Socialism Doesn’t Work: What Does That Mean?By
What do we mean by “socialism doesn’t work”?
To clarify things, I’d first like to look at an analogy. A car doesn’t work if it can’t be driven to go from point A to point B, which is its fundamental purpose. A car cannot be said to not work if it fails to make toasts and coffee for example, and that’s because making toasts and coffee is not the purpose, design nor the intention of a car.
Similarly, “socialism doesn’t work” means that socialism fails to deliver its fundamental purpose as claimed and advertised by those who advocate it. And that’s to fix the ills of capitalism and provide a better standard of living for the non-wealthy while creating a more equal distribution of wealth.
The claim “socialism doesn’t work” does not mean every aspect of a socialist system doesn’t work. It does not mean socialist economies necessarily blow up completely. And it does not mean every aspect of a socialist society grinds into a halt.
Looking at the analogy again we see that the claim “the car doesn’t work” also does not mean every aspect of it is non-operational. A car that does not drive forward, can be said to not work, but its radio might still be operational.
The following arguments or similar are often brought up in support of socialism:
“Socialism works because… the post office works!”
Or, “socialism works because… Scandinavia is going strong!”
Neither the post office, nor Scandinavia are doing all that great. But certainly just because they haven’t been reduced to piles of rubble (yet?), does not mean that socialism works in general to fulfill its purpose.
Some government programs are useful, however, on a wide reaching scale, no, socialism does not work to improve the lives of people living under its rule!
Furthermore, our biggest concern on this Web site is whether more/less socialism would be good or bad for the United States. Therefore, in practical terms, the statement “socialism doesn’t work” means the U.S. must reduce its quotient of socialism to improve its quality of life.