Socialism’s Unbroken Trail of Failure

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
By Paul Martin

By John Eidson
December 10, 2019

Evidence that socialism is doomed to fail wherever it is tried occurred long before America became a nation. In 1607, inhabitants of Jamestown, Virginia were on the verge of starvation, largely because the settlement’s communal living arrangement failed to produce enough food. Among the steps that saved Jamestown from oblivion was doing away with communal sharing in favor of incentive-based farming that rewarded personal initiative.

Three and a half centuries later, the same lesson repeated itself in San Francisco and elsewhere, when the utopian “free food” communes of the hip generation went the way of the dinosaurs. The hippies who provided the food got tired of feeding those whose only contribution was a hearty appetite. Earlier this year, socialism’s empty promise of a honeyed existence for all struck again, this time in Scandinavia, where Finland’s socialist government collapsed over the unsustainable cost of passing out free stuff as if it grew on trees.

Having left an unbroken trail of failure in its wake, socialism is doomed to fail wherever it’s tried, because it is in eternal mortal conflict with the basic human instinct that those who work hard, pursue advanced education, employ their ingenuity, or risk their capital have an inborn expectation to do significantly better than those who don’t. As 18th century Scottish economist Adam Smith put it, “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.” Stated differently, every socialist who works for a living does so not out of altruistic instincts, but to feather his own financial nest. That, too, will never change.

Socialism: An ideology based on lies

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