The Wages of Government Control


In North Korea, people have no jobs. What jobs that do exist are back-breaking and afford a pittance of a salary. And what meager money people earn isn’t enough to buy enough food to feed yourself, let alone a family.

I’ve often wondered why it is that socialists / liberals / progressives or whatever they are called today don’t look at the obvious evidence that socialism doesn’t work—ever—and conclude that they were wrong. I think I have an explanation.

See, in North Korea, Kim Jong Il goes around telling people one of two things. One, that if the people were actually practicing real socialism and honestly gave up every capitalist motive in their body, there would be enough to spare. In other words, the “No true Scotsman” defense. Socialists use this to describe why socialism in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Southeast Asia, Africa, India, South America, Central America, and any other place it was tried failed, but it will definitely succeed here. Here being, of course, wherever the socialist is standing at the moment. See, socialism in those other places wasn’t real socialism, or the right kind of socialism, or socialism at the wrong time for the wrong people, etc…

The other excuse Kim Jong Il uses is that due to forces beyond his control (involving the United States, of course), the people of North Korea are suffering. See, if only America would stop doing X or start doing Y, they would have enough food to eat and to spare. This is the classical victimization argument but applied to systems of government. It wasn’t because the USSR was corrupt, incapable, and retarded, it was because America happened to have a run of good luck and exploited that fact to destroy the worker’s paradise. It wasn’t because India / Cuba / Southeast Asia / China / etc… were failures, it was because Greate Britain / the United States / etc… oppressed them.

These two arguments, of course, are hogwash. But any true socialist doesn’t have a hard time believing them. This is because they’ve already swallowed all the other hogwash that has been spat upon them by pretender philosophers.

Capitalism and freedom don’t need excuses. It works. Everywhere. Under any conditions. Under any oppressive forces. It works in China without political freedom. It works in Hong Kong under foreign domination. It works in the United States with corruption and gangs and drug problems and the breakup of the family. It works because it is the only economic system that can deliver on its promises.

The only time capitalism doesn’t work is when government tries to control it. When governments raise taxes, borrow vast sums of money, and control massive amounts of capital, impose regulations, fire the CEO of major corporations, and otherwise imposes its will on the market, then it fails. Of course, we have a word for systems of government that impose their will on the free market.



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