Friday, July 12, 2019

Nothing in Common

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. - Alexis de Tocqueville
socialism noun

Definition of socialism
  1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
  2. (a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property (b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
  3. a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, and Democracy... In some sources, communism is equated with socialism; in others, it is contrasted with democracy and capitalism. Part of this confusion stems from the fact that the word communism has been applied to varying political systems over time. When it was first used in English prose, communism referred to an economic and political theory that advocated the abolition of private property and the common sharing of all resources among a group of people, and it was often used interchangeably with the word socialism by 19th-century writers. The differences between communism and socialism are still debated, but generally English speakers used communism to refer to the political and economic ideologies that find their origin in Karl Marx’s theory of revolutionary socialism, which advocates a proletariat overthrow of capitalist structures within a society, societal and communal ownership and governance of the means of production, and the eventual establishment of a classless society. The most well-known expression of Marx’s theories is the 20th-century Bolshevism of the U.S.S.R., in which the state, through a single authoritarian party, controls a society’s economy and social activities with the goal of realizing Marx’s theories.

Communism is often contrasted with capitalism and democracy, though these can be false equivalencies depending on the usage. Capitalism refers to an economic theory in which a society’s means of production are held by private individuals or organizations, not the government, and where prices, distribution of goods, and products are determined by a free market. It can be contrasted with the economic theories of communism, though the word communism is used of both political and economic theories. Democracy refers to a system of government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised through a system of direct or indirect representation which is decided through periodic free elections. Democracy is contrasted with communism primarily because the 20th-century communism of the U.S.S.R. was characterized by an authoritarian government, whereas the democracy of the 20th-century U.S. was characterized by a representative government. - Merriam-Webster
Yes, I've been a lot more political as of late than I normally am, probably due to the many candidates clamoring to fill the highest office in the land. Most of whom are either charlatans or idiots. One might make the argument that some of them are both. I wouldn't disagree. But those who advocate socialism? They are dangerous.

After spending some time reading up on what socialism means, and that definition from Merriam-Webster is pretty good from a general point of view, I think I now understand the fundamental flaw with socialism. It is predicated on the idea that humans won't act like humans.

The history of our species is a long, and often sordid, tale of violence and "man's inhumanity to man." (Man being used in the same context as Neil Armstrong used it when first setting foot upon the lunar surface. "Man" as in "mankind," though I rather prefer the term "humankind," I use "mankind' because of the First Amendment. ICSFTH.)

Assuming that we can all "just get along" is a pretty big stretch. Socialism has never "worked," though it seems pretty neat if you get to be in charge and make the rules. Maduro, call your office.

This guy (who is most emphatically not "from" Vermont, he's a transplanted New Yorker) really ticks me off -
Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy. - Bernie Sanders
I sure wish these assholes would define "very wealthy." From my point of view (and salary), Comrade Bernie is "very wealthy." Maybe it's just me. Bear in mind this is the same nitwit who said -
“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country." (Source)
Right, because the government would direct industry to do what? Stop making sneakers and grow food instead? Guess what, Comrade Bernie? It's because of knuckleheads like you that your buddies in the old Soviet Union had neither enough food, sneakers, or deodorants. Governments pretty much suck at that kind of thing. (I have written before about what governments should stick to here.)

Stick it to the wealthy seems to be the ever echoing cry of the nitwit revolutionaries, they just never bother to define what wealthy means, they just want to rile the mob up. Which they seem to be doing rather well. Lot of folks out there don't know how to think, they just "feel." What the Commies like to call "useful idiots."

I like this guy's take on things -
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. - Winston Churchill
This sums up the real goal of socialism, and you can't get any more Commie than this guy -
The goal of socialism is communism. - Vladimir Lenin
Yup, there it is. You paying attention Occasional-Cortex?

Probably not...


  1. And Democracy is the worst form of government - apart from all the others ��

    1. ...and what we have is just a little better.

      [I dunno what happened, but now I can comment again?]

    2. Teh Google has been acting oddly lately. Whether it's a dastardly plot or "enhancements" being added I don't know.

      I think our "democracy" is better as we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, provided of course that we can keep it. The progs want to take it away.

