Socialists can never be convinced that socialism does not work

Why do people keep defending socialism?

Capitalism keeps harming them again and again if it had never worked before?

A: Says who? Our socialist military defeated the fascists in WWII, in association with the Socialist Soviets. We built public schools, roads, utility grids, public water supplies, drug testing, food quality testing and many other things. They work pretty well.

I was also reminded that the Inca and early Christian’s were socialists in practice, though the term was not yet in use.

Socialists are a pretty stupid lot. The above is from Quora where you do find quite a lot of ignorant fools defending socialism as above. Does he really think the Incas were socialists? Were all of those Victorians who built public schools and roads etc socialists?

Here’s how you tell a socialist from a non-socialist in one easy lesson. A socialist believes an economy can be run like a single business, with all of the decisions made by head office, usually located in the capital city. Public works and public schools are not evidence of socialism. Central planning and the replacement of private firms by the public sector is. And most important of all, in a market economy there needs to be a price mechanism to allocate the resource base between different uses whereas among socialists they just spend the money on their favourite projects.

For a bit more on this, you might have a look at my I, Mechanical Pencil in which I explain in more detail the role of the price mechanism which can never be explained sufficiently well for those who are determined to introduce a socialist economy guaranteed to impoverish just about everyone.

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59 Responses to Socialists can never be convinced that socialism does not work

  1. PB

    I think the thing that keeps Socialism alive is that every new generation thinks the one before it just made some mistakes, but they know where they went wrong and it’ll work better this time.

  2. Roger

    Steve, can you do a posgt on crony capitalism next?

    A case in point I’ve recently heard about in my neck of the woods from a reliable source:

    A council needed a fair stretch of road resurfaced. They put it out to tender.

    A local small operator put in a competitive bid.

    He was then contacted by council. He’d submitted the lowest quote, and while they knew he’d do a good job, Commonwealth and state governments preferred these contracts be awarded to larger firms. It’s about jobs, you know.

    The larger firm that won the contract subsequently sub-contracted the small operator to do the job and pocketed the not inconsiderably difference in the bids.

    Pity the rate payer.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    The people in socialist Soviets had shops with nothing in them and they had to queue for hours if something edible arrived. Except for the special stores for party members. They were full of nice things.

    Even China is having problems with food at the moment, not helped by the silly persecution of Australian primary producers. So typical that they should use trade as a war tactic and harm their own people as a result.

  4. Mater

    We built public schools, roads, utility grids, public water supplies, drug testing, food quality testing and many other things. They work pretty well.

    They always overlook the contribution of slave labour.
    Whatever it takes, I guess.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    And another thing about socialism that isn’t mentioned much. It’s incredibly boring.

    The stuff on television is the same unbelievable propaganda on every channel. Radio is boring. Newspapers are hopeless. The internet is tightly controlled. Even books are hard to get, hence Fahrenheit 451.

    In China even clothes were boring Mao-suits. In East Germany you waited a decade to be allowed to buy a boring underpowered car, and then you had to scrimp for petrol. You lived in a grey apartment block. Even wandering around the streets or going jogging…papers please.

    No wonder that Russians are legendary drinkers. What else was there to do?

  6. Scott Osmond

    Because they are stupid, amoral, historically illiterate power hungry people who can’t imagine a system where they don’t have the whiphand. They can’t see that a situation could happen where they aren’t the ones sending people to camps or that they are the ones lining up at empty stores. Shorter answer. Envy choked, evil, hate filled, psychologically damaged examples of human wreckage.

  7. Lee

    I had a bit of an argument, which we almost never do have, with one of my sisters the other day.
    I was talking with her over the phone (she lives overseas), and she got onto the topic of her idea of the perfect, utopian world and her ideas sounded remarkably socialistic to me.
    I try to avoid arguing with my siblings but I couldn’t let that pass.
    I said that socialism, like communism, has never, and will never work, as among other things, it removes all incentive to further oneself.
    My sister has a very strong mind, and her stock answer is to cite one example, or several (usually bad ones), that she believes proves her correct, such as the time she cited Taiwan to prove that lockdowns work!
    Anyway, her answer was: “what about Vietnam?”
    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

  8. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    They can’t see that a situation could happen where they aren’t the ones sending people to camps or that they are the ones lining up at empty stores.

