This Is What The Super-Adventure Club Actually Believes

Last month PragerU posted a poll to the far-left cesspool of Twitter asking if private property was moral. Since Twitter routinely censors and deplatforms conservatives, and leftists are susceptible to mob-inspired groupthink, the poll voted against the ownership of private property.

One of the defenses that was posted was this picture based on what should be easily discredited claptrap, if only actual economics was taught in high schools.

Martok thought it was a joke, some sort of parody, when he first shared me this link. Strangely enough, it's not. They actually think this is an argument.

For those who might not have learned this (again smallest amount of) economics, this is a failed Marxist-inspired theory: the toothbrush idea (since the device itself was unknown, as it happens, to Marx) comes from Carl Gustav Rosberg. Naturally, the problem is that Rosberg and other socialists seem to think that the state of the world as it is could be created equally capable by a non-capitalist system.

Let's look at Rosberg's toothbrush. Apparently under this ideal socialism I'm "allowed" to keep my toothbrush (how nice of you). But my toothbrush will eventually wear out. How do I get a replacement? Can I replace it with one of those nice Phillips Soniccare ones (that ironically Martok actually uses and was extolling its virtues to me at the bar a couple weeks ago)? Or maybe I'll settle for a regular one. But can I buy one with the "fruits of my labour"? From whom? Will a government run supply chain be able to figure out how many of both types of toothbrushes to make? Will a factory be able to run with workers who may not wish to work there when apparently they are guaranteed a home and an income and a toothbrush of their own?

The toothbrush has been popular enough that free market advocates have been routinely making fun of it by asking questions like "am I allowed to start a business cleaning toilets with my toothbrush?" and other basic questions about the extension of "personal" property to use it in a way the person sees fit that "the state" may not. In fact, Objectivists have ridiculed the toothbrush thing enough that less-read socialists themselves think it was advocates for capitalism that came up with it in the first place.

These are the basic questions that helped Marxism be completely obliterated in the field of economics. Who gets to decide where this line between "private" and "public" property is drawn? Can people choose to earn an income without doing their own "working" in the Marxist sense? If my skill is in coordinating a large number of factory workers can I earn the "fruits of my labour" by telling other workers in the toothbrush factory what to do? What if my skill is in figuring out that consumers in the next 16-30 months are going to prefer blue-handled toothbrushes instead of red-handled toothbrushes? How do I earn money from the fruits of this labour (which has real value to the world of toothbrush manufacturing) when there's no incentive for socialist-owned toothbrush manufacturers to hire me to provide it? After all, toothbrushes are used by almost everybody but only the government-run facilities are allowed to make them, so the government doesn't really care if the toothbrushes they make are red or blue. So if 75% of the toothbrush-buying public wants a blue toothbrush and the government makes a 50-50 red-blue split, which 25% of the population gets a toothbrush they don't want? Or do we overproduce and keep the split and double the number of toothbrushes, then have to warehouse half our red toothbrush output...but do we know not to make fewer red toothbrushes next year and not fall into this pattern?

So now we have people not getting the personal property they want, and there's no incentive to reward the people who could correct this. Don't you wish you could own a toothbrush factory and start showing these idiots how it could be done? Again there's a real-world value in that role: the private/personal property morons don't even see it. There's also a real value in places like Dollar Tree who purchase en masse those surplus toothbrushes and sell them at huge discounts: without them being allowed to open stores and make profits people don't get a chance to decide that those red toothbrushes they don't want are more attractive at huge discounts. In a world where government gives you a toothbrush you want the one you want: in a world of capitalism where there's no line between personal and private property the toothbrush you want isn't a fixed concept because it's balanced by the price you pay and the tradeoffs you make. "I'll give you a toothbrush do you want red or blue" is an easy question, each person makes their own decision. "Will you pay $0.25 more for a blue toothbrush" isn't a question red toothbrush fans would even answer: but a number of blue toothbrush fans will say yes and another number will say no. Complicating this further is that when you change the price to different numbers you'll get different proportions of yes and no answers. Complicating this even further is that when you ask the same "will you pay $0.25 more for a blue toothbrush" you might get different answers from the same people on different days.

Martok pointed out another minor problem with this world they want us living in: the person who fucking invented the toothbrush doesn't get rewarded for his ingenuity either. You might scoff at this concept regarding a regular toothbrush but that Soniccare I mentioned earlier was relatively recently invention (David Giuliani, 1987). It has a real world value, but in a world of personal but not private property it probably wouldn't exist. How would Giuliani obtain the resources in this world to build a piezoelectric multimorph transducer? Why would he do so when those resources suddenly wouldn't belong to him: even if he was able to meek out that much "personal" property the moment he tries to sell the toothbrush it becomes "private" and is taken away from him? The standard Marxist claim is that government scientists would come up with this, but why would the government want a new more expensive toothbrush that might mean nobody wants those blue and red handled ones that are already causing them endless grief?

Incentives exist. They goes back to the invention of fire long before economics or "capitalism" or Marxism ever existed. Communism or socialism or Gustovism or whatever you decide to call this backwards thinking ultimately fails. Who built your personal domicile? You're apparently given one by the government whether you built it or not, which means that you aren't interested in building one: that's a lot of work and you don't get anything extra for doing so. Everybody else in the country does the same calculus though and suddenly nobody is building domiciles, or toothbrushes. You're supposedly allowed to keep the fruits of your labour but you're also "guaranteed" things: that's the whole point of the utopia nonsense they're selling. In the end the only part of the chart you actually get is the land you're on to cultivate: but even then nonrural people apparently still get food.

Which is how this system ends up working in practice: you still have to go to a job you don't like, only in this system you don't even get to pick the job. But then they have to force you to put in a hard day's work: without the promise of being able to do something productive with the so-called "fruits of your labour" the only motivation becomes fear of the gulag. They want me to trade my private property for this system?

No thanks.