One of the nation’s socialist Left’s favorite deceptions is to play games with the true definitional meanings of common words. Their recent preference is to make the absurd claim than socialism hasn’t really been tried before because it has to involve ‘The people collectively and directly own the means of production’:
To begin we will examine the meaning of the word collectively in the phrase ‘The people collectively’ to logically unpack this cute little ideological deception.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term collectively
As a group; as a whole.
One can substitute the relevant part directly into the phrase thusly:
The people collectively becomes The people [as a group]
And it follows that this is referring to the action’s of a ‘group of people’
Compare this to the relevant portion of the Oxford English dictionary definition of the word government
The group of people with the authority to govern a country or state
And it follows that a reference to the action’s of a ‘group of people directly own(ing) the means of production’ has the same meaning as: ‘the [government] directly own(ing) the means of production’
Lo and behold, the phrase ‘the people collectively’ equates to a ‘group of people’ as in the definition of ‘government’.
Thus, the logical “progression”: The people collectively = Group of people = Government.
Consequently, we can logically substitute the equivalent terms in that deceptive phraseology:
‘The the people collectively and directly own the means of production’.
‘The [Government] directly own(s) the means of production’.
Which is universally (Leftists love that word) understood to be Tada!: SOCIALISM!
However, according to at least some of the nation and world’s socialists, this is supposedly something entirely different, because science or something….
The people collectively and directly owning the means of production is supposed to be manifestly different than a group of people collectively (Government) and directly owning the means of production.
This is known in the word business as a ‘distinction without a difference’.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term distinction without a difference:
An artificially created distinction where no real difference exists.
The plain unadulterated facts are that dictionary definitions prove that governments are composed of groups of people. And some governments are composed of groups of people who ‘collectively’ own the means of production’. These are correctly labelled as Socialist governments, according to the pesky reality of the true definitions of the certain words. Except for the socialist who attempt to defy reality and common knowledge and degree that some groups of people acting as a governmental body aren’t really a government.
One is supposed to look past the fact that there is no real difference in those terms. That little turn of phrase is also supposed to magically absolve the socialists and communists of the absolute failure, repression and mass murder of their base ideology. Moreover, it doesn’t help the socialist cause that they don’t really have and set details on how their system of group or collective ownership will be somehow different than a government having the same function. It also doesn’t help their cause that in the 500 years of failure that is their historic record.
Perhaps in their sheer desperation in absolving themselves of the crimes against humanity the socialist have forgotten common sense and logic. History is supposed to give the socialists the benefit of the doubt for their 500 years of failure. After all, distinguishing one collective group of people owning the means of production is supposed to somehow be different than another instance of another group of people owning the means of production.
They also can’t quite cite an example of a group of people empowered as government have devolved that ‘power to the people’ as it were. The historic record shows the opposite – that once a group of people hold power over everyone else in a socialist system they tend to hold onto that power no matter what the cost in lives and oppression.
One of the Socialist-left’s preferred ways of absolving themselves of the absolute failure and mass murder of their base ideology is to utilise various semantic word games to foster the mythology that socialism has yet to be tried. Not only is this complete balderdash, but it highlights the fundamental difference between right and left with regard to private property rights. In essence, the right believes in this fundamental concept that is a bulwark of freedom, the Socialist-Left does not.
The author’s main point is that while the vestiges of economic freedom allow one to actually fulfil the alleged objective of the socialist programme, the fact that this is insufficient for them reveals a fundamental difference between Right and Left. People can and do operate worker’s co-ops under the auspices of economic freedom. This is perfectly acceptable under a “laissez-faire constitutional republic that protects private property rights”. To each his own and all that.
The key difference between a system of economic freedom[ Free enterprise] and economic slavery [Socialism] is that property rights are not protected.
So long as “socialism” is taken to mean a mode of production, people are perfectly free to live and work as “socialists” under a laissez-faire constitutional republic that protects private property rights. So such “socialists” should advocate for the political system that protects their right to live as they choose with any property they have produced or voluntarily traded for: a laissez-faire capitalist constitutional republic.
But no, in reality, socialists don’t want private property rights upheld by the government. This is what actually distinguishes them from advocates of capitalism. Their essential idea is a political one: private property rights are to be abolished. Workers should seize productive property from those who invested their time and money to build it, either through the “direct action” of organized union gangs, or through some type of formal government.
