Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Socialism Will Not Work

Why Socialism Will Not Work
            For as long as mankind has existed there have been those who dreamed of a more perfect society.  From Robespierre to Marx to Lenin and Stalin, all had an idea of the perfect society.  The only trouble is; the perfect society can never exist in a society of imperfect beings.  Socialism cannot succeed simply because it is anathema to human nature.
            We all know and understand that man and woman are never perfect.  There is at least one fatal flaw in all of us, in some of us there are dozens.  Ambition is a character trait that is rampant in the human race and it has always been so.  As a matter of fact the unambitious individual is a rarity.  Very seldom do you find someone of low status that is happy to remain in that position.  The vast majority of people keep their eyes focused upward always wanting just a little more than what they have.   Ambition is the fly in Socialism’s ointment.
            The premise behind Socialism is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  This would mean that everyone has just what he or she needs to survive and not one thing more.  There is no competition, everyone has exactly the same.  Everyone’s house is the same; the only difference is the number of bedrooms.  The furnishings are all the same. The cancer doctor lives in the same apartment building as general laborer, the movie star lives next door to a convenience store clerk.  An education gains you no privilege that the uneducated does not enjoy. 
            What is the purpose of studying four, six, eight or more years to be something special if there is no reward for that sacrifice?  Why put pride into your work and do your best to turn out a quality product when you will reap no greater reward than someone who slacks off and does the bare minimum?  Sure, it sounds wonderful, let’s have a society where everyone does his best and shares equally with everyone else.  That may work in a fairy tale, but in real life it won’t work.
            Given a chance to make a socialist society work, I think that the majority of people would start out trying very hard to make it work.  However, as the population of the society grows, disillusion will set in and many workers will find that they don’t have to perform well to be rewarded and eventually it will fall apart.  Severe punishment will have to be implemented to insure that each worker gives at least a modicum of effort.  Eventually this will lead to an elite class whose job is to enforce standards of production on everyone.  This will result in a certain group of people acquiring power over the rest which will inevitably result in that group granting themselves extra privileges. To make sure that they keep these special privileges, they will have to institute ways to insure that they stay in power which leads to Communist dictatorship.  This is not any new idea, it has happened many times over the history of civilization.  If you want a great example of how it works, I recommend that you read George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  Really, everyone should read that book, it isn’t a long treatise or difficult to read, try it, you may learn something.
In this country, middle class and upper middle class citizens look at the very rich and curse the fact that they don’t have as big a house, or as fancy a car and it is very easy to convince them that the rich got their money by cheating people like them.  When I hear most people complain about how unfair life is to them, I always want to ask, “What about those who have less than you?”  And folks, no matter who you are, if you live in this country the vast majority of people in this world have less, much less than you.  Here in America we enjoy the highest standard of living of any country in the world, by far.  But class warfare goes on and a mysterious, vague group of people called “The rich” are targeted.  People don’t seem to have any concept of whom they are speaking when they say, “The rich should pay more taxes.”  It’s just someone that has more than they do. 
And “someone who has more than you” is the very basis of the great push today toward Socialism.  Facts don’t seem to be a big deal to the people who lead this attack on success.  It’s all emotional and anyone who disagrees is labeled an idiot, a liar or worse.  And many of us, myself included, who try to state some facts and inject some small bit of common sense into the argument are threatened and marginalized because there is no real argument against that which we say.  So we continue to plunge this, the greatest country in the world, headlong into a system that has never and will never work, just because someone has something that someone else doesn’t.

John A. Wilson
Conservative Action Project of Union County
El Dorado, Arkansas

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