Socialism has always and everywhere been an economic disaster, and every honest scholar knows this. After seventy years of socialism, the Soviet economy was barely 5% of the U.S. economy, despite the false assertions of pro-socialist economists like Paul Samuelson, who wrote in the 1988 edition of his famous textbook that the Soviet economy would exceed the U.S. economy by the year 2000.
You cannot fix socialism with smarter government planners or plans. Socialism cannot work because the rational economic calculation is impossible without private property, free-market prices, the profit-and-loss market feedback mechanism, and economic freedom in general.
The ostensible goal of socialism – egalitarianism – is at war with human nature because all human beings are unique in thousands of different ways. The only kind of “equality” that socialism has ever created is equality of misery and poverty.
Socialism generates far more societal inequality than economic freedom does. In all socialist societies the politically-connected elite live lives of luxury while nearly everyone else is equally impoverished. In democratic socialist Venezuela today the economy has been ruined by socialism while the daughter of the late Hugo Chavez, the father of Venezuelan socialism, is reportedly worth $4.5 billion.
The worst kind of people – the most immoral, corrupt, cynical, uncaring, and brutal – rise to the top under socialism because socialism is all about forcing people to abandon their own plans for their own lives and complying with mandatory government plans instead. It is no accident, in other words, that socialism is associated with such violent thugs as Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao.
Fascism was just another variety of socialism. The word “Nazi” was an acronym for national socialism. The German socialists distinguished themselves from the Russian socialists by calling their variety of socialism “national” as opposed to “international.”
It is a myth that Scandinavian socialism has been successful. Swedish capitalism was extremely successful in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Swedes began living off of the fruits of capitalist prosperity by adopting a version of democratic socialism in the 1950s. As a result, there was not a single net new job created there from 1955 to 1995.
Nineteenth-century socialism was “government ownership of the means of production,” but it now includes the welfare state progressive income taxation and the strangulation of capitalism with regulation and taxation. The welfare state has destroyed the work ethic of millions; destroyed millions of families; caused a 400% increase in out-of-wedlock births in America since 1960; and transformed millions into lifelong beggars and wards of the state.
Government-run healthcare systems – medical care socialism – is like all other government enterprises in that it operates with all the efficiency of the Post Office or Department of Motor Vehicles and all the compassion of the IRS. Anything as important as medical care should never be put in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.
The worse pollution problems on the planet for the past century or more have been in the socialist countries, as documented by books with titles like Ecocide in the USSR. After the collapse of socialism the world learned that, in addition to being economic basket cases, socialist countries were also ecological cesspools.