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Socio-economic system in which the means of production and distribution are under collective or government control
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  • 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
    Describes socialism by reviewing policies in the USSR from the 1917 revolution to the perestroika of 1987 and then discussing the central planning arguments between Mises, Hayek and Lange
    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, 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 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 Aubrey Herbert, 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 government 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 ... 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 ... The UN is a conglomeration of Socialist nations.
    Related Topic: China
    Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Aubrey Herbert, 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 ... business men and millionaires should become Socialists? ... 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 Aubrey Herbert, 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 ... Representative Bruce Alger ... brought ... 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 ... Let the Socialists stand up for what they believe. Let those who believe in free enterprise so state ..."
    Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Aubrey Herbert, 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
    [B]efore long, there will be nothing wrong with communism except its socialism ... [W]e will suddenly wake up to find that Soviet Russia is no worse, say, than the British Labor Party ... [W]hy should we fight against a regime no different than a lot of our "allies," and not so far from our own system? ... 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; reprinted in Selected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre (1914)
    Anarchist Socialists hold that the State, the Centralized Government, has been and ever will be the business agent of the property-owning class; ... 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 ... will vanish, and with them the last excuse for the existence of the State.
    An Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Guatemala, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 11 Feb 2005
    Describes the 1954 CIA-engineered coup d'état in Guatemala and the subsequent military regimes, also touching on the attempts to seek regime change in Cuba and the 1973 CIA-supported ouster of Allende in Chile
    Arbenz's socialist mindset had driven him to adopt an "agrarian reform plan," a type of land-distribution scheme that unfortunately is all too common ... The plan entailed the confiscation of a portion of land owned by a major U.S. corporation operating in Guatemala ... and its redistribution to Guatemalan peasants. While the plan was an almost perfect embodiment of the socialist concept of taking property from the rich to give to the poor, in actuality it was no different in principle from the wealth-redistribution revolution that FDR's welfare-state concept brought to America ...
    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
    [F]or most of the 20th century, socialism was understood to be a halfway house between capitalism and communism ... What then was socialism? [It] was an economic system where the means of production (e.g., factories), capital (i.e., banks), and agricultural land ... were owned by the state ... Two important caveats ... 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.
    The Case for the Barbarous Relic, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 26 Jul 2006
    Argues for a return to the gold stndard by reviewing U.S. political, economic and monetary history; from talk presented in New York City on 21 March 2006
    The Great Depression seemed to confirm Marx's view of business cycle and gave a boost to the socialist cause ... The socialists pointed to the declining share of the return on capital enjoyed by the workers and the rising profits of the exploiter class. They said that the Great Depression ensued when workers no longer had the means to purchase products of their own making. The only answer, then, is to redistribute property from the capitalists to the workers, and insure that society, as embodied by the state, and not private owners of capital, would control the means of production.
    The Democrats Are Doomed, by Lew Rockwell, 9 Feb 2007
    Comments on the early slate of Democratic Party presidential hopefuls for the 2008 election and the general ideology and outlook of the Democrats
    That ideology is socialism ... [Democrats] talk of privacy and civil rights, but when it comes to commerce, they recognize no right of privacy and no individual rights. All property is up for grabs ... [T]he socialist theory of society still burns brightly. Their model is that in the state of nature, meaning in a state of freedom, all is conflict and cruelty. Pathology and ugliness are everywhere. The government is necessary to step in at every level of society to resolve these otherwise intractable conflicts and manage our way into the new epoch of human well-being.
    Dialectics and Liberty, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
    Written ten years after publication of the first two of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
    [T]his is, perhaps, a result of the profound socialist influence on contemporary thought. Say the word "dialectics" and what might come to mind is the "thesis-antithesis-synthesis" waltz usually associated with Hegel [or] the "historical materialism" of the Marxists ... It is no coincidence that the same people who dismiss dialectics as an assault on logic are often [those] who view it as the methodology of socialism. But even some of the proponents of socialism would agree, for they have dismissed logic as a "bourgeois" prejudice, while viewing exploitation as the "logic" of capitalism.
    UpdThe Disastrous Middle Of the Road Policy, by Ludwig von Mises, The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, 4 May 1950
    From a speech to the University Club of New York on 18 Apr 1950; argues that the middle of the road policies of interventionism, such as price controls and progressive taxation, eventually lead to socialism via central planning
    [T]he practical political conclusions which people drew from this dogma were not uniform. One group declared that there is but one way to wipe out these evils, namely to abolish capitalism entirely. 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.
