Millennial Socialism = The Energy and Assertiveness of Restless Youth.
Cranky Lizard remembers growing up in the Australian Outback on a place that had cattle, sheep, crops and an old, rickety shed that was the other place that my Grandfather kept his medicine ; in the house and down the steps to the cellar was the other medicine cabinet, well, it was a big, brown jar rather than a cabinet.
But after a tough day making a quid from the dirt; the medicine worked pretty well.
One particular day, in the very early 1970s, stands out as a lesson for all of us on the application of new ideas, new techniques, new ways of doing things.
Instead of mustering by horses and slowly walking the cattle to the yards where they could wait for the trucks, the branding iron, the ear tags and the ‘pinking’ shears, the family bosses decided that we would use a new, modern way of doing this old task. We would use aerial mustering – a brilliant new cost-saving technique that would open a new world.
Well, sort of? The day was hot and dusty with an evil North wind blowing, the cattle were spooky, the aircraft were fluttering about the sky, the horses were pissed off at the whole noisy circus and, in the end, the cattle stampeded, the aircraft still had to be paid for and Cranky Lizard decided it was a good idea to stay in the Army for a few more years.
So? You may ask, what is all this about?
Cranky Lizard has noticed, as probably quite a few of you, who read this have noticed, that there is a resurgence of socialism as a panacea to our political problems –, particularly among the millennial generation. That generation of young Australians born in the early 1980s. Although it must be stated that it is not only in Australia that this phenomenon has popped up in the political garden like a late-blooming triffid!
In 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed, as did the Soviet Union and apart from a few desperate ‘ hold outs ‘ – like Cuba, North Korea and probably the ABC, socialism, as a means of governing ourselves was generally discredited. Liberal democracy and market economics prevailed and it seemed as if these ideas were much superior to socialism.
And so it was through the 1980s, 1990s and the early years of the ’00s. The world turned slowly on its axis as it has always done as it followed its orbit around the Sun and amongst the stars. Life on Earth went on, and, generally speaking, the overall standard of living on the planet improved and humans lived better than they had ever done – obviously millions of people still suffered the indignity and humiliation of poverty, hunger and disease; in a general sense, however, the world was a better place then and is now.
The western democracies glittered with bright lights and the promise of a better peaceful life – the dispossessed, those fleeing cultural and political oppression flocked to the lights and the promises, much like Jason and the Argonauts followed the songs of the sirens…
Along with genuine refugees came the opportunists, the economic refugees and the murdering, dark-hearted terrorists of Islam, the Jihadis. These millions, globally, placed huge burdens upon the existing market economies to support them. This demand plus the uncontrolled greed and slack financial regulation of the Wall Street culture resulted in the Global Financial Crisis of 2009.
The GFC shocked the Western democracies, and their economies – academics, government regulators, bankers all responded urgently; the structure and the foundation stones of our economic thinking were sound, and the GFC was kicked into touch ‘ figuratively speaking.’
But, as always, there was a cost.
A generation of young people, the millennials, had been shown a shattering glimpse of the mouth of the dragon. Their previously cocooned lifestyles had been shown to be vulnerable to market forces. Employment on demand was no longer a given and the cost of housing for themselves and their partners was heading North at an alarming rate and they, the millennials, formed a collective view that the world was not a paradise. It became obvious that their world could be shattered by forces beyond their control and that the existing systems of government, liberal democracies and market forces would not provide for them the secure and safe places in the world that they had assumed was theirs to be had!
In casting about for solutions they, collectively, if you like, stumbled upon the tired old carcass of socialism, lying exhausted and comatose in a ditch alongside life’s path.
And so, the carpet baggers, the virtue signallers, the old boofheads from the socialist revolution seized their opportunity and their discredited, tuneless nonsense drawled out of broken string banjoes, whilst the Aderns, the Corbyns, the Sanders, the Occasional-Cortez’s and the Shortens cast their powders into the community fire creating puffs of light and promise.
And, a generation drifted to the Left.
They did so, driven by their own anxieties and collective ignorance of what this discredited, reeking old carcass represented.
This was a new generation infused with the energy of youth and the luminous optimism that theirs was the “ New Socialism” – not the old broken one, Oh No! – this was the new one, and it worked, according to the gospel preachers named above. It would work.
Re-distribution was the magic key, that we, in our generations had missed. They would re-distribute wealth, assets, opportunities on a fair basis and we shall all live happily ever after.
[ Anyone heard that rubbish before ??]
Curious, Cranky Lizard became, and so a point was made of meeting with some of these new socialists and to listen to their music.
We discussed wealth. What was it and how would you distribute it?
That’s when it all became a bit weird folks. You see, Cranky Lizard’s definition of wealth differs greatly from these new young socialists idea of wealth.
The creators of wealth are the primary industries, mining and agriculture predominant. Where there is an empty paddock, wheat is sown, in time harvested and turned into food which enters the economic chain of events. The cash generated by the sales of the wheat, which never existed until the farmer sowed the wheat seeds is a pure form of wealth. Created from nothing by hard work and vision.
Essential minerals are produced, by miners, taking risks and digging the stuff out of the ground, where there was nothing, now there is gold, oil, coal, iron, silver, lead, zinc and much more.
Wealth created by mining and farming – the two primary industries which are the foundation of our lives and our economies. The taxes, applied to this wealth by Governments, pay for the services Governments provide… The cash generated by this wealth creation provides employment which, in rotation, provides opportunities to purchase houses, motor vehicles etc.
And, here is why it all became weird folks.
These young socialists, transported into intellectual uplands by media infatuation of the Aderns, the Corbyns, the Sanders, the Occasional-Cortezes and the Shortens are going to ban mining, attack farming as exploitation of the soil, create energy systems from wind, tides and other fairy-like fantasies, thus reducing the consumption of oil etc.
In fact, these young Socialist are attacking the very nature of their capacity to re-distribute anything!
Without the tax revenue generated from wealth creation, there will be no wealth, assets and other ‘ stuff ‘ to redistribute. And without their capacity to re-distribute, in a ‘ new and fair ‘ way, their idealism and enthusiasm will come to nothing, except Venezuela.
As Cranky Lizard found out many years ago, on a remote property, new ideas and systems need to be tempered with reality and gauged by experience – as it was then, it is now.
No sovereign state, no nation, no tribe, no collection of humans have ever successfully taxed their way into wealth.
No nation, no sovereign state has ever been successfully governed by socialism.
Socialism does not work.
What a shame, and how frustrating it is – to watch yet another generation of idealistic youth learn life’s bitter lessons.
Enjoy your days.