Monday, January 07, 2019

Marxism/Socialism... I. 1. The Essential Nature of Socialism: The Need for Armed Robbery to Establish It

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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.

What this means is that to establish socialism, what is required are the communists! The communists are armed robbers prepared to commit murder. They are the true champions of socialism. They alone can openly establish it.[3]

Next Post: I. 2. The Social Democrats Should Stop Calling Themselves Socialists 

[3] Socialism can also be established through fraud, under the outward guise and appearance of capitalism. This is the case when the government controls prices and wages and decides what is to be produced, in what quantities, by what methods, and to whom the products are to be distributed. In this case, the government exercises all of the essential powers of ownership and is thus the de facto owner of the means of production. In the words of Ludwig von Mises, this is socialism on the German or Nazi pattern, in contrast to the open, de jure Russian or Bolshevik pattern of socialism.