Earlier today, TAFKAS dropped a post linking to an article written by Ayan Hirsi Ali about socialism or actually neo-socialism. This post will be on a similar subject by Niall Ferguson.
As an aside, for those unawares, Hirsi Ali is married to Niall Ferguson. Their dinner conversions must be most interesting.
TAFKAS can’t be certain, but he seems to recall hearing or reading somewhere that Hirsi Ali and Ferguson were introduced to each other by …. Greg Lindsay of the Centre for Independent Studies. Anyhowz ….
Writing for the Hoover Institute, Ferguson recent wrote:
Again. If you have the opportunity, please read it. He touches on Schumpeter and Hayek and makes a very important point about the importance of the rule of law as a bulwark against socialism.
What makes socialism pernicious is not so much the inefficiency that invariably attends state ownership of any asset as the erosion of property rights that tends inevitably to be associated with the state’s acquisition of private assets. Where—as in Sweden in the 1950s and 1960s—socialists acquired a dominant political position without overthrowing property rights in pursuit of direct state ownership, it proved possible to roll it back, once the inefficiencies of state control became apparent. But where—as in China or Venezuela— the rule of law has essentially ceased to exist, such self correction becomes almost impossible. The socialist economy can then go down only one of two possible paths: toward authoritarianism, to rein in the oligarchs and carpetbaggers,
or toward anarchy.
Ferguson also revisits Schumpeter’s 1942 prediction about the decline of capitalism because of its inbuilt seeds of destruction.
Schumpeter warned that socialism might ultimately prevail over capitalism, for four reasons. Creative disruption is rarely popular. Capitalism itself tends towards oligopoly. Intellectuals are susceptible to socialism. So are many bureaucrats and politicians.
Read it. Share it. Repeat it. The more people understand, the better.