Friday, July 31, 2009

Socialism is Democracy

In reading the AAPS News, I came across these quotes:

"Socialism is democracy." ---Hugo Chavez

"Democracy is like the grave it perpetually cries `give, give,' and, like the grave, it never returns what it has once taken. Do not surrender to democracy that which is not yet ripe for the grave."
Bulwer Lytton, quoted in TCSDaily 10/3/07

In trying to verify the quote attributed to Chavez, I found this article:

Chavez: Venezuela Backs Socialism Shift

Chavez spoke after the elections council formally declared him the winner, defeating Manuel Rosales with nearly 63 percent of the vote. Electoral officials said turnout was about 75 percent. "Those who voted for me didn't vote for me. They voted for the socialist plan, to build a profoundly different Venezuela," Chavez said, praising the Rosales camp for accepting his victory. "I want to salute the responsible opposition ... It was time they assumed the attitude of true democrats." Chavez won some 7.2 million votes out of more than 11 million cast, the results showed. "These more than 7 million votes are votes for socialism," Chavez told reporters. "Socialism is democracy. ... With capitalism, a true democracy is impossible." 12/7/06

"With capitalism, true democracy is impossible." This is true. I would also say that with a true democracy, capitalism is impossible. Protection of individual rights is impossible. Freedom is impossible. Wealth and prosperity will be severely diminished and available only to the politically connected.

Democracy, or rule by the people, or unlimited majority rule, is the same as mob rule. What sets the stage for peace and prosperity is the rule of law built upon the restraints of the individual rights to life, liberty and property. Capitalism, properly understood, is the economic system constructed upon those principles. Capitalism consists of the voluntary exchange of privately owned property. Social interactions are limited by mutual respect for the rights of others and the absence of the initiation of force. Private coercion is outlawed. Coercion by the government is limited to the protection of individual rights and constrained by equality before the law.

Recently, I wanted to provide a brief but essentially complete explanation of my reasons for believing the above. This prompted me to look up a "slide show" I had found on the net several years ago. Short. Sweet. To the point. If you haven't seen it before, check out the Tour.

Hmmmm. Interesting. Chavez was right.



Doug Reich said...

Great post. Thanks.

It always amazes me how much better the Left grasps the true nature of their evil philosophy than does the Right.

This fact is really the essence of the problem. In other words, not only does the mainstream Right not understand the essential philosophical premises of the Left, they mostly embrace them (e.g., see "compassionate conservativism"). Consequently, most on the Right are led to embrace only pragmatic arguments for freedom rather than adopting a more fundamental moral stance.

The conflation of "democracy" with "capitalism" or "freedom" is one of the biggest fallacies out there - one committed by the Right as well as the Left. The Founding Fathers considered "democracy" to be a dirty word as they properly understood it as "mobocracy" and realized that majority rule was not consistent with inalienable rights (rights that can not be violated by majority vote!). It appears that we have completely lost this important distinction.

Thanks for so concisely explaining this issue.

Beth said...

Thank you for your additional comments.

Here's a fun word to know:


government by the mob; mob rule; mobocracy.

1475–85; < Gk ochlokratía, equiv. to óchl(os) mob + -o- -o- + -kratia -cracy

Related forms:
och⋅lo⋅crat  /ˈɒkləˌkræt/
[ok-luh-krat], noun
och⋅lo⋅crat⋅ic, och⋅lo⋅crat⋅i⋅cal, adjective
och⋅lo⋅crat⋅i⋅cal⋅ly, adverb

Now you don't have to use "mobocracy" in scare quotes.

Doug Reich said...

Nice. Love that word.

Michael Labeit said...

Let the Venezuelans get their's. They want socialism, let them have. I hope they enjoy it as their government becomes less and less able to engage in rational economic calculation when more productive factors are forcibly removed from the market. Eventually they'll have to do what the Soviets did and use old copies of the Wall Street Journal to set factor prices. Schmucks.

Anonymous said...

don't look now, but plutocracy fits our system very well. Read this week's Business Week and you'll find that the insurance industry's lobbying efforts are positioning it for a windfall when health care reform is passed.

Given the number of people who control the political/lobby power in this country, oligarchy might also be a word you want to add to your lexicon.


Anonymous said...

Doug Reich, I read some of your blog. I would be interested to know what you think of bus loads of non-constituents traveling from town hall meeting to town hall meeting with the objective of disrupting debate on serious issues. Is that an example of honest grass roots opposition, or does it sound more orchestrated than private citizens expressing themselves through meetings with their representatives? And don't look now, but it isn't the left who are showing up with guns.