14 August 2021 ~ 0 Comentarios

Why Communism and Fascism Have Failed

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

If I were a Cuban communist, faced with the events of July 11, I would inevitably ask myself this question: why do communism and fascism, its first cousin, not work and painstakingly destroy societies that embrace (or are imposed) that model of government?

Regardless of personal interests, or barbaric testicular reason, an obvious answer is because they make the State the object of all efforts and forget about individuals and their dreams. Because communists and fascists devote all their energy to canceling the creative impulse of the people, replacing it with boring five-year plans, conceived by soulless bureaucrats who never take into account the real needs of the people.

Ernesto (Che) Guevara was not lying in 1961 when he predicted in Punta del Este that in a decade Cuba would catch up and surpass the United States in productivity. He said it out of ignorance. By a natural limitation of his readings. He only read pro-Soviet or anti-Yankee books. Or when Fidel Castro, the champion of delusional initiatives, announced a cheese pipeline that would supply the planet with a better and cheaper Camembert than the French. He was neither a liar nor a madman; instead, he was raving, due to the supine ignorance that he suffered.

Unwittingly, Vilfredo Pareto found the origin of inequality. It was not a law and not even a “principle.” It was an intelligent and approximate observation. These days it’s not politically correct to sustain Vilfredo Pareto’s “principle,” known as 20-80. Today, due to the superstitious search for equality above all else, this apothegm could not have been formulated. (Pareto was an Italian engineer, mathematician, and philosopher. He taught economics in Lausanne, Switzerland, in the late 19th century and into the 20th century. By the way, he inherited the chair of Léon Walras).

To say that 80% of the consequences were produced by 20% of the causes is today socially very dangerous. Following that thread, a conclusion was reached –20% of the capital of Italian families monopolized a wealth equivalent to 80%. Or that 20% of the products generated 80% of the sales in almost any company. Or that the best salespeople “closed” 80% of sales. Or, even more serious: that 20% of the individuals had an entrepreneurial spirit that was not present in the remaining 80%.

Fifteen of the richest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine, possess this entrepreneurial nature. Together they have the necessary capital to eliminate the foreign debt of Mexico or Argentina. The first is Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon. He has 177 billion. Elon Musk follows closely behind. He will probably be on the lead soon. He owns 151 billion. He started with PayPal, then created Tesla and SpaceX, among other companies. Third on the list is Bernard Arnault, from France. He is dedicated to selling luxury items. Forbes calculates he has 150 billion. The fourth (he was the first for a few years) is called Bill Gates and he owned most of Microsoft’s stock. He “is worth” 124 billion. Today he is devoted to philanthropy. The fifth is Mark Zuckerberg. His fortune depends on the value of Facebook, but his shares’ price reaches 94 billion.

I don’t go on because this chronicle could become very boring. Among the fifteen, there is a woman, Oreal’s heir, two Chinese, an Indian, and a Spaniard, Amancio Ortega (the eleventh), who created the Zara stores. Most are dedicated to technology and computing, but there is no doubt that they made their fortunes in the market, making the pie grow and not devouring the capital of other companies.

I make this point clear because the biggest mistake comes from the mercantile mentality and consists of holding these people responsible for the bankruptcy of certain unfortunate businessmen, something that could have happened in some cases, but as part of the cycle of “destructive creation” that Joseph Schumpeter explained masterfully. Most of the fortunes have been amassed with the blood, sweat and tears of the “captains of industry”, as the Scottish writer and historian Thomas Carlyle said in the 19th century to explain his “Great Man Theory.”

It is enough to contrast the two Koreas, remember what the two Germanies were and know that Romania, far from suffering a US embargo, was treated as a “most favored nation” by the United States, which did not prevent it from being a horrible place to live. I remember that a Romanian diplomat, who was in Havana married to an American diplomat from the then “Interests Office,” told me, to my surprise, “it is much worse than Romania.” She was right. On July 11, it could be seen.

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