Big Government, totalitarianism, power, greed, central planning, redistribution of wealth, restrictions on personal freedom, no ownership of personal property, no self determination, government entitlements, no secret ballot elections, lack of incentive to succeed, government watchdogs, political elitism, government control and intervention, sameness, tyranny, violence, intimidation, coercion, pressure and social engineering are all characteristics of Socialism. History is replete with socialist regimes, like Nazi Germany and socialist Russia, which have imploded and failed. The simple problem is government or institutions created in or morphed into this likeness cannot create or invent and eventually fail.
The free markets of Capitalism are the inverse of the above. It is the only system that has lifted all of mankind, at every level, to a higher standard of living. It is the only system that allows individuals the opportunity for self determination based on their abilities and effort. It promotes ingenuity, self-reliance, diversity, innovation, creation, prosperity and, yes, wealth. It continues to advance the prosperity of all individuals unless destroyed from within, like Greece and Rome when they moved towards totalitarianism and away from democracy!
Historian Bruce Bartlett traces the beginning of Rome’s debasement to the reign of Nero. By the third century the monetary economy had collapsed. Bartlett sees the result as a form of state socialism. Monetary taxation was replaced with direct requisitioning, for example taking food and cattle from farmers. Individuals were forced to work at their given place of employment and remain in the same occupation. Farmers became tied to the land, as were their children, and similar demands were made on all other workers, producers, and artisans as well. Workers were organized into guilds and businesses into corporations called collegia. Both became de facto organs of the state, controlling and directing their members to work and produce for the state. In the countryside people attached themselves to the estates of the wealthy to gain some protection from state officials and tax collectors. These estates, the beginning of feudalism, mostly operated as closed systems, providing for all their own needs and not engaging in trade at all.
The interesting thing is even Cuba is finally realizing socialism does not work as articulated in the following articles!
Yet we have those among us, the Progressives, who believe Socialism is the only answer to eliminating poverty, class distinctions and inequality and to creating fairness. Maybe their ego’s egos won’t let them accept that others have been more successful, or perhaps it’s just simply a difference in ideology. However, it cannot be ignored that many of these individuals simply can’t compete in a professional manner and must resort to pressure, intimidation, misinformation and coercion. We see this with unions like the SEIU, and with politicians who use these same tactics to force through unpopular legislation. They sell or force socialism on those who are easily influenced or intimidated, and they do it in the name of “Social Justice.” The irony is that socialism and its backers create a regime of oppression, the exact environment that they rail against, because socialism can only operate where a few oppress the majority and there are no checks and balances. Conversely, capitalism is self policing. Yes, there will be those that take advantage of others due to greed. However, the capitalistic system will constantly weed them out and they will be replaced — unlike socialism which requires revolution!
Despite the obvious unsustainability of socialism, unions like the SEIU, the Progressives, and politicians such as those in the Obama Administration are intent on imposing it upon the citizens of this great nation. Just as past socialist regimes have failed, unions, progressives and socialistic politicians will ultimately suffer the same fate. They fail to realize it is impossible to permanently contain the human spirit and freedom of choice! Their ideology and inability to compete does not allow them to grasp the simple fact:
“The problem with Socialism is Socialism. The problem with Capitalism is Capitalists.”
Milton Freidman does a succinct and masterful job of explaining the difference in the attached videos!