    Well said!

  9. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Anyway, her answer was: “what about Vietnam?”

    Where the incoming Government, after April 1975, was just as venal, just as corrupt as the old one had ever been?

  10. lotocoti

    We built public schools, roads, utility grids, public water supplies, drug testing, food quality testing and many other things. They work pretty well.

    The evolution of railways in the UK might come as a bit of a shock.

  11. Chris M

    early Christian’s were socialists in practice

    Well VERY early. You can read about it in the Acts of the Apostles – they early church in Jerusalem tried a form or communism, more like a commune where they shared all their possessions. It was an abject failure. Another life lesson from the Bible that was ignored.

  12. min

    Husband and friend went to Azerbaijan when Gorbachev was in power and friend’s luggage was lost . He could not buy pair of underpants and host lent him his.

  13. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Long standing friends of the family – now, both gone to God – fled the Soviet invasion of Hungary, in the best Scarlett Pimpernel fashion, hiding in a cartload of potatoes.

    They always maintained Socialism should be the same as any other scientific experiment – thoroughly tested on animals, before allowed to be inflicted on human beings.

  14. min

    , Epicurus ran places like a kibbutz where anyone could join as long as they contributed to the running of the place . They were open to slaves . Believe that they eventually became the first monasteries . The real Epicurian lifestyle was not how it is presented these days a stoic philosopher whose teachings are part of the theory that Albert Ellis used in formulating RET , first of the Cognitive Behavioural therapies .

  15. candy

    I tend to think you won’t change people’s minds on socialism until they live it for a fair amount of time.
    Perhaps 6 or 7 years, maybe 10 years. The real deal socialism. Until then it’s just some fairy idea.

  16. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I tend to think you won’t change people’s minds on socialism until they live it for a fair amount of time.

    Two weeks, working in a Cambodian orphanage, was enough to change the minds of the daughters of a friend of mine…

  17. egg_

    If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again.

    – Unless you’re trying to do something really stupid!

    /Scrawled on a poster at Lockheed-Martin (Comms)

  18. gafa

    Socialism appeals to lazy inept people.

    They’ll be mighty disappointed when the likes of Zuckerberg, Bezos, Musk, Gates, Dorsey etc won’t actually be standing next to them in the bread line.

  19. nb

    ‘Socialists can never be convinced that socialism does not work’
    In my experience socialists avoid discussion that might undermine their beliefs. I have also seen this tendency reported by many online right-of-centre commentators. If you happen to get through the discussion barrier you end up with false consciousness and often enough something about omelets. False consciousness is the perfect escape clause. It deflects all responsibility for the failures of socialism onto those poor creatures who are to be saved by socialism. As for omelets, where are they?

  20. Exit Stage Right

    I notice that there is not yet any comments from the Leftist cabal that inhabit this blog.
    I guess they will be along shortly to put us all straight about Utopia that exists on the other side of the rainbow.

  21. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I notice that there is not yet any comments from the Leftist cabal that inhabit this blog.

    They are still getting all sweaty in the crotch, and puffy in the jowls, over the results of the elections in the United States.

  22. Bruce

    Pol Pot’s Cambodia is the best example of the realities of “pure” socialism.

    They so annoyed their neighbours,, the newly-minted Socialist Republic od Viet Nam, that Hanoi sent in the PAVN to sort them out. The rump of the KR survived another twenty years, before Saloth Sar (Pol Pot) demised of old-age and dubious medical treatments in the weeds of Anlog Veng in 1998 and people stopped feeding the rest of them. One more jolly little detail. The KR thoroughly subverted the children. The most reliable killers were kids between the ages of twelve and sixteen. They were isolated from their families, duly indoctrinated and the let loose at executioners of “intellectuals”, land-holders, people who may have a second language, people who wore glasses, etc. The early basic weapon was basically a wooden club, as the exhumed skulls testify. they rapidly progressed to an even more “Eco-friendly” method, slashing throats. No, not with a sharp, decadent, western knife, but with a frond from a sugar-palm tree whittled so that it became a “green” saw. These were used until they got too soggy, and then, easily replaced. The symbolism, so beloved by socialist ratbags everywhere, is that the Sugar-palm is effectively native to Cambodia and is a sort-of national symbol. If you are traveling east and the sugar-palms end, you are approaching Viet Nam , Laos, etc.

