To mark the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Center for Public Choice and Market Process in the College of Charleston School of Business recently hosted two speakers to discuss the social and economic impacts of socialist economies as part of the center’s BB&T Speaker Series.

Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, travels the country to promote the foundation’s mission to educate current and future generations about the ideology, history and legacy of communism. Smith discussed the experiences of people who have been wronged by socialism over the past 100 years. His talk highlighted the historical records of socialist governments, which have historically led to the suppression of freedom of speech and religion as well as control by the government of national resources.

Paul Gregory, economics professor at University of Houston and research fellow at Hoover Institution (Stanford), also provided insights into the effects that socialism has on a nation’s economy.

CofC student Will McEwen, one of the center’s Market Process Scholars, found Gregory’s talk to be especially persuasive.

“There are a lot of academics and young people who have been swept up in the fallacy that a centrally planned command economy with ‘bright thinkers’ at the top could outgrow a capitalist economy,” McEwen said. “Far from it. In fact, Dr. Gregory pointed out and explained why these types of economies can’t even survive in the long run.”