Skip to main content

tv   Communism and Socialism  CSPAN  July 3, 2017 4:15pm-5:21pm EDT

4:15 pm
peace. >> for our complete schedule go to booktv.org. >> the center is for vision and values at growth city college in pennsylvania recently hosted a two-day conference called the communism that failed. communism and socialism, then and now. three scholars open the conference with the influence of communism and socialism around the world since the 1917 russian revolution 100 years ago. they also discuss how socialism was viewed in the united states in the past and its influence in the 21st century, including the presidential run of senator bernie sanders. this program is about an hour. >> hi, everybody. welcome. welcome back. it's great to have everyone here. two-day conference on communism and socialism. i'm going to be like a kid in a candy story on this topic, and we've never had a response like
4:16 pm
this. robert and i are wishing, we usually do a lot of the advertising. we didn't even have to advertise this one and everything sold out right away, so we have a lot of returning people, a lot of first-time people and it's great to have three great friends here who i'll introduce in a moment and i'm also very thankful for c-span. we have c-span here, and i think this is the first time that c-span has been here to our beautiful campus. i love c-span. everything that they do, they just bring the camera and no filter, right? no comment tear, they just see what's going on and they let it speak for itself. >> i've to give one credits, because he's one of the people on the -- >> he said, i've never seen a lineup like this. they'll come. you've got to invite him, and he
4:17 pm
was right. he called that exactly right. so i have five minutes right now to set these up and introduce these guys and get out of the way because we go until 11:00, and i was thinking how do you introduce the topic and this is the 100th anniversary of the bolshevik revolution and communism and how can i begin to properly set that up? i thought i would share an e-mail exchange in the last couple of days with a former student who, terrific kid, he's now teaching eight a college somewhere out west and he had an objection to our conference logo with bernie sanders and lenon's face. >> which i love. i think it's great, but it was a very friendly dialogue. he's a great kid and a former student, and so i explained it this way, and i was thinking it's a good setup to explain the purp of what we're doing here.
4:18 pm
>> communism and socialism then and now and bernie sanders, a lifetime, self-avowed unapologetic socialist. if you're going to use a socialist now who would be better than bernie sanders? everyone knows him as america's socialist, right? lovable, huggable socialist in the view of some people. we didn't choose hillary clinton and barack obama, we chose bernie sanders, a socialist to represent a socialist. so -- but i added, and that's one of the main themes of the conference and the sudden interest even explosion and support for socialism in america. we now have huge percentages of americans who say that they would vote for a soshlist for president and many of them did for bernie sanders. bernie sanders got 13 million votes in the democratic primary. donald trump bragged about
4:19 pm
getting 14 million republican votes and the republican primary which was a record, indeed. sanders got 13 be -- camp from people who call themselves socialists and i added more than that, both lennin in and bernie sanders call themselves democratic socialists, while the bolsheviks were literal, democratic socialists. ron and some of the others will know it was at a conference in 1903 in brussels and london that they met and they split into the majority faction, the bolsheviks and the minority faction, but they were all democratic socialists. herbert mancuso, the founder of cultural marxism was a democratic socialist. socialism, democratic socialism, then and now, what exactly do
4:20 pm
they mean? and i would add on bernie sanders when he was at the university of chicago he was a member of yipsl, which is the yo young people socialist league. ron and other people have writ ben that. i assume he's no longer one, but what are the differences in these things? so i told the student these are things that we're trying to explore because i think a lot of americans are genuinely confused about these terms. what are the differences -- what's the difference between a communist, a socialist and a democratic socialist and all the others? so our purpose has always been educate, educate, educate and that's what we're trying to do here. all right. now with that, we're kicking off with three great people from grove city college, three people with a lot of experience. in fact, i was adding up the total amount of time. i came here in '96 and between
4:21 pm
me and the three of you, we've got about a hundred years covered in grove city coverage and if we add in, and we're exceeding the total grove city college in stoelths time among us, but very, very briefly because john is going to introduce them and their backgrounds i'll just give wow one or two lines on both of them. dr. john sparks in the middle who is teaching our conference coach this year is a retired dean of letters at grove city college and retired just a few years ago. dave ayers is now our dean at grove city letters. he's graduate of 1966 and also of the university of michigan law school, and he is our center for vision of values go-to scholar for articles on the supreme court so anything you
4:22 pm
