Have Countries Improved by Moving Away from Social Democracy and Towards Neoliberalism?

HBD investor: Many countries floundered in various socialist schemes and their economies massively improved when they became less socialist.

None of this is true.

Many countries had problems with centrally planned economies with many or all state firms. This is called either state socialism or Communism and the record is not so wonderful. It isn’t so bad either. Been to Eastern Europe? See all that infrastructure? That was all built by the Communists. Go to Russia and see the same thing. Same in China. Communists built Russia and China up from nothing. They were nothing before, and Communism turned them into superpowers. They also had very high economic growth in industry and agriculture for decades. They massively expanded the nearly nonexistent education system. The Communists made monumental gains in housing in both countries. Health care improved to an incredible degree in both countries.

Now with Communism you can get great economic growth for a while, maybe a few decades, maybe more, but at some point it all starts bogging down in bureaucracy, lack of a pricing mechanism and a market, a lot of people just not working very hard and massive thievery of state property. In addition, the rate of economic growth slows. Although Communist countries usually wipe out poverty, in its place they only allow a relatively low standard of living. People probably want to live better than that. In addition, the collectivization of agriculture has been such a failure in Communist countries that I believe we should stop trying it. Production usually goes down by quite a bit and there are sometimes famines at the start if they try to do it too fast.

Yugoslavian Communism worked very well by the way, and they had a very good standard of living, the highest in Eastern Europe.

In addition, state socialist schemes with central planning had a lot of problems in Syria, India, Tanzania and other places. It just doesn’t work very well.

On the other hand, some form of social democracy is the norm all over the world. It’s not true that social democratic countries did a lot better as they shed most of their social democracy and adopted neoliberalism. The world has been doing that for a long time now and the record is in. It’s been a massive failure.

All of Europe except the UK is voting in Left parties, and at least the people want more social democracy and less neoliberalism. There’s no move towards neoliberalism and away from social democracy in Europe outside of Latvia and the UK.

There is no neoliberal free market capitalism in the Arab World. Arabs actually don’t believe in neoliberalism because Arabs and Muslims are sort of “naturally socialist” people. The Gulf states are huge social democracies. There is a lot of social spending and considerable state involvement in the economy in much of the Arab World.

Iran has been pretty much a socialist country ever since the Revolution. There is vast social spending, and the state is involved in the economy. Afghanistan is collapsed, but Communism was actually pretty popular there. Pakistan has been run by social democratic parties in recent years. India is officially a socialist country. It’s written right into the Constitution. An armed Maoist group is very powerful in India. Communist Parties have been running the states of West Bengal and Kerala for decades. Nepal is run by a coalition government consisting of a socialist party and a Communist party. The large opposition is made up of Maoists. I believe Sri Lanka is run by a social democratic party.

Myanmar’s been socialist forever. Vietnam and Laos are Communist. Cambodia has been run by Communists in recent years. The Philippines is a bad example, but they have free state health care for all, and education is free through the university level. Indonesia recently elected a socialist, a woman. The very popular newly elected president says he is a socialist. An armed Maoist group is very active in the country.

Australia and New Zealand are longstanding social democracies on the Canadian model.

Canada is a longstanding social democracy.

The largest party in Mexico is a member of the Socialist International, and the oil industry is state owned. Education is free through the university level, and health care is also free. El Salvador and Nicaragua are now run by former Marxist guerrillas, the FMLN and the Sandinistas. Costa Rica has been a social democracy since after World War 2. Honduras recently elected a leftwing president who was quickly overthrown in a state-sponsored coup. The military is still in power in Honduras, but everybody hates them.

A socialist party called Lavalas, the party of Jean Bertrande Aristide, continues to be the most popular party in Haiti, even though it has been declared illegal. To show you how popular Lavalas is, in the last election they ran in, they got 92% of the vote. During his short reign, Aristide built more schools than had been built in the entire 190 years before him.

A number of Caribbean island states are members of the Bolivarian economic bloc set up by Venezuela. Most Caribbean political parties are leftwing parties with the words socialist, revolutionary, workers, labor, or popular in them. Cuba is Communist and has a lower infant mortality rate than we do. A few years ago, they also had a longer life expectancy than we did.

