Milton Friedman & The Rise of Socialism (Updated)

Socialism should be in the dust-bin of history.  Instead, it is embraced by Democrats, many of whom have no understanding of it’s reality.

The history of the world, since 1792, has been a competition to see which will win out — the Enlightenment ideals of the American Revolution, or the socialist ideals of the French Revolution.  In the 20th century, the latter lost horrendously, and yet, a recent Rasmussen poll found:

51% of Democrats have a favorable impression of socialism, with 13% who share a Very Favorable one.

29% of Democrats do not understand socialism and its power structure

A bare majority of Democrats are against an outright declaration that the Democrat Party is a socialist party.

Why in the world are we still debating socialism or communism, either as a cultural or economic system of any benefit to humanity, after the turn of the 20th century?   As Kurt Schlichter asks, are these people stupid, evil or both?  I think it’s both.

The Enlightenment values of our American Revolution are about equality of opportunity — as Locke would put it, our natural God-given rights to life, liberty and property.  Simply because you enjoy those rights does not presuppose that you are or must violate anyone else’s right to life, liberty or property.  We have yet to fully live up to those values, but where we have failed, it has been because of government intervention, whether that be with Jim Crow laws on one hand, or minimum wage laws on the other.

Standing in complete contradiction are the socialist values of enforced equality of outcome.  To achieve equality of outcome, you have to violate all of the rights to life, liberty and property of most, if not all citizens, and that can only happen at the point of a gun.  History has shown, beyond any doubt, that giving a government that much power is giving them the power to be a murderous police state.  Indeed, it has been so since the first moment of socialism’s birth in the crucible of the French Revolution.  While Robespierre was proclaiming “liberté, égalité, fraternité,” the guillotine was being worked non-stop to deny liberty to anyone who dared challenge Robespierre and his new government.

Moreover, in any socialist paradise, equality of outcome is never achieved, merely the beneficiaries of the inequality change.  No longer is it the builder or the inventor or the artist who amasses wealth and builds upon it.  Rarely does anything of worth to humanity come out of a populace under the gun of socialism.  The new rich in any socialist country are the government apparatchiks and their family or cronies.  Or if you are in a theocracy, look to the rag-heads.

Tomes have been written about this, many of them by Milton Friedman, a man who would be 106 were he alive today.  Here are a few of his observations on socialism and related topics.

The rebirth of socialism is absurd

Discussing inequality and government intervention


Equality of Outcome


Slavery, Colonization and historic inequality of opportunity


Update:  Perhaps there is hope yet