    The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise, by Milton Friedman, Friedman & Szasz on Liberty and Drugs, 16 Nov 1991
    Chapter adapted from keynote address at Fifth International Conference on Drug Policy Reform; examines why, 20 years after his admonition against the drug war, the government continues its attempts at enforcement, in spite of the 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, ... in Poland, and it's true of socialism in the United States.
    The Drug War's Immorality and Abject Failure, by Anthony Gregory, Freedom Daily, 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 ... [F]ree will, human nature, and the natural order of liberty cannot be fully accounted for in any governmental central plan. 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 immorality of communism ... is tied inextricably to its implausibility in practice.
    The Economics of Here to There, by Jeffrey Tucker, Mises Daily, 17 Jan 2007
    Discusses the necessity of product advertising, how more people are becoming aware that it is needed and why it is "tacky and unbearable"
    Such are the claims we encounter minute by minute on the tube, advertisements on which millions and billions are spent, just so that we will buy this instead of that. And the socialist says: what a ghastly waste it all is! They ask: what is wrong with the economic system as it exists that vast sums of wealth are consumed to get us to believe the improbable when, at the same time, whole populations around the world suffer without access to clean water and enough food to feed children? And so they propose a global regime to expropriate the capitalist class.
    Epistemology and Politics: Ayn Rand's Cultural Commentary, by David Kelley, Navigator, Dec 2004
    Discusses the continued currency of Rand's 1960-1970s writings, citing as examples "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World", "Racism", "The Age of Envy" and "The Anti-Industrial Revolution"
    The root of liberal anxiety, [Rand] argued, was the clash between their knowledge that socialism doesn't work and their wish that it could—a wish that springs from the ethic of altruism. Today, liberals are fighting to preserve the two major socialist systems in the [U.S.], public education and Social Security, against the forces of privatization, and they have sought to socialize health care. They are no more willing to use the "S" word than were liberals in Rand's day, and many have abandoned the "L" word, too. But the altruist root of their political goals is as clear and unquestioned as ever.
    "Every Day is 1956": The Hungarian Revolution Today, by James Bovard, 27 Oct 2006
    Describes events in Hungary in 1956, 1986 (when Bovard visited), 1989 (when the Iron Curtain fell) and in 2006 (when government lying was in the news) and ties it back to lying by U.S. officials
    The socialist party—the direct descendant of the Communist Party that tyrannized the country for so long—now rules Hungary. The socialists secured control in elections this past April. Last month, a secret tape recording made shortly after the election leaked out. Hungarians heard Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany ... [He] said that the government's claims about the economy were brazen falsehoods. The government now admits that [its] budget deficit is almost twice as large as it claimed during the election campaign ... But ... the socialists refuse to relinquish the power they wrongfully snared.
    Related Topics: George W. Bush, Hungary
    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
    [Hayek] 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 ...
    Fascism, by Sheldon Richman, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008
    Defines fascism, contrasting it with other ideologies, identifying Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany as its two main exponents and discussing its influence on the New Deal
    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society's economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly ... Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the "national interest" ... Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically.
    Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): Between the French and Marginalist Revolutions, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, 2000
    Biographical and bibliographical essay which also analyzes Bastiat's ideas in relation to the Austrian School
    Bastiat also saw through the phony "philanthropy" of the socialists who constantly proposed helping this or that person or group by plundering the wealth of other innocent members of society through the aegis of the state ... [N]ineteenth-century socialists branded classical liberals with the name "individualist," implying that classical liberals are opposed to fraternity, community, and association. But, as Bastiat astutely pointed out ... "[E]very time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists [mistakenly] conclude that we object to its being done at all."
    Frederic Bastiat, Ingenious Champion for Liberty and Peace, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Biographical essay of Frédéric Bastiat, covering those who influenced him as well as those influenced by him, his writings (including correspondence with his friend Coudroy), his roles in the French Constituent and Legistative Assemblies and his legacy
    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." ... Bastiat demonstrated vivid understanding of what socialism was all about: "socialists consider mankind as raw material to be fitted into various social molds ... inert matter, receiving from the power of the government life, organization, morality and wealth."
