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.
It’s because capitalism is the natural state of man - that is, something that he produces goes to benefit him, while at the same time benefitting the community around him, and he defends his territory or property and uses it in the production of his goods. As social organization moved away from its tribal form and, with the advent of currency and a money based system, became more individually controllable and also more flexible (making capital more easily transferable and resulting in the rise of a moneyed class rather than merely an hereditary property owning class), it did so naturally and with little pre-planning. Property rights are based on the fact that ownership is natural to man. But because it’s a natural and therefore somewhat amorphous, unstructured thing, it’s harder to enunciate.
Socialism, on the other hand, is an artificial system that must be developed by an originator (Marx, for example) and imposed by force, since it is unnatural. However, precisely because it’s artificial, it’s easier to enunciate and, while it has never worked in practice, it’s easier to defend because one can always claim that it’s not being implemented properly.
The only people who benefit from socialism are those in charge of enforcing it, that is, those in government. This is something pro-capitalist thinkers need to point out unceasingly. Socialism is repression and never benefits the poor, even when it’s “soft” socialism such as in England, where socialism has created a huge, festering, going -nowhere class of the native-born poor, who have enough to live on and miserable government health care, but absolutely no prospects. Still, the government and everybody who is associated with it thrives. And in a more harsh socialist system, everyone who is not in the government or favored by it is absolutely crushed into the ground and deprived of freedom and even life. That’s a pretty good argument against it.
Conservatives believe that that something is freedom and basic human respect, and nothing more.
The world is a cruel and unfair place. Socialism is what happens when you think you can fix it. All you actually do is become the instrument of the cruelty and unfairness.
The left uses every economic downturn, every crisis to convince the people that private enterprise is the problem, and to put more and more restrictions on it, with the ultimate goal of totally controlling it as under communism.
Every successive month, I find myself thankful I am old enough that I likely won’t have to suffer the inevitable final consequences of all this stupidity.
The interim results are bad enough.
As various products become scarce and as quality declines even further in the remaining products, the State will simply employ its flacks to deride the need for whatever can no longer be produced and the inculcated will make going without or utilization of poor substitutes desirable. Eventually, there will be a population that never knew anything different.
an honest answer to our question?
Libertarians are too wrapped up in themselves to have time or energy to care about anything else around them.
Republicans are in it with the Democrats as power grabbing regulators to keep their positions of power. There are a few exceptions, but far too few.
That is the reality we live in right now and only a total reset will solve the problem. Neither one is an answer, get over it.
So what are all the Occupy Wall Street types going to do about the elite socialist class. Every socialist society has an elite class, the ruling class. So they have no problem with elites, they just don’t want to be free and have their own opportunity.
Maybe it’s easier to deal with the fact that your a loser and can’t make it on your own if 99 percent are in the same boat with you.
...its easier to deal with the fact that your a loser and cant make it on your own if 99 percent are in the same boat with you.
I think the main issue is that the mechanisms that motivate and animate capitalism are not immediately evident to people. The "Invisible Hand" of supply and demand, of capitalist water finding its own level is so foreign to liberals because it cannot be seen unless you understand it, then it becomes nearly obvious.
Liberals, however, can see the workings of man in a socialist-leaning environment, which is God to them.
They see people being elected, setting up meetings at 9:00 AM in government buildings with oddly named conference rooms where there are agendas and minutes and serious things to be discussed. To liberals, it is solid, just, and wise, the effort at making decisions. What liberals don't get, though, is...the decisions are more often wrong than they are right. But because they are made by tangible men, they are de facto superior to any kind of invisible mechanism (such as supply and demand)
Individual men making decisions about how to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses are not match for the combined intellect and experience of millions of men and women whose "demand" with money drives the "supply".
To liberals, depending on that is like worshiping God, putting your eggs in a basket you cannot see!
And to the people who depend on other men to tell them what to do because they can't think for themselves, this is an easy proposition for liberals. Capitalism is easy to demonize for them, to sabotage it. And the sheeple take their cues.
Exactly, and well said.
This would be true if ALL the people were in the same boat. However, this will never be. There will always be the politico elite, those in charge of the government. And, the peasants will only take so much of admiring excess from afar. It invariably leads to revolt, or an utter breakdown of the system (e.g., Tsarist Russia first, Soviet Union following 70 years later).
We see some signs of how the 'peons' of today, the entitlement crowd, are accepting of Obama's opulent excess in vacations, trips, parties, et al partly because of the racial 'he getting up on whitey' thing, and largely because the combined discretionary income they have access to is comfortable (i.e., not believing what the MSM and Obama say about our 'poor'.)
This will change when they (entitled) become the overwhelming majority and they slowly exhaust the wealth of this country. Then they all be come really poor - the kind that Obama likes to say they are now. The entitled of today WILL NOT succumb and exist like the Dustbowl Okies, or the poor populace of the depression who really would work if there was work. They will riot and revolt, and they cycle will begin anew, as always.
The Rolling Stone should make their magazine available for FREE to everyone for the good of mankind.
