Or so say the socialists/so-called “progressives” – the nationalist and international socialists, the communists, the Tranzis, the fabians, the Chavezistas, and all the rest. Like the campaign promises of statist politicians, and the reports of the guvmint bureaucrats (probably starting about the time of Nimrod and the first Pharaohs). The same words, over and over.
And never fulfilled. Never!
Today, we once more have large numbers of people pushing for more and more socialism. And seemingly fewer and fewer people who understand that our current economic system (both here in the Fifty States and around the world) is far more socialist than not. Communism is just one of many forms of socialism which have been tried (and failed) around the world both in the past and today.
Socialism, in all its variants, is antithetical to humans. It runs counter to basic human instincts and traits. Not to say that there are not some humans – and many humans under bad circumstances – that might desire it. Humans have an instinctive will to physically SURVIVE – but some humans – under the wrong conditions – are willing and do either commit suicide or give up their life for someone or something. The fact that SOME people think like that does NOT mean that such an attitude is normal. Or should be accepted – much less promoted.
It is also clear, that limited forms of socialism CAN operate, and an economy CAN survive some socialism, often for a long time, and at great cost. Especially a great loss in prosperity and economic opportunity. Why? Because socialism requires government and very powerful government at that. And government is fundamentally inefficient: it wastes resources (and opportunities) in many ways.
Socialism is theoretically based on a good idea: it is good to share. Those who are better off can help those who are less fortunate. It is fine to teach and preach that those who are better off should help those who are in need. All the great religions and religious teachers of the world teach that we are to help the poor.
But socialism goes beyond that: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” sounds great. But there is a significant difference in forcing people to “do good” versus forcing people to not do bad things. Governments with socialism (or socialistic trends) ORDER people to help the poor and FORCE people to share – AND take their cut off the top.
Even voluntary experiments in socialism historically have failed sooner than later. But true believers never seem to give up. They are always willing to try again. On YOUR dime! (Or the odd billion here and there!) And in the meantime, they will use the present socialist systems (like government-run, tax-funded schools) to push socialism and expanding it.
There are, sadly, some people who will never been willing (or able) to understand the dangers of socialism. But it IS possible to teach people about the negative sides of socialism. That is something which all lovers of liberty need to do – especially to the younger generation (the 5-15 year old children).
For current promoters of socialism, a strong and often telling point made is that the present “capitalist” system is and has failed us. That the current economic system does not help the poor, makes the rich more rich, and limits opportunity. So we must reject capitalism for socialism.
There are two faults with this. First, what we have here in the Fifty States today is NOT really free-market capitalism. At best it is a mixed economy in which most of the “capitalist” side is crony capitalism. (Which at best is a mild form of fascism: a partnership between government and business – usually big business.) Second, no form of mandatory socialism has ever (at least for anything but a very short time) ended the disparities in economic status: there are still the very, very poor, and the very, very rich. And the “side effects” (which are really features) of socialism are horrible – and often deadly.
Again, we must teach these truths – especially to the young. But anyone willing to question their education and their teaching and listen is a good prospect for being converted to the wisdom of a free market and less (and less) government.