    Frédéric Bastiat: Two Hundred Years On, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 2001
    Extensive survey of Bastiat's life and writings; "EH" refers to Economic Harmonies, "Sophisms" to Economic Sophisms, "Essays" to Selected Essays in Political Economy (all three from FEE, 1964)
    Socialism was the codification of ancient and modern error: "Socialism, like the ancient political philosophy from which it emanates, confuses government with society. That is why, every time that we do not want a thing to be done by the government, the socialists conclude that we do not want the thing to be done at all. We are opposed to state education; hence, we are opposed to all education. We object to state religion; hence, we do not want any religion at all ... It is as if they accused us of not wanting to eat, because we oppose the cultivation of grain by the state" (Essays, p. 68).
    Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, May 1994
    Provides examples from taxes, the "dole", public housing and licensing that show how the welfare state and managed economy undermine human well-being, contrasting life in Russia under socialism vs. the supposed freedom in the United States
    [T]he welfare state and the managed economy ... destroy the very essence of individuality. They destroy hope. They destroy dreams ... [I]n Russia, ... socialism created the societal conditions that gave rise to individual dysfunctionalities that, in turn, caused people to turn to alcohol and other mind-altering substances. And America's version of the socialist nightmare—its welfare state and managed economy—produced the same result. Except ... the Russian people knew that they were suffering under socialism; the American people believe that they have been enjoying the fruits of freedom!
    Free Market, by Murray N. 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. As even socialists like Robert Heilbroner now admit ..., the ... planning board ... has no way to calculate prices or costs or to invest capital so that the latticework of production meshes and clears. The experience of the former Soviet Union, where a bumper wheat harvest somehow could not find its way to retail stores, is an instructive example of the impossibility of operating a complex, modern economy in the absence of a free market.
    Related Topics: Free Market, Baseball, Free trade
    Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992), by Peter J. Boettke, The Freeman, Aug 1992
    Lengthy biographical essay, including Hayek's criticism of Keynes and the impact of The Road to Serfdom
    The planned society envisioned under socialism was supposed to be not only as efficient as capitalism (especially in view of the chaos capitalism was said to generate with its business cycles and monopoly power), but socialism, with its promise of social justice, was expected to be fairer ... Hayek pointed out, an institution must be established ... for formulating this plan ... Yet the Central Planning Bureau ... would have no means of knowing which production possibilities were economically feasible. The absence of a pricing system, Hayek said, would prove to be socialism's fatal flaw.
    The Futility of State-Directed "Market Reform": Deregulation, by Kevin Carson, 6 Aug 2013
    Analyzes how so-called "deregulation" actually works, with examples from electrical utilities
    Deregulation, as carried out by the capitalists' state, is mirror-image of "lemon socialism." Under "lemon socialism," the capitalists (acting through the state) nationalize those industries that big business will most benefit from having taken off its hands, and socialize those functions whose costs capital would most prefer the state to bear. They shift functions from the private to the state sector when they are perceived as necessary for the functioning of the system, but not sufficiently profitable to justify the bother of running them under "private sector" auspices.
    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
    [D]uring half a century, reactionary influences from Europe have been shifting American thinking onto a basis of socialistic assumptions. 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 ... 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.
    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
    After the poor harvest of 1622, ... [the Plymouth colonists] began to question their form of economic organization. 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
    Hodgskin, Thomas (1787-1869), by George H. Smith, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    This two-volume travelogue ... 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 Empires Bamboozle the Bourgeoisie, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 28 Oct 2006
    Speech at the Mises Institute Supporter's Summit; comments on two issues related to the U.S. population reaching 300 million: what kind of economy is needed to support that population and do all these people need to live under the same central government
    Under socialism, says Mises, there can be no toleration towards a laissez-faire population policy. Indeed, ... "Without coercive regulation of the growth of population, a socialist community is inconceivable. A socialist community must be in a position to prevent the size of the population from mounting above or falling below certain definite limits. It must attempt to maintain the population always at that optimal number which allows the maximum production per head. ... it is certain that even if a socialist community may bring 'free love,' it can in no way bring free birth."
    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
    [E]quality demanded that ... the bourgeois middle classes be expropriated. On behalf of the poor, a "Conspiracy of Equals" plotted to take over ... and seize the wealth ... 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. ...
    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", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
    As long as the problems of socialism were merely a matter of debates people who lack clear judgment ... could fall prey to the illusion that freedom could be preserved even under a socialist regime. Such self-deceit can no longer be nurtured since the Soviet experience has shown to everybody what conditions are in a socialist commonwealth ... 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 ... is a means to disintegrate social cooperation and to bring about poverty and chaos.
