Jonah Goldberg: Communism: still hip with the young and uninformed
Writing with unearned familiarity and embarrassingly glib confidence in the rightness of his positions, Myerson prattles on about how "unemployment blows" and therefore we need "guaranteed work for everybody." He proceeds to report that jobs "blow" too, so we need guaranteed universal income. He has the same disdain for landlords, who "don't really do anything to earn their money." Which is why, Myerson writes, we need communal ownership of land, or something.
In the ensuing kerfuffle, Myerson, whose Twitter hashtag is "#FULLCOMMUNISM," seemed shocked that any of his ideas sounded Soviet to his critics. Andrew McCoy, a conservative blogger, offered the specific citations for Myerson's proposals in the Soviet constitution. I suspect this was news to Myerson, but even if not, I bet he doesn't care. It is a permanent trope of the left that its ideas failed because we didn't try hard enough. This time is always different.
Sometimes it is hard for people to accept that there really aren't many new ideas. Sure, there are new policy innovations and new possibilities created by technology. But the really big ideas about how we should organize society vary between being merely antique and downright ancient. Plato argued for collective ownership of property on the grounds that it would erase social divisions. Aristotle disagreed, insisting that, "when everyone has a distinct interest, men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress, because everyone will be attending to his own business."
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