Socio-economic system in which the means of production and distribution are under collective or government control
See also:
  • FreedomPedia
  • Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and workers' self-management control of the means of production; as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.


    Socialism, by Robert Heilbroner, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
    "Socialism—defined as a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production—was the tragic failure of the twentieth century. Born of a commitment to remedy the economic and moral defects of capitalism, it has far surpassed capitalism in both economic malfunction and moral cruelty. Yet the idea and the ideal of socialism linger on. Whether socialism in some form will eventually return as a major organizing force in human affairs is unknown, but no one can accurately appraise its prospects who has not taken into account the dramatic story of its rise and fall."


    Socialism and the Classical Liberal Critique - Online Library of Liberty
    Short overview and links to more than 20 titles, including works by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Karl Marx, Thomas Mackay, George Bernard Shaw and Ludwig von Mises
    "Modern socialism emerged in the 1830s and 1840s in France and England at a time when classical liberalism was beginning to have an impact with reforms such as the First Electoral Reform Act of 1832 and the success of the Anti-Corn Law League. The success of socialist ideas in the revolutions of 1848 meant that classical liberals increasingly had to turn their attention to combatting calls for government intervention in the economy from the 'Left' as Frederic Bastiat did in the last few years of his life."


    Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Murray Rothbard, Faith and Freedom, Sep 1954
    Discusses the United Nations, whether it is a "worthy and useful organization" and conventional vs. valid reasons for the United States to leave the UN
    "To realize the true danger of the UN, take another look at what the Communists promote. Their communism is simply a brand of socialism. There can be laborite socialism, militarist socialism, theocratic socialism, etc.; with each group bitterly opposed to rule by the others. Communism is simply one of these Socialist brands, and it is evil not because it is laborite, or because it is ill-mannered, or because it is pledged to amorality. It is evil basically because it is Socialist, i.e. because it believes in wielding the power of the state to dictate the lives and fortunes of the people."
    Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Murray Rothbard, Faith and Freedom, Oct 1954
    Reflecting on the approaching election and the lack of "pleasant" choices, discusses United States politics drift toward socialism since 1933 and the steady subversion of the "right wing" of the Republican Party that began in 1940
    "Although the whole Socialist program was not to be immediately recognizable (i.e., ownership and control of the means of production), socialism's mainspring, intervention by the state in economic affairs, was to be the rule. Many will ask: how is it possible that respectable, clean-cut business men and millionaires should become Socialists? The answer is quite easy. It is because many bankers and businessmen saw that they could make a good thing out of statism; that they could use the state for their own advantage. They could get direct and indirect subsidies galore. And they could place penalties on their business rivals."
    Related Topics: Republican Party, Voting
    Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Murray Rothbard, Faith and Freedom, Sep 1955
    After some comments on politics and politicians, covers the debate over the TVA from both Republican and Democrat sides and finds a libertarian voice in a young Republican, ending with remarks on regulatory mischief at the Civil Aeronautics Board
    "Suddenly, the legislators found themselves plunged into the fundamentals of the TVA—the nation's showcase of socialism. ... Bruce Alger ... brought the fresh breeze of clear principle into the debate ... '... The development of power ... is not the prerogative of the Federal Government. ... Public power, by definition, is a form of socialism and no oratory can conceal or change it. ... If socialism is bad, for us in the United States, then a little bit of it is bad. Any degree of a disease is as bad as the disease itself. ... Let the Socialists stand up for what they believe. Let those who believe in free enterprise so state. ...'"
    Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Murray Rothbard, Faith and Freedom, Sep 1956
    Recounts the activist efforts surrounding passage of the Alaska Mental Healh Enabling Act, then expresses hope that Khrushchev's speech on the cult of Stalin may signal the "crackup" of the Soviet empire
    "For one thing, the cold war will end, the threat of war will disappear, for why should we fight against a regime no different than a lot of our 'allies,' and not so far from our own system? And then, libertarians will realize that the enemy is not communism, not Soviet Russia, but statism. Everyone will see that communism is just a socialist sect. Russia is socialist—so is Franco, and Chiang and the British Labor Party and the Americans for Democratic Action. Then, perhaps, we will understand that the great threat to American freedom lies, not in Moscow, but in Washington."
    Related Topic: Libertarianism
    Anarchism, by Voltairine de Cleyre, Free Society, 13 Oct 1901
    Examines various economic propositions for anarchism (socialist, communist, individualist and mutualist) and opines that all could be tried out
    "Such Anarchist Socialists hold ... that Socialism, meaning the complete taking over of all forms of property from the hands of men as the indivisible possession of Man, brings with it as a logical, inevitable result the dissolution of the State. ... They believe that every individual having an equal claim upon the social production, the incentive to grabbing and holding being gone, crimes (which are in nearly all cases the instinctive answer to some antecedent denial of that claim to one's share) will vanish ..."
    Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist, by Marian Tupy, The Atlantic, 1 Mar 2016
    Clarifies the meaning of various terms which young people tend to misunderstand, including socialism, communism, capitalism and corporatism, and then discusses the relative levels of economic freedom in the United States and other countries
    "As many of Sanders's supporters have repeatedly and rightly pointed out, socialism is not communism. ... What then was socialism? Socialism was an economic system where the means of production (e.g., factories), capital (i.e., banks), and agricultural land (i.e., farms) were owned by the state. ... Two important caveats need to be kept in mind. First, lack of private enterprise resulted in low economic growth and, consequently, low standards of living. ... Second, top members of the communist parties, which ran socialist countries, were generally exempted from limits on wealth accumulation."
    F.A. Hayek accomplished several careers' worth of economic achievements in one lifetime, by Art Carden, 8 May 2017
    Bibliographic essay discussing the diverse scope of Hayek's works
    "He extended Mises's argument about the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism in his classic essay 'The Use of Knowledge in Society' and in the papers that were collected into Individualism and Economic Order in 1948. ... He was most famous, however, for his 1944 book The Road to Serfdom, a more popular treatment ... that had a deep and profound effect on the English-speaking world. Its theme — that statism, socialism, and the erosion of economic liberty meant the erosion of political and civil liberty — was a brilliant exposition of classical liberal ideas ..."
    Related Topic: Friedrich Hayek
    Frederic Bastiat, Ingenious Champion for Liberty and Peace, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Lengthy biographical essay, covering those who influenced Bastiat as well as those influenced by him, his writings (including correspondence with his friend Félix Coudroy), his roles in the French Constituent and Legistative Assemblies and his legacy
    "When, in the name of compassion, socialists demanded more powerful government, Bastiat fired away with tough questions: 'Is there in the heart of man only what the legislator has put there? ...' Bastiat warned socialism must mean slavery, because the state 'will be the arbiter, the master, of all destinies. It will take a great deal; hence, a great deal will remain for itself. It will multiply the number of its agents; it will enlarge the scope of its prerogatives; it will end by acquiring overwhelming proportions.'"
    Free Market, by Murray Rothbard, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 1993
    Originally published in the The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics; definition of the free market and some related terms, e.g., exchange, prices, demand, using lay examples
    "The ultimate in government coercion is socialism. Under socialist central planning the socialist planning board lacks a price system for land or capital goods. ... the socialist planning board therefore has no way to calculate prices or costs or to invest capital so that the latticework of production meshes and clears."
    Related Topic: Free Market
    Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992), by Peter Boettke, The Freeman, Aug 1992
    Lengthy biographical essay, including his criticism of Keynes and the impact of The Road to Serfdom
    "The Road to Serfdom ... forced advocates of socialism to confront an additional problem, over and beyond the technical economic one. If socialism required the replacement of the market with a central plan, then, Hayek pointed out, an institution must be established that would be responsible for formulating this plan."
    Give Me Liberty [PDF], by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
    Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
    "In cities and states, both parties began to socialize America with imitations of the Kaiser's Germany: social welfare laws, labor laws, wage-and-hour laws, citizens' pension laws, and so-called public ownership. Eleven years ago this creeping socialism sprang up armed with Federal power, and Americans—suddenly, it seemed—confronted for the first time in their lives a real political question: the choice between American individualism and European national socialism."
    Hodgskin, Thomas (1787-1869), by George H. Smith, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "This two-volume travelogue ... frequently discusses the inefficiency and waste of governmental projects. Hodgskin even suggests that police functions should be placed in private hands. In 1825, Hodgskin published Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital, a tract cited repeatedly by Karl Marx and later to cause historians to claim that Hodgskin was a 'Ricardian Socialist.' In fact, Hodgskin disliked Ricardo's theories, vastly preferring the insights of Adam Smith, and he hated socialism even more. Although sui generis in many respects, Hodgskin is best categorized as an individualist anarchist."
    Related Topic: Thomas Hodgskin
    How Nationalism and Socialism Arose from the French Revolution, by Dan Sanchez, 12 Apr 2017
    Examines how three crucial ideas (liberalism, nationalism and socialism) emerged around the same time (18th and 19th century) and how they depended on the rise of the modern people's state
    "On behalf of the poor, a 'Conspiracy of Equals' plotted to take over the Republic, abolish private property, and seize the wealth of France for equal redistribution. The conspiracy was detected and its leaders were guillotined. And upper-class intellectuals like Henri de Saint-Simon dreamt up utopian schemes in which the welfare of the poor working classes would be guaranteed by central planning. These dreamers came to be known as socialists, referring to their concern for broad 'social' concerns, as contrasted to the 'narrow' individualism of the liberals."
