Bill Evers: How to Convince a Socialist to Become a Libertarian

my topic today is how to convince the socialist bill Evers I read that outside and and we're lucky that that's not the topic because I'm sure if I were a socialist it I'd be tough to convince but anyway we have to look at this it seems to me in a common-sense way and that is to consider it's just like the problem a socialist would face in trying to convince a thoughtful knowledgeable libertarian it's useful to have facts about existing socialist societies but if you think in your own life a lot of people have pulled a factor to on you and expected you to roll over in your political views and you didn't and really if somebody were trying to convince a libertarian to change his or her political views the way to do it would be to go after the core values the core notions the core concepts not a libertarian holds namely ones about property and about Liberty well similarly in going about convincing a socialist it's very valuable to have facts is very valuable to know about existing socialist societies existing socialist movements even ancient socialistic societies such as maybe the Peruvian Empire of the Incas or something like that if you consider that socialistic which I do but I think it's most important to go after the core concepts that motivate socialists that give them the passion and the and the emotional and intellectual sustenance for their beliefs so I would say that we have to go after such things as equality planning those are core concepts and an ancillary to that I would think and are how they regard justice and morality and the possibility of civil Liberty's under socialism now so that's what I'm going to really talk about now it's it's valuable to have facts and to know facts and to know history it always is it helps situate you you know something about the intellectual origins if you're dealing with a Maoist it's good to know ironical things about Mao you know his collaboration with Shan kai-shek at various points or his love for the Shah of Iran that upsets a Maoist or with the same with a Trotskyist you know Trotsky's involvement in the unprovoked invasion of Poland in the 1920s or what you know things like this that might set the person on edge but really we have to go after the concepts okay so I think what we should do and and even in handling the concepts facts are important and valuable because if you can then say not only is your view of inequality wrong and impossible but by talking about it this way what socialist movements do is really this and we can see this in practice in these socialist society so facts are valuable but let's talk about the concepts okay let me first talk about equality a bit here is is it is the ideal of equality possible now this is very important because really you should always tell somebody if they have an ideal if they have a an inspiring value that they would like to see enacted that ought implies can that is to say that saying that something ought to be the case a change ought to be enacted implies that it it could be done but it's within the realm of possibility so if we can say that the notion of equality of a pure equality is nonsensical self contradictory impossible in the nature of possible given nature reality these sorts of things we can say that it cannot be done and that then can say something about whether it ought to be done and most people will understand it when you say something like that and it will detach them from this belief that they have okay so we know obviously that in a purest sense equality is not possible as Murray Rothbard points out and power and market which has some powerful anti a Galit aryan passages in it each person cannot be born in the same time and place each person cannot be raised under the same conditions it's just impossible even in the most level the most antiseptic lis imaginable egalitarian society you could not do that okay similarly there are aspects of human nature that that would be commonly accepted even by somebody that had a lot of profound political differences with you that you could talk to them about and and raise serious questions in their own mind that even if you you didn't seem to be making progress in that argument would constantly recur to them and in a subsequent conversation because you don't very often convert somebody in the day and if you do they may not stay change very long so there's a recent book by a British political philosopher named John Donne on the politics of socialism which is kind of a disillusion left liberals look at socialism and then it he says the the sort of another formulation of egalitarianism which is but really each person is tightly entitled to equal respect okay from everybody else and this is a way that some socialists will argue about things because partly because respect is kind of a fuzzy word and our automatic reaction is yeah everybody is entitled to equal but that's not that's really not true we couldn't imagine a society in which each person's claims to have their desires taken equally with everybody else each person was awarded the you know equal patience by all of us for what they they wanted to talk about each person's accomplishments there is not a society imaginable even given as done specifically points out the kinds of depredations on society that a Hitler or a Pol Pot or a Stalin can make that will still not in its hearts of hearts respect a great singer a great athlete you know a person that does things beyond ordinary capacity will not award that person a differential kind of respect so really inherent in human psychology just it's not possible to somehow end up with an egalitarian thinking society either okay so we've suggested here that you cannot really have equality another thing that I think you have to raise with a person who is a socialist is the role of Envy in egalitarianism and I think that this is this is a valuable thing because equality strikes people when they're not really reflecting on it a great deal as a very positive thing to try and achieve in