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Bernie Sanders Is Wrong. Socialism Sucks.
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Bernie Sanders Is Wrong. Socialism Sucks.

Well, there you have it. The title says it all. Yet the self-professed socialist Sanders has slowly but persistently climbed the polls, actually overtaking the originally presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in several polls in both New Hampshire and Iowa. His challenge remains an uphill fight, but Sanders has showed no signs of slowing down just yet.

What gives? How, in America, does a socialist accumulate such a large degree of support, especially for the office of President of the United States? The United States is supposed to be a bastion of capitalism and free markets (yeah, right), not a despondent swamp of oppressive and arbitrary economic arrangement.

Nonetheless, the political character of a large enough portion of the American electorate has evidently evolved to present Sanders as a viable candidate. But, the thing is, Sanders is just dead wrong. Socialism sucks.

I’m not going to pretend that the United States has a free market; far from it, in fact: subsidies and cronyism and wealth redistribution abound, and regulations are rife and pervasive. Virtually no human behavior in the U.S. goes without some form of bureaucratic control. To suggest that the United States enjoys the blessings of an unfettered free market defies all notions of reality as it should be known.

But socialism takes it to far greater extremes, advocating for enforced communal ownership of the means of production. It is a profoundly unethical arrangement for both economic and moral reasons.

Sen. Sanders has attracted record crowds / Image credit: Christopher Dilts—Bloomberg/Getty Images

In any socialist society, the individual needs, desires, and tendencies of humans are relatively disregarded for the benefit of the collective whole. Socialism entirely ignores human nature because it forces man into a system in which the amount and degree of his labor is not proportional to his direct compensation. It wrecks ambition and installs occupational apathy, minimizing society’s overall productivity and miring the people in common destitution. No incentive systems exist to encourage humans to be creative, innovative, or productive, their uniqueness suppressed and their vibrant colors neutralized.

Additionally, socialism regards men as means to an end rather than the end itself; it despises the uniqueness of humans and places a supreme and quasi-religious emphasis on collective objectives and identities. There can be no self-advancement because any such advancement contradicts the nature of the society: individuals must abdicate that which makes them rare and work toward that which makes them standard. They must fulfill their obligation as an obedient part in an instrument of supposed progress, and they must not deviate, for deviation disrupts the instrument, preventing its ability to operate.

In socialism, men are regarded as mere cogs in a collective machine of arbitrary human arrangement. And in any machine, the object is not regarded for its individual parts, but for how those parts coalesce to make the whole machine operate. A machine is known for the collective effort of its parts and not for the individual actions of the vital pieces that facilitate its proper operation. Therein lies the cruelty of socialism: men are not known for their individual works, character, or being, but instead the machine is known for any progressions the dutiful and anonymous cogs obediently cooperate to produce.

A clock is known for its ability to correctly tell time, but the screws and bolts and wheels are not known or recognized for the effort to produce the desired product. As it is with the clock, it is with socialism; the only difference is that in socialism, eventually the pieces will demand to be known.

It is profoundly unethical to consider men as means to a collective end, virtually stripping them of their free will and placing them in a system in which their social mobility does not exist and their actions toward self-betterment either cannot occur or are deemed as insidious machinations against the collective general welfare. This is precisely what socialism commands: utter renunciation of the self, plenary denial of the individual, and iniquitous enforcement of the collective.

Of course, the system of socialism itself is entirely depraved, but so are the means in which the system is enforced and sustained. Indeed, some administrative body must exist in order to enforce the norms and decorum and organize the distribution of resources, and this institution is generally composed of a distinct and privileged class of bureaucrats who exploit the masses for their own material benefit under the ostensible and politically noble objective of economic equality.

But here’s the thing: socialism does not ensure shared prosperity, only common misery: for unequal wealth gives way to equal poverty.

Freedom matters; so does individuality. These are principles upon which this nation was founded. But socialism nullifies them, transforming freedom into subservience and individuality into conformity.

Essentially, liberty cannot exist in socialism because the individual cannot exist in socialism. And there are few greater cruelties than to deny man his liberty.


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