    How to Become a Teacher [PDF], by Robert LeFevre, The Voluntaryist, Feb 1983
    Autobiographical summary of the events in LeFevre's life that led to the founding of the Freedom School, including LeFevre's relationship with Baldy Harper and the offer for him to lead the School
    "A three-step program for socialist success had emerged and was now widely practiced. It is almost syllogistic in character. 1. Proclaim a danger and scare everyone to death ... 2. Allege that in view of the clear and present emergency for which statistical data are provided ... the danger requires GOVERNMENT ACTION FUNDING. ... 3. Therefore, since you are the politician who has brought this terrible plight to public gaze, you propose to organize an agency/bureau/commission ... Further, you propose a new law which your club/clan/society/commission, etc will administer and enforce. If you can get the law passed you can get funding."
    "I Have a Plan...", by Ron Paul, Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk, 18 Oct 2004
    Criticizes political ads and speeches that present plans for government to "run" the economy or the country
    "Remember, there is a simple dictionary definition for government planning of the production and provision of goods and services: socialism. No matter how much the grand planners from both political parties deny it, many of their programs and proposals are socialist. Federal taxes, regulations, welfare, subsidies, wage controls, price controls, and interest rate manipulations all represent socialist interventions in the economy. True, we do not yet have a fully socialist economy. But that is why we must be vigilant and label socialist proposals for exactly what they are ..."
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Limited Government
    Immorality, Inc., by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 31 Jul 2006
    Argues that the lawlessness and violence in occupied Iraq is due to the immorality of modern day warfare
    "We learned after the fall of socialism in Eastern Europe and Russia that socialism had been all too effective in creating a new socialist man. The lack of respect for contract, property, and life itself became evident in the reform process. The cultural foundations that might have led to a stable and secure freedom were just not present. Why is this? Because violence blessed as an official civic policy is a demonic teacher of populations."
    Related Topics: Ethics, Government, Iraq, War
    Imperial Chinese Welfare State, by Abbé Huc, The Chinese Empire, 1855
    Recounts the socialist reforms of Wang Anshi in 11th century China, opposed by Sima Guang, and compares them to proposed socialist reforms in mid-19th century France
    "According to Wang-ngan-ché, the carrying out of his scheme was to procure infallible happiness to the people in the development of the greatest possible material enjoyments for everyone. ... ' ... In order to prevent the oppression of man by man the State should ... take the entire management of commerce, industry, and agriculture into its own hands, with the view of succouring the working classes and preventing their being ground to the dust by the rich.'"
    Related Topic: China
    Inequality of Wealth and Incomes, by Ludwig von Mises, The Freeman, May 1955
    Describes how attempts to equalize incomes and wealth lead to lowered standard of living for the masses and eventually to socialism
    "When Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto recommended 'a heavy progressive or graduated income tax' and 'abolition of all right of inheritance' ... They were fully aware of the inevitable consequences of these policies. They openly declared that these measures are 'economically untenable' and that they advocated them only ... as a means of bringing about socialism."
    Leonard Read, the Founder and Builder, by Mary Sennholz, The Freeman, May 1996
    Biographical essay written by Read's secretary in the early days of FEE, as well as author of Leonard E. Read : Philosopher of Freedom
    "In 1946, ... the U.S. Congress [was] debating ... higher minimum wages, extended social security benefits, price and rent controls, public housing projects, and government health insurance. Many Americans were eager to follow in the footsteps of the British Labour Party which ... was busily nationalizing various industries and enacting a comprehensive Social Security system, including a national health service; but they did not dare call their aspirations 'socialism,' ... instead, Americans called it ... a 'Fair Deal,' which, in the years to come, was to have its essential parts enacted by both popular political parties."
    Libertarianism Is the Key to Our Future, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Jul 2006
    Examines three reasons (freedom, morality and pragmatism) that suggest that Americans will eventually return to their libertarian heritage
    "Socialism is inherently defective, as the people of the Soviet Union finally realized. But the difference is that they, unlike Americans, understood that theirs was a socialist system. What Americans still do not realize is that no matter how hard they try, they will never make any of their socialist programs succeed. And the primary reason they don't understand that is that they think that their system is freedom and free enterprise ..."