    They are STILL digging up, literally, the remains of the victims of “pure socialism” in that benighted country, though their Chinese overlords would prefer not to be associated with the KR, even though Pol Pot, Ta Mok, et. al, were ardent admirers of Mao. Ah, Mao, supervisor of by far the biggest body count of all the “socialist” regimes. A side note: In northern Cambodia, there is a substantial military grade airfield, built under Chinese supervision and with their engineering help, during the Pol Pot years

    Apparently, a considerable part of the loyalists / Lon Nol officer corps lie beneath the very thick paving of this airfield.

    Interestingly, ALL of the key players in the KR had spent time at French universities between the 1930’s and the and 60’s.

    You know, France, where the socialists roam unmolested, most of the time.. France, where, during WW2, the “communist underground” put a LOT more effort into killing or betraying their “”backsliding”, straight-up patriotic “colleagues, than they did in actually fighting the Nazi occupiers. In this they were aided by the thoroughly subverted British “spook” agencies which had gone Moscow-centric in the early to mid 1930’s.

    Socialism is, ultimately, a death cult.

  23. WDYSIA

    It’s crony capitalism that is a bigger threat at the moment, even if its outcomes look like socialism.

  24. nb

    Bruce, #3722101, posted on January 12, 2021 at 10:36 pm says:
    ‘Socialism is, ultimately, a death cult.’
    This is not an exaggeration. Socialist utopianism is the lolly promised by the deranged to the credulous. Very dark human forces underlie the seduction.

  25. Ozman

    Socialism exists because children of the ruling class inherit wealth from their parents. Those who are born into the ruled class see this as injustice. Historically, the ruled class, envying the ruling class, revolt. However, what is overlooked is that revolts are usually led by an aggrieved person who was a member of the ruling class; or someone with the backing of an aggrieved person from the ruling class (dirty dan with the backing of the CCP)

    Those who claim that the community owns the wealth, and it ought to be shared equally among all members, overlook that when one does the work and the others bludge, a sense of injustice occurs when bludgers expect the workers to provide for them. Although, some claim that the Scandinavian countries have discovered the balance: people are rewarded for their entrepreneurship while providing for a welfare state.

    In Australia, those in private industry work to provide the taxes to pay for all who live off the public purse, whether a government employee or a welfare cheque recipient. Kill the private sector that relies entirely on production that generates wealth and, not socialism, tyranny will result–similar to what has been evidenced in Victoria: a dictator fakes concern for his victims; small businesses are crushed; streets are empty; cops become thuggish brutal enforcers.

    Actually, when you think about it, what is probably the closest we will get to socialism is already occurring around the globe in countries that have a robust private sector providing the income for the public sector to spend on themselves and provide welfare cheques for the unemployed, under-employed, corporate socialists and crony capitalists.

  26. Jo

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #3721957, posted on January 12, 2021 at 8:53 pm
    And another thing about socialism that isn’t mentioned much. It’s incredibly boring.

    Beer, the boringest in socialist countries apparently….

  27. Bruce of Newcastle

    Jo – Government beer…I suppose that’s why the Russians went into vodka in such a big way. You’d need vodka to take the taste away.

  28. Jo

    The beer article states that

    “democratic socialism” is simply a more time-consuming way of saying “socialism.”

    But Orwell uses the term democratic socialism as the opposite to anti totalitarianism….

    Do we have Democratic Socialism in Victoria under Dear Dan?

  29. Jo

    Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.

    I screwed up my comment, should read “But Orwell uses the term democratic socialism as the opposite to totalitarianism”……. this is worse than gender studies!

  30. jupes

    The stuff on television is the same unbelievable propaganda on every channel. Radio is boring. Newspapers are hopeless. The internet is tightly controlled. Even books are hard to get, hence Fahrenheit 451.

    Australia 2021

  31. Simply put, one can’t convince these dick heads because they believe socialism is ‘caring and sharing’.
    That’s why young people tend to favour socialism. Harsh reality hasn’t had time to hit them in the face yet.

