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| Matt Festa
Posted on 05/24/2002 8:35:45 AM PDT by Festa
This is part III in an series of articles I am writing attacking the democratic party and attempting to prove their inherent fallacies. This one is on socialism.
Socialism, the most radical and dangerous element of the Democrats
Few Americans realize that the liberal element Democratic Party adheres with the basic premises of Marxs communist Manifesto. Liberals/socialists believe in a heavy progressive income tax, abolition to all rights of inheritance, centralization of the banks, free education for all in public schools, public ownership of all means of production, etc. The main tool that the socialists/liberal democrats employ to achieve these goals is class warfare.
Like Marxists, the democrats view the debate as the little guy vs. the big guy. The Rich people are oppressing the poor. The religious are oppressing womens rights. This list goes on and on. However this type of thinking is completely wrong and uncalled for.
Thinking along these lines stems from one of the seven deadly sins: envy. Envy is when I am so angry at your success, so enamored that you have succeeded ahead of me, that I hate you for it. I want to tear you down. Even if the reason I want to do this is to help others, it does no good. One cannot tear down the rich to help the poor.
Why? How come we cant punish the rich for having more money than others? It all comes down to economics. Most goods we can think of are scarce. There is not an unlimited supply of food and housing in this world. Even if one wanted to build more houses they would need more wood. The more wood one cuts, the less there is for others. So how do we reconcile this?
Economists have long recognized that there are two forces at play in economics. First, there are demanders. Demanders demand goods such as televisions, houses, food, and clothing. Suppliers are those who provide these goods for the demanders. The overarching force that prevents these goods from disappearing is the price. Price equals everything out.
Think about it. When oil is scarce and hard to come by, it is expensive. When gas is $2.00 a gallon you may want to stay home instead of going out. What this does is decrease the quantity demanded of oil so that those who really need it get it. Why is gas more expensive during the summer? More people are on the road and there is less gas to go around.
Socialists (I will begin now to refer to modern liberals as socialists and drop the democrat/liberal labels) dont want to hear this. They do not understand that price is not necessarily a reflection of greed, but rather a reality check on just how little is available. If only there was another way? Socialists believe that there exists a setup where as the government can reconcile these differences in a more fair an equitable manner. They do not need the pricing system that capitalism requires to ration goods. Socialists can do it themselves. This is the fatal flaw that has caused millions upon millions of innocent lives during the 20th century.
Socialism, in all its forms, is unworkable. No matter how much the socialists try and retool their policies and change them, they are fatally flawed. Many socialists consider themselves social democrats in that they are pro-democracy. However, if they sat down and thought this out, they would realize that a democratic socialist is an oxymoron.
First, a socialist must gain power in order to achieve their ends. They themselves are not evil people. They simply want to help humanity. But they cannot gain legislative power without alliances. So they ally themselves with special interest groups in order to get elected. They also preach their beliefs to many lower class workers who do not understand what capitalism is and how it works. Since these special interest groups vote more than others, they increase the percentage of those who vote. Is this a reflection of democracy? Is the purchasing of special interest groups a reflection of a fair and democratic society? I think not
After they come into power, the special interest groups want what they paid for. Teachers unions, labor unions, businesses, etc. all want their slice of power and privilege. So before achieving their goals, they first must cater to the needs of the special interests. After this is done, precious money that they needed to fix their problems has been wasted on narrow special interests.
Then comes the part where they actually achieve their goals. They nationalize the industries, abolish property rights, and seize all the workers money. Now what? Many socialists who consider themselves democratic now begin to see the flaw in their ideology. Now that we have the power, what do we do with it? How do we ration these goods in a fair an equal way? They begin to squabble. Socialists now divide amongst themselves as to who needs what and how much one needs. Since the price system has been radically altered or abolished, it is impossible to solve this in a democratic way. Even if there were democratic debate and then compromise, one would be insane to think that the solution brought forth would be the solution needed to solve the problems.
What follows is simply natural. The socialists betray their principles and appoint a dictator or a powerful executive body to carry out the socialism. This is happened every time socialism has been tried. But this dictator betrays the cause. A good benevolent dictator becomes rare and almost impossible to find because no moral person wants the job. They realize that if one person is helped, one person is left behind. Since there is no more price structure, it is impossible to see who needs what. So the people who become the dictators are evil immoral people.
