An idjit on Twitter tried you “educate” yours truely by pointing out a “Socialism for Dummies” video by a Marxist professor. Yup, the video is as idiotic and wrong as you’d suspect an economics and history lecture by a Marxist would be.
He starts out by whining how communists and socialists are vilified and right-wingers are meany-weenies. Then he starts with historical inaccuracies following the Marxist model. He mentions that feudalism existed and then paints all of European society as a completely rigid feudal framework of the most stereotypical kind, completely ignoring the many trading cities and states (though certainly not pure free-trade libertarian ideals), and the fact that there were and developed many people who were neither lords nor serfs.
Then, he characterized the French Revolution as a Capitalism Revolution! This ignores the fact that the French Revolutionaries were unequivocally Leftist. Based on his ignorance, he goes further and belittles Adam Smith as being uneducated in economics and completely mis-characterized the “invisible hand” as selfish evil being good, when in fact Smith speaks of how selfish motivations, which is inherent in mankind, can be channeled into good ends through the free market.
Not wanting to limit his unhistorical tirade, he talks about how Hobbes created the ideal of socialism (the collective over the individual) in response to Adam Smith. Go ahead and take the time now to look up when Leviathan was written and The Wealth of Nations was written… or the fact that Hobbes died before Smith was even born! Of course, Leviathan was rather totalitarian. Hobbes also said that the default of mankind was “nasty, brutish, and short”… not that Capitalism was.
He ignores that fact that the free economic interaction of free human beings does not preclude a healthy social community, nor does it preclude altruism or caring about one’s community as a whole. This is the typical demonization that Marxists and other Leftists do: They mischaracterize non-Socialism as evil-oriented greed that necessarily includes oppression.
Their worldview is one of unintelligent design whereby society is designed by someone, be it feudal lord, capitalist, or the socialist will of the people. Thus everything is intentional in society. If things are bad, it is because bad people made it so. Leftism is one big conspiracy theory, with enemies at hand to blame, be they Kulaks, Jews, Capitalists, &c.
He states the assumption that “Capitalist and Proletariat” was simply another version of “Lord and Serf”. It is obvious to most sane people that this isn’t true. Lords had legal power over Serfs. Under the rule of law, “Capitalist” and “Proletariat” play by the same rules with neither having power over the other. But the Leftists are obsessed by some people having power over other people. Even the idea that “the people” as a collective having power over “the people” as a collective fits into this obsession of theirs.
He goes on to say that if one wants “liberty, equality, and fraternity” than the eeevil cabal of Capitalists should be replaced by the workers who create goods, because he assumes that the collective will (which does not actually exist, volonté générale being a faux dieu) will to right by the collective because the collective will would never oppress the collective! That no such thing exists explains why all Communist countries become completely hierarchical with a Nomenklatura or a strongman taking absolute control. In effect, the Left is just projecting.
He admits what Socialism is, though: Using the State to re-arrange society.
Ironically, he then goes on to say that the state is irrelevant to socialism.
BTW, Czarist Russia was hardly a paragon of “Capitalism”…
He also blames Capitalists for arresting Eugene V. Debs, ignoring that fact that he was arrested under the Presidency of Progressive hero Woodrow Wilson… which was commuted by “Capitalist” Warren G. Harding.
He then goes of about how eeevil Americans tried to invade Russia after the October Revolution to overthrow and oppress Russians by taking away the Soviet overlords… Yes, this man is defending Lenin and the murderous regime he established. Then he says the Soviets messed up because they didn’t create the true socialism, and even called Stalin the ultimate Capitalist! Pro-tip: State Capitalism is more akin to Mercantilism (which was opposed by Adam Smith) and not what the Soviet Union did.
Again, he does not understand that Communism can not work – that concentrating the power to fundamentally transform society will lead to a tiny minority of Nomenklatura grabbing that power. The “masses” can not, nor ever, freely manipulate society based on some shared and collective will.
He mentions that he only went to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. So there are three schools to never send your kid to.
If you survive repeatedly FacePalming yourself, there is a sequel wherein Prof. Wolff talks about state-less socialism.