The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ideological incongruity

I often don't have much in my head to write about. Or I have too much. This morning is one where I don't have an idea. On days like this I wander about the internet, read various news stories and try to come up with something. I had just about given up when I came across this story about a poll...

11% Say Communism Better Than U.S. System of Politics and Economics

I am stunned by this. I am not sure why. I run into people all the time who think that communism or socialism would be better than capitalism. I have not felt they truly believed it, though. And the poll seems to show that contradiction...

"Eighty-seven percent (87%) say, in practical terms, free market economies work better than communist economies. Only four percent (4%) say communist economies work better. "

I have never been to a communist country. I know of communism only through school, my own reading, and some distant observation. It seems inherently flawed to me. And a miserable system under which to live. It promises equality but I never saw evidence of that. What I saw (and see) is a system where people become desperate to leave. So desperate, in fact, that they risk death to get out.

Communism does not appear to work as promised, does it? Instead of lifting everyone to a pleasant middle-class existence, it leaves most (maybe 90% or more) down in what we in the US might call the poverty class. Look at Russia when it was the Soviet Union, look at China, look at Cuba, look at North Korea.

I suspect this fascination with communism and socialism (a softer form which also fails to live up to its promises) appeals because it seems to fit with what we are taught at a very early age... we should share. But we were forced to share, we did not want to. And that is why these systems do not work well. They violate human nature. Humans want to possess things, they want more than they are given, they want to believe they can control their own destinies.

When I look at communist countries, I see single party systems and oppression. I see control of information, I see restrictions of movement, I see widespread poverty. I do not see widespread happiness nor hope nor joy.

Perhaps it's because I grew up during the worst of the ideological war we called "The Cold War" and I was programmed that way. Maybe not.

When I was in junior high (late 50's early 60's), the subject came up from time to time. My feelings haven't changed in the years since. I thought it unworkable long term then and still do. Living in south Florida at that time, Cuba was the example which convinced me it was not a moral system.

But I admit human beings never cease to amaze me with their willingness to follow dictators, live in oppressive societies, and support brutality.


Sightings said...

Never underestimate what people will or will not believe:

30 percent of Americans believe in UFOs
35 percent believe in ghosts
25 percent believe in astrology
25 percent believe Obama was not born in the US
About 40 percent of Americans deny evolution
Some 20 percent deny that the Holocaust ever happened
And roughly 40 percent of Americans do not take global warming seriously

Douglas4517 said...

I am always stunned a bit by these kind of poll findings. I came across this
one from Gallup...

It breaks down a belief in evolution vs intelligent design and creationism
and then ties it into the level of education. Which made me wonder...
education or indoctrination?