Barefoot Bum would have called that title "egregiously stupid," his favourite phrase when he references me, Libertarians, Randians (Objectivists), and anyone else who disagrees with him in general. I don't like calling anyone a communist (because in the USA that might get you shot), I prefer to use the word statist (but Statist Bum does not demonstrate the same level of contempt that I hold). Oh wait, Mr. Bum doesn't think the term 'statist' is "particularly well-defined." Let me help.
In my usage, statist comes from the word "statism" which means the theory or practice of concentrating economic and political power in the state, usually resulting in a weak position for the individual or community with respect to government. A statist is one who practices statism. As far as I'm concerned there is very little difference in practice between communists, fascists, NAZI's, socialists (called New Democrats in Canada), Liberals (in Canada), Conservatives (everywhere), Democrats, Republicans, Greens and on and on. They are ALL statists according to that definition and my usage, and they differ only in degree of application. However, there is a very big difference between Libertarians and Conservatives/Republicans. Libertarians want limits on the size and scope of government, Conservatives/Republicans say that they do but in practice it never works out that way. In those so-called right-wing (Conservative/Republican) governments the state always accumulates more power, more control, and more funding at the expense of individuals and communities. That is what has happened in the US and Canada.
Mr. Bum has dissected my previous commentaries line-by-line and he did it again in a recent post after I responded to his initial attack. I don't read Mr. Bum's postings as a rule, it was only by accident that I found his attack on my posting. What I do know is is that Mr. Bum hates Libertarians. Strangely Mr. Bum has something in common with Ayn Rand, my supposed Prophet, she hated Libertarians too. Go figure.
I first read Rand's work as a boy in the late 1960's and early '70's and she obviously had a profound affect on me probably because my thinking at the time was similar to hers. Mr. Bum refers my "dreary Libertarian dogma" blaming Rand. Of course his communist views are strictly his own, sprung from his fertile brow and certainly not dogmatic. I'm full of dogma and propaganda because I'm libertarian, he is just a communist, no dogma, no propaganda just lots of evidence and skepticism. Right Mr. Bum?
In his most recent dissection of my blog he avoids my comment "I too would be frustrated if my dream-Marxist world had collapsed to the point where just Cuba and North Korea are all that is left of the great revolution of the proletariat. The former communist world has taken on a decidedly capitalistic appearance, though it is still coercive by nature; they have moved closer to us in the West and unfortunately we have moved closer to them in many ways." He avoids it because its true, though he actually posts an apology for Communism before he dissects my blog. Nice touch. In it he says: "I self-identify as a communist. I could just as easily self-identify as a socialist. I chose "communist" for a couple of reasons. Both terms have some unfortunate connotations. Communism, of course, carries the baggage of the errors and excesses of the Soviet Union and China." So, Mr. Bum wants to distance himself from the "unfortunate connotations" of those places where communism began and had its greatest effect on humanity. He also feels free to distance himself from all the advocates of communism (Marx, Lenin, Mao etc.). Damn those unfortunate connotations! I guess he means the millions and millions murdered (possibly 110 million people!) by Stalin and Mao and others. Yes, that is unfortunate. But lets not dwell on reality. Mr. Bum shares with us his ethics: "My fundamental ethical philosophy is gob simple: I want as many people as possible to be as happy as possible, however each person construes "happiness"; I want as few people as possible to suffer as little as possible, however each person construes "suffering". I see the interesting part of politics and economics to be about how to bring about universal happiness. If I thought capitalism were the best way to bring about universal happiness, I would be a capitalist; I do not, therefore I searched for an alternative and settled — at least at present — on communism." Ugh, that sounds like the beauty contest contestant that wants "world peace," he just wants everyone to be happy, and not suffer, and that will happen in his communist lala land, but not like before, that was bad. Mr. Bum goes on to dismiss the communist (and also statist) idea of a planned economy as "unsound" and prefers "the social ownership of capital, the means of production," whatever the hell that means, I have no idea and I'm sure he could not explain it either.
I do agree with one thing that he says: "I consider economics and politics to be fundamentally scientific disciplines; I do not believe they areas merely of competing dogmas." I agree, economics at least, is a science. Like any science, attempts should made to describe it with theories. Theories are formed by testing hypotheses, when a hypothesis corresponds with reality (i.e. is true) it is accepted. Hypotheses become theories when they describe reality and can be used to make predictions with outcomes that correspond to the real world if they work. If communist theory claims that the means of production should be owned by the proletariat for the good of everyone, fine, show me an example where this has worked or even partially worked now or in the past. Is it in Cuba, North Korea, the former Soviet Union, any of the Eastern Block satellites of the USSR, Red China, is it anywhere, anywhere but in the Communist Manifesto? Every time communism has been attempted anywhere it has led to "errors and excesses" and "unfortunate connotations" as Mr. Bum so blandly puts it. Every time! That is quite a record of rotten success, quite a record of UNhappiness, Mr. Bum!
So lets summarize, communism hasn't worked, doesn't work, and millions and millions have died, but Mr. Bum concludes: "so I'm a communist." Fine, be happy.
However, I'm a libertarian, I support freedom and I do not support coercion, and communism requires coercion and removes freedom, always. My choice of economics is the Austrian School or Theory. What is the Austrian Economics? Just click on that for a lengthy history and explanation. In essence it is a laissez-faire approach to economics. Where it has been tried, it has been wildly successful. Witness the United States, Canada or any country or territory that remotely resembles laissez-faire Austrian Economics. Again it is a matter of degree, but if you check out this interactive map of Economic Freedom and correlate it to the wealth, life expectancy, yes happiness, of individuals in those countries found in this document, then you might agree with me. If you live in Canada or the United States you are still free to choose. You are also free to agree with the Barefoot Bum and the dreck that he spews.