Skip to comments.Why Socialism Is on the Rise
Posted on 01/08/2014 2:43:48 AM PST by markomalley
It took capitalism half a century to come back from the Great Depression. Its taken socialism half that time to come back from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In New York City, avowed socialist Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that his goal is to take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities the gap between rich and poor. In Seattle, newly elected socialist city Councilmember Kshama Sawant addressed supporters, explaining, I wear the badge of socialist with honor. To great acclaim from the left, columnist Jesse Myerson of Rolling Stone put out a column telling millennials that they ought to fight for government-guaranteed employment, a universal basic income, collectivization of private property, nationalization of private assets and public banks.
The newly flowering buds of Marxism no longer reside on the fringes. Not when the president of the United States has declared fighting income inequality his chief task as commander in chief. Not when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said that America faces no greater challenge than income disparity. Not when MSNBC, The New York Times and the amalgamated pro-Obama media outlets have all declared their mission for 2014 a campaign against rich people.
Less than 20 years ago, former President Bill Clinton, facing reelection, declared the era of big government over. By 2011, Clinton reversed himself, declaring that it was governments role to give people the tools and create the conditions to make the most of our lives.
So what happened?
Capitalism failed to make a case for itself. Back in 1998, shortly after the world seemed to reach a consensus on the ineffectiveness of socialist schemes, economists Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw wrote that the free market required something beyond mere success: It required legitimacy. But, said Yergin and Stanislaw, a system that takes the pursuit of self-interest and profit as its guiding light does not necessarily satisfy the yearning in the human soul for belief and some higher meaning beyond materialism. In other words, they wrote, while Spanish communists would die with the word Stalin on their lips, few people would die with the words free markets on their lips.
The failure to make a moral case for capitalism has doomed capitalism to the status of a perennial backup plan. When people are desperate or wealthy, they turn to socialism; only when they have no other alternative do they embrace the free market. After all, lies about guaranteed security are far more seductive than lectures about personal responsibility.
So what is the moral case for capitalism? It lies in recognition that socialism isnt a great idea gone wrong its an evil philosophy in action. It isnt driven by altruism; its driven by greed and jealousy. Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I dont give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution. Socialism violates at least three of the Ten Commandments: It turns government into God, it legalizes thievery and it elevates covetousness. Discussions of income inequality, after all, arent about prosperity but about petty spite. Why should you care how much money I make, so long as you are happy?
Conservatives talk results when discussing the shortcomings of socialism. Theyre right: Socialism is ineffective, destructive and stunting to the human spirit. But theyre wrong to abandon the field of morality when discussing the contrast between freedom and control. And its this abandonment this perverse laziness that has led to socialisms comeback, even though within living memory, we have seen continental economies collapse and millions slaughtered in the name of this false god.
It is hard to make a case for it when you have a number approaching 1/3 of this country's population NOT working and on some sort of government entitlement or other.
Democrats have been working for over half a century to economically shackle as many people in this country to entitlements so they could control them. If you get over half everywhere, you have the entire country in your hands.
This ENTIRE government now is concentrated on a ONE WAY equalization plan that spans the gamut of social, judicial, and financial realms from the HAVES to the HAVE NOTS.
>> Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist.
But safe to say, the other half that is NOT shackled will more and more likely end up getting fed-up to the point of backlashing. It is coming.
Oh yes. When the fruits of your labor are taken from you, there really isn’t much point to ‘laboring’ anymore, is there?
Even when capitalism does make a case for itself with an era of expanding affluence, the socialists will angrily lecture that not EVERYONE is capable of success. This triggers guilt even in some of the successful. How many times have you heard or said, “We’ve been fortunate” from those who worked themselves extremely hard to get to whatever level they have achieved? Besides guilting the successful, the *everyone not capable* meme allows those who haven’t achieved to feel less like failures.
So, it is now fairly easy to extract guilt payments from the successful and allow the less successful to feel entitled. Next, comes the institutionalization of both these states. Now, the less successful feel grateful to the institution for their *share* of someone’s labor, encouraging the State to take even more in their name. The capitalist successes just hope that each bite will be the last. No one seems to notice that the most fortunate of all are the ones doing the taking and the sharing. They seem to always get their cut, first.
Capitalism hasn’t just failed to make its own case, it has been so demonized that it can’t even be acknowledged in a positive manner. An ever-larger distributive class now depends on the redistribution for their own living. The recipients depend on that class. They will never be eliminated.
At the founding of the land that would become the U.S., the people held freedom of religion so dear that they actually believed in and practiced religion, holding it sacred and keeping it above the quotidian realm of government. In many of the colonies, there was an official religion of the commonwealth, and some colonial governors compelled church attendance. This did not violate the First Amendment, because the First Amendment applied to the U.S. Congress, not the states. The states were a federation, not a centralized dictatorship.
In other words, [Yergin and Stanislaw] wrote, while Spanish communists would die with the word Stalin on their lips, few people would die with the words free markets on their lips.
Ridiculous. The word so very many have died for is "freedom." Obviously, freedom includes trade.
They dis-armed me (I MAY tell that story sometime), and I feel neutered because any "revolutionary" talk is just that ... talk.
It pisses me off and I can't do a thing about it ... except maybe reload the guy I share a foxhole with.
Essentially, it’s the “life’s lottery” syndrome excuse for sloth and laziness of the users in this world.
You have wealth because you’re lucky, and even if you did work some for it, you were able to work for it because of ‘white privilege’ or some other speciously feeble excuse.
Couple this with the low expectations of socialism for its adherents and you have an experiment that might work for a generation or two. Work, that is, until the wealth is gone and pissed away, and there isn’t anyone making toilet paper any more, etc.
The have-not society will forever look for ways to exploit those that have. This is the root of Socialist/Communist/Marxist-Leninist ideology. It is a natural problem for which there is no solution.
When the CEO of Worldwide Financial lowered his 2007 salary of around $140 million to around $100 million in 2008, and when Lehman Brothers CEO in the same period raised his salary from around $40 million to over $70 million, I don’t think too many people were sobbing for those poor rich people when their businesses went under.
Pleading with the most ignorant segment of the population to understand free-market capitalism and standing on their own two legs is like pleading with a carjacker, as he is pointing his gun at your head, that theft is wrong.
Socialism always results in state sponsored mass murder because to survive enemies must created and destroyed.
That cut runs about 50%. It's amazing how little complaint there is about the mafia-level take.
It’s because socialism is simple and earnest whereas capitalism is complex and shot through with irony. It’s easy to wrap moral language around socialsim but harder to do with capitalism.
Only sports/movie/TV/singer stars get salaries like that. Executives mostly make capital gains off stock options.
This can be handled via capitalism. Buy more ammo.
“It is hard to make a case for it when you have a number approaching 1/3 of this country’s population NOT working and on some sort of government entitlement or other.”
Yeah, agree. It’s my observation that people rarely have the foresight or moral courage to avoid disasters in advance. As with Greece, we seem to find it necessary to be in the throes of the downward spiral of the toilet before we accept reality. And, so we will have to experience this as well before we begin the climb back out of the sewer. And so it goes......
Socialism also creates the reality of revolt because when push comes to sholve.
I think corporate cronyism is to blame. Seriously, the liberals think giving 80 billion dollars a month to the stock market and bankers is ok. I don’t get it. I also don’t get why republicans and libertarians are not plastering this on every superbowl ad slot. 80 billion dollars... to banks and wall street, while everyone else is being extorted by taxation to give it to them. Think of all the companies in bed with the government.. Verizon, AT&T, GE, IBM, the list is endless.