Why Communism & Libertarianism Are Toxic Schemes From Ivory-Tower Theorists With No Common Sense
They fail to understand that avaricious people always use the gov’t (or lack of gov’t) as a way to attain more money and more power
There Will Always Be A Government
Every group of human beings is going to end up living under some set of rules enforced by some kind of government. Period.
That government may be run by a tribal leader, a bunch of priests, the violent guy with a family of violent brothers, a warlord, a gang, a king, or a parliament, but there’s always going to be some individual or group that will create a government which will make and enforce a set of rules.
Unless you’re living in a cabin in the middle of a post-apocalyptic wilderness, that’s how it’s going to be. Get over it.
What Kind Of Government Will It Be?
The fundamental questions are:
- What powers will that government have?
- Which humans will have control of that government?
Creating An Effective Government Depends On Understanding The Psychology Of The Governed
You can’t design a vehicle until you know the type of terrain it will have to cross.
Before you try to figure out what kinds of rules the government is going to make and who is going to control that government, you first need to understand the fundamental habits, attitudes, inclinations, needs and desires of human beings.
A Group Of Human Beings Is Not Uniform & Always Contains A Percentage Of Dangerous Members
Every large group of humans will contain a percentage of altruists, intellectuals, creatives, narcissists, ego maniacs, cheaters, liars, and thieves.
Any system of government based on the idea that all people are inherently the same or that they are all honest, generous, intelligent, fair, trustworthy, or reasonable will fail because they are not and there are always humans who warp and corrupt every system to serve their desires.
Many people will be sheep, some will be snakes, some will be wolves, some will be angels, some will be devils, and most will be a mixed bag with more of one characteristic and less of another.
The wolves will always want a do-nothing government that lets them eat the sheep. The sheep will always want a government that protects them from the wolves.
There Will Always Be Wolves Whose Prime Goal Will Be To Eat The Sheep
A substantial proportion of human beings will engage in the energetic and selfish pursuit of more money, more power, more sex, and more advancement with little or no concern about how their actions affect other people.
Why is the person with $100 million dollars willing to go to almost any lengths to get himself/herself an additional million dollars? Greed. Ego. Competitiveness. Those mental attitudes, coupled with great wealth, that give them great power to pursue their personal, selfish goals to the detriment of other humans.
A percentage of humans will happily go to great lengths to scheme, lie and squirm their way toward the top of whatever organization can afford them access to money and power.
In every group there will always be some wolves and many sheep. The more vulnerable the sheep, the greater the number of wolves.
Anyone who has ever worked in any large organization knows that in every institution, organization, corporation, etc. — religion, law enforcement, business, political parties — there will always be a material number of people who will be willing, to a greater or lesser degree, to lie, scheme, bribe, flatter and sex their way up the ladder.
These are the people who often get a large measure of power in any human system, including whatever system of government is in place.
A Material Percentage Of Human Beings Are Not Altruists & Many Are Downright Greedy
To a greater or lesser extent, a material portion of human beings will always live by the principal of “Look out for number 1” where Number 1 is a hierarchy of:
- (1) Me;
- (2) My immediate family;
- (3) My extended family;
- (4) My friends;
- (5) People who live near me;
- (6) People who live in my general region;
- (7) People who live in my country.
Understanding that every large group of human beings is, from the start, infected with its portion of wolves and snakes, you need to figure out how you are, nevertheless, going to structure a stable government that will attempt to provide the greatest long-term benefits (physical, legal and economic infrastructure; freedom from violence; personal freedom; access to jobs, advancement and wealth; physical health; technological advancement, etc.) to the largest number of people.
Powerful Organizations Are Much More Dangerous Than Powerful Human Beings
In designing your government you need to recognize that the most dangerous wolves are not individuals, but corporations. Powerful and wealthy organizations are far more dangerous to individuals money and freedom than powerful and wealthy human beings because organizations
- Have no ethics, and
- Can have no ethics.
Corporations can have no more empathy, pity, generosity, honor, integrity or shame than your can opener or your washing machine.
There is no ethical or moral check on the actions of artificial entities. They can and will do anything they can get away with in the pursuit of more money and power, so your government must be careful about how much it allows organizations to get away with.
The greatest danger to the wealth and freedom of individuals arises from the unchecked power of the organizations that control their medical care, money, food, energy, housing, etc.
Traditional Extremes Of Political Theory — A Gov’t To Benefit Sheep & A Gov’t To Benefit Wolves
There are two fundamental political theories about how a government should be structured, and they lie at opposite ends of the spectrum. Neither of them work.
A Gov’t Designed To Benefit The Sheep
At one extreme is the Good For The Sheep government system — Communism. The government will own everything, employ everyone, and make all the rules, but the government will theoretically pursue benevolent principles, communists claim. “Pool all the money and share the wealth” will work great, they said.
Grab all the wealth the wolves have accumulated and divide it amongst the sheep.
It was a spectacular failure.
