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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15485/jesus-huerta-de-soto-on-really-existing-socialism/

Jesús Huerta de Soto on Really Existing Socialism

January 31, 2011 by

Socialism thus survives because of the free market, which constantly tries to repair the damage socialism causes through its taxations, regulations, and debt-fed inflations. The free market self-repairs, reconnects, and reorganizes itself. FULL ARTICLE by Andy Duncan


Tyrone Dell January 31, 2011 at 9:41 am

>>and how does a typical rancid and rotten bloom of socialism survive for decades, when from my previous readings such a malodorous bloom ought to fail within years or even months, once the hideous mask of its hateful, spiteful envy is revealed?

The “pure” socialist communes (e.g. Paris Commune, New Harmony, Brook Farm, North American Phalanx, Whiteway Colony, Life and Labor Commune, anything directly influenced by François Marie Charles Fourier, etc.) usually never last for more than a couple years, at best. And the ones that do manage to exist for more than a handful of years have always, always allowed forms of privatization to creep in so as to keep the “commune” afloat.

fundamentalist January 31, 2011 at 10:04 am

Can’t wait to read it! I tell my students that socialism can last so long because “black” markets spring up and save the people, thus saving socialism.

J.R. Richardson January 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Certainly look forward to reading through de Soto. On a literary note, I found this blog entry bombastic and the language at time superfluous and overinflated.

DavidNcl January 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm


Georg Thomas February 2, 2011 at 9:05 am

On a literary note, it is “at times” not “at time.” I don’t think you mean his “language … is superfluous” for if it were you could not receive one bit of information from him; also, I think “inflated” suffices rather than “overinflated.” If you “read through” de Soto, you might become preoccupied with style, better study his writings carefully, you will be surprised how much of extraordinary value in terms of content and insight you will encounter.

Sione January 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm

J R Richardson

No need to so harsh. The author was trying to let people know a little of his intellectual journey while recommending the book. His intention is to express a little of the power of the ideas he’s found while avoiding getting tied down with introspection and personal detail (which he might suspect would have lost audience). There are very few people who have come as far as he has. Grant him a little latitude to pass on his experiences and thoughts.


Sione January 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Andy Duncan

I’d be most interested in learning more about how you made the intellectual journey from committed Marxist to Austro-libertarianism. You also mention you began a decade of evaluation and struggle prior to emerging with completely altered views. Why did you undertake this effort? What was the motivation?


Stephen Grossman January 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm

>the intellectual journey from committed Marxist to Austro-libertarianism.

Marxism and libertarianism are types of subjectivism. Austrian economics can be put on an
objective base, as Rand did.

Sione February 1, 2011 at 1:13 am


Please elaborate some.


Robert January 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm

“In my own mind these books glow when I look at them up there on the shelf . . .”

Wow, TMI.

Given that libertarian capitalism has never existed anywhere, and free-ish markets exist nowhere without extensive regulation and some form of a welfare state, it could be argued that “socialism” is the only thing that saves free markets, over and over. Correlation vs causation.

If we can conclude anything from the universal practice of mixed economies, the most parsimonious, as well as the most humble conclusion to draw is that both elements are necessary; that they enable one another.

Jordan Viray January 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Yes, one could argue that “socialism” is the only thing that saves free markets and that would indeed be a case of mere correlation.

The historical record weighs heavily in favor of free markets but there can be no true conclusion – not even “that both elements are necessary”. Necessary conclusions must proceed a priori e.g. Austrian praxeology rather than a posteriori e.g. from historical examinations.

Stephen Grossman January 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

How does production need theft?

guard February 1, 2011 at 6:19 am

Constant theft forces more production in order for the producer to have what he wants. Many thieves do not have the skills to produce anything and have to steal to survive. Thus
division of labor increases the wealth of everyone. Society will naturally tend toward maximum wealth for everyone; the producer producing as much as possible and supporting the optimum number of thieves.
I’ve noticed a tendency on this site to assume that thieving is not a valuable skill and that only producers deserve to live. Anyone can see that thieving is really quite a valuable skill, both for the producer and the thief. Arguing that society would be wealthier without thieves is like arguing that society would be wealthier without poor people. The producers might be better off without thieves, but would the thieves be better off without thieves?

integral February 1, 2011 at 7:08 am

I’ve certainly been better off since I got all this cancer and tapeworms…

guard February 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

And the tapeworms have been better off! Everybody wins!

Stephen Grossman February 1, 2011 at 9:59 am

>Constant theft forces more production in order for the producer to have what he wants

Constant theft stops production. Occasional theft decreases production. Resources are shifted from producers to consumers who dont produce. See the current depression for details. Your depraved claim is merely a rationalization of nihilist destruction and slavery. Your sleazy claim is worthy of Bernanke and Geithner.

