Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yes, Marxists Really Are Pathological Liars

Found online:
Often I find libertarians, after describing some basic principles (non coercion etc.), make the jump to property rights and capitalism being the bestest thing ever, without fully explaining it.* 
*To be sure, libertarians do have plenty of fleshed out arguments for capitalism’s efficacy as a system; what I am arguing is that it does not follow from their discussion of man and his nature.
Of course it does. Every man is entitled to the fruits of his labor. But "labor" doesn't just mean sweat. It is effort in all of its forms. What it is illustrated when a lever or pulley, or Archimedes screw multiplies a man's effort is that the mental effort of inventing and employing those tools greatly multiplies a man's productivity, and thus increases the fruits of his labor. This is obvious in these examples: the more of one's brain that is employed in an enterprise, the greater the return.

"Give me a lever and a place to stand, and I will move the whole Earth."
-- Archimedes

This applies to principles, procedures, and algorithms every bit as much as it applies to physical tools. Thus we see that an entrepreneur has a higher income than a day laborer. This is because he's engaged in more productive effort. There's nothing inherently unfair about this. The laborer can do the same through his own efforts, and many have.

And I know you're wondering how I could possibly say that an entrepreneur is engaged in "more productive effort" than the guy breaking his back.

I say it because it's true.

Let's put it this way: The worker is working to feed himself and his family. He does so by engaging in activities that do just that, and barely. On the other hand, the entrepreneur is engaging in activities that will employ hundreds or thousands of people and feed all of them and their families. That's not figurative speech. His activities will result in sales, opportunities, markets, and income that will directly pay them all. And not just them... he will also pay their unemployment insurance, and the employer portion of their Social Security contributions, and provide whatever other incentives he finds necessary to retain people who can together meet those opportunities, as well as typically set up philanthropies and charities. Without him, most of the people in his employ would simply find other similar low-level jobs. Only a very few might start businesses of their own.

You ask someone who isn't employing thousands, and they're likely to say that the CEO is just some lucky fat bastard raking in the cash. That's only because they're pitifully ignorant. They're also demonstrably incapable of the same feat.

The same on-line source repeats Marx's tired assertion that the capitalism and the resultant division of labor separates a person from the products of his labor. This simply and conveniently ignores the fact that no Communist government has ever eliminated currency, the division of labor, work schedules, oppressive work conditions, bosses and overseers, an over-privileged elite class, or ANY of the conditions for which Communism was originally conceived to alleviate. In terms of achieving its goals, Marxism is the most brutal failure in history, bar none.

On the other hand, capitalism is the "bestest thing ever" because it is the one system that allows a person to focus on his talents and strengths, converting that which he has in abundance into that which he does not have and can't readily produce for himself. And that is possible through ownership. I am compensated for that which I produce and am able to save that compensation as my possession. In this way I can make trades that aren't practical in barter alone and can leverage many small "sales" into one large purchase, or do myriad other things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the system that enables this.

The Free Market is Win-Win

Furthermore, capitalism allows this exchange of talents without coercion. Keeping the above in mind, remember that a free market is this is the activity of many individual transactions, each of which is a freely accepted "win-win" proposition. In a free market nobody engages in a transaction unless they want to. I can't make you buy my products, but I can adjust my prices or quality until you decide you'd rather own what I'm selling than keep the money. I make a sale of widgets because you need widgets more than you need the money, and it's vice versa for me.

And if I screw my customers on price or quality, I don't need the government to shut me down... my customers will do that through loss of sales by boycott and bad publicity. They'll go elsewhere and enrich my competition. Some will see my failure as their opportunity, and they'll go into competition with me. It is that competition which defines a free market. The moment you have a monopoly, you have a de facto government.

Necessity Isn't Force

We've all heard the Leftist arguments that because people have certain "needs" that should be free for all without labor or expense. This starts with basic abstract Freedoms... speech, defense, personal space, etc., all non-materialistic and easily free. The Left then extends it to those things that are material... water, food, air... and then on to things that are unquestionably desires... cell phones, cable TV, spending cash. And they should all be free.

