Government Watch / Politics

Does Socialism Work? How Academics Conveniently Ignore Reality

socialism

No, socialism doesn’t work. Most of us know that. So does anyone who has ever lived in or whose family has fled communism or a socialist country. But most Americans have not had that experience or even know someone who has. American capitalism has shielded us from the destitution of socialist practices, and those Americans who have lived in both systems are keenly aware of the disparity between the two. That’s partly why so many young Americans are cooling to capitalism. In 2019, 58% of Americans ages 18-34 reacted positively to the word capitalism, but that’s plunged to 49% today, according to a June 5-11, 2021 Axios/Momentive poll.

Youth in America today are under the toxic influence of a large and growing field of so-called “academics,” you know, those hyper-liberal college professors. So why are there so many liberal academics, and how do they conveniently ignore reality?

First, let’s look at historical examples of socialism. Dr. Mark Perry, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute, says that socialism will always fail “because it’s a flawed system based on completely faulty principles that aren’t consistent with human behavior and can’t nurture the human spirit.” In his 1995 essay ‘Why Socialism Failed,’ Perry uses historical examples to make the case that “Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.”

Perry and others before him have rightly noted that, unlike socialism, capitalism’s success can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: prices determined by market forces, a profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights. “The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components,” Perry writes. 

The fall of the former Soviet Union is an often-cited example, but more contemporary socialist societies have also failed their people, leading to massive inflation, devalued currency, lacking supply of goods and services, and a low standard of living. Israel, India, and the U.K. tried after World War II, but those attempts also failed. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher  best summed up her country’s turn away from socialism as the kingdom neared bankruptcy by famously stating, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Today’s young people could look at Cuba and Venezuela, yet somehow they are conveniently ignored by academics or their failure attributed to U.S. policies that rightly isolate those regimes who abuse their people in order to control them using a corrupt system of government. 

The answers are related and pretty understandable. In fact, they have been known for quite some time. In his 1949 essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism,” F. A. Hayek offered a partial explanation. Hayek asked why “the more active, intelligent and original men among [American] intellectuals … most frequently incline toward socialism.” His answer was based on the opportunities available to people of various talents.

Hayek essentially argues that intelligent people who favor a free-market tend to find opportunities for professional and financial success outside of academia. In other words, they are successful in the private sector. Other highly intelligent people find themselves unable to make it to the private sector and are more likely to choose an academic career. Hence, college campuses tend to be filled with those intellectuals who were favorably disposed toward socialism from the beginning. Hence the expression, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” 

Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action


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John
4 months ago

RE: Does Socialism Work
This was a well written, short synopsis bringing into focus some salient points. Friedrich Hayek has been popularized recently as a champion of freedom and is a favorite among us conservatives. However, what is missing from the short article, and transcends Hayek’s take on Socialism, is the fact that Socialism/Communism is not primarily an economic theory, it is an immoral system of control. Socialism is an immoral system of slavery based on thievery, control and government bureaucracy that inhibits the ‘serfs’ from ever reaching their potential as productive human beings.

Len Tippett
4 months ago

Spoiler


Len Tippett
4 months ago
Reply to  Len Tippett

I always thought it was interesting that the greatest number of people I know who have the most letters following their names, have the least “common sense”. Did Mark Twain say this? If he didn’t, he should have.

Eduardo
5 months ago

I’m not theorizing. I lived in a socialist/communist country. I suffered their abuse for 26 years. It’s happening again here in America. I never thought Americans were so easy to deceive. It’s a real life tragedy. I don’t enjoy any of these conversations. All this is life threatening. May God help us. Good bye!

Eduardo
5 months ago

Remember also that weapons will be forbidden. Only the government will have that right! Hold fast to your firearms. Is not that we’ll have to defend from the national guard, they will be the myrmidons defending themselves from millions of armed Americans. This government is no longer “by the people and for the people”.

Eduardo
5 months ago

Remember also that socialism doesn’t admit any power competition thus private businesses or property will not be allowed. Totalitarian means, among other things, that you won’t have the natural incentive to work. The economy will be based on mandatory work for the government (the reduced elite). Normal human beings are capitalists by nature. We work from that incentive. That’s why socialism ONLY works as a tyranny.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Eduardo

WAKE UP, AMERICA!!! It’s time!!

Hal
5 months ago

Socialism means a large percentage of the population will be lazy and indigent and there is no incentive to do well or better as the Socialistic population increases, thus leading to Communism. Socialism is a base step to be converted to Communism. For partisan groups of people that want to establish their role in the hierarchy of political control, socialism is a vulnerable system to convert unwittingly by most to a Communistic governance. Religious socialism works for most of the participating population, but it generally has a banishment or punishment factor to keep it from falling apart; also, it is very, very selective in membership.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Hal

Socialism is the tyrannical government, Communism will be the religion.

Edward
5 months ago

socialists are people who crave power and wealth but could never attain it “the old fashioned way” ie. working hard and earning it. We have the same problem in corporate america, many in top management positions got there thru connections, and stabbing in the back of others who would actually be better at running things for the betterment of all employees of the companies they work for.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Edward

And government jobs as well

Garye
5 months ago

Great article, hope it’s read by all democrat supporters, maybe then they’ll have a clue where their marxist party is headed.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Garye

They know. What they don’t know is that the first few generations of government officials will be regularly cleaned out and substituted for the next generation of “better communists”. They will be also UNDER the weight of tyrannical strata over them. Therefore all those who initially sold their souls to the Communist Party (Democrats), will be disposed of quickly. That’s how it works.

