Quote of the Day: Socialism

 

“The old argument about the science of socialism was that it would be more efficient than capitalism and markets. Eliminate all that waste of competition and plan what is to be produced, by whom, where, and we’ll all have more stuff. We’ll be richer in short.

“Then we went and tested the contention to destruction and 1989 showed that it was incorrect.

“Oh well, not the first nor the last scientific or political proposition shown to be wrong. What’s much more interesting is that the justification for the same policies has changed in this modern age. For all too many people still insist we should be doing those same things, they just trot out different reasons as to why we should. Some that it would be fairer that way, others even going so far as to insist that we shouldn’t have economic growth therefore planning and socialism.” – Tim Worstal

Socialism isn’t a political philosophy — it is a secular religion. That is really the only explanation for Mr. Worstal’s observation. People give up failed political philosophies, but they cling like grim death to a religion.

There are 21 comments.

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  1. ST Inactive
    ST
    @SimonTemplar

    Socialism isn’t a political philosophy – it is a secular religion.

    Plus it has been so successful at reducing man’s footprint everywhere that it has been put into place.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    ST (View Comment):

    Socialism isn’t a political philosophy – it is a secular religion.

    Plus it has been so successful at reducing man’s footprint everywhere that it has been put into place.

    Aztecs managed the same thing using obsidian knives atop stepped pyramids.

    • #2
  3. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Another good one, from Von Mises:

    A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society.

    • #3
  4. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    ST (View Comment):

    Socialism isn’t a political philosophy – it is a secular religion.

    Plus it has been so successful at reducing man’s footprint everywhere that it has been put into place.

       Indeed, the socialist countries, China under Mao, Russia were ecological disasters as are most of the administrative states in the world.   The only countries that have reduced man’s footprint have been the advanced capitalist countries.  The nordics actually have freer markets than we do, they just mess with the labor side of the market.  Waste costs and democratic places want clean water and air, totalitarians don’t care what the people want.  We’ve been so good at cleaning up, the left had to invent the global warming threat to sustain their money flows and promises of centralized control.  

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I Walton (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):

    Plus it has been so successful at reducing man’s footprint everywhere that it has been put into place.

    Indeed, the socialist countries, China under Mao, Russia were ecological disasters as are most of the administrative states in the world. The only countries that have reduced man’s footprint have been the advanced capitalist countries.

    I think we are talking about literal footprints – not figurative, ecological footprints – here. See, the GuLAG, the Final Solution, and Pol Pot.

    • #5
  6. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Didn’t Margaret Thatcher say socialism was fine as long as the government doesn’t run out of money?

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Didn’t Margaret Thatcher say socialism was fine as long as the government doesn’t run out of money?

    Not quite. She said “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” In other words, she recognized no government has money – they take it from other people.

    • #7
  8. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Seawriter:  Tim Worstal:  plan what is to be produced, by whom, where,

    Therein lies the rub… It assumes there is some person or entity that can effectively plan and manage the wants and needs of every individual on earth.  One great leader with the foresight and genius to anticipate everything that is, or will ever be, needed or wanted by anyone, how much of it, and who will create it. 

    The first time they decide ‘nobody needs bluejeans, the state approved jumpsuit is sufficient for all!’ they lose the battle.  It is just unnatural to believe we are all like ants, waiting anxiously to be assigned our duties to aid the common good. 

    Not to mention that in such an environment there is no such thing as innovation.  Nobody needs something that hasn’t been invented, so why waste resources looking for new stuff to be provided to the masses? 

     

    • #8
  9. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    I Walton (View Comment):
    We’ve been so good at cleaning up, the left had to invent the global warming threat to sustain their money flows and promises of centralized control.

    Another great quote within a Quote of the Day discussion.


    This conversation is an entry in our Quote of the Day Series. We have 5 openings left on the April Schedule.  If this reminds you of a quotation that is important to you, why not sign up today?

    • #9
  10. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):

    Plus it has been so successful at reducing man’s footprint everywhere that it has been put into place.

    Indeed, the socialist countries, China under Mao, Russia were ecological disasters as are most of the administrative states in the world. The only countries that have reduced man’s footprint have been the advanced capitalist countries.

    I think we are talking about literal footprints – not figurative, ecological footprints – here. See, the GuLAG, the Final Solution, and Pol Pot.

    Yes nobody has ever surpassed them at that.  That may be the only organic matter they’ve added back.

    • #10
  11. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Because socialism does not work it stands to reason that it’s failure leads to totalitarianism. The only way to get people to commit to socialism’s failures are by force because no one is free to decide what matters to them personally.

