Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:56 pm
Socialism requires the involuntary servitude of the citizens for the nebulous and never-ending "greater good" of society, having elevated the State (or "society") to a position superior to the individual. Ownership of one's time, property, labor, and even one's own body is a plastic concept, mutable to the "needs" of the "greater good".
The antithesis of Socialism (or Collectivism by any other name) is the philosophy of individual liberty, whether that antipode is called Individualism or Libertarianism, wherein the Individual is held as supreme, and society is considered merely a network of voluntary cooperative agreements that exists solely to facilitate and protect individual liberty. Ownership of one's time, property, labor, and one's own body is a static concept, absolute, sacrosanct, immutable.
The two cannot be reconciled.
Socialism in practice rests upon the use of government powers of intrusion, coercion, and confiscation to take away from the individual his control over his time and efforts, and from the industrious the fruits of their labor. It is thus no more and no less than institutionalized forcible enslavement and theft, and such can never be justified in a civilized society.
On these grounds, Socialism is repugnant. This will not change.
Moreover, those who promote or support Socialism out of their own petty benefits therefrom, or out "crabs in a pot" envy, or even out of claims of so-called altruism, are not only thieves and slavers, but cowards, as they hide behind "the will of the masses" in order to use the government to steal and enslave by proxy.
On these grounds, Socialists themselves, as individuals and as a political group, are repugnant. This will not change.
Individual libertarianism (for lack of a better term) rests upon voluntary associations, agreements, and contracts, relegating government use of power to the role of securing trade and property against theft (of various sorts). It is nothing more or less than institutionalized freedom, and is the acme of a civilized society.
In a system of individual liberty, what is the worst that can happen?
There will be inequality of outcomes, obviously, as the excellent will outperform the median, and the median will outperform the base. Some of these outcomes will be extreme, as well: There will be some who emerge and become fabulously wealthy and influential; There will be some who plummet to the depths of poverty. However, what will happen in the main is the emergence of the overwhelming majority of the average people doing comfortably well. Moreover, history shows that the innovations powered by the excellent fairly rapidly become available to the rest of the population - over and above the creation of novel industry that requires paid workers. Additionally, history shows that both the wealthy and the average have an established track record of providing assistance to the impoverished, voluntarily, out of their own pockets and for their own reasons.
This is the *worst* that individual libertarianism can produce.
By contrast: What is the worst that can happen under a collectivist system?
Auschwitz. Gulags. One hundred million citizens (more, probably) murdered by their own government.
That's the worst, in one way of looking at things.
As it is impossible - I say again: IMPOSSIBLE - to raise the performance of the base to that of the median, and of the median to that of the excellent, the only way to create equality of outcomes is to, instead, RAZE both the excellent and the median to the level of the base. (That there will be an untouchably powerful ruling class enforcing this collectivist utopia should go without saying, and such should irrevocably void any claims to equality the proponents of collectivist can spout, but... oddly... It needs to be said, and those claims will still be made in spite of patent reality). The result of such "equalization" is, and can only be, a period of serial cannibalism as first the median and the base devour the excellent, and then the base devours the median, producing in the end a sea of uniform squalor and misery (ruled by what is effectively an alien overlord class).
So, in sum, the choice between the two philosophies is, in terms of practical results, very clear:
Individual libertarianism produces a normal distribution of results at any given time, and over time produces a general trend towards greater prosperity for all, using government power only against those who take without permission.
Collectivism produces an abnormal distribution, with almost everyone poor and miserable, and ruled by an elite class that takes everything, redistributes some to mollycoddle the masses, and enforces its whim through murder of its own subjects.
This really ought to be a simple choice.