Monday, October 09, 2017

The "Goodbye Lenin" delusion

I quite enjoyed the 2003 comedy film "Goodbye Lenin," about a mother, a staunch communist who went into a coma before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and came out of it after the collapse of communism, and whose son devises an increasingly elaborate deception to spare her from the shock of learning that the system she supported has completely collapsed.

Because the film is quite scathing (e.g. realistic) about the failings of Eastern European communism as it actually was, I must confess that did not see it as particularly defending socialism - certainly not socialism in the DDR as it operated in practice. But  Dr Kristian Niemietz has an interesting article on the IEA website about the film, which is called

"The Goodbye Lenin delusion,"

in which he argues that there is an underlying assumption that socialism is a noble ideal and that East Germany could have been a much better place had the noble ideals it was based on only been put into practice, and that many of those who defend socialism in the real world subscribe to a similar idea, but in practice socialist societies never work, because people do not like being told what to do and what choices they should make with their lives.

Capitalism is not perfect but every rich and successful country in the world has a strong and vibrant economy based on wealth created by the private sector.

Hard-left socialist policies have been tried in lots of countries and they have never once produced the sort of worker's paradise which Alex imagines in the film.

There is no such thing as a pure free market or pure socialist society, but many of the societies which have been closest to a pure free market economy have been highly successful, and every one of the societies which has been closes to pure socialism has been at best an economic basket case and at worst a mass-murdering tyranny.

As was recently pointed out,

"Socialism would never have created the iPhone."

Innovation is a feature of free and open societies.


Anonymous said...

"Welcome the Brexit delusion"

Chris Whiteside said...

Which one?

There are has been an ocean of rubbish from both sides of the Brexit debate, as I have pointed out in specific detail again and again.

If you just write that some people have delusional views about Brexit, as it happens I agree with you, but unless you specify exactly which particular views you think are wrong, and why, you are merely wasting both your time and the time of everyone who stops to read your post

I can't even tell which side you are suggesting is deluded, because as far as I am concerned some people - not all - on both sides of the Brexit debate believe highly mistaken things.