Saturday, 15 July 2017

Socialism is theft


In order to understand a thing you have to strip it back to its essence. The fault of too much political thinking has been that it is too abstract. It tries to impose a theoretical system on human nature rather than accept human nature as the basic building block. This is especially the case with the political ideas of the Left and it is the reason the same pattern follows whenever they are implemented. Finding that socialism/social democracy comes up against the ordinary human nature of the workers, the Left requires that human nature changes. The theory is correct therefore it is the humans who are in error. But finding that people prefer to be in error the Left attempts to enforce change. It does this first through law, but if it meets opposition, being convinced that the goal of socialism is worth it, the Left resorts to force. Everything follows from the failure to understand and accept the essence of human nature.


Why do you go to work? People have different reasons and it sometimes depends on the job that they do. Some people claim to love their job so much that they would do it even if they were not paid. But there are few indeed of us who would like to live without any sort of income. If I won the lottery, I might decide to quit my job. But I would only do so because I would think that I could maintain my lifestyle without that job. For the vast majority of people, the reason why we get up every morning is so that we have an income and so that we can spend that money on things that we want and need.

Who do you spend your money on? The answer to this is simple. I spend my money on myself and on my family. What proportion of your money do you choose to spend on anything or anyone else? Well, if you think of this proportion in terms of household expenditure, you will find that most people spend a very small proportion on anyone other than their family. Out of each person’s disposable income what proportion is donated outside the family? Some people are indeed very generous, their generosity sometimes increases with their affluence, but even so it is still the case that for the vast majority of people an overwhelming proportion of our disposable income is spent on ourselves and our family.

Why do we encourage children to get a good education and why do people who work seek first a good job and then a better job? Why do people seek promotion in their work rather than just remain at the level at which they begin? Again there can be a variety of motives. We might hope that our children have a more interesting job because of their education. We might think that education makes life more worthwhile and interesting. We might want to do more good by being promoted. All of these things may be true, but if we are honest, most of us will reflect that we want a good education in order to get a job that pays well, we want promotion because we want our pay to increase and we want all of these things because we want to provide our families with a better lifestyle.

I know someone who was working as a cleaner. She was earning the minimum wage. She decided she could do better by working for herself. To begin with she was actually doing rather worse than when she was paid by an employer. Now that she had her own small business, she found that for every hour she wasn’t working she was paid nothing. But when she was working she could charge more and the amount that she was paid went to her business rather than the business of her employer. There was an element of risk in setting up her own business. There was the cost of equipment and the risk that she would not be able to find customers. She had to manage the accounts by herself and deal with some complex government rules and regulations. But gradually her business grew and she ended up earning more than previously. Why did she do this? Why not just earn the minimum wage? The answer is obvious. She wanted to earn more in order to provide a better lifestyle for her family.

At root the basic motives of nearly all of us are capitalist. We work for the sake of ourselves and our families. We hope to earn more by obtaining better qualifications and gaining promotions or by setting up our own businesses.

Out of your earnings what proportion do you keep and what proportion is taken away? This will depend on what you earn. But add together all of the tax that you are charged, income tax, property tax, national insurance, VAT etc. and you will find that it amounts to a significant proportion of your income. I don’t know the exact figure, but my guess is that it amounts to greater than 40% of everything most of us earn.

Which of us goes to work every day in order to pay this 40%? We may be happy to pay tax. We may think it reasonable to do so. We may support political parties that favour higher rather than lower taxation. But do we work so as to pay this tax? Is the reason you get up every day so as to contribute to the general wellbeing of society? Do you work in order that the Government can fund unemployment benefit and so that it can build schools and hospitals? We all think that these things are a good idea, but is that your motivation? If it were, we would have no need for tax.

If everyone were motivated primarily by the desire to provide society with what it needed, then we could at the end of each month decide to simply donate 40% of our earnings to what society needed. There is absolutely nothing preventing us all from doing just this. Why have taxation at all? Everyone knows that we need the Government to spend public money. Why not simply donate it?

Rich socialists like J. K. Rowling could bring about their goal quite easily simply by retaining whatever proportion of their wealth they needed and giving the rest away to the Government. This unilateral form of wealth disarmament would make society just that little bit more equal. Why doesn’t everyone on the Left simply give all they have to the poor? Think of the example that it would set. It would be just like unilateral nuclear disarmament. Soon everyone else would follow this example.

But no. The reason Rowling doesn’t give away all she earns to the poor, is that she fears no-one else would. The reason we have taxation is because we reflect that if we made giving money to the Government optional few indeed would be the people who would give it.

