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Capitalist Theory Is Better Than Socialist Reality by Sandy Ikeda

Tell someone on the left that crony capitalism is not the same as the free market and they’ll often respond that capitalism as it really exists is crony capitalism. They will say that there has never been an instance of capitalism in which government-sponsored or government-abetted cronyism didn’t play a substantial role — either through war, taxation, or slavery — in a market economy. As a result, the failings of crony capitalism — corruption, privilege, oppression, business cycles — are simply the failings of capitalism itself.

One correct response is to show that the less intervention there has been, the less corrupt, privileged, oppressive, and unstable the socioeconomic order also has been. Many would simply reiterate that, historically, laissez-faire capitalism has never existed, nor could it exist, without interventionism. They simply will not or cannot distinguish the free market from state capitalism, corporate capitalism, or other forms of the mixed economy.

Which is perhaps why some on the left have adopted the term “neoliberalism,” a perfectly good word that has come to represent an imbroglio of vaguely market-cum-corporativist views. They can’t imagine how markets could work without some form of state intervention holding it all together. And that’s probably because they reject what economist Peter Boettke calls “mainline economics,” or economics in the tradition of Adam Smith, Frédéric Bastiat, and Carl Menger, among others.

It’s frustrating, but there are two points I’d like to make. The first is that in our libertarian critiques of collectivism, we often make an argument that sounds similar to the one people on the left make. But, second, if libertarians are careful, they may be more justified in doing so.

What Is the Turnabout?

Most socialists today have abandoned their earlier claim that socialism generates greater material prosperity, but many on the left still insist that under a pure collectivist system, greater justice and equality would prevail. Socialism, in other words, is a far more humane socioeconomic order than capitalism.

How do libertarians respond to such a claim?

Sometimes we react with contempt or with disbelief that anyone could be so stupid or so evil or both as to argue such a thing. I hope no reader of theFreeman would react that way, although I’m afraid some do. Sometimes we react with slightly more civility by aiming our dismissive contempt not at the person but at the leftist ideas she holds. I will only say that we should take to heart what John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty about so-called bad ideas and opinions:

Every opinion which embodies somewhat of the portion of truth which the common opinion omits, ought to be considered precious, with whatever amount of error and confusion that truth may be blended.

There are other responses to the claim that socialism is more just and humane than capitalism, but I would like to focus on the one that I’ve often used: socialism in practice has always and everywhere tended to lead, to the degree that it is consistently applied, not to freedom and material well-being, but to tyranny and want. In other words, while socialism in theory may be all good things to all good people, the more government has practiced collectivism and central planning to achieve its goals of justice and equality, the farther it has fallen short of those goals. (And if you think countries such as Sweden are the exception, you might read my March 2013 Freeman article, “The New Swedish Model.”)

How is that different from the left’s position that legal privilege, oppression, and other problems are part and parcel of capitalism in practice? Each side seems to be arguing that the historical failings we’ve witnessed in each system are necessary to that system and not exceptions — features, not bugs.

A Possible Resolution

Clearly, the die-hard socialist and the die-hard libertarian argue from different fundamental principles. While there are many varieties of socialism, all are suspicious to a fairly high degree of private property, prices, and profit as the central ordering forces of society. Libertarians, too, are diverse, but I believe we all share strongly opposite views to those on the left on private property, prices, and profit as necessary (and for some libertarians, mistakenly I believe, sufficient) for a civil and prosperous society.

Socialists and indeed interventionists of all stripes also seem confident that the intentions of government authorities (especially those who have been elected) are virtuous enough and their knowledge reliable and complete enough to succeed in promoting the general welfare. In this, I think, it boils down to the underlying economics.

As a rule, libertarians use mainline economic theory to reach their conclusions about socialism and the perverse dynamics of interventionism. (There are, of course, ethical and philosophical approaches, as well.) And while interventionists and perhaps even some collectivists may believe that mainline economic theory does an okay job of framing some questions and of finding some answers to those questions, they also believe that mainline economics is far too limited to address a significant proportion of economic issues.

But the problem with such a view is that there’s no principled way to say in what circumstances mainline economics has failed. Sure, no theory of the economic system, mainline or otherwise, gets it right in every instance. We then have to look to historical evidence to clarify when, under what circumstances, and to what extent mainline economics holds up. And the historical evidence is indeed on the side of the libertarian interpretation of what collectivism and various degrees of central planning are, and of what laissez-faire capitalism is.

Indeed, the historical evidence overwhelmingly shows that social mobility, innovation, prosperity, per capita income, and per capita wealth are all tightly and positively correlated with economic freedom. And contrariwise, to the extent that economic freedom is lacking, social and economic stagnation, want, and shrinking civil rights have followed. (See, for example, the most recent publication of FreetheWorld.com.)

Someone might retort that correlation is not causation, and they would be right if there wasn’t a causal theory linking economic freedom with all those great things. But libertarians do have such a theory, and it’s called mainline economics.

Those on the left, however, don’t have a coherent theory of the mixed economy. Indeed, no such theory exists. There are several theories of so-called “market failure,” but they do not together constitute a coherent theory. What does exist is a critique of the mixed economy that is based on the realization that the ordering principle of the free market and the ordering principle of collectivist central planning are logically incompatible. One is based on open-ended entrepreneurial competition, the other on some form of constraining central planning. Interventionist approaches that attempt to combine them aren’t really systems at all. They are literally incoherent, and what makes them incoherent is the absence of a consistent ordering principle.

(My contribution to this volume [PDF] delves into this topic more deeply.)

Instead, what you’re left with, given the cognitive limits of the human mind and the spontaneous complexity of real-world systems, is expediency. Each problem is addressed not on the basis of principle, but in ad hoc fashion according to the prevailing interests of the moment. In the case of capitalism, while opportunism and cronyism do constantly pull in the direction of expediency, the force resisting that pull is entrepreneurial competition. That’s because cutting corners opens opportunities for one’s rivals to do a better job.  Moreover, that competition operates more effectively to resist and absorb all forms of intervention, crony or otherwise, the less interventionist the system is.

So while the form of the critiques of the left and of libertarians may sound similar, they are vastly different in substance.


Sandy Ikeda

Sandy Ikeda is a professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism.

Hillary Staffers Can’t Afford New York’s Government-Controlled Housing Market by David Boaz

The New York Times reports:

For decades, idealistic twenty-somethings have shunned higher-paying and more permanent jobs for the altruism and adrenaline rush of working to get a candidate to the White House. But the staffers who have signed up for the Clinton campaign face a daunting obstacle: the New York City real estate market….

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign prides itself on living on the cheap and keeping salaries low, which is good for its own bottom line, but difficult for those who need to pay New York City rents….

When the campaign’s finance director, Dennis Cheng, reached out to New York donors [to put up staffers in their apartments], some of them seemed concerned with the prospective maze of campaign finance laws and with how providing upscale housing in New York City might be interpreted.

Here are some words that don’t appear in the article: rent control, regulation, zoning.

But those are among the reasons that housing is expensive in New York. As a Manhattan Institute report noted in 2002:

New York City and State have instituted policies that severely distort the dynamics of housing supply and demand. Only 30 percent of the city’s rental units, for instance, are subject to market prices.

These distortions — coupled with Rube-Goldbergian environmental and zoning regulations — have denied New York the kind of healthy housing market enjoyed by most other major cities.

And a report by Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko for the Federal Reserve Board of New York Economic Policy Review suggests that “homes are expensive in high-cost areas primarily because of government regulation” that imposes “artificial limits on construction.”

As I’ve said in other contexts: This is the business you have chosen. If you want the government to control rents and impose regulatory costs on the building of housing, then you can expect to see less housing and thus more expensive housing. Welcome to your world, Hillary Clinton staffers.

This post first appeared at Cato.org.

Related: Jim Epstein notes that fully one third of Manhattan, and 33,000 buildings and 114 entire districts across the city, are “encased in a life-sized historical diorama,” unable to be modified or demolished thanks to the city’s “landmark preservation” law.


David Boaz

David Boaz is executive vice president of the Cato Institute. He is the editor of The Libertarian Reader, editor of The Cato Handbook for Policymakers, and author of The Politics of Freedom.

“The President that Couldn’t”: Why Obama’s Agenda Failed by Thomas A. Firey

With time running out on his administration, President Obama has embarked on a sort of “apology tour” to disillusioned supporters. They are frustrated that he hasn’t delivered on many of their favored policies, from gun control to single-payer health care to carbon controls.

With candidates queuing up to replace him — many with very different policy goals than his — he apparently feels the need to rally the disaffected behind a successor who would carry on his agenda.

His message to the disheartened supporters is simple: The political failures aren’t his fault. He’s tried hard to deliver, but “Congress doesn’t work” and American government “is broken.” According to Obama:

As mightily as I have struggled against that… it still is broken. … When I ran in 2008, I, in fact, did not say I would fix it. I said we could fix it. I didn’t say, “Yes, I can”; I said — what? … “Yes, we can.”

Washington Post columnist Chris Cillizza, writing about the apology tour, throws some shade at the president, claiming that he did in fact promise to change policy. But ultimately Cillizza agrees with Obama, writing that the American “political system is … more broken than any one person — no matter who that person is or the circumstances that surround that person’s election — could hope to solve.”

But both the president and Cillizza are completely wrong; the American political system assuredly is not broken. The system was designed — and we should all be very grateful that it was designed — to not allow the radical change that Obama’s supporters — or supporters of other politicians across the political spectrum — want.

It is the rare times when such change does occur — think Franklin Roosevelt’s expansion of national government or George W. Bush’s anti-terrorism initiatives and war in Iraq — that American governance had failed and very bad things happen.

Today the United States is a nation of more than 320 million remarkably different people, living in unique situations, having highly individual concerns, desires, and risk preferences, and holding a wide variety of mostly noble values. They each operate in a world of uncertainty and limited resources. Given those dramatically varied circumstances, any national policymaking is likely to harm and anger tens of millions of people.

For that reason, the Framers (who likewise lived in an incredibly diverse nation for their era) designed American government to elevate private action and decentralize governance while limiting national policy to matters of broad consensus and compromise.

Because few of the policy goals advocated by President Obama and his “progressive” supporters have such support or allow for serious compromise (even the signature item that he did manage to enact), it shouldn’t be surprising that few of those goals have been achieved. That doesn’t mean American government is broken — quite the opposite! — but rather that Obama’s conception of governance is.

Perhaps the next president will better appreciate the genius of American government’s design and work within that design for policy change that he or she believes is important. But it’s clear from President Obama’s comments that he is not up to that task.

For the reason, we should all be very grateful that, no, he couldn’t.

Thomas A. Firey

Thomas A. Firey is a Maryland Public Policy Institute senior fellow, and also is managing editor of Regulation magazine, the Cato Institute’s quarterly review of business in government.

EDITORS NOTE: This first appeared at MDpolicy.org.

The New Paganism? The Case against Pope Francis’s Green Encyclical by Max Borders

Paganism as a distinct and separate religion may perhaps be said to have died, although, driven out of the cities, it found refuge in the countryside, where it lingered long — and whence, indeed, its very name is derived. In a very real sense, however, it never died at all. It was only transformed and absorbed into Christianity. – James Westfall Thompson, An Introduction to Medieval Europe

In 2003, science-fiction writer Michael Crichton warned a San Francisco audience about the sacralization of the environment. Drawing an analogy between religion and environmentalism, Crichton said:

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.