want to know, john is on it. great stuff. dr. john moore served from 1996 to 2003. he led the college through its withdrawal from federal student loan programs. applause for that, right? [ applause ] which completed the college's break from federal ties and believe me, many, many, many people around the country and other colleges are looking to that and looking at that, wondering how we did it. dr. alejandro schaaf, a 1984 graduate of grove city college and an economic student of the famous economics professor. he's president of the atlas economic research foundation and he is a native of argentina with an expert in latin american communism, but all over the
4:23 pm
world. he's a member of the trustees and he's the newly named president of the philadelphia society which is a prominent organization of conservative academics and so that's the setup and i'll add one more thing. we have chosen -- we have identified our reagan lecture person for this year in october and i'm not going to tell you who it is, but you're going to love it. i will announce it friday at dinner when lee edwards and victims of communism and memorial foundation, and i'll announce it, so until then you will will have to guess. and you can guess to me all that you want. i'm not going to say yes or no, but i'll give you one clue. it's not bernie sanders. i'll turn it over to john. john sparks. [ applause ]
4:24 pm
>> well, thank you very much, paul. i don't think this mike -- i think it's on. we are -- my two colleagues here, dr. moore and dr. schaaf nguyen, we're not going to vrun out our total vidas before you. that would be impressive, but we don't have time for that. we want to get right to the questions. i simply say john moore already mentioned, helped us improve our academics here when he was here as president. that was one of his main thrusts, and we are still benefiting from that, and alex is all over the world in helping to encourage liberty and faith and that goes well with our motto here at the center for vision and values in the college.
4:25 pm
faith and freedom matter, and so that sets the stage for our conversation here today. i simply -- i simply point out that when we're teaching students, and i think this is part of the problem that we face today with this younger generation and their attitude toward socialism and for that matter, communism and when we're teaching students, we have to remember that most of them who were, say, juniors or seniors, were born in 1996 or 19 97 and by the time they got to first grade the old soviet union had been dissolved for over a decade. so they didn't live through the cold war. they don't know who peter fector is, who tried to get across the berlin wall and was caught in the barbed wire and shot by the
4:26 pm
east german police and they don't know about these things in most cases, and when i talk to students last night, some of them were astounded at the millions of people these regimes killed with all its achievements, the most murderous century of all history. so we want to talk about these things and remember as the scriptures say, lest we forget. lest we forget. so we're starting out with -- we're starting out with a question. i throw out to both of these gentlemen. john more may begin on that, it's mandated state state socialism and this isn't where people will decide it's a voluntary effort are -- and they
4:27 pm
after all things, they're under their control and that's why we call them totalist or totalitarian. the first question for my panelist is under this socialism which we found in the soviet union and the old soviet union in cuba and venezuela, and for that matter in zimbabwe in africa, north korea, in these kinds of systems markets are abolished. the state owns all of the business resources and central economic planning is installed and the first question i throw out to these men is what do we know about the results to citizen consumers under such systems? >> before i answer that
4:28 pm
question, i just want to say how pleased i am to be back at grove city college again after a couple of years' absence and especially to be in this particular auditorium named for paul stikt, our great friend and benefactor of the college and a great leader as the chairman of the board of trustees it's very nice to be here under those circumstances. >> as to your question, we know a lot, but we don't know a lot. the reason i say that is because we know a lot by observation and what happened during the soviet regime. why don't we? because the statistics were terrible. they were distorted. they were full of lies, deceptions and it was very difficult to know what was happening there and what did happen there. however, the obvious point is the consumer welfare was not a priority of the soviet state,
4:29 pm
far from it, and the main priority from the state was industrialization to support the communist movement and the industrialization to support military power in the soviet union. that's why central planning was established because the regime needed a method of keeping control of the economy and somehow a method -- and towards the -- it was idea logically out, but the market would haven't worked and the central planning was that. so were the results for consumers. by the end of the soviet union in 1991 or shortly before that, the standard of living there was roughly one-third of the united states and roughly one-third, and this is after 60 years of central planning. housing was poor, cramped,
4:30 pm
crowded, a lot of xhup ilriffing was shared. i've been in one these places they were. the diet is another one one can look to. in 1988 and '89, the caloric intake was high, very high by our standards. a healthy diet for us is more or less 3,000 calories per day or a little less. they were a bit more than that, but about half of it was from bread and potatoes. so not a very healthy 3,300 calories. the life expectancy was less than ours. for males it was almost seven years less for american males.