the society and yet envy brings with it different emotional connotations now I think and I think if we think about it envy is a part of human nature that were realistically never going to be able to do away with okay it has to do with rivalry and and different attitudes and so forth but there are different ways of looking at Envy in society there are ways that elevate envy to kind of a passion that then consumes the society okay and and really socialism in my view is trying to do that it's an immensely envy conscious although it doesn't tend to at this and envy conscious and the mobilizing movement okay and I think if you can draw this to the attention of the person that you're trying to convince that you're trying to argue with it will take some of the sense of that person that he or she is on a high ground and arguing for equality away from that because it's not somehow as self you know it's not as you can't congratulate yourself quite as much in arguing for envy in my view so if you're really interested in this I would recommend a book I'm not sure how available it is I I don't really think it's in print anymore but if you really search bookstores you can find it old ones a use book stores buy helmets shuck SCH o e ck it's a German political sociologist called Ann V and and he has written the definitive work on it he's kind of a libertarian with conservative tendencies and it's certainly in any university or college library and it was a Harcourt brace book and he talks about this sort of thing is also very interesting sort of science fiction dystopian novel by LP Hartley published in the early 50s at a time sort of labor austerity in England called facial justice that gives you a lot of ideas about envy and how to think about it and talk about it with people anyway so when we talk about equality to a socialist what can we also tell that socialist is a is at work in reality in socialist movements in social in existing socialist societies I think we can say that what we're seeing to a large extent is the rhetoric of envy being used as a route to a road to power but as a mechanism a route a road to power by a new rule class okay now that I think puts a realistic coloration on it and I think if you can get the Socialists trying to counter that say that's not so I think that you have that person on the defensive and perhaps through time and conversation you can bring the person around okay now let's talk about a sort of an adjunct to equality which is notions about justice and morality okay now this is sort of going back into what libertarians believe but what a lot of socialists particularly ones who call themselves Democratic socialists claim to hold high namely that they believe that socialism will incorporate in it the the virtues the gains that have come with capitalistic civilization while discarding certain outmoded things now I think there are definitely kinds of socialism that are what you might call non-marxist ethical socialists of some sort there's no special pet name for them but it's a minor thing most socialist you're going to meet are deeply influenced by Marx okay they are Marxist of one sort or another and I think you can honestly tell them and in a way that hopefully will disturb them unless they are in the most deep sense totalitarians and you will certainly find people you can never convince that's we all know that from our own lines but I think you can prove to them realistically that Marxism rightly understood and as understood by Marx as understood by angles as understood by Lenin and Trotsky and all the great classic Marxist think sir thinkers is a political view that is devoid of ethics and it is truly anti ethical okay by nature it's not just that it doesn't you know it's not compatible with Christian morality or judeo-christian tradition or libertarian ethics it is anti ethics all ethics okay now this is not just a whim on my part that I have sort of dreamed this up Marx himself angles all these people say this okay and there are good things and have been written explaining this that the two best things that I would point to one is an article by Stephen Luke's lú kè s in praxis International which is a socialist publication called cantle Marxist believe in human rights and the other is an article by Alain Buchanan several years ago in the Journal of philosophy and political affairs Asif II and public affairs also to a lesser extent in Robert C Tucker's the Marxian revolutionary idea the chapter on distributive justice in that but let me just read you some of the comments of some of these people and you'll see what I'm talking about okay all right what is what is mark saying he's saying that morality like religion metaphase metaphysics all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness had no history no development but men altering their material production and their material intercourse alter along with these their real existence and their thinking and products that are thinking ok have here a little bit of hegelian Germanic double-talk but what is he saying he's saying that morality reflects the history of morality is the history of technological development and the property law that relates to technological development the he believes relates to technologically though it's a completely dependent artificial construction that stems from that ok what is angles say he's saying morality has always been class morality as either justified the domination and interests of the ruling class or ever since the oppressed class became powerful and has represented the indignation against this domination and the future interests of the oppressed ok there is no intrinsic morality it's simply a tactical strategic thing in class struggle okay here's Trotsky morale morality more than any other form of RT of ideology has a class character okay here's Lemon permissible and obligatory are those and only those means we answer which unites the revolutionary proletariat fill their hearts with irreconcilable hostility to oppression teach them contempt for official morality and