Economic freedom means that each individual owns their time and labour and the results of their productivity are theirs to keep and do as they wish. Contrast this with economic slavery where an individual’s time and labour are under the purview of the ‘collective’.
Note: We are using the terminology ‘collective’ since it means the same thing as a group of people or a group of people that form a government because it should be bloody obvious they are the same entity. Whether or not a group of people label themselves a government or a flying purple people eater makes no difference.
The plain fact here is that the Socialist-left cannot abide private property rights. Specifically, they cannot abide people owning themselves. Let us be clear on this point: If an individual owns themselves, it logically follows that the individual owns the product of their time and labour. Conversely, the only way the collective can rightfully own the product of an individual’s time and labour is by owning the individual.
It’s not that the Socialist-Left is trying to justify theft, because for them that would be condoning property rights. No, their mindset has to be that everyone is a part of the ‘collective’ and that property has to be owned collectively – up to and including every individual.
This mindset is seen in how they approach the common sense civil right of armed Self-Defense. For those of the Right, it is patently obvious that an individual has this Right, and will answer in the affirmative when queried about it. This is not the case for those on the Socialist-Left, for they will not even answer the question. For the Right of self-defense signifies self ownership, the lack thereof means that one’s existence is up to the whims of the ‘collective’. The Socialist-Left cannot even admit to this point.
If people owns themselves, they own the products of their labour and it cannot be ‘redistributed’ at the whim of the ‘collective’. It’s only by the vestiges of collective ownership that “other people’s money” can be seized and ‘redistributed’
The author concludes with this:
Socialism is not about workers getting together and starting their own companies. It’s about eliminating private property rights in order to forcibly seize what the most productive individuals in the society have produced. Morally, the essence of socialism is coercive injustice.
Kitty Werthmann, an Austrian World War II survivor, gives her account of Hitler’s takeover of Austria. [35:06]
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana
There was a very infamous incident in the years leading up to the American Civil War (a.k.a. The war of Northern aggression) In which a United States Senator was beaten with a cane in the congressional chamber. And instead of the people being horrified by this violence on the floor of the Senate, some congressmen too to wearing silver canes as adornment.
Flash forward to last week when a progressive terrorist took to shooting a GOP lawmakers at a baseball practice. In this case instead of many being horrified at this shooting, many came out in support of this action and offered words of encouragement. To the point of a Democratic strategist talking about ‘hunting republicans’. While there are marked differences between both incidents, the similarities are more than disturbing. The former lead to a war that had the largest butcher’s bill in the nation’s history and forever altered the country.
So what will happen this go around?
Political discourse is degenerating by the day and while it is foolhardy to blame anyone but the perpetrator for these crimes, there is something to be said for an environment that acts as an echo chamber to reinforce this degeneration. Many use the ‘broken window’ theory in discussing these issues, but there is a simpler and lower level version. When one lives in a rural location it is common to see trash thrown by the roadside. People tend to take cues from others and in this case the assumption is that no one cares and everyone behaves in a certain way. Conversely, when a certain stretch of highway is cleaned up, there is a substantial difference in how much trash is thrown afterwards. People see that no one else has taken this action and they don’t want to be the first.
Not many people throw a rock and break a window, but it is very tempting to simply throw garbage out the window than put it in automobile dustbin. By the same token, if everyone else is screaming insults and making threats, there isn’t much to having pristine discourse interrupted by invective. It’s mob psychology in a verbal realm that quite often results in the same in real life.
Democracy’s tend to have certain life spans of around 200 years. The American experiment is now the world’s oldest.
One of the contentions’ here is that historic events can be viewed by the prism of mathematics and differential equations. One can look at past events and see how they played out over time and apply the same rules to current events given certain initial conditions.
We know that democracies can only last a set time period. This is partially due to the fact that over time the majority learns that it can use the power of the ballot box to plunder the minority and vote itself largess from the public treasury. Many a wise man of the past has made this observation, and we can see this taking place in front of our own eyes.
“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state
lives at the expense of everyone.” Frederic Bastiat
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money”. Alexis de Tocqueville
Over the centuries, many charlatans have dressed up this notion in fancy rhetoric such as Marxism or the more recent term ‘social justice’ but they mean the same thing: A mob majority forcibly taking from the minority. Dressing up theft in words such as equality only shows that the purveyors of such schemes know exactly what they are doing.
