Why Do People Think “Socialism Is When The Government Does Stuff”?

There has been talking lately about Socialism and what Socialism means. Many people think that Socialism is when the government does things for them.

If a product is good and meets cust...
If a product is good and meets customer needs IELTS Essay

Socialism is not about the government doing stuff for us. The principle of Socialism is about private ownership vs. public ownership. Socialism believes that for true freedom and true equality, the only way to do this is to have the state have ownership to help the working class. Socialism believes that people should collectively work together and all share in the fruits of their labor.

Socialism Is Not About The Government Doing Free Stuff

Many people think that Socialism is where the government will give you many free stuff. Under Socialism, people no longer need to work hard or be responsible for their daily lives, but the government will do it for them.

The principle of Socialism is not about the “government doing stuff” for everyone, but instead, Socialism has to do with how production and ownership are viewed.

Investopedia defines Socialism as:

“Socialism is a populist economic and political system based on public ownership (also known as collective or common ownership) of the means of production. Those means include the machinery, tools, and factories used to produce goods that aim to directly satisfy human needs.“

Investopedia

There is a lot of misconception as to precisely what Socialism means. Socialism is not about government programs to help you pay for things but has to do with how production and ownership are economically viewed.

All governments do things for people, even the United States. We have a lot of government programs that are there to help people, but those programs are not considered pure Socialism.

Things like police, fire departments, infrastructure, public schools, and medicare are government programs, not socialist programs. For it to be a socialist program, it would have to be tied to production and the ownership of production to the state or government, but instead, government programs such as the police, fire department, infrastructure, and public schools are all for the public good.

What Is Socialism?

In simple terms, Socialism is a political and economic system where property and the means of production are owned in common, usually by a state government. Socialism is based on the theory that common or public ownership of resources and means of production will then lead to a more equal and equitable society.

Here are some basic facts about Socialism:

  • Public Ownership – At the core of Socialism is the public, not private ownership or control of property and resources.
  • Individuals Do Not Work In Isolation – One of the core socialist’s views is that individuals do not live or work in isolation, but they live to be able to cooperate.
  • Means Of Production Are A Social Product – Socialism believes that everything people produce should be publically owned or social.
  • Everyone Shares In The Fruits Of Production – As all production is social, then everyone who contributes to the production is entitled to share in it.
  • Society Owns Property To Benefit Its Citizens – Under Socialism, it is viewed that society owns all the property to benefit all its citizens.
  • Socialism Is In Opposition To Capitalism – Socialism is in opposition to capitalism. Capitalism is about private property ownership, and Socialism is about government ownership of property. The two have entirely opposing and opposite views of private vs. public ownership. Socialism is opposed to the Free Market.
  • Socialism Believes Capitalism Is Exploitative And Unfair – Socialism believes that capitalism is unfair and exploitative because the concentrations of wealth and power are in the hands of relatively few who can succeed in the free market system of intense competition. Socialism believes that wealth leads to power and unfair dominance in society.
  • In A Free Market, The Rich Limit The Choices Of The Poor – Socialism believes that as the wealthy have power and money, they have unlimited choices that the poor do not have. As a result, individual freedom and equality are great for the rich, but it does nothing for the poor, who have limited choices due to poverty.
  • Socialism Believes They Can Give Society True Freedom And True Equality – The ideal of Socialism is to be able to raise the collective power of the working class or the poor, so they then will have what the socialists see as having true freedom and true equality. Socialists believe there is true freedom and true equality, and that requires the state or government to control the resources that help provide the basis for prosperity.

Why Pure Socialism Has Failed

Pure Socialism was once considered the ideal, but today, almost all countries have moved away from Socialism.

Here are some of the reasons why pure Socialism has failed:

  • Incentives Matter – As people, we want to have the incentive to work hard; we believe we will get more and accomplish more than our neighbors who are not working very hard.
  • Socialism Is Not Sustainable – Socialism is not sustainable over the long term as it does not inspire individuals to continue to work hard for society.
  • Socialism Ignores Market Prices – As Socialism does not believe in market prices, the prices can either be too low or too high. Socialism does not care about costs or profitability.
  • Socialism Does Not Look At Efficiency – Socialism is not about efficiency; in Socialism, factories often will overhire people to give them jobs. A Socialist government wants individuals to have work to do and does not care how efficient they are.
  • People Like Private Ownership – In theory, Socialism may sound great to many people, but in reality, individuals and people want to feel like they own something that cannot be taken away. Having the state own your land and then telling you what you must plant does not make people feel good about their land or farm. 

Ben Shapiro, the American Author, said it best when he spoke about capitalism and Socialism:

“Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.”

ben Shapiro – American Author

Ben Shapiro has eloquently pointed out that Socialism is about ownership and not getting free stuff. Because Socialism is about public ownership, in the end, it is capitalism that will win out.

As America has a mixed economic system based mainly on capitalism and has some socialist principles.

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Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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Why Do People Think ”Socialism Is When The Government Does Stuff”?