Essay #18: Socialism is Evil — Why? INEQUALITY — the Really BAD Kind
I’ve been running a mini-series of essays detailing the evils of Socialism as a governing philosophy. This is the eighteenth installment in that series.
Why is Socialism evil? Inequality. The really bad kind.
Socialism imposes, then enforces, the worst kind of inequality… in the worst way.
It’s important at this point to make an important observation: Societal inequality is a very, very good thing… if there’s equality of opportunity. At that point, inequality is just a synonym for opportunity.
The greater the inequality, the more the opportunity. Surely all can agree that greater opportunity in life is highly desirable.
Good inequality is why we have such treasured institutions as major league sports: to see who will end up on top. The best! Superior! The top of the heap! The cream of the crop. Superbly, gloriously, endlessly fascinatingly… UNequal.
Many Socialists sum up Socialism with a catchy catchphrase: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
Sounds nifty, right? Each working for the benefit of everyone? What could possibly be wrong with that?
Well there are at least two different types of relationships in which we can measure “equality.” Both are extremely important to understand. There’s #1: the relationship between two or more different people, or two or more different classes or groups of people, and then there’s #2: the relationship between the people and the government.
But… and it’s a big one: In case #1 – each working for the betterment of all – success requires that no one shirk his duties. Success ALSO requires that the government do its duties managing it all… fairly, without corruption, honestly, wisely, benevolently… at all times.
Those are two very big requirements. Given both human nature, and the nature of humans with power, these are requirements that… never happen. Outside of theory, that is.
This is precisely what we’ve seen in every single, solitary instance of a society established on Socialist principles. No exceptions. Every single time, such a society has devolved into a primitive tyranny, characterized by the most massive, and the very worst kind, of inequality… that between the powerless individual and the all-powerful government.
The Socialist principle expressed in their catchy catchphrase describes an automatic relationship of inequality – the really bad inequality – between the individual and… “everyone.” In this case: “everyone” means: the government. Why? Because the government would enforce the distribution of the fruits of everyone’s labor to “everyone.” So, really, the Socialist catchphrase means: “Each will produce goods and services for the government according to his abilities; to each the government will grant what the government deems sufficient.”
Not nearly as catchy, but actually accurate.
The principle makes a necessary assumption: Each individual will produce more goods and/or services than he receives back from the government. If that is not true, and the individual receives back more than he produces, then he’s no longer of any use to the government.
As far as the government is concerned, each person represents nothing more than his economic value to society. It’s always happened that societies constructed around Socialist principles have eliminated (generally with extreme prejudice) those people the government has deemed more costly than what they produce.
Even institutions based on Socialist principles eliminate – even kill – the people who take more from the system than they put in. The British National Health System (NHS) is notorious for this. If it would cost more to keep you alive than to let you die, they throw you off the NHS… and you die.
This is the notorious “Liverpool Pathway.” (now renamed, in true orwellian fashion, “Priorities for Care”) Once you’re on it, you’ll receive only palliative care. Likely more to ensure that you won’t go whining publicly about it, than to alleviate your pain.
Often, Socialist governments relegate such people to vast, sprawling gulags – slave labor camps and networks – designed to squeeze some more labor out of the inmates before discarding them completely. Often, with nine grams of lead to the back of the head.
Such gulags thrive in present-day China, in North Korea, in Cuba… We have the term itself because of the massive gulag that the former Soviet Union ran for 75 years in present-day Russia. These vast, people-eating prison complexes have been instrumental in the liquidation of tens of millions of people the government deemed more costly than they were worth.
There are two kinds of ways to make society better: #1: The Socialist figures that if each person works for the betterment of all, then life in general will constantly improve. Or, #2: Each person works to improve his or her own circumstances. In each case, if each member of society puts forth an honest effort, then society will constantly improve. As a natural consequence of these efforts.
However in case #1, where all are supposedly working selflessly for the betterment of all, there are no incentives to work hard for the betterment of everyone. Because under Socialism, no one is supposed to earn more than anyone else.
The harder you work, the more your income stays the same. The less you work, the more your income… stays the same. Under such a system, who’s going to give his all?
But, if the entire society improves when everyone works to improve his own situation, why not work for your own success? After all, it… pays off!
But, it produces… *GASP!* inequality!
The inequality to which the Left objects is that between people or between groups or classes of people. However, the Left then establish the far worse inequality: that between the powerless individual and the all-powerful government… and the government is always on top in that relationship.
There’s a phrase going around these days: “The cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease.” And that seems pretty obvious. It implies that such a “cure” is no cure at all… because it’s worse than having the disease.
Well, if inequality between people is wrong, then inequality between a person and the government is no cure… because it’s far, far worse.
Now, there is another way. And it’s the way of inequality between people, with equality of opportunity.
In that circumstance, there’s also inequality between the individual and the government, and it’s an inequality where the person is dominant over the government.
That’s good inequality, because in that scenario the government can not oppress the people.
We should never forget that the principal source of oppression through history has always been: the government. If your company is oppressing you, or your family, or your boyfriend or girlfriend, then you have recourse. But, if the government is oppressing you, to whom do you mount an appeal? To the very authorities who are oppressing you? Good luck with that!
It’s with good reason that we observe that if you never give the government the power to oppress you, the government can never oppress you. The corollary to that is, of course: If you do give the government the power to oppress you, good luck rescinding that power!
We can make another, related observation: The government knows how to make you miserable, but only you know how to make yourself happy.
It’s important to understand this last one, because many people think that, when they cede power to the government, they’re giving the government the power to make them happy. Or at least happier. They’re not. If, for example, you grant me the power to do something that I have no idea how to do, then I still won’t do that thing well.
There’s really only one thing anyone can possibly do to make you happier, and that’s to give you the power and opportunity to make yourself happier. That’s it. There’s nothing under the sun that anyone can ever do to make you happier… except to remove obstacles in your path to making yourself happier.
Do you want to be happier? Of course you do! Then determine what makes you happy (no one else can do that but you!) and pursue it yourself. And do whatever you can to get the government the heck out of your life and out of your way.
And whatever you do, run screaming from anyone claiming to be a Socialist! Such a person is either stupid, or deeply ignorant, or evil. Or all three.