As a follow-up to my recent post on the ignorant socialists on both sides of the same statist coin, liberal and conservative, I wanted to bring up the libertarian view of the non-aggression principle and self-ownership. You own yourself and your life and morally if we want a peaceful, civilized society, then be peaceful, don’t initiate aggression against others. And a part of all that is private property rights. Don’t steal, don’t defraud, as well as don’t commit acts of aggression against others.
But socialism is when the government takes ownership of the means of production, industry and property, and actually consists of the violation of the individual and is when one’s life and labor do not exist for one’s own benefit (or for the benefit of those of one’s voluntary choosing) but for the benefit of others as determined by bureaucrats, by the rulers, against the will of the people. In contrast, actual free-markets (or free-market “capitalism”) consist of not just privately-owned property and industry but voluntary exchange, in which you own your own life and labor. As I wrote in a post that I recently linked to,
“Owning people” doesn’t fit into capitalism. “Owning people” is what the State does under socialism. If by “capitalism” you mean “free market capitalism,” then the “capitalists” do not “own” — nor can claim any kind of ownership of — their workers, their employees. In actual free-market capitalism, no one is forced to have any association with or to do any labor for any employer one doesn’t want to work for. In free-market capitalism, your contracts with other associates or your employers are voluntary, and you are free to go work elsewhere if you don’t like that employer. In a free system, you own yourself.
Claiming actual ownership of others is the enslavement of them. And that’s what socialism does, by the State’s (regardless of its using the rhetorical guise “the public”) seizing ownership of industries, wealth and “the means of production,” which includes the people. The people are the most important amongst the means of production.
And by the State’s “seizing ownership of industries,” I am referring also to control. If the State takes control over your supposedly privately owned business or property (with regulations, mandates, restrictions, etc.) then that is the indirect way of the State’s seizing ownership. If you don’t fully control your own property, and another entity has forcibly seized control over it, then you don’t really own it.
Besides the purpose of forced redistribution of wealth in the name of equalizing inequality, socialism is also used to forcibly advance a social agenda. So some people won’t like my examples here, but that’s because a lot of people have been indoctrinated with social “justice” propaganda, but here goes:
One example is the civil rights stuff that now has expanded to include LGBT “rights” against “discrimination” as well as by race or sex. In recent years we have heard about same-sex couples suing photographers, florists and bakers who didn’t want to do work for the couples’ weddings.
Now, why does the baker or florist have a right to not do business with someone he doesn’t want to do business with? Because his business is his own private property. He owns the business, not the government, and not the “public.” The “civil rights” laws say that the business is a “public accommodation,” but the public does not own the business. And therefore members of the public do not have a right to order the owner of the business to serve those he doesn’t want to do extra labor to serve. It has to do with private property rights and freedom of association.
And it has nothing to do with the religion of the Christian baker, for example, and his religious beliefs regarding homosexuality or gay marriage. It has to do with the self-centered couples using the armed powers of government courts to force the businesspeople to show an acceptance of the customers’ lifestyles. These have been cases of extreme narcissists who believe that they have a right to force others to do extra labor to serve them, period, in my view.
Unfortunately, many conservatives, who have been opposed to the LGBT agenda and have been supporting the private businesses who don’t want to serve same-sex couples, don’t understand the principles of private property rights and freedom of association, and freedom of thought and conscience behind all these cases. It seems to me that the conservatives have also been covetous when it comes to using the powers of government to advance their social agendas.
The conservatives believe that the businesspeople’s religious beliefs are what need to be protected here, and that is not the case. What if an atheist baker refused to serve a Christian couple? I don’t believe the conservatives would support the baker. They would probably support the Christian couple. So the conservatives also believe that in some cases people have a right to use government courts to force businesspeople to serve others they don’t want to serve. No, it has to do with private property rights and freedom of association. If you’re an atheist baker and don’t want to serve a Christian couple, then of course you have a right to refuse to serve them. It’s your business, not theirs.
