Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been road tripping in Europe. It’s been our last hurrah before my wife and I move back to the States in September. Today, we visited the Museum of Communism in Prague. It has been quite interesting to read about what life was like here in the Czech Republic prior to 1989. What is perhaps most worrisome, is reading about all of the communist policies that took place here and seeing how many American policies are similar. Allow me to provide a couple examples. But before that, allow a brief description and distinction. Communism is, roughly, the political theory of public ownership of all property, price controls of wages and products, and propaganda of class warfare. (This is more extreme than socialism, which could be describes as an economic theory of public ownership of the means, distribution, and exchange of production. Economically, communism is socialism at a larger scale, and communism is more totalitarian than socialism. Now allow me to provide some examples of how America is implanting some communist policies.
Photo Credit: Jeff KubinaLight bulbs: One feature common to communism is the regulation of products. Bureaucrats decide what is best for individuals. However, this can be problematic because some individuals may not be able to buy the products that are being sold. Consider light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are really cheap to buy. However, Congress has now outlawed the sale of incandescent bulbs in favor of energy efficient bulbs. But this legislative move could be problematic for poor people who cannot afford the energy efficient bulbs. And the elephant in the room here is that people are forced to buy one certain type of bulb. Surveillance: Another feature to communism was the surveilannce that was done, not just on enemies outside of the country, but enemies of communism from within the country. So to stop these enemies from succeeding, governments would wiretap phones and use other means to stomp out dissenters. Sure, Congress passed the Patriot Act. But now Congress has gone even further all in the name of security. By 2020, there could be 30,000 drones watching our every move. Two examples, two communist policies that have been approved in America. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Bureaucrats are creating regulations and fixing prices (of labor, if not products). They are creating a type of police state by surveying its citizens all in the name of security. But if we give up our liberties in the name of security, in the end we’ll have neither. To close I’d like to remind readers of one thing: In the attempt to rid a country of capitalism, because it creates wealthy people and that’s apparently a bad thing, does capitalism truly end? Of course not. The government officials still act in their own self-interest. They cut deals with their buddies and act just as people act in a free market. Furthermore, citizens of a country still act in a free market, though the market is distorted. People choose whether or not to buy a product and they create a larger black market system where they can defy government regulations. The reality is, humans naturally function in a free market. It’s what we were created to do.