(Minghui.org) [Editor's Note] This series is a reprint of The Epoch Times' English translation of the book How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World by the editorial team of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

Table of Contents of the Book

How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World: PrefaceHow the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World: IntroductionChapter One: The Specter’s Strategies for Destroying HumanityChapter Two: Communism’s European BeginningsChapter Three: Tyranny in the East Chapter Four: Exporting RevolutionChapter Five: Infiltrating the WestChapter Six: The Revolt Against GodChapter Seven: The Destruction of the FamilyChapter Eight: How Communism Sows Chaos in PoliticsChapter Nine: The Communist Economic TrapChapter Ten: Using the Law for EvilChapter Eleven: Desecrating the ArtsChapter Twelve: Sabotaging EducationChapter Thirteen: Hijacking the MediaChapter Fourteen: Popular Culture – A Decadent IndulgenceChapter Fifteen: The Communist Roots of TerrorismChapter Sixteen: The Communism Behind EnvironmentalismChapter Seventeen: Globalization – Communism at Its CoreChapter Eighteen: The Chinese Communist Party’s Global AmbitionsHow the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World: Conclusion

What Is Included in This Part?

Chapter Nine: The Communist Economic Trap

Introduction

1. Developed Western Countries: Practicing Communism by Another Name

a. High Taxes and Generous Social Welfareb. Aggressive Economic Interventionism in Western Countriesc. Socialist Economics Leads to Communist Totalitarianism

2. The Dystopian Socialism of the Chinese Communist Party

a. The Chinese Economy: No Relaxation of Communist Controlb. The Truth Behind China’s Economic Risec. Consequences of the Chinese Economic Model

3. The Ravages of Socialism in the Developing World

a. Socialism Continues to Haunt Eastern Europeb. Socialist Economics Failed the Developing Nations

4. Public Ownership and the Planned Economy: Systems of Slavery

a. Public Ownership: A Totalitarian Yokeb. Economic Planning: Destined to Fail

5. Marx’s Theory of Exploitation: A Fallacious Inversion of Good and Evil

6. Hatred and Jealousy: The Origin of Absolute Egalitarianism

a The Promotion of Economic Equality: A Stepping Stone to Communismb. Communism’s Use of Unions to Undermine Free Societies

7. Communist ‘Ideals’: Tempting Man Toward His Own Destruction

Conclusion: Prosperity and Peace Can Be Obtained Only Through Morality

References

**

CHAPTER NINE: THE COMMUNIST ECONOMIC TRAP

Introduction

Over 150 years ago, Karl Marx published Das Kapital, advocating the abolition of private property and its replacement by public ownership. A century later, communist public ownership was being implemented across one-third of the world’s nations.

After the disintegration of the Soviet bloc following 1990, many Eastern European countries underwent “shock therapy” to return to market economics. Other countries not ruled by communist parties, but which had nevertheless embraced socialist nationalization and endured the misery and poverty of public ownership, ultimately had no choice but to introduce market reforms. 

To achieve global domination, the specter of communism launched offensives worldwide. Looking at those countries that abandoned communism or the socialist economic model, one would think that the specter had failed in its goals. But the reality isn’t so simple. The communist specter does not follow a fixed set of principles. Instead, its methods and forms are constantly shifting to fit the situation; it may abandon or criticize its previous actions for the sake of the greater objective. Nowhere is this truer than in the economic sphere.

Upon careful analysis of our present economic system and the reality behind it, one cannot help but discover how the communist specter has spread its tendrils to every corner. As wishful schemes and blind worship of government abound, the economy of virtually every country on earth is moving away from the principles of the free market. Nations are losing their moral foundations and gravitating toward communism. It is time that we wake up to this reality and take measures against it. 

1. Developed Western Countries: Practicing Communism by Another Name

In The Communist Manifesto, Marx wrote that communist theory can be summarized in one sentence: Abolish the system of private ownership. For individuals, this implies the “abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom.” For society, it means that “the proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class.” [1]

To achieve this objective, communists used violence and mass murder in communist countries. But as violent communism lost its appeal, nonviolent forms were devised. These variant strains of socialism infiltrated all of society to the extent that they are difficult to identify. 

Western countries are using many economic policies that don’t appear to bear any relation to socialism either in name or form, yet they play the roles of restricting, weakening, or depriving people of the right to private property. Others weaken the mechanics of free enterprise, expand government power, and lead society further down the road toward socialism. Methods include high taxation, generous social welfare, and aggressive state interventionism.

a. High Taxes and Generous Social Welfare

An important feature of communist or socialist economics in Western countries is robust social welfare. Current social welfare policies make people who came from communist countries feel as though they have simply moved to another socialist state. 

Undercover Socialism

The government itself doesn’t generate value. Rather, it’s like shearing wool from a sheep. All social benefits are ultimately paid for by the people, via taxes or national debt. A high degree of welfare itself is a variant form of communism, just without the violent revolution practiced by communist parties.

High taxation is the forcible nationalization of private assets for redistribution on a large scale. At the same time, it is a hidden path to gradually phasing out the system of private ownership.

The end result of high taxation is the same as the public ownership and egalitarianism imposed by communist regimes, with the only difference being whether nationalization is effected before or after production. In communist planned economies, production materials are directly controlled by the state. In the West, production is controlled privately, but the revenue is converted into state assets via taxes and redistribution schemes. Either way, it is equivalent to the robbery and plunder of others’ wealth. In Western countries, rather than through killing and violence, this was achieved legally through democracy and legislation.

Some government aid is reasonable, such as social security for victims of disasters or accidents. But the positive aspects of welfare make it a convenient instrument of deception, and it becomes the excuse needed to increase taxes. In this regard, generous social welfare has already achieved the same destructive consequences as communist economics for the people, society, and moral values. By nature, communist economics brings out the dark side of human nature. This is the root cause of why the specter is pushing communist economic values around the world, whether in free societies or in those directly controlled by communist regimes.

High Taxation

Social welfare in developed Western countries consumes a large portion of fiscal revenue, which comes from taxes transferred from private wealth. There is no other way to maintain this level of government largess.

In the United States, more than half of tax revenue is spent on Social Security and medical care. More than 80 percent of this money comes from personal income taxes and Social Security taxes; 11 percent is from corporate tax. [2] Many Western countries go even further than the United States, given their more comprehensive welfare systems.

According to 2016 data on thirty-five market economies published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), twenty-seven countries had an income tax rate of over 30 percent. The countries with the two highest income taxes, at 54 and 49.4 percent, were both in Europe. On top of this, eating or shopping in many parts of Europe comes with a value-added tax as high as 20 percent in some places. [3] Corporate taxes and other taxes further add to the overall rate.

Other data showed that in 1900, only seven of the fifteen countries for that year imposed an income tax, with Italy leading at a rate of 10 percent. Australia, Japan, and New Zealand had income tax rates of about 5 percent. But by 1950, the average maximum tax rate across twenty countries was over 60 percent; today, it has slowly fallen to around 40 percent. [4]

High taxation burdens not only the wealthy; the poor are also penalized in various ways. While the rich often have various legal means of shielding themselves from taxes, welfare benefits afforded to the poor disappear as their income increases beyond a certain threshold. In short, people are being penalized for working harder.

High Welfare

In 1942, the British economist William Beveridge advocated the welfare state, a plan “all-embracing in scope of persons and of needs.” In modern society, the high welfare system has been expanded to cover unemployment, medical care, pensions, occupational injury, housing, education, child care, and the like, far beyond traditional concepts of charity for those in immediate need of aid.

A report from the Heritage Foundation showed that in 2013, more than one hundred million people in the United States, or about a third of the population, received welfare benefits (excluding Social Security and Medicare) worth an average of $9,000 per person. [5] According to statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 12.7 percent of the population was living under the poverty line in 2016, yet their living conditions may come as a surprise to many.

According to government surveys, 96 percent of parents in impoverished households said that their children had never been hungry. Almost 50 percent of impoverished households lived in detached houses, and 40 percent lived in townhouses. Just 9 percent lived in mobile homes. Eighty percent had air conditioning and two-fifths owned widescreen LCD TVs. Three-quarters of impoverished households owned cars. [6] The deliberate categorization of large numbers of people into the “impoverished” demographic provides ample excuse for the expansion of welfare.

Benefits provided by the U.S. government are below average compared with members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Most people living in Nordic countries and other Western European nations enjoy far greater welfare than Americans. In Denmark, for example, even the wealthiest citizens enjoy a cradle-to-grave social safety net that includes free medical care, university education, and other generous benefits.

Prior to their country’s economic collapse, Greeks enjoyed an annual 14-month salary, retirement at the age of 61, and a pension equivalent to over 90 percent of their salary. Swedes are entitled to 550 days of continuous sick leave and other benefits.

The expansion of welfare from its traditional role of emergency charity to constant benefits for the entire population is, in fact, part of the specter’s scheme to impose a communist economy.

Social Benefits: Spreading Corruption and Intensifying Contradictions Between Rich and Poor

From an economic point of view, the essence of welfare is to take money from some people and transfer its value to others. However, it is the government that is responsible for distributing the wealth, thus de-emphasizing the wisdom that one must work in order to gain. The loss of this moral principle is particularly evident in Northern Europe.

Swedish scholar Nima Sanandaji demonstrated this point using data from the World Value Survey. In the early 1980s, 82 percent of Swedes and 80 percent of Norwegians agreed with the statement that “it is wrong to receive government benefits that you do not deserve.” By the time of surveys respectively taken in Norway and Sweden in 2005 and 2008, only 56 percent of Norwegians and 61 percent of Swedes agreed with this statement. [7]

Under a generous welfare system, those who work hard receive fewer returns, and those who are less industrious are rewarded with benefits. Over time, this subtly distorts moral traditions, as those who grew up with high government welfare lose the industriousness, independence, responsibility, and diligence of their forefathers. They take the system for granted and even consider welfare to be a human right. They have formed a habit of relying on the government and even holding it hostage for continuous aid.

