Winston Churchill, one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential leaders, once said in a speech before the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Since Churchill delivered these comments, little has changed in the way supporters of individual freedom talk about socialism; generally speaking, the emphasis is always placed on why socialism isn’t an effective economic system. Too often, the debate focuses on results rather than morals, and it’s easy for the Left to manipulate results, make false promises, or cherry-pick data to “prove” that socialist systems work. And whenever a cunning leftist finds himself or herself backed into a corner in a policy debate, he or she simply returns to the old argument, “If we had higher taxes, all of our policies would work.”
Further, it is difficult to challenge hypothetical stances, especially because socialists’ promises of a Utopian society in which all people everywhere have everything they need is so alluring. Who doesn’t want to live in a country where there is no poverty, violence, or ruling classes? Who doesn’t want to live in a world where everyone has health coverage, access to college, and guaranteed wealth?Many young people are especially susceptible to such promises. Millennials such as me didn’t live through the fall of the Soviet Union, the reeducation camps of Mao’s communist China, or the Cambodian killing fields. When they think of socialistic policies, they think of Scandinavia, not Nazi Germany.
To win the ideological war against socialism, the debate needs to focus on the numerous moral problems with socialism, followed by the common “whether socialist systems are effective at providing food, shelter, education, or health care”. The reason I believe this, is not because I think it is difficult to argue free markets are more effective at making societies happier and healthier; history has proven over and over that liberty does lead to greater prosperity. This argument is more difficult to make, because it requires people to have a deep knowledge of history, current events, and political philosophy—an important caution in a world in which leftists control virtually every level of the education system, most of the world’s primary media outlets, movies and most of the music industry.
By staying focused on complex economic, social, and cultural problems associated with socialism, supporters of liberty have abandoned the moral high ground, which is why they regularly find themselves arguing socialism is a nice utopian thought, but not realistic, rather than arguing socialism is a dreadful, tyrannical ideology, even if it can be proven to be effective at controlling and manipulating every aspect of a nation’s economy, which is the very essence of Socialism that makes it a biblical “evil” threatening mankind today.
You Don’t Matter
One of the core elements of all Marxist socialist models is the collective ownership of property. There might be some private personal possessions, but all the so-called “means of production” are owned by the entire community, whether that is a single nation or the entire globe.
Because most or all property is owned collectively in Marxism, all decisions must be made by the collective. This is an important aspect of democratic socialism for many of its supporters because if different property-owning groups exist, you can’t have a classless society. Even when vast numbers of peoples are forcibly herded together, you could theoretically divide property ownership equally among groups, but those groups would eventually manage their property differently, resulting in some groups having more or better property than others. In Marx’s socialism, this can’t be permitted, because, again, this would mean a class system would exist or soon develop. Many democratic socialists argue in the most developed form of Marxism, a society would not include any money and few, if any, markets, precisely because people would manage property differently and class systems would eventually emerge. Thus, all or most property must be owned collectively.
There are primarily two ways to manage property collectively. The first is a small group of people have complete control over the management of property for the whole of society. This model has been embraced by tyrannical governments all over the world and throughout human history. It effectively leads to there being at least two classes in society (and usually more develop): those who control property and those who must live in accordance with whatever those in charge wants. North Korea and Venezuela essentially operates this way today.
Many modern Marxists would reject this model and say it violates several fundamental aspects of Marx’s socialist thinking. Instead, they advocate, for the democratic control of property.
In practice, democratic control of property means the people, through democratic elections, would decide how all property must be used. This could be accomplished either through direct democracy, where every person in society votes for how property should or shouldn’t be used, or through a representative democracy, also called a representative republic. Under the representative democracy model, people would elect others to manage property, but the public would continue to maintain control over those they elect.
The vast majority of existing socialist parties, groups, and activists in the modern era are calling for a democratic form of socialism. Nearly everyone, including most modern Western socialists, would agree tyrannical forms of government are evil, so there’s no point in spilling additional ink arguing against the merits of a system nearly all corners of the Western world rejects.
