“A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death,” wrote Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. “A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society.”
Socialism isn’t happy thoughts, wishful thinking, mere good intentions or children sharing their Halloween candy with one another. In a modern political, economic and social context, socialism isn’t voluntary. You can’t opt out. Its central characteristic is the concentration of power for these purposes: central planning of the economy, government ownership of property and the redistribution of wealth.
It all comes down to persuasion versus force.
If it’s not the use of force to shape society the way you want it, then socialism is nothing more than a nebulous fantasy. It’s a giant blackboard in the sky on which you can write anything your heart desires, and then just erase it when embarrassing circumstances arise.
So “why not socialism?”
Socialism preaches envy and theft and delivers strife and conflict. It pits class against class. It cynically buys off one faction at the expense of another. It thrives on victimology and shuns personal responsibility. Its advocates are intellectual dope pushers — foisting addictive, soul-sapping dependency and paternalism on others. They concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the people whose character and naivete make them the most susceptible to corruption.
It’s the bottom line that most effectively answers the question, “Why not socialism?” It’s force, pure and simple. If it were voluntary, it wouldn’t be socialism. It would be capitalism.