why socialism? why communism?

Whittaker Chambers posits, even argues, that the only two reasons that people, especially intellectuals, turn to communism is to solve either the problem of war and the problem of economic crisis. (Witness p. 191) There are, of course, natural tendencies of each individual that might make them more susceptable to choose communism as a solution, but generally, he sees these two quandries as why they go looking for the answers in communism for why they exist and how to end them.

Is this a plausible argument for what the draw is for central planning by the state?

As I read and reflect on Chambers’ experience and conclusions, some 50 years ago written, I cannot help but hear in my memory of more recent events arguments by certain persons that ‘the market has failed,’ that the ‘government should do something to help the economy,’ that it is ‘business’s fault’ for the recession. I don’t claim to know, but I would not be honest if I did not admit that they are claims remeniscent of those often made in the 1930s when Roosevelt’s left leaning braintrust was lexperimenting” with centralization, the economy, and collectivization, attacking business, in both the press and the courts.


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