Sunday, 22 May 2016

Socialism. A terrible and popular stone age creed.


It is a continuing shock to me that every time socialism is shown to be destructive a new generation of socialists emerge like the worst sort of zombie apocalypse. It seems we're programmed to like this ideology - it's our stone age sensibility that makes us support a creed that serves mostly to take us back to that stone age:

According to Professors John Tooby and Leda Cosmides of the University of California, Santa Barbara, human minds evolved in the so-called “Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness” between 1.6 million and 10,000 years ago. “The key to understanding how the modern mind works,” Cosmides writes, “is to realize that its circuits were not designed to solve the day-to-day problems of a modern [humans] – they were designed to solve the day-to-day problems of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.”

With the result that:

...humans are, by nature, envious, resentful and unable to comprehend, let alone appreciate, a sophisticated economic system that has evolved in spite of, not because of, our best efforts.

We're wired to think the economy is a zero-sum game, a thing of 'them' and 'us' and we resent hierarchy as well as being envious of those who have more, are stronger or seem more powerful. This is the core emotional content of socialism and explains why so many reject - despite the evidence of its success - the idea that self-interest drives innovation, invention and growth in a world unlimited in the scope of its creativity.

Socialism is a terrible ideology founded in envy and too often resulting in the very opposite of what its adherents profess to want. Yet so long as our brains respond with envy, resentment and incomprehension there will be socialists. Part of me feels we should be training these negative reactions out of people - but that would be brainwashing so probably not the best of ideas!


1 comment:

Junican said...

It isn't often that I disagree with you, but would you prefer to return to the days of aristocrats and serfs? It isn't that long ago that ordinary people had no voice in parliament or much chance of bettering themselves.
The problems actually arise when matters go to far; when a reasonable ideology ("Fair dos for aircrews") itself becomes a tyrant.