The only problem with these little schemes is that they defy basic human nature. The psychological term for this is operant conditioning. Simply put, an organism will tend to do that for which it is rewarded and avoid that for which it is punished. Punish someone by stealing their earnings and they will tend to not work as hard the next time around. Conversely, rewarding someone for not working will tend to keep them in that state. This is basic logic no matter how many long winded articles are written trying to pretend the opposite is true.
So the question is raised again: What we be our lot?
As can been seen from this perspective of history and making predictions informed by past events, the likelihood will be one of the following:
1. The nation divides along amicable lines and both sides certain regions of the continent to see which political philosophy can actually work: Economic Freedom (Free enterprise) or Economic slavery (socialism or whatever the left wants to call it’s ideology this week).
2. The nation divides along the same ideological, but hostile lines. As before, one of the sides will advocate Liberty while the other advocates tyranny. It will be those who want to abolish slavery (Republicans) and those who advocate it’s expansion.
3. The nation stumbles along for a period of time not seen in the history of democracies.
Are there any other possibilities?
“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name- liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”
Source:April 18, 1864 – Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland
We present two videos that will helpfully explain Economic Freedom (Capitalism) and Economic Slavery (Socialism)
PragerU!: Why You Love Capitalism
Do you use an iPhone? Watch Netflix? Listen to Spotify? Then you love capitalism and can’t stand big government. How do we know? Jared Meyer of the Foundation for Government Accountability explains.
Donate today to PragerU! http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h
What Is Socialism?
According to Marxist theory, after a glorious worker’s revolution or evolution will come the establishment of a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and the state will supposedly ‘wither away’. In other words, groups of people will magically give up the power they wield over other people. Then the world will be witness to a new classless Utopian society with skittle farting unicorns happily prancing about. Of course, this never happens and astoundingly enough, Marxists and Socialists the world over use this little ‘feature’ as proof that true socialism has yet to be tried.
As they say, this is a feature and not a bug of the Marxist programme. They use it to take in new generations who think they’ve discovered the perfect political system and a way to get free goodies for no effort. This while having the ideal method to excuse failure and a reason why it will work the next time around.
To hear the socialists tell it, the Socialist regimes of it’s storied past weren’t really socialist. This is because things are supposed to be run by the people as a group and instead was run by a group of people, which isn’t the same thing according to them. Marxian theory held that socialism meant that the people as a group run the economy, but if a group of people run the economy that isn’t socialism. It was perfectly fine if a collection of people ran the show, but not if done by a collection of people.
Governments are merely groups of people in charge, and their owning and controlling the means of production was perfectly acceptable. But it wasn’t acceptable if a group of people governmentally owned and controlled the means of production. A system was Socialist only if the people owned and controlled the means of production instead of the people owning and controlling the means of production.
Supposedly a “Worker’s Paradise” will be born after the state ‘withers away’ because of there is one constant in the universe, it’s that people wielding great power over others will always want to give it away as quickly as possible. Yes, bureaucrats are often eager to rid themselves of their cushy positions and pay because they eschew having power and using other people’s money for their benefit.
So why does the title refer to the term‘Y2K’? For most readers under the age of 20, that reference will be meaningless. In short Y2K stood for potential computer errors that were to occur in the year 2000. Because early systems used only two digits to signify the year with the assumption that the first portion will always be ‘19’ for the previous century. This was supposed to be the imminent danger of the day. Without knowing the proper year computer systems would supposedly go haywire and launch nuclear weapons, cats and dogs would live together and mass hysteria would rein free or something.
Of course, nothing happened and the world kept on a spinning. This is being brought up because bureaucratic rules tasked with fixing this issue were only recently eliminated, 17 years after the fact. This small example is a prime illustration why ‘the state withering away’ is worse than it being a bizarre fantasy, it is a cynical scheme to sucker many into buying into an ideology than only serves to enslave rather than liberate.
Groups of people wielding power over others never willingly give it up, the historic record is quite clear on that point. But that doesn’t dissuade Marxists and Socialists from using this cynical scam to sucker new acolytes while excusing the repetitive failure of their base ideology.