    Liberty Defined, by F. A. Harper, 4 Sep 1957
    Speech to the Mont Pelerin Society; Harper first offers his definition of liberty, then explores "adulterated" definitions, its relation to morals, moral law and basic humans rights, ending with his hope for the cause of liberty
    "One can search in vain, I believe, for any consensus of the meaning of socialism. The confusion is illustrated by the fact that when the Parisian Le Figaro opened its pages in 1892 with a list of definitions of socialism, more than 600 were included. And when Dan Griffiths of England wrote his book in 1924, What is Socialism?, he found 263 answers worthy of note."
    Ludwig von Mises: An Economist for Freedom and Free Enterprise, by Richard Ebeling, 29 Sep 2016
    Discusses three major themes in the works of Mises, namely, business cycle theory, his critique of socialism and the unfettered market economy; includes list of suggested additional readings
    "But with the abolition of private property in the means of production, elimination of private enterprise, and a resulting lack of a market-generated pricing system the socialist central planner—no matter how wise and well-intentioned—would be flying blind with no way to know what consumers really want or how best to produce goods and services in the least costly value terms. Hence, full and comprehensive socialist central planning would lead to economic disorder, supply and demand imbalances and society-wide inefficiency."
    Ludwig von Mises, socialism's greatest enemy: His life and times, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk
    "Although the socialist vision didn't come to pass right away, except in the Soviet Union, it captured the imagination of intellectuals everywhere. Socialism seemed to be the wave of the future, and to oppose it was to defy history itself. Yet Mises bristled with defiance. ... Mises gained an epic insight and delivered a paper about it ... Mises decided to write a book on socialism. ... The book was an overwhelming attack on socialism."
    Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism, by Ludwig von Mises, 18 Apr 1950
    Speech to the University Club of New York; argues that the middle of the road policies of interventionism, such as price controls and progressive taxation, eventually lead to socialism via central planning
    "They advocate the substitution of public control of the means of production for private control. They aim at the establishment of what is called socialism, communism, planning, or state capitalism. All these terms signify the same thing. No longer should the consumers, by their buying and abstention from buying, determine what should be produced, in what quantity and of what quality. Henceforth a central authority alone should direct all production activities."
    Mises: Defender of Freedom, by George Reisman, Mises Daily, 29 Sep 2006
    Written on the 125th anniversary of his birth, describes several of Mises' contributions to economics theory and other areas, along with some of Reisman's personal reminiscences
    "Socialism, Mises demonstrated, in his greatest original contribution to economic thought, not only abolishes the incentive of profit and loss and the freedom of competition along with private ownership of the means of production, but makes economic calculation, economic coordination, and economic planning impossible, and therefore results in chaos. For socialism means the abolition of the price system and the intellectual division of labor; it means the concentration and centralization of all decision-making in the hands of one agency: the Central Planning Board, or the Supreme Dictator."
    Mises, Ludwig von (1881-1972), by Leland B. Yeager, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    "In 1922, Mises published Socialism (not translated until 1936), an expansion of a 1920 article on 'Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.' He explained why central planners would be unable to meaningfully estimate the values of inputs and outputs and so could not allocate resources rationally. Although F. A. Hayek later joined in elaborating this analysis, most economists who discussed it seemed to misunderstand it as if with willful stubbornness until the collapse of the Soviet Union finally made them recognize that Mises had been right."
    On Equality and Inequality, by Ludwig von Mises, Modern Age, 1961
    Examines the premise that "all men are created equal" and some possible as well as purported conclusions
    "Under socialism the 'comrade' gets what 'big brother' deigns to give him and he is to be thankful for whatever he got. ... It is in our Western circuit that socialism makes the greatest strides. Every project to narrow down what is called the 'private sector' of the economic organization is considered as highly beneficial, as progress ..."
    Perspective: The Road Ahead, by John T. Flynn, The Freeman, Oct 1995
    From Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn, 1949; enumerates a set of principles that Flynn thought were crucial to reversing the direction the United States was in (mixing capitalism with socialism)
    "We cannot delude ourselves with the expectation that we may go a little way further and then stop in the belief that we can combine socialism and capitalism and preserve the best features of each. ... If we keep on the way we are going, nothing can save the capitalist sector of our economy from extinction, because it will inevitably be called upon to pay the cost of operating its own sector and the greater portion, if not all, of the cost of operating the socialist sector."