You don’t work in order to pay tax. At least the vast majority of people don’t. The reason for this is that if you had the chance, you wouldn’t pay tax. This is the case even when you recognise that it is a good thing for governments to spend money on public services. You still would rather spend that proportion of your money as you choose.

It is not property that is theft, rather it is taxation. If I go to your house and take away 40% of the things in it, I will quite rightly be called a thief. But if I vote for a political party that wants to take away 50 or 60 % of what you earn and eventually make everything a matter of public ownership I will not be called a thief, rather I will be called a socialist.

No-one is preventing people on the Left from giving away their income. No-one is preventing them from sharing what they earn with others. Each socialist could do each of these things immediately. What they want is for everyone else including themselves to “give away” what they earn and to share what they have. The Left recognises that human nature is capitalist and for this reason always wishes to achieve its goal by means of compulsion.

Given that human nature is capitalist, that is, we work in order to better our own lives and those of our families, why is it that so many of us vote for political parties that are not capitalist? This question is of especial importance at the moment for more than 40% of the population has just voted for a party whose leader in effect is a revolutionary socialist. Make no mistake Mr Corbyn may seem like a cuddly, beardy grandfather, but his goal is exactly the same as all the other socialists who tried to implement their theory in the past century. The means by which Mr Corbyn wishes to achieve socialism may or may not differ, but the aim is the same. In the end the means won’t differ much either. Socialism always comes up against the capitalist nature of humanity and compels humanity to change. Nice Mr Corbyn too would force you to be equal, for the simple reason that the goal of equality can only be achieved by compulsion. It is for this reason that socialism is essentially a totalitarian philosophy.

Why would people who work in order to earn money for themselves and their family vote for a political philosophy that is the antithesis of their own motivations? Some of them do so out of self-interest. If you earn very low wages and are either unable or unwilling to seek a better job, then it may at least in the short term be rational to vote for socialism. The same calculation may apply if you can’t or you won’t work. People who don’t work or who earn very little pay only a little tax. If I pay only 20% of my small income in tax, it might look like a bargain if I make someone else pay 60%. That person's paying more might mean that my unemployment benefit rises or my minimum wage increases. Likewise if I have debts due to tuition fees, I might be very glad if someone else had to pay the debt rather than me.  Voting for something that makes me better off would not usually be described as altruistic, but because I am a socialist I can feel virtuous even though I am in fact taking rather than giving.

People who vote for socialism because it will make them materially better off are of course not acting morally. They are acting selfishly. The only people who are not acting selfishly when they vote for socialism are those like J. K. Rowling who are rich and who are willing to pay more tax knowing that it will make them worse off. But if I have a fortune of hundreds of millions, even losing 50% of it will still leave me hundreds of millions. This is a rather easy form of selflessness. Best of all it gives that warm glow of virtue that will outweigh any material loss. The desire to feel virtuous and appear virtuous to others is, of course, another form of selfishness. 
  
But the rich socialist’s “selfless” choice of voting for higher taxation is at the expense of all those who really don’t want to pay more to the Government. It is “forcing them to be free”. It is this that makes socialism immoral. Morality depends on my having the free choice to give away what I earn and to share with others. Socialism makes this a matter of compulsion. “Give all you have to the poor” says Jesus “and follow me”. But I’m sorry Jesus I can’t give anything to the poor, because they Government took it.

It may be virtuous to share with those who are poorer, but Labour voters would take away the choice. They want to compel both themselves and others to give away a proportion of their earnings. But this is to destroy virtue, because morality requires that I have a choice. Socialism changes morality into law and seeks to achieve its aims by taking away my choice. In this way it destroys morality and is the antithesis of it.

The poor may calculate that socialism is in their material interest and that by taking from the rich they increase their own wealth. However because socialism contradicts human motivation, the poor rapidly find out that their short-term self-interest is contrary to their long term self-interest. Our ability to pay high levels of unemployment benefit, our ability to maintain good public services depends on the motivation of ordinary workers working for themselves. Socialism damages and in the end destroys this motivation. When I work less for myself and more for the Government, I end up working less hard than I otherwise would. In time this leads to a lessening in productivity and the economy stagnates. This means we have less to spend on schools, hospitals and the unemployed.

