Re: extropians-digest V2 #131

Joshua F. McMichael (
Thu, 15 May 97 07:15:24 -0500

Eric Moeller and Perry Metzger continue their discussion:

>> I bet the wall fell in East Germany because of those darn trained
>> "outside agitators" too, just like with the student protests in the
>> '60s in the U.S.
>The wall in Germany fell because of massive media propaganda. Kohl
>himself admitted this afterwards and said it would not have been
>possible without western media. Of course hundreds of thousands of
>unemployed people in East Germany would prefer socialism now.

The problems in Eastern Germany and other recently communist countries is
a legacy of COMMUNISM, not capitalism. I don't understand why people
can't get this. Look, people under the rule of a communist regime have it
beaten into them for their entire lives that they are dependant upon the
state. And since communist states control every aspect of the economy,
they pretty much enforce a situation in which all their citizens must
turn to the state for all their needs. These poor people have had most of
their personal initiative driven by a systematized destruction of their

Is it any surprise, then, that the economies of these countries would
suffer? The system of capitalism provides no over-arching power
structures to tell people what to do. Productive companies are the result
of people having ideas and goals and accomplishing them to benefit
themselves. The communists chased these ideas of selfishness and personal
initiative out of their citizens by force and propaganda. All production
of essential goods and services was regulated by the state. Any property
of any value whatsoever (like all apartment buildings, factories, etc.)
was owned by the state. The state set all production and consumtion rates
- again by force and propaganda. Personal initiative was rewarded by the
nationalization of productive companies.

Capitalism is a very complex idea that we take for granted. Ideas don't
just spring fully developed into the minds of people. Freedom, and the
attitudes and ideals that the state of freedom brings also just do not
materialize into people's heads. The ideas the one can work to benefit
oneself, that in individual has the right to the fruits of his labor, and
that the state is there to protect the people against force and fraud -
these have to be taught. The citizens of formerly communist countries
have to learn. It will take time.

It is unbelievable to me that anyone is still advocating variants of
socialism. If one is interested in the results of socialist systems, one
need merely look at history - it's one grand controlled experiment. Let's
start now, and work our way backwards. Look at the socialist experiments
of most of the European contries - they are crumling. The medical,
welfare, and worker's benefits packages are strangling most of the bugets
of these countries. Most European countries are rapidly privatizing many
functions formerly performed by the public sectore.

Fidel Castro has reluctantly allowed the creation of 'free enterprise
zones' in many areas of Cuba to help lower unemployment. Hmmmm.... Seems
like capitalism is OK if it generates wealth that the communist
goverments can then steal.

OK - now back a bit further. Remember Pol Pot and Ieng Sary? They both
ran a controlled experiment. They wanted to see what happened if they
forced a system of agrarian Maoism upon the people of Cambodia. They did
it in a matter of months. What happened? Within weeks, upwards of 30% of
the people in the experiment were dead from torture, disease, starvation,
and exhaustion from forced labor. Ooops - looks like the controlled
distribution of food farmed at the point of a gun doesn't work very well!
(The Cambodian Genocide project at is
doing a thourough of cataloging the atrocities of and the reasons for
this experiement).

I could go on. Perry has talked about the interesting North-South Korean
experiement that was begun several years ago. It's now showing very
predicatable results. And China - I don't buy anything made in China
beacuse chances are 50/50 that it was produced in a forced labor camp.
Just look at history, Eric. It's one grand social experiment.

Joshua McMichael
email: web:

Random quote of the day:

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- M. Ghandi