It started out a few days back with one or two almost random articles in hard-left rags wishing Karl Marx a happy 200th birthday along with the proclamation “you were right!” I thought it was pathetically stupid (like that’s anything new) but then it started popping up in more and more places until the full-on Karl Marx lovefest coupled with emphatic declarations about how right he was regarding the “failure of capitalism.” Apparently a philosophy that killed millions of people, that no serious and successful economy employs, and whose intellectual founder was so lazy that he let his kids starve rather than get a job, is a smashing success story waiting to be written, while the economic system that resulted in modern civilization as we know it is a “failure.”
Yeah, that’s not how it works, children.
I’m not going to delve into Marx the man as I am sure that for every story of his personal failings there’s a sordid tale of some capitalist entrepreneur who was a real scumbag in his personal dealings, largely because there are so many successful capitalists to point to that it’s just a statistical necessity that there will be a lot of jerks. Hope you see what I did there. I’m also not going to get into the minutiae of Marx’s exact theories and philosophy because splitting hairs with a Kalashnikov is something that hipster communist apologists do. Their endless wail of “that wasn’t REAL communism” is as tiresome as it is dishonest.
President Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying that communism will only work in heaven where they don’t need it, and in hell where they’ve already got it. This is because (as I talked about a few months back) communism’s less-violent cousin socialism, like many other failed philosophies, relies on a fairy tale condition in order to work, that being “everyone will just be nice.” It does not require any sort of religious conviction or even a whole lot of life experience to know that this is not going to happen, nor does it take a lot of extrapolation to see that in any of these idealistic utopian societies that the moment someone is NOT nice and does NOT play by the rules for even a moment, the entire plan falls apart. Since communism is essentially socialism with guns and ambition, you’ve already failed the “everybody will be nice” condition from inception and jumped straight along to “um…shoot everyone who disagrees!” Bullets might win plenty of arguments, but that doesn’t make them a valid point.
The plain and simple fact is that the historical record demonstrates that the murderous regimes in the Soviet Union and China and every other communist state are, in fact, “REAL communism” because idealistic perfect-execution communism cannot exist in the real world. Nor should it. Not only is it contrary to fundamental basics of human nature and ignorant of the tendencies of people to seek their own interests, but its singleminded obsession with sameness would obliterate much of the good and all of the capacity for progress in the human spirit were it to actually come about. This is precisely why you cannot make a Bolshevik omelet without breaking a few million eggs. It does not take a lot of insight for people to recognize that enforced sameness and flat-line equality not only will not happen, but it won’t be a good thing. So you end up having to resort to violence and intimidation to make the populace go along with your crazy plans, until eventually people get tired of starving to death. Without the ability for working harder or working smarter to improve your lot in life, there’s no incentive other than an overseer’s whip to do even the basic minimum labor, and there’s absolutely no reason why you’d stick your neck out, take a risk, and invest your meager resources in trying to create actual progress. Socialized medicine would never have cured polio.
Communism’s historical record of murder and failure speaks for itself. But what is more mindblowing about these puff pieces is their grinning bald-faced assertions that Marx was “right” about capitalism failing. Um… about that… first of all, let’s not forget that Marx predicted that the industrialized nations of the West would be the first to go red, which spectacularly failed to happen. Marxist apologists wave that away by saying “well, these societies just had conditions that were too good for the workers for them to want to rise up against their bourgeois overlords!” Uh, yeah, that’s kind of the point. Communism took off in backwards crapholes that were accustomed to feudal-style rule and looking for a way to jump the line into the twentieth century and achieve parity with industrial powerhouses in Europe and the USA. The problem was that despite the hopes of the arrogant revolutionaries and simpleminded peasants, their communist system did not eliminate classes in society but instead effectively set up a massive oppressed working class held in check by an elite ruling class and their military police. Because force and intimidation are such great motivators, don’t ya know. The world got a good long look at how these crazy fantasies built from envy and laziness resulted in an economic system that just spread misery around, stifling innovation and subjugating the populace. Oh, sure, the Soviet Union made some great strides in the space and arms races (arms due in large part to technology stolen from the United States), but that was quite plainly done in an effort to both get an edge on the capitalist Free World as well as to “prove” that communism was not a backwards failure. Capitalism responded by beating the Soviets to the moon at a walk.
So not only was Marx dead wrong about where his ideology would take root, but…where and how, exactly, is capitalism “failing?” It’s a more or less direct correlation–where capitalism is implemented, there’s prosperity. Yes, there is also inequality. That’s not a bad thing. If I work sixteen hours and you work four, we should not be equal. If I cure cancer and you can apply a band-aid on a good day, we should not be equal. If I speak seven languages and you’re still mastering English, we should not be equal. The key to capitalism is utilizing your own areas of advantage–your own inequality–and leveraging that to your advantage, as well as the advantage of others (because that’s how you make money, stupid). None of this takes away from the fact that capitalism most definitely works and continues to work. The modern world is the result of capitalism. You can cry about how oppressed you are when you have to wait five minutes for a soy latte at Starbucks and only get one bar of signal on your iPhone, but the only reason anyone cares (or those items and services exist at all) is because of capitalism.
Ironically this leads to where Marx’s prediction may yet come true, though not in the way he expected. You see, the unparalleled and unprecedented prosperity created by our capitalist system has given birth to multiple generations now of entitled, clueless leeches who have the time and freedom and resources to complain about being misgendered or fuss about “implicit bias” or gripe about “inequality” or fantasize about a nonexistent “wage gap.” The wonders of the modern world have been rendered commonplace. I’m old enough to remember the world before the internet, when catalogs and department stores were a thing and you did research at libraries and you rented movies on VHS tape. These kids are used to having all that available on a phone (hell, I also remember when portable phones were novel, and I’m not even that old). Where just a few generations back people defined suffering in terms of debilitating disease or backbreaking labor or starvation and deprivation, these whiners have it so good that they march in the streets over being offended and cry real tears if there’s no vegan option on the diner menu. These are the fools who think communism is awesome and haven’t been taught its history. In other words, capitalism has succeeded so fantastically at turning “survival of the fittest” into “everybody lives” and making their lives so comfortable on top of that that we are now producing millions of semi-moronic entitled dullards who are stupid enough to buy into communism. Not only are these retards not being weeded out by natural selection, they’re being encouraged to breed.
Fortunately, sooner or later life has a tendency to smack some sense into people, and whether Karl Marx or his apologists like it or not, capitalism is neither failing nor can it be destroyed. It is simply the zero state to which any civilized economy will return–just look at any black market. The more we get away from this model, promote failure and equality over achievement and value, and ignore rather than take advantage of the invisible hand of human nature, the less the system works. Right now even our bastardized and corrupted form of government quasi-socialism isn’t failing, but if capitalism does ever fail, it will be a victim of its own runaway successes, and it will be there waiting in the rubble of society to be used to put the world that was back together again.