Here is my latest article on Activist Post, Socialism vs. Freedom:
Bernie Sanders seems to be getting a lot of support from people who think they want “socialism” in America, especially the young people, many of whom know nothing about what socialism really is.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, including the assertion that Sweden and other Nordic countries are “socialist,” which they aren’t because of their protection of private property and the private ownership of the means of production. So, those countries are capitalist countries but with a large welfare state, just like the U.S.
But the truth is, actual socialism has a history of economic stagnation and impoverishment, tyranny, and political oppression. The “equality” that Bernie supporters are looking for does not exist in socialist societies.
In such socialist societies the political class are the elites who climb the ladder of success based on political favoritism and corruption, not based on abilities, talent, merit and risk. The political class are the rulers and the rest of the people are their servants, quite frankly.
No “equality” there.
So Bernie is running on a platform to “tax the billionaires” to pay for all the socialist programs he wants to impose.
But Bernie has also said he wants to eliminate the billionaires (until there are no more billionaires to tax, and thus no more wealth to fund his schemes!).
The truth is, these politicians, demagogues, and propagandists such as Bernie are really for government power and control, and they oppose freedom, even though it was freedom that most contributed to the biggest expansion in growth and progress in human history and the biggest rise in the standard of living of all (and not just the “1%” or the “rich” or billionaires, but everyone).
More than guided by motivations of charity, giving and compassion, the Bernie socialists seem guided by envy and covetousness in their expressed desire to take other people’s money and stuff away from them. Sadly, earlier misguided Americans began the process for them by imposing the income tax and empowering the IRS.
And the truth is, socialism is anything but “social.” It is in fact anti-social. Socialism is antithetical to peace, and has no place for the peacefulness of voluntary exchange. Socialists impose policies of coercion, compulsion, and government theft of private wealth, government exploitation of your labor.
Many people agree with the policies of aggression against peaceful people, from the antifa demonstrators who beat up MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporters to the police state enforcing immigration and drug laws.
And Project Veritas showed that some Bernie supporters are threatening to burn down Milwaukee and other cities if Bernie doesn’t get the Democrat nomination.
But these people merely reflect the actual government policies they support. Socialism requires a heavy dose of State power and aggression over the people and a powerful police state, goons with badges and guns, to enforce the bureaucrats’ iron fist.
The differences between socialism and freedom?
Unlike in the private sector in which all transactions, trades and associations must be voluntary, and the use of coercion with threats of force are considered criminal, under socialism the transactions between government and the workers are involuntary. You must obey the government’s demands for whatever it wants, or else.
And the U.S. quickly became this kind of society after the income tax was imposed in the early 20th Century. Which is what enabled the aforementioned enrichment of the ruling class in Washington. (Hence Bernie’s three homes and $2 million in wealth. But what has he actually produced and served consumers with in return? Nothing, quite frankly.)
And it is not just the “rich” who are robbed by the government, it is everyone. Either through direct taxation or indirectly via inflation and a central bank such as the Federal Reserve System.
So we have to decide whether we want to live in a free society, a society of peace and prosperity, or not.
The socialist society, or in the U.S. the “mixed economy” as it is sometimes called, requires the violation of the people’s freedom.
What exactly is freedom, as compared to the enslavement of the government-owned and controlled economy under socialism?
In freedom, you own your life and your body. Not the government. You own your labor and all the energy and effort you put into your productivity, until you voluntarily sell your labor to an employer, a client or customer. And you thus own the earnings or compensation that are paid to you voluntarily by such employers, clients or customers, which are based on mutually agreed-to voluntary contracts.
In the modern era, more freedom has led to the periods of the greatest growth and expansion, and raised the standard of living of all in society. Socialism and less freedom have a history of reducing the standard of living of the people.
For example, we still have generally a lot of freedom in the tech sector now, unlike the healthcare and some other sectors. The reason you have a very modern and convenient iPhone and other little gadgets is because of that freedom.
All the advances and inventions of modern tech, as well as inventions in other areas, came from that freedom and free markets. They did not come from socialism.
What inventions, exactly, came from the socialist Soviet Union? From Cuba, North Korea, or Iran?
And healthcare in the U.S., for example, right now is not nearly as free and affordable as it used to be.
What happened? The government came in during the 1960s and imposed Medicare and Medicaid. Those interventions, mandates and intrusions distorted the markets in healthcare and caused havoc, which led to the increase in costs in healthcare. Prior to those intrusions, if someone was unable to afford to go to a doctor or hospital, it was affordable for doctors to provide medical care for people for free, which many did.
There was much more freedom of healthcare in general in the old days, as well. Doctor-patient confidentiality was also more secure. Governmental intrusions have compromised that, too.
Another example of the destruction of socialism is Venezuela, which Bernie enthusiastically praises. In Venezuela the government seized the ownership of the means of production of food. Food production and distribution are under the ownership and control of the government. And what happened? The government distortions in those markets gave the Venezuelan people empty store shelves, long lines, mass starvation, violence, corruption, and death.
In contrast, look at all the store shelves in grocery stores in the U.S. Fully stocked, most of the time, with many, many choices, all as a result of private ownership of food production and distribution, and the freedom of the people running those industries to do what they think is right at whatever given time, not based on what a bureaucrat demands.