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Liberty
    Pharmaceutical Prices, Patents, and the FDA, by Timothy D. Terrell, 17 Aug 2015
    Comments on a Jeffrey Sachs' article criticizing Gilead Sciences for its pricing (far above production costs) of a hepatitis C medication
    "But one of the most interesting features of Sachs's diatribe against Gilead is how well it tracks with Ludwig von Mises's explanation of the natural progression of socialism. In 'Middle of the Road Policy Leads to Socialism,' Mises points out that a government facing milk shortages from its price controls on milk may add to its initial intervention a second intervention controlling the prices of the factors of production used in milk production, and then — if the government still refuses to acknowledge the fundamental problems of intervention —a third intervention controlling the prices of still other resources."
    Reasoning on the Nature of Things, by Clarence B. Carson, The Freeman, Feb 1982
    Discusses how natural law doctrines were repudiated by utilitarians, why natural rights are important from an economic viewpoint, how the rights to life, liberty and property can be construed and what the author understands as the "social contract"
    "For socialism even to have a chance at being intellectually respectable, it was necessary for the belief in a natural order ..., in a metaphysical realm in which it subsists, and in natural law, to lose its sway. There must be a belief that men can devise a system unhindered by any underlying order. That is not to say that those who do not believe in natural law inevitably become socialists. It is rather to suggest that socialism arose in the wake of the decline in the belief in a natural order ... and that the removal of this formidable obstacle prepared the way for it. "
    Right and Simple, by Charley Reese, 30 Dec 2006
    Discusses the proposition that "the right thing to do is both simple to state and simple to understand" in the context of the drug war and the political situation in Venezuela, Colombia and the United States
    "It is of no concern to Americans if Venezuela opts for a socialist government. Most of our European allies have socialist or semi-socialist governments, as indeed do we. I haven't heard even a neoconservative refer to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, federal aid to state schools, corporate welfare, farm subsidies, etc., as 'free enterprise' solutions."
    Robert A. Heinlein's Soaring Spirit of Liberty, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jul 1997
    Biographical essay, including multiple quotes from fellow authors and significant excerpts from Heinlein's novels and stories
    "One dreary character is described like this: 'Bill has the socialist disease in its worst form; he thinks the world owes him a living. He told me sincerely—smugly!—that of course everyone was entitled to the best possible medical and hospital service—free, of course, unlimited, of course, and of course the government should pay for it. He couldn't even understand the mathematical impossibility of what he was demanding. But it's not just free air and free therapy. Bill honestly believes that anything he wants must be possible ... and should be free. ...'"
    Schumpeter, Joseph (1883-1950), by Thomas M. Humphrey, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "... Schumpeter, in his Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942), predicted that [capitalism]'s successes would mark its end. These successes will produce social forces—the routinization and depersonalization of innovation, the puncturing of the image of the entrepreneur as romantic hero, and the creation of a class of intellectuals hostile to capitalism—that undermine the system and lead to its demise. Capitalism will give way to socialism, which will take the form of a democratic welfare state that seeks not growth, but distributional equality."
    Socialism, by David Prychitko, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Describes socialism, the economic calculation debate and some socialist variations such as market socialism, decentralized participatory socialism, anarcho-communism and the welfare-regulatory state
    "Socialism is traditionally considered a political-economic system that aspires to replace the institutions of a market capitalist economy with social ownership of the means of production, comprehensive economic planning, and an egalitarian distribution of wealth. ... The Austrian School criticism of socialism from the 1920s to the 1940s, combined with the experiences of socialist regimes during the course of the 20th century, encouraged a whole series of offshoots from the traditional vision as conceived by socialism's early proponents."
    Socialism and Medicine, Part 2, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Jun 2008
    Examines the economics of medical care in the United States, including the influence of third-party payers and comparisons to medical care in Canada
    "... under a socialistic system, capital becomes a liability rather than an asset. The reason is that under a system of private profit, capital is used by its owners to provide an income; in socialism, capital does not provide an income to anyone. Rather, it is an expense item and nothing else."
    Socialism: Illegitimate, Not Just Inefficient, by Gary North, 15 May 2001
    Discusses two aspects in the criticism of socialism: whether it is efficient compared to capitalism (according to the theory of value-free economics) and whether it is immoral (or contrary to human nature)
    "... socialists always came in the name of a moral vision. ... This is why, in his famous 1990 admission that 'Mises was right' regarding Mises' technical critique of socialism, Robert Heilbroner then moved on to the next stage of socialism: recommending environmentalism as a means of restoring the lost legitimacy of socialism. He was at long last persuaded that socialism is economically irrational. The complete failure of the Soviet Union's economy had finally persuaded him of the logic of Mises's 1920 essay. He immediately called for socialism’s establishment through controls over the economy in the name of environmentalism."