Venezuela is still run by the Chavistas, a socialist party. Ecuador is run by a Leftist. Peru recently elected a leftwing Indian, although he has not been able to do much as his hands are tied. Brazil has been electing the socialist PT or Workers Party for many years now. A former Marxist guerrilla was the most recent president, and she was only removed by an illegal US-sponsored legislative coup. Paraguay elected a Leftist Catholic priest, a preacher of Liberation Theology, but he was soon overthrown in a legislative coup. The illegitimate party is now in power.

Uruguay has been a social democracy forever, and it is now governed by a former Marxist guerrilla. Juan Peron put in a social democracy in the 1950’s. Argentina was recently governed by a leftwing husband and wife team who alternated in the Presidency. Chile has been electing presidents from the Socialist Party for about 20 years now. The most recent Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, is a radical, but it remains to be seen what she can do. Chile has a huge class divide, the upper and lower classes  want to murder each other, and there are regular violent protests, leftwing versus rightwing street brawls, and riots, lately by students.

In Latin America, radical neoliberalism was imposed for 20 years, and it failed so badly that the whole continent has been electing leftwingers ever since.

I do not know much about Africa, but most African parties have been officially social democratic for a long time now. The Communist Party was recently part of a South African government. If anything has failed in Africa, it is neoliberalism.


Filed under Africa, Agricutlure, Americas, Argentina, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean, Catholicism, Central America, Chile, China, Christianity, Costa Rica, Cuba, East Africa, Economics, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eurasia, Europe, European, Government, Haiti, History, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Latin America, Left, Maoism, Marxism, Mexico, Middle East, Neoliberalism, Nepal, Nicaragua, North America, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Politics, Regional, Religion, Russia, SE Asia, Socialism, South Africa, South America, South Asia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Uruguay, USSR, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia

21 responses to “Have Countries Improved by Moving Away from Social Democracy and Towards Neoliberalism?

  1. Jason Y

    Socialists are queers. 😆 They should have to march 10 miles in the army everyday to get even one food stamp or college payment !!!

  2. SHI

    All of Europe except the UK is voting in Left parties, and at least the people want more social democracy and less neoliberalism.

    They say the USSR never died. It only shifted West, also known as EUSSR.

    While communism is a dirty word in the US, some of the Scandinavian socialist republics have out-commmied the erstwhile Communist Russia. Welfare and handouts are the order of the day. This had downsides…Ingrid Kampfar if IKEA had left Sweden in protest of the high taxation rates.

    India is officially a socialist joke.

    That’s a grim joke.

    • Sure but if the whole world had taxes like that, they would not have had anywhere to go.

      And if you reduce those taxes, those social programs are going to start to suck really hard I would imagine.

    • Sweden hasn’t out-commied the USSR. Hand outs are one thing, no private enterprise and state ownership of all industry and manufacturing is another thing entirely.

    • Few Swedish people are on Welfare because most are employable.

      A few gutter alcoholic men but that was all. Nordics on welfare do not reproduce themselves to any great degree unlike NAMS because some instinct in the white female brain is cautious about delivering the children of a non-provider in an arctic climate.

      So you had some drunks, mentally handicapped and insane people on welfare.

      I should add that it was work and not welfare that attracted Turks and Iranian people to Sweden. Not weather.

      Pakistanis and Somalians are a different matter.

  3. wow that paragraph about the achievements, flaws and limitations of communism was very balanced as well as insightful. that’s some good shit. you’ve nailed it.

  4. I think the worst thing about 20th century communism was not the economic system but the totalitarianism, the police state and the spying and prison camps.

    Maybe it was the revolutionary origins, the utopianism, the materialism, the fact the government had too much power because it owned and controlled everything BUT if it were possible to have communism with democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury etc it really wouldn’t be so bad, you could live with the economic system.

    Remember the communist countries had the cold war and sanctions and stuff to contend with too.

