Tuesday, August 04, 2015


Frequently when I mention socialism in a negative way, someone will complain. Recently, I said something about socialism, equating it with statism, whether it was the pope, Bernie Sanders, Democrats, Republicans, or some other type of statist promoting it.

Democrats, Republicans, and anyone else who believes "society" is a thing superior to the individual is a socialist. 
If you believe in "laws", "national borders", "public schools", "taxes", "gun control", marriage licensing, drivers licenses, or any other nonsense which violates Rightful Liberty, you are a socialist of some sort. 
Statism equals socialism. And it is slavery by another name.

Someone objected. I was accused of "rewriting the dictionary". He also said:

"Socialism has a particular definition that fits specific criteria. Not all statism is socialism."

OK... let's work this out.

Socialism's "particular definition":
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
 I see nothing in that definition which would go against what I said. "Communities" can not own property just by virtue of it being in their area. To own property you either need to buy it from the rightful owner, be gifted with it, or homestead it. Sure, if a "community" joins together, voluntarily, to buy property- and no one is forced to participate against their will- you would have non-aggressive socialism. But that's not the reality of how it comes about.

Instead, socialists believe they are entitled to control your property whether you agree or not. That control might come in the form of outright theft of your property- especially if it is seen as a "means of production". It often manifests as "taxation". Or it might come in the form of sneakier theft, such as "regulations" which control how you choose to use your property (including your body and life). It might come in the form of licenses which limit what you are permitted to do with your life, liberty, or property- sometimes based upon the flimsy excuse of "public property access". Like roads.

When you choose to opt out, you are attacked. Robbed, molested, kidnapped, and maybe even murdered.

Now, let's look at the claim that "not all statism is socialism".

Every form of statism takes private property from the individual owners, exactly as I laid out above. It's simply what statists do. There couldn't be statism without socialism, even if there could hypothetically be socialism of a voluntary sort. Statism gives the stolen property (stolen by "taxation", regulation, red tape, or whatever) to The State, which is claimed to be "the community as a whole" in just about all cases of "gentle statism". The more brutal forms of statism don't even try to claim government is the people.

All statism is socialism, but not all socialism is necessarily statist in nature. Just most of it, and all of it when it isn't by unanimous consent.

Socialism sucks, but as long as you do it voluntarily, without forcing anyone to participate, and have no penalties for opting out, go right ahead. I'll still choose Liberty.



  1. It is all about the same to me. Whatever form of organization, you can either opt out or are forced to comply. Anything that advocates the latter needs a hole through it's head.

  2. Excellent explanation, Kent.