Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Give a Man a Fish

Socialism comes in two flavors, the kind practiced in democracies in which the people have discovered how to vote themselves free bread, and the kind practiced in dictatorships in which the dictator or oligarchs have discovered how to starve the people on it.

There is an old liberal saying:

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day;
Teach him to fish, and he will never be hungry.
The arrogance implied in that statement is astounding. Which came first, the starving poor or the liberal? Come to think of it, it's a harder question than I thought.

Socialism gives the people bread, fish, or whatever the government decides they "need". Since the people do not have the ability under socialism to feed themselves, tomorrow the government must continue to give the people bread, while enduring their whining compaints. The bread is baked from flour ground by those who will never bake or till. The grain is grown by those who will never grind or bake. And eventually everyone pays for it in blood, since the system falls apart without someone holding a gun.

Capitalism teaches the people to fish, or bake their own bread, or figure out their own health care. It requires no one to force the people to till, or grind, or bake, because the people will do these things with the hope of wealth but with the knowledge that they will be rewarded for the cleverness and diligence with which they do so.

Socialism is the enemy of capitalism not just because the two economic systems are incompatible in their methods and goals, but because socialism demands more and more control over its subjects, while capitalism does not want to control. Socialism requires stifling dissent, for if people remember that they don't need the government, they will rebel.

Socialism, and its sister communism, require thinking of the world as a zero-sum proposition, in which a person can become wealthy only by impoverishing someone else, and the world is composed of competing groups out to enslave one another. In fact, wealth is most often created by the mutual benefit of two or more parties, and the less they try to enslave one another, the more mutual benefit they can accrue. When one of those parties is a health care provider, one of them gains health, which is more valuable to him than the mere money gained by the other.

Capitalism, by contrast with socialism, works best when people are free to decide all aspects of their own affairs, whether they till, grind, bake, join the Marines, or become a doctor. When decisions are made for people, their initiative dries up, and the initiative of the people is the life blood of capitalism. Capitalism is freedom.

Socialism has no life, only the blood of its dissenters.

Will people try to steal from one another without some kind of government to resolve disputes between them? Universally. But socialism requires them to steal from one another.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Blog stats

Add to Technorati Favorites