it's Democratic echo errs and view them with consciousness of their own historic mission raise their courage and spirit of sacrifice self-sacrifice in the struggle ok now I want to make it clear that the thing goes even deeper than this Marxism denies even the most minimal content of morality in other words people like David Hume the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher contemporary of Adam Smith's and most philosophers will say look for human beings to just live together in society with the limited resources that we have available to us with the limited powers of sympathy that we can mobilize in our own lives have to have some kinds of generalized rule of conduct in order to live in order to to prosper to get any kind of well-being this is kind of a minimal defense and basis of morality Marxist deny that they deny after all that these minimal resources are here that actually we're in a condition of abundance now that is being held in check by capitalistic property law okay to believe according to them that there is a limited power of sympathy is really wrong because what Marxists are arguing is essentially and this is a thing that we can also work on our potential socialists convert with with regard to that the notion of a brotherhood of man or the family of man or something like that is something that what to be the the condition of this future utopia that they're calling for you notice that they're taking a metaphor that's drawn out of the family a very limited number of people that we can certainly have relations of sympathy and empathy and very strong notions of duty and so forth toward and suddenly extending it to a huge you know the population of the entire world now most people if you ask them can they really feel as strong emotional ties toward a person they've never met in Bhutan or Basu Toland or tasmania and their brother or their sister or their mother will tell you no I mean if they're honest with themselves okay and they can't really expect the whole world to become like that even if they are so you know the unusual as as William Godwin who once said that he would save a certain benevolent dust but benevolent excuse me benevolent bishop in a fire rather than his mother okay that's rare okay and they can't really believe I don't think what Marxists are essentially arguing that that kind of strong emotional intensity in the family can be extended to an entire globe so the the Marxists are denying these basic conditions of justice as John Rawls calls them or conditions of morality so they are anti moral they really don't believe they believe that it's an illusion a bad thing that talked about rights morals ethics that it's it's content list and that if you're talking about anything you're talking about either strategy for revolutionary success or if you're the ruling class talking about morality you're talking about how to keep the public baffled and bemused and not focusing on what is really taking place in society I think if you get a socialist thinking about this you will have them troubled and you can move them in a more libertarian direction if they will accept some kind of moral position you can then work on that most moral theories utilitarian Christian Con Thien Aristotelian Thomas all have some sort of route better or worse depending on your own view toward a defense of libertarianism you can't really take a person who supposed to ethics per se and make them into a libertarian okay you just can't and so you have to convince the socialists of this if they're already an ethical socialist then the problem doesn't exist you just have to work them along ok let's talk a little bit about another related thing because it has to do with with justice and so forth and that is the prospects for civil liberties in the socialist society I think here we have a very important insight that other critics of Marxism don't really have well a lot of the points I've been making so far people of various non Marxist views can make without too much difficulty but I think that libertarians have a unique insight in understanding house of the liberties work how they're anchored how they're grounded and that is that we believe that real guarantee of civil liberties is their anchor and property rights that fundamentally you cannot seriously talk about freedom of speech and freedom of the press without the right to own a Hall and which one might speak the right to rent out such a hall the the right to own a printing press the right to use that printing press to print on the right to engage in sales of the material one prints the right to own the transmission station the right to send out that program to willing recipients and so forth so what you can do in discussing this with a socialist is to ask them how if if they believe and many Democratic socialists maintained they do believe that these gains as they would say of capitalistic civilization over feudal societies and so forth namely procedural rights for the for the public as they would see them how they expect to have freedom of the press in the society in which the government owns all the printing presses all the newsstands all the bookstores pays all the salaries owns all the newsprint that is the paper all the ink such the prices on everything and just you know keep going use your imagination and I think they will it's I can assure you because my dissertation is on this that you won't find in socialist literature a great deal of discussion of this so they're not going to be very prepared to answer you and no socialists has ever answered it very well even the most sympathetic to having civil liberties in a socialist society and I think you will have them not only on the defensive and your goal is not to kind of defeat them in debate okay unless it is a formal debate but to convince them to to unravel their commitment to this there to find unexamined things and get them thinking so I think there's a great deal of merit to this approach in talking to a socialist and you will find and this will be a kind of a bridge to my