Not only is it simplistic, it's a deliberate lie.

Ignore the Blob-like expansion for a moment and keep it to basics... something that seems most reasonable. Let's take food for an example. And let's imagine that you're living an agrarian vegan carbon-neutral macrobiotic lifestyle where lions and lambs comb each others' lustrous coats in perpetual sunshine and lurrrrve. And it's yours, all yours!

There's no one to give you anything. You have to till the soil, tend and water the plants, defend them against blight and pestilence, pick the fruits, prepare and preserve them for the winter months. Despite the fact that you have a right to Life, it is still up to you alone to secure that right. All that free food isn't free, not at all. Not even when there are no owners. Not by any measure. This doesn't change when someone moves in next to you. No one is obligated to slave for you simply because you don't want to be responsible for yourself. And yet that's the position of the Progressive Left.

The Library Company of Philadelphia
was started by Ben Franklin and his
friends because they each wanted a
better library than any of them could
afford individually. It's still in
operation today, free and open to the
public. That's how Libertarians
solve a problem.
The plain fact is that even if food were lying around for the taking, it's still up to you to get off your ass and get it. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. That said, there are people who will, out of the goodness of their hearts, pay for your lunch. It's called "charity", from the Latin caritas, meaning "love". The thing about charity is that it is by definition a gift of love. Such a gift can only be given freely. When taken by force, such as taxation, it's not charity: it's theft. That's something to remember on a day like today, April 15th. Socialists would like to pretend that society would fall part if it were not for taxation. But those things that taxes pay for would still be paid for. If there is a need, then people will always find a way to fund that need. Sites like GoFundMe, KickStarter, Patreon, and IndieGogo should be all the proof you need of that. If Libertarians want a library, they'll just contribute and build one... and how do we know? Because that's what they've always done. Crowdsourcing isn't new... not by a longshot.

If that's not enough, you're left to explain Shriner hospitals, which operate without charging their patients; and RiteCare centers for language disabilities, which provide their services to those children who need them without requiring them to pay a dime; and Ronald McDonald houses; and myriad other charities. These are done voluntarily, in addition to taxes. You cannot seriously believe that if people had more to give that they would give less. And you cannot seriously believe that enlightened self-interest is at odds with charity unless you know little of either. I've discussed charity before... if you want a society in which there are good people, there is only one way to guarantee it: be that person.

The benefits of capitalism are those which directly result from the libertarian principles of self-ownership and non-coercion. It is human nature to be generous so long as the means have not been stripped from them.

Overwhelmingly, the richest people... those mean old money-grubbing capitalists... have always been the biggest philanthropists. What's better than a person who gives to charity? A person who creates a job. A philanthropist is both. One of the things that a Libertarian wants as much as the next person is "a better world". Of course, to a Libertarian, this means that people are voluntarily charitable and don't have to be robbed; where they're nice because they're educated in civility, rather than forced into compliance. Those who benefit from institutional robbery have fewer barriers against the more personal sort. Furthermore, private charity is more effective than the public dole because it doesn't result in disincentives to achievement. This requires that people not only look after themselves, but look to better themselves and in so doing employ others.

The title of the piece to which I linked in my first paragraph is "Yes, Libertarians Really Are Lazy Marxists". This is hilarious, as it comes straight from the ideology espoused by the laziest ideologues ever to walk the face of this planet; and is directed at those who they would have as slaves. 

Yes, Marxists really are pathological liars.

“How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.” -Ronald Reagan


It has been pointed out to me that "the rich only give to charities because they're tax deductible. So it's the government that's really the public paying for those charities."


No. That's not what "tax deductible" means. Let's simplify it and do some math. For this example we're going to assume that there's a millionaire making a tax-deductible contribution of a million dollars, and he's taxed at a rate of 30%. So making the contribution saves him the taxes on the million:

$1,000,000 - (1,000,000 * .3) = $1,000,000 - $300,000 = $700,000

In other words, if the donor had simply kept the money and paid the taxes, he'd still be seven hundred thousand dollars richer than if he'd made the donation. If the money were not tax deductible at all, then he could simply donate $700 grand and feel no difference. In fact, he's already demonstrated the willingness to do so, and more. He'd give a million if he had it. Tax-deductible contributions are not, not, NOT an example of greed. They are an example of largesse.