Social values have changed almost irreversibly. Like boiling frogs slowly, communism’s use of high amounts of welfare erodes moral wisdom.

High government welfare also squeezes out the role of traditional charities, depriving both the donors of the opportunity to do good works and the beneficiaries of the chance to feel gratitude.

In traditional society, charity was done by one’s own choice, either by directly aiding the less fortunate or by donating to charitable organizations such as churches. There were definite donors and recipients, and being able to receive assistance was a privilege, not a right. Recipients felt gratitude for the donors’ kindness and would be motivated to use the charity to supplement their own efforts to improve their lot. Those who received charity and turned their lives around would be likely to return the favor when others confronted the same challenges they once faced.

French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville noted that charity combines the virtues of generosity and gratitude, which interact mutually to improve society and exert a positive moral influence. Meanwhile, the relationship between givers and receivers functioned to ease conflicts and antagonism between rich and poor, as charitable behavior on the part of individuals connected members of different economic classes. [8]

The bloated system of modern welfare alienates donors and recipients by bureaucratizing the process of charity. The “donors” of today are taxpayers who are forced to give up their wealth, rather than sharing it voluntarily. Meanwhile, recipients of welfare have no connection to their benefactors and feel no gratitude for their sacrifice.

Tocqueville believed that social welfare exacerbated conflicts between the rich and the poor. Having part of their wealth forcibly confiscated, the wealthy would come to resent the class of welfare recipients. Tocqueville said that the poor, too, would continue to feel discontent since they would take their economic relief for granted: “One class still views the world with fear and loathing while the other regards its misfortune with despair and envy.” [9]

Bloated welfare also becomes a point of jealousy and political conflict that communism uses to destroy people’s moral and social harmony. This has been observed in the Greek economic crisis: Rather than a conflict between rich and poor, the struggle is between the middle and upper classes. Among the latter, tax evasion has become a “national sport,” according to Greek officials cited by The Economist. [10] At the same time, so as to not upset its constituents, the Greek government has relied on taking loans to offset diminishing tax revenue and maintain the same level of welfare found in other European countries.

In the aftermath of the economic crisis, the Greek government attempted to cut back on social welfare, only to meet with staunch resistance from the general population. The people set their sights on the wealthy and demanded that even higher taxes be levied on them, creating a headache for the government that has yet to be resolved.

The welfare system erodes the traditional work ethic and makes people feel entitled to that which they did not earn. As industriousness is punished, the entire economy suffers.

In 2010, a practical study by Martin Halla, Mario Lackner, and Friedrich G. Schneider produced data showing that social welfare disincentivizes hard work in the long term. And such a result will not be shown until a long period of time later. The three economists concluded that the dynamics of the welfare state are inimical to the health of a nation’s economic base. [11]

The Culture of Poverty

In 2012, The New York Times ran a feature article titled “Profiting From a Child’s Illiteracy,” which described the impact of welfare policy on low-income families living in the Appalachian Mountain region in the eastern United States. 

The feature described how impoverished families gave up sending their children to school in order to qualify for aid.

“Moms and Dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability,” the article states.

“Many people in hillside mobile homes here are poor and desperate, and a $698 monthly check per child from the Supplemental Security Income program goes a long way—and those checks continue until the child turns 18.” [12]

This aid program was begun about 40 years ago with the goal of helping families raising physically or mentally challenged children. By the time The New York Times reported on the subject, over 55 percent of qualifying children were categorized as mentally challenged, but did not have any defined condition. Across the United States, there are now a total of around 1.2 million “mentally challenged” children for whose care taxpayers provide $9 billion annually. [13]

Here, welfare and the flaws of human nature feed each other in a vicious cycle. Despite the good intentions of those who advocate and formulate welfare policy, it indirectly aided the communist specter in its goal of bringing down and destroying humanity.

Over a century ago, Tocqueville made the observation that welfare programs do not discriminate among individuals, only poverty thresholds. This makes it hard to allocate aid efficiently, since it is impossible to know whether the qualified individuals are actually suffering from circumstances beyond their control or if their misfortune is of their own making. [14]

Welfare abuse doesn’t just tie down public finances; it also affects the futures of children who grow up under its system. Research conducted in 2009 found that two-thirds of people who received welfare as children continued to receive it into adulthood, and possibly would remain on welfare for the rest of their lives. [15]

As a matter of election strategy, the term “disability” is being continually refined to include an ever-expanding part of the population in the ranks of those eligible for welfare. The criteria determining who is entitled to welfare creates an atmosphere of negative reinforcement that encourages the misuse of these benefits. The resultant regression in social morality and economic malaise help the communist specter achieve its aims.

Welfare is an emergency measure to assist those in genuine need, effective in circumstances such as those involving occupational accidents, epidemics, natural disasters, and so on. It shouldn’t become the default form of subsistence, as it is incapable of resolving the dilemma of poverty. As of 2014, in the 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson launched his war on poverty, American taxpayers spent $2.2 trillion to pay for welfare. [16] Yet, as statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show, the poverty rate has remained steady for the last 40 years. [17]

According to American economist William Arthur Niskanen, the welfare system has spawned a culture of poverty, which in turn has fed a vicious cycle of dependence on government aid, extramarital children, violent crime, unemployment, and abortion. His analysis of U.S.-wide data for the year 1992 produced estimates on the effects that could be expected from increasing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits by 1 percent of the average per capita income: AFDC recipients would increase by about 3 percent; the number of people in poverty would increase by about 0.8 percent; births to single mothers would increase by about 2.1 percent; and the number of unemployed adults would increase by about 0.5 percent. Abortions and violent crime would become more common as well. [18] Niskanen’s findings suggest that a robust welfare system fosters dependence on the system and discourages personal responsibility.

The disintegration of families is a chief ingredient in the culture of poverty. In a study of historical and contemporary poverty among blacks, economist Walter E. Williams found that 85 percent of impoverished black children lived with teenage single mothers. The welfare system promotes this phenomenon, as it encourages single mothers to live without taking responsibility for their actions. They can get subsidies, housing subsidies, food stamps, and the like from government welfare. Welfare has been instrumental in pushing single parenthood, causing more poverty. [19]

Despite the fact that welfare has been expanding in the last few decades, the gap between rich and poor has been continuously increasing as well: The average wage, adjusted for inflation, increases at a snail’s pace, while wealth flows to the most wealthy. A class of working poor has emerged. Armed with these societal issues, the left wing pushes for a bigger government, higher taxation, and more welfare to combat poverty by exacerbating it further.

The Left’s Use of Welfare Policy to Gain Votes

Left-wing politicians often promote more welfare and higher taxes. Using a variety of election slogans to convince voters of their noble intent, they portray themselves as possessing the moral high ground, even though these politicians are not the ones who will be providing the welfare. Their method is merely to seize the wealth of the upper and middle classes and distribute it among the poor. Since the system conceals the relationship between donor and recipient, the politicians nevertheless claim to have played a crucial role in the process. They receive the recipients’ gratitude in the form of votes.

b. Aggressive Economic Interventionism in Western Countries

State Intervention

At present, governments in the free world are already practicing heavy interventionism in their national economic systems. One cause of this was the welfare politics, developed under the socialist influence, which expanded the state’s role in wealth distribution. Another impulse for this trend was the Great Depression of the 1930s. Following the crisis, Western society was deeply influenced by the theories of Keynesian economics, which advocates active state intervention and regulation of the economy by using finance.

In a normal society, the government’s role is limited. Only in exceptional situations should the state interfere in the economy, such as during times of natural disaster or some other crisis. But today, Keynesian theory has taken hold around the world. Governments of all countries are racing to take greater control over their respective economies.

When the government plays an active role in the economy, each action has a massive ripple effect on the market. New policies and laws can make or break entire industries, making many businesses and investors reliant on the government’s decisions. The state, which traditionally only passed and enforced laws, has now become a leading participant in the economic arena. Like a referee joining a soccer match, the state has become responsible for controlling and regulating capital in what used to be the privately owned economy, replacing the “invisible hand” with its “visible hand.”

Active financial control combined with high-welfare policies has caused many governments to incur huge debts. According to data from the OECD, more than half of its member states have government debts near or over 100 percent of GDP. Some countries’ debt exceeded 200 percent of their economic output. [20] This presents a major vulnerability for the social and economic future of many countries.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase wrote multiple research papers on the impact of government intervention. In his work, Coase found that interventionist policy almost always produces negative results. He believes that the crisis of intervention has reached the point of “diminishing marginal returns.” [21]

Despite this, the governments of all countries have only become more active in their manipulation of the economy, bringing it more and more under the control of the state.

The Consequences and Reality of Interventionism

There are at least two major consequences of extensive state intervention. First, the power of the state expands in terms of its role and scale. Government officials develop increasing hubris about their ability to interfere with the economy and have the state play the role of savior. After handling a crisis, the government is wont to retain its expanded powers and functions.

Second, interventionism creates more reliance on the government. When the people encounter challenges, or when the free market cannot provide the benefits they desire, they will lobby in favor of more state intervention to satisfy their demands.

As the power of the state increases, private enterprise weakens and the free market has less space in which to function. People who have benefited from and grown dependent on politicians will increasingly demand that the government take responsibility for allocating wealth and enact laws to enforce this.

In the West, there is a strong political current pushing society toward the Left. This includes followers of the original left wing, including socialist and communists, as well as those not traditionally associated with the left wing, but who have been co-opted by them. The convergence of these disparate forces encourages the government to take greater measures to intervene in the economy and interfere with the functioning of private enterprises. This erosion of normal economic activity appears to be caused by various social movements, but in fact, it is the specter of communism that pulls the strings.

