The modern ideology of socialism in undiluted form is essentially the belief that the government can be abolished if its function of protecting private property is done away with. This would be accomplished through both the abolition of private property, and its representation, capital. Anti-capitalism thus becomes a supposed program of liberation. Socialism itself is the imagined post-capitalist world, where the economy meets everyone’s needs, people get along in harmony as “citizens of the world,” and they share with one another without question.
Obviously, not all that involves property and capital is capitalism; just as not everything that involves anti-capitalism is socialism. There are certain principles acknowledged by capitalists as indispensable to maintaining a functioning market system; namely, private property, sound currency, and enforced contracts.
By extension, in the capitalist system if private property is violated through wealth distribution, it destroys the positive reinforcement mechanism of wealth generation; it also severs the negative reinforcement mechanism of poverty for idleness. If sound currency is violated through depreciation, it destroys savings and long-term investment, leading to a live-for-the-day mentality, economic shortsightedness, and speculative folly. If contracts are not honored, then social trust is undermined, since a man’s word is his bond.
But as was claimed earlier, not all that presently falls under the heading of “capitalism” jibes with even the fundamentals. Private property is massively redistributed through the progressive income tax, to the point that the lower 50% pay no federal taxes, and the upper 20% pay over half of these taxes. One’s property can be seized by the state in the name of eminent domain, an egregious and direct affront to private property. And of course, there are the innumerable regulations that go along with the government telling the individual how to run his business, whom to employ or not to employ, and in some cases, requiring the individual to pay the state merely for the privilege of living his own life and supporting it through his labor.
While capitalism is thus smeared as any system where there is some private property and some currency, socialism can be denied to have ever existed in practice because the lofty standards socialists set have never been fulfilled. Of course, everything tending towards socialism, by virtue of its own theoretical construct, is anti-capitalism; which essentially means the destruction of the free market system by various means, including, but not limited to: statist domination, over-regulation, progressive taxation, certification hurdles, exorbitant compliance costs, and arbitrary intervention, such as subsidies, bailouts, and stimulus.
But socialism in pure practice is said to be the never-existing nirvana that is supposed to arise after the capitalist system is laid to waste; but in reality, it is the North Korean hell-state that is supposed to have “withered away.” So obviously there is a disparity between the claims of socialists and the reality of socialism as practiced.
Therefore we can see the constant obfuscation by leftists that such-and-such is not socialism and so-and-so is not a socialist. These are just word games. What conservatives are talking about are the erosion of capitalist principles and the tendency towards the totalitarian system of socialism. A socialist would not act any different than an anti-capitalist, simply because the teleology of the socialist leads to paradise, while an anti-capitalist qua anti-capitalist is merely a nihilistic anarchist. By extension, a fascist is one who destroys the market economy through the principle of unity in the state, and whose tactics almost irreducibly seem to be the same as the anti-capitalist or socialist in practice. Yet the purpose of the fascist’s destruction of market economy is to consolidate economic control; the socialist’s supposed aim is to yield such economic control to the workers. But pray tell me, socialists, when this has ever happened? Where is this beloved worker’s state, or a shred of its manifestation, even in embryonic state?
Thus when it comes to fascism, socialism, and anarchism we are reduced in our analysis to a guessing game over who intends what. But we might say that a fascist is a socialist who doesn’t believe in the stateless utopia; while the socialist persists in his belief in such a place, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
The beauty of Marxian dialectics in the Fabian socialist mode is that the result is a mixed economy where the leftist believes capitalism is the problem, and the moderate believes that the self-contradictory workings of the economy are either the fault of incompetent technocrats or of the messy, democratic process itself, which necessarily requires endless compromise (of those with principles to those without principles).
But one without the ability to see things in the historical view is like the child riding in a car going 80 miles per hour; he sees the blur of trees, the rails of the bridge, and the fields of grain, but he doesn’t know he has crossed over the bridge from one state to the next. But hopefully this brief tour of socialist history demonstrates that we are indeed on a map, and not just floating around in the solipsistic world of leftist imagination. It is the trend that matters, and the immoral tactics and failing policies that supposedly achieve the socialist utopian end cannot be excused, merely because those who carry out such actions believe they will result in paradise.
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