“The power to do things for people is also the power to do things to people.” — Isabel Paterson, 1943
Today, so many people—especially young people in the U.S.—do not know what socialism is.
Most of what young people learn about socialism comes from those whose livelihoods are dependent upon government—namely, teachers and politicians—and the expansion of government into citizens lives.
Very few of those who advocate for socialism have ever started a business or actually ever lived under socialism long enough to understand it.
To begin, while we hear the term being thrown around in the media a lot, it helps to know how socialism is defined.
While there are those who argue that “democratic socialism” is different than “pure” socialism and though the names may differ, they are both based on an inherently immoral premise: That is the premise that individuals should not be free and are subjects of (or servants) to the collective.
“Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good,” wrote author Ayn Rand more than 50 years ago.
“In the end,” noted Ben Bayer last year, “democratic socialism is only superficially different from the socialism that was pushed, bloodily, on its twentieth-century victims.”
While this graphic is a good visual, below are four easy ways to explain socialism to young people.
1. Socialism is based on a principle of theft.
The basic tenet of socialism is the Marxist doctrine “From each according to his ability…to each according to his need.”
As such, if one is to break the doctrine down to its literal meaning, it means taking (involuntarily) from those who are more able or more productive and giving the fruits of their labor, wealth or property to those less able or productive.
The taking of another individual’s labor or property without his permission is, by definition, theft.
2. Socialism is a system of servitude.
If the definition of servitude is a) a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one’s course of action or way of life, and b) a right by which something (such as a piece of land) owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another, socialism is the ideology that strips individuals of their freedom and conscripts citizens into servitude.
Since bondage, enslavement, servility, and slavery are all synonyms to servitude, one could easily (and accurately) state that socialism is slavery.
3. ‘Take from the rich, give to the poor’ schemes makes everyone poorer.
Socialists typically gain power by pitting the “working class” (the proletariat) against “the rich” (the bourgeoisie).
Although the violent overthrowing of governments is not unheard of, in western democracies, the socialists’ modus operandi almost always consists of demonizing the rich by blaming them for every wrong the “working class” suffers and convincing voters to vote their way into socialism.
Once socialists successfully demonize the rich and get themselves elected, their solution is often to redistribute wealth in order to pay for the programs socialists proffer to gain their power.
Cuba launches widespread rationing in face of crisis
“The Cuban government announced Friday that it is launching widespread rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products in the face of a grave economic crisis.”
— Claude Berube (@cgberube) May 11, 2019
Both Venezuela and Cuba, before they turned to socialism, had rich people, a middle class, as well as poor people…now they only have poor people and their rulers.
4. Actual thieves are more intellectually honest.
When a thief robs someone at gunpoint, his motives are clear.
Politicians, however, who claim their desire is to alleviate poverty by taking from one class of people may do so under the guise of being altruistic.
As a result, the politicians’ motives are rarely questioned.
However, instead of the robber with a gun, the altruistic politician’s weapon is the use of the government and the end result is power over people.