Connecting Communities, the Strength of America
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Capitalism/Free Enterprise VS Socialism
Tampa, FL - Capitalism/Free Enterprise verses Socialism
Do we really understand and want socialism?
If you haven't read my book yet titled The Spirit of America - Let's Save and Revive our American Heritage, please do so. There is no other book like it. You will note I include several chapters concerning the influence of Socialism and Communism in our country.
I lectured to a group of friends about my book. They were very enthused. I told them I have listened to many Americans. I receive several forwarded emails (as do most authors) concerning people seeing and reading about many problems in our country, things they don't like. They know something is wrong, and it is getting worse. They are starting to see the symptoms but many don't yet know the illness.
But, I emphasize this: If you were a fireman and approaching a fire, you could smell the smoke and see the flames. But you couldn't put out the fire throwing water on the smoke and flames. You must identify what is burning, the root of the fire, and throw (so to speak) water on that object.
With regard to our country, people smell the smoke. They can almost see the flame. But they haven't quite seen the root of what is burning. I'm sorry to say they are still asleep.
I have found, after talking with hundreds of people, most Americans have certainly heard of Socialism and Communism (commonly called "the far left" or "secular progressive") and know about our Capitalistic/Free Enterprise System (created by our founding fathers). But, remembering the words of Samuel Adams -"While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader." Vigilance is a virtue, a requisite of good citizenship. That's why I authored the book, with God's blessings and help.
How do the two systems compare? Let's look at the facts.
Is Socialism really "good in theory but bad in practice? Is Capitalism a bad system? First let's define the terms.
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.
Socialism is the economical consequence, and a subset, of statism. Statism is "any system that concentrates power in the state at the expense of individual freedom." Socialism is a form of statism which advocates collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.
Capitalism is based on the right to property, a right we inherited and enjoy. Property is acquired through trade, which is an exchange of values.
Capitalism is the only system which does not deprive the individual of his rights. The right to life and its derivatives, the rights to liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness, are all fulfilled in capitalism. People are free from the use of unearned force by the government, free to acquire and keep property, and to live in an ethical way.
It is also the only system which allows progress through the value of work.
Productiveness is the virtue of creating material values. In a free market, such a virtue is a necessity, to trade.
Competition is dependent on being the best, and therefore indirectly on the progress of competitors. Without productiveness, no progress is possible because progress is part of the development of the product. Progress is a product in itself.
Socialism is a system which is defined by governmental ownership of property. But, some ask, how can this come to be? The truth is government can only own property if it takes it away from its rightful owner.
Hence the use of unearned force to take this property away from its rightful owner (this is usually called theft: in the case of the government, backed up with the police force, it is called "income tax") and redistribute it to the needy. This creates a "society of beggars" because the distribution is in favor of failure (which entails needs) and not in favor of success.
This is because the redistribution of wealth must be made on a certain basis. Since I usually find in socialism and other statist systems the need that everyone be "equal." I conclude that the redistribution is made on the basis of need.
Thus I invariably conclude that socialism is against all basic rights: by using unearned force on its citizens, it removes from them the right to property. By using force and forbidding them to use this property, it therefore also affects the right to liberty. All rights are interrelated: they form a whole, and by suppressing one you suppress all. The basic mistake is to differentiate between human rights and property rights, for one cannot exist without the other. Denying property rights is basically reducing people to being the property of the state, because the fruit of man's labor, which is property, is necessary for one's life.
I conclude, without hesitation, that even in theory, socialism promotes the destruction of basic rights, and the twisting of the social fabric into a game of needs and "push and pull". Furthermore, the socialist system is actively against progress.
As I have clearly seen throughout my life, progress comes through production and competition. But those two concepts become completely irrelevant under a socialist economy since:
1. One's profit and property is taken by the government, and as such there is no incentive to progress.
2. One's needs are met by social programs, so work becomes a superfluous, unneeded burden.
As such, there is no incentive for progress, and such a thing is not possible under a socialist economy.
On the objection that the communist countries of yesterday were an abuse of the system and that a true socialist country would not be so tyrannical, even accepting their secular beliefs, a little power corrupts, and as the maxim says, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." That is why cultism, tyranny, the absence of religion and such, are an almost necessary occurrence in socialism. The government, controlling the entire population, has free rein to exploit it. I already see (alarming as it appears) this tendency in America, which is fast becoming a fascist (government control over property) mixed economy.
I know the previous may sound a bit exaggerated, but, it's a fact. This is basically the situation we would find ourselves in a purely socialistic country. Rights are not recognized and the individual is merely a sacrifice for the "good of the state." The individual can be more adequately described as a "slave of the state." However, the capitalist system is a system where all rights are respected. "Wage slavery" is merely the derogatory way for people do describe the process by which we freely trade our time and work to someone else, in exchange for monetary value. No coercion or control is possible in a state of free trade.
Anyone who supports communism is ignorant of the deductive and empirical data against centralized planning, and instead don't understand that there is nothing that justifies communism except fallacies.
As a historian, when I observe the nightmare of the desperate efforts made by thousands of people struggling to escape from the socialized countries of Europe and Cuba, to escape over barbed-wire fences, under machine-gun fire - (yes, I have talked with some of them) I tell myself no American can possibly believe that socialism , in any of its forms, is motivated by benevolence and by the desire to achieve man's welfare. But, sadly, some do; more than you realize.
I tell myself, no informed man of authentic benevolence could evade or argue so great a horror on so vast a scale.
All it takes is for someone to start rolling rocks down a hill to start an avalanche. We badly need an avalanche of national spirit for our heritage. Call me an activist, a man with a mission, but I am a rock roller for God and Country and Traditional American Values. Please join me and read my book.
Let's start an avalanche for God and Country and Traditional (inherited) American Values.
In God We Trust
Glenn A. Clepper
Writer, Book Author and Historian