Friday, April 22, 2016

Quickies: A Truth Insufficiently Often Expressed

     This comes from Jonah Goldberg’s G File mailing of today, and it’s a gem of the first water:

     To borrow a phrase from the Marxists (since it’s Lenin’s birthday today), it is no coincidence that Bernie Sanders sees as his lodestar a bunch of Scandinavian countries. The fact that they are not the socialist utopias he imagines them to be is irrelevant. To the extent they ever were real, live, socialist societies, it was back when they were ethnically homogeneous (and poor). Socialism can “work” for a while in small, ethnic mono-cultures, because the economic inefficiencies can be papered over by nationalistic or tribal sentiments. That’s why the kibbutzim lasted as long as they did. Diversity, individualism, technology, domestic and international competition -- i.e., the market, or freedom -- eventually make social-ism (Tony Blair’s phrase) untenable. [Emphasis added]

     The emphasized sentence captures the full fatuity of socialism as an economic policy for any unit larger than a very small town and more diverse than your typical Christian congregation. The interpersonal bonds of a larger or more diverse gathering simply aren’t strong enough to tolerate the imposition of what Goldberg styles inefficiencies and I, a property-rights absolutist, prefer to term injustices.

     If we replace nationalistic or tribal sentiments with love, the case becomes even stronger. It’s why families, which must be essentially socialist economically, don’t have the problems of....well, of Sweden.

     Love and the attachments formed from it are more powerful motivators than material gain. However, putting together a family – i.e., a group whose members are bound to one another by love – that exceeds a couple of dozen persons in size, or one that must encompass radically different races, ethnicities, creeds, or significant practices and habits, is impossible.

     Bravo, Jonah. Say it loud.

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