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The Absurd Claim that “Capitalism Kills”

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments

Background

In response to declarations that communism and/or socialism have killed in excess of 100 million people, it has become common on social media to see claims that capitalism is responsible for an even greater number of deaths. Here are some examples:

The infographics featured in the banner of this post are also common, which present various statistics (including death tolls) that are supposedly attributable to capitalism. The reasoning behind these assertions is rarely made clear, but ultimately it amounts to blaming a significant portion of humanity's problems on a notion of capitalism so all-encompassing as to be meaningless. 

In a recent article on The Guardian website, Owen Jones listed the trans-atlantic slave trade, colonialism and the rise of 20th century fascism as either components or consequences of capitalism. Add starvation, disease, war and natural disasters into the mix and it should be painfully obvious that—far from providing evidence of "killer capita… continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn: The Disturbing Sway of Socialist Demagoguery

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments

Background

Jeremy Corbyn has been the leader of the UK's Labour Party since 2015 when, in the face of high profile Labour MPs claiming that he would render the Labour Party unelectable, he won a leadership contest with a vote share of 59.5%. After the EU referendum in 2016, around two-thirds of Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet resigned and a vote of no confidence was passed by Labour MPs with 172 votes to 40. Despite this, Corbyn retained the party leadership through another leadership contest with an increased vote share of 61.8%, putting the parliamentary Labour Party squarely at odds with its wider membership.

After being rejected by his own MPs and ridiculed by both the media and his political opponents for most of his time as leader, dismal local election results left the Labour party looking fractured and weak. Theresa May decided to take advantage of the situation by calling for a general election, with a crushing defeat for Labour being widely predicted. However, in the month leadin… continue reading

UK Austerity: Heinous or Hyperbole?

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments

Background

One of the most prevalent narratives propagated in the run up to the recent general election in the UK—which continues to generate significant amounts of public outrage and media attention—is that of "savage" public sector cuts; the great evil that is austerity.

For anyone reading without any knowledge of UK politics, the 2010 election saw the end of a thirteen year reign of the Labour Party. The Conservative election campaign had strongly criticised Labour's record on the economy, accusing them of reckless spending and borrowing, particularly in the years leading up to and following the 2008 financial crisis.

Since the crisis was global in scale, the degree to which Labour were directly responsible for the huge (£153bn) budget deficit in 2010 is up for debate, nonetheless Labour's credibility was severely damaged. One of the primary stated goals of the Conservatives was to reduce the deficit and bring the country's finances back under control, which would involve rolling ba… continue reading

Gordon Brown Doesn't Understand Economics

Posted by Darkademic in Politics   0 comments

After watching most of the two UK election debates these past two weeks, I've become infuriated with Gordon Brown because of his pathetic lack of understanding of economics. Brown has accused David Cameron — leader of the Conservatives — of planning to "take £6 billion out of the economy" by not implementing the NI increase and/or by cutting funding to public sector institutions. This is nonsensical. Gordon Brown seems to be oblivious to the obvious difference between the economy and the public sector (i.e. government funded sector). The £6 billion won't be going to the government, but that doesn't mean it just disappears. The £6 billion stays in the economy, just in private hands (where it should be).

Similar logic lies behind the idea of stimulus packages. A stimulus package is nothing more than a massive shift of money which would otherwise be spent according to the judgement of private individuals (it doesn't just disappear). A stimulus distorts the market by putting money where it… continue reading

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