Another example is the transgender bathroom/shower controversy. Some states now allow someone who is male but thinks he’s a female to go into the ladies room, and vice versa. In some states, if you complain about it (that is, if you are a lady who doesn’t want males in the ladies room while you’re in there, or if you’re a parent who doesn’t want an obvious male going into the ladies room while your little girl is in there, and so on), you could be fined a lot of money and even arrested and thrown in jail.
And that is just how narcissistic some people are. You see, someone who has this confusion with his gender, he’s a male and thinks he’s a female but rather than causing him to feel uncomfortable going into the men’s room he now has the power to make a bunch of women and girls feel uncomfortable while he goes into their ladies room. So by law they must accept his gender confusion that he has. They must accommodate him.
And all that stuff, as well as all those “civil rights” laws, applies to privately owned property as well as public property or government buildings. So yes, these policies are another aspect of socialism, in which the government is essentially stealing ownership of private property away from the owners-on-paper.
Incidentally, in Massachusetts there is a ballot question this November to repeal such a law that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law. In New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu also signed a similar bill into law. Sununu is up for reelection as is Charlie Half-Baker.
The same kinds of enslavements occur in other areas of life, such as medical care. Do you have a right to force a medical doctor or private hospital to care for you? No, of course you don’t. No one has a “right” to health care. If you have a right to have something provided to you, then you have a right to demand that producers must do extra labor to serve you.
As I wrote in a 2012 article, “If someone chooses to be a medical doctor, devotes hours and hours every day and years of intensive study and labor toward training to become a medical doctor, then who is it that owns such efforts, labor, energy and the actual career itself? That doctor? One’s neighbors? The government?” I hope the question answers itself.
And why is medical care so expensive, anyway? When did it really start to become expensive? Well, after Medicare and Medicaid were imposed on the people by bureaucrats who wanted to solve a problem that didn’t exist, that’s when!
So here is a list of articles on why socialized medicine doesn’t work, and never will work, and is immoral as well. And they will help to explain why Bernie Sanders’s plans or Evita Ocasio-Cortez’s plans for “single payer”also will not work. Just study the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and, worst of all, the U.K.
And if the government doesn’t outright own all the means of production and industry as in socialist societies, a word for the public’s or government’s seizing control over privately owned property or businesses is “fascism.”
However, as I mentioned above, if you don’t have control over something you supposedly “own,” then you don’t really own it. So the above cases are really varieties of socialism, in which the government has a de facto ownership of all property. Check out Lew Rockwell’s book, Fascism versus Capitalism, as well as Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis by Ludwig von Mises.
The conservatives and nationalists, by the way, also do not understand, or they have an outright contempt for, private property and free markets like the people on the left. With the immigration issue, the anti-immigration crowd says that businesspeople, professionals and laborers must get a government bureaucrat’s permission to move about to get work or establish voluntary contracts to make a living.
So, with such controls in the name of “protecting the nation,” the government has a de facto ownership over people’s lives, property, and contracts. And, like the so-called “progressives” and social activists, these nationalistic anti-property, anti-freedom policies are also out of envy and covetousness.
And that applies to the trade issue as well. Donald Trump and his sheeple are anti-free trade, and they want the U.S. government to determine who may buy what and for how much and from whom. So this government-controlled trade stuff is also fascist, and thus a part of socialism. You don’t really own your money or your contract that you would have with a seller, the seller doesn’t really own his goods or services that he’s selling. The government has the ultimate, de facto ownership.
Otherwise, in a free society without those governmental intrusions, you would buy something from Sweden, China or Iran and at whatever price the seller is selling it for, and no third party interferes with that contract. That’s the free market, baby. Crony protectionists like Donald Trump don’t like that kind of freedom.
And by the way, if American producers don’t like consumers buying stuff from other countries, then produce better stuff and lower your prices! And if the prices have to be higher to afford the costs of production because the government imposes taxes and regulations, then tell the government to remove those taxes and regulations!
The consumers are essentially enslaved by the bureaucrats in charge and their cronies whose profits are protected by the armed force of government.