Socialism, the problem
There are many issues with Marxist-Socialism and I will not go into all of them. The great quote by Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with Socialism is that at some point we run out of other people’s money” while poignant is symptomatic of deeper issues.
The real problem is much more fundamental. The human species operates primarily based on our DNA’s ability to determine what makes people look like, think, act, and function the way we do. If you go back to the very beginnings of civilization you will notice that, at some point humans started to live in larger groups, primarily out of convenience and efficiency.
Coinciding with this, humans gave up hunting and gathering for the efficiency of farming and manufacturing. During those early times, one person began to make weapons or grow barley, which they made mildly alcoholic barley water, or whatever. Others saw these more functional items and said, “I see you have a cool knife, I’d like one of those knives for myself.” They turned to the guy who made the better knife and said, “I’ll give you something of value in exchange for one of those knives.” Therefore, the market place was born. That is the beginning of Capitalism. It was also the beginning of civilization.
The marketplace is deeply embedded in our psyche, in our culture, and in our DNA. It forms the basis of human interaction. No organization needs to encourage people to exchange things of value in order to satisfy their needs, wants, and desires. It happens naturally.
Socialism refuses to acknowledge or recognize this basic aspect of human nature. Socialists cannot bring themselves to believe that the marketplace responding to the needs, wants, and desires of human beings is that unique mechanism that has shaped all human interaction.
The marketplace created civilization. It created the orderly and civil interaction between people seeking to satisfy deep needs and desires through the exchange of products and services for items or tokens of similar value.
Out of the marketplace came the very best of human ingenuity. Every innovation in every area of life emerged as a result of the marketplace fostering creativity, ingenuity, and innovation. If you prevent the marketplace from functioning, innovation, creativity, and ingenuity will cease. We only need to look at Socialist countries where the State owns a key industry and see how inefficient it is.
By not grasping the idea that the market is a basic component of human nature Socialism starts out on the wrong foot. By completely misunderstanding human nature it is impossible for Socialism to ever build a successful pattern for human activity. Socialism postulates that human beings are not essentially market driven but are instead motivated by a spirit of cooperation and a desire to subjugate individual needs and desires to the group. Socialism says that human beings have a natural propensity to satisfy needs and desires of others based on the inherent goodness and altruism of humans towards one another. This is a false premise.
Socialism contends that humans are motivated by a desire to share equally with one another and are inclined to submit to a system that regulates that egalitarian sharing. Socialists further believe that social factors and the inherent evils of the marketplace have conspired to discourage us from naturally migrating to that egalitarian, altruistic, and collective way of thinking. They believe that the marketplace is responsible for all of civilizations evils, everything from wars, religions, even epidemics can ultimately be traced back to human infatuation with the marketplace.
Socialists often talk about creating a level playing field. What they mean by this is finding the lowest common denominator of human needs and wants and requiring everyone to play (function) at that level. Trying to create greater wealth or accumulate more than others is counterproductive. It will only lead to strife and envy.
When one person accumulates greater wealth those who don’t have as much (the downtrodden), Socialist contend that the downtrodden should be given some of what the wealthy person has accumulated. This is called wealth re-distribution. Socialists believe that this wealth re-distribution is good for the society.
The reality is that it is giving into a base human trait; envy. Envy leads to jealousy and eventually to violence. If the wealthy won’t willingly part with their wealth the downtrodden masses must take it forcefully. Ill-gotten gain is hollow. Taking something from someone else, someone who has worked hard to get it is a form of theft. The idea of taking something you didn’t work for from someone who did violates the very foundation of human nature and jeopardizes the ultimate success of civilization. Collective sanctioned thievery is the hallmark of Socialism.
In reality the marketplace naturally creates an opportunity for anyone to accumulate wealth for themselves. The purpose of wealth is not to beat the downtrodden but to satisfy our needs, wants, and desires. Capitalism is designed to create wealth for the greatest number of people. This is real common good, the ability to satisfy needs, wants, and desires for the greatest number of people.
Socialists reject this idea. They see wealth opportunity as an evil. It must be expunged from the minds of human beings. Socialists contend that people must be “encouraged” to abandon the marketplace through social engineering. Socialist institutional systems must arise that will generate this new and better cultural norm. Schools, the family, the government all must cooperate to instill this new way of thinking into the hearts and minds of citizens. This economic philosophy is called State-ism or centralized economic planning.
The State represents the highest order. The State is managed for the good of us all by experts. These experts are economically enlightened and are highly intelligent. This group of specialized ruling elite is called an oligarchy.
The concepts of individual liberty and personal freedom are viewed as impediments to Statist approach. Socialists contend that individual liberties and personal freedoms must always be subjugated to the more enlightened centralized system and Socialist policies of the oligarchy.
When people object to the centralized planning of the oligarchy and pursue the marketplace they must be restrained and reconditioned until they see the light. Eventually everyone will relinquish their desire for individual freedom and personal liberty and all the people will live happily together, sharing, cooperating, and willingly submitting to the State.
Do you see the difference? Humans are naturally market focused but must be coerced to be Socialists. Socialism never happens naturally. There is no genetic pre-disposition to desire Socialism.
Whenever you try to force someone to do that which they aren’t naturally inclined to do you run into problems. That is why Marxist-Socialism and Communism have never succeeded. It is why the various Utopian communities throughout the world always fail. The idea of giving up personal freedom and individual liberty for the so-called common good can never succeed. That’s because there is no such thing as the common good. The common good always degenerates into the common bad.
The founding fathers referred to The Common Good in their writings as the purpose of Government. Most of the founding fathers understood that liberty and government don’t always go hand in hand. However, the Government must protect the people from attacks both domestic and foreign. The government exists to provide a stable platform for the nation to function.
They referred to this stability as the common good. The founding fathers envisioned the least government possible to keep the nation stable and operational. That is why they wrote the Tenth amendment, powers not specifically stated in the Constitution go to the states. They intended for the greatest power and authority to be held and exercised by the individual citizens. The greatest governmental power was to be held by the smallest and most localized governmental institution, that being town councils and local, democratically elected officials.
Beyond that, the next level up of governmental entity was to be held by the individual states. Some try to extrapolate Stat-ism from a very broad definition of the common good but that was never the intention of the founding fathers. Remember, they had just emerged from the evils of an oppressive government so they wanted to create something as far away from that as possible.
When a political or economic system can only be widely adopted at the point of a gun you know the system is inherently wrong. That is the case with Marxit-Socialism. It sounds good, it sounds like it should work and make the world better but when you try to institute it human nature gets in the way.
Humans are so deeply motivated by the desire to be free and participate in the market that they naturally resist Socialism’s best (or worst) efforts. Humans always go back to what they do best, freely exchanging goods and services for items of similar value.
Economists refer to that idea as Capitalism, the free and equitable exchange of goods and services for capital. As people began to accumulate capital their lives changed dramatically. Capitalism is the single greatest social welfare program in the history of the world. More people have been delivered from poverty through Capitalism and a free-market than any other social invention. All the well - intentioned government programs designed to eradicate poverty and create upward mobility pale in comparison to the positive impact of capitalism.