Monday, August 20, 2018

A Contribution to the Death of Socialism

George Reisman is among the less than handful of living economists that truly understand in full how the economy works. In his latest ebook, he dissects Marxism/socialism.

He writes:
Convert a Socialist to Capitalism. Give him a copy of this essay, now available in Kindle format at Amazon  for just 99¢. Go to  to order it.
From the blurb:
For its size, this essay is the most powerful, comprehensive, and in-depth critique of Marxism/Socialism and defense of capitalism ever written.

Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. My essay explains why its establishment requires armed robbery and murder on a massive scale, acts which communists are willing to commit, but not social democrats, who therefore should stop calling themselves socialists.

My essay demolishes the attempt of Marxism/Socialism to portray the free workers of capitalism as only nominally free and in actuality slaves.

It demolishes the belief, introduced by Adam Smith and then serving as the starting point for Marx, that profits are a deduction from wages. It shows instead that profits exist prior to wages, by virtue of workers producing and selling products in exchange not for wages but for sales revenues, which are initially all profit. My essay shows that when capitalists appear, and pay wages and buy capital goods for the purpose of earning sales revenues, their expenditures show up as costs of production to be deducted from sales revenues, thereby reducing the proportion of sales revenues that is profit. Thus capitalists, instead of stealing their profits from wage earners, create wages and reduce profit margins, as well as lay the foundation for continuing economic progress and rising real wages through their purchase and employment of capital goods.

My essay also shows, among many other things, that when it comes to economic planning capitalism is as rich compared to socialism as it is in the production of material goods. This is because, under capitalism, all participants in the economic system engage in economic planning, with their separate, individual plans being harmonized, coordinated, and integrated by means of the price system. In sharpest contrast, under socialism economic planning is the monopoly of no more than a relative handful of people, the members of the socialist “central planning board.” Thus, as I remarked in my essay, “The alleged economic planning of socialism is in fact not economic planning at all, but the forcible suppression of economic planning—the forcible suppression of the economic planning of everyone in the economic system outside the membership of the central planning board.” Absent the economic planning of capitalism, the result is economic chaos, declining production, and starvation.

Just as my essay presents the truth about socialism, so too does it present the truth about capitalism. For example, it shows how, under capitalism, a willingness of workers to work for minimum subsistence, rather than die of starvation, is irrelevant to the wages they actually need to accept, which are set at a far higher level by the competition of employers for labor. It shows that the actual self-interest of employers is not to try to pay wages that are as low as they might like, but rather the lowest wages that are simultaneously too high for any other employers who would otherwise obtain the labor that these employers want to employ. The position of employers under capitalism is essentially the same as that of a successful bidder at an auction. His successful bid must be too high for his next nearest competitor.

Capitalism not only continually raises real wages, it also operates to reduce the hours of work, abolish child labor, and improve working conditions. It does this by virtue of the fact that once real wages have increased sufficiently, workers can afford to accept the comparatively lower wages that accompany shorter hours, can afford to keep their children home longer, and can afford to accept the comparatively lower take-home wages that enable employers to provide them with improvements in working conditions that do not pay for themselves through increases in efficiency.

All this, and much, much more, is contained just in the first part of my essay, which is titled “The Gist of Marxism/Socialism and Its Refutation
Order the ebook, here:


No comments:

Post a Comment