4:31 pm
the infant mortality rate was twice ours and even the rate of abortions was four times ours at that time. it was an amazing record. the working conditions were very poor, unsafe, unhealthy, not very clean. i've also been in a big soviet aluminum plant, and i thought i was lucky to get out alive from going to that particular plant, and the industrialization was carried out in a really ruthless manner. the soviets really were after industrial power, and they didn't much care how they got it. one of the things that suffered was the environment. people like to think that socialists, because the means of production are owned by the state will take account of what's going on in the environment. almost the opposite in the soviet union.
4:32 pm
they did nothing for it. the air and water and soil pollution especially in the vicinity where industry was heavy, of course, were terrible and i'll close -- almost close with one example that i think exemplifies this and that's the llc. i don't know how many folks know about what happened totter ol sea and at one point it was the fourth largest lake in the world. he wanted to develop cotton farming in kazakhstan which is where it is and it was part of the soviet union at that time. so to do that he needed irrigation, so he diverted rivers that flowed into the sea to support the irrigation. 20 years later the sea for all intents and purposes was vanished. it was gone. nothing left at all and just a big, biggen plain that had its own very serious impact on then
4:33 pm
viern the point, in the area. thoortsz how the ind yan -- and there's one way to answer the question and that's to compare east germany and west germany in 1989 when the wall came down and the unification took place. on the one hand, you had a system that was capitalist based and it was free and used the market to allocate resources. on the other hand, you had the german democratic republic which was communist and used soviet-style central planning and was very poor and unfree. there you have a situation where the cultures going in were more or less the same. the results coming out were very different and the difference was in the systems that were used. so all of that is a long-winded answer to the question, but -- >> thank you.
4:34 pm
i appreciate that. alex, some comments? >> give examples. again, this is my providential home, and it was so influential for my family and the chances for freedom and faith. not only in the united states, but hopefully all over the world. so thank you for being here. the communism fades and many little devils and fallen angels are very much alive. just look at the news today, venezuela and the vice president there have many friends in jail, some killed, tortured. korea, anything can happen at any moment, and korea is one of the five remaining communist states and venezuela is the would-be communist state. your question goes to economicses and our strength and john moore is one of the greatest experts of the true reality that existed in the soviet union and its satellites
4:35 pm
and not only corrected the soviet statistics and even our agencies were sometimes fakisom. and the central planning is something of the past. few countries are trying to continue with that goal, central planning and what bureaucrats are deciding and how much to produce when and at what prices. and that inevitably doesn't capture the will of the people and the market. least as we have seen incredible shortages. in countries that were the richest of the americas and venezuela was one of the richest countries before the price of oil took off. it was the country with the least inflation in the world, almost. high great austrian economies published a book in '75 called the denationalization of money and he had statistics from
4:36 pm
inflation from 1960 to 1975 and about switzerland and about germany and about the united states. this destructive antimiracle that is produced. >> produced -- then he is used to attack enemy. you have shortages. oh, that's the the fault of the map, and we are swissing this is this economic disaster that it creates. some countries, china moderated its model and allows market mechanism and doesn't control all crisis and cuba released in 2016 for the first time they speak about paying attention to market mechanisms and they think about foreign investments, but
4:37 pm
again, the little devil that it let run loose continued to destroy life on almost all continents and i think that may be a topic of some of your other questions, you know? the moral impact of this devilish cult, that i call it, that is communism. it's as damaging or more damaging between the economic impact. >> yes. i was talking to students last night and there were 75 or so students taking this conference as a course, and i meet with them before and after and we do papers and they read things that are presented and faculty as part of this course, and those papers that i think you have copies of, and one of the things that i pointed out to them is that sheila fitzpatrick who is a famous russian history expert at the university of chicago. she said that during the
4:38 pm
stalinist era, there were so often shortages and few goods and when goods came into the state stores, people carried around just in case bags. empty bags and if they saw a line they got in it not knowing even what was being sold at the other end could be bananas, and it could be polish cheese, but it would be something and the store shelves is were empty, and consequently, and i can't render and it's translated just in case. so if i see a line in the soviet union during stallin's role, i better get in it because at least in the end i might get something as opposed to nothing in the state stores and those secondary markets that developed and the illegal markets and black markets we would call them are just free markets where people could find goods at higher prices than the state had
4:39 pm
fixed. so this shortage system and the shortage is of venezuela, too. and recently, they have even arrested bakers who were baking brownies. that really hurt me because i like brownies, and why? because they were mandated to bake only bread, and so this is how particular this kind of -- this kind of regulation becomes. >> okay. let's move to another question and that is how does communism, the state-mandated socialism deal with opponents and members of classes that are considered to be opponents of the communist revolution? how do they deal with them? >> they put them in jail. >> and worse. or worse. >> it's such a human system that it has to resort to terror and violence to maintain power.
