The reason why socialism doesn’t work is that it provides no personal incentive for work and productivity. Human nature chaffs against it and hates it. Each person wishes to work above all to provide the needs of his or her own self and family, not for the common good. This is an immutable (at least humanly speaking) characteristic of all humanity. Today, I wish to thank God for instituting private property rights via the Eighth Commandment: “Thou shalt not steal.”
Reason TV has made the following video explaining the true meaning of American Thanksgiving:
Rule of Law and the Subsidiary Role of Government – The government’s primary responsibility is to promote the common good, that is, to maintain the rule of law, and to preserve basic duties and rights. The government’s role is not to usurp free actions, but to minimize those conflicts that may arise when the free actions of persons and social institutions result in competing interests. The state should exercise this responsibility according to the principle of subsidiarity. This principle has two components. First, jurisdictionally broader institutions must refrain from usurping the proper functions that should be performed by the person and institutions more immediate to him. Second, jurisdictionally broader institutions should assist individual persons and institutions more immediate to the person only when the latter cannot fulfill their proper functions.
Creation of Wealth – Material impoverishment undermines the conditions that allow humans to flourish. The best means of reducing poverty is to protect private property rights through the rule of law. This allows people to enter into voluntary exchange circles in which to express their creative nature. Wealth is created when human beings creatively transform matter into resources. Because human beings can create wealth, economic exchange need not be a zero-sum game.
The socialist, utopian dream is not possible. It will result in the poverty of everyone except the ruling classes. Respect of private property and the limited role of government is necessary for a society to flourish. I like especially that the Acton Institute stresses the core principle that government must promote the “common good”. The redistribution of wealth, i.e. socialism, is not the promotion of the common good, but the good of some to the detriment of others. Most of what liberal democracies do today is socialistic: education, health care, welfare. We need to see government limited to the roles of common protection from enemies both foreign and domestic (i.e., military and police) and providing a justice system to punish crimes and to arbitrate between competing interests. Beyond that, government has few legitimate roles.