Socialism naturally leads to corrupt communism and fascism. Socialists unknowingly set up the apparatus upon which the evil people pervert. In Germany, fascism only came about because the socialists had previously set up a government on which this was possible. The same is true for Russia, Vietnam, North Korea, and China. Any socialist would tell you that they are completely against what happened in these countries. But what the fail to realize is that it is because of their beliefs that these systems even became a possibility.
This is the liberal element of the Democratic Party. It still dominates the inner core of the party. But (as many democrats are now saying), I am not a socialist; I believe that we can have capitalism and a big government at the same time! That will be attacked in Part IV.
TOPICS: Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: conservatism; debate; democrat; liberalism; politics; socialism
posted on 05/24/2002 8:35:46 AM PDT
The Rich people are oppressing the poor
Rich people create/provide jobs for the poor! The poor should be very happy that the rich exist.
posted on 05/24/2002 8:39:33 AM PDT
Good essay! Could you post the links to parts 1 and 2?
posted on 05/24/2002 8:44:16 AM PDT
I will eventually. Part I is on the hypocrisy of democratic criticism of Bush pre 9/11. Part II is just a general critique on democrats in general setting up Part III
posted on 05/24/2002 8:48:43 AM PDT
Why is it that the author believes that the Democrats have cornered the market on socialism. Heck, wasn't it just yesterday that Bush told the world that America has a duty
to share its wealth? Actually, it was just yesterday.
Both parties advance the agenda of socialism.
posted on 05/24/2002 8:51:09 AM PDT
Its still early on in the series. Most of this is based upon Friedrich Hayek. I assume you are of the libertarian persuasion. Libertarians are a fine ally in ideological battle against big government. One of my essays will deal with how democrats/liberals fail to understand the distinction between republican and conservative. Hence, when I hear someone say, "I am not a liberal, I come from a very strict conservative republican household" I say, "This person is clueless, they fail to understand that conservative does not mean republican. Democrats shoot back and say democrat does not mean socialist. However, most of the time it does. And those who aren't, I seed that to them and that is the focus of my next article.
posted on 05/24/2002 8:55:03 AM PDT
Comment #7 Removed by Moderator
To: Lazarus Long
Excellent choices. I am a huge Hayek fan myself. Hayek was never an extreme anti-state libertarian. But rather a true believer and lover or moral freedom and the rule of law. My article is mainly based on his road to serfdom.
posted on 05/24/2002 9:08:11 AM PDT
Having spent a substantial chunk of my adult life under real socialism (we left FSU when I was 32 years old it was about 10 years since I graduated from college, I was married and we had a daughter by that time) and an equally substantial chunk of my adult life under real capitalism (we got here more than 12 years ago) allows me to say that it boils down to just a two simple truths.
Humans are far from perfect and without incentive to work we do not work at all or we do not work as hard as we could. There are some exceptions but they are so much few and between, so they did not make much difference. Socialism simply removes all incentives for productive work. So, poverty, hunger, constant search for scapegoats are inevitable attributes of socialism.
Every society has its own elite, so socialism does not remove the big guy - small guy confrontation. It actually makes this confrontation much worse, because (1)the way socialist elite is formed is way more unjust, (2) socialism produces too many big guys for a small guys to swallow, (3)socialism's big guys have no controls and have a tendency to behave badly (e.g. killing prols by millions).
Our society is far from perfect, however, it has the best match for the requirements of human nature.
posted on 05/24/2002 9:39:18 AM PDT
Comment #10 Removed by Moderator
Good essay, but 2 tiny points: "enamored" means "in love with", but the context suggests you want something like "enraged by"; "try and ..." sounds awkward compared to "try to ...".
posted on 05/24/2002 11:10:29 AM PDT
Trotsky IIRC coined the phrase "dictatorship over the proletariate." There is only 1 type of government that can work for long and that is a liberal capitalist republic. The less democratic society is the better. Elected officials should not have the discression to be experimental. They should merely be like a board of directors and the executive officers of a corporation. They should appoint good, competent people to run the beauracracies and leave them the hell alone to do their jobs if they're doing it right. The fatal flaw of democracy is the same as every totalitarian system, necessity is the plea and aliby of every tyranat.
