It is no secret that for the last few decades, socialism has been viewed negatively by the majority of Americans. This is owed mostly to the major socialist figures of the 20th and 21st century. After all, one cannot see the actions of self-proclaimed socialists such as Hitler, Chavez, and Mao, without rethinking their promise of utopia. We have seen socialist countries and capitalist countries for years, and it cannot be denied that life under the capitalist system is way better, both for the poor and the rich.
Defenders of Socialism today try to introduce a sugar-coated concept of socialism, under the name of “democratic socialism.” At first, this sounds good to the ear, but thinking about the actual mechanism of this system, reveals the bitter truth of socialism – something that no matter how much one tries to make it sound good, they cannot hide the ugly truth that lays at its foundation.
First, let’s look at why the term democratic socialism is used often recently. Our friends on the left purposefully prefaced the phrase with “democratic” this time around, because every other time a country has attempted to install a socialist regime, the inevitable result is a brutal dictator who later ends up killing thousands and often millions of people. You can’t easily call that image a “utopia.”
Today, in order to make people think that the socialist system can go hand in hand with democracy, liberals claim that we will have a socialist system, but it will be “democratic.”
Second, we need to see what exactly socialism is and how it is defined. For this purpose the paragraph below is quoted directly from the Encyclopedia Britannica:
“social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.”
There are countless articles discussing socialism and explaining why it does not work, therefore it is not my intention to go over those reasons. My goal is to examine “democratic socialism” in particular.
Property is owned by individuals as a result of their labor, and thus it is the extension of their body. In another word, Jack the carpenter, as a free man, owns his body and what he does with his body. Therefore, what he makes by using his body through physical labor is thus an extension of his body.
Should it be legal for every member of the society to have a claim on Jack’s body? The answer is no. Should it be legal for the society to have a claim on Jack’s labor? If you answer anything but no, then you are forcing Jack into slavery. Now if the society cannot have a claim on Jack’s body, and if it cannot have a claim on his labor – why should it be able to have a claim on what Jack creates as the result of his labor through his body?
It is possible to create a democratic socialist system. What should be understood, however, is the concept of liberty. Just like we can have democratic socialism, we can also have democratic slavery. Just because an institution is created through democratic means, it does not necessarily make it right. We can have the majority of our people vote for a socialist system in an absolutely fair election. Does this make the concept of socialism any more acceptable? We can have an election on slavery, and let all the different races vote. What if the majority of our people vote for enslaving a group of our citizens? Does this make the concept of slavery any more acceptable? The answer to this question is a big no. Just because there’s a majority vote for an institution does not make that institution morally just.
We established that both slavery and socialism can be reached through a democratic process. Now let’s examine how socialism and slavery are the same in essence. Slavery is forcing an individual to work for another individual or a group of people. In the case of “democratic socialism,” the slaves are set free to work, yet another individual or group of individuals go to him every month and take whatsoever they want. There’s not much of a difference between socialism and slavery, regardless of if it’s done legally or illegally.
The consent of the majority of the people in a society does not make forcing an individual to work any more acceptable than making that individual work by the order of one person. With the same logic, the consent of the majority in a society to take away the result of an individual’s work is no better than one individual ordering to take that person’s property away. It doesn’t matter if the affected individual could vote or not. It does not even matter if there was a vote or not. Democratic theft and slavery is still theft and slavery, regardless of who has issued the authorization.