In socialism the government owns the means of production. And what is the most important means of production? The people, of course.
In socialist societies you do not own your own life and your labor’s earnings. The government is the initial, primary owner of your labor and the government gives to you whatever it thinks you deserve.
Meanwhile, when there’s more freedom, especially the freedom to keep more of what you earn, businesses expand more and the workers are getting better pay and benefits so they can afford that car, a new refrigerator, etc. A recent example: the tax cuts of December, 2017 in the U.S. that were followed by companies immediately announcing their workers’ raises and bonuses.
In a genuinely free society the companies are privately owned and the capital of the private manufacturers and investors is free from government theft. This leaves the people free to invest in and expand their businesses to produce better goods and services to better serve the consumers.
Freedom is one big reason why people in the society can afford to have an iPhone, a TV, a car, and air conditioning.
In contrast, when the State owns and runs production and industry, which is what Bernie Sanders wants (like in modern Cuba and the old Soviet Union), government bureaucrats decide what you will do with your life and career (tracking kids from kindergarten to college, etc.). That is because in such societies you have no freedom and your right to self-ownership is usurped away by the rulers, i.e. a slave of the State.
And in such socialist societies there is no political freedom including the right to “question authority” and challenge the State’s abuses. Given that the U.S. is very socialist in the kinds of powers and controls the federal government already has, it’s no wonder the regime in Washington railroads anyone who rocks the establishment boat, from Donald Trump to political prisoners Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.
In socialist societies that Amerika had become long ago but many people aren’t willing or able to acknowledge, you can see how political power over others and the political process is an obsession. Look how members of the political class are climbing and grasping for power with the current 2020 elections.
The two major parties, Republican and Democrat, a.k.a. Republicrat and Demopublican, are really a racket. They are really a branch of the government, federal, state and local. Just look how those two parties have legally restricted the right of third parties or independent candidates to get their names on ballots. And the media, by the way, are another branch of the government, as their propaganda mainly repeats the government’s word without question.
Anti-establishment media people are “heretics,” “unpatriotic,” “Russia puppets,” and censored by mainstream media, or “de-platformed” by the government’s social media minions.
And, while Donald Trump in many ways is also an authoritarian socialist, just see how the apparatchiks and propagandists of the permanent extra-constitutional national security state and bureaucratic state went after him, just because he said, “Drain the Swamp.” Just look how the State’s criminals of government made things up, like “golden showers” and concocted a Steele Dossier to falsely accuse and frame-up a duly elected U.S. president. And when that didn’t work, they then made up more “crimes” from a mere phone call toward an impeachment, and that didn’t work either.
And with the pathological political class the Republicans are just as bad as the “strategizing” Democrats. Some of the conservative talk radio hosts and their ditto-head callers are saying they will vote in Democrat primaries for Bernie. But how did Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” work out? (It gave us Obama!)
You see, this is how things are when everything in life is politicized in a socialist society.
The conservatives, by the way, love socialism when it comes to the immigration issue. They love the idea of the central planners in Washington attempting to control the movements of millions of people, which is impossible.
The Rush Limbaugh crowd loves having the government restrict the rights and freedom of foreigners entering “our” country, entering the socialized and “publicly-owned” territory of Amerika and imposing a police state on everyone at or near the border.
In that kind of socialism that conservatives love, you have to get the government’s permission to get a job somewhere or to hire someone.
In contrast, in a free society people come and go as they please, they go to where a job is available and they buy or rent a home where they want to live, and employers just hire the best person for the job. No permission from a parasite bureaucrat in Washington needed.
In a free society, you do what you want to do with your own life, your labor and property, as long as you are peaceful and don’t violate the persons or property of others. Not complicated.
And in a free society, there is no government “war on drugs.” You own your own body and consume whatever you decide, and you’re responsible for your own decisions and actions. But when life is socialized, the government is empowered to own and control everything, including you.
Currently in Amerika, the government owns your body and bureaucrats decide what you may or may not put into “your” body.
In a free society, if you want to use, buy or sell a plastic bag, then you use, buy or sell a plastic bag. As long as you don’t litter. People littering is the real problem as far as environmental issues are concerned, not plastics per se.
In a free society no one may go to government bureaucrats to ban plastic, or ban anything for that matter. No banning drugs by law, no banning sugary drinks or salt, no banning guns, no bans on otherwise peaceful activities.
So a free society is a “leave people the hell alone” society. Whether the Bernie, Bloomberg or Trump socialists and fascists like it or not!
And in a free society, you educate your children however you want. And when there is freedom, there would be many more schools and choices, and the government doesn’t run the schools. No federal Department of Education, no local school committees. And it’s all voluntary. No compulsory education.
In a free society, if your child wants to have a lemonade stand, she has a lemonade stand. Nothing a local official or neighbor can do about it, as long as it’s on your own private property. If you want to drive a cab and offer people rides, you put “TAXI” on top and drive your cab and offer people rides. You don’t get a bureaucrat’s permission. You don’t pay the government a fee. You just do it.
And in a free society there is freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of movement, freedom of self-defense, and due process.
Sadly, there is no room for any of those things in a socialist society.
Activist Post – ALTERNATIVE INDEPENDENT NEWS – Creative Commons 2020