The Holocaust, famine in the Ukraine, and how we just keep repeating the same mistakes, Rick and Morty style
Welcome to Finance and Fury, Furious Friday
Have a think about how much you know about history? Are you familiar with the big events, like WW1 and WW2? Events that have been re-enacted in movies like Saving Private Ryan? Did you study it at school? Have you done your own research and study on these events as well?
I’ve been listening to a lot of history podcasts: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is one of the best, the History of Rome podcast, as well as History on Fire… basically anything with ‘history’ in the title.
- The more I listen to these podcasts, the more I realised that even the general gist of an event in my head was way off in terms of accuracy.
- It’s eye opening learning about history from the view of those who were actually there. Soldiers on the front-line writing home about conditions, speeches from leaders and their political dealings behind the scene.
- This seemed so different – When was the last time you listened to a news story that shows you more than a 5 second clip of what someone said? The news anchor will spend the remaining time telling you a recount of what happened (rather than hearing it directly yourself)
Why am I going on about this?
- The more I listened, the more I learned of the same horrible events repeatedly coming up in the past
- One thing that was surprising is that most seemed to have the same elements as each other
- More surprising: I had no idea that most of them occurred – especially from the firsthand accounts
- We all know about the atrocities of the Holocaust – Approx. 6 million Jewish people lost lives
- Hitler established first camp in 1933 – Dachau
- Most of the killings occurred between 1941 to 1945
- BUT did you know about the famine in the Ukraine between 1932-1933: when millions of peasants were forced off their land and made to join state farms under the Soviet Communist Party Leadership
- Throw in a bit of bad weather – 6 to 7 million Ukrainians died of starvation during this 1-year period
- Any food that was produced was taken by the state for the collective
- Remember: Ukraine was trying to fight for its independence from 1917-1921. They lost as Russia Invaded Ukraine with the Red Army in 1919, but they were still causing issues a decade later.
- Economists and Historians have painted a pretty clear picture that it was to punish the Kulaks (wealthy peasants) who were the most productive.
- What makes this story worse is that it isn’t an isolated incident – however it is not well known. Since 1848 the same thing has been tried and tried again. It may have involved different countries, during different times, and given different ‘names” …yet with the same results
- It’s almost like that episode of Rick and Morty – Morty’s Mind Blowers, where he keeps having a memory removed. He says– ‘How many of these are just horrible mistakes I’ve made? Maybe I’d stop making so many if I let myself learn from them!’
- Within Western culture there seems to be some Morties present, who are ready to repeat more horrible mistakes again
- The drug of Marxism and Socialism: A bad habit that humanity has picked up with the Communist Manifesto being published in 1948.
- Like with a lot of bad habits – people can ‘relapse’ back into them regardless of the negative consequences
- Socialism seems to have the characteristics of a drug addiction when applied to a democracy
- The first time someone does a drug they don’t do it thinking it is going to ruin their life
- The ideology of socialism has those warm fuzzy feelings as well, initially…until it ruins your life.
When I look at political candidates in Australia, the UK, America, Canada, New Zealand there seems to be a rise in Socialist policies again – like a drug coming back!
- Socialism is a moral philosophy posing as an economic system. It’s a cancer for economic prosperity
- People think that the benefits of socialism (in theory) are that its greatest goal is that of common wealth; As the collective (State of people) controls everything, it can allocate resources to maximise every individual’s need best.
- And who doesn’t want to have all their needs met. Everything’s provided for you, it’s nice and safe.
- This is one reason why it’s hard to kick this habit – it tells a compelling story. Everything is free (healthcare, education, housing, loans, food, power, etc)
- Everyone puts in the same effort and gets their fair share
- It seems great at first, and this is what makes it addictive
- People wouldn’t do drugs if they had a bad experience first time round (or have the side effects up front). Once hooked it is hard to kick the habit
- Addiction, dependency and enabling
- Addicts who have someone enabling their behaviour will likely not stop – change is more likely if they hit rock-bottom
- When we become dependent on the government, it is hard to become independent again. We adapt well as humans, which has allowed our species to thrive when there was a race to the top
- Like all addictions though this one can ruin your life…through poor policy
Since the abolition of Monarchies, Oligarchies, and the Feudal system, there have been a few players in this game of political rule;
- The working class owns everything.
- Everyone is working towards the same communal goal (ironically, in the end this becomes staying alive)
- Theory – No wealthy or poor people, everyone is the same
- Everything is distributed based on needs in equal amounts. But someone else is determining what you ‘need’
- Socialism – The State owns everything
- The State ‘pays’ the workers, the workers spend how they want
- The State determines what workers ‘need’ to get paid but relies on tax to continue payments
- So, think about that for one minute – The state controls all businesses so they set the tax on their own businesses and the workers, to collect funds to pay to run the businesses and workers?
