1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12612/some-social-aspects-of-medical-socialism/

Some Social Aspects of Medical Socialism

May 3, 2010 by

The 18th century proudly called itself the century of reason. The 19th boasted of being the century of progress. In the same fashion, the 20th deserves one of two titles: the century of Marxian totalitarianism or of Bismarckian social security. FULL ARTICLE by Melchior Palyi

{ 10 comments }

paul stephens May 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I don’t really understand Palyi’s point. Of course, the context for this is post-WWII reconstruction – whether or not we should have “socialism” or “free enterprise.” And most of his work was apparently between the wars – in that horrifying attempt to rectify the mistakes of Versailles, along with the rise of Bolshevism and Nazi-Fascism. What does that have to do with “socialized medicine?”
Although Germany’s post-war “economic miracle” is credited to their rejection of socialism and embrace of “free markets,” what they actually had (and still have to some extent) was a SOCIAL MARKET ECONOMY. Is this a bad thing? Apparently most Austrian School people think so – and yet they claim Erhard, et. al. as brothers.
There’s no way Germany could have worked or developed as it has, post-war, without including a welfare state, powerful unions, and the recognition that all workers, consumers, taxpayers, voters have a common interest in a free and fair society, with all the basic necessities of life guaranteed. Yes, these can be organized in many different ways, institutionally, but the basic idea IS “socialistic”. It is society as a whole which must be served, not one particular class of “capitalists”, “professionals”, or entrepreneurs. The US today is accurately characterized as “socialism for the rich” or “socializing risks and costs, but privatizing gains and profits.”
I wouldn’t bother to have written this – it is so obvious – but Mises readers seem be be largely opposed or ignorant of it to the present day.

Russ May 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm

One large part of the “economic miracle” of post-WWII Germany was, of course, the fact that they didn’t have to pay for national defense. That was taken care of for them by the US, and allowed them the “luxury” of a welfare state (in the same way that an addiction to oxycodone is a “luxury”). Sorry to have to be the “Ugly American” and point that out, but there you have it.

“…what they actually had (and still have to some extent) was a SOCIAL MARKET ECONOMY. Is this a bad thing? ”

Well, of course, it was (and is). Any system based on politicians buying peoples’ votes with other peoples’ money (as social democracy is) is bound to be corrupt to the core.

“There’s no way Germany could have worked or developed as it has, post-war, without [blah, blah, basically, without socialism]”

How do you know that? Do you have a crystal ball that can look into alternate dimensions to see what Germany could or could not have done without socialism? Or do you have a Panglossian belief that history always goes in the best possible direction? Or are you just parrotting what you’ve been taught by socialist professors in college?

“It is society as a whole which must be served, not one particular class…”

As a (classical) liberal, I agree completely. I believe that everyone’s rights (including most especially property rights) must be protected. But people do not have a right to other peoples’ money or property. This is where socialism breaks down. Needs do not equal rights.

“I wouldn’t bother to have written this – it is so obvious – but Mises readers seem be be largely opposed or ignorant of it to the present day.”

We are most certainly not ignorant of the fact that most of the West today is socialist. We simply do not agree with your assessment of socialism’s success.

mpolzkill May 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Russ is not a classical liberal, Russ is a conservative, through and through. Russ *is* the repulsive capitalist Stephens alludes to here:

http://blog.mises.org/12599/was-keynes-a-liberal-2/

and Stephens definition *does* happen to pretty much fit the vast majority of capitalists, it must be faced.

