In Part Three of this series I explained the broad philosophical problem with socialism: its fundamental premise that state control is superior to individual liberty and economic freedom.  In this installment I explain what adopting a socialist system would mean to Americans in practical terms.  After completing this installment, the reader should be able to explain to young Americans why socialism is a flawed concept whether viewed as an economic system, a worldview, or in practical terms.  Not only does socialism not work, it cannot work because of the following shortcomings:

  • Replaces the family with the state as the central unit in society
  • Undermines the family by redistributing its wealth and indoctrinating its children in government schools
  • Allows legalized theft in the name of redistributing wealth
  • Encourages sloth instead of productivity
  • Rewards irresponsibility, laziness, and poor accountability
  • Encourages self-indulgence instead of self-reliance
  • Encourages finger pointing and shifting of responsibility to others
  • Replaces the self-discipline of delayed gratification with the need for instant gratification
  • Undermines the values that are the foundation of the traditional work ethic (i.e. thrift, diligence, self-reliance, self-discipline, responsibility, accountability, deferred gratification, and hard work) and replaces them with an entitlement mentality
  • Treats those who contribute to the betterment of society the same as those who do not, even when they are capable of doing so
  • Promotes a get-something-for-nothing mentality that undermines the moral character of the individual and society
  • Robs people of initiative, drive, and ambition
  • Undermines the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and competitiveness
  • Promotes totalitarianism, thereby undermining freedom and liberty

In a radio broadcast prior to the British general election of 1945, Winston Churchill said this about socialism: “…A socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom.  Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and…worship of the state.  It will prescribe for everyone where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say.  Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely.” (From Friedrich Hayek: A Biography by Alan O. Ebenstein, University of Chicago Press: 2003).  Well said Mr. Churchill.

What’s So Bad About Socialism? (Intro)

How Do You Define Socialism? (Part 1)

Beginnings of American Socialism in Public Education? (Part 2)

Socialism’s First Casualties (Part 3)