Socialism cannot work. Socialism is not Righteous.
I’m not saying it doesn’t work. That would imply that there are some tweaks and changes that could be made that would make it work. It cannot work.
First we have to define what it is. It isn’t exactly easy to define though. People seem to have different ideas of that. The standard meaning is this.
“A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”
If you ask Marx then it’s just transition. “(in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.”
Communism is, “a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.”
So if you are a Marxist the ultimate goal of socialism is the overthrow of capitalism on the way to communism. It’s just a transition. Socialism and communism have been tried before. Some have modified forms that don’t go all the way. Don’t be fooled by movement in degrees. The same concepts are still at play.
One of the most notable examples of course is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR the head of which was Russia.
“Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, had been in charge of the country since 1917. In a chilling disregard for the suffering of his fellow countrymen he instructed food to be seized from the poor.
Lenin’s Bolsheviks party believed peasants were actively trying to undermine the war effort and by taking their food away it reduced their strength.”
When the “community” (think State) owns everything then it is not hard to conceive of a time they can take everything away. They can hold back food, electricity, housing, anything really. They don’t need to kill you outright; they create conditions likely to do it for them. For them socialism was death. I propose that for us, metaphorically and often literally, socialism is death.
Nazis were socialists too but not the worst.
We often think of Nazis as the worst. They were bad. They too were socialists by the way. The name Nazi is short for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, which in English translates to “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”. I run into very few people who are aware of that. But Hitler was the Bernie Sanders of his day. That’s not a shocking comparison either. Of course the Bernie supporters will write entire articles on how that’s a silly comparison. While the outcome of the belief system may be different the number of shared beliefs supports a comparison. Bernie isn’t the next Hitler in terms of killing Jews and invading Canada, but socialism is what it is and by necessity of the ideology they believed so many of the same things.
The Nazis are believed to have killed 25 million non-combatants. That is nothing when compared to communism proper. 94 million killed in the USSR alone. 65 million in China. Communism is a deadly ideology (20th Century Deaths).
You may say, “but that’s communism, not socialism! Socialism is awesome. Go Bernie!”
Well…no. Remember that socialism is that transitional state required before communism can be achieved. The soviets never achieved it. They never got out of that phase where the state owns everything and into that phase where the community does. Neither did Cuba, by the way. Neither has China. Neither has North Korea.
One of the latest and most modern examples is Venezuela and President Hugo Chavez with his United Socialist Party. We all know from watching the news the very real crisis taking place in that country. Inflation is so high that a wagon load of money is needed to pay for a loaf of bread. According to the International Monetary Fund inflation is expected to reach an incredible 1,660%. Think of that for a moment. Let’s say that a loaf of bread cost you just $1.00. That means it now costs $1,661.
It is believed that, “… the government’s mismanagement and its socialist policies have led to the spiralling inflation, food shortages, lack of medical supplies, and power cuts Venezuelans have to endure.”(BBC)
In a very real way this is the result of putting all your eggs in one basket as it were. Venezuela’s export revenue is largely from oil. Estimates put the number at 95%. Because the government took over and used this oil money to pay for social programs all over the country when those revenues dropped the government could no longer pay for the programs. People had come to rely on the government and those programs for their sustenance. Suddenly the rug was pulled out from under them.
One of my favorite Ayn Rand quotes is, which you will hear me repeat ad nauseum I admit but which is still most effective is, “There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”
She got into more detail on this subject and wrote:
There is no difference between the principles, policies and practical results of socialism—and those of any historical or prehistorical tyranny. Socialism is merely democratic absolute monarchy—that is, a system of absolutism without a fixed head, open to seizure of power by all corners, by any ruthless climber, opportunist, adventurer, demagogue or thug.
When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.” No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the “right” to “redistribute” the wealth produced by others is claiming the “right” to treat human beings as chattel.
That idea of property rights might be new to some or at least something they haven’t yet made a connection to.
Capitalism is the only moral choice
Boy do we hear a lot about the ills of capitalism. This is because under it some people are poor and always will be and there are only two ways the system provides for them to get out of poverty. Either someone shows them charity and willingly gives them assistance. Which happens to the tune of $358.38 Billion annually in the United States. No government needed, just those greedy capitalists un-clinching their tight fists from their ill-gotten dollars. The second method is to earn more. That’s it. There are a million reasons why people don’t earn more. But the point of a free market system is that within it they have the greatest number of chances to succeed in some way or the other. But you are in charge of how you use your labor and your property.
What about greed?
Greed, I argue, doesn’t exist, or better yet, no one can know of its existence in another human being without being explicitly told by that human being that it exists. It is defined as, “Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.” How do you know I am being greedy? You may look and see me desiring something but how do you know my desire is intense? How on earth do you know that it is selfish?
We hear so much about greedy corporations. There’s even a mattress making firm that uses the this to sell their product, “mattress companies are greedy.” No…no they aren’t! Fist off, they can’t be because they are companies which aren’t alive. Companies often get anthropomorphized by the left but I can assure you, they aren’t alive. But companies are led by humans, and humans have a vested interest in them. Who? You. Me. Your neighbor. If you have a 401.K you own stock in a company and likely many other retirement or investment plans you are part of gives you stock in multiple companies. Or perhaps you work for a company. If you work for greedy Wal-Mart you likely own stock in it. They have a stock program for employees that allows them to buy into the company they work for and get bonuses from this.
You aren’t greedy for going to work each day and earning money and keeping that money and using that money. It’s your labor and your property. No one else has a right to it. If you want to share you should. Under capitalism you get to decide that. As a culture we clearly teach that this is a good thing for you to do. We give billions. Among those billions you will likely find the widows mite as well. It is not charity when someone forces you to give. The left acts like they are doing something righteous and noble when they take your money away and give it to someone else because they have decided on your behalf that you don’t need it. You’re greedy. Are you really selfish? You don’t feel selfish I bet. If you do, then I also bet you give some to charity so you don’t feel selfish anymore. Good for you. That’s charity. That’s your moral compass working.
Don’t ever look at your neighbor and decide that they need to give more. Don’t ever try to look into their heart and determine if they are greedy. You don’t have the psychic power to do that. And for heaven’s sake don’t ever decide that you have the right to take their money and give it away to someone else using the justification that they should be doing it anyway.
If you like socialism, if you like government programs that give money away, don’t ask where that money comes from, rather ask what gives you the right to take it.
This story contains graphic images likely to disturb you.
Photos from the Russian famine in the early 1920s show a couple selling human body parts as meat at a market and children suffering with sever malnutrition. WARNING: Distressing images.