In Argentina, a state destroyed by socialism, President Barack Obama gave the same economic advice he apparently gave to Raul Castro in Cuba: “decide what works.” Obama, who has long been suspected of holding far more radical leftwing views than publicly portrayed, said during a visit to Argentina on Thursday that capitalism, socialism and other labels should be ignored.
“So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” President Obama. “Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property.”
The remarks were latest in a series of anti-capitalist comments made on his trip abroad that have been widely criticized. They were made in a country that is still suffering from the failed leftwing economic policies championed by Juan Perón. In 1946, when Perón came to power, Argentina was one of the 10-richest nations in the world. But Perón decided to conduct an experiment in statism, which The Economist recently noted made “its standing as one of the world’s most vibrant economies is a distant memory.”
But to an ideologue, data sets are irrelevant.
“Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it really fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works,” he added. “And I said this to President Castro in Cuba.”
Cuba, of course, hasn’t had any better luck with leftism. But sometimes the real cost of statism–whether it be socialism, fascism or communism–isn’t measurable. In the 20th century, alone, 262 million human beings were murdered by leftwing statist governments.