Socialism and capitalism are related -- Bill Sumner

February 4, 2019 GMT

Socialism is receiving a significant amount of publicity recently, more so than the amount it routinely gets due to its ongoing applications in our day-to-day life.

Socialism has a symbiotic relationship with capitalism, the latter being both the best and worst form of social organization. For every benefit of capitalism, there is a drawback, for example: material comfort made possible by environmental degradation. For every benefit of socialism, there is a drawback, for example: a social safety net made possible by overriding individual rights or wealth.

How can you appropriate someone’s assets to distribute and share if that person is not allowed to accumulate any surplus because of socialist policies? Who determines what is surplus. At what point does the goose lose its desire to lay golden eggs? Ultimately, because of human nature and self-interest, which resist the imposition of government dictates in many, socialism in its most extreme forms has to be imposed on citizens by a central authoritarian government.

Here is a brief synopsis describing one way to view socialism: Capitalism creates affluence. Affluence nurtures introspection. Introspection suggests alternatives. Alternatives highlight socialism. Socialism smothers capitalism.

Perhaps a reasonable approach to governing is to continue to gradually integrate the two systems in a way that is fair to the individual and to society, respecting and addressing, not abusing, both’s needs.

Bill Sumner, Madison