posted on 05/24/2002 5:52:15 PM PDT
True, but neo-conservatives are only holding the line where liberals last moved it. If you want to be serious about it, liberalism is not socialism. I say this because liberalism is not an ideology unto itself. Liberalism is simply an adversary ideology; an amalgamation of contradictory positions that have one thing in common: disgust with what has been the overall tradition of our (or any) country. Liberalism is far too incomplete to be called socialism. What liberalism does is push open the doors for socialism. Many socialists are liberal. Most liberals are socialists but don't actually know it. The "collectivist" state of affairs in our government is based on incrementalism. Not so much by design, but rather by the natural state of things. Government (or perhaps more specifically, the people who pick up the reigns of government from time to time) isn't static, it looks for new places to expand into. A certain sense of socialism or collectivism has always been a part of our country. That's what comes with self-government and democracy. Of course, we sought to prevent this from happening by resisting pure democracy, constructing a constitution with rigid restrictions, and garunteeing that certain rights would never be infringed upon. The constitution admits that it is absolutely necessary to leave certain responsibilities up to the state. The vast power of the state was restricted by the heirarchies of the federalist system and the unasailable rights we supposedly had by divine right. But still, the state has some responsibilities for our collective fate, no? Once tradition is attacked as meaningless, reason is thrown out the window, and the rules laid forth in the constitution basically become meaningless for the federal government, it is far too easy to make people forget about the reasoning behind classical liberalism. It is far too easy for people to not understand what our system of government means. Therefore, it is far to easy to make people accept a warped mindset of what the state rightfully should stand for. I guess socialism is a matter of degree, which is why I went into how classic liberalism, too, has some threads of collectivism to it. Since it is a matter of degree, incrementalism will work much better than you could ever have imagined. Madison and Hamilton were brilliant and their system of government was near perfect, but their system only works for people who deserve it (ie, people who will remain true to its original purposes as generations pass). So, my position is that incrementalism is a natural state and government will always be expanding. Ignoring the great principles of limited government allow people to add new programs that are an expansion of what existed before. Once new programs are created, they most often become commonplace. Social security was once probably thought to be inconceivable. Once it was put in place, it was almost impossible to argue against it. That's what I'm talking about with conservatives "holding the line". Liberals move the line, and if they're lucky it sticks (if they're unlucky, they'll just try again in a few seconds). Liberalism, being an attack on tradition, makes us forget our own principles. Most people who are liberal are socialists not because they understand what socialism truly is but rather because they think they're do-gooders establishing a sort of justice. The old saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is dead-on accurate. I doubt there are very many true marxists. Only people who are marxists by accident and don't really understand why marxism is so bad. Conservatives, by and large, are forced to accept new lines in the sand whenever liberalism triumphs (which is oh-so annoyingly often). They accept them because either they're too stupid, afraid, or comfortable to fight to reject them. The above is why intellect is so important. I designate great amounts of time and effort to studying political theory. Priciples (good principles) are what we need to stick to. All conservatives should compile an unchanging list of places government isn't allowed into and stick to it for all of eternity. Fight liberal zeal with great zeal of our own ALL the time.
The great "intellectual battle is between conservatives and libertarians. Conservatives (and some sects of libertarians) are traditionalists. They want to preserve what they consider the moral, just, and correct things about the past that make society so great.
This is why conservatism 1) means radicially different things in different country. A conservative in France (La Pen) is radically different in many ways from a conservative in the US 2) conservatism has no one ideology. We respect and adhere to many of the beliefs of the free market (not as often as I would like some times). But most of the time we do. We also adhere to the family structure, the institutions may they be religious, secular, or neither that make this country great.
Libertarians are purely freedom lovers. Many sects of libertarianism believe that people should be free to engage in their own actions so long as they do not impede on the actions of others. In other words, they should pay for the choices they make. To this is say, fine, right on brother! But I think they miss some major points
Libertarians are by far the most short tempered members of the right. More so than the christian coalition and the buchanan brigade. When a conservative says that he morally opposes drug use, out of wedlock marraige, etc (without even arguing that the state should intrude) they decry it as statist, collectivist, etc.
Fine, ok, I dont care. But as Friedrich Hayek, hardly an anarcho-capitalist libertarian, would say; the rule of law and the moral criticisms our society has MADE our society better.
