There are few, if any differences between the purest and most complete forms of socialism and what Karl Marx called communism. The 2020 election is a pivotal moment in America’s history. Socialism is on trial. In this special three-part series, we expose the massive pitfalls of a socialist nation.
Part One: A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing: What Is Socialism & Why It Fails
Part Two: The Lack of Morality and the Application of Force
Part Three: Like the Borg, Socialism Would End Our Lives As We Know Them
All the world’s developed countries, including the United States, have at least one industry that is heavily socialized. So, to some extent, all nations are socialized. The definition of a socialized nation is constantly shifting, but none are truly Marxist or, for that matter, truly capitalist. None have a 100% libertarian free market either. Most economies are heavily regulated and taxed, and many operate alongside government-run social programs.
Consequently, rather than thinking about ‘socialist nations’ versus capitalist ones, it makes more sense when evaluating modern European-style socialism to consider the morality of specific socialist government programs. Upon doing so, it becomes evident that the same moral issues facing a pure Marxist communist-socialism government plague all modern countries with socialist programs (i.e., those having collective property ownership). To start to understand this, one need only focus on health care and its many morally complex issues, beginning with the human body belonging to a collective.
In a country in which the entire health insurance industry is socialized and the government pays for abortion and contraception, all taxpayers are required to pay for these services/products, including those taxpayers who believe such activities to be extremely immoral. In the United States, numerous groups would fall into this category but Roman Catholics quickly come to mind. In their religion, knowingly and willingly using contraception, having an abortion or encouraging others to engage in these activities is committing a mortal sin. No person in a free nation should be forced to violate their beliefs to this extent and yet this and other problems are inevitable in a socialized medical system.
Socialized medical systems also put many doctors in difficult moral situations. If, as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has said, all people are entitled to abortions, physician-assisted suicide and other controversial medical procedures, then what rights do medical providers have to choose not to perform these activities? What if a doctor’s objections aren’t based on religion but instead on personal moral concerns? What if the collective decides that a doctor must perform the above-mentioned procedures demanded by Sanders? Could government regulations in socialized medical systems require hospitals to hire only those people willing to perform these procedures?
All these important moral questions arise only when an industry is socialized. In a truly free market, health care providers have the power to voluntarily choose to do only what they are comfortable with, not actions forced by law and the collective to engage in or pay for to which they have strong moral objections.
In addition, in socialized medicine rationing policies are common and likely unavoidable. When the collective makes health care choices, every personal health issue becomes inseparably linked to the ideas of the majority. So, if the majority decides they want obese people to lose weight, it can. If it decides it will not pay for back surgery for people over 80 year of age, it can.
A tragic example of the consequences of socialized health care took place in the United Kingdom in 2017 and 2018. It concerned a two-year-old child named Alfie Evans who suffered from a degenerative disease from which his doctors at Alder Hey hospital said he could not recover. They wanted to turn off the child’s life support system and let him die. Alfie’s parents fought a lengthy legal battle to remove their son from Alder Hey for an experimental treatment in Italy.
Alfie Evans’s case drew significant public attention in the United Kingdom and overseas, with his parents establishing “Alfie’s Army”, an online campaign group dedicated to seeking further treatment and opposing the withdrawal of life support. Supporters established a petition on change.org, calling on Alder Hey Hospital to allow Alfie Evans to be transferred to a hospital of his parents’ choice. His parents also approached Dr Michio Hirano, a US-based neurologist who had offered treatment in the case of Charlie Gard. Alfie’s parents claimed a parental right to make decisions about their son’s care, arguing that the hospital itself should not be able to make care-decisions for their son without their consent.
Besides ordering Alfie’s life support system removed, the medical staff at Alder Hey decided that the child could not be relocated either and the UK’s Supreme Court ruled in Alder Hey’s favor. The parents’ rights are not absolute, the court decided. The socialist British medical system, supported by the courts, determined it wouldn’t be in the best interests of terminally ill Alfie Evans to allow his parents to attempt to save his life.
Perhaps you should read the previous sentence again to let the immorality of socialism set in.
Yes, it is possible to morally deal with some issues in a socialist manner. These would include uncontroversial public services such as roads and water supply and treatment facilities. Not much else, however. Yet committed socialists still believe that everything functions best in the hands of a collective despite of their historical failure.
Moral concerns always take a back seat to societal problems under socialism, which assumes that all major religions are misguided and violating the will of a God is irrelevant. Instead, socialists obsess over economic equality and assign little importance to freedom even though people have always valued freedom above equality of outcomes.
When The Heartland Institute’s Justin Haskins, author of “Socialism Is Evil: The Moral Case Against Marx’s Radical Dream,” (2018), presented his belief to the Socialist Party of Great Britain that it was impossible for socialism and religion to coexist, they responded that religion would die out as they felt it unnecessary. They quoted Karl Marx’s most famous line: “Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand”. In contrast, the famous anthropologist Dr. Margaret Mead, who studied dozens of cultures throughout the world, never found one without a belief in a supernatural being, a God. People have, and will always hold, diverse opinions on religion and no amount of wishing by socialists will change that.
Despite the utopian promises of a classless society, socialism requires all people to abandon their personal morals in favor of some unknown universal standard of morality to be provided by the majority imposing their will on minorities.
Whenever problems exist in a capitalist society, they pale in comparison with the moral tragedies that must accompany true socialism.
In many ways, a society based on Marx’s socialism would resemble The Borg, a fictional alien life form that opposes the Federation in the Star Trek franchise. Cybernetically linked to a hive mind called “the Collective,” Borg individuals are not aware of themselves as separate entities. Indeed, each member is constantly linked to the Collective and, given constant guidance and supervision from the hive mind, they are the very antithesis of free individuals. Yet, according to the Star Trek database, we are told that, very much like the siren call from socialists, they “only want to ‘raise the quality of life’ of the species they ‘assimilate.’”
In dialog with Star Trek’s Captain Picard, the Borg Collective finally laid their cards on the table, something few socialists dare do: “Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply.”
No, we will not comply. Socialism must be avoided at all costs. To do otherwise would be the end of our lives as we know them.
Note: Portions of the article were excerpted from the book Socialism is Evil: The Moral Case Against Marx’s Radical Dream with permission of the author Justin Haskins. It is strongly recommended for a more detailed discussion of this important subject.