So What’s Wrong with Socialism?

 

wolves

 

“We have to say yes to socialism — to the word and everything.  We have to stop apologizing.”  

~ Jim Carrey, on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”

 

“Medicare for all, ending student debt, ….it seems like if there is maybe a shining spot in this Trump tragedy, it’s that it’s made the Democrats sort of rediscover who they are.”

~Bill Maher

 

The appetite for socialism is on the rise again in America.  “Democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders, once considered a marginalized, fringe player in U.S. politics, is now respected and revered by many inside one of this nation’s two major political parties.  Other “democratic socialists” like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are becoming rising stars in the Democrat Party as well.  When I read the comments following articles on Fox News about Ocasio-Cortez or on the subject of socialism in general, those in favor of socialism (a minority of readers at Fox, to be sure) typically answer the critics by pointing to the nation’s military or local police or fire fighters as positive examples of “socialism,” or they’ll talk about Social Security or Medicare or public schools.   With such a narrowly selective view of what it means to embrace socialism it’s no wonder people – particularly the young – are mystified by the critics.  So it’s time – yet again – to get some clarity on what socialism actually is and what’s wrong with it.

Socialism, per Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is defined as follows:

“Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

Let me repeat:  “…governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

That goes a tad bit beyond military, police and fire protection, or even Social Security, wouldn’t you say?  I’d like to point out the irony of this nation’s Left, so often critical of our military and police, using these services as their shining examples of socialism.  Now, I know that “democratic socialists” like Bernie Sanders attempt to distinguish socialism from “democratic socialism” by supposedly drawing the line at having government take physical control of the means of production; but when their plan is to tax the pants off of the producers to finance their socialist agenda, they are – for all practical purposes – making government the de facto owner of the means of production, correct?  Still, socialism apologists will read this with wide eyes and ask, “Gee, what’s wrong with that?  What’s wrong with sharing the wealth and making things more equal for everyone? What’s wrong with ‘social safety nets’ like Social Security and Medicare?”

This is where, as a critic, I’m supposed to point to the predictable human tragedy unfolding in Venezuela, where socialism was working just great until it wasn’t and now people are struggling just to survive.  Or I’m supposed to point to America’s national debt, now $22 TRILLION and rapidly climbing, and the prospect of an unimaginable catastrophe of our own when the bill for our “social safety nets” finally comes due (don’t worry, it’ll probably only happen to your children).  Or I’m supposed to give you a crash course in simple economics or human nature in the hopes that people will finally get it.  Or maybe I should talk about the dismal state of our public schools and how the Left has used the socialist nature of our education system to take almost complete control of it.  Sorry to disappoint you but I’m not here to argue the obvious flaws of socialism.  There’s no point in bothering the socialists with the realities of economics or human nature.  They just cover their eyes and refuse to see it.

What’s wrong with socialism, “democratic” or otherwise, is that it is a complete contradiction to the notion of individual freedom that this nation was founded upon and that is supposed to be protected by our Constitution.  Maybe, just maybe, that’s why the Kavanaugh fight was so bitterly fought by the Democrats. 

Go back and read Merriam-Webster’s definition of “socialism,” or research the rhetoric from people like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and take note that the word “voluntary” is conspicuously missing from that definition and from the Left’s passionate speeches.  That’s why “socialism” is a dirty word to those who read between the lines and truly comprehend the implications of it.  Socialism – democratic or otherwise – is forced wealth transfer, also known as “theft.”   When Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez excite their cheering crowds with their schemes for imposing socialism on this nation, people are actually cheering at the prospect of being able to legally steal from their fellow citizens.  Nice, eh?  To make it more palatable and side-step the sound logic against it the Left cunningly inserted the word “democratic” in front of “socialism” because changing the names of things that we rightfully associate with evil is what they always do.  “Democracy” – and the notion of voting – attaches positive feelings to something that amounts to the proverbial “two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner,” as so brilliantly put by the eternally wise Benjamin Franklin.  Unfortunately community organizers like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are trying to supplant their own version of wisdom for that of Benjamin Franklin’s and all of the Founders who sought to preserve individual liberty.

There are times when it makes sense for us to do things as a unit, the military being the prime example which is why it is expressly provided for in the Constitution.  If and when our nation comes under attack or needs to assert itself militarily, what moron would argue that this can be done on an individual level?  But what excuse, other than wanting someone else to pay your bills, is there for socializing healthcare, retirement or a college education?  All of these things are attainable on an individual level as evidenced by the fact that people have been doing so for centuries.  There is no practical imperative that justifies depriving citizens of their freedom for such things.