Hayek realized that government law was one of only many ways in which society regulates itself. Morality can come from the criticism of society WITHOUT government intervention. It is precicely the "whatever floats your both" mentality that is driving this country further and further down the dark path towards socialism.
It is wrong to use drugs, it is wrong to have out of wedlock sex, it is wrong to have sex with a little boy or girl and sell it for profit on the internet. Whether or not the state is capable of outlawing or regulating this is another issue. But they are wrong. To say they are wrong does not mean you are a socialist. Merely, you recognize right from wrong.
If we stop criticizing people (uh hmmmm clinton) who do these things, we only lower the standards of our citizens and reduce them to the level of animals. You can be a classical liberal and still believe this.
What do you think?
posted on 05/24/2002 9:44:50 PM PDT
I agree completely. I can admit that libertarians have a less compromised political position than mine, but they don't seem to recognize that because I'm comfortable with democracy working in state and local governments to regulate "some" areas of life that doesn't make me a statist. And like I've said before, only anarcho-capitalists and facists/communists have a pure ideology. Both common American conservatives and libertarians have a compromised position. We both balance government intrusion with liberty.
Libertarians want more freedom, and that's fine. I want less radical individualsim, and that *should* be fine as well. I can understand their fears, and I share most of them. Once government puts its foot in the door, it's almost impossible to go back. But still, we should at least try to prevent a slide into moral decay. Libertarians are right that eternal vigilance is needed and the threat of bigger government is always upon us. But do they not realize that they help foster relativism and radical individualism? Moral decay will ruin a society just as badly as intrusive government, in my opinion.
Another point that you spoke of in your other post was that just because governments cannot/should not regulate certain behavious (ie drug use, homosexuality, etc) DOES NOT mean that one cant have an opinion on these matters.
I bring this up in debates on homosexuality all the time. I am well aware, as the libertarians note, that having the state outlaw homosexuality, gay marraige, and the likes may be dangerous and impringe on certain freedoms. No debate there. But to then turn around and chastize me for holding a differing opinion on the morality of these matters is nothing but bigotry.
I know gay people and I am friendly and compassionate towards all of them. I simply disagree and believe that what they do is wrong. But that doesnt mean I hate them, I want to destroy them. I simply have a disagreement on it. The same with smoking. I know full well the government cannot outlaw smoking. Its a dumb idea. But I dont agree with smoking, I speak out against it. Yet, I seem to find a way to make friends with (and uh hm date!) people who smoke.
Society regulates many aspects of human behavior by speaking out against and preventing society from doing certain things. That is why no one walks around the street naked, barfs in the middle of the road...etc. Society, according to Hayek, is perfectly capable of imposing its OWN rules on society. Many times they are right, some times they are wrong...but alas, I will stop here as this is the topic of a future essay.
It is the libertarians hatred of people who do not agree with them prevents them from seriousely gaining representation in government. Libertarians and conservatives agree on ALOT, even if they do not want to admit it.
posted on 05/25/2002 12:24:33 PM PDT
Good points all. I take the position that *most* of our morality should not be imposed on us by the gov. But I also take the position that all great nations must remain moral to survive. I walk the line between libertarian and contemporary conservative - I'm opposed to the drug war, public education, social security, welfare, corporate subsidies, and the income tax. But then again, I'm not very anti-establishment, I'm not opposed to the draft (when our national security is *actually* threatened, that is. I think the Vietnam draft was unjust) and I'm fine with some "victimless" crimes being crimes (ie, prostitution, child pornography).
Basically, libertarians who believe morality is best left to the people instead of the gov are fine with me. Libertarians (like Bill Maher) who are identicle to liberals when it comes to society's morality (ie, supporting radical individualism) I have a huge problem with (in fact, I prefer to call them libertines.
And by the way, I don't personally have a problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with the gay rights movement and promiscuous sex, but I don't have a problem with the act itself. But still, I don't think outlawing gay marriage is wrong in any way. Outlawing sadomy, yes that's wrong. But not gay marriage. Nobody has a right to special allowments from the gov. Marriage is recognized by the state because it is in our interest to promote the traditional family. Since homosexuals don't (naturally) have children together, they don't deserve the status of marriage.
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