Garry Kasparov: “It corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself”
Apparently, Bernie Sanders’ supporters can’t stop themselves from expressing their thoughts about how great socialism is.
The former former Soviet chess champion has taken to Facebook to express his thoughts about being lectured by the uninformed about something he knows all too well.
I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there.
In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty.
Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.
To be fair, Sanders’s supporters have no idea what socialism is or how it works or how it destroys not only societies but souls.
Once you give power to the govt it is nearly impossible to get it back, & it will be used in ways you cannot expect. https://t.co/oVQdYob3Ot
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 10, 2016
In this Daily Beast article, Kasparov writes:
My goal was to remind people that Americans talking about socialism in the 21st century was a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism in the 20th. And that while inequality is a huge problem, the best way to increase everyone’s share of pie is to make the pie bigger, not to dismantle the bakery.
My conclusion that “the idea that the solution [to inequality] is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd” apparently had great resonance, and I think I know why. There is a growing consensus that America has deep troubles, and no one can agree on solutions. Everyone agrees that Washington should change, and some want the government to do much more while others want it to do much less. Many of the traditional economic numbers say that America is doing fine, and yet polls say that Americans—especially Sanders supporters—are angry about the present and fearful about the future.
I often talk about the need to restore a vision of America as a positive force in the world, a force for liberty and peace. The essential complement to this is having big positive dreams at home as well, of restoring America’s belief in ambition and risk, of innovation and exploration, of free markets and free people. America transformed the 20th century in its image with its unparalleled success. American technology created the modern world while American culture infused it and American values inspired it.
In recent decades that storyline has flipped. The tireless work ethic and spirit of risk-taking and sacrifice have slowly eroded. This complacency was accelerated by the end of the Cold War and it has proved very difficult to overcome in the absence of an existential enemy to compete with. The booming innovation engine of job creation has fallen behind the accelerating pace of technology that replaces workers. The result has been slower growth, stagnant wages, and the steady shift of wealth from labor to capital. In such situations many people turn to the government for help and the siren song of socialism grows louder.
Not only is Kasparov critical of Sanders’ and his supporters’ naive belief in socialism (as they misunderstand it), but he’s been critical of both Obama and Vladimir Putin. In an op-ed for CNN.com, Kasparov writes that the U. S. cannot “lead from behind.”
[Featured image of anti-Trump protesters Chicago, via Townhall]