The biggest rub of all when it comes to the Left’s attempts to turn us into a might-makes-right socialist nation is that they could have as much voluntary socialism as they want.  Nothing is stopping Bernie Sanders and his followers from pooling their resources for healthcare, retirement and higher education or anything else they want to socialize on their own.  They don’t need to persuade us to exercise that kind of freedom.  They could start tomorrow if they wanted to.  The problem is, they want our money and they want the power to control these things for everyone, as they do with public education; consequently our freedom to say “NO” is very annoying to them.

Margret Thatcher’s famous quote, “Socialism is fine until you run out of other people’s money,” is often invoked as the simplest explanation for what’s wrong with socialism, but it is perhaps a bit too simple as it doesn’t fully capture her feelings towards socialism as well as this quote from Stephen Pollard for his  book review of Claire Berlinski’s “There Is No Alternative’: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters,” in which he wrote:

“[Berlinski} is quite right, for example, to stress that Thatcher’s crusade against socialism was not merely about economic efficiency and prosperity but that above all, ‘it was that socialism itself—in all its incarnations, wherever and however it was applied—was morally corrupting.’”

“Morally corrupting.”  Yep, I think that says it well.

As for Jim Carrey and his call for us to “say yes to socialism,” this is precisely what we might expect from someone who makes his living talking out of his ass.

Say NO to socialism.

~CW



Categories: Political

19 replies

  1. You’re right CW, socialism is not the principles our country was founded upon. Socialism violates natural law, natural law fundamental rights, and social contract theory. Socialism violates the Constitution and it violates precedent. There has been one silent coup d’ tat after another in American history changing the Constitution from a Republic to a Democracy, then from a Democracy to Social Justice and Political Correctness rule, and now from Social Justice to Socialism. None of this represents the principles in the Constitution, the Northwest Ordinance, the Bill of Rights, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Calder v. Bull, Corfield v. Coryell, or Meyer v. Nebraska. And Kavanaugh will allow the progression to continue. Progressives have been winning. In fact, socialism is really no different than what the Court decided in Dredd Scott v. Sanford in 1857: It is okay to violate the rights of some at the expense of others. What ever happened to “all men are created equal”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your great comment, Patrick. You put it very well when you said socialism violates our natural rights. The neo-socialists either don’t get that, or they are so lacking in conscience that they just don’t care. I suspect it’s the latter.

      You made a very interesting remark about Kavanaugh indicating that you see him as a progressive, if I understood correctly. I hope he’s not but he worries me.

      Like

      • He is not a progressive, but he believes in precedent. We cannot get our country back if bad precedent is not overruled. If precedent drives future decisions it will continue to push our country left regardless his ideology. During the FDR years progressives had no problem overruling precedent however conservatives are afraid to undo FDR precedent. By failing to do so, they have reinforced decisions such as Wickard v. Filburn for instance. In Wickard the Court upheld the AAA and said the government could control how much a farmer grows including to feed his family and livestock. That decision was reinforced in Raich v. United States and Morrison v. United States. Actually, I believe Wickard could be used to outlaw Roe v. Wade, but that is a long conversation. I think instead of reinforcing bad precedent the Court should be using the precedent against liberal ideals and philosophies to show them how stupid and unworkable their decisions are. I have studied Con Law the past two years. I have been writing a book about what I learned. I have drawn some different conclusions from what i believed in the past that folks would not like, but it fits my hypothesis. I have a pretty good draft complete, but it is going slow trying to care for family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “We cannot get our country back if bad precedent is not overruled.”

        Amen to that. I totally agree. The notion that we must continue to uphold unconstitutional rulings boggles the mind.

        Congratulations on your book efforts, and I hope things improve on the family front.

        Like

  2. Good post.

    Socialism is the easy lead into totalitarianism and death. It might be slow and at other times it might go fast but the result is always the same.

    I looked up the CATO information on Jamestown. We do have a real life situation in America on socilism. Jamestown failed (almost) due to socialism.

    ‘Understandably, men who don’t benefit from their hard work tend not to work very hard.’

    People expected to labor and combine their harvests for everyone. But some didn’t work. They starved. And it wasn’t til they were given their own land to be responsible for that they were successful.

