North Texas Daily

The case against socialism

The case against socialism

The case against socialism
May 13
10:00 2022

Editor’s note: Lee Enochs is a graduate student at the Mayborn School of Journalism and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. 

At the risk of sounding like a gadfly or contrarian of popular opinion, there appear to be good reasons why one should reject socialism as a viable economic system and alternative to free-market capitalism.

Perhaps this writer is out of touch with the current popular trend among many young Americans to look favorably upon the economic system known as socialism, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as “any economic or political system based on government ownership and control of important businesses and methods of production.”

This aversion to socialist economic policy notwithstanding, this writer is also cognizant of the fact that many UNT students have more progressive political and economic views and have a more positive view of socialism, as evidenced by a poll indicating that 65 percent of current Democrats have a favorable opinion of socialism.

This author is also well aware of the fact the majority of young adults in the U.S. currently look upon capitalism negatively and with dispersion.

Despite these positive polls and the current trend among many college students having a favorable view of socialism, I am simply not convinced of the alleged superiority of the socialist economic system over capitalism.

Now, if the definitions of socialism and capitalism provided by the people of Cambridge University can be trusted — and since the academic reputation of Cambridge is beyond dispute — there appears to be a good reason to take capitalism over socialism any day.

Government ownership and control of America’s businesses and means of production does not appear to be a good thing at all. Case in point, just look at the current mess President Joe Biden has placed the country in now. With inflation and gas prices raging out of control, do we really want Biden and the federal government running America’s businesses?

No, the socialist notion that the federal government should own and control America’s businesses and economy is a very bad idea.

The U.S. companies and businesses should be owned by private citizens and not controlled and regulated by our bloated and corrupt federal government. The government does not even know how to balance its own budget and pay down its own national debt, let alone run all the businesses and companies of our great nation. 

In a recent conversation with leading economist Dr. Walter Block, who holds the endowed chair of economics at Loyola University in New Orleans, Block said there are “two main arguments against socialism.”

Socialism does not work and “it impoverishes every economy it has ever afflicted,” according to Block. Secondly, he says “socialism is a rights violation. It is based on coercion and theft, in that the central planning bureau command property stolen from the people.”

This writer’s many friends from Poland would concur with Dr. Block since they endured unimaginable poverty, hardship and economic deprivations when their country was a repressive satellite regime under the Soviet Union.

Remember, totalitarian regimes such as Venezuela, North Korea and China claim to be “socialist” in their economic orientation and each of these countries has atrocious human rights records where the civil liberties of their people are nonexistent.

One can only conjecture if the Americans who have become so favorable towards socialism have ever actually lived in a socialist country and experienced the untold hardships socialism inevitably cause for those who have the misfortune to have to live under such an economic system.

If socialism is so great, why are free speech and other civil liberties nonexistent in the countries that claim to be “socialist” in orientation?

While socialism may seem like a “cool” economic system that appears to address the inequities in society, it causes more hardship than it claims to rectify. While the capitalistic free enterprise system that currently drives America’s economy is not perfect, it is most certainly better than the socialist system that has brought such misery to so many people living under the aforementioned “socialist” regimes.

While many students may disagree with this writer’s wholesale rejection of socialism, it just seems obvious the government should not own the U.S.’s most important businesses and the means of production that drives the country’s economy.

Instead of socialism and more government control, this writer argues for the maximization of individual and economic liberty since private citizens, not the government, are the best arbiters of our economic destinies.

Featured Illustration By J. Robynn Aviles

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Lee Enochs

Lee Enochs

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