next subject which is planning and the market and price coordination and so forth you will find of course people who talk about themselves as socialists but are really something else it is kind of an intermediate position which you might call a market syndicalist syndicalism is the idea of collective self ownership it's it's the producers that is in the people that are working on some project communally owned the business enterprise that's putting the thing out and sell it to the public somehow okay so it's workers control or a workers self-management there are a number of terms that this goes under in the classic term for it all is syndicalism from the word for a trade union or something a soonduk okay now a person who is a market symbolist and you can see in Yugoslavia today a kind of an imperfect case of this there's a monopoly central bank for investment and some other problems there but you can see some approximations to this a person who is really a symbolist the fullest extent is a long way on the way to being a liberal already okay there are potentially good prospect of course in some ways the final steps are the toughest ones to take them on so don't think it's going to be easy but at least realize that your prospects are good okay now when you when you talk to this market syndicalist you want to keep pushing them in the direction of more and more market and of course with that you have to push the question of investment how is investment going to work because if investment is in the hands of the centralized bank controlled by the government they haven't truly depoliticized the society they haven't truly gained the advantages that are going to strike them they're not going to have true self management if some political bureaucrat some Politburo or something is deciding who's going to have investment money similarly there's problems of inequality between sand between worker enterprises that they're going to have to grapple with in their own minds but but even more so how about people that want to leave this workers control unit they have to think about that ask them about that and ultimately you're going to want to push them into saying well how does this communal group come to have a right to own or control what it has what it's using okay because it's we know as libertarians that it's not simply an easy facile thing to justify the right of original appropriation okay from foremost all libertarians this is done through the homesteading notions that Locke and cotton some other people have but socialists have never really thought about this at all and therefore you're on stronger ground once again than they are and they really have to be able to do this I mean why does some person who's living in Kuwait you know near some oil well or something like that have a right to work on it and reap the rewards from it and so forth why them they have to answer that okay and so you can push them farther and farther into having the answer to answer the questions that we have already thought about seriously and so I think there's a good chance here okay now let's talk about planning in more detail here because this is an additional way you can push them in the direction of market enterprises and private property now there's no question it seems to me that a very attractive thing for true socialist is the notion of plant Marx is really capturing and his whole notions about alienation and so forth a sense that a certain amount of people have out there that business activity commercial life is kind of doing things to them in an unplanned random chaotic way and that there's not a sense of controlling it controlling what's happening that is what Marx's notion of alienation is is truly appealing to it's not so much that the tedium of the workplace it's really that we are alien to our human nature in our life in the market where we face all these commodities and where we are made into commodities ok and this is why Marx is attacking what he calls the anarchy of the market charming phrase too many of us so socialists in general and I would sort of exempt these markets indica lists and and you can see China also by the way moving in this direction of Yugoslavia most Marxist most socialists are deeply interested in control of economic matters now one of the first things that you can say to them is look there's kind of this is this is on the non technical level there's kind of a conflict in between your whole idea of calculating rationalistic somehow cost-benefit planning group planning Bureau central planner something like that and your expansive humanistic brotherhood of man family of man view how are you going to combine this sort of dictation rational imposition thing with your notion that everyone is going to be in this one is an appeal to expertise one is a technocratic notion the other is a different sort of the notion and I think that they will find some problems with that themselves and you're trying to explore fissures crack self contradictions within their own doctrine and I think you will make some progress with using the family metaphor back against the planning metaphor and seeing if they can really resolve this in their own minds but there's a deeper more important sense in which we can tackle planning and this takes us into the somewhat technical area of the what is called the socialist calculation debate namely is it really possible to allocate resources efficiently to their highest valued use in a socialist society namely a society in which the state is the owner of the means of production okay now I think it's also useful in all this including in say talking about the conflict between top-down planning and humanistic Brotherhood to press them if they say oh we'll have planning from the bottom up okay because some of them will say that make them say how it's going to work because I don't accept any vagueness here make them spell it out I think you can have some fun and don't be too cruel but you're trying to convince the person this is not just a contest but I think you can if you if you