We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

This analogy between religion and environmentalism is no longer a mere analogy.

Pope Francis, the highest authority in the Catholic Church — to whom many faithful look for spiritual guidance — has now fused church doctrine with environmental doctrine.

Let’s consider pieces of his recently released Encyclical Letter. One is reminded of a history in which the ideas of paganism (including the worship of nature) were incorporated into the growing medieval Church.

Excerpts from Pope Francis are shown in italics.


 

This sister protests the evil that we provoke, because of the irresponsible use and of the abuse of the goods that God has placed in her. We grew up thinking that we were its owners and rulers, allowed to plunder it.

Notice how Pope Francis turns the earth into a person. Sister. Mother. This kind of anthropomorphic trope is designed to make you think that, by virtue of driving your car, you’re also smacking your sibling. We’ve gone from “dominion over the animals and crawling things” to “plundering” our sister.

The violence that exists in the human heart wounded by sin is also manifested in the symptoms of the disease we feel in soil, water, air and in the living things. Therefore, among the most abandoned and ill treated poor we find our oppressed and devastated Earth, which “moans and suffers the pains of childbirth” [Romans 8:22].

First, if the state of the soil, water and air and living things is indeed symptomatic of our violent, sinful hearts, then the good news is that sin is on the decline. On every dimension the Pope names, the symptoms of environmental harm are getting better all the time — at least in our decadent capitalist country.

Do not take it on faith: here are data.

There are forms of pollution which affect people every day. The exposure to air pollutants produces a large spectrum of health effects, in particular on the most poor, and causes millions of premature deaths.

This will always be true to some degree, of course, but it’s less true than any time in human history. Pope Francis fails to acknowledge the tremendous gains humanity has made. For example, human life expectancy in the Paleolithic period (call this “Eden”) was 33 years. Life expectancy in the neolithic period was 20 years. Globally, life expectancy is now more than 68 years, and in the West, it is passing 79 years.

Yes, there is pollution, and, yes, the poor are affected by it. But the reason why the poor are affected most by air pollution is because they’re poor — and because they don’t have access to fossil fuel energy. Pope Francis never bothers to draw the connection between wealth and health because he thinks of both production and consumption as sinful. Brad Plumer writes at Vox,

About 3 billion people around the world — mostly in Africa and Asia, and mostly very poor — still cook and heat their homes by burning coal, charcoal, dung, wood, or plant residue in their homes. These homes often have poor ventilation, and the smoke can cause all sorts of respiratory diseases.

The wealthy people of the West, including Pope Francis, don’t suffer from this problem. That’s because liberal capitalist countries — i.e., those countries who “plunder” their sister earth — do not suffer from energy poverty. They do not suffer from inhaling fumes and particulate matter from burning dung becausethey are “sinful,” because they are capitalist.

See the problem? The Pope wants to have it both ways. He has confused the disease (unhealthy indoor air pollution) with the cure (cheap, clean, abundant and mass-produced energy from fossil fuels).

Add to that the pollution that affects all, caused by transportation, by industrial fumes, by the discharge of substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, by fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and toxic pesticides in general. The technology, which, connected to finance, claims to be the only solution to these problems, in fact is not capable of seeing the mystery of the multiple relationships which exist between things, and because of this, sometimes solves a problem by creating another.

It is strange to read admonitions from someone about the “multiple relationships that exist between things,” only to see him ignore those relationships in the same paragraph. Yes, humans often create problems by solving others, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t solve the problems. It just means we should solve the big problems and then work on the smaller ones.

Solving problems even as we discover different problems is an inherent part of the human condition. Our creativity and innovation and struggle to overcome the hand nature has dealt us is what makes us unique as a species.

Perhaps this is, for Pope Francis, some sort of Green Original Sin: “Thou shalt just deal with it.” But to the rest of us, it is the means by which we live happier, more comfortable lives here under the firmament.

The Earth, our home, seems to turn more and more into a huge garbage dump. In many places on the planet, the elderly remember with nostalgia the landscapes of the past, which now appear to be submerged in junk.

If you get your understanding of waste management and the environment from the movie Wall-E, then you might have the impression that we’re burying our sister in garbage. But as the guys over at EconPop have pointed out, land used for waste management is also governed by laws of supply and demand — which means entrepreneurs and innovators are finding better and less expensive ways to reuse, reduce, recycle, and manage our waste.

The industrial waste as well as the chemicals used in cities and fields can produce an effect of bio-accumulation in the bodies of the inhabitants of neighboring areas, which occurs even when the amount of a toxic element in a given place is low. Many times one takes action only when these produced irreversible effects on people’s health.

People, on net, are living longer and healthier than they ever have in the history of our species. What evidence does the Holy Father have that irreversible effects on people’s health rises to the level of an emergency that demands drafting in a papal encyclical? And why focus on the costs of “chemicals” without a single mention of overwhelming their human benefit? Indeed, which chemicals? This kind of sloppy thinking is rather unbecoming of someone who is (we are constantly reminded) a trained chemist.

Certain substances can have health effects, but so can failing to produce the life-enhancing goods in the first place. The answer is not to beg forgiveness for using soaps and plastics (or whatever), but to develop the institutions that prevent people and companies from imposing harmful costs onto others without taking responsibility for it.

The key is to consider the trade-offs that we will face no matter what, not to condemn and banish “impure” and unnatural substances from our lives.

These issues are intimately linked to the culture of waste, affecting so much the human beings left behind when the things turn quickly into trash.

Now we’re getting somewhere. This is where Pope Francis would like to add consumerism to production on the list of environmentally deadly sins.

Let us realize, for example, that most of the paper that is produced is thrown away and not recycled.

Heaven forfend! So would Pope Francis have us burn fossil fuels to go around and collect processed pulp? Is he unaware that demand for paper is what drivesthe supply of new trees? We aren’t running out of trees because we throw away paper. The Pope’s plan sounds like it could have been hatched in Berkeley, California, instead of Vatican City. And yet worlds have collided.

Michael Munger puts matters a little differently:

Mandatory recycling, by definition, takes material that would not be recycled voluntarily, diverts it from the waste stream, and handles it several times before using it again in a way that wastes resources.

The only explanation for this behavior that I can think of is a religious ceremony, a sacrifice of resources as a form of worship. I have no problem if people want to do that. As religions go, it is fairly benign. Butrequiring that religious sacrifice of resources is a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

Well, Professor Munger, this is the Pope we’re talking about.

We find it hard to admit that the operation of natural ecosystems is exemplary: plants synthesize nutrients that feed the herbivores; these in turn feed the carnivores, which provide a lot of organic waste, which give rise to a new generation of plants. In contrast, the industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the ability to absorb and reuse waste and slag.

Where is the evidence for this? These are matters of faith, indeed. All this time I thought the industrial system did have the ability to absorb and reuse waste: It’s called the system of prices, property, and profit/loss. The problem is not that such a “recycling” system doesn’t exist, it’s that corruption and government distorts the system of property, prices and profit/loss so that our economic ecosystem doesn’t operate as it should.

Indeed, when you have the Pope suggesting we burn gas to save glass, you have to wonder why the industrial system is so messed up. A system that “requires us to limit the use of non-renewable resources, to moderate consumption, to maximize the efficiency of the exploitation, to reuse and to recycle,” is called the market. And where it doesn’t exist is where you’ll find the worst instances of corruption and environmental degradation.

Then, of course, there’s climate change. In the interests of brevity I won’t quote the whole thing. But here’s the punchline, which might have been plucked straight from the IPCC Summary for Policymakers:

Climate change is a global problem with serious environmental, social, economic, distribution and policy implications, and make up one of the main current challenges for humanity. The heaviest impacts will probably fall in the coming decades upon developing countries.

This might be true. What the Holy Father fails to appreciate is that the heaviest impacts of policies designed to mitigate climate change will definitely fall upon developing countries. (That is, if the developing countries swear off cheap energy and embrace any sort of global climate treaty. If history is a guide, they most certainly will not.)

Meanwhile, the biggest benefits of burning more carbon-based fossil fuels will accrue the poorest billions on earth. The Pope should mention that if he really has their interests at heart or in mind.

But many symptoms indicate that these effects could get worse if we continue the current patterns of production and consumption.

“Patterns of production and consumption”? This is a euphemism for wealth creation. What is wealth except production and consumption of resources to further human need and desire?

His suggested cure for our dangerous patterns of wealth creation, of course, is good ole demand-side management. Wiser, more enlightened minds (like his, he hopes) will let you know which light bulbs to buy, what sort of car to drive, and which insolvent solar company they’ll “invest” your money in. You can even buy papal indulgences in the form of carbon credits. As the late Alexander Cockburn wrote,

The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. … Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments.

But the most important thing to realize here is that the “current” patterns of production and consumption are never current. The earthquakes of innovation and gales of creative destruction blow through any such observed patterns. The price system, with its lightning-quick information distribution mechanism is far, far superior to any elites or energy cronies. And technological innovation, though we can’t predict just how, will likely someday take us as far away from today’s energy status quo, just as we have moved away from tallow, whale oil, and horse-drawn carriages.

The Pope disagrees with our rose-tinted techno-optimism, saying “some maintain at all costs the myth of progress and say that the ecological problems will be solved simply by new technical applications.”

The Pope sits on his golden throne and looks over the vast expanse of time and space — from hunter-gatherers running mammoths off cliffs to Americans running Teslas off electric power, from the USA in 1776 and 2015, from England before and after the Industrial Revolution, from Hong Kong and Hiroshima in 1945 to their glorious present — and sneers: progress is a myth, environmental problems can’t be fixed through innovation, production is destroying the earth, consumption is original sin.

Innovation is the wellspring of all progress. Policies to stop or undo innovation in energy, chemistry, industry, farming, and genetics are a way to put humanity in a bell jar, at best. At worst they will put some of us in the dark and others in early graves. They are truly fatal conceits.

And yet, the Pope has faith in policymakers to know just which year we should have gotten off the train of innovation. William F. Buckley famously said conservatives “stand athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!’” Greens are similar, except they’re yelling “Go back!”

Therefore it has become urgent and compelling to develop policies so that in the coming years the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases is reduced drastically, for instance by replacing fossil fuels and by developing renewable energy sources.

I reflect again on the notion that this effort might be just another way of the Church embracing and extending a competitor religion. Then again, Pope Francis so often shows that he is a true and faithful green planner. In an unholy alliance with those who see the strategic benefit in absorbing environmentalism, the Holy Father has found the perfect way to restore the power of the Church over politics, economics, culture, and the state to its former glory.


Max Borders

Max Borders is the editor of the Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.


Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the editor of Anything Peaceful. He writes on issues relating to science, civil liberties, and economic freedom.

How Policing Works in a Privatized City by Jeffrey A. Tucker

“All the common areas of Atlantic Station including the streets, sidewalks, parks, and alleys are private property.”

Thus reads one line buried in the Rules of Conduct for Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia: a marvelous city within a city. But it’s this one line that makes the critical difference. It’s why this one-square mile in the heart of this great city has done more to model beauty, prosperity, diversity, and happy living than 50 years of “urban renewal” and other government programs.

The entire community was built on top of the old Atlanta Steel Mill, which opened in 1901 and closed in the 1970s, leaving desolation in its wake. Atlantic Station opened 10 years ago as a visionary entrepreneurial venture — the brainchild of The Jacoby Group, headed by Jim Jacoby — funded mostly with private money (the city helped with tax breaks and some infrastructure funding).