Furthermore, in order to be tax-deductible, the amount has to go to an organization that is determined to have official status as a charitable organization. The People of the United States have agreed in advance that the recipient is worthy of the contribution. After-the-fact is a piss-poor time to start bitching about contributions actually made to them.

Furthermore, the money comes entirely from the millionaire. These are not government funds that have been handed back. These are funds that the People of the United States, through their government, have determined not to be taxable. In other words... it's not their money... by law. Again, after-the-fact is a piss-poor time to claim generosity for something that you agreed up-front wasn't yours to give.


  1. Dave
    I think I get where you are coming from but I also think some of your points don’t quite hold up and/or deserve some discussion.
    “Thus we see that an entrepreneur has a higher income than a day laborer. This is because he's engaged in more productive effort.”
    Only those that are truly successful. I don’t have numbers at hand but over the years I have seen a lot of stories/studies that state that many of those who try self-employment (entrepreneurship) end up failing or giving up because the effort to reward ratio just isn’t there. Which means that the effort wasn’t productive, or productive enough. Many times, their income to hours spent are even below minimum wage.
    “The worker is working to feed himself and his family. He does so by engaging in activities that do just that, and barely.”
    Not sure what you class as worker here. I am not an entrepreneur. I am a day laborer. I work for a corporation. I do the same thing that you do and I’m good at it. I just do it for a daily wage. I am a worker who happens to take pride in his work and I do somewhat better than “just barely.”
    I also know that when I need a plumber or carpenter or even a ditch digger to dig a trench in the back yard, who are not entrepreneurs, I am glad that there are those that are able to and are willing to do those things that I can’t do or can’t be bothered with because I have other things to do. Who do you think picks the broccoli or the asparagus or the grapes that you buy from the market and enjoy other than workers? So while they may not be building companies and businesses, they are still required as part of the workings of our civilization. Or your daily existence.
    “he will also pay their unemployment insurance, and the employer portion of their Social Security contributions”
    No, he or she won’t. The customer of their product will pay for it because he/she will build it into the cost of their product – or they will fail.
    “and they're likely to say that the CEO is just some lucky fat bastard raking in the cash.”
    A CEO is seldom the entrepreneur. Almost all CEOs, at least of publicly owned corporations, are just hired hands – and far too many are fat bastards raking in far too much cash for the amount of value they bring to the company they work for. And when they get called out, they walk away with a big bag of cash after screwing the company over.
    Just a few examples of those that – John Sculley, Jonathan Schwatrz, Eckhard Pfeiffer, Mark Hurd. And then there’s those that actually get caught with fingers in the till – Ken lay, Bernard Ebbers, etc…
    “the fact that no Communist government has ever eliminated currency, the division of labor, work schedules,”
    There has never been a communist government in the world. In fact, a truly communist society would have no need of government, according to Marx. There have been a number of governments that called themselves communist but were in actual fact fascist, run by psychopathic madmen that enjoyed enforcing the first step of Marx’s plan (shoot anyone above peasant status) too much to go on to the next steps.

    1. Ron, glad to see that you were moved enough to respond in such thoughtful detail.

      I think the points hold up well enough. For example:

      1. I have personally been one of those that failed or have been only moderately successful. And I can certainly attest that the "boss" is the last one to get paid. The priorities are the utility bills, the suppliers, the employees, the taxman, and the boss, in that exact order. But those aren't the people that we talk about when we complain about corporate bosses. If a company is unsuccessful, then it's the entrepreneur that assumes the risk. If its a success, he assumes the reward. Employees signed on for a wage.

      2. You're a worker. "Just barely" is relative.

      3. Who do you think I think picks the broccoli? Before you chide me for being out of touch you'd probably better read some other posts, because your foot is in your mouth way past the heel.

