Framing the Dialogue

Socialism (soh-shuh-liz-uhm)

Socialism is defined as:

Socialism 2“an economic system of government which advocates state ownership of the means of production with equal distribution of goods among the people.”

  • Socialist governments own the banks, car companies, farmlands, factories, and stores, and is the only employer and consequently owns the means of production.  The government controls all investments, production, distribution, income, and prices, as well as all organizations, schools, news media and formerly private societies.
  • Socialism is the antithesis of capitalism, opposes private ownership of capital or land, and rejects the free market in favor of central planning. 
  • As a political ideology based on the redistribution of wealth, socialism preaches the privileges of the many over the rights of the few, but in practice when socialist economic principles are forced onto a nation by a totalitarian government a new Upper Class appears which is much better off than the Lower Class.
  • The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.

Synonyms:  communism-lite, progressivism

Some notable quotes:

Pro-Socialism:

“Democracy is the road to socialism.”    [Note that the United States of America is NOT a democracy.  Our founders realized the danger of that form of government and established our country as a representative republic – we elect representatives to enact our wishes]

Karl Marx

Obama-Chavez-CastroI am convinced that the path to a new, better and possible world is not capitalism, the path is socialism.”

Hugo Chavez

“I think when you spread the wealth around, It’s good for everybody” [emphasis added]

Barack Hussein Obama

“They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?”

Fidel Castro

“The rise of National Socialism is the protest of a people against a State that denies the right to work.”  [emphasis added]

Gregor Strasser

Anti-socialism:

winston-churchill-290x3901“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Winston Churchill

“To pursue a so-called Third Way is foolish. We had our experience with this in the 1960s when we looked for a socialism with a human face. It did not work, and we must be explicit that we are not aiming for a more efficient version of a system that has failed.”

Vaclav Klaus [a True American Hero and leader of Czech Republic which until recently was under communist/socialist rule]

“socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy.

David Horowitz

“Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English.”

George Bernard Shaw

The New Deal is plainly an attempt to achieve a working socialism and avert a social collapse in America; it is extraordinarily parallel to the successive ‘policies’ and ‘Plans’ of the Russian experiment. Americans shirk the word ‘socialism’, but what else can one call it?”  [The current POTUS in the White House likens himself a new FDR]

H. G. Wells

 

The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.”

Norman Mailer

Can you use it in a sentence?

Current elected officials eschew the label of being socialists while continuing to ram through socialist policies.

Can you give me an example?

Example 1:  This is an example reprinted from The Turning Point, a publication of two soviet economists, from the Library of Economics and Liberty:

…to stimulate the production of gloves from moleskins, the Soviet government raised the price it was willing to pay for moleskins from twenty to fifty kopecks per pelt.  State purchases increased, and now all the distribution centers are filled with these pelts. Industry is unable to use them all, and they often rot in warehouses before they can be processed. The Ministry of Light Industry has already requested Goskomtsen [the State Committee on Prices] twice to lower prices, but “the question has not been decided” yet. This is not surprising. Its members are too busy to decide. They have no time: besides setting prices on these pelts, they have to keep track of another 24 million prices. And how can they possibly know how much to lower the price today, so they won’t have to raise it tomorrow?

This story speaks volumes about the problem of a centrally planned system. The crucial missing element is not so much “information,” as Mises and Hayek argued, as it is the motivation to act on information. After all, the inventories of moleskins did tell the planners that their production was at first too low and then too high. What was missing was the willingness—better yet, the necessity—to respond to the signals of changing inventories. A capitalist firm responds to changing prices because failure to do so will cause it to lose money. A socialist ministry ignores changing inventories because bureaucrats learn that doing something is more likely to get them in trouble than doing nothing, unless doing nothing results in absolute disaster.  [emphasis added]

Example 2:  This one is more of a quote that actually inspired this posting.  It juxtaposes socialism with other types of economic policies:

Socialism:  You have two cows – The government takes both cows and keeps the milk.  [or spread the mild around]

Communism:  You have two cows – The government takes both cows and shoots you.  [ever heard of Stalin?  How about how many people Stalin had murdered?]

New Dealism:  You have two cows – The government takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and throws the milk away.  [probably to increase milk prices]

Capitalism:  You have two cows – You trade one for a bull. 

Government-MototrsExample 3:  If you look back at the beginning of this posting it was noted that “Socialist governments own the banks, car companies, farmlands, factories, and stores, and is the only employer and consequently owns the means of production.  The government controls all investments, production, distribution, income, and prices, as well as all organizations, schools, news media and formerly private societies:”

 

Maybe this is really like that season of Dallas where J.R. was not really shot.  It is all just a dream, a really bad dream which Some folks call nightmares except that the experts at Pravda have called us out.

Or maybe we all just need to wake up and each wake up someone else and then each wake up someone else…

We Do Surround Them!

“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

Thomas Sowell

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