    3. Are you REALLY opening it up for the week-end? Hooray!!
      A comment from my friend Joel Skousen 'World Affairs Brief" (brown shoe Navy, Viet-Nam era A4 driver with deep family links to what's really going on; we used to talk on 'Radio Liberty" in the olden days), is as follows,

      "In the process, virtually all of the heads of Google, Oracle, Paypal, Facebook and others have become globalists that hue to the government vision of private censorship and tracking of all people. The following link takes you to the video and also the complete transcript, for those who want to follow up on the sources. This video is crucial to your understanding of the Deep State."
      Since the link doesn't forward, her it is,

      Thanks Sarge. Check six, they're really out there!

  2. Hence, the representative Republic. It could be good, but it requires a godly population. If you live by "who has the gold makes the rules", then nothing works well.

    I saw a movie years ago, "Enemy At The Gates" that had a priceless scene in it. The political officer was jealous of the lead character's relationship with a woman. He worked to ingratiate himself with her, and remove his rival. He realized at the end, that human nature couldn't be fixed. He was a small, petty man with power, and couldn't compete for her affection. So, being the coward, he stood up, and got shot. It was played off as brave, to draw fire to show where the enemy was, but in my mind, he clanked up realizing his whole world view was unworkable. Sir Robin bravely ran away....

    Socialism is a system based on envy, one of the seven deadly sins. Oh, and the equality of poverty for all.

    1. If you liked the movie, IIRC it was based on the book "War of the Rats" - I liked the book as well.

    2. I need to read that one as well!

      Thanks Tom.

  3. You said it Sarge, a Communist is a Socialist with a gun. Good succinct post. Another fine day's Rimfire Friday!

    1. Ooh, Rimfire Friday. I like it!

    2. Speaking of Rimfire, this sounds like fun--

      "But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

      In today's world, I would say that socialism seeks equality of misery and the lowest common denominator.

      Much insight in to relate to in this book for those of us who wore the uniform--

  4. Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”
    More on Thatcher in an article titled, "Margaret Thatcher Exposed The Infantile Illusions Of Socialism"

    Socialists, like most greedy and stupid infants, don't let the facts interfere with what they want.

    And Socialism always involves wholesale blood shedding somewhere in the process.

    Good post.

    1. It has been said that you can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out. I believe it!

  5. Interesting. Like the definitions, but, there have been no socialist governments. Interestingly, all have been " cults" , of one type or another, but not " socialist". And they all fell to someone else's idea of how a government should be run. How is it ( type of governce) get a job done? Or establish a rule? Or make a law, interesting. Because I believe in a mythical sky creature, does it mean I belong to a party? Have to follow them, government or religion on this is our "way" even if it is immoral?
    Like I said, interesting. And it's interesting to see how definitions are changed thru the ages.

    1. Truth be told they will no doubt change again.

      You're absolutely right on the "cult" aspect.

  6. The reading list for many college economic courses includes Edward Bellamy's, "Looking Backwards", first published in 1888. Mine, bought used, still resides on my bookshelf. Uplifting and inspiring but has a fatal flaw as you have noted.

    "I think I now understand the fundamental flaw with socialism. It is predicated on the idea that humans won't act like humans."

    That, IMO, is the fatal flaw of socialism.

  7. When I was ten I thought it was unfair for some people to have more wealth than others simply because they were smarter and had better jobs. I thought everyone should share and wealth would be equal for all regardless of your job.

    HEY, I WAS TEN!!

    1. Ah, the things we think when we're young. Innocent we were.

  8. Excellently summed up. Thank you. Sharing.

  9. I am descended from the original American Communists, on my mother's side. Okay, showing up late and in the wrong place wasn't good at all, but what really killed the Plymouth pilgrims off was... Communism. Everyone's equal, and all that. That's what almost wiped out that band of unhappy idiots. When there was no incentive to produce more than the bare minimum, when Screw Up Steve and Frack Up Freddy set the bar of achievement very low, why should Incentive Isaac get off his duff and work really hard just so Steve and Freddy can suck up his work?

    And, thus, that band of 'everyone is equal' idiots almost died from bad housing to bad/no food. And with bad housing and bad food came bad diseases.

    Only when the group openly embraced private ownership and personal achievement did they survive, and thrive, even in the admittedly bad soil where they landed (yes, bad soil, that whole fertilizer thingy was because of poor soil conditions. Give it a few years and lots of animal poop and garbage turned into the soil and the ground could be made as productive as European farmland, but then again, one could just move to where the soil was better, or fish, or become yankee merchants extraordinairy or something.)