      4. Regarding unemployment insurance and employer contributions: Oh, puh-leeez... And the "customer" got the money from HIS boss, so you might say that HE was the one who paid it. And THAT boss got the money from other customers, so you could say that THEY "really" paid for it. That's a bit of sophistry that never ends. The employer pays the taxes. It's a cost of doing business and is accounted for exactly as such, and is levied against the employer. The fact that costs affect prices is in no way different than the costs of raw materials, which, like labor, affect prices. Contrast this with those things that are REALLY paid for by the customer; such as sales tax, which is collected from the customer by the salesman who is acting as a collection agent for the taxing authority. Check with the IRS, Ron.

      5. Yes, the CEO is a hired hand. I've said as much in other posts. This is answered in there.

      6. "There has never been a communist government". Nevertheless there are those that have claimed to be, and continue to do so, and are universally acknowledged to be by other nations. And of those, to whom my point is directed, exactly NONE have ever eliminated currency, the division of labor, work schedules, etc. When we stack up the people that screwed the People, where do you put Scully in relation to Stalin? And WHY, you might ponder, are communist governments always headed by madmen? Because communist sympathizers can't tell a madman from a leader.

  2. Last part - as I ran over your character limit

    “The Free Market is Win-Win”
    I can see your points in the 2 paragraphs under this heading – with a very large caveat.
    “capitalism allows this exchange of talents without coercion” but only if it is really and truly pure capitalism. When you mix human egos and desires into the mix, true and pure capitalism tends to get trampled on. Reference the robber baron period of the late 18’s and early 1900’s. And don’t say that these where just hugely successful entrepreneurs. They were ruthless people that used any possible means to grind, extort and otherwise suck money out of whatever they touched. Recent history is replete with examples of businesses and business people that abandoned ethics and skirted or outright broke laws to grab advantage. Has North America ever really had a period of true capitalism?
    And finally, about your comment that “One of the things that a Libertarian wants as much as the next person is "a better world" to explain why taxes are evil – or not needed.
    “It is human nature to be generous so long as the means have not been stripped from them.” All I can say is “wow.” If you truly believe that, you are one of the most optimistic people in the world. Humans have to work very hard to be that altruistic. Or to even get remotely close to being that altruistic. And most humans have no desire to even try.
    And how many Shriner hospitals are there for the number of people that need medical assistance? Enough for all? Are there enough Shriner family doctors for all who need them?
    I have no problem with paying something in the way of taxes to provide the basics for those who truly can’t provide them for themselves. Not a free lunch for all, but at least the basics for those who really can’t self-provide and some assistance to try to get them to get to a place where they can provide. That’s a combination of investment and also insurance. You never know when you might need a bit of the same sort of helping hand. Can you, are you totally willing to depend on pure altruism when the crap hits your fan?

    1. You were going so well and then you torpedoed your own point with this:

      "Has North America ever had a period of true capitalism?"

      So now you're complaining about something you say never existed.

      And you're right, of course. It's always been regulated to some extent, and more now than ever. When the force hasn't been applied by the government it's been applied by monopolists. You'll find that as a Libertarian I'm not fond of either. The thing about regulation, is that it tends to screw the pooch in ways that the regulators never intended. The robber-barons were undone by labor unions. The unions monopolized and over-valued labor, forcing industries to go broke. Goodbye, Detroit. And government regulation brings a whole new set of unintended consequences. Let's look at the quick, but profoundly influential example of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

      If you want to establish a corporation that operates in accordance with some Principle of Justice or Right, whatever it may be, you find that exceedingly difficult to do in today's regulatory climate. Why? Because it is codified in law that a corporation has a fiduciary duty to its stockholders, and this is measured in BUCKS. And this focus on bucks sucks, because no matter how much you would like to uphold principle over profit, you now run the very real risk of being taken to court for failure to meet that duty to the stockholders. Basically, if there's a profit to be made you're remiss in not making it. That's why you will find that most companies that do operate on principle are private or closely held. "Corporate greed" is required by law.

      I'll take the next point separately.