    Socialized Medicine in a Wealthy Country, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 2 Dec 2006
    Discusses the view of socialised medicine held by left-socialists, examining the problems that existed in Soviet-controlled countries as well as current U.S. problems, and urges for a "complete separation of health and state"
    "But the opponents of health-care socialism also have in their minds a vision of what life would be like under socialism. Mostly these visions are drawn from experiences under socialist countries that have been driven into poverty by state ownership of the means of production. The state in these cases does not have much money. There is no private store of wealth to speak of, and no private business that has the motivation or the means to provide customer service."
    Thanksgiving the first Libertarian holiday, by Matthew A. Givens, The Crimson White, 19 Nov 2003
    Explains how and why the Pilgrims turned from socialism to capitalism
    "What most of us never learned was that it was also an experiment in socialism. The Mayflower Compact required that 'all profits and benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing or any other means' were placed in the common stock of the colony. Further, it required that 'all such persons as are of this colony are to have their meat, drink, apparel and all provisions out of this common stock.' People were required to put into the common stock everything they could, and take out only what they needed."
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Thanksgiving
    The Democrats Are Doomed, by Lew Rockwell, 9 Feb 2007
    Comments on the slate of Democratic Party presidential candidates for the 2008 election and the general ideology and outlook for the Democrats
    "... the ideology that underlies the raison d'être of the modern Democratic Party, at least at the national level ... is socialism. I know what you are thinking: these guys aren't socialists, for it's been years since any prominent Democrat openly advocated the nationalization of all industry. ... That's true enough but it sidesteps the reality that there is no economic activity that these people don't favor regulating to the nth degree."
    The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise, by Milton Friedman, 16 Nov 1991
    From keynote address at Fifth International Conference on Drug Policy Reform; examines why, 20 years after Friedman's admonition against Nixon's drug war, the government continues its attempts at enforcement, in spite of the observable, predicted results
    "The war on drugs is a failure because it is a socialist enterprise. Our schooling is deteriorating because it is a socialist enterprise. Except possibly for the military, education is the largest socialist enterprise in the United States. ... There are some general features of a socialist enterprise, whether it's the Post Office, schools, or the war on drugs. The enterprise is inefficient, expensive, very advantageous to a small group of people, and harmful to a lot of people. That was true of socialism in Russia, it was true of socialism in Poland, and it's true of socialism in the United States."
    The Drug War's Immorality and Abject Failure, by Anthony Gregory, Future of Freedom, Jul 2006
    Discusses how drug use differs from criminal, property-rights violations, the justifications for the drug war and the many areas where it has had detrimental effects on society: inner cities, rule of law, foreign relations, etc.
    "Just like those socialists who concocted the most elaborate of five-year plans, the drug-war planners have neglected to take into account the factor of human nature. ... Socialism has failed in country after country because it has never recognized that centralized, coercive control of the economy is simply incompatible with the way people operate, function, and act in relation with one another."
    The Great Thanksgiving Hoax, by Richard J. Maybury, The Free Market, Nov 1985
    Describes what really happened to the Mayflower pilgrims (and also at Jamestown) by relying on governor William Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation
    "This had required that 'all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means' were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, 'all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.' ... This 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need' was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving."
    Related Topics: Free Market, Thanksgiving
    The Idea of Liberty is Western, by Ludwig von Mises, American Affairs, Oct 1950
    Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", meaning primarily the cities of ancient Greece, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting, for example, life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
    "Socialism is unrealizable as an economic system because a socialist society would not have any possibility of resorting to economic calculation. This is why it cannot be considered as a system of society's economic organization. It is a means to disintegrate social cooperation and to bring about poverty and chaos."
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Greece, Liberty
    The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, by Frank Chodorov, The Income Tax: Root Of All Evil, 1954
    Excerpt from Chodorov's book with the same title; discusses the effects of the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution
    "Whatever else socialism is, or is claimed to be, its first tenet is the denial of private property. All brands of socialism, and there are many, are agreed that property rights must be vested in the political establishment. None of the schemes that are identified with this ideology, such as the nationalization of industry, or socialized medicine, or the abolition of free choice, or the planned economy, can become operative if the individual's claim to his property is recognized by the government. It is for that reason that all socialists, beginning with Karl Marx, have advocated income taxation, the heavier the better. "
    Related Topics: Property Rights, Taxation, Voting
    The life and times of F.A. Hayek, who explained why political liberty is impossible without economic liberty, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay, with extensive quotes both from Hayek and others (including Keynes)
    "Hayek had lived just long enough to see the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disappear from the map. He had insisted, as Mises did before him, that socialism would never deliver decent living standards -- and he was vindicated. He warned that socialism means tyranny, and after World War II dozens of countries embraced socialism and suffered through savage tyranny."