  32. Entropy

    WDYSIA
    #3722109, posted on January 12, 2021 at 10:40 pm
    It’s crony capitalism that is a bigger threat at the moment, even if its outcomes look like socialism.

    Crony capitalism is just fascism without the cool uniforms. Of course it looks like socialism. It requires a core group of elites deciding what is allowed.

    All philosophies requiring centralised control of the economy and society are always about controlling the masses to deliver the controllers’ vision of utopia. Coincidently this utopia seems to require them to be in charge and the rest of us must fit that vision or else.

  33. Professor Fred Lenin

    Comrades ,if we keep trying the square peg will fit in the round hole ,the last 100 times didnt work but we can try again . Its like EU referenda if you lose the first one keep having them till you win one .

  34. John Bayley

    Does he really think the Incas were socialists?

    Perhaps they were.
    That would explain why the conquistador, Francisco Pizzaro, with a literal handful of Spanish soldiers (168 of them), managed to utterly defeat the Incan empire and kill the ‘divine’ Sapa Inka, the emperor Atahualpa, in a matter of a few months.
    Clearly socialism didn’t work even then.

    But Orwell uses the term democratic socialism as the opposite to anti totalitarianism….

    Orwell was a socialist himself – which, given the then-recent Great Depression, may have perhaps been at least somewhat understandable.

    However socialism can never be anything but totalitarian in nature, because it ultimately cannot be imposed, and then maintained, without force. Even in the ‘kibbutz’ communities of early Israel, where the participants chose to be there on a voluntary basis, the experiment soon failed when people started leaving.

    At least in that kind of socialism it was possible to leave. Alas, in almost all other historical examples, the socialists soon erected barbed wire fences on the border.

    Not dissimilar to what Australia is doing now with the ConVid scam, which is yet another example of perfect socialist misery, to be shared by all except for the privileged few at the top.

  35. Entropy

    Even in the ‘kibbutz’ communities of early Israel, where the participants chose to be there on a voluntary basis, the experiment soon failed when people started leaving.

    Hence the Berlin Wall.

  36. John Bayley

    I suppose that’s why the Russians went into vodka in such a big way. You’d need vodka to take the taste away.

    A sufficient amount of vodka also prevents both your beverage and yourself from freezing to death in the Russian winters.

    Witness the impact of ‘climate change’ in Siberia. Forecasts for today:

    Vyerkhoyansk: -53C right now, with a balmy afternoon maximum of -46.
    Yakutsk: -48/-47

    I bet the Russians are hugely concerned about eliminating carbon [sic] emissions. Imagine the carnage if those temperatures were allowed to rise by more than 1.5 degree in the next 100 years! /s

  37. John Bayley

    Hence the Berlin Wall.

    Soon to be emulated by the Albury/Wodonga wall, to be built by comrade Andrews.
    For your own protection, you understand.

  38. Jo

    Soon to be emulated by the Albury/Wodonga wall, to be built by comrade Andrews.
    For your own protection, you understand.

    At what point should Victorians leave? And where would they go?

    When does socialism become so bad that you can’t stay any longer?

  39. Gibbo

    Here’s how I tell a socialist from a non-socialist in one easy lesson. Socialists live in China or Venezuela, or North Korea or Cuba. It is not something you believe, it is something you live under. People calling themselves socialists who live in Capitalist supported systems are socialists the same way I’m a 150kg ballerina. They’re not! They don’t want real socialism any more than you or I do, they just want other people’s stuff. They’re not socialists, they’re bludgers.
    🙂

  40. John Bayley

    At what point should Victorians leave? And where would they go?

    As a person who has himself once before permanently – and of course illegally, according to local laws – left a socialist country, I can tell you that your second sentence has hit the nail squarely on its head.

    Back in the early 80s, at least there were options as far as where to go.
    Now there are none, at least as far as I know.

    The Wall may have fallen, but the totalitarians, be they socialists, commies or Nazis (same difference, ultimately), have won.

    The fact that the vast majority of Australians & New Zealanders have never lived without basic freedoms, and hence they take them for granted & don’t consider them worth fighting for, has completed the rout.

