Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why communism fails inevitably

It is rather puzzling that some people continue to promote communism, the most thoroughly self-discrediting creed in history. Perhaps this video I found on Youtube will help to explain my puzzlement.  It traces communism's development from its beginning as an altruistic attempt to help the poor through its transformation into totalitarian police states that killed millions. The video includes pictures of some the victims, graphically dead. If you are deeply disturbed by that kind of thing, you should not watch it.

The video stops too soon, though, by not proceeding to point out communism's inevitable breakdown and demise. It is not a sustainable plan for it makes no economic sense. Therefore the complete progression is from altruism to murderous brutality and from there to economic failure.

It is a pretext, nothing more, when anyone who still wants communism talks about it helping the poor. The poor are not helped by declines in productivity followed by utter ruin of the economy. They are not helped when the government begins its programs of coercion. They are not helped because under communism the poor are still poor, but lack the freedom to try to better themselves.

The reason communism develops into totalitarianism is not difficult to figure out. Everyone must cooperate.  People are, though, inclined to do as they please. So cooperation must be enforced and the enforcement becomes more drastic as time goes on and the plan still isn't working. Communism's  failure to work as desired, though, is not due to insufficient cooperation; it can't work, ever. Human society must be organized in a way that takes into account people doing as they please, for they are happiest and most prosperous in broad average when left free to conduct their own affairs. That is also how you make an economy sustainable, able to meet its inevitable problems and move on.

The reason is that distributed decision making is a more robust and resilient process than centralized planning. When millions of people make their own decisions some will decide well, some badly, and it will become evident who did which. You have millions of people working on solutions, rather than a few politicians in a central bureau. Most people will copy the good outcome of the neighbor who did wisely and prospered rather than the poor outcome of the neighbor who did something stupid. Under central planning, when the central bureau does something stupid, everyone suffers and no one knows what to do about it.

Scale up the same process, whereby neighbors look at each other to see who has the right idea. Nations can look around and see which ideas about governing made people in other countries happy, well and prosperous and which did not. Hence my puzzlement that anyone is even giving a second thought to communism today: It's a stupid idea. History shows it.

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