There’s been a lot of talk this past election cycle about socialism. Many younger voters and students support socialism because they believe it is based on altruism, whereas capitalism is based on selfishness and greed. Is this true?
Capitalism is a system that believes individuals, working from a point of self-interest in the free market system, can raise themselves to success through effort and innovation. Socialism denies this claim, and instead attempts to create income equality by taking all profits and distributing them equally among the public.
Socialism sounds like a good idea, but the results are staggering. Even if you discount Hitler and Stalin’s regimes as distorted forms of this ideology, socialism’s effects are deadly. Socialist states produce laziness and entitlement beliefs. After all, if you will get a handout whether you work for it or not, why put in the effort? In small, socialist European countries such as Denmark and Sweden, people who become moderately well off through their hard work and drive are looked down upon. Many move to the United States or other countries to avoid the hatred and unfairly high taxes of their home countries.
Socialist governments that give handouts to everyone produce citizens who expect these privileges and demand them as rights. Instead of working and innovating their way to success, these people believe the government owes them something. This is pure selfishness.
Capitalism has its own failings. There can be greater volatility in a free market, and sometimes abuses happen. Overall, however, capitalism produces a society of hard workers who take care of themselves and their communities. It is a system based on self-interest, but self-interest does not equal selfishness. Selfishness says, “I will get what I want even if it causes others to suffer.” Self-interest says, “I will find a way to increase my quality of life without cost to others.”
Socialism is a deeply flawed system with devastating effects. It fosters selfishness and entitlement, and ultimately destroys any society which embraces it.