    The LP's multiple personality disorder: The Life of the Party, part two, by Thomas L. Knapp, 30 Jan 2003
    Describes three political party strategies (electoral, ideological and revolutionary) and suggests that, in view of its size, the LP should decide on only one of these approaches
    "The primary historical example of the successful ideological party in American history is the Socialist Party of the early 20th century. Socialists won elections in many cases, especially at the municipal level, but did not achieve sufficient voter support to become the nation's majority, or main opposition, party. Instead, their increasing popularity forced the Democratic Party to adopt many of the Socialist Party's policy goals as its own."
    Related Topic: Libertarian Party
    The "Value" of Public Schooling, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Nov 2006
    Examines public schooling, first comparing it to military boot camp and the draft and then discussing indoctrination
    "... most Cubans know that public schooling and government-provided health care constitute socialism, and they are very proud of their educational and health-care systems. They would not want to see them abolished. ... most Americans honestly believe that public schooling and Medicare and Medicaid constitute 'free enterprise' ..."
    The War the Government Cannot Win, by Lew Rockwell, 1 May 2007
    Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state
    "It is precisely this rationale that led socialism in Russia to last 70 years and drive the entire country into the ground. ... Can't the government ... see that while their people were lining up blocks for a scrap of bread and dying at the age of 60, ours were shopping in massive department stores and living to 70 and 75? Why isn't it obvious what a failure socialism has been?"
    Tocqueville, Alexis de (1805-1859), by Jason Kuznicki, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Indeed, Tocqueville explicitly likened the Old Regime to socialism, in that both held property to a revocable privilege, not an inherent right: 'This idea is basic to our modern socialism, and it is odd to find it emerging for the first time in France under a despotic monarchy.' The idea that the Old Regime and socialism had much in common was a frequent theme among such 19th-century French liberals as Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer, and it remains influential among libertarian historians today."
    Tucker, Benjamin R. (1854-1939), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Like Marx, Tucker was a proponent of the labor theory of value. But he did not believe that socialism could be achieved through greater state action. In fact, Tucker maintained that socialism required breaking government monopolies in four areas: money, land, tariffs, and patents. Such a program, Tucker argued, would put labor 'in possession of its own.' One can trace many of Tucker's economic theories to his association with Josiah Warren, the author of The Emancipation of Labor, who introduced Tucker to anarchism in his teens."
    Related Topics: Benjamin Tucker, Anarchism
    U.S. Hypocrisy in Cuba, by Jacob Hornberger, 26 May 2006
    Comments on a billboard stating "In a free country you don’t need permission to leave the country. Is Cuba a free country?", posted by the U.S. Special Interest Section in Havana
    "Every Cuban fully understands that such things as public schooling, national health care, social security, welfare, income taxation, and coercive redistribution of wealth are socialism. Castro and his minions have long been honest, direct, and forthright in proudly telling Cubans that these programs are the heart of Cuba's socialist economic system. Yet here in the United States, nearly every federal, state, and local government official ... teaches Americans that the same programs here ... are 'free enterprise.'"
    Related Topics: Cuba, United States
    Venezuela Reminds Us That Socialism Frequently Leads to Dictatorship, by Marian Tupy, 4 Apr 2017
    Comments on the political events and economic situation in Venezuela, and Hayek's warnings against central planning
    "As [Friedrich Hayek] explained, growing state interference in the economy leads to massive inefficiencies and long queues outside empty shops. A state of perpetual economic crisis then leads to calls for more planning. But economic planning is inimical to freedom. As there can be no agreement on a single plan in a free society, the centralization of economic decision-making has to be accompanied by centralization of political power in the hands of a small elite. When, in the end, the failure of central planning becomes undeniable, totalitarian regimes tend to silence the dissenters—sometimes through mass murder."
    Related Topics: Friedrich Hayek, Venezuela
    What Is the Enemy?, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Apr 2006
    Discusses why corporatism, mercantilism and Big Business are the "the great institutional threat to liberty"
    "In one sense the answers to those questions are unimportant: any (state) socialism threatens freedom. (Socialism is being used in its broadest sense to include government intervention in or management of the economy, whether or not the government formally owns the means of production; this would include fascism.) ... Which kind of state socialism is the greatest threat? We can rule out the Marxian kind of socialism/communism ... To cut to the chase, it seems most likely that ... the major receivers of largess, and the main proponents of government expansion, will be businessmen."
