May 19, 2024
Socialism's Unbroken Trail of Failure
In one of his most revealing quotes, Lenin said, "The goal of socialism is communism." The idea that creeping socialism should precede communism is an acknowledgment that totalitarian rule is so frightening to people in free nations that it must be quietly slipped into those societies in bits and pieces.
In one of his most revealing quotes, Lenin said, “The goal of socialism is communism.” The idea that creeping socialism should precede communism is an acknowledgment that totalitarian rule is so frightening to people in free nations that it must be quietly slipped into those societies in bits and pieces.

Evidence that socialism is doomed to fail wherever it is tried occurred long before America became a nation. In 1607, inhabitants of Jamestown, Virginia were on the verge of starvation, largely because the settlement’s communal living arrangement failed to produce enough food. Among the steps that saved Jamestown from oblivion was doing away with communal sharing in favor of incentive-based farming that rewarded personal initiative.

Three and a half centuries later, the same lesson repeated itself in San Francisco and elsewhere, when the utopian “free food” communes of the hip generation went the way of the dinosaurs. The hippies who provided the food got tired of feeding those whose only contribution was a hearty appetite. Earlier this year, socialism’s empty promise of a honeyed existence for all struck again, this time in Scandinavia, where Finland’s socialist government collapsed over the unsustainable cost of passing out free stuff as if it grew on trees.

Having left an unbroken trail of failure in its wake, socialism is doomed to fail wherever it’s tried, because it is in eternal mortal conflict with the basic human instinct that those who work hard, pursue advanced education, employ their ingenuity, or risk their capital have an inborn expectation to do significantly better than those who don’t. As 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith put it, “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.” Stated differently, every socialist who works for a living does so not out of altruistic instincts, but to feather his own financial nest. That, too, will never change.

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See Also:

(1) The Fall of the Deep State and 1989’s Fall of Communism

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