In democratic socialism, all decisions, directly or indirectly, would be made collectively and with the whole populace in mind. Each person would own an equal share of all the wealth in that society, so collective decision-making is a necessity; another unrealistic delusion.
Marx’s idea was that if all property is owned collectively and managed for the good of everyone, then the trillions of dollars of wealth (in modern terms) controlled by corporations, wealthy people, and other members of Marx’s “bourgeoisie”—those who control the world’s capital—could be used more effectively and to the benefit of working-class people. This means, by definition, all or nearly all economic decisions would be made by the majority of people in society. This is extremely problematic in a society in which people have different moral values, because those with the minority view must inevitably participate in activities they are morally opposed to, including many activities that would violate religious beliefs.
For instance, many Hindus believe killing and eating animals is extremely immoral. In a socialist society, the agricultural industry, like all industries, would be collectively owned and managed. If the majority of people in society votes, either directly or indirectly, to kill cows to produce beef products for consumption, all Hindus in that society must participate. They would, directly or indirectly, support the killing of cows through their labor, and because the cows and virtually all elements of the cow-killing industry would be owned collectively, there would be no way for Hindus to separate themselves from these actions. The society would be forced to choose between violating the religious beliefs of some Hindus or banning beef products. There would be no middle ground, because all industries would be owned collectively.
A related problem would exist for those Muslims who might feel uncomfortable contributing to the consumption of pigs, which is a violation of their religion. The same might be true for some Jews, who believe, in accordance with their scriptures, they are not permitted to eat pork.
Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth. Animal rights are not just a philosophy—it is a social movement that challenges society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use.
In a country or world with a socialized agricultural system, it is unlikely animals wouldn’t be harmed, especially in Western countries. That means all of PETA’s 6.5 million members would be forced to contribute to industries they find wrong.
The only way to avoid these and many other similar moral problems would be to ban the killing of animals, which, of course, would mean hundreds of billions of people in the world would be barred from hunting and eating in ways they now enjoy. It would also create a tremendous stress on agriculture and other food providers, because they aren’t equipped to handle the massive increase in demand that would be necessary to keep the world from starving or suffering from malnourishment in a world in which animals cannot be killed.
The food industry is only one concern, and certainly not the most controversial. While a detailed discussion of contraception is beyond the space of this article, one thing is beyond any doubt: Some people throughout the world believe contraception is evil while others believe all women have a right to have access to contraception.
In almost every religion, the official teaching of the religion is that it is a grave sin, and thus an evil act contrary to God’s will, to have sexual relations while using birth control methods that attempt to block conception. On the opposing side of the issue, many feminist groups believe women have a right to have access to various birth control methods, all or nearly of which would be considered in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings.
In a fully socialized medical system, contraception is either permitted, produced, and provided or it’s forbidden. There is no middle ground because there is only one health care provider: the collective. That means either nuns or feminists would be forced to violate their beliefs and participate in a system they oppose.
These are just some of the literal millions of issues that forces people to lose their basic rights for the delight of their socialist overlords.
Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. But let us think about socialism.
Imagine there’s an elderly widow down the street from you. She has neither the strength to mow her lawn nor enough money to hire someone to do it. Here’s my question to you, would you support a government mandate that forces you or one of your neighbors to mow the lady’s lawn each week? If you failed to follow the government orders, would you approve of some kind of punishment ranging from house arrest and fines to imprisonment? I’m hoping that a sane person would condemn such a government mandate because it would be a form of slavery; the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.
This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, confiscation and intimidation, to accomplish what are often seen as noble goals — namely, helping one’s fellow man. Helping one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets to do so is creditable and praiseworthy. Helping one’s fellow man through pressure and reaching into another’s pockets is evil and should be exposed as such despite intellectual manipulation and misguidance.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article are the author’s, and do not reflect Aawaaj’s editorial beliefs.