    2. Regarding altruism, Ron, it is quite possible that I AM the most optimistic person in the world, because I personally know what that optimism buys you. Before reading another word I invite you to read the following:

      Stop. Go read it. Done? Continue.

      Peggy and her two children were one example of this. I opened up my house the same way for others.

      Under a year. That's what it takes to bring a person from living under a bridge or in a car and get them on their feet. I've done it five times. But I'll only claim four because one of them didn't take.

      And there is no way in hell that you will ever convince me that people are not altruistic when I know for a SOLID FACT that that's simply a FUCKING LIE that you have been so astoundingly naive as to take to be the truth.

      People are FAR better than you give them credit for, and YOU are far better than you give yourself credit for, as well. When you tell me how "hard" it is for people to even get remotely close to being altruistic, you're talking about YOU. You are telling me that YOU don't want to help people. So man up and SAY it, or go the alternative route and explain in clear terms why YOU are superior to the selfish schmucks who surround you. GO ON. Explain why you believe you're so much better than your neighbors. And if you can't, then accept that they're likely to be as willing as YOU are to help someone in need.

      YOU have no problem with paying for "charity" with someone else's money. Well ain't you the philanthropist! People can do better than that, and the results are astonishing. Seriously! One of those people named liked the rut. She went back to it twice. But that leaves six other people, as Peggy's kids are now grown. One's a healthcare worker. One is a craftsman who restores porcelain. One is a dog groomer. One is a radio DJ. One's a builder. They live in apartments or houses and they pay more taxes than they consume.

    3. Here's what privilege really is, Ron: Privilege is a hand. Privilege is merely the fact that someone is or was willing to help you. It doesn't have to be something you're born with. Do you know what that means? It means that YOU are in a position to extend privilege to ANYBODY. There is NOTHING stopping you from doing it but YOU. And people don't need that privilege from somebody special. You'll do just fine.

      The people who bitch the most about the world are the same deluded Leftists who believe that giving somebody a hand means giving them a shopping cart or a fucking BOX on the curb to sleep in, when they COULD have said "Hey! I've got a couch that's comfortable," or they could have picked up an inflatable mattress at Walmart for forty bucks. They're in the sporting goods department. I've got two. And they could have said, "Don't worry about paying me back. I throw away enough leftovers that you won't even dent my food budget. Let's see about getting you a job. Any job. And then just save for six months. You'll be able to get an apartment; if not your own, then with a roomate."

      Don't tell me how horrible "people" are. You want to see something COOL...? You watch THEM pay it forward! You want to know why I'm optimistic? Because it WORKS. Even while clueless pessimists who've never tried it bitch about how people won't do that, it STILL works. And the people who haven't thought to do something personally, face-to-face, sometimes because they've been told how impossible or dangerous or stupid that is, they STILL want to help. So they donate liberally to PitchInBox or ChipIn campaigns when presented with the opportunity. They put money in the jar at the convenience store counter for some little girl they've never met with leukemia. Tell me again how they're not altruistic.

      And no, none of us can help EVERYBODY. But almost EVERYBODY can help SOMEBODY, ENTIRELY, with zero overhead. And if you did it once, you can do it again. So don't preach to me about helping hands, Ron. Am *I* totally willing to depend on pure altruism when the crap hits MY fan? WHY DO YOU THINK I EVER DID THIS??? Because somebody helped ME. Ron, I trust the people around me entirely. Should my world turn upside down, they will have my back as I make a sincere effort to better my situation.

      And if YOU would like to live in a world where that happens, guaranteed, the ONLY way to do it is to go out and BE THAT PERSON. Be the one who helps.

    4. And I want to make this perfectly clear: Those people who have turned their lives around...? THEY did that. Not me. All I did was let them sleep under my roof on some space I wasn't sleeping on, and eat some food I wasn't eating. But their lives...? THEY built that.

      And kudos to my wife, who didn't just support it; she came up with the idea and she encouraged it.

  3. I have this posted on my computer desk at eye level, where I can see it every day-
    I am only one, but I am one.
    I can't do everything, but I can do something
    What I can do, that I ought to do.
    And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I shall do.
    - Edward Everett Hale