Sunday, May 19, 2019

Why socialism fails - 'the tragedy of the commons'

It was painful to listen to the arguments on the town hall hosted by Fox News anchor
Charles Payne the other night in his 'Capitalism vs Socialism' debate.

The pro-socialist panel all had one assumption that they based their entire argument on: that people are essentially good, and that they will behave in a manner that benefits society when participating in a system of shared resources.

That assumption sounds great on paper; given a choice to screw things up for everybody else, or do the right thing and control your desires, people will do the right thing.  On paper, everybody would agree that if this assumption is correct, then socialism should work out great.

Herein lies the rub: it has been shown in practice throughout man's history on this planet that when given this choice, many will not do the right thing, and that ultimately these shared resources dry up for everyone except those whose job it is to dole them out.  

People will almost always make the choice that benefits them and their like-minded associates, and to hell with the rest of those who also share their world.  And this choice is often made by those oblivious to the harm they will do to society.  It really doesn't matter.  Shared resources will be hogged by a small group of sociopaths every time.  It may even be a tiny fraction of the population sharing that resource, those minority hogs will screw things up for everybody every time.

The practical results of this can be seen as early as when mankind figured out how to start a fire.  They would then set the forest on fire, and then when half their world was burnt to the ground and lots of dead animals (and people) resulted, they would go through the burnt countryside and eat the cooked victims (presumably animals, but you never know).  To hell with the victims, all they cared about was chowing down on those dead burnt deer.

But the socialists on that Fox News panel failed to recognize this human trait.  They moaned and groaned that in a time of great prosperity in this country, there are those that have been left behind and that those poor souls did not get their 'fair share' of the benefits of the good times.  Accordingly, these socialist pundits propose dumping this evil fair market system in favor of a government controlled economy, where the down and out will be given their 'fair share' that would have otherwise been snatched by the rich scumbags who gamed the system in their favor.

That argument is so false, it only takes a moment to think on how things would work out should they win the day and install a government controlled system whereby the down and out get a slice of the pie, regardless of their contributions towards the general public good.

"Free riders", or whatever you want to call them, will soil such a system right away.  There will always be a minority (or sometimes a majority) of folk who will lie sideways in the public trough.  If it's free, they will dig in whole hog.  Why work for something if it will be given to you?  Why indeed?

The difference between capitalists and socialists is one major view on humanity: capitalists view human behavior in a practical manner (with justified skepticism on whether most people will act in a manner that will not harm the system).  Socialists assume that people are always good, and that they will follow the rules and not screw things up for the rest of us by gaming the system.

Oh, to live in the land of the perfect socialist system where unicorns frolic in the meadow full of gum drops, and where there is not a tear in any eye.  That land has never existed anywhere on earth, ever.

But that doesn't stop these socialists from trying to force their false Utopia on the rest of us.


Kid said...

Socialism fails because the people in charge couldn't run a cathouse if their life depended on it, have no business experience, and most of all don't give a shit about the population. Socialism is a Ponzi scheme.

LindaG said...

I watched one of those segments. If I remember there were two or more. Not sure I saw the one you refer to, but I do always have people telling me how good people can be. That's why they don't need God, etc.

Always annoys me when they try to explain how they are entitled to what I have.

Fredd said...

Kid: socialism is a lot like the big organized religions. The product in religion is your immortal soul and what happens to it. The leaders promise you'll be redeemed, as long as you contribute to their parish your worldly goods, and of course these leaders will make certain that they go towards a noble cause. Socialism also promises the same thing, basically: they promise to make your life easy, just give them the power to call all the shots about who gets what, and things will go swell.

Or so both of them say.

Fredd said...

Linda: it was the 'woman of color' on that program (can't remember her name) who swore how good all people are, and why all those good people need Linda's money without doing what Linda does to get it.

Yes, I tire of it, too.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

The Republic system is a type of socialism in that it gives everybody a chance to better themselves. Far from perfect, from time to time the system needs tweaks. An example is Theodore Roosevelt Trust Busting.

LL said...

Utopian Marxism has led to huge tragedies, starvation on epic scales and the only industry that flourished under it in the 20th was the concentration camp biz.

Fredd said...

LL: what's the ticker symbol for that burgeoning concentration camp biz? I'd like to get in on it, sounds lucrative.

Fredd said...

Fool: yes, people will always try to game the system, whatever system that is. And yes, these cheaters need to be brushed back on occasion, but that never calls for ditching the entire free market mechanism.

LSP said...

They sure do keep on coming on, Fredd. You'd think that all the failed socialist hellhole utopias of yesteryear and today would convince them otherwise. But no. These clowns need to be put back in their box with, how does the phrase go? Extreme prejudice.

That's my argument and I'm sticking to it.

I like your original sin point, btw.