(Why) The English-Speaking World is the New Soviet Union
umair haque

Your headline was enticingly close to being interesting; sadly though, it isn’t supported by the rest of the piece. The west has, for at least the past hundred years or so, been moving further and further away from the “pure capitalism” you claim has failed, and closer and closer to socialism, as government power has increased along with the peripheral rent-seeking that corrupts all it touches and encourages professional politicians.

The USSR did not “collapse… into authoritarianism, extreme inequality, superstition, cults of personality, tribalism, vendetta, violence, corruption, and kleptocracy”. Its base philosophy cannot survive without authoritarianism and absolute dictatorial power, which inevitably lead to the rest: cults of personality, violence, corruption, kleptocracy, tribalism, inequality etc.

It remains a fundamental truth that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”; it remains true that a socialist economy requires central planning; a centrally planned economy requires absolute power to implement; it remains true that institutions of power attract the power-hungry. The inescapable conclusion must be that, even if your socialist utopia starts out governed by a brilliant, benign dictator (or committee), eventually the reins of power must be usurped by a power-mad demagogue… soon afterwards the oppression and murder will follow.

To my mind you, and those like you, though you might be driven by compassion for the economically or socially opressed — a wonderful motive — are, with your short-sighted, self-important absolute certainty, the greatest threat to their long-term prosperity and even survival.