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Was the Inca Empire a successful example of socialism?

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As socialists pivot from one failed example of socialism to the next failed example of socialism to the welfare state that decries claims of socialism, perhaps we should prepare ourselves for when the socialist reach the bottom of the barrel with examples of the collective ideology’s past successes. And before you say, “well that’s silly, there’s no way a pre-French enlightenment civilization could have practiced a successful form a socialism, sufficient enough to use as an example by the left” consider the fact that a French academic by the name of Louis Boudan penned an extensive treatise entitled “A Socialist Empire: The Incas of Peru” in 1962.

Now, this work does not appear to be an endorsement of communism, though the author seems to have a vested interest in the using the “no true Scotsman” fallacy given that this was written post World War 2 and in the Cold War with regards to true socialism. However, the very title, provocatively named, is certainly a sign that the political Left in contemporary times could refer to the Inca as a successful example of socialism, that only fell by the technologically advantaged Spaniards. But Louis Boudan is not the only one who has made this comparison, leaving us wondering why the Left has not seized on the Inca who seem to have had a more successful run than any contemporary Marxist regime. The likeliest reason that that Inca are not used as an example of successful socialism is likely that the proponents of socialism, to be blunt, are not historically informed. Still, this is a foreseeable argument in the imminent future and we best know what we are talking about when it inevitably comes because when the Left popularizes an example of alleged socialism practiced by non-whites they will pounce, but until then we await a Vox video.

The Inca Empire could prove to be the only example of socialism that did not self collapse, other than the Catalonia socialism which lasted only three years. But of course, all of this is conditional on the premise of whether or not the Inca Empire was truly socialist country. Perhaps it would be best to grant the Left that premise. Even if the Inca were a socialist empire, the ensuing result was a constant need for war, which is a commonality with the Stalinist ideology. Kings and Generals does a good job breaking down the Inca society for the laymen to understand. Key points discussed in the video are:

  • The Inca were highly adapted to their living environment with regards to agriculture, construction, and irrigation
  • The Inca had what appears to be a welfare state
  • The Inca worshiped their dead
  • The “corporations” of dead bodies accumulated disproportionate amount of wealth
  • The wealth belonging to the dead bodies necessitated the Emperors accumulating wealth of their own through war. This cycle repeats.

As you can see, there were multiple flaws in the Inca society that had a trajectory of collapse because of the pyramid scheme the system creates for its ruling class. The inevitable demise was expedited by the Spaniards. But going back to the foundational premise as to whether the Inca were socialist or not, the contrasts are enough to fail a purity test; had there been an organic collapse, the modern socialist would deny this as true socialism. It’s a never ending fallacy, though the dead corporate estates of the Inca goes against everything socialist preach. However, as human history has shown, socialism has always led to the personal enrichment of those in the innermost circles of power. Socialist or not? You decide, but be prepared to argue that the Inca were not a successful example of socialism.

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