It is not a gated community walled off from the public for only the elite. There is no charge to get in. Everything is public access, and subject to all the laws governing commercial property. The difference between the public and private city, however, is huge.

You can tell when you have entered the space. Whereas many areas of Atlanta struggle, this area in the heart of the city is clean, bright, ebullient, bustling with enterprise and life.

On an evening recently, on the way to the movies in the spectacular theater there, I sat outside on the patio of a Mexican food restaurant and watched adults and children playing games and having fun on the green space that serves as a mini-park in the middle of this urban experiment in capitalism. There were people from all races, classes, and ages. They listened to the live band and sang along.

As I sat there, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the sense of a mini-utopia. It’s like an idealized scene you see in a commercial for soda or some happy vacation getaway. It was one of the most blissful city scenes I’ve ever witnessed.

It was a typical evening, and it was all taking place in a place that was, only twenty years ago, a burned out, low-rent, disaster zone, the kind of place people flee. Now, the migration patterns have changed. Atlantic Station is a place where you want to live and work.

I was walking along and a uniformed police office greeted me good evening. I responded with delight, and we had a nice conversation. She wanted to know if I was enjoying the evening, made a few bar recommendations, we chatted about the weather, and I went on. She was uniformed, yes, and probably armed, but in a non-threatening way. She looked sharp and helpful, as well as official.

Then it struck me: the police in the community are privately employed by main stakeholders in the community, which are the merchants, apartment owners, and other service providers. (The streets are also private but public access.) For this reason, the police themselves have a deep investment in the well-being of the community and the general happiness of the consumers who shop there. They are employees of the free enterprise system. In particular, Atlantic Station owners contract with Chesley Brown for experienced service.

Sometimes in today’s overly-militarized environment, it is easy to forget: policing is a completely legitimate, useful, important profession. They are there to make sure that everyone is keeping the rules and to apprehend the vandals and criminals who break the rules. You might even call them the thin-blue line.

What makes the difference here is the private nature of the contract that employs them. Just as every other employee in this community, they have a direct stake in the value of the space. They are there to serve customers, just as every merchant in this community does.

The more valuable the community, the more valuable their own jobs. They have the incentive to do their job well, which means enhancing the experiences of rule keepers while driving out those who do not keep the rules.

The rules for Atlantic Station are rather strict, more so than I would have thought. There is a curfew for teens. You can’t wear gang-related or obscene clothing. You can’t carry weaponry. You can’t use indecent language. You can’t smoke. You can’t be boisterous. You can’t shout or be vulgar. You can jog, but you can’t just take off running through streets like an animal.

If rules like this were imposed by a city government, people would rightly complain about the violation of rights. So why aren’t these rules violations of rights? Because it is private property and the owners determine them.

More importantly, the point of the rules is not to control people and run their lives; it is to enhance the value of the community for everyone. They can be changed depending on circumstances. They can be imposed strictly or not. It all depends on what’s best for Atlantic Station, and, yes, what’s best for business.

But you know what’s interesting given all the rules? You don’t really feel them. They are not really posted anywhere. You just sense that they exist, and you feel a desire to behave well. The culture of cooperativeness and good behavior is ever present. And the rules have the effect of freeing you from annoying things, not restricting your behavior. It doesn’t feel like an imposition. It feels orderly. The rules are enforced but with gentleness and care.

The first time I entered Atlantic Station was about 18 months ago. I had some sense that something was different about the place, but I hadn’t understood that it was entirely private. I stepped out on the sidewalk and lit up a cigarette. One of these very nice private policeman came up and greeted me and politely asked me to put it out, on grounds that this was against the rules in this private community. I said, you mean by this building? He said, no, for the whole community.

I didn’t resent it. In fact, I was delighted to comply. I even thanked him for being so kind. There were no tickets, no yelling, no moments of intimidation. No one is taking your stuff, threatening to arrest you, or even giving you tickets. You have the right of exit. The rules themselves become part of a larger market for rules.

Another interesting feature is how Atlantic Station has marketed itself. It is not seen as an experiment in capitalist living. All the promotion uses all the usual lefty buzzwords about energy efficiency, sustainability, diversity, renewable this and that, certifications by various green groups, and so on. None of it matters in the slightest. This is about private property. Period. It’s ownership that realizes the ideals, whatever they are.

The lesson I derive from all of this is that institutions matter. You can have the same principles and laws in two places, one enforced publicly and one enforced privately. The code of conduct can be identical, but the results can be completely different.

Where monopolistic, tax-funded enforcement can be cruel, inflexible, and violent, the same enforcement brought about within the matrix of an exchange economy can yield results that are humane, orderly, and beautiful. The right to just walk away makes all the difference.

The implications for policing are perhaps the most interesting, given the current controversy over police abuse. When the police function is part of the market order, the phrase “to serve and protect” takes on substantive meaning. It’s this feature of public vs. private property that is decisive.

There must be many of these communities appearing around the country. Governments at all levels are out of ideas and out of money. When was the last time you heard of some hugely expensive urban renewal program, or massive public housing structure, that was to be built in a major city?

These visions are less and less part of our lives and our future, thankfully. With governments bowing out of the planning business, private enterprise is increasingly moving in with real efforts at restoring community.

Private enterprise is gradually bringing about what governments only promised to do, and it is happening without much fanfare. In fact, I’ve not seen a single headline story about this community, whereas there should be thousands that read something like “Private commerce saves Atlanta!”

Private property and inclusive commerce: it’s the magic sauce that makes life beautiful. Come to Atlantic Station and see for yourself.


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Anything Peaceful.

Socialism Is War and War Is Socialism by Steven Horwitz

“[Economic] planning does not accidentally deteriorate into the militarization of the economy; it is the militarization of the economy.… When the story of the Left is seen in this light, the idea of economic planning begins to appear not only accidentally but inherently reactionary. The theory of planning was, from its inception, modeled after feudal and militaristic organizations. Elements of the Left tried to transform it into a radical program, to fit into a progressive revolutionary vision. But it doesn’t fit. Attempts to implement this theory invariably reveal its true nature. The practice of planning is nothing but the militarization of the economy.” — Don Lavoie, National Economic Planning: What Is Left?

Libertarians have long confounded our liberal and conservative friends by being both strongly in favor of free markets and strongly opposed to militarism and foreign intervention. In the conventional world of “right” and “left,” this combination makes no sense. Libertarians are often quick to point out the ways in which free trade, both within and across national borders, creates cooperative interdependencies among those who trade, thereby reducing the likelihood of war. The long classical liberal tradition is full of those who saw the connection between free trade and peace.

But there’s another side to the story, which is that socialism and economic planning have a long and close connection with war and militarization.

As Don Lavoie argues at length in his wonderful and underappreciated 1985 book National Economic Planning: What Is Left?, any attempt to substitute economic planning (whether comprehensive and central or piecemeal and decentralized) for markets inevitably ends up militarizing and regimenting the society. Lavoie points out that this outcome was not an accident. Much of the literature defending economic planning worked from a militaristic model. The “success” of economic planning associated with World War I provided early 20th century planners with a specific historical model from which to operate.

This connection should not surprise those who understand the idea of the market as a spontaneous order. As good economists from Adam Smith to F.A. Hayek and beyond have appreciated, markets are the products of human action but not human design. No one can consciously direct an economy. In fact, Hayek in particular argued that this is true not just of the economy, but of society in general: advanced commercial societies are spontaneous orders along many dimensions.

Market economies have no purpose of their own, or as Hayek put it, they are “ends-independent.” Markets are simply means by which people come together to pursue the various ends that each person or group has. You and I don’t have to agree on which goals are more or less important in order to participate in the market.

The same is true of other spontaneous orders. Consider language. We can both use English to construct sentences even if we wish to communicate different, or contradictory, things with the language.

One implication of seeing the economy as a spontaneous order is that it lacks a “collective purpose.” There is no single scale of values that guides us as a whole, and there is no process by which resources, including human resources, can be marshaled toward those collective purposes.

The absence of such a collective purpose or common scale of values is one factor that explains the connection between war and socialism. They share a desire to remake the spontaneous order of society into an organization with a single scale of values, or a specific purpose. In a war, the overarching goal of defeating the enemy obliterates the ends-independence of the market and requires that hierarchical control be exercised in order to direct resources toward the collective purpose of winning the war.

In socialism, the same holds true. To substitute economic planning for the market is to reorganize the economy to have a single set of ends that guides the planners as they allocate resources. Rather than being connected with each other by a shared set of means, as in private property, contracts, and market exchange, planning connects people by a shared set of ends. Inevitably, this will lead to hierarchy and militarization, because those ends require trying to force people to behave in ways that contribute to the ends’ realization. And as Hayek noted in The Road to Serfdom, it will also lead to government using propaganda to convince the public to share a set of values associated with some ends. We see this tactic in both war and socialism.

As Hayek also pointed out, this is an atavistic desire. It is a way for us to try to recapture the world of our evolutionary past, where we existed in small, homogeneous groups in which hierarchical organization with a common purpose was possible. Deep in our moral instincts is a desire to have the solidarity of a common purpose and to organize resources in a way that enables us to achieve it.

Socialism and war appeal to so many because they tap into an evolved desire to be part of a social order that looks like an extended family: the clan or tribe. Soldiers are not called “bands of brothers” and socialists don’t speak of “a brotherhood of man” by accident. Both groups use the same metaphor because it works. We are susceptible to it because most of our history as human beings was in bands of kin that were largely organized in this way.

Our desire for solidarity is also why calls for central planning on a smaller scale have often tried to claim their cause as the moral equivalent of war. This is true on both the left and right. We have had the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror, among others. And we are “fighting,” “combating,” and otherwise at war with our supposedly changing climate — not to mention those thought to be responsible for that change. The war metaphor is the siren song of those who would substitute hierarchy and militarism for decentralized power and peaceful interaction.

Both socialism and war are reactionary, not progressive. They are longings for an evolutionary past long gone, and one in which humans lived lives that were far worse than those we live today. Truly progressive thinking recognizes the limits of humanity’s ability to consciously construct and control the social world. It is humble in seeing how social norms, rules, and institutions that we did not consciously construct enable us to coordinate the actions of billions of anonymous actors in ways that enable them to create incredible complexity, prosperity, and peace.

The right and left do not realize that they are both making the same error. Libertarians understand that the shared processes of spontaneous orders like language and the market can enable all of us to achieve many of our individual desires without any of us dictating those values for others. By contrast, the right and left share a desire to impose their own sets of values on all of us and thereby fashion the world in their own images.

No wonder they don’t understand us.


Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University and the author of Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective, now in paperback.

How Ice Cream Won the Cold War by B.K. Marcus

Richard Nixon stood by a lemon-yellow refrigerator in Moscow and bragged to the Soviet leader: “The American system,” he told Nikita Khrushchev over frosted cupcakes and chocolate layer cake, “is designed to take advantage of new inventions.”

It was the opening day of the American National Exhibition at Sokol’niki Park, and Nixon was representing not just the US government but also the latest products from General Mills, Whirlpool, and General Electric. Assisting him in what would come to be known as the “Kitchen Debates” were attractive American spokesmodels who demonstrated for the Russian crowd the best that capitalism in 1959 had to offer.

Capitalist lifestyle

“This was the first time,” writes British food historian Bee Wilson of the summer exhibition, that “many Russians had encountered the American lifestyle firsthand: the first time they … set eyes on big American refrigerators.”

