Why Socialism Fails

Socialism has been with us for some time and for many people who are convinced they speak for the best of all of us it has been touted as the only true humane form of government. Unfortunately, it only works when it can take the human part out of the equation. Diversity must be ignored and abandoned if we are to live in a truly socialist world, something that I believe most people are not willing to give up.


“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is the slogan used by Socialists, their description of how in a perfect world we would only take from society what we need and we would give to society all we could. Notice the phrased I used, ‘a perfect world’. A world that ignores the hopes, dreams and desires of the human beings that reside in it. Let’s be honest, if it were a perfect world, we wouldn’t really need government at all, would we?

By ignoring the reality that every human being has their own desires out of life, their own hope to live life in the way of their choosing and their own dreams of how they want their life to end up we effectively rip the soul out of us all. And with it goes our motivations for trying to do better for ourselves and our society. What incentive exists in a Socialist society that drives a human being to reach beyond themselves to create something new, to solve problems that no one believes can be solved. To reach for the stars or attempt heroic feats that the legends are full of?

But the real failure comes from enforcing this new society. Who decides what a person needs? Who decides what a person should be giving to the society? What happens when that one person decides that his needs aren’t being met and strikes out on his own, is he arrested and thrown in jail?

What results is a society where a group of people are put in charge of deciding these things. They evaluate what the ‘average’ person would need since there is no way that they could sit and analyze every citizen’s unique situations in order to make sure that every need is met. While the lower able or desirous among us are lifted up beyond their setting, the more desirous and capable are sucked down to the lowest common denominator. We limit the ability of our society to grow and ensure that we end up never meeting the needs of everyone equally.

What happens when someone chooses not to ‘play by the rules’ and tries to acquire more from life than they need, as dictated by those we put in charge to decide that. In a Socialist society they would either have to be ‘cast out’ or the force of the government would have to be used to make that person fall back into line. Bleak options and harsh punishments for someone who is simply realizing the nature of humanity.

The real lie is that we are all equal. We are not. Some people are smarter than others, some people have a stronger desire for self-improvement. It’s a reality of life that the Socialist can’t accept. They feel that everyone should be identical to each other, have the same needs and desires out of life as everyone else. And if someone does want more, they are looked at as ‘greedy’. When it is exactly that type of overreaching and self-motivation for more out of life that pushes society into larger and better ways of living while dragging those that are content with much less along with them.

Socialism only works in small groups of people. When everyone in the group agrees going in what the needs are and are all happy with those limits. This is how small tribes of American Indians were able to follow a basically socialist model. The limits were religious in nature, religion itself created as a means of ensuring people acted different than their nature, and the entire tribes freely agreed to live by those limits. Those that didn’t or couldn’t accept the bargin left the society and struck it out on their own. But in a large country such as the old USSR or the USA there is little hope that this type of society could ever succeed. Not because it’s not a great idea ‘in a perfect world’ but because we don’t live in that world, we live in this one. And humans are not cookie-cutter copies of each other when it comes to what we want out of life.

Personally, I prefer making sure that everyone has the freedom to live their lives as they see fit. Being able to do what they want with their own lives, making their own decisions, as long as they do not encroach on the ability for others to do the same. Of course, that’s Libertarianism, the enemy to Socialism, because it accepts and embraces that we all have different desires out of life and those that want more than others are not villians or evil because of it. It’s a struggle that has been going on for years and one that I don’t expect to see end any time soon.

But we all must ask ourselves, is it really a bad thing that we might want more out of life than our neighbor? Or is it really a good thing for society that we push ourselves that much harder in order to provide a better life for us and our families? I believe that it is a good thing, something that we should embrace and make our own.

Where do you stand?

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