Observations Of Socialism

by Tom Nelson

Socialism begins with some idealized kind of government, or social order by another name, and endeavors to mold people into it. It is ever the bed of Procrustes in all its forms.

National Socialism may have been misnamed. It was more of a racial socialism. It envisioned an ideal of race and language, and excluded other possibilities. The other possibilities weren’t even allowed to live.

Soviet Socialism may have been correctly named. It envisioned a single economic class and excluded all others. They weren't allowed to live, either.

Chinese Communism imported its socialism from the Soviet Socialist Republics. The Chinese even insisted it was a purer form than the Soviet model, which they criticized as "revisionist."

The human cost of socialist idealism in the 20th century was immense. The Soviet government found it necessary to murder 20,000,000 or so of its own citizens to conform its population to the Soviet Socialist ideal. National Socialism required a war of expansion which killed tens of millions in addition to the millions exterminated because they didn't conform to the National/Racial Socialist ideal. Russian Kulaks and German Jews know more about socialism than the rest of us are capable of learning.

Now there are new varieties of socialism. There is always a new, ideal model and a corresponding group of people who won't fit into it. But that's alright; they will just be exterminated as the price of social progress.

And what will the survivors enjoy in exchange for that terrible price? The National Socialists got a war that overwhelmed them, and destroyed their capital base and infrastructure. Their government was abolished by their foreign enemies and a democracy set up in its place. 5,000,000 of the National Socialists and their countrymen died in the process.

Soviet Socialists were rewarded by 70 years of grinding slavery which built an economy that could not feed their children. Mercifully it self-destructed with a minimum of violence.

A report to the United States Senate put the deaths in China due to the communist government at 50,000,000. The Chinese seem to be catching on by observation of these terrible examples. As they once imported socialism they are now, by degrees, freeing themselves of it. They have stopped decrying Russian "revisionism" and are emulating Russian capitalism, even outdoing the Russians at some times and places. Just look at the labels on your clothes.

All of this may have a positive result, but only if we are capable of learning from it. Let's try starting with people themselves instead of an idealized and theoretical government. Give them some elbow room and see what kind of society they construct for themselves, of themselves. They may actually do all right. At the very least they will not initiate programs of extermination. The worst they will do is exclude people they don't like from their country clubs and neighborhoods, and they will be sufficiently castigated for that.

If you like what people can do for themselves you can give it a name. You may call it capitalism or something else. Or you may just call it freedom. I don't pretend to know what these words mean. I do know what the word "socialism" means. It means the enslavement of human beings by a government. "Freedom" and "capitalism" are things that are in some way different from that.

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