  41. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Even in the ‘kibbutz’ communities of early Israel, where the participants chose to be there on a voluntary basis, the experiment soon failed when people started leaving.

    At the end of the First Indochina war, in 1954, the Geneva Accords partitioned the new State of Vietnam, and allowed freedom of movement, for a set period, between the North, and South.

    Nearly one million people “went South” and the North Vietnamese violated the Accords by preventing anywhere up to another half million people from leaving. Some 50,000 South Vietnamese took the option to “go North.”

    Was there ever such a mass migration TO a Socialist country?

  42. Jo

    The Wall may have fallen, but the totalitarians, be they socialists, commies or Nazis (same difference, ultimately), have won.

    So now it’s just a slow (or fast?) decline into living under a socialist regime? Is there no stopping that – fighting for basic freedoms won’t work at this point?

    People calling themselves socialists who live in Capitalist supported systems are socialists the same way I’m a 150kg ballerina. They’re not! They don’t want real socialism any more than you or I do, they just want other people’s stuff. They’re not socialists, they’re bludgers.

    What do you call a person who calls themselves a Capitalist, but lives in a Socialist society? (I think I know the answer to this one… it can’t be good)

  43. Rex Anger

    What do you call a person who calls themselves a Capitalist, but lives in a Socialist society? (I think I know the answer to this one… it can’t be good)

    Prisoner 123456789.

    Sooner or later….

  44. Mother Lode

    To be a socialist it helps to have no experience of the real world, a big ego, and emotional need. No one becomes a socialist from looking at the world flat on.

    No plumber or engineer who must already deal with government bureaucracy thinks they will be more effective with more government control.

    Experience of the real world? It is not a bizarre coincidence that uni students who have gone from high school uni, cosseted and cared for by their parents, their teachers, and the uni admin. A transition from one cloistered realm to another. Encouraged to think of themselves as an intellectual elite they think that other people’s seeing a thing as complicated is an artefact of their lesser intelligence. They themselves have no doubt all will be transparent to them and think everything they see is, indeed, everything.

    When I was a kid, I watched my Dad driving the car and was sure I could do it. I had no idea what was involved because it looked easy – I had no idea clutches, gears, speed limits, car momentum, centrifugal forces, gauging how far to steer etc etc. Socialists just see Daddy use the steering wheel and accelerator.

    Oh, and ego. Useless in discussion. They cannot believe they might be wrong. They already know other people are wrong as soon as they speak. They just need to cobble together a reason why. The socialist intellectual Lego box is full of pieces that can be stacked and stuck together.

    The revolutions work the same way – make promises, whip up enthusiasm, and do the deed. Immediately after bonfire of revolution will be a warm afterglow of support when people will demand little and be prepared to give unstintingly of themselves, convinced they will share in the ultimate reward. Then with the ongoing hardship the glow begins to fade and people to be more mindful of themselves. The elites use propaganda to try to re-ignite enthusiasm but that can only work temporarily. Ultimately the elites realise that if they cannot engage enthusiasm they can propel by fear. And they linger in that state for as long as they can terrorise their people.

  45. John Bayley

    Is there no stopping that – fighting for basic freedoms won’t work at this point?

    It would, but do you see anyone ready to fight?

    The few old geezers who frequent the Cat don’t count, and the young people are, by and large, fully on board of the Free Stuff train. They have been told by their teachers that socialism is ‘fair’ and as long as they let ‘the experts’ implement it, it will work this time around.

    The eventual, and only, solution to this situation will be a total collapse of the system. Just like it happened in the Soviet Union. But that can take a fair while, and also, unfortunately, a lot of victims.

    As the French say: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  46. John Bayley

    Socialists just see Daddy use the steering wheel and accelerator.

    What a great analogy!

    This is, of course, why Marx was convinced that all it took for ‘the proletariat to cast off their chains’ and attain the ultimate communist paradise on earth was to nationalise the factories and other means of production.

    Because the factories obviously knew what to do all by themselves, so the capitalist/enterpreneur/exploiter could safely be disposed of, without any negative consequences.

  47. Mother Lode

    Collectivists also make the mistake of glossing over the true engine of a nation. Individuals.

