It’s amusing that US citizens imagine themselves to be “free” whereas in reality the vast majority are wage serfs, a single paycheck away from financial disaster. Ten percent of the population lack health insurance and tens of millions more technically have it but can’t afford the co-pays and thus in reality have no health coverage worth discussing. The US education system is abysmal at primary and secondary level, turning out children who at age 18 are two years behind the average child in the rest of the OECD. US culture is not individualistic: US citizens are far more conformist than the typical European.

European-style socialism is merely the recognition that we owe a minimum of decency to each other and that people should not be allowed to fall off the edge of a cliff merely because of bad luck. The USA pretends that “if you work hard and are a good team player, you’ll be successful” but that’s a sham. Europe at least acknowledged that the deck is stacked from the outset and that, despite all one’s efforts, one may be unlucky. Think of all those hard working people whose entire industries are wiped out because of technological innovation. Do we just allow them to starve on the streets? In the USA the answer is an unequivocal “yes!” but in Europe a more humane, moral, and civilized ethos pertains.

Sure, Europe has many faults and no single country is perfect. But the USA is a hollow joke where people are routinely sacrificed in order that a tiny number of ultra-wealthy people can become even more wealthy. That’s not capitalism or individualism: it’s a perversion of the very basis of society and it’s profoundly unhealthy.

So, if it’s a choice between US disdain for the individual or European social care, give me the latter every time and spare me the absurd platitudes. Oh, and by the way, both Hayek (The Road to Serfdom, The Constitution of Liberty) and Popper (The Open Society and its Enemies) had far better arguments to proffer, yet were in the end mistaken in (ironically) a very similar way to Marx.

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