THE BLOG

Concerning Socialism

03/30/2015 01:35 pm ET | Updated May 30, 2015

The concept of a socialist state can, as it is commonly understood, find its beginnings in the work by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels titled The Communist Manifesto that was written and published in 1848. It is the instrument by which the argument for the dismantlement of the free market and establishment of a socialist state, and inevitably communist state, is drawn from. After making a broad distinction between the Bourgeois and Proletarians the manifesto demands a progressive income tax; abolition of inheritances; free public education and that alike as to begin the move towards a stateless and classless society.

If one were to show support for Rawl's claims that if individuals were to design a new society, or amend the current society, from a neutral point of view they would design the fairest society to ensure the security of all. His thought experiment, known as the veil of ignorance, allows us to provide an answer to questions such as '"is this current society fair?" It is assured that those asked would conclude that the current society is not fair. In this instance it might be said a socialist society is a fairer one at first glance than the current capitalist society we are in. Allow me to deliberate as to why this prima facie assumption is incorrect.

Marx's Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 articulated the argument man is born free and through capitalism has become a slave to the Bourgeois. As a result of becoming slaves the Proletarians are not in full control of the system and have become a means to an end. It would appear that the dismantlement of the free market would move us towards an equal and classless society but in fact a socialist society would remove the individuals ability to spend their money as they freely wish. Instead, through redistribution of wealth, the Government will provide everyone with what it feels they need in accordance with the notion of equality it has established. But what an individual needs is ultimately subjective and without criteria, for the exception of fundamental basics.

Socialism demonizes natural talent and progress. I ask you this, if in a classroom of thirty individuals one is musically inclined and exceptional at playing instruments it is efficient to buy all the individuals in the class a musical instrument even though no talent is present? The answer to this question is simply that it is not efficient. It is self-evident that equal opportunity is a necessary quality of a fair society, but to achieve this an inefficient redistribution of wealth is required. Such it is the case that I critique, as those who commonly do so, the redistribution of wealth on both a legal ground and a moral one. Frederic Bastiat highlights that if the Government takes from one individual, depriving one of his property to benefit another is legally condemnable, and if it is done to the masses it is inconsistent and intolerable. It should here be seen as a great evil and is the instrument by which the tyranny of the majority can rule.

The inefficiency of a socialist state can easily be illustrated as follows. Ludwig von Mises highlights that a central government, which owns all means of production and distribution, disallows for entrepreneurship, competition, profits, losses, market prices or any element that would constitute free market capitalism. The inherent result of this is that a socialist state is less economically viable and experiences slow growth, in comparison, a capitalist state produces more jobs, more wealth and helps everyone. The most recent example of which is the considerable progress that has been made in the last five years by Cameron's administration, especially when compared to the thirteen years Labour was in power between 1997 and 2010.

Milton Friedman once stated that "nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own". A market allows for a considerably better ability to allocate resources as a result of the risk and reward relationship. A socialist state, absent of a market, removes all risk. Such it is the case that one should conclude, as did Winston Churchill, that "democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others".