Re: Don't believe the offshore hype?

Subject: Re: Don't believe the offshore hype?
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 15:12:47 -0700

Bruce Byfield wrote:

> To me, captialist economists seems more apologists for the way
> conservatives would like things to be than a universal description of
> human nature.

Boy, I'm tempted to respond at length to this and the map/territory
observation (and, BTW, you should know that I'm not a conservative; neither
are/were most of the capitalist economists to whom I was referring). But I
suspect this thread long ago wore out its welcome. :-)

> Finally, as an aside, I should also mention that the equation of
> socialism with totalitarianist communism is a little like assuming
> Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all the same religion (or even that
> a Unitarian is the same thing as a southern Baptist).

I must reply to this, however, since today happens to be the 60th
anniversary of the publication of Friedrich Hayek's _The Road to Serfdom_.
See Carlos Ball's column, "To 'The Socialists in All Parties'" at He addresses this very issue
and quotes the "classical liberal" Hayek:

"The democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is
not only unachievable, but that to strive for it produces something so
utterly different that few of those who now wish it would be prepared to
accept the consequences..."

Bruce, your religion analogy might be appropriate if socialists were content
to _encourage_ people to practice altruism, restrain their desire for
material goods, subordinate their goals to those of others in their
community, etc. But they generally aren't.

Socialists generally want to _enforce_ their vision of social and economic
justice. To do so, they need to _control_ the production and distribution of
goods. That means comprehensive central planning, micromanaging virtually
every aspect of our daily lives, from what work we do and where to how many
pairs of shoes we may have and how much milk our children need.

As Hayek recognized, the socialists' goals ultimately require much more than
stirring speeches. They require comprehensive spying and surveillance to
detect non-compliance, many people with guns to enforce compliance, and a
vast network of prisons, labor camps, or gulags to restrain, "re-educate,"
and extract production from the recalcitrant.

In theory (and occasionally in practice), those who direct and control us
may be chosen democratically -- at least until the amount of direction and
control needed reaches a certain level. But the "tyranny of the majority" is
still tyrannical.

To return to your religion analogy, the socialist religion, to be fully
realized, requires everyone to worship at the same altar. Lenin was its


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant, a division of Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
richardDOTcombs AT voyanttechDOTcom
rgcombs AT freeDASHmarketDOTnet


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