Laughing and sometimes jabbing fingers at one another, the two men debated the merits of capitalism and communism. Which country had the more advanced technologies? Which way of life was better? The conversation … hinged not on weapons or the space race but on washing machines and kitchen gadgets. (Consider the Fork)

Khrushchev was dismissive. Yes, the Americans had brought some fancy machines with them, but did all this consumer technology actually offer any real advantages?

In his memoirs, he later recalled picking up an automatic lemon squeezer. “What a silly thing … Mr. Nixon! … I think it would take a housewife longer to use this gadget than it would for her to … slice a piece of lemon, drop it into a glass of tea, then squeeze a few drops.”

Producing necessities

That same year, Khrushchev announced that the Soviet economy would overtake the United States in the production of milk, meat, and butter. These were products that made sense to him. He couldn’t deliver — although Soviet farmers were forced to slaughter their breeding herds in an attempt to do so — but the goal itself reveals what the communist leader believed a healthy economy was supposed to do: produce staples like meat and dairy, not luxuries like colorful kitchenware and complex gadgetry for the decadent and lazy.

“Don’t you have a machine,” he asked Nixon, “that puts food in the mouth and presses it down? Many things you’ve shown us are interesting but they are not needed in life. They have no useful purpose. They are merely gadgets.”

Khrushchev was displaying the behavior Ludwig von Mises described in The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. “They castigate the luxury, the stupidity and the moral corruption of the exploiting classes,” Mises wrote of the socialists. “In their eyes everything that is bad and ridiculous is bourgeois, and everything that is good and sublime is proletarian.”

On display that summer in Moscow was American consumer tech at its most bourgeois. The problem with “castigating the luxury,” as Mises pointed out, is that all “innovation is first a luxury of only a few people, until by degrees it comes into the reach of the many.”

Producing luxuries

It is appropriate that the Kitchen Debate over luxury versus necessity took place among high-end American refrigerators. Refrigeration, as a luxury, is ancient. “There were ice harvests in China before the first millennium BC,” writes Wilson. “Snow was sold in Athens beginning in the fifth century BC. Aristocrats of the seventeenth century spooned desserts from ice bowls, drank wine chilled with snow, and even ate iced creams and water ices. Yet it was only in the nineteenth century in the United States that ice became an industrial commodity.” Only with modern capitalism, in other words, does the luxury reach so rapidly beyond a tiny elite.

“Capitalism,” Mises wrote in Economic Freedom and Interventionism, “is essentially mass production for the satisfaction of the wants of the masses.”

The man responsible for bringing ice to the overheated multitude was a Boston businessman named Frederic Tudor. “History now knows him as ‘the Ice King,’” Steven Johnson writes of Tudor in How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, “but for most of his early adulthood he was an abject failure, albeit one with remarkable tenacity.”

Like many wealthy families in northern climes, the Tudors stored blocks of frozen lake water in icehouses, two-hundred-pound ice cubes that would remain marvelously unmelted until the hot summer months arrived, and a new ritual began: chipping off slices from the blocks to freshen drinks [and] make ice cream.

In 1800, when Frederic was 17, he accompanied his ill older brother to Cuba. They were hoping the tropical climate would improve his brother’s health, but it “had the opposite effect: arriving in Havana, the Tudor brothers were quickly overwhelmed by the muggy weather.” They reversed course, but the summer heat chased them back to the American South, and Frederic longed for the cooler climes of New England. That experience “suggested a radical — some would say preposterous — idea to young Frederic Tudor: if he could somehow transport ice from the frozen north to the West Indies, there would be an immense market for it.”

“In a country where at some seasons of the year the heat is almost unsupportable,” Tudor wrote in his journal, “ice must be considered as outdoing most other luxuries.”

Tudor’s folly

Imagine what an early 19th-century version of Khrushchev would have said to the future Ice King. People throughout the world go hungry, and you, Mr. Tudor, want to introduce frozen desserts to the tropics? What of beef? What of butter? The capitalists chase profits rather than producing the necessities.

It’s true that Tudor was pursuing profits, but his idea of ice outdoing “most other luxuries” looked to his contemporaries more like chasing folly than fortune.

The Boston Gazette reported on one of his first shiploads of New England ice: “No joke. A vessel with a cargo of 80 tons of Ice has cleared out from this port for Martinique. We hope this will not prove to be a slippery speculation.”

And at first the skeptics seemed right. Tudor “did manage to make some ice cream,” Johnson tells us. And that impressed a few of the locals. “But the trip was ultimately a complete failure.” The novelty of imported ice was just too novel. Why supply ice where there was simply no demand?

You can’t put a price on failure

In the early 20th century, economists Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, after years of debate with the Marxists, finally began to convince advocates of socialist central planning that market prices were essential to the rational allocation of scarce resources. Some socialist theorists responded with the idea of using capitalist market prices as a starting point for the central planners, who could then simulate the process of bidding for goods, thereby replacing real markets with an imitation that they believed would be just as good. Capitalism would then be obsolete, an unfortunate stage in the development of greater social justice.

By 1959, Khrushchev could claim, however questionably, that Soviet refrigerators were just as good as the American variety — except for a few frivolous features. But there wouldn’t have been any Soviet fridges at all if America hadn’t led the way in artificial refrigeration, starting with Tudor’s folly a century and a half earlier. If the central planners had been around in 1806 when the Boston Gazette poked fun at Tudor’s slippery speculation, what prices would they have used as the starting point for future innovation? All the smart money was in other ventures, and Tudor was on his way to losing his family’s fortune and landing in debtor’s prison.

Only through stubborn persistence did Tudor refine his idea and continue to innovate while demand slowly grew for what he had to offer.

“Still pursued by his creditors,” Johnson writes, Tudor

began making regular shipments to a state-of-the-art icehouse he had built in Havana, where an appetite for ice cream had been slowly maturing. Fifteen years after his original hunch, Tudor’s ice trade had finally turned a profit. By the 1820s, he had icehouses packed with frozen New England water all over the American South. By the 1830s, his ships were sailing to Rio and Bombay. (India would ultimately prove to be his most lucrative market.)

The world the Ice King made

In the winter of 1846–47, Henry David Thoreau watched a crew of Tudor’s ice cutters at work on Walden Pond.

Thoreau wrote, “The sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, of Madras and Bombay and Calcutta, drink at my well.… The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.”

When Tudor died in 1864, Johnson tells us, he “had amassed a fortune worth more than $200 million in today’s dollars.”

The Ice King had also changed the fortunes of all Americans, and reshaped the country in the process. Khrushchev would later care about butter and beef, but before refrigerated train cars — originally cooled by natural ice — it didn’t matter how much meat and dairy an area could produce if it could only be consumed locally without spoiling. And only with the advent of the home icebox could families keep such products fresh. Artificial refrigeration created the modern city by allowing distant farms to feed the growing urban populations.

A hundred years after the Boston Gazette reported what turned out to be Tudor’s failed speculation, the New York Times would run a very different headline: “Ice Up to 40 Cents and a Famine in Sight”:

Not in sixteen years has New York faced such an iceless prospect as this year. In 1890 there was a great deal of trouble and the whole country had to be scoured for ice. Since then, however, the needs for ice have grown vastly, and a famine is a much more serious matter now than it was then.

“In less than a century,” Johnson observes, “ice had gone from a curiosity to a luxury to a necessity.”

The world that luxury made

Before modern markets, Mises tells us, the delay between luxury and necessity could take centuries, but “from its beginnings, capitalism displayed the tendency to shorten this time lag and finally to eliminate it almost entirely. This is not a merely accidental feature of capitalistic production; it is inherent in its very nature.” That’s why everyone today carries a smartphone — and in a couple of years, almost every wrist will bear a smartwatch.

The Cold War is over, and Khrushchev is no longer around to scoff, but the Kitchen Debate continues as the most visible commercial innovations produce “mere gadgets.” Less visible is the steady progress in the necessities, including the innovations we didn’t know were necessary because we weren’t imagining the future they would bring about. Even less evident are all the failures. We talk of profits, but losses drive innovation forward, too.

It’s easy to admire the advances that so clearly improve lives: ever lower infant mortality, ever greater nutrition, fewer dying from deadly diseases. It’s harder to see that the larger system of innovation is built on the quest for comfort, for entertainment, for what often looks like decadence. But the long view reveals that an innovator’s immediate goals don’t matter as much as the system that promotes innovation in the first place.

Even if we give Khrushchev the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really did care about feeding the masses and satisfying the most basic human needs, it’s clear the Soviet premier had no idea how economic development works. Progress is not driven by producing ever more butter; it is driven by ice cream.


B.K. Marcus

B.K. Marcus is managing editor of the Freeman.

A Shrine to a Socialist Demagogue by Lawrence W. Reed

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — It’s May 27, 2015. Driving south on First Avenue toward Masaya on a hot, late-spring day in the Nicaraguan capital, my eye caught an image in the distance. “That looks like Curly from The Three Stooges!” I thought. Nah, what would he be doing here? Nyuk. Nyuk.

As we approached, I suddenly realized it only resembled Curly. It was actually somebody considerably less funny. The statue was a garish, tasteless manifestation of the late Venezuelan socialist strongman Hugo Chavez, surrounded by ugly, orange curlicues. I repressed the urge to gag as I stopped to take this photo:

Hugo Chavez shrine

This tribute to a man whose ceaseless demagoguery ruined his nation’s economy is the doing, of course, of Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega and his party. Ortega, like Chavez, engineered constitutional changes that may make him effectively president for life. He has worshiped state power since the 1970s. He was a Cuban-trained Marxist and cofounder of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, the Sandinistas. I visited the country five times in the 1980s to interview key political figures, and whenever I was there, Ortega was pushing government literacy programs; meanwhile, his government was harassing and shutting down the opposition press.

Back in the 1980s, Ortega relied heavily on subsidies from his Soviet and Cuban sponsors. But now that the Soviets are ancient history and the Cuban economy is on life support, he’s had to moderate. Nicaragua is a very poor country. Its per capita GDP is about a third of the world average, better than Yemen’s but not as deluxe as Uzbekistan’s. According to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, however, it’s ranked better than you might expect at 108th in the world. Seventy countries are actually less free.

Who do you think is ranked at the very bottom, at 176, 177, and 178?

None other than the workers’ paradises of Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.

If you want a glimpse of the current state of the Chavez/Maduro experiment in Venezuelan socialism, look no further than the relative scarcities of toilet paper (you’d better bring your own if you visit) and paper money (more abundant than ever at 510 percent inflation).

I asked my old friend Deroy Murdock, senior fellow with the Atlas Network, Fox News contributor, and keen observer of affairs in the Americas: How would you assess the legacy of the Venezuelan caudillo memorialized by Ortega’s regime in Nicaragua?

“Hugo Chavez arrived in Venezuela, determined to make his country a gleaming showcase of socialism, and renovate Cuba in the process,” Murdock said. “Now, Chavez is dead, Castro still lives, and both countries remain in dire straits. Chavez’s legacy is the enduring lesson that big government is bad, and huge government is even worse.”

Indeed. Seems pretty self-evident whether you look at the numbers from afar or walk the streets in person. Venezuela’s economy has been in free-fall for almost all of the past 15 years.

But there I was, gazing at a giant Hugo in Managua, a monument intended to say, “Way to go, man!” One wonders where an impoverished country gets the money or even the idea to construct such a hideous gargoyle.

