Is Socialism Inherently Flawed?

Another criticism I have of Michael Moore’s “Capitalism” is that nowhere in the film did he discuss the alternatives to capitalism. There is one very short segment that discusses the attitudes of Americans about socialism in the lead up to the 2008 election, but there was no detail on what socialism is.

This morning I read this rant about the evils of socialism on “American Thinker” which claims:

“…the Achilles heel of collectivist dogma: for a planned economy to succeed, there must be central planners, who by necessity will insist on universal commitment to their plan.
How do you attain total commitment to a goal from a free people? Well, you don’t. Some percentage will always disagree, even if only for the sake of being contrary or out of a desire to be left alone. When considering a program as comprehensive as a government-planned economy, there are undoubtedly countless points of contention, such as how we will choose the planners, how we will order our priorities when assigning them importance within the plan, how we will allocate resources when competing interests have legitimate claims, who will make these decisions, and perhaps more pertinent to our discussion, how those decisions will be enforced. A rift forming on even one of these issues is enough to bring the gears of this progressive endeavor grinding to a halt. This fatal flaw in the collectivist design cannot be reengineered. It is an error so critical that the entire ideology must be scrapped.”

This guy obviously doesn’t realize that capitalism also requires a “total commitment to a goal from a free people”. We have laws in a capitalist society, just as they do in a socialist society. We even have laws (a LOT of them) that dictate how we operate economically. For example – try setting up a bank in your town without getting a banking licence from some government authority. Watch how long you last.

If the so-called “Achilles heel” or “fatal flaw” of socialism is that they have laws then capitalism has the same fatal flaw.

We have “central planners” in capitalist countries as well. They are called “government departments”.

This kind of stupid argument demonstrates how blinded many Americans are by the ideological programming they have been receiving for the last century.

6 thoughts on “Is Socialism Inherently Flawed?

  1. “This guy obviously doesn’t realize that capitalism also requires a “total commitment to a goal from a free people”.”

    Capitalism is basically individuals employing private capital to pursue many individual goals. There’s no common goal in capitalism surely.

        1. CHarlie, my argument is that “a total commitment to a goal from a free people” *is* the same as the definition of people having to obey laws. A socialist country has laws about what people can and can’t do, just as a capitalist country has. The point I’m trying to make is that this whole idea that socialism requires a higher sacrifice from people just seems ridiculous. They have laws, we have laws.

          BTW, we have a “planned economy” as well. It’s planned to a lesser degree than under socialism, but it’s still planned. We have a central bank, we have a treasury, we have restrictions on what businesses you can run, you have to ask approval before you can run a business, etc. It’s just a matter of degree. And the promise of socialism is that everyone gets taken care of in a fair and just system. I don’t think there’s ever been a good practical trial of it though. Sweden is probably the closest, but its a constitutional democracy.

  2. And actually, capitalism thrives for the very reason that many people don’t have freedom and their aspirations only go as high as winning the lottery or seeing their idol win a TV talent show.

  3. An Alternative to Capitalism (which we need here in the USA)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still prevails.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

    John Steinsvold

    Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
    –Georg C. Lichtenberg

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