Lee S McQuillen
4 months ago
Reply to  Eduardo

Interesting! You lived it so adds credence to what you say.

BAE
5 months ago

Hmm, why is it that smart people want and like socialism? I was told, it is because they are not so smart.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  BAE

Evil has very little to do with intelligence.

Larry W.
5 months ago

Socialism is good for 2 things, taking your money and taking your freedoms. Socialists will give you “things” of far less value then what they take from you.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Larry W.

The thing socialists are best is destroying good things. Everything that we will be forced to produce will be meaningless to us. All is based on their religion which is Communism. You will be told you ought to be very evil if you don’t accept to work WILLINGLY for the State (them). “For te good of all”.

Dr.C
5 months ago

It’s basically robbing productive Joe to pay slothful Joe, with the underlining word “robbing”. The Government steals from those who labor for their wages and distributes them to the inactive, nonproductive.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Dr.C

Sooner than we think welfare will be the way of living.

FJB
5 months ago

Please read “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek!! It’s available online for free. There’s even a Reader’s Digest version (abridged)! It should be required reading in all high schools and colleges.

Gen. Patton
5 months ago

Great article, and all these clowns who could “not do” teach at Harvard , Yale, or Moscow University

Eduardo
5 months ago

The (big) population working for the government are living the socialist utopia. They have all the benefits that American average workers only wish for. From the boss to the last hired are on salary. That environment only guides them to think that any bureaucracy is well justified as long as it all works out for keeping their jobs safe. The sense of efficiency is substituted by the sense of being justified by their salaries. Even forget where their salaries come from. To them everything works perfect. For communist politicians that force of government “workers” are secure vote for socialism.
Just sit down and think for a moment what would happen when the whole Nation will work for the government. Will that socialist rhetoric work?? The only way will be through the imposition of tyrannical laws. You will NOT be working for you and your family, you will be working for the government. That’s how it works.

Garye
5 months ago
Reply to  Eduardo

Great observation. For many years the private sector offered the best opportunity for great wages,benefits,perks for those who worked hard, now the government employees have higher wages,better benefits and cradle to grave positions even for unproductive people!
We need smaller government,accountability, fiscal reform, balanced budgets at every level and private enterprise to again be more attractive than government jobs.

Morbious
5 months ago

Socialism is quite effective at using the weaknesses of human nature to recreate ancient forms of government, meaning rule by aristocracies. There is stratification between the ruling class and the peasants. What i find so sad is the effectiveness of these so called teachers at convincing so many millennials that the American Dream is either silly or downright evil. One of the chief demons responsible for this was Howard Zinn. His hideous ‘history’ book became a standard text forty yrs ago. We were mostly too busy making a living to check out juniors schoolbooks. Its easy to lie to kids and hard to dislodge the lies later.

Steven G Doyle
5 months ago

Socialism doesn’t work, but Fascism does. Not very well, but well enough to sustain itself.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  Steven G Doyle

Socialism is fascism in disguise. They preach socialism as some “cure for everything”. But, in real life, those allured to swallow the bite, with it are also swallowing the hook. They don’t stop to think that the only way socialism could succeed, is through a totalitarian government. After all, nobody knows how to live that socialist rhetoric. It is AGAINST human nature, utopic and evil. The only way it will succeed is by force.

johnh
5 months ago

The people that are “Looting & grabbing stores ” in California , Chicago,etc. would not be tolerated under Socialism + maybe not much in stores cuz of no incentive to produce products. How can anyone in America think they can just walk in to a store & walk out with things they did not pay for.

Becky
5 months ago
Reply to  johnh

It’s the continually growing ‘welfare’ class of human waste and debris. Society “owes” them. Ergo, they can take what they want.

Eduardo
5 months ago
Reply to  johnh

That’s why they don’t like the police. Thieves don’t like jail.

Wayne Heggemeier
5 months ago

Please remember that not all universities and colleges are strictly based on a liberal arts education. There are very practical fields of study, like engineering and agriculture – think Land Grant schools – that do Not have many, if any, ‘woke’ professors.
The elitists are present, even the administrations maybe poisoned, but they don’t have as much power as they do at, at say, the Ivy League schools.
Just please don’t lump the idiots with the “good guys”, the good guys have enough trouble dealing with the knotheads, they don’t need false accusations being thrown at them when they venture away from the “hallowed halls”.

Phillip Ridenour
5 months ago

One school in particular that doesn’t fit the Progressive Left’s mold is Hillsdale College. They teach the Constitution; they respect God; they have online courses for adults covering the Constitution, the classics and history; and finally they are sponsoring charter schools that give K-12 students the grounding in these subjects that are neglected in public schools.

Peter J Keep
5 months ago

When will AMAC include the social media links to allow sharing of these useful messages?

BAE
5 months ago

Too many people want nice stuff, but they don’t want to work for it. And they certainly will not get it from socialism. Gullible fools. And they watch CNN the HATER channel.

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