Introduction to Why Socialism Always Fails:
I recently wrote a post about why capitalism is the right choice for America. It is called “The Virtue of Capitalism.” So why am I already writing another post about capitalism and socialism? Because I need to. Because socialism is a cancer that is plaguing our society. Unfortunately, contemporary American politicians think that they can revive socialism and make it work here. They hold that belief despite the fact that socialism has failed everywhere else that it has been tried. In this article I will describe the failures of socialism, talk about why socialism always fails, and then discuss why we have to push back against its supposed allure.
The Many Failures of Socialism:
So first lets go over some of the many failures of socialism. In the interest of time, I will only discuss a few of socialism’s many failures. The examples I will discuss are the USSR, North Korea, and Venezuela. All three of those countries tried socialism. And all three of them failed miserably, which is unsurprising when you know that socialism always fails.
The USSR, or Soviet Union, was perhaps the world’s greatest experiment in socialism. A union of socialist states that spanned two continents and had client states around the globe went head to head with the US and its NATO allies for about 50 years. However, it eventually failed. Like other socialist nations, it couldn’t produce enough of the goods that its people wanted. Food, shoelaces, belts, tools, and appliances were always in short supply. But goods that no one wanted were always around. Additionally, it made huge investments in military technology and subsidies for its client nations.
The USSR showed that a centrally planned economy could not work and that socialism always fails. Because bureaucrats in central Moscow offices were deciding what would be produced and in what quantity, the economy of the USSR struggled. It couldn’t produce what its people wanted or needed, only what the bureaucrats and military wanted. Because of that failure, the economy collapsed and the nation collapsed with it. Socialism failed for the same reason why socialism always fails; it couldn’t provide for its citizens.
Just look at what is happening in Venezuela right now to see that socialism has obviously failed there. If socialism wasn’t failing, then why would people be eating rabbits? Why would government troops been ramming vehicles into crowds of civilians like I talked about in a recent post called “Socialism and Gun Control“? The answer is that those things would not be happening if socialism wasn’t a complete failure.
The government in Venezuela ran out of other people’s money (running out of other people’s money is the main reason why socialism always fails). They used to call for “fair prices days” where businesses had to basically give away their goods. Of course those days boosted the government’s popularity. Citizens got goods for free. But, because of those days, many businesses failed. Giving away their goods was not profitable, so they lost everything. As they failed and oil tanked, so did the Venezuelan economy, which means that the “socialism always fails” adage held true in Venezuela too; it’s economy was far too mismanaged.
Economies need entrepreneurship and small businesses to grow and succeed. Without those two things, an economy will fail. That is why China has started allowing capitalism and small businesses into its economy; it needs them for growth. However, Venezuela pursued a different path. It destroyed its entrepreneurs and its businesses and in doing so destroyed its economy. Actions like those of Venezuela are one of the reasons why socialism always fails; they stifle innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
North Korea is a totalitarian hellhole. Socialism made it that way. Had North Korea refused to give in to capitalism and socialism back in the 1940s, then it would be a different place. All you have to do to see that is look at South Korea. Because it became a capitalist and democratic nation, it has thrived.
However, North Korea did not become a capitalist nation. Not even close. Instead, it is one of the most totalitarian and socialist nations left in existence. Because of that decision, its economy is an abject failure. Like the USSR, it has produced no goods that its citizens need. Instead, it has focused almost entirely on military equipment and technology. Its heavy industry and military improvements have been reasonably successful. But its economy has suffered immensely. Soon, its economy will fail completely because socialism always fails.
Why is It True that Socialism Always Fails in Every Place that It is Tried?
Socialism has failed everywhere because it is a failure of economic policy. It is a failure of an economic policy for two main reasons. Those reasons are that it is centrally planned and its expansion is reliant upon huge levels of military spending and subsidies.
Central Planning is a Central Reason why Socialism Always Fails:
Central planning can never succeed as an economic strategy. It is too reliant upon the people who know the least about business or what their citizens need. Bureaucrats, such as those that were in the Politiburo, have no way of knowing exactly what their citizens need. Even if they were the best in their fields, chosen for their ability rather than who they knew, they would have a hard time doing an adequate job. But they weren’t the best. One of socialism’s many vices is that its leaders are reliant upon favors to gain their positions. Because of that, they aren’t they best. Just the best connected.
Those well connected bureaucrats couldn’t adequately plan their economies. Free markets are great because they let citizens choose what they want and how much of it they want. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” guides the markets and production so that the right things are produced in approximately the right amounts. Socialism, however, can’t rely on that invisible hand. Instead, it is reliant upon bureaucrats that can’t be relied upon to do things adequately, much less completely correctly.
Central planning never led to success when tried in socialist countries. It led only to failure and economic deprivation.
A Reliance on Military Spending and Subsidies for Expansion is a Reason why Socialism Always Fails:
Socialism and communism are reliant upon military force to expand. Once they expand, newly socialist countries rely on subsidies from other countries to remain socialist. Look at the aforementioned nations; the USSR, Venezuela and North Korea. The USSR spent untold of amounts of money on its military forces. It had those forces ready in case it wanted to expand into Western Europe like in the book “The Red Line,” and so that it could enforce its will across the world.
Cuba has acted similarly with its military in Venezuela and Angola. Socialism requires huge military expenditures as a percentage of GDP to remain viable. Meanwhile, the US has managed to be more successful militarily despite spending a meager 3% of GDP on defense. The USSR was spending upwards of 15% on defense at times.
Additionally, smaller socialist nations are reliant on economic and defense subsidies. Venezuela needs Russian troops and Chinese subsidies to stay in existence. Just like North Korea relies on Chinese smuggling to exist or Warsaw Pact nations in the Cold War relied on Soviet subsidies to exist. Those subsidies lead to economic ruin for all nations involved. They drain critical cash from the economies of larger socialist nations, and destroy any will to innovate or fix economic problems in the countries receiving the subsidies.
Subsidies and unlimited military spending are a monetary black hole that are two of the main reasons why socialism always fails.
Why We Have to Push Back Against Socialism’s Allure:
Socialism should not be making a comeback in America.
First, think of the many horrors it has inflicted on the world. Because of socialism, tens of millions of people died in the 20th century. They died in concentration camps, mass starvations, shootings by the secret police, and proxy wars in third world nations. If socialism hadn’t been tried, those people would still be living. Additionally, it led to horrors such as the detainment of political prisoners, torture and interrogations of dissidents, and the empowerment of perverse leaders such as Pol Pot that created abhorrent ideologies.
Secondly, think about the lack of virtue and the utter humiliation that comes with socialism. As Winston Churchill noted, socialism is an ideology of envy. Read about that in the post called “Winston Churchill Socialism Quote.” Envy, and the other aspects of socialism, are degrading. They grind people down by filling them with hatred for the more successful. That is humiliating, and leaves no one well off.
It is already beginning to happen in America. Just think of how many on the left talk about billionaires. Because of their admiration of socialism, they are full of hatred and envy when it comes to the rich. That is dangerous and has to be corrected; it is one of the (many) reasons why socialism always fails so, if allowed to take root in America, it will also lead to the failure of this American experiment .
Finally, we need to resist socialism for the sake of our economy. We will not be economically successful if we don’t resist socialism because of the very fact that socialism always fails. Just look at the examples above to see why socialism always fails. Hopefully our citizens and politicians recognize that. We as a nation can be economically successful. Because of capitalism we are an economic powerhouse. Without capitalism, that will fade away into nothingness. Fight to resist socialism so that we remain economically successful!
Hope you enjoyed this post on why socialism always fails!