    "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
    [T]here 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 Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 31 Jul 2006
    Argues that the lawlessness and violence in occupied Iraq is due to the immorality of modern day warfare and questions the claim that the U.S. invaded Iraq "to bring about freedom"
    Those who are charged with protecting the people are as likely as anyone else to be responsible for looting and killing the people. What brings about such a situation? 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 ...
    Related Topics: Ethics, Government, Iraq, War
    Imperial Chinese Welfare State, by M. Huc, Ideas on Liberty, May 1955
    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; extract from The Chinese Empire (1855), Volume II, Chapter II
    The reformer, or chief of the Socialist party, was the famous Wang-ngan-ché, a man of remarkable talent ... According to [him], 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
    The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, by Frank Chodorov, Freedom Daily, Aug 1990
    Excerpted from chapters III, V, VII and XI of Chodorov's 1954 book of 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 ... 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 ... have advocated income taxation, the heavier the better.
    Related Topics: Property Rights, Taxation, Voting
    Inequality of Wealth and Incomes, by Ludwig von Mises, Ideas on Liberty, 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 consistent from the point of view of the ultimate end they were aiming at, viz., the substitution of socialism for the market economy. 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 ...
    Libertarianism Is the Key to Our Future, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Jul 2006
    Examines three reasons—freedom, morality and pragmatism—that suggest that Americans will eventually return to their libertarian heritage
    [Libertarians] have long known that socialism cannot work. It is incapable of working, even when the planning and regulating is done by U.S. bureaucrats. Socialism is inherently defective, as the people of the Soviet Union finally realized. But the difference is that they ... 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 ... is that they think that their system is freedom and free enterprise, which they rightly understand do succeed.
    Libertarianism: Left or Right?, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Jun 2007
    Examines the origin of the political terms "left" and "right" and makes the case that libertarianism is "planted squarely on the Left"
    The French Left in the first half of the 19th century included individualists and collectivists, laissez-faire free-marketeers and those who wanted state control of the means of production, state socialism ... It is worth pointing out here that the word "socialism" also has undergone change from earlier days. Tucker, who proudly accepted the description "consistent Manchester man" (Manchesterism denoted the laissez-faire philosophy of ... Cobden and Bright), called himself a socialist. "Capitalism" was identified with state privileges for owners of capital to the detriment of workers ...
    A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 1, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, May 1999
    Reviews Cuban history from their independence war, through the Batista regime, the Castro revolution, the Bay of Pigs invasion and more current events, leading up to a week's visit to Cuba to study their socialist system
    As part of the socialization of Cuba, Castro ended up nationalizing just about everything, domestic and foreign ... "Equality" was the clarion call, as ... homes and successful businesses were seized in the name of "the people." Castro made two socialist programs the centerpiece of his ... revolution: free public schooling and free national health care. But there would also be public housing, public libraries, a national highway system, rent controls, gun control, drug laws, public ownership of farms, and other measures [in] Cuba's system of total government control over people's lives and fortunes.
    A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Jul 1999
    Describes the meetings Hornberger had while conducting an informal study of socialism in Cuba, with "hard-liners" and reformers at research centers as well as people on the street
    There were research-center "hard-liners"—those who still defend socialism, and specifically Cuban socialism, with much fervor and determination. When I asked ... why there is so much poverty and suffering in Cuba, their answer was ... the U.S. embargo and the Helms-Burton Act. If it weren't for these, they told me, Cuban socialism would be a big success ... I couldn't help but poke a hole in this rationalization ... "Doesn't that imply that socialism in Cuba depends on economic freedom in the United States? That is, if the entire world were as socialistic as Cuba, wouldn't everyone be suffering?"
    A Libertarian Visits Cuba, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Aug 1999
    Describes how, when asked to explain libertarianism, Hornberger highlighted American socialist programs, challenged by libertarians but similar to those in Cuba, and then various conversations he had with ordinary Cubans
    Everyone knew what I had just done: I had challeng-ed the core elements of Cuban socialism, and I had used American socialism to do it ... Experiencing the benefits of tremendous economic prosperity, and having graduated from government-approved schools, [the American people] honestly believe that they are a free people, especially because they have such things as public schooling, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, income taxation, the drug war, occupational licensure, trade restrictions, immigration controls, economic regulations, public libraries, and a national highway system.