By attempting to reform human nature and by undermining the motivations that we all have in our daily lives, socialism undermines the foundation of economic activity. It is only because I work for myself and my family that I reach the levels of productivity that I do. Without the impulse to improve my own material situation I will simply slack. For this reason, above all, socialism damages economic growth. Why work hard, why study, why strive if the result of my effort is the same as if I did none of these things? When I wish to do better for myself and my family I seek inequality. That’s what success is. Equality means I can do no better than anyone else, no matter how hard I try. So why try? Why set up a small business? Why invent something? Why get up early rather than stay in bed? By taking away the motivation for success, socialism ends up with economic failure.  Growth declines and the amount of money the Government has to spend falls. This means that quite quickly we find that socialism makes the poor poorer.

For this reason socialism is not merely amoral because it compels and therefore prevents me from being able to choose that which is moral, it is also immoral because whatever its intention it makes people less free and lowers the average standard of living. The rich become much poorer, but so do the poor. Worse still the poor no longer have the opportunity to become rich. Socialism may well achieve equality, but the price that is paid for this is equal levels of poverty.

Only when we recognise that our nature as people is to be capitalists, only when we accept that the building blocks of society are individuals and families, only then will we make progress politically. There is no use fighting against what we are. Anyway the only way to radically change human nature is through force and compulsory re-education. It is this that you are voting for when you support Labour. 

We need to pay taxes, but it is necessary to recognise that the level should be as low as possible because people are not motivated to pay taxes, rather we are motivated by our desire to improve our own standard of living and that of our families. Lower taxes mean that each of us works harder, this in turn means the economy grows as much as possible and in the end means that the overall amount that the Government receives increases rather than decreases. In this way the economy by being in tune with human nature rather than opposing it reaches its peak level of efficiency. This benefits not merely the wealthy, but the poorest also.

Socialism is a theory that has been tested to destruction. It contradicts human nature and therefore can never work. Wherever it is tried it makes people poorer and less free. It is not accidental that socialism leads to totalitarian Government it is fundamental. People are naturally unequal and can be made equal only by force. Socialism is voting to give the keys to your house to Government so that it can control how you think and steal what you have. It is for this reason that socialism is theft. 

30 comments:

  1. Your treatise should be compulsory reading for all schoolchildren of requisite age and understanding. At least, those fortunate enough to have attained literacy by dint of their own efforts.deapite what passes for education post Crosland.
    You hit the nail exactly on its head in language all should comprehend.
    Bravo and please continue your crusade.

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  2. Socialism has also failed in every nation in which it was tried. Cuba, North Korea and the USSR are the obvious failures. But even the softer forms of it have failed. The socialist post war consensus in Britain ended in hyperinflation, recession, industrial strife and bankruptcy. Probably the most relatively successful form of it exists in Scandinavia - but they too have suffered high prices, high taxes, and are now moving towards a more capitalist model.

    It's over. It's failed. Capitalism won. We now must find the optimum model of capitalism from a social justice point of view. That's what Blairism was supposed to be all about and I was an enthusiastic supporter of him, as were many - until he pretty much destroyed his movement with the Iraq war fiasco.

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  3. Socializing those banking losses seemed to work out OK....

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    1. They were returned to private hands as swiftly as possible, but I take your point. Banks need to be small enough to be allowed to fail, with customers properly insured for any losses that might occur.

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    2. Depositors whould have been bailed out to insured limits by taxpayer. Stock owners took a hit.

      Yet not a single GBP was lost for Bondholders.....Not a haircut, nothing. They still get full coupon paid and no capital loss.

      That's better than Rangers.....

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    3. Perhaps there were potential serious consequences for not paying them.

      I don't think 2008/09 can be viewed as an endorsement of socialism. Governments intervened one time to prevent a catastrophic collapse. The banks that were nationalised were ran at arm's length from the government and will all repay their debts to the state, if they haven't done so already. The problem with Corbyn's socialism is that it routinely chucks our money around without expecting any kind of return and puts the government in charge of things it lacks the expertise and motivation to run efficiently and effectively.

      Aldo

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    4. What about the losses incured by the sate for what are essentially private business. They will never repay what was paid. Even Barclay's who said they did not need state bailout are now accused of fraud as the Quatari's who lent them 5BN were themselves loaned 3BN by Barclays.....to do the deal.

      Its absolutely socialism when bonholders avoid losses as taxpayers bailed out the banks. Its a huge socila transfer of money from taxpayers to business. Yet as its complex its airbrushed from history.

      Socialising losses for capital investment is not capitalism...Seems there is no risk for bond holders as taxpayer will always be made to step in. Why then do they get coupon payment if there is in fact no risk

      They have been intervening every day since then....every single day

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    5. Investors should be prepared to lose their money in normal times. But 2008/09 was pretty far from normal. If everyone loses all their money at the same time that has a knock on effect on the rest of the economy.

