The Niggling Little Miseries of American Marxism
We credit Thomas Edison in 1879 with creating the incandescent lightbulb. That bulb was made of glass enclosed platina wire contacts delivering electricity to a carbon filament within a vacuum tube.
By the time I was a child, many decades later, the thing had been perfected. And the joy of cozying up to a loved one before bed, in my pajamas in a cushy chair in the corner of the frontroom under the warm glow of the reading lamp’s incandescent lightbulb remains with me. One click of the four-position rotary switch and it came on. A second click and it got brighter. A third click and it got brighter yet. And a fourth click turned it off.
I suppose I’m not the only person with warm memories like that of incandescent bulbs.
Imagine the amount of work over those many decades that went into making that lightbulb the perfect warm glow. The right filament, the right proportion of silicon to soda in the glass, the right frosting on the bulb, the right mixture of gasses inside. A tungsten filament, low pressure inert argon, and kaolin clay electrostatically deposited in a powder layer on the interior of the bulb all came together in a modern marvel that the world knew nothing of just a century prior.
The first of those mass-produced lightbulbs may have taken ten or even one hundred million dollars to make and decades of work from thousands of scientists globally. The ones we bought were probably a dime a piece or maybe a quarter.
And then the environmentalists got a foothold in the executive branch, in Congress, and even in a few state legislatures, and the environmental movement, in a move that had nothing to do with the environment, came for those perfectly made lightbulbs.
In the name of saving a sliver of cost in a home electric bill, a toxic mercury-containing hunk of junk with a flimsy ballast on it was what we were all supposed to screw into our reading lamps. They cost a fortune, but were supposed to save bigly on energy, which never seemed to pan out.
The green-hued glow of the thing made everything around it feel like the dystopian future was here, and instead of the instantaneous lightbulb, that was so simple and quick you never had to think about it when you flicked the switch, you suddenly had a bulb that “warmed up” for its first two to eight minutes of use, and might even buzz, a detail you might not stop thinking about until you normalized the low standards that someone wanted to foist on you in this seemingly minor area of life.
They don’t work as well, they cost more, and they give people migraines.
The simple, elegant efficiency of the free market incandescent lightbulb was replaced by this hunk of bulk that evokes the notion of Dr. Frankenstein being given a pocket protector and a Department of Energy lab and asked to redesign the most awful looking fluorescent bulb for residential use that he could.
The things really suck.
If you’ve ever been to Slovakia or to Serbia or to Hungary or the Ukraine, post-communism, and you know the language well enough to pass for a local, you get a darn rude surprise. Many of the shopkeepers yell at you. Big grocery stores or little bodegas, you are sure to be barked at in at least half the encounters you have. In a communist economy, the customer is always wrong. He who controls the distribution of goods is always right.
That attitude trickled down through society from the domestic politburo, and their handlers in Moscow, all the way down the layers to the local shopkeeper who kep
Article from LewRockwell