sincerely pursue it I think privately you can notice some confusion on their part and ultimately if it's going to be planning it's going to be central planning and that's what you want to try and show them and you want to show that this has a dictatorial element to it and an impossibility element so let's first talk about the impossibility side of it now back in the early 20th century ludwig von mises and subsequently a number of other people especially friedrich hayek and lately james buchanan have written about this problem of calculation under socialism so your problem is that in a non private properties society in a society in which there may not even be realistic money prices there may not be money at all in some sorts of socialist utopias you have a great deal of problems especially with capital goods you have problems in the site you can't really put prices on capital goods these are primary goods of production or at some more remote level goods of production machine tools things like that you can't really put a price on them you can't really decide what the best use is for them you can't really decide whether the resources that went into them should have gone into something else you can't really decide when to innovate when to build a new dam when to tear down a dam and let us stream again flow free these are serious problems and believe it or not a lot of Marxists especially if they're sophisticated I've heard of this problem and the more you learn about it and the better you can argue about it and it's not something I can explain in the few minutes remaining in detail the more you'll have a chance at bringing them around to a pro market perspective the basic book that I would recommend is by trig V Hoff called economic calculation and socialist society h o FF and it's out in the inexpensive paperback from Liberty classics Liberty Press and just just to read you the final concluding paragraph from it the question however is not whether factories can be built and efficiently conducted but whether the factors of production could have been put to a more advantageous use by employing them elsewhere in a society whose aim is the maximum production of needs its resources must not have been used for producing what may be momentarily lacking to have a certain value but for producing goods which according to the end stated our greater value than other goods each factor of production must be so employed as to give the greatest return according to the end this and only this is the criterion for rational economic activity for determining this there is a needed valuation apparatus and apparatus with prices and cost is varying with the variables to which one has to reckon in the world of reality and is here that there arise specific and so far unresolved difficulties for the socialist society now that paragraph which as you can see is not too difficult in terms of economic jargon does bring up though the fact that in learning how to talk about this you have to learn how to talk about it to some extent in everyday language okay as I have been trying to do in terms of trying to say should this machine tool have been built sure that so it should have been some other things should that this factory have never been put in should this dam have been put in or not ever put in and so forth anyway you do see among socialists some recognition of this problem there are there are socialists to try and answer this but I think the more you get into the debate the more you realize that we have the better of the case this is from a article this month in the Stanford daily at Stanford democratic socialists of America which is the leading group of intelligent socialists in the United States if we can accept that oxymoron okay and a gentleman who is the Western Regional organizer of DSA made the following comment and you can see that we are already sort of getting the higher ground here by what he says this is a man I've known for many many years almost 20 years I know a lot of these guys an important change in recent socialist policies shocked noted is the acceptance in practice if not in theory of the capitalist open market system quote there is no way that computers can plan an economy down to the last nut close quote he said okay now listen that's quite a bit of progress and you know you can ask these socialists you know why are the Chinese doing this what is that what is going on why do you think you know and they they will have their reasons but keep raising these questions because I think it's it's a worthwhile route in trying to detach them from their beliefs lastly you one of those say something about what is this all is talking of planning amounting to in practice and you can go back to some of your previous concerns isn't it really taught by a dictatorial practice by a ruling elite a new ruling class in in terms of Russian political jargon the nomenclature ax a special designated categories class okay isn't there a new class of political rulers of tyrants here that will oppress that don't want to talk about justice and ethics because that they really want to do is rule who don't want to have freedom of the press because when they're making the plans and making the economic planning there's no room for freedom of the press for carrying out if you carry out plans part of central planning is keeping the morale of the public in supporting the central plan now even with the best intentions in the world we wouldn't want to have the morale of those who have to carry out the central plan underlined by learning that things aren't going perfectly therefore we must control the press aside from allocating the newsprint allocating the salaries allocating and so forth the the political dimension in central planning has to be brought forward it's not simply what Marx is trying to pretend that it's an administrative function the replacement of government by of men by a merely administrative thing it's a political dictatorial thing that's truly at work in reality a plane so I think if you can bring out these different