    Who Is Garet Garrett?, by Jeffrey Tucker, Mises Daily, 25 Oct 2007
    Biographical and bibliographical essay, including both his novels and non-fiction writing
    "His last novel is Harangue (The Trees Said to the Bramble Come Reign Over Us) (1927). It tells the true story, in fictional form, of the rise and fall of a fanatic and despotic socialist takeover of a single town, and how it led to loss of liberty and economic collapse. ... The book was written only a few years before the socialist left came to influence national affairs in the age of the New Deal, and what's refreshing about this study is its complete absence of red baiting. It treats socialism as dangerous and myopic intellectual error that can lead to ruin, but never as some foreign threat."
    Why You Can't Just "Reject" Capitalism, by Michael Munger, 15 May 2016
    Examines the contents of a Washington Post article headlined "Majority of Millennials Now Reject Capitalism, Poll Shows" and counters with an example from a Syrian refugee in Jordan
    "In fact, 42 percent of the millennials polled say they support capitalism. In comparison, only 33 percent say they support socialism. So an equally accurate, and less tendentious, headline would have been: 'Millennials Favor Capitalism over Socialism by Wide Margin.' At a minimum, by the logic of 'rejecting capitalism,' we should say that 'Two-thirds of Millennials Reject Socialism!' ... Numerous accounts of the (now-failed) socialist nations document the emergence of market exchange and production even in the most difficult circumstances."
    Related Topic: Capitalism
    Winning the Battle for Freedom and Prosperity, by John Mackey, Liberty, Jun 2006
    Updated from speech given at FreedomFest 2004; after a brief background on himself, Mackey criticises the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasising some issues and prioritising others
    "Socialism doesn't work. This was proven beyond a doubt in the 20th century. Nation after nation tried to replace capitalism with socialism and without exception their efforts to improve the quality of their citizens' lives failed. Most Americans know that socialism doesn't work as an economic system. ... Why then do so many people embrace socialism in health care and education?"


    Calculation and Coordination: Essays on Socialism and Transitional Political Economy
        by Peter Boettke, 2001
    Partial contents: Why are there no Austrian Socialists? - Economic calculation: the Austrian contribution to political economy - Hayek's The Road to Serfdom revisited: government failure in the argument against Socialism
    Related Topic: Communism
    Ludwig von Mises: Scholar, Creator, Hero [PDF], by Murray Rothbard, 1988
    Partial contents: The Young Scholar - The Theory of Money and Credit - The Reception of Mises and of Money and Credit - Mises in the 1920s: Economic Adviser to the Government - Mises in the 1920s: Scholar and Creator
    "A crucial objective of socialism was for central planners to allocate resources to fulfill the planners' goals. But Mises showed that, even if we set aside the vexed question of whether the planners' goals coincide with the public good, socialism would not permit the planners to achieve their own goals rationally, let alone those of consumers or of the public interest."
    • ISBN 9999827659: Paperback, Ludwig von Mises Institute, First edition, 1988
    Planned Chaos
        by Ludwig von Mises, 1947
    Partial contents: The Failure of Interventionism - The Dictatorial, Anti-Democratic and Socialist Character of Interventionism - Socialism and Communism - Russia's Aggressiveness - Trotsky's Heresy - The Liberation of Demons - Fascism - Nazism
    Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis
        by Ludwig von Mises, 1922
    Partial contents: Ownership - Socialism - The Social Order and the Political Constitution - The Social Order and the Family - The Nature of Economic Activity - The Organization of Production Under Socialism - The Distribution of Income
    The Political Economy of Soviet Socialism: The Formative Years, 1918-1928
        by Peter Boettke, 1990
    Partial contents: The Meaning of the First Decade of Soviet Socialism - The Political Economy of Utopia: Communism in Soviet Russia, 1918-1921 - The Political Economy of NEP: Market Relations and Interventionism in Soviet Russia, 1921-1928
    Related Topic: Communism
    The Road to Serfdom
        by Friedrich Hayek, 1944
    Partial contents: The Abandoned Road - The Great Utopia - Individualism and Collectivism - The "Inevitability" of Planning - Planning and Democracy - Planning and the Rule of Law - Economic Control and Totalitarianism - Who, Whom? - Security and Freedom
    Why Perestroika Failed: The Politics and Economics of Socialist Transformation
        by Peter Boettke, 1993
    Contents: Introduction - The road to nowhere - The theoretical problems of socialism - The nature of the Soviet-type system - The logic of politics and the logic of reform - Credibility in Soviet reforms - Charting a new course - Conclusion


    What Is Socialism?, by Evan Puschak, 10 May 2015
    Addresses the subject question by looking at various countries, past and present, that are considered to be socialist

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Socialism" as of 24 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.