- In a system with no waste that may be able to work in the short term. But there is waste (because it costs money to actually run the system) and eventually the tax runs out.
- The focus is on equal outcome, which is dangerous. For example, say you have a test – you study hard and get an ‘A’, but Billy gets an ‘F’. Your marks are then normalised and you each receive a ‘C’.
- Free Market ‘Capitalism’ (Adam Smith) – this model is not perfect, but reward comes to those who go beyond the minimum effort
- Owners are allowed to keep the excess production they earn.
- Competition occurs naturally which fosters advancement.
- Capitalism tends to create a sharp divide in wealth, especially with large populations
- China and America have lots of people. With the larger number, there is a more extreme difference between the top and the bottom, thanks to Pareto distribution
- The irony here is they all hate each other. Communists hate socialists and vice versa, and it’s really about ‘People vs the State’
- Hitler was a Socialist and Stalin was a Communist, Hitler’s Brown shirts would fight ‘Commies’ in the street.
- They both hate the free market, because they can’t compete with it.
- A major theme seems to be that countries have shifted between each throughout their histories.
- Communism and socialism are very, very, similar, they’re economic and political structures that promote equality and seek to eliminate social classes.
- Equality (read: Equality of outcome) – everyone has to have the same, society can only go as fast as the slowest person
- Australia is a free market economy with socialist policy (health, education, protection, etc), but mostly free market
- We have equality of opportunity – the free market provides this
- It also provides wealth. Ideologies that have to come from Democracy + free market = wealthy country
- Under free markets the rise of socialism often follows, as wealth becomes unevenly distributed
- In wealthy countries there will be wealth disparities which need to be equalised, the perfect feeding ground
- The greater the population, the greater distributions of wealth are going to be (Such as the U.S.)
- Pareto Distribution – the more data points, the greater the number of outliers, on both sides
Okay – Why I am covering this?
- Beyond WW3 or some mass extinction/fallout 4-like event, I think that this collectivist ideology is one of the greatest threats we face as a species.
- But like with financial literacy, economics, and even history, this point has been neglected
- We will be going to go through some examples of what has worked, and what hasn’t – it won’t be a boring history lesson.
I don’t think it is pointless either
- History provides a narrative going forward. The past is what created where we are now.
- George Orwell – 1984: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controlsthe present controls the past”. This is talking about controlling what version of history we are taught in order to control how we behave in the present.
- Radio invented: 1920s – Regulations on broadcasting networks required ‘public good’. News was invented to inform the public.
- Skip forward to the days of TV. It didn’t take long to learn that covering certain stories attracted more viewers, which is of course, more profitable. The ones that sell are drama/gossip, and little time is spent covering the important issues of the world.
- Plus – It is such a common occurrence that over-exposure to horrible things can desensitise us
- Unfortunately, ignorance about (or ignoring) problems means that we are more likely to repeat them
I might sound crazy, but hear me out: We are in a democracy – By extension we vote-in our economic philosophy
- This is a great irony of life – with the freedom of democracy we are also responsible for not voting-in our demise.
- There is belief that socialism will work better for us. But remember, Socialism is a moral philosophy posing as an economic system. Everyone has to be equal, there’s no freedom, no hope.
I don’t think that people are dumb
- But we are very adaptable. When we are in a comfortable environment we can forget that life can be a struggle sometimes
- With Globalisation and technology, we have mass access to information, but too much can become overwhelming. We also forget that the majority of the world doesn’t have it so good.
- As a man (who will come up in future episodes) once said ‘A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic’ – Joseph Stalin – Boy did he get his statistics up
- But without perspective and gratitude we forget how great we have it – I like Australia and I love living here.
- We will likely repeat the same mistakes by changing something that has been proven to work well
It’s not your fault – the media spends more time on doing hit pieces, or covering who wore it best, than reporting actual events
- So, it’s hard to get the information – therefore I want to provide some history that you might not have been exposed to in the past
- I want to spend a few Furious Friday Episodes to go through events that seem to reoccur in societies – time and time again – awful event in history of Marxism being implemented that you might not know about
- Think 7 Million starving under Stalin is bad? Well, try the 38 million which died under Mao’s Great Leap Forward in Communist China under economic reform
- Monday and Wednesday episodes will be as normal – Next Friday we start with the man himself – Mr ‘Silver Spoon’ Karl Marx
Thanks for listening – If you couldn’t tell, getting this information out there is something that I think is important – hope you can get some info out of it to make informed decisions – If you can this with your friends – We really do have it good, let’s keep it that way