4:40 pm
in latin america we did not see the tens of millions of victims that took place that happened in china and in the soviet union. central america is a case in point. one country, el salvador, i think it's 4% of the population died in those wars when communism decideded in 1969 there was a strategy to take over in all latin america by force. cuba was a great training ground, you know, any they have been shifting tactics in latin america again. my wife is very anglo and i'm latin and she says, alex, be calm. for you, i lived it. we had 3,000 terrorist attacks in argentina before a democratic president had a decree saying to the military, you have to annihilate the terrorism because we were fearful to taking the
4:41 pm
garbage out. the daughter of our family doctor put a bomb and blew up an entire building and killed everyone inside. so that was daily, you know? it happened in chile. it happened in uruguay, and so when the iron curtain changed and now we have the media and we have ways of communicating so we are sick when someone is killed and three people were killed in venezuela, and venezuela, unfortunately, it is an effort that many of the powers were weak. the government of venezuela sought weakness of the previous u.s. administration and they have acted with total impunity. three friends of mine who i know personally are in jail, leopoldo lopez has been in jail for almost two years and a half and antonio ledesma who was at a conference a couple of years
4:42 pm
ago, is in jail. all with fake charges, trumped-up charges and the rest of the world looks at the other side, and if they have oil to sell you have something called the bodyguards ready to help them in their business. so in cuba, they realize that having people in jail for many years like armando valladares and the previous commander was damaging because if they killed them they had a major figure and they detained you for shorter periods of time and then they let you go, and then they detain you and obama comes, back in jail. so it's a more dangerous enemy to tackle, but still very dangerous and we still have to be aware of the danger that it might cause. >> of course, in the soviet
4:43 pm
union especially under stalin this is done in a wholesale manner. during the great purchase of 1937 and 38 there were two pieces to that and one on a microscale was stalin going after the leaders in the party and taking care of them by the great trials that took place in 1937, '38, but in addition to that they -- there was a great purge that went on throughout the whole country, millions of people arrested. 8 million people were arrested and go to the number, i've got to get the numbers right. one million were executed. two million were sent to prison and died in prison. these were people who were thought to be anti-stalin,
4:44 pm
primarily anti-stalin, but also anti-communist, but mainly, it was the cult of the personality, and stalin's personality and the it dates all of the way back before that to the anti-peasant drives that took place first right after the revolution in 1917 and then again in 1931 and '32 during the collectivization drive when millions of people di died and more went into exile because the peasants posed a problem for the communist leadership for a variety of reason, but i think to me those are almost unmatched. i think they did something similar in china, but in human history there's not much that beats what happened in the
4:45 pm
soviet union and during good things from the revolution during the end of the second world war. in terms of political opponents and people suspected of being political opponents and simply eradicated, and just to dispose of and it's an amazing record. >> we -- when we talked to our students now, we use probably the low figure for stalin in total numbers of people either worked to death starved by political means as in the ukraine, and in prison, killed and executed by both lennin and stalin and robert conquest's 20 million people and it's probably more than that, and when you think i suppose it's 23 million, and let's add another, and it
4:46 pm
might be more like 60 million people, but suppose it's 23 million. that means that every man, woman and child in pennsylvania and ohio, when added together their current population, pennsylvania's about 12 million and ohio is about 11 million were murdered in some way. every single person, so that if stalin had his way and these two states and did that murdering there, nothing would -- there would be no people left, no men or women or children in these two states, one that we're in and one joining us in ohio. that materiels you something about the magnitude of the killing that went on, and i think most figures say mao was 45 million so he was the all-time leader in such political executions. >> if i make one other point
