Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Oxymoron Demo-Socialists: No Democracy In Socialism

New oxy-moron name, but pushing same poison.
Anyone with intellectual curiosity will definitely notice that all Socialist and Communist countries have DEMOCRATIC in their official names. East Germany ruled by STASI Secret Police used to call itself German Democratic Republic (GDR). Evil North Korea still calls itself Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK). All of them are fucking Oxy-Moron nations.

And the American Socialists and Communists are now calling themselves the Democratic Socialist, an obviously Oxy-Moron term, since there was, there is, and there will be no democracy in fucking Socialism the most unseemingly evil ideology we humans have ever invented.

The Socialists will lie through their teeth to get elected or to gain political power and once they achieve absolute power they will bring in the dreaded secret police like STASI and KGB and the rest is the history with no democracy but prison camps and tortures and murders.

But so many people especially the younger ones still believe in Socialism paddled by older power-hungry ones and their so-called political activists, like Bernie-Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez. The old saying that “One is heartless if one is not a Socialist at 20 but one is brainless if one is still a Socialist at 40” seems to be right.

(Following article by NYU Professor Sanford Ikeda on the “Democratic Socialism” explains it all theoretically.)

“Democratic Socialism” Is a Contradiction in Terms

What happens when you try to combine democracy with socialism? Why are so many young Americans suddenly calling themselves democratic socialists? I think many of them simply want to distinguish themselves from socialists who might have supported dictatorial regimes such as the former USSR and Maoist China or who, today, might support North Korea. They want to signal that, for them, political liberty is just as important as, say, economic justice.

But are the concepts of democracy and socialism even compatible? No. While socialism’s goals may be lofty, its means are inherently at odds with democracy. In the end, “democratic socialism” makes no more sense than “voluntary slavery.”


Democracy means different things to different people. To some, democracy is an end in itself, a goal that may be worth sacrificing lives for. To others, democracy is at best a means for making a small government somewhat responsive to its citizens or a means to transfer political power peacefully. Thus, as F.A. Hayek wrote in The Road to Serfdom, “Democracy is essentially … a utilitarian device for safeguarding internal peace and individual freedom.”

Democracy poses an insurmountable problem for socialism. But I think most of us can agree that the ordinary meaning of democracy is at least tied to the concepts of political self-determination and freedom of expression. In this way, people tend to think of democracy as a shield against others more powerful than themselves.


As with democracy, you can interpret “socialism” as either an end or a means. Some people, for example, regard socialism as the next stage of Marx’s “laws of motion of history” in which, under the authority of a proletarian dictatorship, each contributes and receives according to her ability. A more moderate version of socialism might envision a politico-economic system that places particular goals, such as “social justice,” over any individual’s profit-seeking plans.

Or, you can think of socialism as a form of collectivism that uses a particular set of means — political control over the means of labor, capital, and land — to implement a large-scale economic plan that directs people to do things they might not have chosen. In its use of collectivist means, this kind of socialism has much in common with fascism, even if the two differ strongly in the ends they seek to achieve.

Democratic Socialism

Power-hungry Demo-Socialists: Sanders-Cortez.
What happens when you try to combine democracy with socialism?

Let’s say a socialist government has to choose between only two ends: greater income equality or greater racial justice. Even in this simple, two-alternative case, it has to define clearly what equality and justice mean in terms that everyone can agree on. What counts as income? What constitutes racial justice? What constitutes more-equal income or justice? At what point has equality been achieved or justice served: perfect equality or perfect justice? If less than perfection, how much less?

Coercion and self-direction are mutually exclusive.

These are a few of the tough questions government authorities would have to answer. And, of course, these authorities would be dealing not with a limited number of goals but with a multitude of ends and “priorities” that they would have to define, rank, implement, monitor, and so on. And when conditions change in unpredictable ways, as they always do, the authorities would have to adjust the plan continuously.

Under such circumstances, the fewer the people who have input into the final plan, the better. That’s why, if the idea of democracy embodies the liberal ideals of self-direction, of enabling ordinary people to meaningfully choose the policies that will rule them, and of self-expression, then democracy poses an insurmountable problem for socialism.

When government is small and limited to undertaking only those policies that almost everyone agrees on — for example, taxing to finance an effective territorial defense — then democracy might work relatively well, because the number of areas on which a majority of voters and decision-makers need to agree is small.

But when the scope of governmental authority expands into more and more areas of our daily lives — such as decisions about health care, nutrition, education, work, and housing — as it would under socialism, agreement among a majority of all eligible citizens on every issue becomes impracticable. The inevitable bickering and dissension among people in countless interest groups on the myriad pieces of legislation bogs down the political process.

How much individual self-expression, how much self-determination can a central authority tolerate, democratic or not, when it seeks to impose an overarching economic plan? Planning on this scale requires the suppression of the petty plans and personal aspirations of mere individuals and the submission of personal values to those of the collective.

Tocqueville said it well: Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

The system may grind along this way for a while, but the temptation to abandon true democracy — by transferring decision-making authority to smaller groups of experts in each field, for example — becomes harder and harder to resist. In such circumstances, making swift, effective decisions becomes more desirable and less possible. The lofty goals of theoretical socialism — the international brotherhood of workers and global economic justice — tend to be swept aside by local concerns of hunger and security, opening the door to (nonproletarian) dictatorship.