    Alas!!! CAPITALISM!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another aspect of socialism that’s rarely mentioned is that it’s a system that denies the reality of human nature.

    People aren’t ants or bees, which are creatures genetically programmed to perform certain tasks without any regard for the consequences to themselves as individuals.

    In contrast, humans do things to advance their own interests, particularly when it comes to performing tasks of labor. Nobody’s going to go out and dig ditches all day just for the fun of it. Yet those ditches still need to be dug.

    This inevitably leads to the imposition of a caste system of “bosses” and “laborers” because there has to be some method of forcing someone to dig those ditches.

    It also inevitably leads to mediocrity (at best) of production. Since the “laborer” isn’t going to realize any benefit from doing anything more than the absolute minimum required to keep the “bosses” off his back — “socialism” requires “equality” in the distribution of those benefits, after all — that’s all he’s going to provide: minimum effort.

    We see this borne out empirically in the historical record. Even contemporary “social democracies” that leftists constantly point to as being successes, such as the Scandinavian countries, graphically illustrate this truth. They haven’t yet collapsed, nor have they devolved into tyrannies, but neither are they innovative or particularly productive, and the people who live there accept a lower standard of living (compared to this country) as their norm. I know; I’ve been to those countries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re absolutely right, Brian. No rational, honest person could argue with that logic or with the history, and yet the Left either dismisses or ignores both, which leads me to only one possible conclusion: the Left is either irrational or dishonest. And you can’t reason with someone who is irrational or dishonest. You simply have to say NO, and stand your ground.

      I fear that the years of answering calls for socialism with logic and debate have only emboldened what is, IMO, an illegal attempt to deprive Americans of their property and liberty. We do not entertain arguments in support of things like murder, rape or robbery; yet when it comes to socialism and proposals that would likewise deprive of us of our property and liberty, we are constantly arguing for our rights as if they don’t exist. This is the consequence of having ignored the Constitution and opened the door with Social Security and Medicare, thanks to leftists like FDR and LBJ. The Left now believes they are perfectly entitled to whatever we own, if they can simply get enough people on their side to make it happen.

      So I’m tire of arguing and debating with them to protect what’s mine. The trampling of the Constitution to enact Social Security and Medicare is not a license for the Left to take whatever they want. That’s my stance and it doesn’t matter to me whether THEY think socialism makes sense or even if they come back with examples of how swell it “works” in Sweden or wherever. We shouldn’t have to justify our decision to not take part. We should have the freedom, under the Constitution, to just say NO.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t go to Vietnam to support communism.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “…they want the power to control these things for everyone…”

    They being the Dems, and primarily Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders, assume that they’d be in charge of things if socialism was implemented. If Donald Trump or any Republican were to implement it, they’d go bonkers. You’d see more riots and chaos in the streets than has ever been before.

    Another one of the arguments against socialism is telling the story of how the Pilgrims tried it and it failed. The whole ‘share the wealth’ thing crumbled because only half of the colony were workers and the other half were loafers, so ultimately they shared the poverty.

    Their failures is what brought about the capitalist methods we still use today. If kids were learning about this in high school, they’d know it won’t work. They would also learn why we have a constitutional republic instead of a king.

    Great piece, CW.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kathy.

      There’s no question that the Left assumes they’d be in control, just as they’ve managed to get control over the public school system, the unions, the media, AARP, the AMA, the ABA, and just about every organization that begins as ostensibly non-partisan. That’s the nature of the beast.

      I agree with you. In theory, the story of how the first settlers starved in Jamestown as a consequence of their communistic rules and how this was quickly remedied by allowing people to take full ownership of what they produced ought to be sufficiently compelling to learn about; but the reality is that we have people like Bernie Sanders who undoubtedly learned this history in school, just as we did, and yet he is unphased, just as he and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are unphased by the current failure of socialism playing out right now in Venezuela. Foolish people, old and young, prove how futile it is to reason with arrogant leftists who know so much that isn’t true. This is why I think conservatives would be better served by changing our tactics and telling the Bernies of the world that they can have all the socialism they want as long as it’s VOLUNTARY. Ultimately we are defending our freedom.

      Like

  6. What about Cuba and North Korea? They should be mentioned as failures

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Many leftists don’t consider Cuba to be a failure by their standards, which is why I put that argument aside. It doesn’t matter whether socialism “works” or not, it should be each citizen’s choice to decide whether or not they want to participate. If choice isn’t an option, then you’re not living in a free country.

      Like

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