4:47 pm
connected with this, in the '37 and '38 purchase the military were purged, as well, and something like 80,000 of the top officers in the soviet military were killed, executed and this took place -- this took care of most of the top leadership and the marshals, the admirals and the core commanders and they were simply murdered. what was left in the officer core were those people who were judged to be politically reliable and when they went into world war ii, only about 7%, if i remember the number right, of the -- of the military officers actually had advanced military training and almost two-fifths of the military had no military training at all. they -- they adhered to the party line which at that point
4:48 pm
said that the capitalist countries who were at war with the nazis would fight each other because that was the nature of the imperialist powers. so they didn't have to worry about it. so they didn't develop a doctrine for world war ii and they didn't train for world war ii. they were actually using horse cavalry in the early stages of world war ii. i can't imagine how you would estimate the number of deaths, unnecessary deaths in the russian military that were caused by this. >> well, and many -- i could tell last night when i met with my students that many didn't really know the full extent of this murderous activity by these regimes and so they know something about the cambodian murders and those were a million
4:49 pm
and a half or 2 million and that guy is a beginner compared to stallin and mao. let's move to the university campuses today students are wearing the che guevera t-shirts hailing him -- if you go online there are lots of choices online of such t-shirts and they hail him as a hero of the poor and socialism, and i would like to ask alex, if he can explain from his experience in latin america what che was really in reality and the harm that he spread across latin america. you can get passionate -- >> he's my compatriot, and again, i get very personal. i think today he would have been like 85, i'm 62, and in '69 when this effort to take over south america began in earnest, i was beginning to be a teenager.
4:50 pm
so we studied what was going on and what happened in china and what happened in rush a and we knew that this effort was going to lead to the same thing, that number of millions of death in latin america, it is because they were not able to consolidate power. and that battle today was a difficult battle. sometimes it was underground and we are still paying for those consequences. but guevera came from the high class of south america like osama bin ladin. the communist have crafted this idea of a great idea person ready to die for his cause. but he was really -- he really became ruthless. i interviewed one of the first guys with castro who realized
4:51 pm
what was going on and then he gets jailed or killed part for terror but partly because totalitarianism both on the right and the left. so che guevera went to cuba and it was there that fidel castro who said, if you don't kill people here, no one will respect you. he was one of the worst murderers in the jail of homosexual and many other aspects of his life that are hidden in order to capture this image of a great idealist. so he tried to export the revolution which had been a disaster for latin america. luckily he failed. for a while, he was secretary of commerce for cuba.
4:52 pm
again, when i see a sports person having the tattoo of che guevera or these kids, they really do not know what they are saying. i went to new york soon after september 11th and a great hero of the free market, one of the great editors, he said, alex, let me show you something. next to her booth, all right, in "the wall street journal," was a writer with an image of c che guevera. so i could not control myself. so again, it's very dangerous, a very well-crafted image and i think we have to educate the people about the reality of this communist leaders that tried to export revolution and create that supposed paradise pointed
4:53 pm
at the barrel of a gun. >> what about equality? this is a claim that these regimes make that they are illuminated the inequality of market systems. inequalities of income. what's the story of that. the elimination of inequality, which is a claim that these regimes make. >> well, maybe start with the situation in the former soviet union. and i think it's true in all of these societies. and that is that these claims are belied buy the actualities and that members of the communist party had access to goods and services that were not available to ordinary people and the degree of access depended on your position in the hierarchy.