    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
    In searching for [liberty's] meaning one might first turn to what many consider to be the opposite of liberty, namely, socialism. Could we not merely invert the definition of socialism and have an acceptable definition 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.
    The life and times of F.A. Hayek, who explained why political liberty is impossible without economic liberty, by Jim Powell, 2000
    Lengthy biographical essay, with extensive quotes; alternate version of "The Worst on Top" chapter of The Triumph of Liberty (2000)
    Margaret Thatcher wrote that "the most powerful critique of socialist planning and the socialist state which I read at this time [the late 1940s], and to which I have returned so often since [is] F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom." ... Hayek had lived just long enough to see the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disappear from the map. He had insisted ... 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, rather than its current two-pronged strategy
    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 ... party. Instead, their increasing popularity forced the Democratic Party to adopt many of the Socialist Party's policy goals as its own. While the Socialist Party may have intended to be an electoral party, ... it ultimately went down in history as an ideological party—and a successful one at that.
    Related Topics: Libertarian Party, Voting
    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
    [W]ith 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, by Jim Powell, 2000
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk; alternate version of "Planned Chaos" chapter of The Triumph of Liberty (2000)
    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. In 1919, he wrote ... [Nation, State and Economy] which, among other things, made clear that war socialism was chaotic rather than well-planned as its promoters claimed ... Mises gained an epic insight and delivered a paper about it, ... ["Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth"] ...
    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 ... Let us not fool ourselves. It is not the progress of socialism among the backward nations ... that shows the triumphant advance of the totalitarian creed. 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 progress, and is, if at all, only timidly and bashfully opposed for a short time. We are marching "forward" to the realization of socialism.
    On Feminism, by Tonie Nathan, Willamette Valley Observer, 1977
    Written about four years after the founding of the Association of Libertarian Feminists, explains what was the purpose of the group; reprinted in On Libertarianism (1981) and the 25th anniversary issue of ALF News (1998)
    It seemed that many women were seeking a political system that could guarantee their complete economic security and ... were looking for a husband-father substitute. But women who have been subjected to authoritarian restrictions by males ought to realize that Marxist Socialism is simply another form of the male-female power struggle. Male domination or state domination—neither should be tolerated ...
    ... "There should be automatic guaranteed economic security," according to Ehrenreich. "Some form of socialism is a minimum requirement," writes Marxist-Leninist Marlene Dixon in Ramparts Magazine ...
    Patriotism along the Southern Border, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Feb 1999
    Continues discussing patriotism along the Mexico-United States border starting with the Mexican Revolution (1910-20), through the creation of the INS, the repatriation policy of Franklin Roosevelt and present day immigration policies
    It was during Roosevelt's tenure that the United States abandoned the principles of economic liberty on which our nation had been founded. Roosevelt installed (without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment) what is today called the socialistic welfare state. It was a way of life whose roots lay with German socialists during the reign of Otto von Bismarck. (It always surprises Americans to learn that Adolf Hitler's National Socialist [Nazi] economic programs to get Germany out of its depression bear a remarkable similarity to those of Roosevelt.)
    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
    [O]ne of the most interesting features of Sachs's diatribe ... 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.
    Read, Leonard E. (1898-1983), by Donald J. Boudreaux, Nick Slepko, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay, including bibliography of multiple other biographical articles
    In 1937, [Read] wrote The Romance of Reality, which emphasized education over politics as the key to combating socialism. His book and lectures persuaded the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest, to oppose all collectivist programs ... Hoping to focus more on the prevention of socialism, Leonard Read moved to New York and took a job as the executive vice president of the National Industrial Conference Board, where he sought to replicate on a national scale what he had accomplished in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, "the NICB ... wanted to present 'both sides' of every issue."
    Real Liberalism and the Law of Nature, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 10 Aug 2007
    Examines Thomas Hodgskin's introductory letter to Henry Brougham, a Member of Parliament (later Lord Chancellor), written in 1829, published in The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted (1832)
    Hodgskin ... is often described as a Ricardian socialist, but [this] is misleading. Having lived before the marginal revolution, in which Carl Menger ... and other economists provided an alternative to the Adam Smith/David Ricardo labor theory of value, Hodgskin did regard labor, rather than utility, as the source of economic value. But calling him a socialist is bound to confuse. He was indeed a critic of "capitalism," by which he and others back then meant government intervention on behalf of capital to the prejudice of labor. But he was no advocate of state control of the means of production.