As F.A. Hayek eloquently put it, That socialism so long as it remains theoretical is internationalist, while as soon as it is put into practice … it becomes violently nationalist, is one of the reasons why "liberal socialism" as most people in the Western world imagine it is purely theoretical, while the practice of socialism is everywhere totalitarian.

The Trade-Off

Someone might reply that while such problems might apply to full-fledged socialism, the kind of democratic socialism that today’s intelligentsia advocate is far less extreme. If so, the question becomes this: In a mixed capitalist economy — regulatory-state, welfare-state, or crony capitalism — to what extent do these consequences emerge? How robust is the trade-off I’m describing?

Clearly, it’s a matter of degree. The greater the degree of central planning, the less the authority can put up with deviation and individual dissent. I also realize that there is more than one dimension along which you can trade off self-direction for direction by others, and some of these dimensions do not involve physical coercion. For example, groups can use social or religious pressure to thwart a person’s plans or shrink her autonomy, without resorting to physical aggression.

More socialism means less real democracy.

But there is no denying that along the dimension of physical coercion, which is the dimension along which governments have traditionally operated, the more coercive control there is by an outside agency, the less self-direction there can be. Coercion and self-direction are mutually exclusive.

And as government planning supplants personal planning, the sphere of personal autonomy weakens and shrinks and the sphere of governmental authority strengthens and grows. More socialism means less real democracy.

Democratic socialism, then, is not a doctrine designed to protect the liberal values of independence, autonomy, and self-direction that many on the left still value to some degree. It is, on the contrary, a doctrine that forces those of us who cherish those liberal values onto a slippery slope toward tyranny.

(Sanford Ikeda is a Professor and the Coordinator of the Economics Program at Purchase College of the State University of New York and a Visiting Scholar and Research Associate at New York University. He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.)

In the crazy, topsy-turvy year of 2018, socialism is somehow on the rise in America. To those of us unfortunate enough to have been born in the Soviet Union, this is troubling. The new socialists say it’s different this time. They have a new name and everything: “Democratic Socialism.”

Don’t buy it: It’s still based on the same old, failed redistributionist tenets as the old kind — the kind that gave rise to devastating failure in my family homeland.

The second-most famous Democratic Socialist in America right now, after kingmaker Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, is New York City congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The newcomer does her best to explain the snake oil: It’s “the basic belief” that “in a moral and wealthy America . . . no person should be too poor to live in this country.”

Note the word “wealthy.” How exactly does she think the US got that way? It certainly wasn’t because of socialistic transfers from wealth producers to wealth consumers. In fact, whatever funds are shifted are available only because some Americans are motivated to produce wealth in the first place.

Alas, all that escapes those pushing an economic system that has yet to work anywhere.

Sure, Democratic Socialists take pains to disassociate themselves from the Soviet failure. The Young Democratic Socialists of America website devotes a whole section to why the Soviet Union’s collapse doesn’t discredit their economic model. Yet their ideas just aren’t much different from those that formed the basis for that failed state: “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.”

The YDSA website even admits that some industries will have to come under government control: “While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.”

I happen to know a little something about the transfer of private industry to government control. My grandmother’s father had his bakery seized in the Soviet city of Gomel. He was sent to a gulag, where he then died.

Oh, that’s crazy, Democratic Socialists would respond. No one is planning to seize bakeries. And no one will be sent to prison for owning a business.

No? What if those who own companies in industries that “necessitate some form of state ownership” don’t want to give them up willingly? What happens when the state runs out of money from the industries seized and needs more?

It’s baffling how we can still be considering centralized control of industries when that has never worked anywhere. And how socialism lovers so easily dismiss the underlying foundation in countries that have veered toward some form of that system: capitalism. Countries such as Norway, for example, are helped by a large abundance of natural resources and an essentially capitalist system supporting the welfare state.

On the other hand, nations where socialism continues to wreak havoc and spur poverty, disease and crime, like Venezuela, don’t have much support from capitalism. Fact is, “socialism” only works when it’s paid for by capitalism.

In a 1995 piece on why socialism fails, Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, quoted a Marxist explaining why socialism keeps failing. “The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.”

The Democratic Socialists continue this tradition by denying that the “bureaucratic elites” in the Soviet Union were socialists. Yet the idea that the USSR did not attempt its own form of socialism is a canard — much like the notion that the United States is purely capitalist: Remember, here we have subsidies, tax credits, transfers, welfare and bailouts for companies we consider too big to fail. Somehow, our imperfect capitalism defeats all versions of socialism every time.

In the fall of 1959, Nikita Khrushchev gave a series of speeches here. In one, he said, “We are catching up with you in economic progress, and the time is not far distant when we will move into the lead.” In Russia, that prompted folks to joke: “When we finally catch up to America, can I get off?”

That Democrats and millennials seem to have no idea about the horrors inflicted on the masses in countries like the Soviet Union and want to go in that direction is scary indeed. Let’s just hope the majority of Americans reject that idea. There won’t be anywhere to get off to if we don’t.

Poison pushing Demo-Socialists Latinos.