Socialism - The Motive Powers of Destructionism - Ludwig von Mises

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posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:00 PM
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Among my friends on the left (and the right, frankly) I have noticed that, while acknowledging the impracticability of outright communism, they tend to espouse a certain sympathy for what I can only call "socialism light".

Paying lip-service to this politically correct notion is harmful as the ultimate outcome of socialism is the destruction of the free society.

I choose to measure outcomes instead of intentions, reality instead of imagination.



Socialism - The Motive Powers of Destructionism - Ludwig von Mises


To the socialist, the coming of Socialism means a transition from an irrational to a rational economy. Under Socialism, planned management of economic life takes the place of anarchy of production; society, which is conceived as the incarnation of reason, takes the place of the conflicting aims of unreasonable and self-interested individuals. A just distribution replaces an unjust distribution of goods. Want and misery vanish and there is wealth for all. A picture of paradise is unfolded before us, a paradise which—so the laws of historical evolution tell us—we, or at least our heirs, must at length inherit. For all history leads to that promised land, and all that has happened in the past has only prepared the way for our salvation.

This is how our contemporaries see Socialism, and they believe in its excellence. It is false to imagine that the socialist ideology dominates only those parties which call themselves socialist or—what is generally intended to mean the same thing—"social." All present-day political parties are saturated with the leading socialistic ideas. Even the stoutest opponents of Socialism fall within its shadow. They, too, are convinced that the socialist economy is more rational than the capitalist, that it guarantees a more just distribution of income, that historical evolution is driving man inexorably in that direction. When they oppose Socialism they do so with the sense that they are defending selfish private interests and that they are combating a development which from the standpoint of public welfare is desirable and is based upon the only ethically acceptable principle. And in their hearts they are convinced that their resistance is hopeless.

Yet the socialist idea is nothing but a grandiose rationalization of petty resentments. Not one of its theories can withstand scientific criticism and all its deductions are ill-founded. Its conception of the capitalist economy has long been seen to be false; its plan of a future social order proves to be inwardly contradictory, and therefore impracticable. Not only would Socialism fail to make economic life more rational, it would abolish social cooperation outright. That it would bring justice is merely an arbitrary assertion, arising, as we can show, from resentment and the false interpretation of what takes place under Capitalism. And that historical evolution leaves us no alternative but Socialism turns out to be a prophecy which differs from the chiliastic dreams of primitive Christian sectarians only in its claim to the title "science."





As a master of demagogic technique Marx was a genius; this cannot be sufficiently emphasized. He found the propitious historical moment for uniting the masses into a single political movement, and was himself on the spot to lead this movement. For him all politics was only the continuation of war by other means; his political art was always political tactics. The socialist parties which trace their origin back to Marx have kept this up, as have those who have taken the Marxist parties for their model. They have elaborated the technique of agitation, the cadging for votes and for souls, the stirring up of electoral excitement, the street demonstrations, and the terrorism. To learn the technique of these things requires years of hard study. At their party conferences and in their party literature, the Marxians give more attention to questions of organization and of tactics than to the most important basic problems of politics. In fact, if one wished to be more precise one would have to admit that nothing interests them at all except from the point of view of party tactics and that they have no interest to spare for anything else.





Romanticism is man's revolt against reason, as well as against the condition under which nature has compelled him to live. The romantic is a daydreamer; he easily manages in imagination to disregard the laws of logic and of nature. The thinking and rationally acting man tries to rid himself of the discomfort of unsatisfied wants by economic action and work; he produces in order to improve his position. The romantic is too weak—too neurasthenic—for work; he imagines the pleasures of success but he does nothing to achieve them. He does not remove the obstacles; he merely removes them in imagination. He has a grudge against reality because it is not like the dream world he has created. He hates work, economy, and reason.





One glance into the works of the utilitarians is enough to unmask these sophistical distortions. But there is hardly one in every hundred thousand readers of Dickens who has ever read a line of a utilitarian writer. Dickens, with other romantics less gifted as storytellers but following the same tendencies, has taught millions to hate Liberalism and Capitalism. And yet Dickens was not an open and direct champion of destructionism, any more than were William Morris, Shaw, Wells, Zola, Anatole France, Gerhart Hauptmann, Edmondo de Amicis, and many others. They all reject the capitalist social order and combat private ownership in the means of production, without perhaps always being conscious of it. Between the lines they suggest an inspiring picture of a better state of affairs economically and socially. They are recruiting agents for Socialism and, since Socialism must destroy society, are at the same time paving the way for destructionism. But just as political Socialism became finally, in Bolshevism, an open avowal of destructionism, so too did literary Socialism. Tolstoy is the great prophet of a destructionism that goes back to the words of the Gospels. He makes the teachings of Christ, which rested on a belief that the Kingdom of God was imminent, a gospel for all times and all men. Like the communist sects of the Middle Ages and the Reformation he tries to build society on the commands of the Sermon on the Mount. He does not of course go so far as to take literally the exhortation to follow the example of the lilies of the field, which toil not. But in his idea of society there is only room for self-sufficing agriculturists who, with modest means, till a small piece of land, and he is logical enough to demand that everything else shall be destroyed.