      The solution is to reorganize the banking system so there can never be a repeat. That the state had to intervene is a bad thing. We should not use it to justify further state intervention.

      Aldo

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    6. Lol, a gimmie in investing...yet somehow stockholders were not saved.....

      State continues to intervene today with false interest rates and continued QE that is being cycled into banks reserves.

      This is the worlds biggest robbery and taxpayers are te bag holders.

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    7. Stock holders would have been in an even worse position had the banks been allowed to collapse altogether.

      The interest rates in this country are set by the Bank of England, as is QE. It is independent of government.

      The taxpayers should maybe have thought twice before electing - and re-electing - governments that indulged in reckless deregulation of the banking system. The bankers were heroes when they were filling the coffers to bursting point but became villains when the same practices that produced the boom eventually led to recession and bankruptcy.

      Aldo

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    8. The banks were bankrupt, stockholders should have got 0 and Bondholders should have been scalped....

      Thats what should have happened, what happened instead was taxpayers were on the tab for stockholders(who at least lost something) and bondholders who lost 0....

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    9. Stockholders include pension companies and other vital firms. There are consequences to allowing mass losses / defaults - the contagion spreads to the rest of the economy. The government did the right thing.

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    10. So socialism is OK for banks....just not for people

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    11. Socialism isn't okay at all. But we were faced with a meltdown of the system - a 1930s style depression. 50% unemployment etc. We had no choice. We should reform the system so it never happens again.

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  4. Effie, I'm afraid that you are confusing Capitalism - the economic system which stores and directs capital in order to create more capital - with work ethic, family bonds, and the drive of human nature to achieve security for ourselves and those we love.

    Whether a supporter of Capitalism, Socialism or something else, you're right that human nature and one's optimism/pessimism about it is key.

    However, for those who are striving in life to accumulate capital - and I mean serious, investable capital which goes beyond that needed for the provison of the essentials of life (the type which Capitalism as a theory is really talking about) - are you saying that they do so in a vacuum? Do they benefit (in the UK at least) from healthcare? Yes, they almost certainly were born and given a healthy start to life via the auspices of the National Health Service. Did they benefit from free education? Yes, they almost certainly have benefited from an education system which is free at the point of access and has given them the tools needed to develop their entrepreneurialism. When they establish their business or method of accumulating capital, do they benefit from the public infrastructure that serves us all - roads, bridges, street lighting, the rule of law enforced by the police and the courts, a sewerage system which means that public health concerns are managed and the Capitalist in our story actually has a workforce, public transport, broadband infrastructure, I could go on - are we saying that these publicly-funded services are irrelevant?

    No, I'm afraid that even the most Capitalist societies - America, for example - are ultimately to a large degree socialistic (even if not Socialist in their conception if themselves). That is what the discourse of the strident Right, of Atlas Shrugged, of individualism and of Neo-Liberalism in the marketplace always fails to realise, let alone ackowledge. And that is why proportional taxation on a sliding scale according to wealth is not theft, or an imposition by the poor on the rich, but an essential ingredient in the social mix which enables us all to prosper.

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    1. Thank you David. I was hoping someone would respond appropriately to this.

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    2. What a load of unadulterated rubbish David. You fall back to the usual leftie rubbish. Wealthy people may use roads but they pay plenty of tax for those roads. they probably also have private education and health. Surely they should get a tax cut for that? That is not really the argument tho. The argument is about the lefts irrational desure to impose equality on vastly different individuals through theft. I already pay tax for schools , roads, nhs etc. If i now go and start a business and double my income while possible creating jobs for others, why should those less willing or able benefit from my efforts? For that you have no answer.

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    3. Thank you David, your response is closer to how things are. Capitalists don't live in a bubble earning wealth with no help from anyone else. Also anyone suggesting we would end up like Russia is ridiculous. What is wrong with sharing wealth with the people who help create it. That would be fair but probably won't ever happen as human nature can be greedy.

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    4. Ok, so I'm picking up that you think my view on this is rubbish. Fair enough.

      You're right when you say that individuals are vastly different. However, what we have in common is that we all benefit from the public Goods which I've outlined above. Now, the question is, how do we pay for those Goods? The answer has to be that we pay for them according to our ability to do so, both individually through income tax etc, and corporately through corporation tax and so on.

      There is a slight nuance to the debate here around the difference when it comes to taxation between individuals and corporations. But one thing is certain: It's a completely false economy for wealthy individuals and corporations to agitate for a socio-economic system in which they try to metaphorically or literally barricade themselves off from the rest of society. If all of society doesn't have a share in it, can't see the opportunity to progress and develop themselves and their loved ones, all we end up with is social strife, and this is something that the wealthy cannot escape being affected by, whether by an unhealthy, uneducated workforce, by rising crime, or simply by a failing economy in which demand is declining.

