By Jim Dickson
When I see so many young people embracing socialism, I wonder if they have any idea what they might be getting themselves into. Simply stated, socialism is a system in which the state owns or controls the major means of producing goods and services, but there is still private property.
In communism, the state owns everything; there is no private property – everything comes from the state. Karl Marx (the guy who wrote the book on communism) said that socialism is probably a necessary stop on the road to communism.
So far there has never been a country that has tried either form of government where it has worked. A controlling elite rules the country, and while they do very well, the general population is always worse off, and in most cases it leads to poverty, misery and war.
Often times the Scandinavian countries are used as examples of how well socialism works, but in fact they are free enterprise capitalist countries with strong social welfare programs. All of the welfare programs are paid for by very high taxes on private industry and personal income.
Taxes of 50 to 60 percent of income are not uncommon, and this is how they pay for the “free” government services. This seems to work well for them as long as everyone works and shares the load. Unfortunately some problems are developing due to changing demographics that is putting pressure on the system.
It might be worthwhile to take a look at the history of socialism and communism. Here are some quotes from past socialist and communist leaders that are very telling.
“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and to consider the most wretched sort of life a paradise.” – Adolph Hitler. (And yes, Hitler was a socialist. Nazi is short for Nationalsozialismus or in English, National Socialism.)
“We are socialists; we are the enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system. We are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” – Hitler.
“Capitalism is using its money, we socialists throw it away.” – Fidel Castro.
“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” – Castro.
“Capitalism is destroying the world.” – Hugo Chazez.
“I am convinced that the path to a new, better and possible world is not capitalism, the path is socialism.” – Chavez. (Anyone want to move to Venezuela?)
“We don’t let them have ideas, why would we let them have guns?” – Joseph Stalin.
“It is enough that the people know that there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count them decide everything.” – Joseph Stalin.
If you don’t know who these people were and what happened to their countries, a trip to the history books would be in order. History very often repeats itself, and I promise, you don’t want any part of that history.
Look before you leap because once freedom is gone, it’s very hard to get it back, and you will want it back. We have our share of problems, and there are some things that need to be fixed, but the number of people who want to immigrate to a socialist country would not fill a small bus.
By contrast look at the millions of people who risk their lives just get a chance to live in a free enterprise capitalist America. They must know something that some of us don’t.
Born, raised and educated in the Southwest, Jim Dickson served in the U.S. Navy Reserve in Vietnam before a 35-year business career. Retired to St. Helena Island, Dickson and his wife are fiscally conservative, socially moderate and active in Republican politics, though they may not always agree with Republicans. Having lived around the country and traveled around the world, Dickson believes that the United States truly is the land of opportunity.