    • #11
  12. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Because socialism does not work it stands to reason that it’s failure leads to totalitarianism. The only way to get people to commit to socialism’s failures are by force because no one is free to decide what matters to them personally.

    But if you put aside that socialism doesn’t work and it leads to totalitarianism, it’s just great.

    • #12
  13. ST Inactive
    ST
    @SimonTemplar

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I think we are talking about literal footprints…

    Yep.

    • #13
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    I Walton (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):

    Socialism isn’t a political philosophy – it is a secular religion.

    Plus it has been so successful at reducing man’s footprint everywhere that it has been put into place.

    Indeed, the socialist countries, China under Mao, Russia were ecological disasters as are most of the administrative states in the world. The only countries that have reduced man’s footprint have been the advanced capitalist countries. The nordics actually have freer markets than we do, they just mess with the labor side of the market. Waste costs and democratic places want clean water and air, totalitarians don’t care what the people want. We’ve been so good at cleaning up, the left had to invent the global warming threat to sustain their money flows and promises of centralized control.

    Indeed.

    One thing that has an enormous positive environmental impact is the rule of law.  Free markets (by definition, actually) have relatively high degrees of rule of law.

    If (hypothetically) the full rule of law came into existence today worldwide, a lot of pollution would literally evaporate overnight; a lot more would be gone in a year.

    And then there’s economic development.  There’s a reason African villagers cut down trees and cook their food on wood fires; they don’t have gas and electricity.

    • #14
  15. TedRudolph Inactive
    TedRudolph
    @TedRudolph

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Seawriter: Tim Worstal: plan what is to be produced, by whom, where,

    Therein lies the rub… It assumes there is some person or entity that can effectively plan and manage the wants and needs of every individual on earth. One great leader with the foresight and genius to anticipate everything that is, or will ever be, needed or wanted by anyone, how much of it, and who will create it.

     

    Somebody really smart might call this a Fatal Conceit

    • #15
  16. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    TedRudolph (View Comment):

    PHenry (View Comment):

    Seawriter: Tim Worstal: plan what is to be produced, by whom, where,

    Therein lies the rub… It assumes there is some person or entity that can effectively plan and manage the wants and needs of every individual on earth. One great leader with the foresight and genius to anticipate everything that is, or will ever be, needed or wanted by anyone, how much of it, and who will create it.

    Somebody really smart might call this a Fatal Conceit

    Yes I see Hayek in everything, and I think his best was  the Fatal Conceit.  Along these lines I want to make a comment on the left.  It occurred to me to day as I listened to local Latin American news feeds from around the Southern Hemisphere (that includes Miami) that the focus is always on corruption, in all of the elections going on now, in the Summit of the Americas, and discussions of the problems all the countries face, the focus is incessantly corruption.  I’d like to grab these Spanish speaking talking heads and tell them the issue is government control from which all corruption flows.  The left in contrast wants to focus on corruption because that means it’s not socialism, it’s not about the administrative states which govern every country in Latin America.  Why now more than in the past?  Because Venezuela’s deep failure can be placed at the feet of Maduro’s corruption, not the its cause, socialism.    

    • #16
  17. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Because socialism does not work it stands to reason that it’s failure leads to totalitarianism. The only way to get people to commit to socialism’s failures are by force because no one is free to decide what matters to them personally.

    But if you put aside that socialism doesn’t work and it leads to totalitarianism, it’s just great.

    So there are just a couple of minor bugs we need to work out.

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Tim Worstal is very, very smart.

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Because socialism does not work it stands to reason that it’s failure leads to totalitarianism. The only way to get people to commit to socialism’s failures are by force because no one is free to decide what matters to them personally.

    But if you put aside that socialism doesn’t work and it leads to totalitarianism, it’s just great.

    As long as the elites who run socialist societies maintain the illusion of personal freedom, many will vote for it.  For example, the average pro-socialist useful idiot doesn’t realize when you give two homosexuals the “freedom” to marry, he loses his personal freedom to criticize their union . . .

    • #19
  20. PJ Inactive
    PJ
    @PJ

    The problem with socialism is that it doesn’t work; the problem with capitalism is that it does.

    Capitalism doesn’t give people what liberals (or anyone else) think they should want, or even what they think they should want.  It gives them what they actually choose.  Efforts at reforming a capitalist society should be aimed at getting people freely to make better choices.

    I should add that not working is not the only problem with socialism.  It’s also immoral, though the problems are related.

     

    • #20
  21. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Because socialism does not work it stands to reason that it’s failure leads to totalitarianism. The only way to get people to commit to socialism’s failures are by force because no one is free to decide what matters to them personally.

    But if you put aside that socialism doesn’t work and it leads to totalitarianism, it’s just great.

    Yes everyone is screwed equally.

    • #21

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