And now the peoples which have hailed with the greatest enthusiasm such writings, which call for the destruction of all cultural values, are themselves on the verge of a great social catastrophe.
edit on 22-2-2014 by greencmp because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


The only thing wrong with communism is capitalism.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 



Nice try, but its not the presidents fault.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 


I'll agree with that. Another point I'd like to raise: how many people here have successfully managed a country the size of the U.S. for eight consecutive years? Do you have any idea what is involved in such a monumental feat? Some of you can't even keep a marriage together, let alone avoid war with a nation whose culture is the antithesis to our own. There's a saying I like to throw around at times like this - if you've never flown a plane, don't criticize the pilot.

I have nothing further to add.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:37 PM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by intrptr
 


I'll agree with that. Another point I'd like to raise: how many people here have successfully managed a country the size of the U.S. for eight consecutive years? Do you have any idea what is involved in such a monumental feat? Some of you can't even keep a marriage together, let alone avoid war with a nation whose culture is the antithesis to our own. There's a saying I like to throw around at times like this - if you've never flown a plane, don't criticize the pilot.

I have nothing further to add.


Perhaps my inclusion of this image has caused you not to read this thread. My apologies, is it possible for you to read and respond to the content?



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 



[...]It is false to imagine that the socialist ideology dominates only those parties which call themselves socialist or—what is generally intended to mean the same thing—"social".


Very big, very important difference.
Being socially committed is decent and honorable. The term social, from the french "social" and latin "socialis" is a synonym for "helpful", "cooperative" or "charitable", which are all free and voluntary acts.
The moment you take the voluntary part away from that, it isn't really social anymore.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:44 PM
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greencmp
Among my friends on the left (and the right, frankly) I have noticed that, while acknowledging the impracticability of outright communism, they tend to espouse a certain sympathy for what I can only call "socialism light".



Every society, everywhere, practices the basic tenants of socialism. Socialism is the foundation of civilization. If not for socialist concepts, the world would be one large Somalia.

Socialism is the basic idea that the community should own things together to get the most efficient use out of them. Cops, firemen, infrastructure, military, public buildings... all socialist. It's a sliding scale.

When a GOP member votes to increase military spending? Socialist.
When a democrat votes to increase infrastructure spending? Socialist.
When a town decides to put in a library or fire station? Socialist.
When a society functions as a society? Socialist.

The disconnect here is from people not knowing what socialism even is. They think they can enjoy all of the benefits of society but then draw an imaginary line in the sand and say "THIS right here is where socialism begins!" It's ridiculous.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


I don't see how Obama can be called a socialist when he worships at the neocon feet of big business and wall street!
I would think the conservative right could see this but their ideology has gotten in the way of their common sense. Back away from Rush and Hannity and think for yourself. I know it's a lot to ask but with practice it gets easier.




www.thenewamerican.com...

www.washingtonmonthly.com...
edit on 22-2-2014 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 01:45 PM
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ColCurious
reply to post by greencmp
 



[...]It is false to imagine that the socialist ideology dominates only those parties which call themselves socialist or—what is generally intended to mean the same thing—"social".


Very big, very important difference.
Being socially committed is decent and honorable. The term social, from the french "social" and latin "socialis" is a synonym for "helpful", "cooperative" or "charitable", which are all free and voluntary acts.
The moment you take the voluntary part away from that, it isn't really social anymore.


Well said, socialism is destructive to social cooperation.




posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 02:17 PM
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ColCurious

The moment you take the voluntary part away from that, it isn't really social anymore.


That's your opinion. Every community/country is going to have their definition of what being social is. Let's say that a community is peace driven. That's what makes that community social in it's own way. In time, certain people stop being that way. They are, by definition, anti-social. Now here's the big question: Do you accommodate their way of life, which is anti-social? In essence making that community more democratic for the sake of not forcing people to be social? Or do you kick them out of the community? Bigger still, do you force them to be more peaceful in order to keep the social aspect of the community intact?

I'm for that latter two and I've been called barbaric for that stance. But in the end, I would rather have socialist driven peace than democratically driven conflicts.




posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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Taupin Desciple

ColCurious

The moment you take the voluntary part away from that, it isn't really social anymore.


That's your opinion. Every community/country is going to have their definition of what being social is. Let's say that a community is peace driven. That's what makes that community social in it's own way. In time, certain people stop being that way. They are, by definition, anti-social. Now here's the big question: Do you accommodate their way of life, which is anti-social? In essence making that community more democratic for the sake of not forcing people to be social? Or do you kick them out of the community? Bigger still, do you force them to be more peaceful in order to keep the social aspect of the community intact?