Then I realized the answer: Ortega’s Nicaragua is run by socialists. And by typical socialist reasoning, you can be an architect of disaster but reckoned to be a “man of the people” just by claiming to be one.

If you produced the same results while advocating capitalism, you’d be reckoned a monster.


Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s.

Stalinism and the Destabilization of America

Stalin’s policy of Divide and Conquer has been implemented in many different areas and aspects of our society, including a racial division. The events in Ferguson, Baltimore, Wisconsin and Cleveland had confirmed it. It is a continuation of WWIII against America the Beautiful designed by our Founding Fathers. There are several factors that inflamed the predicament, yet nobody is talking about the major one–Stalin’s ideology of Soviet Fascism to obtain control of the local law-enforcement to nationalize and federalize it, like Stalin did in the Soviet Union. Obama began this policy within his first five years–dozens of agencies are being investigated. To know the source of that policy, the Stalin’s era must be studied by the next generations, as Stalin’s socio-political idea impacted the world during the last hundred years. Be prepared for the open season on the policemen and remember the definition of the Soviet Mafia, where politics intertwine with organized crime. The police already feel under the siege. Be prepared for a lot of killings and mob rules in America.

Blacks vs. Whites

It is for a reason, I have started this series with Marxist ideology. Karl Marx’s theory of Socialism and Communism is both a fraud and a utopia. Yet…the idea in the beginning of his historical research of socio-economic stages within the development of civilization was a logical one. While teaching in New York City, I have presented the idea to my students. Baltic Winds, Xlibris, 2002. In short, Marx as a historian was searching for productive forces in history. I accept his theory of history up to his fantasy of Socialism and Communism. As a matter of fact, his idea of productive forces in history maybe actually presents a factual development of the stages within our civilization. It sounded logical and reasonable to me. But I am not a philosopher or sociologist and I will present it in a possibly simplistic way. So…

The primitive men had difficulties in finding food alone. Therefore, human beings created rudimentary form of organization known in the modern terms as tribes to ease their existence. Marx called it the first stage of the human civilization. To achieve more productivity greater numbers of people were organized to create and improve a more productive force. The second socio-economic stage of civilization Marx identified as a slavery. Please keep in mind, the slavery took place worldwide at a certain time, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. For your information: slavery or serfdom in Russia was abolished by Alexander II- Liberator in the exact time slavery was abolished by President Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. The next stage of civilization was supposed to provide the huge number of people with food. Marx called the third stage of civilization feudalism–the interactions or contracts between land-lords and vassals in developing the agricultural productive forces to provide the populace with the food. The fourth stage of human civilization was capitalism. To me those stages sounds logical, as they reflect the world history.

The word slavery has been forgotten in Russia, Brazil, and in the rest of the world with homogeneous populations. In America, contrary to the rest of the world the notion of slavery intensified the racial hostility. My explanation is a simple one: None of the other countries of the world had such a visual difference as a COLOR. The COLOR is the inflammatory factor. In addition to that, the majority of the Blacks were brought to America from the second stage of civilization to the forth one, from slavery to capitalism, missing one stage in the development of civilization–feudalism. This is a very important factor. Do not talk to the Black crowd in Ferguson and Baltimore, including the prosecutor of Baltimore, they can’t understand this factor, they need time and the civic education, which Europe went through during 500 years. For them it is easy to destroy, loot, and burn cars than to create and produce. Look objectively at the statistics of crime among Blacks in America. Our homicide rate is equal to that of Yemen. The picture will confirm my point—Blacks are killing Blacks—11 percent of Blacks commit 70 percent of crimes. The role of the police becomes even more significant under these circumstances. Obama’s actions against the police are totally contradictory and inconsistent with the American national interests.

There is another factor that aggravates the racial hostility as well– Stalin’s ideology of Divide and Conquer. With the lack of the historical development in America, Blacks have some resemblance to the Muslim world that has not been reformed since the seventh century. This resemblance is very important as Stalin’s ideology and strategy have been applied to all minorities within Russia and outside the country. The KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov, a devoted Stalin’s disciple created the myth of a “Palestinian Nation” against Israel. One of his statements illustrated it the best: “the Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism, and victimology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch. Terrorism and violence against Israel and her master, American Zionism, would flow naturally from the Muslims’ religious fervor.” Russian Footsteps, by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review Online, August 24, 2008.)

A couple of days ago, I heard Dr. Ben Carson, a Black candidate of the Republican Party for the presidency of the United States, who said: “My Mother did not want to be a victim.” A victim and victimology are the key words in the resemblance of the big group of the Blacks with the Muslims. The Blacks were indoctrinated by the ideology of Soviet Fascism the same way that the part of the Muslims were indoctrinated for several decades. Ben Carson is a uniquely qualified for the presidency of our country–he is a contemporary Uncle Tom and the majority of Blacks will not vote for him. Of course, there are some differences between the large group of Blacks and Islamic Jihadists, yet both, for different reasons are fighting America the Beautiful. Have you heard the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi? He, a Muslim himself had admitted that Islam itself has a problem and should be reformed. Have you heard any similar statements from the Black leaders of America? No, on the contrary—division is the only their motive.

Some Blacks called the White people the Oppressors, some are talking about “White Privileges” some “wanted to see cops dead.” I saw them all in Ferguson and Baltimore and I am glad that the notions of “the agents of influence” and the Soviet Mafia, designed by Soviet Fascism are already known to you. If you dig deeper the backgrounds of Sharpton and J. Jackson, you will find their quite strange political connections. Just think and research the root causes and history of the Black movement and you’ll be able to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. I did it in my books discussing Soviet Fascism. All factors mentioned by me, are reinforce one another. Only actual knowledge can solve the problem—both the Blacks and the political Islamite are indoctrinated with totalitarian ideology, I called Stalinism or Soviet Fascism. Knowledge of this ideology is a must.

As a young girl, I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the slavery in the far away America, it disgusted me, though it was a story of the past. Yet, it was something, I had never imagined and the negative feeling for slavery was left in my memory forever. Then I did not know that driven by a passionate hatred of slavery, “Bitchier Stow found time to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which became the most influential novel in American history and a catalyst for radical change both at home and abroad.” Living in America I found a complete revers of her ideas. Today,” the book has a decidedly different reputation, thanks to the popular image of its titular character, Uncle Tom — whose name has become a byword for a spineless sellout, a black man who betrays his race.”

What do you think? Who divided Black Americans on the crowd of Blacks and a group of Uncle Toms? The crowd of the Blacks, as a rule are not well educated supporters of the Democrats. Who did give the name of the other group of the Blacks Uncle Toms? Who are Uncle Toms? The answer is in the encyclopedia– “A black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with “the whites.” For me it is a good characterization of the group, the group is for unity with the rest of America. The group comprised of the educated Blacks is predominantly Republican. The unity bequeathed by the Founding Fathers is a must for them. Yet our Unity is the crux of the matter for those who are implementing the ideology of DIVISION. The division is not only racial, but more of an ideological one. “Black citizens appear to conclude that they do not share common political values with Republicans, whether black or not,” said the study. “As a consequence, black Republican candidates simply do not evoke the same response from black citizens as black Democratic candidates.” Do you recognize the division, the ideology of Soviet Fascism perpetrated by the Democrats making Blacks the victims of the society? Read more here.

Cuba mi Patria que AdoroExcerpts from Cuba Mi Patria Que Adoro, Amazon.com, 2012, P. 108. Translated by. Angela M. Aguirre, Ph.D.:

Those unsuspecting Cubans
That helped the traitor Fidel
They brought together with him
The horrendous communism….
He [Castro] urged blacks to start a fight
Against white with such hatred
Thus turning the whole society
Into a racial war.

The jackal came out of Oriente
To disunite all the Cubans
That were like brothers and sisters
Blacks and whites, all united.

We all lived in harmony
Like lawful citizens should.
But he brought much more:

He brought many criminals
From Russia and other countries,
To govern in our Cuba.
In his intent in punishing us,
He destroyed our nation.

Imposing a firing squad
That is always in action,
Killing blacks and whites alike
Without any distinction.

Media That Serves One Party System

Somewhere in 2011, I wrote an article titled The Communist Ideological Department; The Art of Brainwashing. I did it to acquaint you with the atmosphere of the life under Soviet Fascism. We, the former citizens of the socialist countries are constantly finding the events in America that resemble the ideological proceedings in our native countries: Cuba, the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria or Venezuela. We often call mass media in America a leftist one. Alas, it is more than that. Just look at the recent article published in Huffington Post: Scientists Find Alarming Deterioration in DNA of the Urban Poor, by Nico Pitney, 05/08/02015.

I am not a scientist, but I have already written about the Soviet pseudo-science as an element of Soviet Fascism. The article in Huffington Post is attempting to explain that environment causing and changing human DNA. I think that this is the Stalin’s trick, promoted by the Democrats in their arguments for the redistribution of wealth in America. Fighting poverty have already cost American taxpayers $12-22 trillion with no result. I have already written about the same ideological trick in the Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s. Here it is: “I can’t omit another significant feature of the Soviet Socialism—pseudo-science. Have you ever heard about Academician Lysenko? To perceive all the agricultural troubles of the Soviet Union and the essence of the pseudo-science you have to know that name. A mediocre intriguer, a biologist from Ukraine, Trofim Lysenko had been building his career on the corpses of civilians dying from starvation in 1930.

“He led the campaign against geneticists of the world and exploited the ideological tenets. Stalinists had undermined the entire Soviet agriculture. In cahoots with the party bosses on the wave of Stalinist repressions and using the Marxist-Leninist ideology, he had begun a slanderous and vicious campaign against the geneticist’s scholars worldwide who proclaimed, ‘No ideology and politics in science.’ Of cause, the first were the Soviet Geneticists of the Soviet Academy of Science. Academician Vavilov was the main target of Lysenko’s campaign.” What is Happening to America, pp.80-81.Doesn’t it also remind you of the “climate change” hysteria in America?

This is not the only example of ideological infiltration into our American soil and culture. Have you heard about “bikes gangs” in Texas and killing of people there? I have addressed the issue of gangs 20 years ago when I saw two American movies of how gangs of different ilk, including drug-trafficking gangs and street gangs, are working in coordination with the political mafia, growing on our soil since the ‘50s. Stanley Kramer had warned Americans about the danger of gangs in his marvelous movie The Wild One, 1953. Nobody took it seriously. I did, watching the movie, I had sensed “an enemy’s sub-culture.” No American could conceive the situation where mobsters, gangs of organized crime, and political party would have shared a common purpose and agenda. Americans had no idea of Stalinism, Soviet Fascism, and WWIII.

Times have changed: We live in a more threatening atmosphere fifty years later and we should learn that the policy of containment we had always hoped for has never worked. It failed at its inception. The Soviets/Russians had not always moved their army of gangs into a foreign territory, they were infiltrating and using the American ones. And we gave the Soviet mafia the time to polish their criminal skills on our land. Do you remember the Soviet document of 1955? I have introduced it several times in this series. Organized crime as conceived by Stalin’s ideology has become a formidable force to fight Western civilization since the 1955. Beside organized crime, infiltration of the enemy forces was spread into different areas and aspects of life in America.