4:54 pm
those further up had better access than those lower down and that pertained to food, housing, education. anything you can -- automobiles. by the way, 1975, '76, the one person in 20 in moscow had an automobile. guess who the one was, of the 5%. that's also an indication of the state of development at that time. we were actually in moscow in 1982, i guess, and the traffic was very easy to get through. and if you go through -- we went back about five years ago and it was not easy anymore. i can tell you that for sure. in any case, access was granted not on the ability to pay but on your position of hierarchy. also, certain categories of occupations had access, scientists, for example, had
4:55 pm
better access than others. so there is that whole element that worked into it. but there's more to it than that. actually, statistics show certain interesting things. the ratio of incomes in the top to the bottom was about 6 or 7 to 1. that's pretty big, actually, in a society that claims to be -- claims to be igalitarian. the other difference was agriculture. you may remember that there were collective farms in the soviet union and then also state farms, collected farms and the state farms. incomes on the state farms were about 60% of the mean industrial workers' pay. in the collective farms, it was about half of that. so the collective farm income was about one-quarter of somebody in the industry on the
4:56 pm
whole. so the idea that this was a society -- and then if you think of the top -- another little example that comes from a soviet economist whose name i can't remember right now, that he divided the soviets into three categories. top 2% rich, next, 11% middle income, poor, 87%. that's the igalitarianism in the soviet union. >> the guards like korea, some of their saints like c che guevera, equality is one of -- you want new -- i say new
4:57 pm
because stalin, they say, we don't want total equality. we want a division of the classes. but as john said, except the rulers. the class of rulers always has been privileged in communist and socialist efforts. i remember when i was young, when we were having these battles, you could be a communist in latin america and nothing would happen to you. or i remember we used to go to church and the kgb -- the priests were teaching you to put bombs to anyone who had some wealth, especially if he was american. che guevera, you could read his writings about hate. he said it gets beyond your forces. it changes your body.
4:58 pm
and especially hatred against the united states. so when i see kids with the che guevera schwarhirts, i don' really like it. and $500 million and how can this be? well, the world now is shaken up by a couple of brazilian companies who were bribing everyone. one effort that they had in cuba is $1 billion. and really hopeful that perhaps this would lead us to find some of the millions of dollars that this has stalin from the blood of other people and the blood of the poor because nothing helped create poverty more than socialism. the more you approximated, the more poverty and suffering that you create but again, it's slow
4:59 pm
equality and it has replaced orthod orthodox marxism to get to power. and our philosophies are too different. let's create popular fronts, coalition and work through that coalition. today in the united states, i think it's the democrat party. but we'll see. >> well, i think that's the points made here that are good ones because i said to student last night, communism is not godless. they have a god. the god is the state. they have what religion professors would call -- they identify sin and the sin is
5:00 pm
selective and the state is how will this evil be overcome by revolution and by statist rule. so it's actually -- it has, as you pointed out, religious aspects to it. it's -- the trouble is, the god that they worship is not the true god. now, i want to move to the question that richard wrote in the book "the god that failed," which is sort of the source of this conference title. he had six people who had been journalists and commentators who were prominent, like arthur kessler on regime who were fellow travelers, they favored the soviet union.
5:01 pm
and this is an interesting book written in 1949 because by that time, most of these six had changed their minds about that kind of support. they had realized some of the horror and some of the degradation that was part of that system. and so they each write essays about how they were attracted to this kind of state mandated socialism and that how they found their way out. but many academics -- and this is the question i posed to our two colleagues here. many academics, like sidney and beatrice webb, arthur kessler, journalists, harry hopkins and lincoln stefans in our own government fail to see the utter
5:02 pm
degradation and failure of these regimes and they supported them. and my question is, and i think it's a fair question, why is it that these regimes were supported by journalists and academics who should have known better and had plenty of evidence that things were going wrong there but, nevertheless, continued to support the state mandated socialism? why? why was there this kind of result? >> well, there are a lot of angles on that one, i think. the first thing that came to my mind when i saw that question is that the impact of the great depression on people's thinking in the west. >> uh-huh. >> and the fact that the soviet union under its system seemed to navigate those waters better
5:03 pm
than the western capitalist systems. you know, they had these statics. john mentioned earlier that the statistics were not always the best and i know that for sure because a very good friend of mine did a lot of work on that subject 50 years ago. but they seem to be cruising right along, 10% growth per year for years throughout the great depression and even in the post war years. and a lot of people said, boy, they are doing very well. there must be something to that system. and our own experience, by the way, in world war it, we had a lot of planning in world war ii. a huge frakz of our gdp went into the defense effort and that was planned. it's easy to plan for something real specific like that. it's not so easy to plan for diversity but i think our experience in world war ii is part of the reason for that.
