfortunately every detail in it is spot on correct, except for one - it refers to Soviet education, not the tractor industry.

Economics, history and politics is actually quite simple to understand in 3 steps:

1/ Early 20th century: The Russian Revolution, the communist manifesto by Karl Marx came about calling for the end of private property, the establishment of big government and no more free trade.

2/ Ludwig von Mises and other free market economists had the wisest and the most accurate forecasts when predicting not only the failure of communism and socialised industries, BUT precisely how and why they would fail the societies they were foisted upon.

3/ Throughout the 20th century, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro and Kim Jong Il kept trying. They socialised every industry and killed tens of millions. Socialised education and medicine is a common feature of even Western "capitalist" economies such as the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

We keep on repeating our mistakes, with no chance to build upon our successes.