      The irony of the arguments of the Right is that - aside from the clear truth that social solidarity is simply the right thing to do - is that those who would accumulate vast hordes of unproductive Capital cannot achieve or sustain this outside of a stable, secure, healthy, well-educated, reasonably prosperous society. To do otherwise is self-defeating. Ultimately, you have to ask, what is the end-game of the Right outside of everyone doing well in society? And pleaee don't mention trickle-down wealth: I've yet to see a millionaire receiving a tax cut opening a fish-filleting factory in Grimsby.

      P.S. Perhaps if private education and private healthcare did not exist and taxation was truly progressive then the public edication systems and NHS would go a long way to having the resources they truly need and society would not be splintering along the lines of wealth like it currently is.


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    5. The public services we make use of are only possible because of capitalism. The private sector makes up most of our economy, is dynamic and prosperous, and it pays for those services. What happens with socialism is that someone like Corbyn comes along and regulates, taxes and nationalises that private sector economy to death whilst reducing competition and incentives for people to study, work hard and remain in the country. The end result is inferior services, inferior products, greater poverty. We've seen it before, many many times, in this country and others. In the Soviet Union, people queued for bread. In capitalist America, people ate their fill and had modern homes and transportation. In Britain, in 1979, there was a grave crisis in our economy and public finances. Ten years later, after Thatcher, we were back on top with a booming economy. These lessons have been lost. The young in particular now look to socialism as being a cure all. If only they'd read history, we could perhaps avoid a generation or two of misery.

      Aldo

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  5. The communist leanings of Corbyn would never be voted on by sensible people. It has never worked. The Student population who have not yet worked for their place in society are happy to give their hardworking parent's earnings away but in a few years will vote differently.

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  6. The Labour Party may struggle to implement hard left policy even if it wins an election. In the event of a hung parliament it is doubtful that the SNP, Plaid and the Lib Dems would support a hard left programme for government. In the event of a small overall majority, the Blairites will scupper Corbyn. To implement his programme, Corbyn needs a big majority. That's possible but unlikely if the Tories continue to poll at 40% and above.

    Aldo

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  7. "Socialism makes the poor poorer" you say.
    Whereas 7 years of capitalist government in UK has done exactly that, and doubled national debt at the same time.
    So, while you can theorise till the cows come home in your academic bubble, in practice the wealth creators do so in order to keep the rest firmly in their place.

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    1. The welfare bill has increased in that time, the minimum wage is set to go up to nearly a tenner and taxation of the poorest has reduced. The national debt has increased massively, but due to Labour's eye wateringly huge deficit. If you want less debt, the government has to spend less.

      Aldo

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    2. Tories more than doubled the national debt and it almost all went to banks in form of cash or cash for 'frozen' investments. This Torie government has had big banks on Welfare since it was elected and it continues to do so.

      They are charging the banks 0.25% interest on loans that the public underwrites while you and I pay 4-5% on secured debt.....

      If you want to see real welfare look no further than QE program and the current cosy interest rate situation that is not helping normal people.

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    3. The Tories doubled the national debt because Labour bequeathed them a huge deficit. Are you arguing they should have cut faster and deeper? The money didn't go to banks - it went to sustain welfare, public services, policing, defence, the civil service. Most banks have either repaid their debts or will do soon.

      Cheap interest rates do benefit normal people - anyone who wants to take out a loan benefits.

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    4. The 'cheap loans' don;t filter down, are you paying 0.25% on your mortgage ?

      I can say thought that no one is getting more than 0.5% on their savings.... Never mind the pensioners on fixed income or that our pension pots are being slowly destroyed...not at all. Ignore these inconvenient facts.

      Just imagine that someone might be getting acheap loan....I'll ask again what is your interest rate ...bet its not 0.25%....


      Most banks have repaid their debt ? Really, does that included the swapped securities they got secured loans on at their own valuation ?

      You might want to check that....

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    5. Lloyds and RBS have both finished repaying their debts to the government, in full.

      0.25% is the base rate. It is the rate at which banks can borrow money from the Bank of England (I think). Rates for ordinary customers are different.

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  8. hard to take you seriously, even your fellow unionists enjoy poking fun at you, agent p was most unkind, lol, https://twitter.com/m47k1/status/889223158531846145

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  9. https://twitter.com/m47k1/status/889223158531846145

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