I had predicted in 1999 that the scale of Russian crimes against the world will quadruple, especially in the cyber space. Here it is: “Watch also for the further assaults on the regions rich with oil and attacks on our cyber systems, especially in California, to undermine our communication and economic power. Yet oil remains the first target—the lines for gasoline in the ‘’70s are still vivid in the mind of our enemies to create a raging and chaotic situation in America again.” The Russian Factor, Xlibris, 2006, pp.103-104. Today we found out that Russia infiltrated the cyber space of out IRS. I was talking about IRS in connection with Russia years ago. To win a war on terror we must know Russia and its Stalinist ideology, because Russia is the Evil Empire of Global Terrorism. Wake up America, we live in the 21st century!

I’d like to end the column with two interesting stories of the year 2015. One is about President Obama. He received an offer from a young Kenyan man, a proposal to marry Obama’s daughter Maliyah. The Kenyan man saw her when she was ten years old and fell in love with her. He promised to give for her 50 pigs and 100 cows. I do not know the Obama response yet. The second story is a simple one. Western civilization commemorates 800 years of Magna Carta in the year 2015.

To be continued www.simonapipko1.com.

EDITORS NOTE: To read all of Simona Pimko’s columns on Soviet Fascism in the 21st Century click here.

Real Hero Peter Fechter: The Berlin Wall and Those Who Refused to Be Caged by Lawrence W. Reed

For the 28 years from 1961 to 1989, the ghastly palisade known as the Berlin Wall divided the German city of Berlin. It sealed off the only escape hatch for people in the communist East who wanted freedom in the West.

No warning was given before August 13 when East German soldiers and police first stretched barbed wire and then began erecting the infamous wall, not to mention guard towers, dog runs, and explosive devices behind it.

By one estimate, 254 people died there during those 28 years — shot by police, ensnared by the barbed wire, mauled by dogs, or blown to bits by land mines — most of them in the infamous “death strip” that immediately paralleled the main barrier. The communist regime cynically referred to it as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall.”

In my home hangs a large, framed copy of a famous photo of a poignant moment from that sad day in 1961. It shows a young, apprehensive East German soldier glancing about as he prepares to let a small boy pass through the emerging barrier. No doubt the boy spent the night with friends and found himself the next morning on the opposite side of the wall from his family. But the communist government ordered its men to let no one pass. The inscription below the photo explains that, at this very moment, the soldier was seen by a superior officer who immediately detached him from his unit. “No one,” reads the inscription, “knows what became of him.” Only the most despicable tyrants could punish a man for letting a child get to his loved ones, but in the Evil Empire, that and much worse happened all the time.

Like millions of others, a strapping 18-year-old bricklayer named Peter Fechter yearned for so much more than the stifling dreariness of socialism. He hatched a plan with a friend, Helmut Kulbeik, to conceal themselves in a carpenter’s woodshop near the wall and watch for an opportune moment to jump from a second-story window into the death strip. They would then run to and climb over the 6½ foot high concrete barrier, laced with barbed wire, and emerge in freedom on the other side.

It was August 17, 1962, barely a year since the Berlin Wall went up, but Fechter and Kulbeik were ready to risk everything. When the moment came that guards were looking the other way, they jumped. Seconds later, during their mad dash to the wall, guards began firing. Amazingly, Kulbeik made it to freedom. Fechter was not so lucky. In the plain view of witnesses numbering in the hundreds, he was hit in the pelvis. He fell, screaming in pain, to the ground.

No one on the East side, soldiers included, came to his aid. Westerners threw bandages over the wall but Fechter couldn’t reach them. Bleeding profusely, he died alone, an hour later. Demonstrators in West Berlin shouted, “Murderers!” at the East Berlin border guards, who eventually retrieved his lifeless body.

Christine Brecht, writing on the Berlin Wall Memorial website, reveals subsequent events involving the Fechter family:

In addition to the painful loss of their only son, the family of the deceased was subjected to reprisals from the East German government for decades. In July 1990 Peter Fechter’s sister pressed charges that opened preliminary proceedings and that ultimately ended in the conviction of two guards. Found guilty of manslaughter, they were sentenced to 20 and 21 months in prison, a sentence that was commuted to probation. During the main proceedings, Ruth Fechter, the victim’s younger sister who served as a joint plaintiff in the trial, expressed herself through her attorneys. They explained that she thought it important to speak out, to no longer be “damned by passivity and inactivity” and to get out of “the objectified role that she had been put in until then.” She movingly described how she and her family experienced the tragic death of her brother and had felt powerless to act against his public defamation. They had been sworn to secrecy, an involuntary obligation that put the family under tremendous pressure. “We were ostracized and experienced hostile encounters daily. They were not born of our personal desire, but were instead imposed on us by others, becoming a central element in the life of the Fechter Family.” After all those years, participating in the trial as a joint plaintiff offered Ruth Fechter an opportunity to participate in the effort to explain, research and evaluate the circumstances of her brother’s death. And she added that the legal perspective occasionally overlooks the fact that in this case “world history fatally intersected with the fate of a single individual.”

The world must never forget this awful chapter in history. Nor should we ever forget that it was done in the name of a vicious system that declared its “solidarity with the working class” and professed its devotion to “the people.”

We who embrace liberty don’t believe in shooting people because they don’t conform, and that is ultimately what socialism and communism are all about. We don’t plan other people’s lives because we’re too busy at the full-time job of reforming and improving our own. We believe in persuasion, not coercion. We solve problems at penpoint, not gunpoint. We’re never so smugly self-righteous in our beliefs that we’re ready at the drop of a hat to dragoon the rest of society into our schemes.

All this is why so many of us get a rush every time we think of Ronald Reagan standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate in 1987 and demanding, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” This is why we were brought to tears in the heady days of 1989 when thousands of Berliners scaled the Wall with their hammers, picks, and fists and pummeled that terrible edifice and the Marxist vision that fostered it.

Peter Fechter and the 253 others who died at the Berlin Wall are real heroes. They deserve to be remembered.

For further information, see:


Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s.

EDITORS NOTE: Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

In Defense of Private Property: Mises and Aristotle by Jeffrey A. Tucker

I’ve just reacquainted myself with two seminal texts: Aristotle’s Politics and Ludwig von Mises’s Socialism. Though written nearly two and a half millennia apart, it’s remarkable how these two gigantically important treatises parallel each other.

They both come to the defense of property and realistic forms of political order in the face of all kinds of dreamers, fanatics, and would-be dictators. A central contribution of each book is to defend the institution of private property against its enemies, who, both Aristotle and Mises knew, would smash all that is wonderful about life.

They took different pathways toward the same goal. Aristotle focused on what makes people happy and permits the realization of the virtuous life. But he had very little conception of economics, and his theory of property was problematic, to say the least. Mises, on the other hand, focused on economic science, and presented a far more coherent vision of property, freedom, and economic growth.

Even so, they cover the same basic territory. What kind of social and political order is most conducive to human flourishing, and what is the role of private property and private life in this order?

Aristotle spoke of the impossibility of the realization of self under common ownership.

“In a state having women and children common, love will be watery; and the father will certainly not say ‘my son,’ or the son ‘my father.’ As a little sweet wine mingled with a great deal of water is imperceptible in the mixture, so, in this sort of community, the idea of relationship which is based upon these names will be lost; there is no reason why the so-called father should care about the son, or the son about the father, or brothers about one another. ”

The absence of ownership, then, leads to the disregard of one’s own life and the life of others. “How immeasurably greater is the pleasure, when a man feels a thing to be his own,” Aristotle writes, “for the love of self is a feeling implanted by nature and not given in vain…”

Everything is at stake: benevolence, gifting, appreciation, and even love. “There is the greatest pleasure in doing a kindness or service to friends or guests or companions, which can only be rendered when a man has private property,” writes Aristotle. “The advantage is lost by the excessive unification of the state.”

These are hugely profound insights. To be sure, Aristotle’s conception of private property is seriously marred by his defense of slavery, and he is reluctant to admit women into the realm of citizens who deserve what we call rights today. To read this material, one must always keep in mind how lost the contributions of the Enlightenment truly were on the ancient philosophers. They knew nothing of universal rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Still, given that proviso, we can see Aristotle working his way toward a coherent theory of the social order.

He goes further to condemn looting of property through the political system. “If the poor, for example, because they are more in number, divide among themselves the property of the rich, is not this unjust? … if this is not injustice, pray what is?” The reverse is also true, he wrote. It would be unjust for the rich to use their power and wealth to pillage the poor.

Aristotle repeats his injunction and summarizes: “I do not think that property ought to be common, as some maintain, but only that by friendly consent there should be a common use of it; and that no citizen should be in want of subsistence.”

Mises took this whole analysis much further. The first third of Socialism presents a complete theory of social order and the place of property within it. He treats property not as an ethic or plan from the top but as a technology, something created out of social consensus and made necessary by the existing of material privation.

The extension of the division of labor provides more opportunities for growing wealth, and, eventually the creation of money, which is the key to rational economic calculation in a modern economy. Without private property in capital goods, writes Mises, there is no hope for making sense of the main material challenges society faces.

We know about the opponents of Mises’s views. He was surrounded by an academic class of philosophers and economists who were generally sympathetic to the ideals of socialism. “Socialism is the watchword and catchword of our day,” he wrote. “The socialist idea dominates the modern spirit. The masses approve it. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of all; it has set its seal upon our time.”

Later in the book, Mises addresses prevailing religious ideas at the time, which had turned decisively to favor the socialist idea. He took them apart, one by one, showing that most of the religious thinkers of his day had no conception of the practical need for a thriving society to have modern economic institutions rooted in private property ownership.

Mises takes his argument further to point out that the end of property really is the end of freedom. Every would-be tyrant excoriates private property, not because communism would be great for the people but because private ownership is a barrier to the tyrant’s power and control. In its absence, power rules and there is nothing like freedom. Without private property, there can be no free press, freedom of religion, or freedom of association.

The parallels with Aristotle’s book are uncanny. I’m trying to think of the problems Aristotle faced in the 4th century, BC. There was the epic influence of Plato and his many pupils. Plato wrote, whether ironically or not, in favor of a communist utopia with no property, no families, no ownership, no private life, and he found this to be the only society that is consistent with justice and social harmony.

Aristotle took on Plato, who was representative of the first group of enemies of property in all times: the highly educated philosophy elite. So it ever was and ever shall be.

In addition, in Aristotle’s time, there was an official religion that was stable and reliable and he urged people to be faithful to it. It served the ruling class but it was not utterly insane. But the world must have been populated with self-proclaimed prophets everywhere, people serious about jazzing up the population with some frenzied dream. Always and everywhere this seems to have included the socialist idea. If we could just throw all things into the commons, all human division would disappear and utopia would appear!

This group, the mystics and spiritual dreamers, then, was the second group of enemies of property. Then and now.

But there was still another dangerous force in the land: would-be tyrants. They lie to people. They come to power through promises of democracy. They use the destabilization of revolution to displace one government and push a much worse one. Despots resent the private life of the people that ownership makes possible. They proclaim the wonders of common ownership, but the result of their visions is always the same: more power to the dictators.

We really do face a choice. We suffer under the tyrant’s boot or we uphold the sanctity of private ownership. Aristotle discerned this in the 4th century, BC. Mises drove the point home with his marvelous book of 1922. They lived in radically different times and spoke from a different perspective. But their concern was the same. Ownership and freedom are inseparable ideals, both in their times and in ours.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.