    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.
    The Repeal of Social Security, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Nov 1995
    Argues for the outright repeal of the Social Security Act of 1935 quoting Bastiat in his advice against using the law as an "instrument of equalization"
    Unfortunately, in the 20th century, Americans abandoned the political and economic philosophy of our ancestors. Fearing the type of life chosen by earlier Americans ... —a life without governmental security—they turned to the welfare-state socialism that was sweeping across Europe. There is no better example of this than the socialism of Social Security ... [T]he welfare state is in crisis. Yet, the proponents of control, central planning, and socialism refuse to let go of their beloved system. They are fighting desperately to save the legalized plunder to which they have become accustomed.
    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
    The right thing to do, for example, in regard to Venezuela is to buy Venezuelan products, primarily oil, and refrain from interfering in the country's internal affairs. 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.
    The Road Ahead, by John T. Flynn, The Freeman, Oct 1995
    Excerpted from Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays of John T. Flynn (1995); original article published in the Feb 1950 Reader's Digest as a condensation of Flynn's 1949 book
    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. In the United States the few Government-operated industries we have are operated at a loss.
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Liberty
    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 ... Bill honestly believes that anything he wants must be possible ... and should be free ... [I]t's up to the government to make it happen. Just pass a law."
    Rose Wilder Lane (1886–1968), by Cato Institute, Mar 2003
    Part of Cato's "Three Women Who Launched a Movement", celebrating during Women's History Month the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of The Discovery of Freedom (as well as Isabel Paterson and Ayn Rand books published in the same year)
    Lane publicly disavowed her youthful socialism in a long 1936 article in the Saturday Evening Post titled "Credo," which was later reprinted as the pamphlet Give Me Liberty. She related her disillusionment—and that of her Russian friends—with the new Soviet regime, as well as anecdotes about the bureaucratic red tape she encountered in Parisian markets, and the behavior of police in Budapest sent to enforce mandatory work rules. Economic central planning, her experiences and travels had taught her, was incompatible with both prosperity and individual liberty.
    The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Jan 1991
    Contrasts the attitudes of 20th century American citizens towards international trade and the oil business to citizens in communist countries, the former believing they live under a "private property" system which is not socialistic in nature
    [T]he socialist nations embody much of that which Americans would never consider abandoning ...: subsidized housing and medical care for the poor, the prohibition of private citizens from gaining significantly high amounts of wealth, free schooling for all children, and subsidized food for everyone ... [T]he essence of the socialist societies ... is that the government reigns supreme over the individual and his property; that is, all property in the nation, even when legal title is nominally held in the name of private citizens, is either owned or controlled by the political authorities.
    Schumpeter, Joseph (1883-1950), by Thomas M. Humphrey, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical 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 and Medicine, Part 2, by William L. Anderson, Freedom Daily, 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
    [I]n Allegany County, Maryland ... we have three MRI devices [for] about 80,000 people ... Montreal, Canada ... has about 3.6 million people in its metropolitan area, and there also are three MRI devices ... Anyone needing an MRI there has to wait at least six months. Why the difference? The answer [is] that 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 and Medicine, Part 3, by William L. Anderson, Freedom Daily, Jul 2008
    Further examination of medical care in the United States, analyzing the calls for "mandates" for universal health care
    Writes physician Jane Orient,
    Besides being a scam as far as health is concerned, universal health care is a great way of implementing one of socialism's main objectives through the back door: equalization of incomes through redistribution of wealth ... Lenin called medicine the "keystone in the arch of socialism." In Canada, for example, socialized medicine is a reality of everyday life. Everybody has to have insurance. It is universal, it is mandatory, and it is affordable. People with low incomes may pay as little as $300 a year through their taxes whether they like it or not ...
    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)
    [S]ocialists 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 ... 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 socialized medicine held by left-socialists, examining the problems that existed in Soviet-controlled countries as well as current U.S. problems, and urges a "complete separation of health and state"
    [T]he 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 ... It is a great irony that Marx had thought socialism would be the next stage of history, following capitalism just as capitalism followed feudalism. And yet socialism itself had been systematically driving these countries back to feudal-era forms of health care that were increasingly deprived of modern technology.
