October 20, 2021
What is socialism? Communism?
As it turns out, our country is MUCH different than it was even just 10 years ago, and it is this way due, in many respects, to the newfound political push of socialism in our world.
Many would argue that it has basically overtaken the Democratic party in our country.
So...what's the big deal? It's just more free stuff for people who are struggling, right?
In this blog post, we will be breaking down exactly WHAT socialism is, and why many compare it to one of the greatest cancers that can infect a society.
We will cover the questions of, what does it mean to be a socialist, what do socialists believe, and what does socialism mean?
Here is a Table of Contents that will help you to jump ahead to a particular topic of interest if you so choose.
Table of Contents:
In order to understand the roots of socialism (as we know it today), we need to go back in time a bit to the birth of a boy born in Germany in the early 19th century, named Karl Marx (pictured below).
Karl Marx (born May 5, 1818) studied at the University of Bonn, University of Berlin, and eventually earned a doctoral degree from the University of Jena.
Glenn Beck, in his book, "Arguing With Socialists" (pictured below), explains Marx's positions.
Beck says, according to Marx, nearly all of society’s conflicts stem from “struggles” between groups of people with varying amounts of wealth.
Marx believed that the only way to resolve these “class struggles” was for wealth and property to be equally redistributed and cooperatively managed, giving rise to the famous Marxist slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Beck continues, Marx reasoned that without collective property ownership, there would always be wealth disparities, which means there would always be at least one class of people “exploiting” another.
Socialists generally agree that property (to differing extents) should be collectively owned.
And EVERYONE (from the CEO of a company to the person on the bottom wrung of the occupational ladder) has the right to participate in decisions on how those resources will be used.
According to Marx and modern socialists, wealth should be seized by a powerful ruling class and redistributed to the rest of society.
If you plan to redistribute everyone’s wealth, you need to take it first, and the only way to do that is to seize control of societal institutions and then force people to give up their wealth.
So again, socialism is an economic and political theory advocating collective or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
The society as a whole collectively owns and manages property, taking the power out of the hands of individuals and granting it instead to the wider community, often by giving more control over property to government agencies.
Contrast this with free-market capitalism, which puts the emphasis on people owning their own homes, owning their own companies and being in charge of managing them, etc.
Let's look at the difference of capitalism vs socialism.
Now capitalism is, of course, what WE in the United States have been using in our society for a couple hundred years now (although we do have many socialist "programs" that have crept in (like Social Security, Health Care (relatively recently), etc.).
Beck breaks down free-market capitalism like this.
In real, free-market capitalism, I own personal property, you own personal property, and we’re able to exchange that property by using money or bartering.
When you boil it down to its foundation, free-market capitalism is simply an economic system of voluntary exchanges.
Again, you have property, I have property, and we have the ability to exchange our property freely, either by bartering or using money.
No system is PERFECT, but free-market capitalism has proven to be the best system in a free democratic republic.
Adam Smith (economist - pictured below) is the one given credit for starting, or at least popularizing, this type of free-market economy, when he wrote his book in the year 1776 (hmm, I am pretty sure something else sort of significant happened that year) called The Wealth of Nations.
Free-market capitalism and freedom go hand-in-hand.
You can’t have individual freedom without free enterprise, and you can’t have free enterprise without individual freedom.
Beck continues on.
Socialists believe that we can make the world a better place by taking property and wealth away from the people who have it and centralizing economic, political and social power.
However, socialism actually hurts the poor, eliminates individual freedom, and destroys economic opportunities for everyone.
Keep in mind: THIS IS NOT A NEW IDEA!
This has proven disastrous in every major nation it has been implemented in; go down the list of our current socialist countries: Cuba, Venezuela (pictured below), North Korea. Are people banging down the door to get IN to these countries, or trying to get OUT?
Beck argues that the biggest problem with socialism and communism is that they want to use the government to force people like me to live by your rules.
You want to take MY freedom away from me – and billions of others too – so that you can build your perfect socialist society.
In a nation of free people, most will always choose not to engage in socialism voluntarily.
The only way is to take their property and wealth, then, is to forcefully seize it from them.
It can be difficult to determine the difference between socialism and communism.
However, that is perhaps because we are looking at two sides of the same coin.
It is not socialism vs communism according to Karl Marx.
Marx describes socialism as a pit stop to communism.
Beck describes socialism as a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.
Marx saw capitalism as evil, and ultimately saw communism (state-owned control over industry, personal property, etc.) as the end goal.
In order for communism to be implemented, capitalism needed to be discredited and destroyed, along with the people who stand in the way of this revolution, so Marx saw socialism as the transition between the two extremes of Communism and Capitalism.
The free-market economy of the United States has thrived in the past 200-plus years to help create the freest, most prosperous society in the history of the world.
Communism (and its younger sister socialism) have ruined nations for the past 100-plus years, in every major nation it has been implemented in.
There is a reason people are banging down the door of the United States, and that people are trying to leave a lot of these communist nations - it is literally freedom vs indentured servitude.
So have you, or do you have family and friends who have come from socialist countries? What are some of the stories they have told you about their countries? Were you aware of the differences between socialism and capitalism? Let us know in the comments section below.
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