Merriam-Webster Definition:

  1. Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
  2. A system of society or group living in which there is no private property
  3. A system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
  4. A stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The World Socialist Movement (worldsocialism.org) falsely defines socialism “in practice” as “common ownership will mean everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used. It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions” (What is Socialism?, para 3). This is in direct contradiction of (1) the actual definition of Socialism and (2) the historical “practice” of Socialism.

  1. “Everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used.” This sentence implies that the individual will be able to essentially vote on bills that will pass through government oversight. This is what we have in Democracy. When Socialism is actually implemented, all power goes to the government to make these decisions on behalf of the collective group. There is no individuality in a Socialist government, which is why it would never work in a melting pot of cultural diversity such as found in the United States.
  2. “It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions.” This is also false. Socialism gives complete control over resources. This is why you see so many Socialist countries starving in bread lines and waiting weeks to have their broken bones treated in a hospital. The society effectively relinquishes their free will to determine their own need to their authoritarian overlords.

They go on to say, “Production under socialism would be directly and solely for use” (What is Socialism?, para 5). This is the most economically devastating idea one could dream up. Nothing will be made for profit. The individual workers would have no incentive to work hard. Why would anyone strive for management or overtime when the result is the same as its weakest link? The answer: they wouldn’t… unless there is corruption. Corruption, fraud, and scandal are prevalent in many Socialist countries where mafias and politicians live in luxury while the rest of society struggles to get their own piece of bread.

Ami Horowitz filmed a quick 9-minute video titled “What’s wrong with socialism?” where he asks Americans their opinion about socialism. Many of the people he interviewed on the street exclaimed, “Nothing is wrong with Socialism!” and “I like it!” He went on to take a deeper look into the ravages this political theory in practice has on the citizens of Venezuela. A woman stood in a bread line for an entire night before walking away with only a half-filled grocery bag. Government controlled mafias police the bread lines and often clear out the supply with their own grubby hands.

While Bernie Sanders used economic inequality to promote his political agenda (if you don’t remember, he always spoke about “the 1%!”), the reality of socialism would essentially divide the country into two classes: the super-poor consisting of the entire people under government control, and the super-rich who are the controlling government. Ami shows this in his video, highlighting the violence and squalor the citizens of Venezuela must endure on a daily basis. Many people supporting Democratic Socialism have an idealistic view of the movement, claiming that the damages done in the past by Socialism is just because “they weren’t doing it right.” Isn’t that how it starts? Can’t we say that some of them began on good intentions?

Socialism takes capitalism away. They take the freedom of individual rights and creates a society of cogs in the machine of government control. The socialist society has no individual ownership, but takes their personal possession and forcefully redistributes with the idealistic view that just because you live, you deserve to steal from your neighbor.

 

References:

World Socialist Movement (2017). What is Socialism? Retrieved from: http://www.worldsocialism.org/english/what-socialism

Horowitz, Ami (2017). What’s wrong with socialism? Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0ON0xUMawg

Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

 

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