Saturday, 13 May 2017

Socialism kills and impoverishes. Why does it keep popping up?

Learning the average Venezuelan has lost 19 lbs since Chavez and now Maduro took over, has got me thinking.  Why does socialism keep happening with popular support at first and why do we never seem to learn when it fails?  My tentative answer:
Nuclear family, shared DNA
It's baked into our DNA.  What works to manage a genetically-linked family doesn't scale up well to tribe and nation. Nations are the new kid on the block and strategies to prosper them are in their infancy.   The top-down guidance and distribution of resources for the good of the pack works for a reproductive pair and their dependent infants but fails for a nation. It isn't total failure but it fails.

Extended family.

Problems of scale and inter-relatedness
Top-down "for-your-own-good-kiddies" government will always be with us.  The impulse to look after our kids and to tell them what to do extends to a lesser degree to watch our for our kinfolk and even our tribe. It starts falling apart at the scale of the nation state that has multiple genetic backgrounds.    Because a treasure trove of resources is concentrated in centralized government, there will always be predators attracted to feed on the taxes. These rewards help perpetuate a bad governing trend.  People in government cream those goodies, doing well for themselves while believing, at first, they are doing good for others.  That and our tendency to go along with going along perpetuates a destructive governing style.  Until, that is, things fall apart, riots start in the street and millions starve.

Then what?  One approach recognizes we are genetically nearly the same, all one big family that can live in harmony. (The Kumbayah theory)  The other main approach recognizes that we are genetically varied and calls for competition and markets.  The flaw I see in Ottawa and Washington is that the competition is split into parties and only one party is in power at a time.    When you go downtown to buy groceries, you don't expect all grocery stores to be shut except one for the next four years. Let's find a way to encourage more internal markets within parties.

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