    This new move, by anarchists and openly socialistic politicians and mobs, scares me. To the point I am having nightmares about crowds and I am avoiding a good portion of the city I am living in.

    So, well, I rail at people in the stores when I go shopping, because that's all I can do. I try to educate the people around me, especially the youth, as to reality. Sometimes it amounts to tilting with windmills, but sometimes I get the message across. (Heck, yesterday I destroyed one youngster's vision of the new 'live-action' "Little Mermaid" movie by telling her the ending to the original story, very un-Disneyish. She was horrified that the original fish-lady croaks like a fish out of water. And then I explained to her why the original story was written that way. Which caused her to start to . . . think.)

    Other than that, very good post. Glad your finger is working for you.

    And... socialism/communism/democracy all suck. All are political philosophies regarding the majority being able to take from the minority, just for somewhat different reasons.

    I'll stick with my constitutional republic until they pry it from my cold dead hands.

    1. I understand why the Pilgrims tried communism. It does have, outside of reality, some good sounding points. It's just that it never works in real life because people are not interchangeable and not exactly the same. Which communism requires that everyone be exactly the same in ability, in thought, in needs.

      What sucks is that people even, and especially today, still believe in this stupid pipe dream.

    2. The people who actually believe are either idiots or folks who think that they will be in charge once the revolution comes.

  10. It is interesting how the North American prospective is different to the European view. How would an American describe the Scandinavian states with high taxation and big Government, with what most Americans want, low taxation and small Government.

    Where in the equation do groups like the Mormons fall. They levy a tithe on their more prosperous breathen which is then distributed among those who have fallen on hard times. Perhaps this is similar to the UK Government taxing me and using some of my taxes as welfare benefits. Is this Socialism.

    The left wing of the UK Conservative Party describe this as a Caring Britain, whilst the right wing of the party want nothing to do with this.

    But that is politics and democracy and the reason why we accept the way our respective countries are governed.

    1. The North American perspective has long been different to the European view. There are many in the U.S. now who think we should be more like Europe. They are wrong.

      The EU isn't working from what I can see. All those folks not contributing flocking there for the free stuff. Something we're trying to avoid.

    2. How would an American describe Scandinavia? New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago. That's how an American would easily describe Scandinavia.

      As to the Mormons, faith-based organizations have always done this in America. The Mormons are not unique. What is unique is the programmed depths and lengths of their preparations, as they are very formalized preppers. The Catholic church would like their members to donate 10%, but they spend their money on things not in support of their local flocks.

      As to the UK, I always remind people of the quote attributed to Winston Churchill, "If you're 20 and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you're 40 and not a conservative, you have no brain."

  11. Many would consider that this quote from the Old Testament Prophet explains the reason for socialism's 100% failure rate. I know I do.

    The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

  12. Another great post and comments.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  13. I was really impressed with de Toqueville's "Democracy In America". He was one perceptive dude.

  14. To be honest, I'm finding "the many candidates clamoring to fill the highest office in the land. Most of whom are either charlatans or idiots" to be quite entertaining. You've got the whole gamut of leftist fools on the board, and none will make it off it I'd expect. They've gone so far left that they have absolutely nothing for a centrist to even look at. They've even started to slam on the white men and women of the DNC as not being in touch with the rest of the country due to their white privilege. Here's their platform apparently: 1. Free everything for everyone apparently, especially illegals. 2. Abortion up to and including a few weeks after birth (ok, a slight exaggeration. Actually they don't all feel that way, but the ones who don't will never step out of line and actually admit it). 3. Open borders because citizenship is nothing more than a premise established by racist slave owning (white) founding fathers. 4. Destroying the economy so they can protect the environment. 5. Hate racist Trump 24/7, never mind that the economy is booming for everyone, including and especially for, minorities. It's laughable and they'll keep it up until 2024. Btw, back from a 7 day deployment to Alaska on a cruise ship so my self-imposed ban from being online is complete. That is one gorgeous state. I highly recommend a visit.

    1. It is entertaining in a sense, but the stakes are rather high.

      Welcome back, I'd love to visit Alaska, heck, just to visit with Rev Paul! 😉

    2. Stakes are definitely high, but I don't see any of them winning.

    3. I don't either, but the "what if" scares the Hell out of me.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)