Mariano M. January 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I agree with the author’s general views on Marxism, the consequences and the experiences of real socialism an its ramifications on contemporary thought.I will give another brief example of the moral and intellectual rottenness of Marxism that the author did not mention.

In the mid 60′s numerous national liberation groups began to emerge in major latin-american countries who were strongly influenced by the harder variants of Marxism like Leninism, which in turn was nurtured by the doctrines of Castro-Guevarism.

These armed groups with no exceptions were decided to replace democracy (for them a bourgeois experiment) to install through blood and fire a totalitarianism of unique party along with massive nationalizations of the means of production.

To show the moral nature of Marxism, it is noteworthy that the activities of such violent groups was approved at the time by the intellectual elites educated in marxism, who also believed in the taking of political power through the armed warfare. They sympathized with popular guerrillas based on their twisted views of class struggle.

As you can see, the real socialism and the political vision of Marxism and their class struggle had a devastating effect on almost every country where they tried to create the “new man” and their collectivist nirvana.

For those interested in this type of ramifications of Marxism, and their influence in the revolutionary armed gropus that operated in latin-america I leave an Amazon review that I wrote which illustrates my point on the subject.



Mariano M. January 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I don’t agree with your view.
What we can observe from real experiences is that those countries which introduced systematically more freedom to their economies were able to improve the quality of life of its population. It is free market capitalism responsible for wealth creation….not governments and their supposed well intentioned politicians.
According to the Economic Freedom Index of the Heritage Foundation we can clearly see the relationship between economic freedom and GDP per capita. Again…the more free countries have more wealth creation that the more repressed (statist) economies.
In countries where there is no respect for private property, where no one favors capital accumulation, which ultimately despises free activity … in those places the people live in extremely poor living conditions. There are no exceptions. Again…no free markets, no private activies, in sum no capitalism…the people find no jobs (or they are employed in low productivy ones) and ultimately starve to death.
Capitalism doesn’t need government regulations and well intentioned politicians that decide to redistribute what they didn’t produce. It is precisely the other way…socialists and statist in general need free markets and it´s wealth creation for the only reason that socialist contries with no exceptions were extremely unproductive.
In the seventeenth century there were only about 700 million people. By 2002 it was estimated that the population had risen to about 6.4 billion people.
There is no single pre-capitalist system that could sustain the life of so many people.
And paradoxically the people who lives en miserable conditions are found in those countries that do not accept free markets and private property.
But to keep it real I ask Robert to answer this question: why people in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador (to name a few) live like they do while in Australia, Canada, New Zeland (to name a few) we can see a far superior quality of life. Does economic freedom have any role explaining those differences?

Mariano M.

Sprachethiklich January 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I like how someone complained that his writing was too colo(u)rful. Personally, I thought it was funny and he obviously intended it to be. Maybe he’ll post here apologizing for not being boring enough for you guys, though, who knows. Wishful thinking never hurt anyone except when I willed those hookers into Charlie Sheen’s house with my mind last week. Oops.

RTB January 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

As a LOTR fan I resent the mixing of Harry Potter into the metaphors :-)

Andy Duncan February 1, 2011 at 3:56 am

I hereby apologise for failing to be boring enough.

Unfortunately, if Mr Tucker reproduces any more of my Cobden Centre pieces, it will happen again.

Andy “Bombastic, Superfluous, and Overinflated” Duncan

Sprachethiklich February 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Great nickname. We should start an Austrian weblog gang called The Purple Slushies. Are you in or are you in?

Libertarian jerry January 31, 2011 at 11:59 pm

To any fair minded person,it’s obvious that economic liberty creates more prosperity, a higher standard of living and a more just society then the centrally planned economy of Socialism. With that said, the obvious reason that Socialism continues in any form is because of the lust for power by busy bodies and megalomaniacs who are continually jumping on the political stage promising people pie in the sky in exchange for their votes. People get the government they deserve. And if enough people have enough envy to covet their neighbors property and are too lazy or too ignorant to work and would rather have the state steal for them, then the end result is Socialism. What it always boils down to is a lust for power.

Stephen Grossman February 1, 2011 at 10:01 am

>the obvious reason that Socialism continues…

…is the depraved morality of sacrifice. See _Atlas Shrugged_ for details.

Paul Vahur February 1, 2011 at 5:41 am

Malcontented Beavers – there’s a great name for a punk band :-)

Great review, we need more humor on our side! Just what the Professor is looking for.

guard February 1, 2011 at 6:42 am

A female punk band I assume?

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