• Communism,  History,  Logic,  Reagan

    Reagan and the Cold War

    One of the many annoying things I often hear is “Reagan won the Cold War”. It’s the wrong question. While the Cold Warn certainly wasn’t won by Jimmy Carter, it wasn’t Reagan either. Here is the analogy I use.

    Imagine two men in a bar. They’ve just finished fighting other people together. After that fight is done, they start to squabble amongst themselves. Both men pull guns and a tense standoff ensues.

    Neither side has a clear edge as both guns are comparable and effective. The standoff continues for quite some time. Both parties upgrade their weaponry periodically. One of the people spends all of his non-weapon money on health food, while the other spends all of his non-weapon money on crystal meth and salty snacks. After a while the first health food person buys a pricey new SA80 rifle. The meth/salt guy complains about a new arms race, then has a heart attack and dies.

    That’s the end of the Cold War. The canard “We outspent them” ignores the fact that Communism is not capable of utilizing resources efficiently, and if the Soviets hadn’t been using their resources on weapons they would be wasting the resources some other way. While Reagan did see the evil nature of communism accurately, he wasn’t responsible for the heart attack. Happily, communism is self-limiting that way.

    Comments Off on Reagan and the Cold War
  • Communism

    Tom Palmer puts it very well

    From a post on McCarthyism

    (It’s astonishing how the issue of the very real communist threat to liberty over a period of many decades—fortunately now behind us—has been occluded by the reckless behavior of the senator from Wisconsin. I find that when I mention in a talk that so-and-so was or is an outspoken Communist [or communist], I have to mention that I’m not red-baiting, because so-and-so actively called for establishing the dictatorship fo the proletariat and abolishing private ownership of the means of production, or was a membership of the Communist Party. A simple statement of fact is generally considered evidence of vicious “red-baiting.” The propagandists for the cause of communism did a truly brilliant job and the effects are still with us. Let’s hope that, with the USSR now dead and buried, this particular bit of dishonesty can be uncovered for what it was and is: an attempt to mask a movement for mass murder and total dictatorship as a kind of harmless lifestyle that was persecuted by fanatics whose crimes [such as denying work to intellectual thugs like the wealthy Dalton Trumbo] were far worse than anything ever contemplated by the harmless communist intellectuals, who merely wanted to liquidate much of the population and plunge the rest into a long night of tyranny and poverty.)

    And, later in the comments, more bashing of Dalton Trumbo

    I’d never express ill will toward the family of someone such as Dalton Trumbo; it’s his personal story that’s not admirable. He called in the FBI to investigate people who had written to him about his anti-war book “Johnny Got his Gun” — after Hitler had attacked Stalin. He only brought the book out again after the Allied victory over the Axis powers, when he again became “anti-war.” He’s been portrayed as a principled advocate of freedom of speech, but that’s not consistent with his actions; he supported freedom of speech that he thought was favorable to the USSR, and he opposed any freedom of speech that he thought was not favorable to the USSR. Needless to say, none of his family members bear any responsibility for his behavior. Nor does it excuse the clownish, disgraceful (and counter-productive) antics of Senator McCarthy.

    Comments Off on Tom Palmer puts it very well