Thomas Sowell has been enlightening me since I first read Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Ten books later I am still learning from this man. I have said many times, it is ever so sad that Barack Obama, and not Thomas Sowell, was our first black president.
America is engaged in a political contest that is shaping up to be a referendum on “socialism” versus “free market economy.” I believe this is a more apt description of the presidential race than “liberal” versus “conservative.”
[Source: The Lure of Socialism, by Thomas Sowell]
It is impossible to deny the story line of socialism, especially for Americans. Americans believe in equality. We abandoned “privilege by birthright” in our Revolutionary War. Within the socialist narrative is a false sense of “equality.”
[Sowell] Socialism is in fact a wonderful vision — a world of the imagination far better than any place anywhere in the real world, at any time over the thousands of years of recorded history. Even many conservatives would probably prefer to live in such a world, if they thought it was possible.
I frequently allude to my Democrat Party past. That past was sold to me on the promises of “socialism,” although at the time, the Democrat Party called it “liberalism.” But, if one has been around long enough, one has learned that the promises of “socialism” cannot be achieved.
Socialism didn’t simply fail. Socialists, in their many guises (Marxism-Leninism, Trotskyism, Maoism, Revolutionary Marxism, Social Anarchism, Fabians, Social Democracy, Individualist Anarchism, Syndicalism, Social Anarchy, Left-Communism, Marxism-Leninism Maoism, a host of different strains of Trotskyism, and, finally, other variations on the theme of Marxism) and once in power, do not relinquish the power they originally eschewed. They will murder millions to retain it.
The first utopian socialists, however, failed to address the question of how a socialist society would be achieved. Socialists are divided on which rights and liberties are desirable and the most inculcated of the bunch actually believe that the “rights” that ensure freedom are both preserved and enhanced in a socialist society. Listen to the themes of Bernie Sanders’ campaign: “We will take back or country… we are witnessing a revolution… the downtrodden will come together!” If that isn’t Marxism, then I am ill-informed.
But herein lies the problem. Those of us that are old enough have seen socialism fail, time and again, in countries around the world.
[Sowell] Who would not want to live in a world where college was free, along with many other things, and where government protected us from the shocks of life and guaranteed our happiness? It would be Disneyland for adults!
Moreover, under any economic system, those costs are either going to be paid or there are not going to be any colleges (or paid maternity leave, or a minimum wage, or ANY WAGE – RF). Money is just an artificial device for getting real things done.
When our government decides that it will give what one person has earned to another who has not it polarizes society into segments. If you read today’s earlier post, Mr. Toomey eloquently describes these “segments.” Does anyone with a brain believe those competing “segments” will somehow unite and be “happy in a Utopian America” because the government took from one and gave to another.
These socialist geniuses have failed to learn an important concept; greed is boundless! No one is happy under these circumstances. Once one starts the nation down that path there is a never-ending comparison being performed. Is my house as nice as yours? Is my car as expensive as yours? Are my children’s grades better or worse than yours?
[Sowell] These competing interests are each trying to get what it wants at somebody else’s expense, creating mutual bitterness that can tear a society apart. Some seem to blithely assume that “the rich” can be taxed to pay for what they want — as if “the rich” don’t see what is coming and take their wealth elsewhere. (…0r that the “rich” actually have enough money to foot the bill – RF)
A market economy is one in which whoever makes a decision is the one who pays for that decision. It forces people to be sure that what they want to do is really worth what it is going to cost.