When it failed, the true believers said, “Communism didn’t fail. It was perverted by bad people who didn’t run the government according to true communist principles. As soon as we establish a true communist government that actually follows the real and fundamental principles of communism, you will see paradise on earth.”
Human Beings Will Always Corrupt Any System To Their Personal Advantage
The communist ideologists failed to recognize the glaring truth that grand theories are always implemented by human beings who
- Will pervert and subvert every organization that controls money and power in their quest to achieve their personal desires of more money and more power for themselves, and
- A substantial percentage of human beings will never work hard so that others with less talent or effort can reap the rewards of their labor.
You can never have perfect communism, perfect anarchism, perfect libertarianism, or perfect anything because human beings are always going to corrupt the ivory-tower theoretical rules of every system and drive it to self-serving extremes.
A Gov’t Designed To Benefit The Wolves
At the other end of the political spectrum is the Good For The Wolves government system — Economic Anarchism, libertarianism. Let everybody and especially every corporation do whatever they can get away with short of physical violence and theft. Every person and corporation for themselves. They will all be free to keep whatever they can grab.
Turn the wolves free to shear and eat every sheep they can catch.
Unchecked Systems Always Fall Victim To The Feedback Effect
Libertarianism too is an abject failure because its prohibition against laws controlling business conduct and laws taxing business prevents the creation of counter-feedback systems that are vital for the stability of any society.
Without a counter-system in place, the wealth of the top 10% will always increase as a percentage of the country’s total wealth and the wealth of the bottom 10% will always decrease as a percentage of the country’s total wealth until a bunch of communists rise up and nationalize everything.
Libertarianism is the quintessential unchecked system, and unchecked systems always succumb to the feedback effect, and always devolve into boom and bust cycles. They are inherently unstable, and instability dooms long-term economic advancement, an efficient economy and social and economic mobility.
Contrary to the fantasies of the libertarian theorists, an anarchist system does not self-balance and cannot self-balance.
Every unchecked libertarian system first wobbles, then goes pear-shaped, then devolves into a plutocracy eventually followed by a violent revolution.
The Liberals’ Democracy System
Liberals thought they had a solution to the question of how to organize an effective, stable government — The government would be composed of people elected by majority vote and those people would enact laws that would protect the rights and property of the sheep from exploitation by the wolves and the snakes.
Except that the laws that were supposed to protect the public from the schemes of those who held massive power sought to do so by criminalizing conduct that was thought to be unfair.
Controlling Conduct Through Bureaucratic Regulation Is Inefficient & Ineffective
The problem with the strategy of preventing disliked conduct by making it illegal is that it is very inefficient.
The communists’ idea that the government could effectively and efficiently micromanage the economy was fundamentally false.
The liberals’ idea that the government can effectively and efficiently prevent disliked conduct or create desired conduct through criminal laws and regulations is materially false.
After the government makes some conduct illegal then it has to discover any violation of the law. Then gather evidence of it. Then prosecute it. Then prove it. Then apply the punishment.
Before this cycle is completed people have already figured out a way around the law or engaged in a different form of overreaching conduct to which the government will eventually respond with a new law which will start the process all over again.
Laws never catch up with the disliked conduct and the end result of such a strategy is an ever-increasing bureaucracy supported by an army of bureaucrats, investigators, prosecutors, judges and enforcers.
So, while the liberals’ strategy created a government system that worked better for most people than communism or economic anarchism, it is still an ineffective and inefficient governmental strategy.
The Most Effective Strategy Is To Tax Disliked Conduct and Not Tax Desired Conduct
The most effective way to deter harmful business conduct is to use the tax system to make the disliked conduct more expensive than it is worth. If the cost of doing business in a certain way is higher than the profits derived from doing business in that way, people will stop themselves from engaging in the disliked conduct.
Increasing low-level wages
If you want to increase low-level wages, then tax at 100% the employer’s average high-level compensation that exceeds XX times its average low-level wages. That way the company’s management will have an economic incentive to increase the wages of its lowest paid workers in order to gain higher salaries for themselves.
If you want to discourage monopolies, then increase a company’s corporate tax rate in proportion to its market share. That way companies will have an economic incentive NOT to increase their market share.
If you want to decrease rents then charge an excess rent tax on rental income that exceeds a certain percentage return on the value of the rental property.
Increasing Low-Cost Housing
If you want more low-income housing, then charge a lower tax on profits made from renting low-rent units and charge a higher tax on the profits earned from renting more expensive units.
Reducing Prices & Fees
If you want to deter price increases then charge an excess profits tax on corporate profits that exceed a certain percentage of deductible costs.
If you want to deter speeding then charge a road tax based on the product of miles driven times the speed at which each mile is driven in excess of the speed limit.
Controlling/Encouraging Conduct Through Tax Policy
Whatever behavior you want to deter, tax it more. Whatever behavior you want to encourage, tax it less. Do that and people will police themselves.
Fewer laws. Fewer rules. Less bureaucracy. Less abuse by the wolves through their exploitation of their massively greater bargaining power.
It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a start.