Einstein ’s reply to the Soviet scientists, 1948

The good in the bad, are we not able to see it? Castro’s educational system? The Soviet Unions’s planned economy? “No doubt, the day will come when all nations will be grateful to Russia (and Cuba?).” (Albert Einstein)

The chief object of your attack against me concerns my support of “world government.” I should like to discuss this important problem only after having said a few words about the antagonism between socialism and capitalism; for your attitude on the significance of this antagonism seems to dominate completely your views on international problems.

If the socio-economic problem is considered objectively, it appears as follows: technological development has led to increasing centralization of the economic mechanism. It is this development which is also responsible for the fact that economic power in all widely industrialized countries has become concentrated in the hands of relatively few. These people, in capitalist countries, do not need to account for their actions to the public as a whole; they must do so in socialist countries in which they are civil servants similar to those who exercise political power.

I share your view that a socialist economy possesses advantages which definitely counterbalance its disadvantages whenever the management lives up, at least to some extent, to adequate standards. No doubt, the day will come when all nations (as far as such nations still exist) will be grateful to Russia for having demonstrated, for the first time, by vigorous action the practical possibility of planned economy in spite of exceedingly great difficulties.

I also believe that capitalism, or, we should say, the system of free enterprise, will prove unable to check unemployment, which will become increasingly chronic because of technological progress, and unable to maintain a healthy balance between production and the purchasing power of the people.

On the other hand we should not make the mistake of blaming capitalism for all existing social and political evils, and of assuming that the very establishment of socialism would be able to cure all the social and political ills of humanity. The danger of such a belief lies, first, in the fact that it encourages fanatical intolerance on the part of all the “faithful” by making a possible social method into a type of church which brands all those who do not belong to it as traitors or as nasty evildoers. Once this stage has been reached, the ability to understand the convictions and actions of the “unfaithful” vanishes completely.

You know, I am sure, from history how much unnecessary suffering such rigid beliefs have inflicted upon mankind. Any government is in itself an evil insofar as it carries within it the tendency to deteriorate into tyranny.

However, except for a very small number of anarchists, everyone of us is convinced that civilized society cannot exist without a government. In a healthy nation there is a kind of dynamic balance between the will of the people and the government, which prevents its degeneration into tyranny.

It is obvious that the danger of such deterioration is more acute in a country in which the government has authority not only over the armed forces but also over all the channels of education and information as well as over the economic existence of every single citizen. I say this merely to indicate that socialism as such cannot be considered the solution to all social problems but merely as a framework within which such a solution is possible.

From: Einstein, Albert. Essays in Humanism. Philosophical Library/Open

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a long history of showing support for left-wing dictatorships around the world, …

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a long history of showing support for left-wing dictatorships around the world, but some thought he would steer clear of offering even qualified statements toward those regimes now that he’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
On Sunday night, though, Sanders made it clear that belief was misplaced.
Asked about his past backing of Fidel Castro’s communist government in Cuba during an interview with 60 Minutes, Sanders began by saying, “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” before adding, “but, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”
“When Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program,” he told journalist Anderson Cooper during the interview. “Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”

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