Wednesday, March 5, 2014

25 Years Later & Tom Friedman Still Can't Get The Soviet Collapse Right

By, Chris Rossini

25 years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed. Tom Friedman, the foreign affairs guy at The New York Times, still doesn't get it:
The Soviet Union died because Communism could not provide rising standards of living, and its collapse actually unleashed boundless human energy all across Eastern Europe and Russia. A wise Putin would have redesigned Russia so its vast human talent could take advantage of all that energy.
Let's start at the top. The Soviet Union died because there can be no economic calculation when the State acts the the sole owner of all resources. This can not be stated and restated enough!

As I described in a post last week:
...we live in a world with scarce resources (land, labor, & capital), and the very same world is populated with humans who have constantly changing values, choices, and desires. In such an interesting situation, how are the world's scarce resources to be allocated to satisfy the most urgent and most desired wants of the us humans?

For those who say "The State should allocate the resources," you're late to the party. Communism was tried, despite the warnings of Ludwig Von Mises who pointed out that when there is only 1 owner of all resources, there can be no exchange, no market prices, and no profit/loss signals. The central planners would have no way of knowing what to create, how much to create, where to create it, and what capital goods to use.
Next, all governments are incapable of "providing rising standards of living".

Government produces nothing, and only acquires what it has by thieving off those who do produce. No matter how you twist, turn, or try to spin its nature into something to be desired, the fact that it is a parasite cannot be avoided. Parasites do not "raise the living standards" of their hosts. They can only subtract from living standards.

Communism subtracts at the quickest pace. The Soviets lasted only 70+ years, and that's with a lot of propping up that was done by foreign nations (like the U.S.). Without the artificial props, the Soviet Union would have collapsed much sooner.

The current U.S. government, and its highly-regulated Corporatist/Fascist system, only subtracts from our living standards. It does not, and cannot raise them. However, as opposed to Communism, we are bled dry at a slower pace. That's why Fascism is referred to as a "Vampire Economy". There are still pockets of freedom, and market prices (though highly distorted by the government & the Fed) which act to push back against the constantly growing weight of the parasite.

Eventually, the Fascistic parasite overcomes the host, and like the Soviets, will collapse. When that will happen is anyone's guess, but it's not looking good for The State. In the U.S. more people receive handouts than are producing, and the Fed's distortions are creating financial crises that are successively getting bigger and bigger, and less and less time is passing between each one.

Finally let's tackle the last statement, which speaks volumes about Friedman: "A wise Putin would have redesigned Russia so its vast human talent could take advantage of all that energy."

Friedman equates government bureaucrats as if they were The Creator or Mother Nature. Yet these delusional individuals create nothing! They definitely destroy things and lives. In that area, no one can compete. But the only thing that they are capable of designing is how the parasite is going to feed off the host. That's it!

Human talent and energy is yet to be "boundless," and has yet to be fully "unleashed". The early libertarians from the American colonies gave us a taste of what happens when the parasite is the size of a small tick. They didn't understand that the parasite is not "a necessary evil". Perhaps someday the idea will take hold that the parasite is not necessary at all!

At that point the word "boundless" would be appropriate to use.

Chris Rossini is on Twitter


  1. Brilliant analysis as always, sir. Thank you for your insightful commentary.

    Friedman's peers are raising a furor over Putin's $40 million net worth and how it is symbolic of Russia's corrupt crony oligarchy, who the pundits say are looting the country at their citizens expense. Yet I've seen no mention of Putin's American counterparts, the most egregious being the odious Bill Clinton, who alone is now estimated as being worth upwards of $55 million.

    What would Friedman have a wise American leader do to unleash our boundless human energy? The only answer is the one you offer.

  2. "They didn't understand that the parasite is not "a necessary evil". Perhaps someday the idea will take hold that the parasite is not necessary at all!"

    You're also going to have to get it through the head of most Idiot Christians that the state was not "created God" and therefore we're supposed to support it no matter what. Meanwhile, the secularists look at government AS a god. Amazing how many small minds there are that believe this evil parasite is some kind of benefactor of society isn't it?