Many people maintain their worldview strictly through willful ignorance. I ran into an example last week, gaining some interesting glimpses into the mind of a socialist.
She had posted a quote from an article on Facebook advocating that government central planners dictate prices instead of allowing prices to be determined by the “monopolies” of the free market. I left a comment politely and respectfully pointing out that prices in a free market are rather determined by supply and demand, and that government price fixing doesn’t work. If government fixes a price below where it would otherwise be if determined by the market, it just results in shortages. Socialism doesn’t work, I explained, because government bureaucrats making arbitrary decisions about what prices should be do not know better than the free market with its pricing system how to efficiently direct scarce resources towards productive ends according to the preferences of the consumers.
Her response was to delete my comment. So I left another comment inquiring shy she had deleted it. She deleted that comment, too. Not a very friendly or mature thing to do, I thought. But it gave me an insight into the means by which she maintained her belief that socialism was the answer.
It also reminded me of another insight I had in a previous conversation with her, several years ago. She manages a blog and we got to discussing that subject. I mentioned to her that the revenue I got from the ads from Foreign Policy Journal was very little. My comment about it was that if my wife and I had to live on that, we’d be well below the poverty level (we were both working as teachers at that time). But every little bit helped, I remarked. She then mentioned that she was living below the poverty level and collecting food stamps. So I suggested she use Google Adsense on her blog for a little extra revenue. Her reply? She didn’t want to do that because, quote, “I don’t believe in capitalism.”
So here is a person who believes in socialism and maintains her worldview by choosing to willfully ignore any information that doesn’t help support it; who doesn’t “believe” in trying to earn a little something in return for the labor required to run her blog while being perfectly content to live as a parasite off of the labor of others from whom wealth is forcibly expropriated by government in order to be redistributed to her while railing against the “capitalists” who dare to try to actually profit from their labors by providing goods or services to consumers that they demand and are willing to engage in voluntary trade to obtain.
Such glimpses into the mind of a socialist is all very fascinating to me.