With the rise in the advocacy for socialism, such as with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, etc., and their rationality-free, knowledge-free emotional appeals to the ignorant and gullible masses, I am reminded of this article I had on LewRockwell.com in 2010, “I Am a Socialist,” with a self-proclaimed socialist explaining what he really supports. And so I will repost that here now. (There may be one or two things in which I wouldn’t put it in exactly the same way as I did in 2010, but I think this makes some important points.)
November 24, 2010
Recently, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell announced that he is a “socialist.” O’Donnell referred to Milton Friedman’s quote, “We’re all Keynesians now,” and President Richard Nixon’s quote, “I am now a Keynesian,” in the context of Keynesian economics being very similar to socialism. O’Donnell went on to assert his pride in being a socialist, and even suggested that Glenn Beck, Rand Paul and others are also socialists in one form or another.
So here is an elaboration of someone, whoever that might be, explaining why he is a socialist:
“First and foremost, I am a socialist because I disagree with the Founding Fathers’ ideas on morality and the Rule of Law. It is important that we have a centralized government that redistributes all the wealth. The State needs to have the power to take some of the wealth away from those the State decides have too much of it. Obviously, no one has a ‘right’ to one’s own wealth or property. And I don’t believe that ‘all men are created equal’ because, if there is a law against theft, then obviously because we need to allow agents of the State to take wealth away, then therefore laws against ‘theft’ must exempt agents of the State. That means that some people should be above the law.
“And I am a socialist in medical care because I think that the centralized government should control everyone’s medical care – it’s as simple as that. It is important that government bureaucrats and their government doctors and medical services have a monopoly in the medical industry so they don’t have to deal with competitive interests, as opposed to a free market in medical care in which the consumers determine which doctors and medical plans would stay in business and which ones would fail. Some people assert that that gives ‘power to the people,’ but we socialists don’t want the people to have that kind of power – it takes control away from government bureaucrats and that’s why I don’t like that. It’s important that government officials control the ultimate decisions in what affects American medical patients (and because the Blue State grandmas are more likely to vote for the “good guys” than the Red State grandmas, if you know what I mean).
“I support socialist immigration central planning because the State has a right, for example, to prevent an employer in Arizona from hiring an applicant from Mexico despite the fact that the employer believes that individual is qualified for the job and the Mexican applicant is willing to accept the job at the wage both agree on. Their prospective contract should not be in their control, it should be in the central planners’ control. When we say that socialism includes public ownership of the means of production, then that includes ownership of the employer’s business, as well as the prospective employee’s direction of employment (as well as the employer and employee themselves – after all, one of the most important of the means of production is the people).
(If I may interject here while Mr. Socialist goes to take a brief powder: Some of what is being described is actually fascism. While socialism can generally be described as public ownership of wealth and the means of production, fascism allows for private ownership of wealth and the means of production but the control is usurped by the State. So, there are elements of socialist programs that are also fascist in nature, and vice versa. In immigration, for instance, the central planning nature of public ownership of wealth and the means of production also includes State control over immigration which is really part of fascism, so our socialist here is also a fascist, but don’t tell him I said that. Actually, there really is little difference between socialism and fascism when you get right down to it. But, for the sake of discussion, we’ll continue with our self-proclaimed “socialist” in his discussion of why he favors socialism.)
“To continue, I am a socialist because I support the central planning of chemical ingestion, otherwise known as the War on Drugs. While the common sense answer to the ‘drug problem’ might be freedom and personal responsibility, it is nevertheless important that the centralized bureaucrats have the power to dictate to people what chemicals they may or may not ingest (even though this causes a black market in banned drugs, dramatically raises the prices of drugs and thus incentivizes the black marketers to form gangs and cartels that causes turf wars and increased violence, and incentivizes them to push the drugs on impressionable youths and adults some of whom turn to robbery to afford the pricey substances, as well as distracts and corrupts the police).
“Speaking of police and protecting the public, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the socialist central planning monopoly in territorial security (as opposed to a free market in security, in which those in the protection business would have to deal with profit-and-loss as determined by competitive agents and consumer control). It is important that 300 million Americans are compelled by law to use the monopoly of centrally planned ‘defense’ in Washington to protect them from harm by foreign elements, while legally forbidding anyone from competing in the business of protection.
“I also believe in that central planning military socialism because I haven’t read Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s books, The Private Production of Defense and The Myth of National Defense, or Morris and Linda Tannehill’s book, The Market for Liberty, and because I really do believe in the myth that the U.S. government’s committing aggression on foreign lands actually protects Americans and doesn’t instead provoke those in the foreign lands to retaliate against that aggression and intrusion. I don’t want to admit that giving central planners a monopoly in defense, without the constant checks on their behavior that the pressures of competition in a free market and the requirement to follow the Rule of Law would bring, actually encourages central planners to use the government apparatus to further expand their power and control (and profits at taxpayers’ expense). Can you imagine a private security firm or insurance agency deliberately provoking the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor, or deliberately encouraging Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait as an excuse to invade Iraq? A private firm with competitive pressures and under the Rule of Law would not only lose business but its agents would end up in jail. But, despite the messes in Iraq and Afghanistan that our central defense planners in Washington have caused, and the fact that Washington’s intrusions abroad have made us less safe, I still want to pretend that this socialism in defense actually works. As Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noted, “the system worked.”
“Of course, given that I’m a proud supporter of redistribution of wealth schemes, military socialism is effective in taking wealth from American producers and laborers and redistributing it over to those in the defense contractor industry (and Wall Street). While this socialist (and fascist) monopoly of territorial protection may be completely disorganized because there is no incentive among the government bureaucrats to be efficient and productive, such a scheme nevertheless effects in getting contractors’ campaign contributions in the pockets of those politicians who need the jobs they get in Washington as they would otherwise be unemployed in the private sector. It’s important for America.
“After all, the Founding Fathers were also socialists in that their Constitution mandates a centralized government monopoly in defense, in which free, open competition in that area is outlawed. That’s been good for America.
“And finally, I support the socialized commerce that the Federal Reserve provides, with the help of legal tender laws and loose fractional reserve banking permissions, because I believe that it is vital that a centralized government control the money supply and banking. We can’t allow the people to have the freedom to choose a bank based on its record of service to the community, because that would take control away from the centralized authorities who know better as far as what’s best for the people, and we can’t allow the people to have the freedom to choose among competing currencies, because that would take control away from the centralized authorities who know better as far as what’s best for the people.
“Like the central planning micromanagement from ObamaCare, Social Security and government-run education, the Federal Reserve is important to micromanage the economy, despite all the damage it has caused since its founding in 1913. So, as a socialist, I feel it’s important to continue the Fed’s control over and intrusions into our money, banking, savings and investments (and our prosperity, security and Liberty as well).
“We need as many government intrusions into every aspect of human existence as possible, so most of all, I guess I’m a socialist because I like power and oppose freedom.
Yeah, goodbye, Socialist. Now, get lost – we’re better off without you.