5:04 pm
i think another thing that occurred to me was -- it draws attention to aggregate and not to individuals and central planning is an aggregated activity. it's looking at the economy as a whole and i think it had a lot of appeal to government people, people in the government because kasianism says that the government should step in and help, in quotes, situations. it appeared in academics. you can look at how kasianism is going to solve the problems. so there was that. but in any case, i really believe it was part of the reason that it's related to aggregated activity and central
5:05 pm
planning fits right into that. and then another thing that occurred to me is the very idea of planning. we all plan. everybody thinks that to plan is a good thing. plan for your future, for your retirement, hopefully, plan for your next weeks' activities, your vacations, et cetera, so forth. which is fine. everybody does it but there's a real fallacy to say, whok, we should plan for the whole economy. it doesn't work that way. but people do think that way. i studied economics at the university of virginia under some very strong pro-market
5:06 pm
people. not austrians, however. i had to get my austrian economics later on. but they were well aware of the fallacies of planning. but a battle was fought over this issue, especially how well the soviet union was doing. our very good friend did a study of this. i don't want to take a lot of time but the bottom line was that he showed that the rate of growth of the soviet industry was declining when everybody else in the academia said, no, it's going along just fine and it continued that way into the indefinite future. of course, he was completely right. but he was practically written out of the profession for holding those views. and the western statistics were
5:07 pm
very bad on this. cia statistics were very bad on this until it actually happened. so i did a whole variety of reasons why this myth prevailed. >> i think part of it is lack of knowledge. why do people react in a certain way? i think it's a matter of psychology and it's more difficult than economics to measure. i recommend for further reading about how people who are so bright and then feel, hey, they can have a really resentment and then with the guys who know so i think it was a mixture of both. so why business men have
5:08 pm
collaborated and have dab belled with the devil. we have capitalists who say, look, someone has to be close to them and i am the best person to help them and so they had many, many collaborators. people say in venezuela, only a transition like china is possible and if a transition like china will happen, you will need business men who help the dictator and the best businessman, you know, those guys exist. and they do tremendous damage because they postpone the day of reckoning where more people realize damage to human dignity has been the system. >> let's take one last question here and that is one that bothers students and that is, what about the limited kinds of
5:09 pm
socialism, not socialism with the brutal face but swedish or nordic socialism? bernie talked about that. what about these kinds of systems? you know, have they been a success? and what do we have to say about that? >> well, since i'm half swedish, i'll take the sweden piece of it. they dab belled in socialism of a more extreme variety from 1970 to 1995 and then gave it up because it was not working. but you look at people that look at sweden and say, gee, if the swedes can do it, why shouldn't everybody? well, first of all, it's the swedish culture is not american culture, let me just say it plainly.
5:10 pm
in sweden, at least in days gone by, there was a lot of mutual trust, a strong work ethic, a sense of individual responsibility for your behavior, there was strong family values, civic participation. a lot of things that were constituting the swedish culture. a welfare state is, shall we say, more vial than one in which those elements do not exist. there's less envy, less shirking and less willingness to be on the go so you can have the institutional framework. welfare state be accepted by the population. the other thing about sweden is this business environment is very, very favorable, very
5:11 pm
positive. on the heritage index of economic freedom, the most recent one, i think we were number 17, which, by the way, we were terrible. sweden was 19. the differences were very small. the cato index had sweden at number 15. hold on to your hats. we were at number 23. eight slots below sweden. the forbes index of best countries to do index in had sweden as number one. we were number 23. we have some work to do here. but that helps to explain why you can have a good economic performance in a country that has a big welfare state, because the institutions supporting the economic performance are ones that are consistent with that objective and sweden seems to
5:12 pm
have those. >> well, the god -- the little gods that exist, i think this is the least damaging on the scandinavian model. the other was from korea to the crony socialism that exists in many countries where the socialism has capitalist allies. now the swedish one, the economic freedom index, the reverse would be the socialist index and scandinavia scores the worst in the sides of government. they play by the rules. and we do not know it's going to be sustainable in long term. and i think which is trying to cut our roots in an organization that nurtures our social life. the two main ones are the family and the church.