concerns you can attack and the core notions that socialists have about their beliefs and begin to bring them around and with luck with persuasion with probably some more reading on your part you can take truly dedicated political people and make them into allies libertarians and that's all to the good and it will also stretch your own mind and make your own grasp of libertarian principles and practice that are developed okay well let me ask answer some questions in the remaining moments here sir I've actually made progress with the course of the discussion bring up some of the points that you the America freedom versus this planning by the state no but I always get is what catch-all phrase it's for the good overall good of all you that's winter I just can't this is soon okay well the question in case anybody didn't hear it was this gentleman has had a number of conversations with followers of tom hayden and john jane fonda the campaign for socialism campaign for economic democracy and that brings up one point is that this group does not like to be called socialist and does not like to admit to having socialist beliefs so one way to kind of mildly needle them is to call them social democrats or democratic socialists in there in conversation you know you can say you know and and see what that produces for you now but forget to the specific question which is what about the what about the claim that that these socialists are making that it's for the good of war well I guess you have to start out with saying the following you say that you need to convince me how would we know it's for the good of them huh what would it be that would be so convincing that would show that this thing is for the good of all is it surely we all want to have our human rights protected that is something that's for the good of will is what you're suggesting not going to violate any human rights is it is it going to leave everybody in control of their own lives to the maximum extent possible you have to kind of yourself you do believe that some things are for that certainly that a system of private property rights is for the good of all and that it's compatible with human nature so you have to try and bring them on to your ground to some extent and to ask them how to dump out of prove it show me take the Missouri approach you know I'm not I can't be can I'm not convinced at this point get them doing some of the talking remember it's not it's it's a dialogue it's it's it's get them talking especially at any point they're unraveling yeah yes yeah Selina sir okay did you did you hear what he suggested I you know that that might work I think that I think that you you have to you have to raise what you have to before you want to spend too much time defending your own position it's better to work on unraveling their as you can if you can will interweave the to its it's really quite effective sir is it this the suggestion is that push them to the reductio ad absurdum very useful method in in and how do we but but look okay but but what you want to say is now you of course don't even though Hitler said this you of course don't believe that it was for the good of all how would we know that that's not the case how would we know and why would it you know or that or you can even step them a little closer to their own home ground and surely we know that the the twenty to sixty million people killed in Stalin's camps was not a good thing and yet Stalin said that it was for the good of all surely there's something troubling here how can we know yes sir in the net and I'm one of the all okay I think that's a good point let me just suggest one thing to watch out for though I wouldn't ever I would never myself and except by accident want to appropriate to my position the word equal and as you said I have the equal wire I would say the same right or I have full rights or something like that I think once you're accepting but the groundwork of equality even though there is a sense in which libertarians believe in something like equality of rights it's very tricky and I don't think you want to grant that term you want to you want to stick them with it and show it has deep problems sir yeah well I'm not I'm not a Hayekian I think I think I think that a Hayek is in to some extent a person who incorporates realistically certain human modest utilitarian views and Anselm's takes some from cut also I don't think I don't think I think it's too strong to say that he is anti morals in the sense that Marx I can't accept mr. Hayek's view well I'm just saying I'm just saying I I don't think so but the important thing is to get the Marxist socialist to accept some moral principle even if it's not the same one that you accept and then work them down that principle toward libertarian and meanwhile you can nudge them toward the one that you like best I don't think that accepting a pure ethical relevant position is going to be an attractive way to defend libertarianism because once you say everything is up for grabs there's no justice there's no sense of right and wrong that applies to Liberty I think you have you've made a mistake in my view and you've given away very very important routes of argument let me just get some more questions yes sir well you can you can address this we're just about out of time here so I'm going to have to make this the last question you can do the same kind of thing first how do we know it's still good at most second is the good a Hitler also said it was the good of most he only killed a small group of people with gypsies and homosexuals and the Jews how do we know Hitler was wrong we're certainly troubled by what went on here if to the good of most is what's at stake he seemed to have quite a bit of popular support in the society at the time again Stalin felt it was to the good at most not to the good of the capitalist class by any means but the good of most and again you can press them on this you take take them on the route I thank you all for your patience and understanding and I think that that will you [Applause]