It can be seen that Western governments wield their public authority under the banner of equality and other political excuses to increase intervention and are even enacting laws to make this the permanent state of affairs. There is no doubt that this behavior deprives market economies of their principal arbiters—the free will of the people. The state is essentially expanding its authority over the free market to turn it into a command economy. The long-term implications are that all aspects of the economy and popular livelihood will come under public control. Economic means will be used to consolidate political power, enslaving society and its citizens.

Using policy that looks benign on the surface, but progressively tilts the economic structure toward centralism, the specter is gradually leading humanity into full communism. 

c. Socialist Economics Leads to Communist Totalitarianism

High taxes, high welfare, and widespread state intervention are manifestations of socialism within the Western capitalist system. Thus, socialism shares the same principal nature of planned economics, as both use the authority of the state to manipulate the economy. The underlying article of faith here is in the omnipotence of the government, which is allowed to play God.

As things stand, the only difference between heavy state interventionism in the West and the planned economies of communist countries is that in free countries, the law and some basic aspects of the capitalist system protect human rights from total government control.

Friedrich Hayek, the prominent Austrian economist and philosopher, cautioned against state-controlled planning and wealth redistribution, saying that it would inevitably tamper with the market and lead to the rise of totalitarianism, regardless of whether the system was democratic or not. Hayek believed that although the socialism practiced in Europe and North America was different from public ownership and planned economics, it would nevertheless come to the same result. People would lose their freedom and livelihood, just in a slower and more indirect fashion. [22]

As has been discussed earlier in this book, Marx, Engels, and Lenin all saw socialism as a mandatory step on the path to communism. A train’s movement toward its destination will not be affected by its stopping at a station platform along the way. Likewise, the specter of communism is the driving force behind a country that is moving toward socialism. Once humanity forsakes tradition, whether in the economic sphere or in other areas, and accepts communist ideology, the pace of development is irrelevant. Sooner or later the destination will be reached.

The destination at the end of this path is not heaven on earth, but the destruction of humanity. In fact, the devil is not concerned with whether “heaven” is realized or not, as this is merely a bait to lure people to their doom.

2. The Dystopian Socialism of the Chinese Communist Party

After public ownership and the planned economy reduced China to poverty, the CCP was compelled to embark on a process of “reform and opening up” by which it introduced elements of the free market into Chinese society. Many believe that the Party has become capitalist, but this is far from the truth.

a. The Chinese Economy: No Relaxation of Communist Control

Out of expedience, the CCP liberalized some aspects of the Chinese economy, such as allowing private business. But this does not mean that the communists have loosened their grip. On the contrary, economic reform was the strategy they used to continue their power and deceive the world.

The Chinese communist model is a monstrous combination of socialism, statism, and market economics. Although private enterprises exist, the CCP has never promised the people any fundamental right to private property. All resources and land remain ultimately at the Party’s disposal. At the same time, the CCP uses the state to impose strict controls on economic matters. It still implements large-scale national planning in what should be considered an economy of power. The market is only a means used by the state to stimulate production; it is not truly independent and neither are there institutions in place to support a free market.

The spirit of the law is absent, and there is no clear system of property rights. The exchange rate is not allowed to adjust itself naturally. The flow of wealth in and out of the country is restricted, and international firms are tightly controlled. The CCP uses government subsidies and export tax rebates to boost exports with the aim of defeating competitors with a price race. It has disrupted the normal order of world trade.

In China, all economic activity is geared toward the fulfillment of political needs. The economic freedoms of enterprises and individuals are subordinate to the whims of the state and can be revoked at any time. It is precisely for these reasons that the World Trade Organization has long refused to acknowledge China as a market economy.

Many in Western governments harbored the naive hope that economic development would bring political liberalization and democracy to China. Instead, China’s public capitalism was used to nourish the socialist organism, reinvigorate the Party’s leadership, and continue along an evil path.

With greater financial means, the CCP subjected the people to more brutal and sophisticated forms of repression. In July 1999, the regime started the persecution of Falun Gong, targeting its one hundred million practitioners. This war against the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance continues to this day. Since 2009, the CCP has spent over 500 billion yuan ($75 billion) annually to cover the costs of “maintaining stability,” that is, policing the Chinese population.

b. The Truth Behind China’s Economic Rise

Because of China’s rapid GDP growth over the last forty years, many have come to believe in the superiority of socialist economics. It has made many Westerners, including elites in political and academic circles as well as think tanks, marvel at the efficiency of the totalitarian system. In fact, the economic model the CCP has built cannot be duplicated. On the one hand, the reasons for its economic rise demonstrate the internal instability of the socialist system. On the other, the Party’s model foreshadows an abundance of vices created by its unscrupulous economy of power.

China’s economic growth in the past forty years draws in large part from the following factors. First, the relaxation of the state-owned economy and the abandonment of central planning, as well as the revitalization of the private sector, have given the Chinese economy a powerful productive drive. Chinese people are hardworking and intelligent, but the Party hindered their industrious potential for decades. A desire to alleviate themselves of poverty has rekindled the motivation to do business and unleashed the tremendous economic power of the Chinese.

A second factor was the massive influx of Western capital and technology into China during the reform era. Under the command economy, China’s vast expanses of underutilized land, labor, and markets were like gold for which prices were not yet determined. The combination of capital investment and undeveloped resources ignited the blaze of China’s economic growth. Had it not been for the Party’s totalitarian rule, this fire could have started decades earlier, and in a much more controllable and sustainable fashion.

The scale of Western investment in China is immense. According to published figures, direct American investment in China reached nearly $800 billion between 2000 and 2016. [23] The total value of foreign capital entering China from 1979 to 2015 amounted to about $1.64 trillion. [24]

Western countries even gave the Chinese regime preferential trade status along with broad market access. In May 2000, the U.S. government granted China Permanent Normal Trade Relations. On December 11, 2001, China formally entered the World Trade Organization and joined the international market.

The CCP developed its economic power using unethical models of development. Among these are the use of sweatshop labor, the extreme exploitation of workers and peasants, the violent demolition of housing and relocation of the occupants, and the like. For the sake of short-term growth, the CCP ignored environmental destruction and other hazards, in order to squeeze every last drop of profit from its land, people, and resources.

The Communist Party took advantage of Western capital, technology, markets, favorable trade status, and cheap domestic production costs to make vast sums in foreign reserves. The trade deficit between the United States and China rose from about $80 billion in 2000 to over $375 billion in 2017.

Finally, the CCP overturned the conventions of international trade and took full advantage of the opportunities available to it regardless of their legitimacy. It adopted the nationwide strategy of plagiarizing intellectual property in an attempt to overtake other countries in terms of industry and technology. This constitutes the biggest case of theft in all of history.

The 2017 report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property stated that China’s fake goods, pirated software, and stolen trade secrets cause the United States a loss of between $225 billion and $600 billion every year, a figure that does not include losses due to the theft of intellectual property. 

The report stated that over the past three years, $1.2 trillion was lost due to intellectual theft, the majority of which was from China. [25][26] A report by the Director’s Office of National Intelligence Service states that 90 percent of cyber attacks on U.S. businesses come from the Chinese regime and inflict an estimated $400 billion in total economic damage every year. [27]

China’s economic growth was fueled by the relaxation of socialist ideology, investment from advanced Western countries, and the CCP’s immoral business conduct. In no way does this indicate the superiority of socialism, nor that the Party is developing along a normal capitalist path. Western observers sometimes describe communist China’s unscrupulous business model as “state capitalism.” This is giving the Party undue praise. Under the CCP’s totalitarian rule, the economy is merely a political instrument. The window dressing of market economics is a superficiality the CCP uses to deceive the world.

The CCP’s economic model utilizes state authority to induce rapid economic development while employing underhanded tricks to be competitive. It has encouraged other countries to adopt heavier state intervention. These countries have made the grave mistake of idolizing the Party’s model as a success while ignoring its human and moral tragedies.

c. Consequences of the Chinese Economic Model

The CCP’s economic model has put society in moral freefall, exactly in line with the communist specter’s aim of destroying humankind. The Party’s economic power goes hand in hand with the erosion of morality as it drags people into a bottomless sea of indulgence, and toward eventual annihilation.

Today’s China is inundated with fake goods, poisonous food, pornography, drugs, gambling, and gangs. Corruption and prostitution have become achievements to take pride in, while social trust is virtually nonexistent. The widening gap between rich and poor is accompanied by social strife and abuse of justice. Citizens turn a blind eye to the suffering of their compatriots. In the economy of power, Party officials use their authority to amass wealth. The enormity of corruption increases with rank. The misappropriation of billions is a normal occurrence. There is no government as corrupt or morally degenerate as the Chinese communist regime.

In October 2011, the world was shocked by the death of Yueyue, a 2-year-old girl in Guangdong Province who was hit by a truck. Instead of getting out to help, the driver put his truck in reverse to crush Yueyue again and ensure that she was dead. During the tragedy, 18 people walked by without stopping, and Yueyue later died in the hospital. International media wondered if China had lost its soul. It might be understandable that people are reluctant to come to the aid of others when there is danger involved, such as in an armed robbery, yet Yueyue did not pose any conceivable threat to anyone as she lay dying beneath the heartless driver’s tires. Chinese society has hit rock bottom.

Economic growth without morality is chaotic, brief, and disastrous. Under the inhumane policies of the CCP, social conflict abounds, and the environment is on the verge of collapse. The consequences of moral decay are fatal. China calls itself a strong country, but its strength is an illusion. Its superficial prosperity, built upon the reckless pursuit of wealth, is doomed to collapse in the convergence of moral crisis and social conflict.