    • not that I think that system is ideal. As you know, I believe in some private enterprise and the market and I am interested in cooperativism. I also don’t trust revolutionaries and have no desire to overturn tradition. I was just saying…the economic system, in itself, wasn’t the worst thing.

      I could even see the benefits of no advertising and a simpler and more secure life.

  5. The whole shtick around Eastern Europe revolves around that apparently back when things were state controlled, even with subsidies going to certain state owned areas to aid production, GDP was lower than when the government stopped owning the companies and stopped the subsidies.
    So basically they say even without the ‘safety net’ subsidies of state owned industries, the GDP improved greatly.
    The interesting thing about this is that as GDP takes off things get risky, unlike with a state run ‘safety net’, so of course a lot of this is propaganda.

    That being said, my main objection to Communism is that state run industries can’t seem to respond to crises/shifts in the market as much as the private industry can. If there’s a food shortage here, prices are jacked up and demand falls, for that certain good. Those who are unable to pay the price opt for an inferior good which ends up being at a lower price, and on the down the line so ‘very few people are starving’. In Communism, everybody just gets less of the good, and that’s that. There’s no incentive to produce an inferior good to appease the people that are cut out.

    For instance if there’s a disease killing Chickens, and whole foods has to jack up it’s price, seeing all the people cut out of buying whole foods chickens, John Doe would be able to start selling shitty/dive chickens to appease these people, and they’ll by, so they’re not starving.
    Not the case in socialism.

    This is why you see the Black market thrive HUGELY in Cuba.
    Productivity/incentive is key.
    Most other objections to Marxism are just propaganda, but this one holds a ton of weight.

    • Monetarism in which the Western countries have now also has the lack of incentive issue. With easy money from the Fed nobody risks/invests, which keeps inflation/growth ironically near 0.

      • Jason Y

        Money from the fed creates an over-supply of US farm products, which are then dumped on the third world, driving local farmers out of business, and causing them to want to illegally or legally immigrate to the US.

        We see this in Mexico, and also it happened in Haiti when Bill Clinton had the wonderful idea of dumping Arkansas rice on the place.

        • I suppose as things get crappier here they will need that quasi- ‘featherbed’ or at least consider it, more and more.

        • Homer Simpson

          Otherwise that would mean that Africa would finally figure out how to feed itself, though I’m not sure however, as the record tends to prove that black owned farms tend to go back towards subsistence level, as is most noticed in countries such as Zimbabwe, where Munage & his cronies owning like 80% of the economy as it stands right now.

  6. I was born in communist Poland. The economy collapsed and was sustained for years by massive subsidies from the west, which then couldn’t be paid. As a child, i was standing in long queues to get coffee, sugar or even friggin toilet paper. Roads were awful, everything was crude and had the atmosphere or a collapse being near. In addition, the system promoted cynical sociopaths, destroyed any initiative, and was based on lies. It destroyed the human capital, in short.

  7. Visit Dubai to get a good idea of how Communism turned out for Eastern Europe: thousands of Eastern European women from Poland to Uzbekistan sell their bodies for $100 to throngs of Arab and Indian men.

    Dubai was a sandy oil supply station until the Wall Fell and Communism collapsed. Then it began to benefit, or actually thrive, on prostitutes.

    Arab dudes from all over the Gulf throng there on the weekends to get their penis wet.

  8. Homer Simpson

    maybe that’s why Hitler set up his ‘national socialism’ as he did, which for all what it was meant to do was, economically speaking, tried to align the interests of the rich with the working classes in its own way, as in allowing the capitalist class to get rich, so as long it wasn’t in conflict with the interests of the nation (volk), but @ the same time ,NS Germany also had a welfare system so extensive, in that, even the Scandinavian social democracies never quite went that far in what benefits NS Germany provided for its citizens. 1 also forgets that National Socialism also had a left wing in the form that the Strasser Brothers advocated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strasserism , which so happened to be the faction that Hitler had exterminated during the so-called ‘night of the long knives, in which his former ally, Ernst Rahm, just so happened to be a part of, who was also supposedly a bi-sexual as well!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s