Right, capitalism came about spontaneously through the natural flow of things whereas socialism was posited by intellectuals. Because socialism is a creation, all of its details can be known by its creators. On the other hand, we may never fully understand all of the organic subtleties of capitalism. The difference in socialsm and capitalism is sort of like the difference in a cartoon character and an actual person.
Wait until the Fall of New York—wait til its bankrupt, crime ridden, corrupt and a blight upon the nation. Time is their enemy and the truth will show Socialism for what it is.
You got it. Can you David Dinkins?
Well, I for one am glad that whatever the outcome in my lifetime, that I have been one of the hardworking ones, the one to not need to take from others for my living. I am proud of my life and the fact that I “produce.”
The “takers” lead miserable lives — nothing can convince me of anything to the contrary. I’m glad I’m not one of them.
It’s interesting that the children, including my own, who were taught the values of self reliance embrace capitalism and its principles. They are our future, despite govt schools.
They or perhaps some, say Chicago is next.
By the time New York needs to be bailed out, there will be no America to do the bailing. All the others will have drained the till dry.
To the defeatists and the let it crash folks your missing one important point about the 50% getting freebees. They are LAZY! Yes every election a percent will go out and vote especially the government class that depends on getting their cut of redistribution. If they werent lazy the Democrats wouldnt have to encourage them to vote, sometimes even bussing them. The Democrats wouldnt be looking for new voters via immigration reform. Look at the numbers from Obamas reelection, less than the first. Had Republicans gotten out the vote Romney would be president. ( I not saying thats great just better than Obama). As every election draws near Democrats have a name for it GOTV. Get out the vote. They hound voters till they vote. The gimmie class and their masters can be defeated it just takes work. Every Freeper and conservative should be working towards the goal of getting everyone you know out to vote.
That’s the underlying assumption behind “the living wage” as well.
People who support it need that pushed back in their faces - are people owed something because they exist? And at whose expense?
Socialism is on the march in Western Europe and the United States not the former Soviet Union, and it is the rise of the central banks, the creation of the Euro and EU expansion that spurs it on.
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. Margaret Thatcher
When there’s no incentive to work, people won’t work, and the system collapses. We see a microcosm of it in the Obamacare exchanges. Young people are looking out for #1 and have little interest in subsidizing health insurance for older ones.
“Atlas Shrugged” relates the cycle.
Good call, seeing as bankers funded Marx to write the Manifesto. The biggest pushers here in the US were the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations. That story was captured in Rene Wormser's book, Foundations: Their Power and Influence. It was Rockefeller who funded and managed the sexual revolution for example, producing the dysfunctional children who have been the foot-soldiers of socialism. Between the income tax and public education, the extremely wealthy found a way to shackle their competition by owning or controlling every medium of public education while avoiding paying for it themselves as they had also bought corporate media.
I have no problem with someone becoming fabulously rich, but I do have a problem with gaming the system to do it. That is theft.
“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.”.
And to make matters worse, the gubmint now wants to make more “takers” via amnesty. Stupid bastards, all of them.
It is effective to look at socialism for what it is, a pseudo-religion, weirdly enough, based on Christianity.
That is, if you take The Bible, remove God, and substitute man in His place as the creator and ruler of all things, the end result is socialism. The parallels with the Book of Genesis to the major doctrines of socialism are striking.
For example, the environmentalist movement has as its impulse returning to the state of nature found in the Garden of Eden. That is, to foreswear civilization and return to living in small, disconnected communal villages bereft of anything modern.
That 90% or more of mankind would have to die for this accomplishment is unimportant to them.
They also believe that the cause of the expulsion of mankind from the Garden of Eden, eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, must be reversed. And the way to achieve this is through moral relativity, to destroy the idea that good and evil exist.
These ideas crop up again and again in socialist, and even pre-socialist writings, not through any direct connection other than the King James Version Bible.
At the same time, you see other elements of socialism in their feudal state of mind. They embrace the idea of an elite which rules over everyone else, the peasantry. Combined, the two represent God to them.
For this reason, it is easy for them to imagine that mankind can use a tiny fraction of a trace gas to manipulate the immense atmosphere of Earth. People can do this, because, well, they are God. It’s magic.
It gets downright perverse at times, because socialists can really imagine themselves as being faithful to their Judeo-Christian traditions. Nancy Pelosi truly imagines herself as a “good Catholic socialist”, but is utterly disconnected from a belief in God, muddling the two together terribly.
With a straight face, she insists that ‘God’ would approve of abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, you name it, because she imagines herself as a vital part of the leadership, the brain, of mankind as God.
The deeper you delve into this idea, the more filth and cobwebs you will find. No serious person of faith should have anything to do with socialists or socialism.
“communists would die with the word Stalin on their lips”
There’s the problem - not enough communists died. Like it or not, we need to set up a 2nd Nuremberg tribunal that judges and punishes communists. The 1st Nuremberg tribunal established a loathing toward Nazism. The 2nd tribunal can accomplish a hatred toward communism.
Excellent observation. When I first read it, I was reminded of how Adolf Hitler rose to power by promising the German people how his Socialist form of Government would bring prosperity and equality to all. For obvious reasons, things did not go according to plan.
Why you axin me? I jus want mah free stuff.