There is no good future in store for China if it cannot escape the devil’s snares. The specter of communism has no intention of implementing healthy and sustainable growth, as its goal is to destroy China.

3. The Ravages of Socialism in the Developing World

a. Socialism Continues to Haunt Eastern Europe

In the world today, developed Western countries engage in hidden socialism, and the Chinese Communist Party has imposed an authoritarian socialist monstrosity. In Eastern Europe, communism continues to haunt the region, as there has not been a full reckoning of the crimes committed by the former Soviet bloc regimes. 

The lingering presence of communism can be seen in various facets of Eastern European politics and economics. For example, Russia and Belarus retain powerful state-owned enterprises, high welfare, and aggressively interventionist policies. During the transitional period from communism, Eastern European countries experienced crises of slow economic growth and high unemployment. All this encouraged the relapse of communism and socialism, in new forms. The ghost of communism has not been banished. Left-wing parties were animated with renewed vigor, feeding off a sense of nostalgia for the socialist past. [28]

b. Socialist Economics Failed the Developing Nations

In the developing nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, many newly independent countries had declared their allegiance to socialism by the 1960s. The aftermath has been nothing short of a mess. More recent cases include Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

Venezuela was once the richest country in Latin America. Since socialism drove its economy to collapse, Venezuela has been rife with poverty, crime, and starvation. Zimbabwe was once the richest country in Africa. Today, it has sunk into complete catastrophe, as inflation has spiraled beyond imagination.

Venezuela: How Socialism Bankrupted a Prosperous Country

Venezuela is blessed with considerable oil reserves. In the 1970s, it was the fastest-growing country in Latin America, enjoying the lowest level of income inequality and the highest per capita GDP in the region. [29] Venezuela’s relatively free economy attracted skilled immigrants from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Together with the protection of property rights, these factors enabled the nation’s economy to grow rapidly from 1940 to 1970. [30]

After the new president came into office in 1999, he embarked on an ill-fated program of nationalization that eventually threw the Venezuelan economy into chaos. The president had publicly declared that he would engage in “21st-century socialism.” [31]

To build socialism, the Venezuelan government requisitioned or nationalized many private companies, across industries including oil, agriculture, finance, heavy industry, steel, telecommunications, energy, transportation, and tourist enterprises. This process was ramped up following the president’s 2007 reelection. His government expropriated 1,147 private companies between 2007 and 2012, with catastrophic effects.

Companies in once-productive industries were shut down and replaced by inefficient state-owned enterprises, scaring off investors. As production sank, Venezuela turned to heavy reliance on imports. Coupled with a series of government interventions involving foreign reserves and price controls, disaster inevitably struck when the price of oil dropped.

Some attributed this tragedy to the oil crisis, but the reasons for Venezuela’s dramatic failure are not to be found there. According to data provided by the World Bank, seven countries that relied even more heavily on oil exports than Venezuela does still experienced economic growth from 2013 to 2017. [32]

The root of the problem lies in the socialist economic system. Venezuela’s economic policy essentially marched to the tune of the ten revolutionary demands Marx proposed in “The Communist Manifesto.” [33] Venezuela met its economic fate at the hands of the communist specter.

Zimbabwe: From Breadbasket of Africa to Land of Famine

After Zimbabwe’s declaration of independence in 1980, it endeavored to build a socialist state according to Marxist-Leninist principles. Its first president had been a Marxist believer in his youth. His guerrillas, guided by Mao Zedong Thought, received unconditional assistance from the Chinese Communist Party and maintained a relationship with China. Unlike other African countries that implemented socialism, Zimbabwe did not immediately impose nationalization policies.

Zimbabwe’s economic woes began in 2000 following the start of land reform. Under the reform program, land belonging to white farmers was seized and redistributed among landless blacks, as well as those of the approved political background. The result was a sharp decline in agricultural productivity. In an attempt to evade the crisis, Zimbabwe’s Central Bank printed more money, leading to endless hyperinflation.

Figures from the Central Bank of Zimbabwe indicate that in June 2008, the country’s annual inflation reached 231 million percent. By mid-November 2008, inflation had peaked at nearly 80 billion percent, after which the authorities gave up on publishing monthly statistics. A year later, the exchange rate of the Zimbabwe dollar against the U.S. dollar reached 35 trillion to one. Zimbabwe was eventually forced to abandon and re-issue its currency. [34]

In 2008, a great famine struck Zimbabwe. Of the country’s 16 million people, as many as 3.5 million went hungry. Today, malnutrition is chronic and widespread.

Communism plagues the world in ways that can be observed or foreseen across all countries. Developed Western countries are beginning to experience crises. Meanwhile, the tragedy of socialism is already a reality in the developing world. This is the principle: The specter uses economics to promise momentary comfort and satisfaction, luring people to moral degradation and pulling them into the abyss.

4. Public Ownership and the Planned Economy: Systems of Slavery

Heaven created man, endowed him with wisdom and strength, and decreed that his life would be one in which he would reap rewards for his labor—and thus be able to obtain enough to secure his life. As the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” [1]

Naturally, these rights include the power to possess and allocate property and assets.

In contrast, Marx stated in The Communist Manifesto, “In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” [2] This is a reference to public ownership, under which a planned economy is a mandatory aspect. The essence of this system violates Heaven’s principles, runs contrary to human nature, and is a form of slavery.

a. Public Ownership: A Totalitarian Yoke

The American anti-communist pioneer Fred Schwarz told the following joke in his book You Can Trust the Communists … to Be Communists, about an interviewer who visits first a Soviet automobile plant and then an American one: [3]

“‘Who owns this factory?’

We do,’ they replied.

Who owns the land on which it is built?’

We do.’

Who owns the products of the factory when they are made?’

We do.’

Outside in a corner of a large park were three battered jalopies. The visitor asked, ‘Who owns those cars out there?’

They replied, ‘We own them, but one of them is used by the factory manager, one is used by the political commissar, and the other is used by the secret police.’

The same investigator came to a factory in America, and said to the workers, ‘Who owns this factory?’

Henry Ford,’ they replied.

Who owns the land on which it is built?’

Henry Ford.’

Who owns the products of the factory when they are made.’

Henry Ford.’

Outside the factory was a vast park filled with every make and variety of modern American automobile. He said, ‘Who owns all those cars out there?’

They replied, ‘Oh, we do.'”

This story vividly displays the consequences and differences between systems of private and public ownership. Under the system of public ownership, resources and the gains from labor are nationalized. Gone are the mechanisms that motivate individual enthusiasm, striving, and innovation, as with the sense of responsibility conveyed by personal property rights. In name, public ownership means that the wealth of a country is shared by all citizens, but in practice, it means that the privileged class monopolizes resources and looks after itself first.

The ultimate factor in economic growth is people. Public ownership chokes people’s vitality and motivation to be productive. It undermines morale, promotes inefficiency, and causes wastage. From Soviet collective farms to the people’s communes in China—including failed collectivization in Cambodia and North Korea—the system of public ownership brings starvation wherever it goes. For example, a man-made famine in China killed tens of millions of people.

Private ownership accords with the principle that man works for his bread. Collective ownership, on the contrary, violates this principle.

Both evil and kindness exist in mankind. Private property allows man to develop his kind nature and encourages labor and thrift. Collective property, however, encourages the evil in human nature, promoting jealousy and sloth.

Friedrich Hayek writes that the growth of civilization relies on social traditions that put private property at the center. Such traditions spawned the modern capitalist system and its attendant economic growth. This is an organic, self-generating order that does not require a government for its action. Yet communist and socialist movements seek to exert control over this spontaneously arising order—what Hayek called their “fatal conceit.” [4]

If private ownership and freedom are inseparable, then the like applies to collective ownership, wed as it is to dictatorship and suppression. The system of collective ownership nationalizes resources, degrades economic productivity, and turns people into the country’s servants and slaves. All people must obey the commands of the central party, and any ideas and voices inconsistent with the regime can be shut down through economic punishments. People are then powerless against state intervention.

Thus, the elimination of private ownership and the establishment of collective ownership inevitably leads to totalitarian outcomes. Collectivism is a yoke affixed on the necks of man by a totalitarian state. Freedom is stolen—including the freedom to be kind—and everyone is forced to follow the moral commands of the communist regime.

Some people have said that power must not be privatized and wealth must not be collectivized, or else disaster awaits mankind. That is indeed true. 

b. Economic Planning: Destined to Fail

Under the planned economy, an entire society’s production, allocation of resources, and distribution of products are based on a plan established by the state. This is completely different from the organic planning of firms and individuals.

The planned economy has natural and obvious defects. First, it requires the collection of a huge amount of data in order to make reasonable arrangements for production. For a country, especially a modern one with a large population, the amount of relevant information is unimaginably large. For instance, the former Soviet Union’s commodity pricing bureau had to set prices for 24 million different kinds of goods. [5] Such calculations are impossible.

The complexity and variability of society and people cannot be solved through a unified planned economy. [6] Even with the use of modern big data and artificial intelligence, human thoughts cannot possibly be inputted as variables, and so the system will always be incomplete.

Economist Ludwig von Mises discussed the relationship between socialism and the market in his article “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.” [7] He notes that without a real market, a socialist society won’t be able to make reasonable economic calculations. Thus, the distribution of resources cannot be rationalized, and the planned economy will fail.

Secondly, economic planning requires coercive state control of resources. This ultimately requires absolute power, quotas, and commands. Moreover, an economics of power is first of all beholden to politics, rather than to the needs of actual people. When the requirements of the real world fail to conform to state planning, then state power tramples on natural economic trends, thus causing mass misallocation of capital and all its attendant problems. The planned economy uses the limited power and wisdom of government to play God. This is doomed to failure.