The Un-American Divider in Chief

The president of the United States of America was once known as the commander in chief.  The old saying about a house divided against itself may certainly be applied to our republic today.  Not since the civil war has our beloved nation been so separated ideologically.  The most noted era of division historically is the time surrounding the big war between the north and the south.  There were sharp disagreements over states’ rights as well as the argument over whether individuals should be allowed to hold others in the bondage of slavery.

As horrific as the states’ rights and slavery issues were considering the toll they took on the country, at least they were situations that mattered and worth the time and effort to resolve them.  Take for example, the ongoing mission of the divider and chief, Barack Obama and his embittered wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.  Just recently, Mrs. Obama gave a commencement address at the historic Tuskegee University in Alabama.  Instead of encouraging the hopeful graduates to go seek opportunities and to be the best they can be, she chose to focus upon the wasteful topic of the limitations of racism.

Here we are in a nation facing a major crossroad in her history and Mrs. Obama complained about the “daily slights” that she and her husband have experienced.  This is from a woman who’s own husband won’t even associate with you on any level if you are not a fellow progressive.  She talked about overcoming that “heavy burden” by channeling their frustration into “organizing and banding together.”  Mrs. Obama also stated that the frustrations that are playing out in “communities like Baltimore and Ferguson.”

She took a grand opportunity to embolden younger Americans who happen to be black (technically brown) in their goals of successful achievement and allowing their God given gifts and talents to make room for them and turned it into a pedestrian pity party for having been “black in America.”

Such worthless and insane topics to be repeated over and over within the ranks of Americans who happen to be black, only serves to insure failure, bitterness and misery for those who should be looking forward to climbing the ladder of success.  The horrendous economic policies of President Obama has done much more to thwart opportunities for all Americans, than the racists Mrs. Obama refers to could dream of.  In fact, as usual under most democrat administrations especially the current one, economic opportunities are much fewer today than during the time of the previous Bush administration.

Alright so let me get this straight according to the Obama’s, racism is today’s biggest impediment preventing blacks from succeeding.  Yet there are fewer opportunities today than when the president assumed office in this so-called racist nation.  So does that make the Obamas racists?  I already know they are rabidly anti United States bigots.

The president has allowed the influx of millions of illegal immigrants who are being offered just about anything they want, including the chance to displace Americans who happen to be black at the dwindling workplace.  Again, does that make President Obama and the First Lady racist?  If Mrs. Obama is so concerned about blacks being held back, she might review her husband’s economic policies and also take a look in the mirror.  Under the Obama administration, America’s highest corporate tax rate on the planet is just one of the many factors of this regime that has the economy basically stagnating at best.  Thus the real reason for fewer opportunities, not racism.

In addition, purposely dividing the republic over racial foolishness and class envy only keeps people focused on real or imagined divisions rather than authentic solutions to the stymied economy.  So now we are putting up with a divided and less prosperous republic turned mob rule democracy.  Mrs. Obama has unfortunately has proven to be nothing more than a middle aged progressive activist using race as a means to divide and weaken our country.  She along with her husband has scoffed at every viable free market economic solution to the current malaise.

Are there racists in America?  Yes there are, many of whom are black.  But there are many more non racists who are optimistic hard working Americans who simply want to see the nation restored not only economically, but in every facet of society as well.  I believe that many of my fellow Americans who happen to be white like myself, do not like the destructive policies of the Obama regime doesn’t make them racists.  But also like myself desire to witness a resurgence of the good values and principles that made the United States of America the envy of the world.

The freedoms, rights, privileges and responsibilities enumerated in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution can only be maintained if “We the People” are united as Americans. The progressive hyphenated Americans divided by race, class envy and increasingly immoral behavior only serves the purpose of those seeking to divide and conquer America.  America’s strength is in the good morality of her people.  The founding fathers recognized that in order for America to be and remain free is for her sovereign citizens to be more dependent upon God, their own good sense and opportunities than an intrusive overbearing and oppressive government.

The choice is yours my fellow Americans.  You can either be divided and conquered or United and free to live in liberty as God intended.   God Bless America and May America Bless God.

Is Liberalism a Cult? ABSOLUTELY!!!

The other day, I was watching a program about the Church of Scientology. The program was not particularly flattering to Scientology. In fact, the documentary was downright disparaging. In the conclusion of the documentary, although the producers did not come out and actually say it, was that Scientology was nothing more than a flashy, well-funded cult. That got me to thinking about religion in general. You see, all of the worlds’ major religions have one thing in common. That commonality is the fact that there is a greater being outside of yourself and humanity. Some call that factor God, The Great Spirit, Gaia etc.

Cults have one thing in common. Their commonality is that the leader or leaders of the order believe themselves to be the great being that has come to live in human form. Indeed, they often call themselves God. For the most part, true religions have an uplifting message. Even if you don’t agree with that message, it is still there. Cults would have you believe that there is nothing positive to look forward to outside of the cult leader.

This is where politics comes in. You see Liberalism is nothing more than a cult. It is probably not the worlds largest cult but it is a cult non the less. Liberalism doesn’t believe in a greater being outside of themselves. Often Liberals are atheists or agnostic and thus they only believe in themselves and those who lead the cult. Liberals believe that there is no hope outside of the cult, or government. That the cult has to be grown to ever bigger levels in order to achieve the utopia that is, in reality, impossible to achieve.

We are told, that if we do not believe in this cult, that we have no soul, no heart. We are told we do not care about our fellow citizen our fellow human being. We are told that only the cult leaders, the political leaders, have the ability to help those who are in most need of help.

Liberalism is born out of the idea that man is helpless without those deemed to be smarter than the masses. In fact those so-called smart leaders are only smarter than the masses because those leaders tell us they are smarter. There is no real evidence that those leaders of the Liberal Cult are actually smarter than a 5th grader.

Liberals tell us that in their cult, and only within their cult, will man get the best health care, the highest wages, the best housing, the cleanest planet and the safest non-violent and completely united world of nations  under one government. Liberals tell us that basic human rights, such as the right to defend thy self against bodily harm is wrong and should be left solely to those whom the Liberal Cult deems as its guardians. The Liberal Cult tells us time and time again that the right to freely speak your mind should be limited to ideas in which the Liberal Cult agrees with. Forget having a deviating opinion. That is frowned upon by the Liberal Cult.

The Liberal Cult believes that the right to massive assembly should not be infringed upon unless you are assembling to oppose what the Liberal Cult believes to be in your best interest. So Occupy Wall Street and the Baltimore Riots, according to the Liberal Cult is fine. But a small gathering of TEA Party members assembling quietly in a local park is very bad. The Liberal Cult demeans and debases the rich yet the leaders of the Liberal Cult are often rich themselves. Many of them have more wealth than the people they are decrying as the “evil rich”.

The Liberal Cult demands that we stop the war on drugs and make most drugs currently illegal, legal. While at the same time they call for ever increasing amounts of money and trained professionals to deal with those who have become hopelessly addicted to the drugs that the Cult wants to now make legal. The Liberal Cult continues to blame everyone but the Cult for the failures of their own ideas. In no way can the Cult admit to failure. Their claim is always that there is not enough of others people’s money being spent on the program they say will cure the ill. If a child fails a math test, the Liberal Cult will tell you it is not the fault of the Cults idea but that a child should be allowed to think that 2+2=5. The Cult will say that we did not spend enough money on the administration, the school building, the teacher and text book and that because we won’t spend double what we are already spending, it is the fault of everyone not in the Cult.

In the Liberal Cult there is no room for dissenting thought or actions. In fact if you don’t believe as the cult does, they will brand you a racist, a sexist, a bigot, a homophobe. You will be labeled a greedy, money loving capitalist even though you earn less than and give more to charity than the Liberal Cultist. Your religion will be labeled stale and outdated and that newer religions that are more violent and hateful are the way to go. If you are a Liberal Cultist you don’t believe in logic, in facts, in true history. You only believe in feelings, your own feelings, and you force public and private policy upon everyone based on your feelings alone. Simply because you believe you are smarter and wiser than anyone else who is outside the Cult.

We all can look at cults and say that cults in general are a bad idea and are bad for the individual involved. So why is it we fully accept the Cult of Liberalism even though it is probably the most dangerous cult the planet has ever seen?

Something to think about.

What Are You Willing to Give Up for Earth Day?

Comrades, Earth Day™ is just around the corner. We’re not talking about Christmas or Easter or Yom Kippur, we’re talking about Lenin’s Birthday!Now some outdated, religious traditions include themes of guilt and forgiveness. You know the routine. We are guilty before God and justly deserving of His punishment, but He lays our sins on His Son, Jesus Christ, and that by believing in Him we can find forgiveness of sin and eternal life. But that’s so two millennia ago.

On the other hand, Earth Day (Lenin’s Birthday!) is so progressive that it offers guilt and more guilt! See, in this advanced, highly evolved, and inclusive belief system, you are guilty before Gaia for exhaling and destroying her atmosphere, turning it into an “open sewer” to quote the Prophet Algore (PBUH). Now with Gaia, there’s none of this nonsense about atonement, justification, or propitiation. Those are big words and too hard for you to understand. You’re guilty because you might drive an SUV, consume food, once used electricity, or maybe you’re just plain white. You may have accessed healthcare to prolong your selfish, resource sucking life, and that means some poor minority child or kitten was denied healthcare – just because of you.

Forgiveness? Are you serious? When it comes to the Green Gospel, there’s only one solution, and that’s extermination. If it wasn’t for man, Bambi’s mother would be alive today instead of having her head mounted over some redneck’s fireplace desecrated with a bandanna and non-union manufactured sunglasses. We need a plan for sustainability. That’s a big word, but what it means is that we get to decide who’s a burden to Earth Mother, and who isn’t.

So who’s guilty, you ask? Probably you. Why do you think you dig holes in the ground on Earth Day? One happy day, perhaps Next Tuesday™, our government will be empowered to recycle its non-productive, Earth exploiting citizens. It’s called giving back, and it’s the only way you can redeem yourself. If we don’t take action now, all the furry animals will be dead in just ten years.

But until Next Tuesday comes along, you need to do your part. You need to confess your guilt. You need to give back. So in the days leading up to Earth Day, you need to tearfully, publicly, and loudly proclaim your sins against Gaia. You need to publish your shame by wearing awareness ribbons and riding a bicycle. In so doing, you induce feelings of necessary guilt in others, and you get a smug sense of self-righteous satisfaction because you care more. What’s not to like?

So come on, comrades, what are you willing to confess and give up in the days left before Earth Day?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Peoples Cube.

Soviet Fascism in the 21st Century: The Hidden Truth of Global Destruction 

Russia’s recent strategy worldwide is extremely alarming, showing Russia’s real aggressive face: Russian Government breaches the security of the White House and our State Department, it harasses NATO in the skies, and continues killing people in Ukraine. I have been warning America about Russian ideology for the last twenty years. Alas, all my writings about Stalin’s Doctrine of Soviet Fascism have been blocked by the White House. This is the reason why none of the Republican candidates to the Presidency in 2016 is addressing the threat of Russian ideology. Yet nothing can stop me from warning you as the harm done to us by Russia has brought America to a threshold of a point of no returns. Moreover, the Democrat Party and its left extremism have learned, embraced, and exploited Stalin’s strategy, tactics, and modus operandi in its fight against the Republicans. This is the time for the Republicans to go on the offensive and save America the Beautiful. Hence the awareness of Stalinism is a Must.

