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The prospect now before us in America ought...to engage the attention of every man of learning to matters of power and of right, that we may be neither led nor driven blindfolded to irretrievable destruction.

ideas > Capitalism vs. Socialism

Capitalism vs. Socialism
What is capitalism? It is nothing more than free markets and the freedom to choose the economic relationships you wish to make without the interference of government or other groups. Individuals and groups of individuals own the means of productions as businesses. The results of capitalism are that peoples physical needs and wants are met because profit is king and the one who makes the most profit is the one who delivers the most desirable physical goods that people want. For example, Henry Ford became extremely rich because he learned how to mass produce automobiles, which were what the masses desired. John D. Rockefeller became extremely rich because he learned how to mass produce and refine oil so that more people could enjoy the blessing of cheap energy. Capitalism is nothing more than economic freedom to choose how and where you want your money to go based on your desires and wants. Those who make out best in this system are those who produce the most desirable things for people to consume. The power is put in the hands of the consumer, the masses, to determine who wins and loses in this type of system.

What is socialism? It is the opposite or counter to capitalism. It is the idea that everything is shared in common by the community and the government or a group of people determines how the economy is run and the economic relationships that can be made through direct ownership of the means of production or through regulation. The consumer becomes secondary to the politician or bureaucrat in this system. Economic decisions are political decisions primarily and are not based on the desires and wants of the consumers. They are based on the desires and wants and beliefs of those who run the system. Thus those who benefit the most from this type of system are those who produce the least, those who control the political power, and those who are close to power. The consumer clearly gets the short end of the stick. One need look no further than the former Soviet Union or China, socialist states, to see that the ones that benefited greatly were the party elite and those who suffered the most were the masses.

Why is there more plenty under a capitalist scheme than a socialist scheme? It is because the capitalist scheme acknowledges the fact that humans are always driven by self-interest. They will work hardest when there is something in it for them. They were be lazy when there is nothing or very little in it for them. This is human nature. Capitalism recognizes this and rewards those who work hardest and produce things that people want. Socialism completely ignores this fact and instead assumes that man can rise above his nature and work together for the common good. It is pure idealism without any historical backing. Every attempt to implement socialism has ended in complete ruin and failure and often led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in both China, the USSR, North Korea, Vietnam, Germany, and other socialistic regimes in the 20th century alone.

The problem with socialism is that it sounds good. It offers equality and plenty, but never delivers either. Instead it delivers scarcity and tyranny. At least that is what history teaches us. It would appear that the end justifies the means. No amount of killing or tyranny seems to be too much when it has come to implementing socialism in the countries mentioned above. Killing was justified because it was furthering the common good of socialism. This would appear to be a unique feature of socialism. No other form of government or economic organization in history has led to the deaths and suffering of hundreds of millions of people. It is historical fact. Under Mao, over 80 million Chinese were murdered. Stalin murdered tens of millions. Kim Il Sung in North Korea murdered millions. Pol Pot in Vietnam killed millions. Hitler and his unique brand of nationalistic socialism and World War II led to tens of millions of deaths. No other economic or governmental system has been responsible for this kind of carnage and suffering, both physically and economically. Yet, here in America, we still believe in socialism and its pie in the sky dream. We believe in big government. We have such socialistic programs and social security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, health insurance, regulation of all industries and businesses, progressive taxation (rob from the rich to give to the poor), etc. The list could go on and on. Why do we allow this to continue in America, the land of the free, when history teaches us that socialism always ends in destruction? There is no other end game for socialism other than destruction. Why does socialism always end in destruction?

I can think of two reasons. First, it makes people lazy. People are no longer forced to produce things that people want. They just need to produce things that bureaucrats want. They are not driven by profit motive. Instead they are driven by the desire to get whatever they can from their politicians. This ultimately leads in less things being produced for the masses and ultimately makes us all poorer, which creates even more friction between the haves and the have-nots. The have-nots incorrectly turn their anger upon the haves, instead upon the government, and destroy completely any wealth or the ability for wealth to be generated in class warfare. Second, socialism, as was mentioned previously, always pits one group of people against the other as they fight for political spoils. Whether these groups be based on race, education back ground, job type, marital status, age, or whatever, these groups are fighting amongst each other for freebies from the government. Ultimately, more people are left out of the system cause contention and backlash as those who are forced to give up watch helplessly as those who receive either take advantage of the system or continue to abuse the system. Eventually, this leads to anger and resentment and some type of backlash. Socialism does not work because it rewards the wrong kind of behavior. It rewards those who know how to game the political system, ultimately leading to a lower standard of living because goods that people want are not being produced.

So why would Americans choose socialism over capitalism? I believe it is for several reasons. First, Americans have been brainwashed to believe via public schools that capitalism is evil and that government intervention or socialism is good. Who controls the public schools? Generally people that believe in big government, e.g. teacherís unions, etc. Naturally they would want to teach a history that supports their beliefs. Second, Americans are afraid of changing a system that they already know and think they can control. Third, the amount of disinformation out there is growing exponentially by the day. The clever arguments used against freedom and multiplying at an alarming rate. The question next becomes, what direction will Americans take? Will they wake up and realize that the status quo will only lead to economic distress and moral decay?

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