Economic planning and high-pressure politics are inseparable. Because national plans are inevitably flawed, when there are problems, the plans will be challenged both inside and outside government. Those in power then feel that their authority is being challenged and will fight back with political pressure and purges. Mao Zedong, for instance, ignored the laws of economics and forced through the Great Leap Forward, resulting in a three-year famine that caused tens of millions of deaths. This led to yet further challenges for him, which is a key reason he later launched the Cultural Revolution.

The disastrous effects of the planned economy and collective ownership have been fully exhibited in the current conditions of Chinese state-owned enterprises. In recent years, a large number of Chinese SOEs have stopped or slowed production, have suffered losses every year, or have become insolvent. They rely on government subsidies and rolling bank credit to maintain operations. They’ve essentially become parasites on the national economy, and many are widely known as “zombie enterprises.” [8]

Among the 150,000 state-owned enterprises in China, with the exception of state monopolies in the lucrative sectors of petroleum and telecommunications, other SOEs report minimal profits and suffer serious losses, serially destroying capital. By the end of 2015, their total assets accounted for 176 percent of GDP, debt accounted for 127 percent, and earnings accounted for only 3.4 percent. Some economists believe that the zombie enterprises have essentially hijacked China’s economy. [9]

Meanwhile, economic planning deprives people of their freedom and forces the state to look after them. The essence of the project is about turning people into slaves and machines. All aspects of people’s lives come under the control of the state, which locks people in an invisible prison, seeks to abolish free will, and alters the parameters of human life laid down by God. This is yet another manifestation of the communist revolt against God and natural law.

5. Marx’s Theory of Exploitation: A Fallacious Inversion of Good and Evil

Marx said that only labor creates value. If a company owner invests $10 million this year, and the company’s revenue is $11 million, then this $1 million profit was created by the employees. According to Marxist theory, capital—which includes the company’s storefronts, goods, and other means of production—does not create value, but is only transferred to a part of the cost of goods. The value created by the company’s employees ($11 million) is higher than the company’s costs (including the salaries of employees, which is the cost of their labor). In Marxist theory, the profit, $1 million, is “surplus value” created by employees yet unfairly expropriated by the capitalist.

Marx, therefore, claimed that he had found the secret to how capitalists make money and believed that it is the original sin of the bourgeoisie: exploitation. Capitalist investment in the establishment of factories and companies is obviously for profit, so according to Marx, the proletariat (working class) will inevitably be exploited. This original sin of exploitation is inherent in the capitalist system, which belongs to the entire bourgeoisie. Marx thus concluded that to eliminate this sin, the entire capitalist society must be destroyed — that is, the bourgeoisie must be eliminated and their assets confiscated, while the vanguard of the party collectivizes property and institutes communism.

The absurdity of Marx’s theory of exploitation is mainly reflected in two aspects. First, it divides people into two opposing classes: the bourgeoisie with capital, and the proletariat without. In fact, since industrialized societies came to the fore, class mobility has increased rapidly. The class mobility in Marx’s era (the early 1800s to the 1850s) was similar to that of the 1970s in both the United Kingdom and the United States. [10] The interchange between classes is a dynamic process; a supposed member of the proletariat is no longer among the proletariat if he buys public equity in a company, for example. If class assignment can be changed so easily, attempts at dividing people into groups like this have no other purpose than to incite class hatred.

On the other hand, through a set of elaborately designed “theories,” Marxism deceives people into replacing traditional moral standards with its ersatz standards that invert right and wrong. In the Marxian view, whether an individual is good or bad is based not on his morality and actions, but rather on his place in the (inverse) hierarchy of capital. One who belongs to the capitalist class is guilty of exploiting the proletariat, and since the proletariat is the suppressed and exploited, its members naturally occupy the moral high ground. No matter how they treat capitalists, they can hold their heads high. This indeed has turned the possession of property into a crime, twisted the theft of wealth into justice, and legalized and justified violent expropriation. This reversal of right and wrong, good and evil, has encouraged evildoing.

In China, the former Soviet Union, and the communist states of Eastern Europe, the communist parties stole land, lynched landlords, and robbed capitalists of their factories. Worse yet, the party even murdered “class enemies,” engaged in arson, confiscated generational wealth, destroyed human nature, and waged an overall campaign of state terrorism against the people. All this evildoing was a result of these theories. Meanwhile, traditional moral standards, as well as belief in the divine, saints, and other prominent scholars and personages, were branded as belonging to “the exploiting classes” and were to be attacked and toppled.

Marx’s theories have been widely criticized in economic and philosophical circles. [11] The following are merely a few examples that illustrate the absurdity of Marx’s theory of exploitation.

Marx argues that labor creates value, and that value is determined by the labor time necessary for production. This is a ridiculous theory. The value of a commodity is not one of its intrinsic properties. Most of the time, humans add a subjective element to each commodity—most saliently, supply and demand. Many economists have explored the process of valuation, and unlike Marx’s narrow monism, most economic thinkers believe that numerous factors are involved in the creation of value—including land, capital, labor, science and technology, management, the risk of investment, and so on. Economic activities are a complex system, involving different links in the chain of production. Different factors of production have certain managerial requirements, and different people play different roles, which are indispensable to the whole chain and make contributions to the creation of “residual value.”

For example, a capitalist plans to spend $1 million hiring two engineers to design and produce a certain new toy. A marketer also is hired to promote the new toy. Two years later, the new toy gains popularity and earns a profit of $50 million. Is it the labor of the engineers and marketer that created the residual value of $50 million? Of course not. The reason the new toy earned millions is because people wanted it. The capitalist’s insight into the market, ability to organize and manage others, and courage to take a risk all contributed to the value of the toy.

Suppose the creativity in the toy came from one of the engineers—then, does the residual value of the $50 million come from the fact that the capitalist exploited the engineer’s creativity without giving anything in return? Of course not. If the engineer thinks his creativity was not being adequately rewarded, he could find another company that offers higher pay.

In a free market, a balance will ultimately be struck in matching skills and ambition with capital. Capitalists who demand unreasonable profits will lose to the competition or be unable to attract talent. In addition, since waiting for a return on invested capital delays spending or other enjoyment of that capital, the profits are also due to the efforts of the investor. Therefore, it’s normal that an additional sum will be gained in return. The principle is no different to lending at interest.

There also are many “accidental” factors involved in deciding the value of a commodity. Such accidental factors can only be reasonably explained by a frame of reference founded on traditional beliefs and culture.

In certain situations, the creation and destruction of value can be entirely unrelated to the question of labor. A diamond worth $10 million today may have been worthless five thousand years ago because no one wanted it. A barren patch of land inherited from a grandfather could be 100 times more valuable due to the prosperity of a nearby city or the discovery of rare-earth metals underground. Here, the increase in value involves no labor. Such vast, unexpected wealth is simply called fortune. Both Western and Eastern cultural traditions recognize that fortune is a blessing given by gods to man.

In order to demonstrate the “rationality” and “necessity” of public ownership, Marx concocted the exploitation theory based on surplus value, which turned the economic activities that people engage in as a normal part of life into negative and unethical behavior. His theory poured hatred and scorn on the existing economic order as part of his attempt to undermine and overthrow it.

The capitalists and the workers, the landlords and the peasants, in fact form a community of shared interests. Their relationship should be one of cooperation and interdependence; each supports the other to survive. Marx deliberately made the contradiction between them absolute, extreme, and absurdly exaggerated—as if they had a hostile relationship of life and death. In fact, there are good and bad people among capitalists, just as there are among workers, too. In economic exchange, what should really be exposed and sanctioned is neither capitalists nor workers as such, but anyone who undermines normal economic activities. The basis of judgment should be moral quality and behavior, not wealth.

People can change their economic and social status through their own efforts. Workers can become investors through the accumulation of wealth. Investors can become workers due to failures in their investments. Society is constantly changing and flows like a river. The role of labor and investors in modern society often changes. Most people also play both roles—putting the profits they made into future productive capacity, thus creating employment, increasing social wealth, and benefitting the general public. Even a founder of the U.S. trade union movement said, “The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.” [12]

The absurd “surplus value theory” affixes the label of “exploitation” to the normal activities of landowners and capitalists. It has incited incalculable hatred, muddled thinking, and struggle and has destroyed the lives of millions.

6. Hatred and Jealousy: The Origin of Absolute Egalitarianism

Communism advocates absolute egalitarianism. Superficially, this may sound like a high-sounding term, leading many to blindly believe in its rectitude. However, it also evokes hatred and jealousy. One consequence of egalitarianism is that people can’t tolerate the success of others, with others being wealthier and having better lives, easier work, and more luxurious living conditions. Everyone must be equal, in this reading: “I should have what you have, and I can get what you get.” In such a universe, everyone is equal and the whole world is alike.

Absolute egalitarianism is reflected in at least two ways. First, when people are not yet equal, they become dissatisfied with their economic status, which is a fast route for evildoers to incite envy and hatred. People come to covet what others have and even seek it through improper or violent means. In extreme cases, they destroy others’ property and even kill to get rich. The worst manifestation of these tendencies is violent revolution.

In order to provoke dissatisfaction, Marx divides society into two opposite classes: those who own the means of production, and those who don’t. In the countryside, this becomes the landlord and the peasant; in the city, it’s the capitalist and the worker. The aim is to incite class hatred and use the supposedly disenfranchised to carry out violent revolution. The landlords are rich and the peasants are poor — seize their wealth! Why are the landlords rich? Everyone should be rich.

Thus, the Chinese Communist Party called on peasants to engage in “land reform” — that is, attacking landlords and dividing up the land. If the landlords refused to go along with it, they were killed. The Communist Party first incited hooligans to make trouble, then encouraged the peasantry to rise up and attack the landlord class. The heads of millions of landowners fell.

