Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Albert Einstein on Private Concentrations of Wealth

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

Albert Einstein in his essay Why Socialism?

5 comments:

HispanicPundit said...

Albert Einstein on God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNqha5IK4xE

Just sayin.

Jon said...

Are you suggesting that the statements from Einstein in that video are unreasonable? Disregard Ray Comfort's commentary and his "in other words" translations. Do you think Einstein's statements are unreasonable? I don't.

Here's more reasonableness from Einstein.

http://bigwhiteogre.blogspot.com/2008/05/einstein-religions-are-childish.html

Reasonable people don't agree with Einstein on socialism. But it's interesting that today socialism is regarded as some sort of wicked, crazy system. That's an effect of intense propaganda in my view. His views, either never or barely expressed by the economists you regard highly, I think illustrates the effects of the filtering system we are subjected to.

You think I'm crazy from an economic perspective, right? How crazy can it be when it's shared by the most respected minds of old. Not just Einstein of course, but he's just one example.

HispanicPundit said...

I actually dont think socialism was that unreasonable in Albert Einsteins time. It was a theory that sounded good on paper. It hadn't actually been put into practice.

Advocating socialism now though is unreasonable. With history behind you, only the most stubborn radicals would still cling to their socialists beliefs.

Just think about it in terms of belief in God: belief in God in the middle ages probably was a reasonable belief. Belief in God now, probably not so much. History and experience has to account for something.

Charlie_Six said...

Einstein's socialist beliefs are constantly erased by the media when they present him as an American hero. Einstein won multiple "Person of the Century" awards from magazines like TIME and US News, but they ALL glossed over his socialist beliefs in order to fit their narrative. It was disgusting. They do the same with MLK Jr, too, who was a radical socialist as well. The media erases that and just props up the more politically correct racial views of MLK.

Good quote, I am thinking about using it at Occupy Oakland

James Trog said...

Albert Einstein, as is the case with modern celebrities, suffered from the conceit of thinking because he was good at one thing he was good at all things. And while basic economics is very easy to understand (Economic in One Lesson) most celebrities think it's beneath their dignity to make the effort to understand it. Then, sadly, the uneducated quote them as though they are truths.

Einstein thought of Economics as a science, similar to Physics. This is not the case. Economics is not a predictive science. The queen of England famously asked a gathering of economists why none of them had predicted the 2008 catastrophe. The answer, of course, is that Economics is incapable of prediction in the sense that Physics can predict a lunar eclipse decades in advance.

With such a failure to understand even the most basic tenets of Economics, nothing he says on the subject can be considered as being of much value, which is the reason he is famous as a physicist and ignored as an economist.