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.