Second, absolute egalitarianism also manifests within groups that have basically achieved a state of “equality”: If there are benefits, everyone gets an equal share. Anyone who stands out is censured. Everyone is treated the same whether one works more, works less, or even doesn’t work at all.

People appear the same on the surface, but each individual’s personality, intellect, physical strength, morality, occupation, role, education, living conditions, extent to which they can endure hardship and persevere, spirit to innovate, and so on are all different, and what one contributes to society is also different. Thus, why should the same outcome be sought for all? In this sense, inequality is actually true equality, while the equality pursued by communism is true inequality and true injustice. The ancients in China say that the way of Heaven is to reward those who work hard, and that Heaven will reward one according to the effort one puts in. Absolute egalitarianism is impossible in the real world.

Under absolute egalitarianism, you get the same outcome whether you do things well or do poorly, whether you are hardworking or lazy. Under the cover of egalitarianism, the lazy benefit, while those who work hard and are capable are penalized and even resented and viewed with hatred. Everyone slows down their pace to match the speed of the slowest. In actuality, this causes everyone to become lazy, to wait for someone else to contribute so that one can take advantage of it and jump on for the ride, gaining something for nothing or grabbing from someone something that one does not have, resulting in widespread moral decline.

The hatred and jealousy that motivate absolute egalitarianism are the poisonous roots of communism’s economic perspective. Human nature has both good and evil inherent in it. Western faiths refer to the seven cardinal sins, while Eastern culture teaches that man has both Buddha nature and demon nature. Buddha nature manifests itself as kindness, the ability to endure hardship, and consideration of others. Demon nature manifests as selfishness, laziness, jealousy, malice, plunder, hatred, rage, lust, tyranny, disregard for life, inciting discord and creating trouble, creating and spreading rumors, getting something for nothing, and so on. The economic perspective adopted by communism deliberately stimulates demon nature, amplifying people’s jealousy, greed, laziness, and other evil factors, causing people to lose their humanity and forsake the traditional values held for thousands of years. It amplifies the worst in human nature and turns people into communist revolutionaries.

In “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” 18th-century economist and philosopher Adam Smith said that morality is the foundation of mankind’s prosperity. Observing these general rules of morality “is required for the very existence of human society, which would crumble into nothing if mankind were not generally impressed with a reverence for those important rules of conduct.” [13]

Lawrence Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, believes that economic prosperity must exist alongside morality. He wrote that if the United States can abide by the “foremost principle” — to adhere to the moral values that America was founded on — the development of the United States will be limitless. [14]

The negative consequences caused by absolute egalitarianism in countries around the world are not surprising. Communist egalitarianism uses the authority of the state to plunder private property and wealth belonging to others. On the one hand, this strengthens the authority and power of communist ideology, and on the other, it convinces people that it’s their right to get something for nothing. This is precisely how communism deceives people.

a. The Promotion of Economic Egalitarianism: A Stepping Stone to Communism

Under the influence of absolute egalitarianism, there are vigorous calls in the West for “social justice,” as well as minimum-wage laws, affirmative action, equal pay for equal work, and other demands. What lies behind these demands is a desire for an equality of outcome; behind them are elements of communism. If careless about these matters, man can easily find himself falling into a trap.

From the communist perspective, it doesn’t matter whether these vulnerable groups obtain equality or their social status improves. They are merely pawns for inciting resentment. If communists get what they demand, then they will simply make new demands for equality, and there will be no end to it. If they don’t achieve their demands, they will wage a war of public opinion, incite resentment, strengthen people’s notions about the justice of equality, and turn these notions into a major platform on which to influence public opinion.

Because communism incites resentment in multiple fields and via so many different means, once all the resentment explodes at the same time, social turmoil and perhaps even revolution will be the result. Communists will always be able to find vulnerable groups and then demand financial equality for them, repeating the process until absolute equality is achieved. These demands for so-called social justice become a stepping stone for the path toward communism. Free countries in the West have been eroded by communist ideology — this is simply the reality.

In reality, the implementation of these policies often results in the opposite of what is intended. Those who are supposed to be protected by these policies are instead discriminated against and attacked. Take the minimum-wage law, for example. On the surface, its goal is to protect the rights of workers, but the effect is that many factories simply stop hiring because it is uneconomical for them to do so. As a result, even more workers lose their jobs.

Skills are not gained all at once. There’s a continuous process of progress and elevation of skill, capability, and work ethic. The result of enforcing a minimum wage is that people don’t get trained and socialized in lower-wage jobs and then work their way toward higher-paying jobs. The one-size-fits-all approach also violates economic theory and results in excessive government intervention in the economy.

People also use the excuse of “equal pay for equal work” to demand social revolution. They cite statistics and claim that the average wage of black males is less than the average wage of white males, that the average female wage is less than the average male wage, and that these discrepancies are the result of racism and sexism. In reality, such comparisons are not appropriate.

When comparing apples and apples, the results are different. Some scholars’ research found that for black families in which both husband and wife graduated from college or higher, their income is, in fact, higher than similarly situated white families. [15] Simply because black families of this type are relatively fewer, there are discrepancies between the races overall in income. Making meaningful and accurate comparisons would appear to be common sense, but when communist elements are inciting discord and struggle, people seem to suffer a selective loss of vision.

Communism does not care about the well-being of vulnerable groups. It is simply interested in slogans that drag people down the road to communism and thus destruction.

b. Communism’s Use of Unions to Undermine Free Societies

The loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector in the United States is a well-known phenomenon. But many people don’t realize that unions are one of the main culprits. Unions claim to help obtain benefits for the working class, but they do the opposite. How? This is made clear by tracking the history of unions and the transformation of their mission.

Trade unions were initially founded by members of the working class with few or no skills, for the purpose of negotiating with management. To a certain extent, a trade union is able to broker and resolve conflicts between workers and capitalists. But communist elements took the union and turned it into a tool to promote communist movements and policies. 

Friedrich Engels wrote on the topic, “The time also is rapidly approaching when the working class will have understood that the struggle for high wages and short hours, and the whole action of Trades Unions as now carried on, is not an end in itself, but a means, a very necessary and effective means, but only one of several means towards a higher end: the abolition of the wages system altogether.” [16]

Lenin believed that the formation and legalization of trade unions is an important means for the working class to seize the leadership of the democratic revolution from the capitalist class. At the same time, he believed that the trade union would become the pillar of the Communist Party and a key force in class struggle. In his speech, Lenin proposed that trade unions become “a school of communism” and a link between the Communist Party and the masses. The daily work of the trade union was to convince the masses and bring them to the transition from capitalism to communism. “The trade unions are a ‘reservoir’ of the state power.” [17]

In the mid-to-late 19th century, communist and left-wing forces used trade unions to incite workers to go on large-scale strikes, make harsh demands on capital, and even take violent measures to destroy machinery and factories. The trade unions became a powerful weapon for communism to combat capitalism and carry out political struggle — creating chaos for the world so that the specter could further its goals.

In October 1905, more than 1.7 million workers in Russia participated in a nationwide political strike and paralyzed the country’s economy. During this time, the Petrograd Soviet, an even more aggressive union organization, was formed. Lenin called it the sprouting of a revolutionary government and believed that it would become the political center of Russia. In other words, the Soviet regime built during the October Revolution of 1917 originated from the trade union. [18]

Trade unions in Western and developed countries also are widely infiltrated and used by communist elements. Workers and capitalists are supposed to be symbiotic, yet communists try to provoke, expand, and intensify conflict between them. One of communism’s most important tools is the trade union. Trade unions are used to escalate the bargaining process between management and workers to the level of a struggle between classes. They rationalize and intensify the confrontational side of the relationship and use it to legitimize their own existence. From then on, unions inflame the workers’ dissatisfaction, blame the capitalists for any problems, and provoke conflict between the two. This has been one of the unions’ keys for survival.

Trade unions may be able to bring workers profit in small ways for a short period of time, but from a long-term economic point of view, the biggest victim under the union movements led by communists is the working class. This is because when capitalist enterprises crumble, the biggest losers are the workers, who lose their jobs and livelihoods. On the surface, trade unions are fighting for the interests of workers, but in fact, they are undermining industrial competitiveness. There are two reasons for this.

First, under the pretext of protecting workers’ rights and interests, unions make it difficult for enterprises to lay off employees who don’t perform well and who achieve little. This gives rise to a culture of laziness. Not only is this unfair to employees who work diligently, but it also makes them less proactive. The most important factor in the growth of a company is its workers, but with the union’s umbrella of protection over employees who fail to perform, enterprises lose their competitiveness.

Second, under the pretext of protecting employees’ welfare (including pensions, health insurance, and the like), unions constantly elevate enterprise costs. In the end, it forces companies to cut their investment in research and development, which hurts their competitiveness. It also results in companies’ having to increase product prices, which harms consumer interests. Studies show that this is why companies without unions, such as Toyota and Honda, were able to produce high-quality cars at lower costs, and why American automobile factories with labor unions in Detroit became less competitive. [19]

As Edwin Feulner, founder of the American Heritage Foundation, said of unions, “They function like an albatross around a company’s neck — making it less flexible, less able to react wisely to the demands of a changing marketplace.” [20]

All this is aggravated with union monopolies in the labor market. This then exerts deleterious influence over business decisions and results in numerous unreasonable demands, some of them harsh. Enterprises that fail to meet these union demands are then the targets of struggle, including strikes and protests, which further disable the businesses.

