Letter: Socialism has failed wherever it's been tried

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Too many people think that any government-sponsored program that contributes to our general welfare is “socialism”; i.e., public parks, roads, military, etc. These programs are not unique to socialism and can be administered by any type of government.

However, socialism has both economic and political characteristics that are unique to it:

  • Government ownership/control of the means of production (factories, farms, forests, etc.). Private ownership is forbidden because it contributes to greed and inequality.
  • Central planning of production and distribution of goods and services. It eventually leads to tyranny because of the required bureaucracy and expansion of government control to every part of society.
  • Redistribution of income is central to socialism to promote equality.
  • It ignores human nature. Incentives for individual improvement and wealth creation are major driving forces in free-market capitalism.
  • It provides too much power to individuals. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the result is tyranny.

Socialism/communism has failed wherever it’s been tried because of false assumptions about human nature, i.e., it can be changed, and people will willingly work for the “common good" vs. working to improve their lot. Leaders will act for “the common good” instead of their own interests.
Also, socialism is based on godless Marxism with no accountability in an after-life; i.e. “no one is watching” and over 100 million citizens were murdered in the 20th century alone by socialist/communist governments in their quests for a manmade utopia. The promised lies of utopia eventually turn into a manmade hell!

Gerald Boyum, Rochester

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