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If Only “Democratic Socialists” Learned More About Socialism

Benjamin Powell, co-author of Socialism Sucks, has an article at the Independent Institute asserting that “Democratic Socialists” really need to learn more about socialism. If those who declare themselves to be socialists went to actual socialist countries like Venezuela to see first hand how bad things are there because of socialism — just like the old Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, etc. — then maybe they might have a change of heart.

Here is an excerpt:

But here’s the problem. The word “democratic” isn’t magic fairy dust when put in front of “socialist.” The socialist portion of democratic socialism still means the state—the government—has undue control over economic decision-making that will result in stagnation.

And, as history has shown over and over again, you can’t really have a free society and free people without economic freedom. Democratic freedoms and economic freedoms go hand in hand.

In his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek made the case that democracy is only compatible with competitive capitalism and that once a country becomes “dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself.”

The reason is simple. Centrally planned socialist economic systems necessarily concentrate economic power in the hands of government officials and planners. Without such power they can’t hope to “run things.” Yet this same power limits citizens’ ability to freely exercise their power when they become dissatisfied with the government. That’s because the government can punish them financially if they choose to oppose those in power.

Published inBureaucracyEconomicsSocialism