The United Auto Workers is the union representing the autoworkers in Detroit. It routinely went on strike. Prior to the financial crisis in 2008, the union demanded $70 an hour in wages and benefits. Consequently, the U.S. automobile manufacturing industry was almost on the brink of bankruptcy. [21]

The loss of job opportunities in the U.S. manufacturing industry is now known to all, but many people don’t know that unions are a key driver of the job losses. Unionized manufacturing jobs fell by 75 percent between 1977 and 2008, while non-union manufacturing employment increased by 6 percent over that time, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation.

The situation outside the manufacturing sector is also similar. Take the construction industry, for instance. “Unlike the manufacturing sector, the construction industry has grown considerably since the late 1970s. However, in the aggregate, that growth has occurred exclusively in non-union jobs, expanding 159 percent since 1977,” the report states. [22]

In addition, labor unions are the tools employed by communist elements to promote egalitarianism in enterprises. The Heritage Foundation notes that unions demand that companies pay wages according to the length of service of the employee (equivalent to years of service in socialist countries), without regard to the employee’s contribution to the company or performance. “Union contracts compress wages: They suppress the wages of more productive workers and raise the wages of the less competent,” it states. [23]

The idea at work here is the same as absolute egalitarianism under communism, which is effectively the redistribution of wealth among employees within the enterprise. The interference with the internal decision-making of enterprises and the monopoly of the labor market is an erosion of the free market.

Unions’ aggressive advocacy for what they describe as workers’ welfare ends up favoring some workers over others and puts a drag on individual companies and the economy as a whole. A survey conducted in 2005 showed that “most union households disapprove of American unions” and that “the main reason for their disapproval is never openly discussed in union media or addressed at union conventions.” [24]

In all respects, those workers who are truly diligent have become victims, and communism has become the biggest winner. Fundamentally, communists use labor unions to destroy the capitalist free economy, subvert the capitalist system, and undermine the normal life of man in a gradual and step-by-step manner.

Labor unions infiltrated by communism and under the guidance of the progressive movement have evolved into a special interest group, similar to a large-scale for-profit corporation. The leadership has huge personal interests in the enterprise, and corruption is common. [25]

In democratic countries, labor unions have largely become a tool for leftists to fight against capitalism. They single-mindedly demand “social justice” and “fairness,” creating a huge welfare burden on society and industry, and becoming an obstacle for reform and attempts to improve efficiency in the manufacturing, service, and education industries, as well as in government administration. When the time is not ripe, they hide, but when conditions are favorable, they come out and mobilize a social movement to promote their ends. Labor unions have thus become a wedge communism uses to divide free societies.

7. Communist ‘Ideals’: Tempting Man Toward His Own Destruction

Despite communist theory being full of loopholes and contradictions, many are still deceived by it. This is because Marx described a communist paradise that people all over the world would enjoy. This is the central fantasy and delusion. His depiction includes “overwhelming material abundance,” much higher moral standards, and “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” There would be no private ownership, no gap between the rich and the poor, no ruling class, no exploitation, freedom, and equality for all, and each person would be able to develop his or her particular talents. Life would be wonderful.

This set of deceitful arguments attracted many to fight for it. Many Westerners today have never had the tragic experience of living in a communist totalitarian state. They continue to harbor an illusory hope for a communist paradise, and therefore fan the flames by advocating communist and socialist ideas.

In fact, all the ideas put forward by Marx are simply illusions.

Marxism claims that a communist society will enjoy a superabundance of material goods. However, human desires and human wants are endless. Under the constraints of limited human knowledge, limited working hours, and limited resources, shortages and deprivations are inevitable. This is the most basic starting point for all economic studies. Without these constraints, people wouldn’t have to explore which kind of production method was most efficient, as the supposed superabundance would provide for all and could be squandered at will.

Marxism claims that moral standards in communist society will have greatly improved. However, good and evil coexist in each person, and the improvement of moral standards requires the guidance of orthodox beliefs and values, as well as personal efforts in self-cultivation.

What Marxism preaches is atheism and class struggle, which enlarge the evil side of man. People are not allowed to have freedom of belief, and religion is only a political tool of the Communist Party. What’s more, under communism, religious institutions are used to safeguard tyranny, to mislead the world, to resist God, to oppose God, and to turn people further away from God. Without righteous belief in God and self-discipline, morality can only decline. In addition, all communist leaders were tyrants — arrogant, lewd, and completely unethical. To expect their followers to be so vastly improved in moral standards runs counter to reason.

Marxism also proclaims there will be equality for all. But as discussed earlier, socialism inevitably leads to totalitarianism. Power is the basis of resource distribution, yet the distribution of power under a totalitarian state is most unfair. Therefore, resource distribution under totalitarianism also will be most unfair. In all countries where socialism rules or has ruled, people see a privileged stratum form, as well as extreme gaps between the rich and the poor and the suppression of people by the state.

Marxism deceives people with the promise of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” [26] However, socialist economies are beholden to power. Ordinary people do not have basic freedoms, not to mention being able to act at will according to their own ability. Given that human desires are endless, even the richest person on earth can’t get all he or she wants, let alone the average person. It’s impossible to achieve a superabundance of goods in the first place, given the natural scarcity of resources, not to mention their distribution to whoever needs them. 

Communism also deceives people by promising that every member of society can give full play to his or her abilities. Marxism says that the division of labor creates alienation. But in fact, division of labor is necessary for any society. Adam Smith argues in “The Wealth of Nations” that a division of labor can greatly increase productivity and promote prosperity. The differences created by the division of labor are not necessarily conflicts, nor need they lead to alienation and depersonalization. People from all walks of life can elevate their morals, contribute to society, and bring happiness to mankind.

The communist economic outlook is anti-moral. Its damage has already been seen in socialist and communist countries. The various forms of disguised communist economics in the West have also brought damage to society. Communism inevitably creates totalitarian tyranny, poverty, and famine. It incessantly expands the evil in human nature and destroys human morality. It is the evilest and worst countercurrent in human history.

Looking back at over a century of communism’s history, the ruthless reality time and time again proves that it is a history of inciting hatred, mass murder, and evil. All communist totalitarian countries see the cruelest killing, and people in these countries have the least freedom and human rights. Resources are exhausted for military purposes. People’s belongings are robbed of them to make the privileged class rich with power, while the majority are left to labor in poverty.

The communist movement not only deprives people of their lives, but also leads to enormous destruction of traditional values and culture. In particular, in communist China, moral standards have already dropped to a horrifying degree, far beyond what one can easily imagine. The harvesting of organs from living people, good people who practice self-cultivation, has become a state-sanctioned industrial operation. Communists have turned humans into monsters. Medical personnel, who are supposed to help the sick, have become demonic murderers. The CCP’s evil has reached across the world. Countries that are supposed to be upholding human rights are enticed with economic incentives to turn a blind eye.

Over the past century, communists have used the original communist teachings to attract the general public, intellectuals, and younger generations. After the collapse of the Eastern European communist regimes, the remaining communist regimes no longer kept their violent communist images, and instead absorbed the capitalist economic system and morphed into regimes that promote high taxes, a high level of welfare benefits, and wealth redistribution. They claim that they are raising the overall living standards and that everyone will enjoy “the good days” of socialism. Thus, they continue to deceive.

Communism caters to man’s pursuit of goodness while leading him to turn almost into a religious fanatic for communist ideology. It uses the pursuit of goodness as its banner to pull people away from God. It pollutes people’s minds, strengthens people’s evil nature, and leads people to commit all manner of crime. People indulge in material enjoyment, casting aside loftier and nobler beliefs in the higher purpose of life. Communism makes people bleed and sweat. In return, people are poisoned and killed. If the world’s people do not wake up now, they will face even more horrifying consequences.

Conclusion: Prosperity and Peace Can Be Obtained Only Through Morality

Striving for happiness is human nature. A prosperous economy can bring happiness, yet the economy does not exist in a vacuum. When the path of economic development deviates from ethics and morality, an economic crisis may follow. A society that is merely wealthy is not only incapable of bringing joy and happiness, but its prosperity will be short-lived. As the foundation of ethics and morality crumbles, a disastrous outcome may await.

In 2010, People’s Daily reported that despite the economic development, the Gross National Happiness Index has been declining in China year after year. The world’s second-largest economy is plagued with corruption, environmental pollution, and food-safety incidents, making the Chinese people extremely insecure about their lives. In this case, wealth has increased as morality and happiness have declined.

This reflects the fatal flaw in communism: Human beings are composed not only of flesh, but far more of the mind and the spirit. Before man came to the world, God laid down the path that man’s life would take. The Chinese say “every bite and every sip is preordained,” analogous to how faithful Westerners say grace before dinner to thank God for his providence. People who believe in God understand that wealth is a grace bestowed upon them by God. They have a humble and thankful heart, and hence they are content and happy.

Among those aboard the doomed Titanic as the ship sank in 1912 was millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, whose fortune could have built 30 Titanics. Yet when facing death, he chose what he thought was morally correct and protected women and children — he gave his spot in the final lifeboat to two terrified children. [27] Similarly, Isidor Straus, co-owner of Macy’s department store, said, “I will not go before the other men.” His wife, Ida, also refused to get on a lifeboat, giving her place to Ms. Ellen Bird, their new housemaid. Ida chose to spend her final moments with her husband. [28]

These people of great wealth chose to put traditional values and faith before the opportunity to save their assets and lives. Their choice of morality and justice manifests the radiance of human civilization and human nature: A noble character is more valuable than life, which is yet more valuable than wealth.

Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, wrote in “Wealth With Virtue”:

It is the duty of the ruler and officials to bring wealth to the populace, yet promotion of money-worship is the worst policy one could adopt. Wealth without virtue (de) will harm all sentient beings, while wealth with virtue is what all people hope for. Therefore, one cannot be affluent without advocating virtue.