24 thoughts on “Bill Evers: How to Convince a Socialist to Become a Libertarian

  • The right response to socialism, or communism, or anarchy, or fascism, or monopoly privilege (i.e., what we too easy refer to as "capitalism") is found in the writings of Henry George. Remove all monopoly privileges from the systems of law and taxation and the result is cooperative individualism: full equality of opportunity, full individual liberty, within a cooperative social framework. To paraphrase Adam Smith, the role of government is to ensure that a fair field with no favors exists. Markets operate efficiently and fairly when none of the participants enjoys privilege. Few understood better than Henry George the true nature of privilege and what must be done to remove all forms of privilege from our socio-political arrangements and institutions. Of these, he counted "rentier" (i.e., landed) privilege as the most destructive to the promise of democracy.

    Edward J. Dodson, M.L.A., Director

    School of Cooperative Individualism

  • The socialists don't seem to give a fuck that socialist governments murdered over 100 million of their own citizens. /shrug So, the moral argument dosen't work.

  • Looking forward to this. I think that there are many aspects of socialism that make society unbelievably better. I certianlly don't want a centrally planned economy. Just one that gives everyone a share in the means off production.
    I also think that core services should be socially owned and managed: education, health, emergency services, the military and so on.

    So that's where I stand at the beginning of this video…. let's see how I feel at the end.

  • Perhaps the most interesting thing about libertarian thought is that it has no way of coherently justifying the initial acquisition of property. How does something that was once unowned become owned without nonconsensually destroying others’ liberty? It is impossible. This means that libertarian systems of thought literally cannot get off the ground. They are stuck at time zero of hypothetical history with no way forward.

  • Most of these brainwashed socialists will not be convinced of anything other than their own emotional propaganda. Many are mentally ill as well. Those that are convinced usually convince themselves after realizing how nonsensical socialism is when applied to the real world.

  • DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs in Government Paperback – May 28, 2013
    by Jesse Ventura (Author),‎ Dick Russell (Contributor)

  • mistake #1: Socialism isn't "egalitarian." Because he defines the movement incorrectly, his subsequent arguments are irrelevant
    mistake #2: Something that hasn't happened can't happen (the inverse of the fallacy he's pointing out)

  • So along the same lines, we can totally destroy LIbertarianism by pointing out that the NAP is just as impossible as equality, because human nature is such that assholes exist, and the moment you have one person willing to shoot you in order to take control, the entire NAP-based society collapses into either a tyrannical dictatorship or a mess of skirmishing warlords.

  • I wouldn't say that equality is the core issue of socialism. According to Marx the core issue is the abolishment of capital – the part of a corporations profit that is reinvested for the sole sake of creating an even bigger profit the next year. To be fair the speech is from 1985 when most Americans where brain washed to associate all notions of socialism with the Sovjet Union. Where in reality Leninism is only one of many interpretations of Marxism.

    It is going to be a long night for the libertarian to convince a socialist, if the libertarian doesn't even understand the basic concepts of socialism. What you would need to prove is that capital does in fact not leave a devastating environmental, social and economic deficit. Good luck!

  • I think all these labels, "socialist", "libertarian", "communist", "capitalist", are very confusing, and therefore not particularly helpful. It seems different people understand different things by each term. For instance, I considered myself a kind of socialist, but there are a lot of things he attributes to socialism that I don't agree with.

    Maybe it would be better to call myself a "pragmatist" – although I'm sure there are some things associated with that term I don't agree with.

    I just think the thing to do is look at the world, look at which countries seem to be doing things the best, in terms of the usual indicators — life-expectancy, happiness, per-capita income, social mobility, etc. — and just copy what they are doing. Maybe tweak them a little or even improve on them. But why try to reinvent the wheel?

    The countries which are doing best in those terms are the northern European countries, like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc. That seems to me the best way to go. I don't know if there is a "label" for that.

  • Can someone explain to me the difference between anarcho-capitalism and anarcho-socialism? What is the difference between socialism and anarcho-socialism? What is corporatism?

  • I'm not supporting socialism but the initial quotes seem a bit out of context at least Engels.

    "But we have not yet passed beyond class morality. A really human morality which stands above class antagonisms and above any recollection of them becomes possible only at a stage of society which has not only overcome class antagonisms but has even forgotten them in practical life. "

    That's what he went on to say. Isn't he saying he does believe in morality, just that currently human beings shape their morality around their own individual place in society? Can someone clarify ? I agree socialism is immoral, but it just seems like the quotes didn't represent fairly.

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