5:13 pm
you take that away from human beings and as we are social, we have to rely on some one. and which country would replace that? it would be our state. so this is the new strategy. and it's a radical individualistic strategy and they sometimes get friends of us joining them in some crusades. and so again, i think communism, the old one is dead. i think the swedish and scandinavian model, i do not know if it's sustainable in the future and in diverse cultures but, again, it's not my cup of tea but i think it will stay for some time. >> we're going to take questions. >> go ahead. >> and that is that sweden is really under the immigration of the refugees.
5:14 pm
they are having a very serious problem and clamping down on admitting refugees, causing them great internal social conflict because of the cultural impact. >> before we take these questions, let's thank our panelists. [ applause ] >> we would love some questions but i think we probably can't. we have michael medved doing lunch. i could listen to you guys all day. i grabbed a couple of numbers on the death tolls from communist governments. the harvard university press book, which was published at the end of the last century and victims of communism and memorial foundation also uses this, 100 million people dead from communist governments. interestingly, that tally is 65
5:15 pm
million for china. only 20 million for the soviet union. and as you said, alexander said 60 to 70 million. stalin alone it's been said killed 60 to 70 million and he was gorbachev's chief performer. he was charged with counting the skulls. that would be as high as 40 million between those two countries. cambodia, 1 to 2 million of a population of 5 to 7 million and we're still counting on north korea. who knows, you know, where that is going to come up. and one more thing, one of our students may be a microexample. his family is from cuba. he's a current student of ours. he wrote visionsofvalues.org.
5:16 pm
his aunt was very, very hungry one day in cuba. they went to the front yard in the dark of night and picked some mangos from the front tree. this is a crime. it's a crime because the state owns everything, including the mango trees in their yard. they knew that they were going to fall to the ground and rot because collectivism doesn't work. they got mangos and ate them and got the skins from the garbage and dug a ditch and hid them in the yard so the inspectors wouldn't come and see the mangos in the yard and they would get in trouble. that same aunt, i believe they raised enough money to bring her to america for surgery. this is the great health care industry of cuba. and the family raised enough money to bring her here. she was not allowed to bring her husband with her because the cubans stated that if he came with her, they would both
5:17 pm
defect. keeping him in cuba would ensure that she would come back to this wondrous state with the free health care. that's what it's really like. but thank you very much. this was great, everybody. right? [ applause ] thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, join american history tv for a live tour of the american history of the revolution. ceo michael quinn and exhibitions vice president scott stevenson will introduce artifacts throughout the museum, including a piece of the old north bridge from the battle of concord. hear stories about the revolution. live from the american history on c-span 3.
5:18 pm
c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it's brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. tuesday night, july 4th, historian david mccullough talks about how the founders, particularly john adams, valued education, viewed slavery and percent veer persevered in the face of slavery. here's a preview. >> i don't think we could ever know enough about the revolutionary era or about the founders. we have to see them as human beings. history is human. when in the course of human events, human is the operative word. history is not about dates and
5:19 pm
memorizing quotations. it's about people. it's about human beings. and they're different from each other and they all have their faults, their failings and they all -- none of them ever knew how it was going to turn out any more than we do. talk about foresight and the foreseeable future. no such thing as the foreseeable future. and that ought to be remembered and that's how history should be taught and, in my view, how it should be written. put yourself in their places and then try to judge what they did or didn't do. >> watch the entire program at 8:00 p.m. eastern july 4th here
5:20 pm
on american history tv only on c-span 3. up next, former law clerks for supreme court justice thurgood marshall examine his history. elena kagan remembers her time working for the first african-american member of the court and discusses opinions on landmark cases. this was recorded at the u.s. court of appeals for the second circuit court in new york city. it's about two hours. >> i am robert katzmann and today is a very special day. some 650 of us are here in this unprecedented gathering in four courtrooms of the thurgood marshall u.s. courthouse to celebrate an aca

10 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on