Virtue is accumulated in past lives. Becoming a king, an official, wealthy, or nobility all come from virtue. No virtue, no gain; the loss of virtue means the loss of everything. Thus, those who seek power and wealth must first accumulate virtue. By suffering hardships and doing good deeds one can accumulate virtue among the masses. To achieve this, one must understand the principle of cause and effect. Knowing this can enable officials and the populace to exercise self-restraint, and prosperity and peace will thereby prevail under heaven. [29]

If humankind maintains the aforementioned values for wealth and life, the economic challenges rooted in human beings’ greed, sloth, and jealousy will be reduced considerably. Once mankind suppresses its selfish desires, the ideology of communism will no longer be able to lure the human heart. Then God will bless mankind with high standards of morality. Consequently, we will have the ideal economy for mankind: wealth for the world, calmness in our hearts, and peace in society.

The communist specter has made intricate arrangements to destroy mankind. Its economic arrangements are only one part of the story. To free ourselves from the control of communist “ideals,” we need to unpack the conspiracy, identify the fraudulent messages, and stop putting our hope in this bankrupt ideology. We also need to restore traditional values and recover morality and virtue. Thus, humanity will be able to embrace everlasting prosperity and happiness and have true peace. Human civilization will then radiate with new vitality.

References

[1] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” Marx/Engels Selected Works, Vol. One (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969), 98-137.

[2] Max Galka, “The History of U.S. Government Spending, Revenue, and Debt (1790-2015),” Metrocosm, February 16, 2016, http://metrocosm.com/history-of-us-taxes/.

[3] “OECD Tax Rates on Labour Income Continued Decreasing Slowly in 2016,” OCED Report, http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/oecd-tax-rates-on-labour-income-continued-decreasing-slowly-in-2016.htm.

[4] Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage, Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe(Kindle Locations 930-931) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Kindle Edition).

[5] Rachel Sheffield and Robert Rector, “The War on Poverty after 50 Years,” Heritage Foundation Report, September 15, 2014, https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-inequality/report/the-war-poverty-after-50-years.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Nima Sanandaji, Scandinavian Unexceptionalism: Culture, Markets, and the Failure of Third-Way Socialism (London: Institute for Economic Affairs, 2015), 132.

[8] Alexis de Tocqueville, Memoir on Pauperism, trans. Seymour Drescher (Lancing, West Sussex, UK: Hartington Fine Arts Ltd, 1997).

[9] Ibid.

[10] “A National Sport No More,” The Economist, November 3rd, 2012, https://www.economist.com/europe/2012/11/03/a-national-sport-no-more.

[11] Martin Halla, Mario Lackner, and Friedrich G. Schneider, “An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamics of the Welfare State: The Case of Benefit Morale,” Kyklos, 63:1 (2010), 55-74.

[12] Nicholas Kristof, “Profiting from a Child’s Illiteracy,” New York Times, December 7, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html.

[13] Ibid.

[14]Alexis de Tocqueville, Memoir on Pauperism, trans. Seymour Drescher (Lancing, West Sussex, UK: Hartington Fine Arts Ltd, 1997).

[15] Nicholas Kristof, “Profiting from a Child’s Illiteracy,” New York Times, December 7, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/opinion/sunday/kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html.

[16] Robert Rector, “The War on Poverty: 50 Years of Failure,” Heritage Foundation Report, September 23, 2014, https://www.heritage.org/marriage-and-family/commentary/the-war-poverty-50-years-failure.

[17] U.S. Census Bureau, “Annual Social and Economic Supplements,” Current Population Survey, 1960 to 2016.

[18] Niskanen, A., “Welfare and the Culture of Poverty,” The Cato Journal, 16:1(1996).

[19] Walter E. Williams, “The True Black Tragedy: Illegitimacy Rate of Nearly 75%,” cnsnews.com, May 19, 2015, https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/walter-e-williams/true-black-tragedy-illegitimacy-rate-nearly-75.

[20] “OECD Data,” https://data.oecd.org/gga/general-government-debt.htm.

[21] Thomas Winslow Hazlett, “Looking for Results: An Interview with Ronald Coase,” Reason, (January 1997), https://reason.com/archives/1997/01/01/looking-for-results.

[22] F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (London: Routledge Press, 1944).

[23] “Direct Investment Position of the United States in China from 2000 to 2016” , Statistica.com, https://www.statista.com/statistics/188629/united-states-direct-investments-in-china-since-2000/.

[24]“Report on Foreign Investments in China, 2016,” A Chronicle of Direct Foreign Investments in China, The Ministry of Commerce of China [〈中国外商投资报告 2016〉, 《中国外商直接投资历年概况》,中國商務部]

[25] Liz Peek, “Finally, a President Willing to Combat Chinese Theft,” The Hill, March 26, 2018, http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/380252-finally-a-president-willing-to-combat-chinese-theft.

[26] The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, Update to the IP Commission Report, 2017, http://www.ipcommission.org/report/IP_Commission_Report_Update_2017.pdf.

[27] Chris Strohm, “No Sign China Has Stopped Hacking U.S. Companies, Official Says,” Bloomberg News, November 18, 2015, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-18/no-sign-china-has-stopped-hacking-u-s-companies-official-says.

[28] Kurt Biray, “Communist Nostalgia in Eastern Europe: Longing for the Past,” November 10, 2015, https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/kurt-biray/communist-nostalgia-in-eastern-europe-longing-for-past.

[29] John Polga-Hecimovich, “The Roots of Venezuela’s Failing State,” Origins, 10:9 (June 2017), http://origins.osu.edu/article/roots-venezuelas-failing-state.

[30] José Niño, “Venezuela Before Chavez: A Prelude to Socialist Failure,” Mises Wire, May 04, 2017, https://mises.org/wire/venezuela-chavez-prelude-socialist-failure.

[31] John Bissett, “Hugo Chavez: Revolutionary Socialist or Leftwing Reformist?” Socialist Standard No. 1366 (June 2018) https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/hugo-chavez-revolutionary-socialist-or-leftwing-reformist.

[32] Julian Adorney, “Socialism Set Fire to Venezuela’s Oil Crisis,” Real Clear World, August 29, 2017, https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2017/08/29/socialism_set_fire_to_venezuelas_oil_crisis_112520.html.

[33] José Niño, “John Oliver is Wrong About Venezuela – It’s a Socialist Country,” Mises Wire May 30, 2018, https://mises.org/wire/john-oliver-wrong-about-venezuela-%E2%80%94-its-socialist-country.

[34] “10 Numbers Tell You What Is Going On in Zimbabwe”, BBC Chinese edition (November 11, 2017), http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/trad/world-42077093

The following are references in sections 4-7.

[1] “United States Declaration of Independence,” http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/.

[2] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” Marx/Engels Selected Works, Vol. One (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969)

[3] Fred Schwarz and David A. Noebel, You Can Trust the Communists… to Be Communists (Socialists and Progressives too) (Manitou Springs, CO: Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, 2010), 43–45.

[4] Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (Routledge, August. 2013).

[5] Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, Revised and Expanded Edition (New York: Basic Books, 2012), Chapter 2.

[6] F. A. Hayek. “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” The American Economic Review, Vol. 35, No. 4. (September 1945), 519–530.

[7] Ludwig von Mises. “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.” Mises Institute. Accessed July 26, 2018. https://mises.org/library/economic-calculation-socialist-commonwealth.

[8] Shi Shan. “Quagmire in the Reform of China’s State-Owned Enterprises,” Radio Free Asia, September 22, 2015, https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/jingmao/xql-09222015103826.html.

[9] Linette Lopez, “Zombie Companies Are Holding China’s Economy Hostage,” Business Insider, May 24, 2016, https://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-economy-is-being-held-hostage-2016-5.

[10] Jason Long, “The Surprising Social Mobility of Victorian Britain,” European Review of Economic History, Volume 17, Issue 1, February 1, 2013, 1–23, https://doi.org/10.1093/ereh/hes020.

[11] John Kenneth Galbraith, The Good Society: The Humane Agenda (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996), 59–60; Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (Routledge, 2012).

[12] Michael Rothschild, Bionomics: Economy as Business Ecosystem (Washington, D.C.: BeardBooks, 1990), 115.

[13] Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Philadelphia: Anthony Finley, J. Maxwell Printer, 1817).

[14] Lawrence Kudlow, American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997).

[15] Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York: Basic Books, 2008), 174.

[16] Friedrich Engels, “1881: Trades Unions,” Marxists.org, May 20, 1881, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/05/28.htm.

[17] Vladimir Lenin, n.d., “The Trade Unions, The Present Situation and Trotsky’s Mistakes,” Accessed July 8, 2018, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/dec/30.htm.

[18] Lü Jiamin, “A History of Leninist Theory on Unions.” Liaoning People’s Press (1987).

[19] James Sherk, “What Unions Do: How Labor Unions Affect Jobs and the Economy,” Heritage Foundation Website, May 21, 2009, https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy.

[20] Edwin J. Feulner, “Taking Down Twinkies,” Heritage Foundation Website, November 19, 2012, https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/commentary/taking-down-twinkies.

[21] James Sherk, “What Unions Do: How Labor Unions Affect Jobs and the Economy,” Heritage Foundation, May 21, 2009, https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Sherk (2009) Ibid.

[24] Steve Inskeep, “Solidarity for Sale: Corruption in Labor Unions,” National Public Radio, February 6, 2007, https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5181842.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme,” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm.

[27] Children on the Titanic (a documentary, 2014).

[28] Isidor Straus, Autobiography of Isidor Straus (The Straus Historical Society, 2011), 168–176.

[29] Li Hongzhi, “Wealth With Virtue,” Essentials For Further Advancement, January 27, 1995, https://www.falundafa.org/eng/eng/jjyz02.htm.