I'm for that latter two and I've been called barbaric for that stance. But in the end, I would rather have socialist driven peace than democratically driven conflicts.



Pax Marxiana, eh?

Thank you for clarifying the position of the militant socialist.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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What America really need is - socialism.
Look at Occupy Wall Street, that movement, if progress further, will turn to socialism, without they even knowing it.
Once the mass people dissatified with wealth distribution and demand equality, socialism will arise.
Look at America now and decide yourself where its heading.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:06 PM
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NullVoid

Look at America now and decide yourself where its heading.


It's not socialism! More like corporate oligarchy styled fascism.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:12 PM
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Deconstructionism is by far, by far, the last bastion of the feeble minded.

Only the truly soulless use the concept of deconstruction to live with and around others.

Deconstruction is the social outcast's last refuge.

Deconstruction is for people who cannot construct.

Deconstruction is mean, vile, transparent and above all used exclusively to enslave the very people who see it as a means to an end.

Pity the folks addicted to this as the lost their ability to connect with an aspect of their soul - if they have had a connection at all.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:16 PM
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olaru12

NullVoid

Look at America now and decide yourself where its heading.


It's not socialism! More like corporate oligarchy styled fascism.


or syndicalism
edit on 22-2-2014 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:24 PM
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Something i never really quite get about Americans as a European is this fear of socialism.

I can kind of understand how many of you were brainwashed during the cold war with this idea of "Communism (Evil) vs Capitalism (good)" mentality. But to me it just seems so strange, I live in the UK, we are no way living in some kind of "Socialist nightmare" but if a American president tried to bring about some of the policies we have in the UK he or she would probably go down like a lead balloon because he is "Socialist".

I am a Socialist, I believe the rich should pay more tax than the little guy and that tax money should be used to help all through the funding of government services such as schools, health care, social welfare and so on. Yes the system is not perfect but at least i know if i need a operation i dont need to worry about paying for it or if i lose my job the I can fall back on welfare to keep me on my feet for a little bit.

And yes I know it is a far from perfect system, nothing infuriates me more than benefits cheats or people who try to squirm out of paying there fair share.

Yet i still fail to understand this almost national fear of any kind of socialism.



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:24 PM
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dp
edit on 22-2-2014 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:40 PM
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OtherSideOfTheCoin
Something i never really quite get about Americans as a European is this fear of socialism.

I can kind of understand how many of you were brainwashed during the cold war with this idea of "Communism (Evil) vs Capitalism (good)" mentality. But to me it just seems so strange, I live in the UK, we are no way living in some kind of "Socialist nightmare" but if a American president tried to bring about some of the policies we have in the UK he or she would probably go down like a lead balloon because he is "Socialist".

I am a Socialist, I believe the rich should pay more tax than the little guy and that tax money should be used to help all through the funding of government services such as schools, health care, social welfare and so on. Yes the system is not perfect but at least i know if i need a operation i dont need to worry about paying for it or if i lose my job the I can fall back on welfare to keep me on my feet for a little bit.

And yes I know it is a far from perfect system, nothing infuriates me more than benefits cheats or people who try to squirm out of paying there fair share.

Yet i still fail to understand this almost national fear of any kind of socialism.



It is important to reiterate that it is not the goals of socialism that raise the ire of capitalists like myself. We want the same result that is desired by socialists, happiness and prosperity for all.

However, it is the results that we measure, not the goal. There is no evidence that socialism has or will result in happiness and prosperity despite the frequent claims of success from socialist policies. Capitalism has resulted in the uplifting of the impoverished wherever implemented, is it evil that while doing so some have become wealthy?



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by Taupin Desciple
 


Not opinion. Terminology.


Taupin Desciple
Let's say that a community is peace driven. That's what makes that community social in it's own way. In time, certain people stop being that way. They are, by definition, anti-social. Now here's the big question: Do you accommodate their way of life, which is anti-social? In essence making that community more democratic for the sake of not forcing people to be social? Or do you kick them out of the community? Bigger still, do you force them to be more peaceful in order to keep the social aspect of the community intact?

Depends on the laws within the respective community, and whether the behaviour of those "certain people" is against the framework of existing legislation.
edit on 22-2-2014 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2014 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 





There is no evidence that socialism has or will result in happiness and prosperity despite the frequent claims of success from socialist policies.


Well take socialized health care for example, in the UK the NHS is free, universal and comprehensive, now it is by no means perfect, it has lots of problems, but if my old dad has a stroke he will receive the care he needs free of charge, if i need a operation i will get that also free of charge and i will receive a high standard of care.

We could do the same with education, why is it fair that a child born into poverty can expect a worse education than someone born with a rich mummy and daddy. That is just wrong.

And i could say the same about capitalism, the success of capitalism seems to only be measured by the dollars in your pocket, much of which comes down to luck and external before hard work as influencing factors. that does not seem very fair either.
edit on 22-2-2014 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)





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