The collapse of Obamacare has begun. None could have predicted it would collapse so soon. Yet collapse it is. Why is it collapsing? Because it is a form of socialism. And socialism always collapses. Many people in America today do one of two things: deny that fact, or lament it. They should do neither. The only lamentable fact about the collapse of socialism is that socialism ever existed.
What is socialism?
Merriam-Webster defines socialism as:
a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.
The problem: Merriam-Webster defines socialism imprecisely. What makes an industry major or minor? Who decides that? In fact, no one has.
Another problem: Merriam-Webster defines socialism incompletely. The reason: they ignore the roots of the word.
Socialism comes from the Latin socius. Which means: “pal.” The notion behind socialism is: no one should have to rely only one oneself. We’re all pals. We’re all in this together. Pals look out for each other. So socialism also includes any system of forced charity from some for the unearned, unpaid benefit of others.
One cannot in fact define socialism without referring to communism and capitalism:
- Communism is a way of organizing a society in which the government runs everything, employs everyone, and doles out a ration according to its own rules.
- Capitalism is a way of not organizing a society (except to manage force to protect people’s rights), but to let people run their own affairs and make their own voluntary arrangements.
- Socialism is any way of organizing a society, between communism and capitalism.
Why does socialism collapse?
Socialism collapses for the reason Margaret Thatcher gave to Llew Gardner of Thames TV in 1976:
Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.
Why “other people’s”? Because socialism always asks “the other guy” to pay for something. It never asks those who get the benefit to pay for it.
Margaret Thatcher inherited more than a society in which the government ran the railroads, owned “flats” (as they call them in Britain), and ran the hospitals. She also inherited a dole that removed any incentive by anyone to improve his lot.
And what of those who did have to pay for all this? They did the only sensible thing: they left. Economists express this in two ways. To be technical, they call it “human capital flight.” To be pithy, as Bill O’Reilly might appreciate, they call it “brain drain.”
That’s why socialist governments run out of other people’s money. Because the other guy always takes his money and runs while he still has any money left.
Those who want socialism always complain about such people. “Spoilsports!” they cry. “They take their marbles and go home!” But of course. Who, losing the game many times over, wouldn’t quit the game?
For that is what socialism becomes: a zero-sum game. Maybe nine people win, and one loses. Until that one loser quits the game. Then eight people win, and one loses, until he quits.
Eventually the last moocher has no one to mooch from. And so he starves. Because no one dared correct his behavior or his attitude. Socialism caters to it. And that’s why socialism must always collapse, sooner or later.
Why should socialism collapse?
But what, say some, is wrong with socialism?
I would really like to hear some kind of response to my statement about those who are determined to destroy critically important programs or initiatives that help so many millions of Americans. I want to know why so many want to destroy instead of wanting to fix; to destroy instead of addressing problems and coming up with better ways and solutions ; to destroy instead of coming up with new, more effective ways to address the problem or issue at hand. Why is there so much of an obsession for wanting to destroy. I understand the frustration with this current dysfunctional, wasteful, bloated government but this is not the way to fix the situation. It’s only going to make things worse.
Destroy, destroy, destroy, he says. Well, hey: why should not a slave in revolt seek to destroy the system that enslaved him?
Slave? Yes. For a slave is any person who, against his will, must give his labor, or any part of it, for the benefit of another, because someone forced him to.
Yes, indeed. We must destroy socialism if we are to be free. For socialism is a form of theft.
When socialism becomes “critically important,” some must also be slaves to others. Who decides that?
When socialism collapses, repairing it is like repairing a broken chain. You don’t repair a broken chain. You destroy it.
To destroy socialism is to address both the problem it purports to address, and the problem it creates.
And the only new, more effective way to address the problem or issue at hand, is to let human beings deliver goods or services by voluntary consent.
Civilization began with socialism and its extreme form, communism. Will Durant (The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage) put it this way:
Communism, though it could help men cope with poverty, could never get men out of that poverty.
Will Durant recognized: as Jesus says, we always have the poor with us. But we have fewer of them under capitalism than under socialism. Capitalism is a recent invention, that necessarily came with liberty. Who knew that men could deliver goods and services without a government administrator to order them about? Adam Smith knew.
And those who want to be free, are obsessed (and compelled, a related condition) to live free and stay free. If that means destroying that which enslaves them, so be it.
Because socialism cannot accommodate the most basic right of any rational being: to exist. One having a right to exist, is not obliged to help others as a condition of existing. That one thing, no socialist will understand.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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