Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Why Socialism Failed

Ever talked economics with a Socialist?  I have; many times.  The claims of the Socialist in 2016 go exactly like this:

  1. Sure Socialist governments in the 20th century murdered hundreds of millions of people BUT that wasn't a failure of Socialism.  That was a failure of totalitarian government.
  2. We don't want totalitarian government, we want only Socialism the economic system.
  3. Back in the 20th century, why that was "State socialism"... or the more disingenuous Socialists will say that was "State capitalism." 
  4. I don't advocate Central Planning boards, why that was "communism" not "socialism."
  5. What we want is a society of worker co-ops, see nothing wrong with that right?
Basically, the Socialist of 2016 will disavow every Socialist nation that has ever existed as not "true" Socialism and claim they have a new idea that is sure to work this time.

This is not a new behavior.  Back in 1922 Ludwig von Mises remarked about it in his book Socialism:

“The socialist movement takes great pains to circulate frequently new labels for its ideally constructed state. Each worn-out label is replaced by another which raises hopes of an ultimate solution of the insoluble basic problem of Socialism—until it becomes obvious that nothing has been changed but the name. The most recent slogan is “State Capitalism.”[Fascism] It is not commonly realized that this covers nothing more than what used to be called Planned Economy and State Socialism, and that State Capitalism, Planned Economy, and State Socialism diverge only in non-essentials from the “classic” ideal of egalitarian Socialism.” (p.22)

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