Stalin’s rules: Divide and Conquer

The motto of Divide and Conquer came from the ancient world and has been used many times and mostly successful. You saw it in the1950s –Stalin’s war against Korea and as a result Korea was divided. Then Vietnam, Afghanistan and so on–the wars against Western civilization were going on in the 20th century. Yet. as the history illustrates the motto has not always been successful. The victory of Benjamin Netanyahu is a stunning victory of Western civilization in the Middle East in March 2015. Israeli’s media called the election fateful or prophetic to Israel. They were right. The election was also no less a stunning defeat of our enemies, if you know who they are. For the last twenty years, I have been writing about the war against Western civilization waged, handled, and coordinated by our enemies– the Soviets, then Russia for many decades. Isn’t it strange that the American administration and the Democratic Party provided the leftists in Israel with money for the buses to transport the Arab electorate to vote. This exact fact makes Netanyahu’s victory in the 21st century equal to that of President Reagan’s victory over the Evil Empire in the 20th century. Reagan’s foreign policy “we win, they lose” is the litmus test, which produced an incredible result in 2015.

Don’t be shocked by my comparison, it has its logic. Both cases have defeated the same ideology–Stalin’s Doctrine of Divide and Conquer. Have you heard the term carousel (roundabout) used in the election to the Russian parliament Duma in2007? Do you know what it means? Hearing this word in Russian, I did not understand its application at first. The events that followed had given me the meaning of the word. The United Russia party together with the Kremlin administration had organized the youth movement’s groups providing them with a caravan of buses. I watched them on Russian TV. Young people, singing with enthusiasm occupied the buses and moved along the streets to the voting precincts one after another. The voting ballots were waiting for them and they all voted for United Russia Party. Then they left for other voting places where they voted again and again for United Russia. Reportedly, in several cities printing houses reported that 109 percent voted for United Russia. Do not be surprised. Welcome to the country of Soviet Fascism run by Stalin’s Soviet mafia! Look at the famous Reagan’s creed “we win they lose”–Western civilization won, Obama lost in the Middle East. This is the crux of the matter–the Republican idea has defeated Stalinist Doctrine the way Reagan’s victory over the Evil Empire–”we win, they lose.”

Middle East Yesterday and Today

Of course, there are some differences in the mechanism of application: in Russia everybody was aware of the organized buses, in Israel, it was an American covert, underground operation by a group of Democrats from Chicago that costs the Americans taxpayers $350.000. This is a typical Stalinist performance with blaming Netanyahu for the Palestinian issue. The war by America against Israel had begun. Both cases are analogous–Divide and Conquer. Yet, Obama’s war against Israel is also a conjunction with Stalin’s anti-Semitism. I won’t be surprise if the next American accusation of Israel will be espionage, also a Stalin’s obsession. Moreover, there is another caveat of Russian connection. As you know, recruited in 1957 Arafat is dead, but we have Arafat number 2–Mahmout Abbas; the connection with the Kremlin stays the same. He is literally a student of Moscow with Soviet “academic credentials”; his dissertation had denied the Holocaust. Look at Arafat’s corrupt people surrounding Abbas: the same corrupt structure plus Hamas and Hezbollah under Russia’s supervision, ready to wipe off Israel from the world map. Iran (another Russian proxy) is also there and can become our legal ally soon.

The troublesome events in the Middle East force me to return to the history of the region. Go back to the period 1960-1990 and recall the Soviet activities and actions in the region, particularly in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Iran. It was a time of overwhelming recruitment, infiltration, and radical indoctrination by the Soviet ideology. Stalin’s idea to use the hands of Islam in his war against the West has a long life. Research the time of birth of Hamas and Hezbollah and the Democratic Republic of Yemen building communism in the 1970s then put all the information together vis-a-vis with their connection to contemporary Russia–they are all a product of the same ideology–Soviet Fascism. Don’t be surprised that all terrorists groups, regardless of their names have the same behavior, modus operandi, and agenda. Reading Stalin’s bio, written by me, you will find the explanation for the idea. Stalin was brought up by the Muslim culture and had been an organizer of the Marxists groups in the Islamic part of the Russian Empire–the initial connection of Communism and Terrorism. Stalin had dealt with Sunnis and Shiites and managed to use both skilfully. He worked also in Iran and knew Middle East and Iran pretty well. His political Doctrine and the human capacity for evil have been inherited and used subsequently without any deviations by all Russian leaders who followed him, including Putin.

We, the former citizens of the Socialist countries were growing up in Stalin’s era of hate and bigotry, studying together with the people from Middle East and Africa in the Soviet universities and other educational facilities. The foreign students also got the special training, similar to that received by Arafat in the 1950-1960s. Arafat is dead, yet we have Mahmout Abbas; the connection with the Kremlin stays the same.  Arafat’s corrupt people surrounding Abbas: the same corrupt structure. Look at Yemen, the war started by the Soviet stooges building a communist state in the 1970s never ended there. I expect a more sophisticated global game by Putin with no substantive changes on those places.The only difference is a master-puppet: If it was the Russian supervision and coordination, in the 1950-90s now it is Iran’s–the Russian proxy. The rest is the same–Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestinians (Hezbollah and Hamas) under Iran’s supervision, continue threatening to destroy Israel. We have today what the Chairman of the KGB, Yuri Andropov ( a devoted Stalin’s disciple) had promised to create in the 1970s. According to Andropov:” The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism, and victimology. Their illiterate, oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch. Terrorism and violence against Israel and her master, American Zionism, would flow naturally from the Muslims’ religious fervor.” Russian Footsteps, by Ion Mihai Pacepa, National Review Online, August 24, 2008.)

I have been writing about the future of the Middle East in two Chapters 7 and 8. giving the detailed activities and revealing illustration of Soviet Fascism in the 20 century, in my book What is Happening to America? Xlibris, 2012. The 20th century was Russia’s concealed and planned preparation for the Middle East in the 21st century.. Today the Middle East is on a fire and we are witnessing a multi-Russian aggression on the land, sea, and space, putting fear and pressure on the West. The Middle East is only one front of Russian aggression–Ukraine and Europe are the major task for Putin presently. The Middle East, under Iran’s supervision will play a role by diverting attention from the aggression in Ukraine–a typical Stalin’s double-game with the tricks and propaganda threat. “What’s been going on in Ukraine represents a monumental turning point in the balance of world geopolitical/military power. Why? Well, it’s simply this: Ukraine will very likely go down in history as the country where America, the supposed sole superpower in the world, was checkmated and met its match at the hands of the other superpower in the world – Russia.” April 12, 2015 | Authors: Michael Payne | Nation of Change | Op-Ed.This paragraph has some truth in it. I hope you grasp the predicament in the world–Iran is a player, but not the major player, Russia is. Today America is fully invested in the Middle East being challenged by the Stalinist Doctrine.

Who is to blame for the Escalation of Violence in the World.

Unfortunately, American politicians and media downgrade the importance of ideology. It is an elephant in the room and a tremendous force in contemporary politics, which is not being addressed. For twenty years I have been writing about Soviet Fascism and now I would like to add one crucial aspect of Nationalism–Chauvinism. Chauvinism in politics has been identified very clearly, it is an Ideology — “excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender” Encyclopedia. Have you ever compared German National-Socialism and Soviet Stalinism?They are identical in cause and means to achieve the objectives. I suspect, you would argue that Stalin did not have gas chambers for Jews. Wrong! He had applied even more barbaric methods to Jews and Christians–66-80 million of innocent people were annihilated. His death in March 1953 had saved the Jews from genocide equal to that of Chechen, Crimean Tatars, and other groups of different nationalities. As you can see Nationalism and Chauvinism are the features common to both Fascist states. Please read my books and articles for a discussion on the subject of Soviet Fascism.

I have dedicated three books and dozens of articles to the subject. Yet, today we discuss Terrorism more than Ideology; that is the reason why I return to the subject of ideology. Moreover, we are not identifying and naming the enemy, therefore we are confused in the beginning with let alone to identify the Ideology. Stalinism is the foundation of contemporary terrorism–Soviet Fascism has animated Islamic terrorist movement. Hence knowledge of the ideology is a primary task to fight the enemy. Do not forget Stalin’s North Korea with nuclear missiles. As I was writing these words, I am hearing news on the radio that Russia was lifting the ban and shipping a contemporary developed defense-missiles system–S-300 to Iran. Now Russia’s real face described by me in my books, articles, and in this column, vividly exposes Stalin’s agenda of One World Government under the Kremlin auspices and WWIII. Putin is and has always been a devoted disciple of Stalin and Andropov: therefore knowledge of Stalin’s Ideology is a Must today.

The motto Divide and Conquer Stalin learned from Machiavelli and applied it also to already existing divisions. Historically the Muslim world was divided by a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites for centuries. Stalin was dealing with both very skillfully for many years. Putin continues the policy of using both, depending on the location. Look at Yemen today: Shiites, supported by Iran have freed members of Al-Qaeda from a prison and together are fighting Sunnis, supported by Saudi Arabia. And Obama together with Putin are making Iran a strong leader in the Middle East. Doesn’t it make my idea, expressed in this and other articles more and more legitimate? I’ll give you another event to think about. Do you remember who had committed the attacks on 9/11? There were 14 students from Saudi Arabia known to us as the perpetrators of 9/11. Don’t you think that another violent force behind the 9/11 had purposely orchestrated and coordinated the event to spoil relationship between America and Saudi Arabia? Consider the events at Yemen today and the correlation of forces: the answer is there.

Destruction of the Land and Humanity

You have already being informed by me about criminal methods of Stalinism: recruitment, infiltration, drugs, and assassinations. We also discussed the harms inflicted by the Agents of Influence inside and outside our country. To confirm the existential threat upcoming from Russia, let me give you another story, a story of Turkey and its leader. The geographic location of Turkey makes the country a strategical target for Russian objectives. And this story proves it. Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan 2003-2014, became the President of the country in 2014.Turkey had a very good relation with Israel in the beginning of the 21st century. However, the relation has changed dramatically somewhere in 2009-2015–Turkey had become an enemy of Israel, joining Hamas and the Palestinian cause.

Knowing the Russian methods, agenda, and a proclivity to mold a Soviet style charlatan-leaders around the world to engeneere the cadres for fifth column,I started researching the events happening in Turkey. I found out something that attract my attention. During a three year period 2002-2005,Turkey had suffered ten earthquakes. I went to the official statistics and got the dates:January 22,2002, January 27,2003, May 1,2003, March 1,2004, March 25,2004, July 1, 2004, July 30,2004,August 11,2004, January 25,2005, October 20,2005. For those who doesn’t understand the significance of the tragic events in Turkey and drastic changes in its foreign policy, I’d like to add that I have already discussed in my books the Russian ability to create and orchestrate earthquakes. The information will also identify the perpetrator of “climate change” mystery.

I hope you can grasp now my ideas of who is to blame for the escalation of violence in the world. Please, also watch the Democratic Party and especially Obama himself, minimizing the threat of ISIS and other terrorist groups and working in cahoots with Putin to make a major sponsor of International Terrorism Iran a legitimate member of the world community. To confirm the truth of my ideas, of this series and in all my books, please listen to the American Admiral talking about changes the course of History: “ The Obama administration has a strategy: it’s anti-American, anti-Western, it’s pro-Islamic, pro-Iranian, and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.” Former NAVY CINCPAC, Admiral “Ace” James Lyons, speaking February 11, 2015 in Washington D.C.

To save the American Republic and win WW III, awareness and knowledge about the enemy is imperative.

To be continued www.simonapipko1.com.