If You Want To Be A Socialist, Be A Socialist

Once you’ve read the book Socialism by Ludwig von Mises it is impossible to look at socialism the same way ever again. It ceases to be a social system that is even worth considering. Explaining that humans are unable to allocate resources effectively in the absence of market prices was a devastating critique.

An interesting history is that of the early American colonists. They were initially organized in a socialist manner. Each person was forced to contribute their production to the community warehouse. Predictably, many froze and starved to death. It was only after the pioneers were allowed to own their own land and do as they wished with their own property that they began to flourish.

But that is beside the point that I’d like to make. If somebody wants to be a socialist, they should go right ahead and be one. What is the problem with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of like minded people getting together and living under a socialist system, even right here in the United States?

As long as they don’t impose their beliefs on the rest of us, why isn’t this acceptable?

Likewise, hard core libertarians an anarchists should be allowed to live under a system of their choosing. If  they do not deny others the right to live under an organized and powerful government, this violates nobody’s liberty.

Along those same lines, anybody who wants live under a constitutional republic, with an elected congress, welfare programs, and a highly regulated economy, should have that right.

If you believe in self determination and the consent of the governed, you must logically allow people to choose their own form of government. If you refuse to do so, you have no right to complain when others deny you your liberties.

The benefits of having all of these different types of societies coexisting side by are obvious.

First, if  you don’t like one, you can go live under another.  Say your parents are hard core socialists and you were born into that system. Does that mean that you should be forced to be a socialist forever? Anybody can change their religion. Just because your parents are Christians doesn’t mean you have to be one. Or, if you think a libertarian society is just too far out, you can go live in a place where things are a little more bureaucratic.

Second, it would provide clear cut evidence about which type of society is best. Of course, the definition of best is up for debate. For the sake of this argument though, I mean safety for the citizens and overall material wealth. The system most conducive to human well being would win more and more converts. The more people that choose the superior system, the more people will be better off. Giving people a choice will accelerate the rate of human progress.

Third, the whole thing would be voluntary. Nobody would be forced to live under a system against their will. This would dramatically reduce crime and violence. If you like doing drugs, you can simply go to a place where drugs are legal. The incarceration rate would plummet. Nobody be would have to be threatened by the law to pay taxes. If you think your government charges too much tax, you can just move somewhere else. If your government is fighting wars you don’t support, you can easily withdraw your consent by getting out of Dodge.

The United States was supposed to be something like this. Even though all States were to participate in one overarching federal government, each State was to retain its sovereignty. Only particular limited powers are granted to the federal government under the Constitution. All limits on federal power have now been eroded. All states are forced to conform to a single paradigm. A citizen can move around from state to state. But other than the physical appearance of the people, the natural environment, and the local culture, things are pretty much the same every where. The laws are the same. The punishment is the same. The system of government is identical.

What about you reader? Would you be willing to let a bunch of socialists start their very own government in your city? Would you let libertarians opt out of all government services and stop paying taxes? If not, why not?

We all get taught about the social contract in school. It is some mystical accord between the governors and the governed. From what I can gather, it states that us citizens will pay our taxes and mind the government. In return, the good government men will keep us safe and treat us fair.  Apparently somebody forged my name to this thing because I never saw it. If anybody can get a copy of it, I’d like to have my legal council review for it loopholes.

Can you be born a party to a contract? I’m no legal expert but it seems perverse that your ancestors could lock you into a deal hundreds of years before you’re alive. If not, why do we all have to accept the same stuffy old type of government?

What happens when a person agrees to a contract under duress? Is the contract still valid? A lot of people would prefer a societal organization different than the one they currently live under. The only thing keeping them from making the switch is fear of being locked up in a cage and having their possessions taken from them by force. Does this not invalidate the social contract? Again, I’m no legal expert but I thought contracts had to be agreed upon voluntarily by the signators.

To anybody reading this, I beg of you: please be tolerant. Be tolerant of everything besides aggression against person and property. If you would like your beliefs and preferences to be respected, you must respect those of others.

Also, let’s shoot straight about which agency is the most intolerant, in every country, in the world today. I’ll give you some hints about who it is. It can take your land from you and give it to a real estate developer. It can tell you what you can and cannot put in your own body. It defines what marriage is and is not. It can put your kids in a uniform, give them guns, and send them to die overseas. It can put you in a cage for the rest of your life and now in the United States, it can kill you with out a trial.

Did you guess who it is?

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2 Responses to If You Want To Be A Socialist, Be A Socialist

  1. galudwig says:

    Excellent post again 🙂
    I’ve often argued with friends of mine on this very subject. So many people seem to think that the libertarian aims for society include forcing every individual to be an “island” where everyone is selfish and only interested in material gain (though maybe this does kind of apply to some Objectivists). Instead, if, in a free society, some people want to form a commune where property is owned collectively or if the owners of a corporation decide that non-profit is the way to go, then they would be completely free to do so and compete on the market with the rest of us.

    If certain people are so convinced that the way they want to live their life and/or organize society is the best way imaginable, then they should be in favor of libertarianism, so that they can actually try it out and gain converts, instead of trying to use violent, authoritarian and bond-villainesque means to force their beliefs on others.

  2. kit goldman says:

    Thank you Adam: I have posted this on my facebook page:

    I am reading with interest the absolute disdain, derision, ridicule and dismissal by many of the Iowa caucus participants as nothing but ignorant clowns. Whether I think it’s true or not isn’t the point. So many on the left AND the right write off opposing opinions as idiotic and completely unworthy of respect or consideration. How about a world where we are each free to live our own truth without imposing it on those who don’t share it? I invite you to read and comment on Adam’s latest blog: https://powerorliberty.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/if-you-want-to-be-a-socialist-be-a-socialist/

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