5 Fatal Flaws of Socialism
By Sam Small
FATAL FLAW 1 — The Belief that Socialism Cannot Fail
The core idea of socialism, and its child, communism, is that everybody lives according to their needs and talents. Everybody shares what they have and gives away what they produce. It will be a huge world family where no one goes wanting and no one is alone. World resources are used to the minimum and no one takes more than they need. Wars become impossible. Everybody’s equal. Kindness rules. Love is eternal.
So why should this fail?
Any scientist, engineer, social planner or office manager will tell you that any theoretical system of human interaction must first be tested before advocating adoption. All human behavioral projects are piloted, and data is gathered. Analysts come to a conclusion as to whether the project deserves to be mainstreamed. Humans are complicated entities. They are also surprising and unreliable.
Socialists do not test or experiment. Neither do they interpret the dreadful history of socialism unfavorably. The reasoning for this is that for them, socialism is the beautiful dream that cannot fail unless someone deliberately attacks it. To a socialist, that is the only reason a socialist revolution would fail.
While socialism resides in the human imagination, it shines perfectly. Socialists believe it is the inevitable progression of human existence. However, there is a jarring and unexpected difference between imagination and reality, and socialism begins to collapse.
They blame incompetent practice and betrayal for not living up to the beautiful dream. No matter how many times practiced socialism has failed in the last 150 years, the irrational, romantic, idealistic socialist adherent will still have total belief in the golden dream because in the imagination it is beautiful.
At first, the socialists blame outside forces for failure. Familiar culprits are: any U.S. president, capitalism, religion, the CIA, the FBI, any large corporation, Western Europe, western media and anyone who isn’t a socialist. When it is hard to prove that those forces have caused failure, the socialists look inward to the people. This is when they become most dangerous and begin their assault on the people themselves. It quickly becomes psychotic and murderous. Things get worse.
FATAL FLAW 2 — People Cheat
High and low people will cheat. We all know that about human nature. We know it about ourselves. In our current system, people often cheat when there is the constant pressure of profit, loss, bills, salaries, wages and unemployment, relationships, etc., but we expect it. The cheats get away with it or are caught and punished, and we move on. Nothing collapses. But in the beautiful dream, it’s different. Everything was set up for you. You must love it and never cheat. But in reality, you may promise to work for six hours but you only do five. You may need only five pounds of food, but you take seven. You are a leader in the community, and you think you deserve more. You have a lowly social position and think you won’t be missed. And a hundred other permutations. You are not alone in cheating. This begins to eat away at the beautiful idea from the inside. Cheating isn’t beautiful.
FATAL FLAW 3 — A Socialist State Requires Tyranny
The beautiful idea includes everyone because it’s wonderful and why wouldn’t everyone love the beautiful idea? If they don’t want to be included in the beautiful idea, then they must be against the beautiful idea. In that case, they are against the progression of humankind and must be compelled for the common good. Those people are likely to plot against the beautiful idea because they won’t cooperate. Therefore, they are an enemy of the beautiful people. Those people cannot be a reason for the failure of the beautiful idea. They will be excluded. Neutralized. That’s fascism.
FATAL FLAW 4 — A Social Hierarchy is Inevitable
But why? Why can’t we all be equal? Isn’t equality a beautiful thing? The answer to those questions is — we are humans first, socialists second. Humans have always graded their social worth in reference to others around them. And it is not just an individual’s opinion of themselves. Others may insist that you are worth more than most. The confident climb higher than the timid. The vet spends an hour tending sick and injured animals and sees through her window a man who has played bongos for the last hour. The bongo man thinks he is of equal value to the vet. The vet does her level best to believe that the bongo man is of equal value but finds it extremely difficult to be happy with that conclusion. Arguments follow about who is worth more. It gets worse.
FATAL FLAW 5 — You Stole the Beautiful Idea from Jesus
In the four gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, the Kingdom of God is mentioned over 100 times. Jesus describes the Kingdom as a perfect world ruled by spiritual masters where there is no illness and everybody’s meek. Familiar? It should be. And then have you noticed that socialism started in Christian countries? Germany, England, Russia. Spain. Eastern Europe. South America. Western Europe and the USA (nearly). The socialists/atheists already knew about it. Then non-Christian countries tried it and failed just like the rest. But setting up the Kingdom of God without God should be a clue that things will not work out well. But there again we are back to fatal flaw number one.
Sam Small is a singer-songwriter living in Austin, Texas.