    The State Is No Friend of the Worker, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 24 Oct 2014
    Discusses how the state interferes with setting wage rates and quotes Thomas Hodgskin on how to reward workers properly
    Hodgskin is usually labeled a Ricardian socialist, but Hodgskin criticized David Ricardo ... Moreover, socialism didn't always mean what it means today. In earlier times, socialist was an umbrella term identifying those who thought workers were denied their full just reward under the prevailing political economy. The remedy for this injustice varied with particular socialists. Some advocated state control of the means of production; others wanted collective control without the state; and still others—Benjamin R. Tucker most prominently—favored private ownership and free competition ...
    Talking To Ourselves, by Henry Grady Weaver, Ideas on Liberty, Sep 1955
    Examines the question of whether it is worthwhile to distributing literature about individual freedom and free markets to those who already favor those premises; note this was the opening article of the second issue of Ideas on Liberty
    Free competitive enterprise is something we have loudly acclaimed. We have praised it, however, not so much because we have understood it, or even because we have wanted to practice it, but more because it has seemed to be the opposite of dreaded socialism. But many of us who are not socialists unwittingly play into the hands of the socialists. Only now and then, among all of us ..., do we find a skilled advocate of free competitive enterprise. Most of us are left speechless in a debate with a socialist, a radical labor leader or any other ardent collectivist. We sputter, but we do not explain.
    Thanksgiving the first Libertarian holiday, by Matthew A. Givens, The Crimson White, 19 Nov 2003
    Explains how and why the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony turned from the socialist requirements of the Mayflower Compact to a capitalistic approach
    When the colonists first landed, they signed something called the Mayflower Compact ... 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
    Tocqueville, Alexis de (1805-1859), by Jason Kuznicki, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    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.
    A Tribute to Edmund A. Opitz, by Robert Sirico, The Freeman, Oct 1993
    Remarks made at the dinner in honor of Opitz' retirement from the Foundation for Economic Education, on 13 Dec 1992
    It was when I was in my mid-twenties, ... ensnared in the fog of socialist rhetoric, there being little else intellectually about socialism to ensnare one. The birthday present my friend arrived with ... was a small library of books ... Among them ... Socialism, by Ludwig von Mises ... The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek, The Law, by Frederic Bastiat ... In a short period of time the fog cleared, proving once again the truth of the old saying: "You may be a socialist when you're young because you have a heart, but you won't be a socialist when you're older if you have any brains."
    Tucker, Benjamin R. (1854-1939), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical 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, Liberty
    Up From Freedom: Friedrich von Hayek and the Defence of Liberty, by Richard Ebeling, ama-gi, 1996
    Opens with biographical and bibliographical details and then discusses Hayek's insights. concluding that he was fortunate to witness the collapse of communism which "demonstrated the practical impossibility" of social engineering
    In the 1930s/[40s], Hayek and Mises were the leading opponents of socialist central planning. Hayek's particular and profound contribution to the debate over the feasibility of socialism was ... that the more complex a society, the more difficult it becomes for a central planner to possess the required knowledge to co-ordinate all the economic activity ... Hayek argued that the movement towards a planned economy would also result in the taking of a road that would lead to serfdom ... [His] criticisms of socialist central planning led him to attack the premise behind all attempts at social engineering.
    U.S. Hypocrisy in Cuba, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 26 May 2006
    Comments on a propaganda billboard posted by the U.S. Special Interest Section in Havana for Cubans to read, one of its messages stating "In a free country you don’t need permission to leave the country. Is Cuba a free country?"
    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 ... government official, especially public schoolteachers all across the land, proudly (and incorrectly) teaches Americans that the same programs here in the United States 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 [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 ... 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: F. A. Hayek, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
    The War the Government Cannot Win, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 1 May 2007
    Discusses how government cannnot win the war on terror because economic law is more powerful than the state; talk given at the Wisconsin Forum in Milwaukee
    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 look around and see what a disaster they have created? Can't they 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? ... [N]othing is obvious to the experts ... The supporters of socialism always believed that more money and better management would take care of the problem.
    What Is the Enemy?, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Apr 2006
    Discusses why corporatism, also known as state capitalism or political capitalism, is the "the great institutional threat to liberty"
    [A]ny (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 [institutional] threat [to liberty]? We can rule out the Marxian kind of socialism/communism ... [I]t seems most likely that although there will be a variety of beneficiaries ..., 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
    [Garrett's] 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 Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? [PDF], by Robert Nozick, Cato Policy Report, Jan 1998
    Posits that "wordsmith" (as opposed to "numbersmith") intellectuals often resent capitalism because the market society does not reward them as their schooling did
    The schools contain another informal social system ... wherein rewards are distributed not by central direction but spontaneously at the pleasure and whim of schoolmates ... It is not surprising, therefore, that distribution of goods and rewards via a centrally organized distributional mechanism later strikes intellectuals as more appropriate than the "anarchy and chaos" of the marketplace. For distribution in a centrally planned socialist society stands to distribution in a capitalist society as distribution by the teacher stands to distribution by the schoolyard and hallway.
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Free Market, Society
    Why I Am Not a 'Conservative', by Vin Suprynowicz, 13 Jun 2006
    Examines the words "conservative" and "liberal", pointing out that Democrats are in fact the former while being called the latter, and then looks at Republicans and how far they have strayed from their supposed principles
    But if such "fringe wackos" [as the Libertarians] are the only remaining true "liberals," what are the Democrats? Socialists, of course. Hidebound, reactionary socialists. They want to keep redistributing wealth at gunpoint from those who work hard and invest wisely to those who don't (see their hysterical opposition to the elimination of the death tax)–a course of action that has proven not just economically enervating but highly conducive to mass murder, tyranny and terror anywhere it's been tried for the past 90 years.
    Why Intellectuals Still Support Socialism, by Peter G. Klein, Mises Daily, 15 Nov 2006
    Examines the underlying reasons why so many academics support socialist ideas, not reflecting those of the general population, and how this changed from the mid-20th century
    Intellectuals, particularly academic intellectuals, tend to favor socialism and interventionism. How was the American university transformed from a center of higher learning to an outpost for socialist-inspired culture and politics? ... Academics tend to be highly intelligent people ... Those who are highly intelligent but ill-disposed toward the market are more likely to choose an academic career. For this reason, the universities come to be filled with those intellectuals who were favorably disposed toward socialism from the beginning.
    Why Not a Free Market in Education?, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 25 Mar 2005
    Examines an op-ed by Bill Gates arguing for reforms in the public schools, countering with the paradigm used in the software and computer industries: the free market, and suggests an answer to educating the truly poor
    Public schooling ... is not just any old government program. It's a socialist one ... At a local level, public schooling consists of a ... board of successful politicians ... The board plans the educational decisions of thousands of children in a top-down, command-and-control process. Parents are required to send their children into the system, on pain of being fined ... The schools are funded by mandatory taxes imposed on everyone, even people who don’t have children. Textbooks are provided by state government officials. I challenge anyone to come up with a better example of socialism than that.
    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 criticizes the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasizing some issues and prioritizing others
    Who here believes that the way to improve education ... is to increase bureaucratic control ...? 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 ... We allow competitive markets to produce our food, our housing, our clothing, our transportation, and most of the goods and services that we consume. Why then do so many people embrace socialism in health care and education?


    The Separation of School and State Alliance: An Interview with Marshall Fritz, by Marshall Fritz, 3 Jun 1999
    Transcript of online chat hosted by Mary Leggewie (creator of and including audience member questions, many asking about ways to support Fritz and the Alliance's efforts
    Audience member question: How do you help people see that public education is socialist, and is in direct conflict with democracy?
    Marshall Fritz: I use a simple textbook definition of socialism: government ownership and administration of the means of production. Then I say government schools fit that to a 'T.' By the way, since most conservatives will conserve any liberal idiocy in place before they were born, it doesn't do much good to convince them it is socialism. It just makes them mad.
    September 11 and the Anti-Capitalistic Mentality: An Interview with Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., for, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Myles Kantor, FrontPage Magazine, 12 Mar 2002
    Discusses the insights of Mises' The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality particularly with regard to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 Sep 2001
    Rockwell: ... A bestseller on the college circuit called Empire, for example, calls for a new communism which, the authors promise, will be different from the old. But anything other than free enterprise always means a society of compulsion and lower living standards, and any form of socialism strictly enforced means dictatorship and the total state ... What the socialists hate most is that the masses have never risen up to overthrow the free-enterprise society. This had already frustrated them by the turn of the 20th century, so many of them hatched a new scheme to impose socialism by crisis.


    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, by Murray N. 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
    [I]n 1919, came ... the most devastating possible demolition: the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism ... The stunning impact of Mises's argument came from its demolishing socialism on its own terms. 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
    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 F. A. 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
    Related Topic: The Road to Serfdom
    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
    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.