First, the good aspects of socialism. Someone help me out here? I haven’t come up with anything. I’ve taken a look at Sweden since I heard socialism worked there. Well, it turns out their brief experiment in the 1970s and 1980s was a complete failure. Before they’d tried it, they were one of the richest and most prosperous countries in the world. Since returning to a more capitalist form of government, they are again prospering.
The bad side? Unlike a free and capitalist form of government, socialism is controlled by the state. Although it may initially be voted into play by the majority of people in a free society, once the state controls industry, wages, education, trade, taxation, utilities, and the press for a while, so-called “forward thinkers” finally realize they’ve lost complete control of their country. History has shown that governments never relinquish power once acquired. They only seek to increase it. At some point, a dictator gains control because all safeguards established within a free society have been made null and void. Look at Putin. His power is so great now that he’s forced a change to the Russian constitution so he could remain in power.
The temptation of socialism is greatest among those who wish to level the playing field in some area or another. It includes concepts such as the idea that everyone has an equal right to health care, regardless of their ability to pay, and that the government should pick up the tab, which in reality, means that all the other taxpayers bear the expense. Others think all employers should pay a minimum wage, no matter the job, and if someone can’t find work, we pay them a living wage. In addition to that, we should provide housing.
What follows results in the government controlling trade, industry, education, the press, and more. You may think I exaggerate, that it would not come to pass. You underestimate the vast numbers of citizens who would willingly relinquish control of areas of their lives just to make it easier, so they would not be bothered. We allow the state schools to educate our children, even though our math and science scores are below those of many developed countries. Universal healthcare is being pushed. If you think taxing the rich will pay for it, you are sadly mistaken. Past experience shows the middle-class taxpayer always picks up the tab.
Then, there is the truly ugly side of socialism. As a socialistic society continues on, the middle class declines and the tax burden falls to the poor. If socialism isn’t abandoned at that point, the population suffers from starvation, sickness, and long lines for basic necessities grow into a routine. Riots and crime become rampant. A police state is then required to control the population with mass incarcerations and prison camps.
Am I exaggerating? Take Venezuela. For decades up until the 1980s, it was one of the most prosperous countries in the world. After a period of anti-democratic governing, corruption, and regressive economic policies, socialism was instituted in full. What I described above pretty well fits the conditions there.
I’ll concede that a socialistic lifestyle has worked briefly here and there on a limited scale. Communes, where most people involved have the same beliefs, each having a good work ethic and a common goal, may survive for a generation. When some members, particularly children as they mature, don’t share the same goals, it falls apart. We’ve seen this time after time. If you think socialism is the answer, start your own commune. Good luck with that!