If Russ should and does get his war socialism, then Paul Stephens should and will get his “necessities” socialism. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Russ May 3, 2010 at 9:26 pm

You’re pathetic, Matt. I mean, really…. I understand that your opinions differ from mine, and you have that right. But I’m trying to argue against somebody who’s obviously incredibly in love with socialism, and doesn’t think that a decent life can even be had by the average person without socialism protecting him from evil capitalist pigs. And here you are, instead of going after the socialist, trying to shoot me down instead, because you don’t think I walk the party line strictly enough. Even though in your mind I get a lot wrong, don’t you have the intellectual integrity and magnaminity to give me credit for the few things I do get right? No, I guess not. It is apparently your sworn duty to cleanse the libertarian movement of all backsliders, even if it means rendering said movement so small and ineffectual that it might as well be non-existent. Much better that the libertarian movement be like “an ineffectual angel beating in the void his luminous wings in vain”. Fuck a movement that’s big tent enough that it might actually make a difference, eh? That way, when civilization as we know it completely falls apart, at least you’ll have a clean conscience, eh? Pa. Thet. Ick.

mpolzkill May 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Yeah, whatever Russ, my point is pretty good, whether or not Stephens is off his gourd (and he is; too bad there’s hundreds of millions nutty in the exact same way).

We’ve been through these “purity” inventions of yours numerous times and you are never able to counter, you just repeat your assertions and theories with nothing to back them up. You are just incredibly dishonest.

I sincerely believe that you conservatives are every bit as big a problem as lefties. Your hypocrisy, ignorance and lack of principles will forever exacerbate and ultimately lose your every battle with them, and you drag us down with you.

You are in love with the status quo where you feel comfortable and safe and that means constant aggressive war waged by your masters (and not just with foreigners, see the Tea Party ignoramuses). That we happen to share many beliefs is *more* of a reason to attack you and try to make clear the differences. (I also attack you far less often than you attack the writers here, btw, so your whining is always funny and yes, pathetic). Oh, and the fact that you’re a condescending, pompous ass makes it fun too.

Yes, screw politics, especially if we have to join forces with war mongers like you.

mpolzkill May 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

Russ is on our side in calling for the smallest government possible but we reject him out of a puritan fetishism when all he supports is the *most* representative (incompetent, stupidly violent, enormous, false propagandizing, unaccountable, wasteful and perpetually aggrandizing) part of government.

Inquisitor May 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Opposed to it but not ignorant of it because it’s blithering nonsense.

J. Murray May 4, 2010 at 7:10 am

I’m sure the author, the man who had a high ranking position in the German Central Bank in the years prior to Hitler’s rise, knows much more about German socialism and its effects than you do.

Ohhh Henry May 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

“There’s no way Germany could have worked or developed as it has, post-war, without including a welfare state, powerful unions, and the recognition that all workers, consumers, taxpayers, voters have a common interest in a free and fair society, with all the basic necessities of life guaranteed.”

This is ignoring the fact that Germany has not been able to balance its budget in a long time. One cannot call any system fair or workable if it is based on a pyramid of debt. And it cannot be called free if it is based on coercion.

Germany built the world’s first welfare state starting with Bismarck in the late 1800s and it collapsed in debt, war and famine in 1918. The started building a new welfare state in the 1920s and it collapsed in war and genocide in 1945. They started building a third welfare state in the 1950s, which might have collapsed already except they managed to kick it up another gear by moving from one fiat currency to a new super-currency, the Euro. Merging a couple of dozen welfare states allowed the Europeans to keep running deficits and building up the welfare state on an even larger pyramid of debt than before. But that only bought them about a decade for this supposedly “fair” and “workable” socialist system. The ending is always the same, and it is not very far away.

Nothing about the welfare state is fair or workable because (1) by definition it is based on violence – those who decline to participate are arrested, imprisoned or killed if they resist. And (2) it is based on the extinction of private property in the name of what self-interested elites declare to be the common good. It is corrupt, it is based on unsustainable debt and inflation, it destroys the incentive to work and invest, and its collapse into a state of war and poverty is guaranteed – in fact it’s built in.

ScuzzaMan May 4, 2010 at 6:17 am

“In the same fashion, the 20th deserves one of two titles: the century of Marxian totalitarianism or of Bismarckian social security.”

The author writes as if these were different things …

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: