Minus The Nemesis
A Collaboration of Some of the Finest Thought on Today's World


Sunday, March 05, 2006
"The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves."

--F.A. Hayek

I would like to define something pertaining to the overall scope of this entry. Liberty has many meanings, but isn't all that hard to define. Liberty means that you are free from restriction or control; you are free to make your own decisions and more specifically free from unjust or undue government control. In the scope of this article, there should be parallels drawn from that of economic freedom as well as political freedom; two different entities but interrelated ones nonetheless. While not necessarily a case for capitalism or against the likes of socialism and communism, conclusions may be drawn to the tune of just that.

It would seem that many a person via calculated confusion, coercion, pressure to belong to a particular group, not being in a position to think for yourself and or conduct your own actions, or just plain ignorance continue to defend positions in which they possess little or no knowledge of. I perhaps, am guilty of the same, but attempt to rectify that heinous position by researching topics as well as keeping a somewhat open mind about differing political ideologies and varying definitions of freedom. In my modest opinion, socialism is one of those would-be defenseless positions. There are many in defense of socialism, why I cannot fully understand. Socialism itself has negative connotations associated with it that are akin to political genocide and perhaps even the repressive nature of communism.

From here out, it may be important to impress the feeling that I get about quite a few modern liberals essentially masquerading about as socialists and straying away from the intent of the classical liberal. That is not to say that today's conservative (yesterday's classical liberal) isn't gravitating away from an original intent, they just aren't gravitating towards socialism. I am fully aware of my liberties. I further realize that my liberties should not be taken for granted and happen to be privileges. That is precisely why it is so important to become at least familiar with politics; to have and understand the limits of your liberties and further defense of said liberties when the time comes. I have read the Constitution of the United States of America and frankly cannot determine why someone in their right frame of mind would consider that a "living, breathing" document. It is asinine to think that this country is content to be run by the Supreme Court. It is worse to think that a non-elected judiciary may strip me of my rights and or liberties by utilization of their liberal interpretation of the Constitution. In that case, I will support the appointment of more strict constructionists to the high court in hopes that there will be a more sensible approach to the realization that the Constitution isn't an evolving document. Change within that framework occurs within the amendment process. Without diving into the several examples of how this "evolving" mindset can strip the individual of liberty and right, I would definitely encourage further research into the matter.

Socialism itself seems to have a want for the abolishment of personal property rights as well as an equal distribution of wealth among the populace. Add the fact that some or all of the means of production are given to the populace to run. These facts alone seem an impossible combination for the theory to work. Socialism places a great importance on that of co-operation vice competition as well as the general welfare of the population vice an individualistic approach. Marx was fond of the notion that the working class, or proletariat, would be the controlling societal element as they are the producing members of society. This would leave no choice for the bourgeoisie (i.e. capitalist) but to align within the new framework of the proletariat-controlled society and give way not to competition as accustomed, but to that of co-operation. What this baseline theory fails to employ in its equation is that of human nature. Competition is a natural aspect of life. To deny human nature in something so large a theory as that of communism or socialism is to be blinded by foolishness. Socialism favors the general welfare in that I couldn't decide what to do with my means of production any longer. If personal property isn't a facet of liberty, then I don't know what is.

Try to imagine a socialist society in today's world. It is very near impossible as there aren't really any successes of such a system; all we can really do is imagine. All that we are left with is evidence of political genocide and subsidies that strip the individual of their rights all in the name of promoting the general welfare. What is being experienced is not the Marxist vision of a transition from capitalism to that of socialism. Many countries are taking the other route and making a logical, reasonable transition from a semi-socialist framework to that of a capitalist framework. Why? Because it works! Many economists and history have proven Socialism belongs nowhere but on paper. Capitalism allows the individual to maintain personal liberty all the while making the determination what is best suited for his or her needs; it isn't determined by what is good for the general welfare of the population. To have the attitude that anyone can think positively about the general welfare of an entire population before their family and their inherent needs is ludicrous. Socialism seems to favor the unwitting mind. Competition is a natural occurrence. This is where the negative liberty of the pursuit of personal happiness and little government interference makes complete sense to me as an acceptable definition of political freedom. Capitalism will allow me to make that final move via competition and a free market into the economic freedom that many desire. It is strange that many of today's liberals will place a higher emphasis on that of personal potential and call it a positive liberty. It has crossed my mind before that many who align themselves with the socialist ideology (but often times don't know why) seem to think that those that sit in the richest corporations in the world had their wealth handed to them. They also started as the proletariat but chose not to let the chatter dissuade them in their climb to achieve both political and economic freedom. The main scrutiny of this type of individual should be one of exploitation of their labor (as Marx said). If that is so, the obvious repercussions need to be pursued.

That is not to say that capitalism isn't without faults; it isn't. When Marx mentioned "to each according to his needs", he seems to have completely faltered in reason. In this communist logic, this attack on the socialist utopia, denies that the populace will never have the same needs. That is where being an individual comes into mind. Why would I (or any of you) have the same needs? Surely we have some similar needs, but never the exact same needs that would be required of a system such as socialism to work. It is debatable and equally as arguable that anything other than a state-capitalist society has existed and called themselves socialists.

All told, Socialism belongs in history books and that's about it. The individual mind is the governing mind and shouldn't be tread-upon and forced to waver from liberty and personal freedom. That is not to say that governance is not necessary, but it is to say that minimal governance both economically and politically, is necessity. To have one of the most famous documents in the world be defamed by liberal interpretation is frightening to say the least. To exist within today's society and economic framework easily points in only one direction. To be repressed and told that your personal freedoms and wealth are being sacrificed for the general welfare of the population (including those who refuse to help themselves) isn't on the schedules of anyone I know. Keep government interference at a minimum and refuse to accept ideas like eminent domain and the oppressive potential that an interpretation of the Constitution may have on your liberties...you may begin to think differently.


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