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(Previous Post: Introduction)
PART I. THE GIST OF MARXISM/SOCIALISM AND ITS REFUTATION
I. 1. The Essential Nature of Socialism: The Need for Armed Robbery to Establish It
First of all, it must be realized that there is no such thing as socialism without government ownership of the means of production. That is the essential, defining characteristic of socialism. Second, there is only one way to establish socialism. And that is by means of armed robbery on a massive scale. Even a democratically elected socialist government would have to send armed men out through the country to seize the means of production. For there is no other way that it could obtain ownership of them. (The fact that it was democratically elected would be of as little significance as the fact that, compared with its victims, a lynch mob typically constitutes an overwhelming majority.) Unlike the case of nationalizing an isolated industry here and there, in which the government can pay meaningful compensation to the owners, by means of raising taxes on the rest of the economic system, the government has no way to compensate the owners of means of production as a class, for there is no source of wealth outside the economic system. Furthermore, insofar as socialists believe that capitalists are thieves living off profits stolen from the wage earners, they do not want to compensate the capitalists, even if they could.
In these circumstances of total loss, many capitalists will resist the theft of their property. They will forcibly defend what is theirs.
At this point, a newly installed socialist government is put in the position of a would-be street robber who must make a fundamental decision. If the street robber wants to take someone’s wallet, it is not enough for him to approach his victim and say something like, “Please, Sir, give me your wallet.” The intended victim may give him a punch in the nose instead. If the robber really wants the wallet, he needs to come with a gun, to threaten the victim’s life if he does not turn over his wallet. That is what the socialist state must do if it wants the capitalists’ property. It must come with enough force to overcome the armed resistance of its victims, which entails its’ committing murder on a large scale, very possibly on the scale entailed in the civil war it may provoke.