Socialism Doesn’t Work Even When You Call It “Democratic”

Matt Wilson has a great post on “democratic socialism” and how it’s no different than just plain ol’ socialism. You know, kind of like how “fascism” is no different than “democratic fascism.”

He really nailed it in this part when discussing “positive rights.” There’s always a catch. In this case, the catch is that “positive rights” come with an explicit Faustian social contract (emphasis added):

In chapter X of the Soviet Constitution, not only did they outline workers’ rights, but also the duties they were expected to perform. This is crucial to socialism. Everyone likes the rights because they benefit, but in the end the state has to have a way to provide all those benefits and e has to require that the citizens do their part. In the case of 1936 Soviet Union people were required to work, unemployment was illegal. If you did not have a job, a job would be designated to you. If you don’t work, you are an enemy of the state. Military service is mandatory, if you do not serve you are an enemy of the state. If you break any rules, you are an enemy of the state. You have freedom of speech, but if you speak out against the state, you are an enemy of the state. There is freedom of the press, but the state controls the press. There is freedom of assembly, which is state controlled. This is the ugly part of socialism, the part Bernie Sanders won’t tell you about.

I would add that it requires that some citizens do their part for the sake of those who benefit from the system because they are net gainers. When everyone gets paid the same, those who do the least amount of work benefit, and those who do the most amount of work suffer. But it is those who are predisposed to work hard who are targeted for quotas.

Socialism boils down to two distinct and different roles. The consumer and the producer. The producers always have to produce enough for themselves and for the consumers. In a “socialist” setup theoretically everyone plays their part, but in reality a handful are the overachievers who keep the system going while the moochers and consumers take advantage of the situation.

I honestly think most people who support socialism, at least subconsciously, realize that this arrangement is necessary if it’s going to work. Their assumption is that someone else will get placed in the producer category by the state while they reap the rewards.

But what happens when the producers either refuse to pay or the producers disappear? Better yet, what happens when you’re the one forced into the producer category?

In a free market/free society, everyone has to produce as much as they consume or rely on the voluntary assistance of others to make up for it. Socialism tries to make the assistance mandatory, which is why some are attracted to it.

The gnat-straining over “socialism” versus “democratic socialism” just shows how sad things have gotten. It’s not about whether the system is good, but whether it is imposed upon us by a small group of people, like in the Soviet Union, or whether we vote it in ourselves via the democratic process.

Apparently when we decide by majority to enslaves ourselves into a system of government that has been an abysmal failure everywhere it’s tried, it’s somehow more “legitimate.”

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8 Responses to Socialism Doesn’t Work Even When You Call It “Democratic”

  1. mattwilson32 says:

    Thanks for the post! Great point about producers /consumers. There is a principle called the 80/20 rule that applies to almost every aspect of life. in the world of insurance it translates to 20% of the people make 80% of all claims. In economics it’s generally true that 20% of the people make 80% of the money. It’s a rule that spans over almost every area of study. It is just human nature and why socialism fails.

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    • The Question says:

      That is a great point. In a free market system the 20 percent get to keep the 80 percent of the pie they earned, but in a communist system their slices get divided up and distributed to the rest of the 80 percent. The key is getting the 20 percenters to keep producing at the same level as before, even with the incentives removed. This is how you get quotas and sentences for those who don’t produce.

      My memory fails me right now, but I do believe it was around 20 percent of the private farms in the Soviet Union that produced 80 percent of their wheat. Tom Woods mentioned it in his Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.

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  2. mattwilson32 says:

    Now I have to go back and fix that glaring typo. Haha

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  3. I completely agree with employee-ownership of production. A person isn’t free if they’re just a bee waiting for their bi-weekly allotment of honey – there is no self-sufficiency or independence in that. Whereas, if a person owns, or even has partial ownership of, the equipment they’re using to produce, therefor having at least shared ownership of the total production (physical ownership of what they produce), than that person has far more control over their own circumstances: they’re not a bee in a hive. On top of that, our current corporate paradigm functions on a totalitarian level, with a handful of people determining the lives of everyone else in the corporation (you almost can’t any longer exist in America without joining a corporation). In a society dominated by totalitarian structures, it’s difficult to argue the society is a democratic society.
    But, fighting corporate totalitarianism with federal totalitarianism doesn’t get us any damn where – we’re still dominated by a handful of people, or dominated by a 51% majority ( Democratic Totalitarianism {Socialism}) – because whenever people centralize tremendous power, the center of that power must always exert more control to maintain itself.
    Pre-capitalist America, people owned their own means of production, much of the north-east had millers who owned the mills, and no government fascists told people they had to give up their property to those who craved a ‘fair share’ of what someone else had.

    So, gist of a run-on paragraph, I like some of Bernie’s social ideas, but I refuse his socialist ideas. Bernie gets no vote from me.

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  4. Thanks for this blog post regarding why socialism doesn’t work; I really enjoyed it and am definitely recommending this blog to my friends and family. I’m a 15 year old with a blog on finance and economics at shreysfinanceblog.com, and would really appreciate it if you could read and comment on some of my articles, and perhaps follow, reblog and share some of my posts on social media. Thanks again for this fantastic post.

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