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Alternatives to capitalism: Nikolai Bukharin on the division of labour

A favourite brought forward. Thinking about the pressures on capitalism — or rather, on the interventionism that passes for capitalism today — and on the alternative which was most comprehensively implemented, I discovered this recipe for chaos and failure from Bukharin: Under communism people receive a many-sided culture, and find themselves at home in various branches of production: today I work in an administrative capacity, I reckon up how many felt boots or how many French rolls must be produced […]

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Met inspiring Wycombe students today

I met three bright young men this morning, two representing students at Bucks New University and one representing FE students at Amersham and Wycombe College. Our conversations covered tuition fees, Education Maintenance Allowance, social mobility, life chances, career prospects and related subjects. It was a real pleasure to have thoughtful, measured and insightful conversations about these difficult and sensitive subjects on this controversial day. I thought all three young men were inspiring. However, stepping out of the tuition fees debate for […]

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“Britain’s Road to Socialism”

From some people who need to read, as Hayek did, von Mises with a critical but open mind: The peoples of the world are confronted today with problems of enormous magnitude. These include the ever-growing poverty and widespread malnutrition and disease which afflict billions of the world’s six billion population; war and the threat of nuclear catastrophe; and the environmental and ecological time-bomb which adds a new threat to human survival. This need not be so. Never before in history […]

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Bureaucracy, Communism and New Labour

Joseph Stalin in 1934, quoted here: Bureaucracy and red tape in the administrative apparatus; idle chatter about “leadership in general” instead of real and concrete leadership; the functional structure of our organizations and lack of individual responsibility; lack of personal responsibility in work, and wage equalization; the absence of a systematic check upon the fulfillment of decisions; fear of self-criticism — these are the sources of our difficulties; this is where our difficulties are now lodged. Miserably familiar stuff, but […]

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If this is Capitalism then I am a Communist — Samizdata

Do people remember the newspaper headlines every so often between 1987 and 2007? Specially the “Alan Greenspan saves the world” stories? Ever wondered what the great Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, had actually done? What he had done is as follows… read more | digg story

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The tragic comedy of British communism

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Idly wondering whether communism had died in the UK, I discovered The Communist Party of Great Britain and their paper, “The Weekly Worker”. This edition has a fascinating sidebar — “What we fight for” — which states first and foremost: Our central aim is the organisation of communists, revolutionary socialists and all politically advanced workers into a Communist Party. Without organisation the working class is nothing; with the highest form of organisation it is everything. Moments later, I had discovered: […]

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The Russian Social Democrats

It was not without reason that the Russian Social Democrats, better known to history as the Bolsheviks, decided in November 1917 to call themselves “Communists”. And so “The Black Book of Communism” is proving an interesting read: But socialist revolution for Marx was not just a matter of economic development; it was at bottom an eschatological “leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.” Mises, Friedman and Hayek have something to say about that: Marx was wrong. […]

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