    Our nation is driven by people looking after themselves, people they care about – which can even be strangers (charity). The means of doing this is cooperation. This unplanned, seemingly chaotic and random combination has built entire civilisations.

    Collectivists can’t tap into that dynamic. They don’t see it. Just conflicting collectives crying out to be controlled. Conflict is important to them.

    Thinking in collectives is easy. It simplifies things and makes them manageable. Just wrong. Imagine how much easier it would be to do arithmetic if numbers stopped at 99 (perhaps looping back to 0 after that) and there were no fractions.

    Easier. Definitive. But wrong.

    The way socialists think.

  48. Jo

    The elites use propaganda to try to re-ignite enthusiasm but that can only work temporarily. Ultimately the elites realise that if they cannot engage enthusiasm they can propel by fear. And they linger in that state for as long as they can terrorise their people.

    And that’s why anyone who tries to fight against the slide into Socialism will fail… there are fights here and there, but the elites will up the ante on the fear and lingering. I thought Capitalists must be either too lazy, or too busy working, to fight, but when they do they are outnumbered and ridiculed, or cancelled. So I can add that they are also too scared to fight, for fear of loosing everything they have worked for. Which then propels the Socialists even further.

    I’ll admit, I only exist due to my silent grandparents in WWII. So I am as responsible in my silence as they are, for the Socialist take over.

    Here I thought that putting my Boot out for Dear Dan (for just long enough to take a photo and post it anonymously) that I was was being brave. Appears not.

  49. A socialist believes an economy can be run like a single business, with all of the decisions made by head office, usually located in the capital city.

    By Bill Shorten in his bomber jacket, on Channel 9’s today show, live from The Lodge.

    A car, a car, another car, and another!”

  50. Nato

    “You make it, they take it” … Socialists identify as ‘they’ and not ‘you’. Charitable deeds are work to be paid for, and not a personal act of kindness that leaves ‘they’ short.

    Also by assuming every ‘you’ wants in, no questions asked. That early church (Acts 5) reference is the one where the apostle clearly rules that “everything you have is yours”. The believers joined in voluntarily. Those in non-agreement were left to live outside the church’s rule. Any christian could always join them.

  51. Fair Shake

    Very small example of socialism vs private enterprise. My son has been attending a government funded state high school. This time of year is a stressful time as we secure books and uniforms. It’s run as efficiently as Victoria Covid tracking system. This year we are sending him a privately run academy with a sports focus. Fees payable. This week we received notification uniform and books will be despatched to us next week. No fuss no hassle. To me the difference is private enterprise puts the customer first. Government puts everything but the end user first.

  52. Paul

    Bernie Sanders: food ques is a good thing.

  53. Paul

    No one escapes to a socialist country.
    Maybe the greedy left can offer an explanation.
    No refugees head for socialist countries where everything is free, just not available.
    Even Californians are escaping their socialist utopia, to get to the freedom of Texas, just ask Elon Musk.

  54. Paul

    Under demorat socialsm, it will soon be a case that the US will not need the border wall, as people do not escape to socialist states.

  55. Makka

    I’m surprised the commo numbnutz hasn’t shown his fetid self here, defending Socialism.

    It’s true, Socialism will work if only they could do it properly (lol). But how many millions have died and will die while idiot leftards keep failing at perfecting it?

  56. Mother Lode

    I’m surprised the commo numbnutz hasn’t shown his fetid self here, defending Socialism.

    It will be less appealing to him. This thread is actually about socialism which means its tenets and consequences are the topic. Sneaking in irrelevancies or making shallow points that are manifestly false in light of deeper comments around it.

    If he appears here it will be to do a *hands over ears. Shouting in loudest voice* BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!

  57. Mother Lode

    Also, he is described by some of the explanations given above. It would be like realising you are in a courtroom wearing your pyjamas.

  58. Bruce

    Another useful thing to remember:

    “You can easily vote your way into socialism, but you generally have to shoot your way out of it”

    And the “voting” part of that is almost ALWAYS “creative”. Along the lines of “One man, One vote, ONE TIME”.

    You all know how to shoot and have the hardware in a safe place, don’t you? Well?

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