By Andy Duncan
So What is Socialism?
At its core, socialism is a religion, with its God being ‘The State’.
So what is ‘The State’?
The state, at its simplest level, is an organised gang of criminals.
So in what way are these people criminals?
Well, even the youngest child in a kindergarten will know what a criminal is. On any given morning, there might be a pile of toys in the corner of the kindergarten. At first, all these toys will be available to all. So one child might pick up one toy, and begin to play with it.
Under ‘Natural Law’ (i.e. the law that all humans understand at the most basic level), that child has ‘homesteaded’ that toy. Until the moment that this child puts that toy down, the toy ‘belongs’ to that child.
We all know this.
So if another child comes along and forces the first ‘owner’ of the toy to relinquish that toy through coercion, physical or otherwise, then that second child is a criminal.
We all know this, too.
We all grew up with it. Most of us respect ‘the law’ of which child owns which toy in a shared environment. Except those whom the rest of us later learn to despise.
When the first child cries because the second child has ‘stolen’ their toy, we can all relate to this. We all know, at the most basic human level, that an embryonic crime has take place.
Admittedly, it’s a crime that is never usually punished in any way. But still, we all recognise that it is a crime.
We also know that the child who stole the toy is likely in later life to either become a full-blown private criminal, a public politician, or most despicably of all, a socialist intellectual.
So we have natural human law. We all know what it is. And we all know what it consists of from the very youngest age.
This ‘natural’ law is what took us away from the blood-filled realm of being animals into the civilised realm of becoming human beings. Indeed, even with chimpanzee, gorilla, and baboon communities, we can sometimes see examples pertaining to the beginning of ‘natural’ law, though at a much more functionally primitive level.
There is property and theft. We all recognise these related conditions. And then there is freedom as opposed to slavery. And we all recognise the differences here too. At least when they’re made explicit to us.
All of us know what these things are. And all of us at least understand these concepts.
What is really strange is that except under one peculiar circumstance, even professed socialists recognise and live under these conditions of natural law.
For example, if you were to go up to a socialist, at some fancy globalist conference, and simply take his or her smart phone, merely because it looked nice, then there would be uproar. ‘That’s my phone!’ they would exclaim. They would possibly even use violence against you to retrieve their precious phone. And they would be right to do so. It is, after all, their phone. At this point, let us not question how they attained the resources to acquire that phone. That is not what we’re discussing here.
At a most basic human level it is their phone. And you are wrong to attempt to ‘steal’ it. The natural laws of property and freedom are recognised by everyone at virtually all times.
And then we come to that special exception. That magical exception that drives all of human conflict.
There exists a ‘special’ group of people. From where they derive their special status is never clearly explained and is never allowed to be challenged. But the main special right they think they enjoy is to take other people’s stuff, without permission, to better enjoy their own lives.
In a ‘private’ sphere, we all know what to call these people. They are ‘criminals’. What is even stranger, is that even they know that they are criminals. They know that what they are doing is ‘wrong’ at that most primeval level of natural law. But they still do it anyway. We could spend a few hours discussing ‘in-groups’ and ‘out-groups’ and so on. However, no matter how much you dress it up, they know that what they’re doing is wrong. However, they still enjoy the short-term expediency of living off other people’s stuff at the long-term price of potential self-loathing or the justifiable fear of well-earned retribution.
They are morally vacuous. They are evil. Some would call them the Devil’s friends.
They are also thieves. They are beyond the pale and unfit to be contained within polite society.
At this point, we can add in the sins of pride, gluttony, lust, laziness, sloth, wrathfulness, envy, and so on. However, let’s head towards the point.
Once we go beyond this ‘private’ realm of basic criminality, we reach a ‘public’ sphere. At this level, more sophisticated criminal people will still take your stuff without your permission. However, instead of just running into the night and laughing, as the thieves that they are, these ‘higher’ criminals preach to you instead that what they do is ‘for your own good’, or ‘for the good of the community’, or ultimately, that their theft ‘fulfils the basic moral laws of the universe’.
These people have completely lost touch with ‘natural’ law, and are most likely those same children that stole other people’s toys during their early childhood. Or at least wanted to, motivated by one or more of those seven sins.
And then there are those sycophants, those delusional people, those ‘socialists’, who praise these criminal thieves.
Why do these ‘intellectuals’ do this? Why do they promote this criminal behaviour that breaks the natural law that even a two-year-old can recognise, and that even they themselves recognise when you try to take their own smart phones? Why do they promote this cancerous metaphysical curse that rots society so completely, and which promotes war, violence, crime, and murder? Mainly, because, at the most basic level, they want to enjoy a piece of the action, to eat some of that tax, without risking the harm that might come to them if they were to engage in direct thievery themselves.
Mostly, ‘intellectuals’ are a fairly useless group of people.
Where some people choose to work, to produce, and so on, and to serve the needs of others in return for a voluntarily-earned profit, the intellectuals merely want to sit about smoking dope, getting drunk, having sex, and then later pontificating on poetry, or some other spurious nonsense they themselves consider ‘worthy’. But this selfish consumptive behaviour is not highly valued by the rest of productive society.
Indeed, I value a butcher who can prepare my pork steaks much more than I value any intellectual who can tell me about the inner intrinsic and motivational issues of Proust.
However, the intellectuals are actually good for one thing. They are often good with words, particularly within the field of persuasion. They can persuade others more productive than themselves to believe in strange ideas, no matter how much these ideas break basic natural law.
In the past they were Witch Doctors, Wizards, Priests, and Viziers. In more modern times, they are Policy Technocrats, Philosophy Professors, Anti-Global-Warming Advocates, and EU Bureaucrats.
The productive are often too busy being useful to others to worry too much about other less productive matters.
So in return for a portion of the stolen pelf of the state gang, the intellectuals will promote the state-generated religion of ‘socialism’, i.e. that a special self-anointed group of people should be divinely allowed to steal other people’s stuff. And so long as they gift a portion of these stolen goods to the intellectuals, then the intellectuals will promote this group via a religion called ‘socialism’.
It comes under many flavours, as best described by Von Mises in his amazing book, ‘Socialism’, but it all amounts to the same thing. All the different versions are based on a solid carpet of organised criminal theft, usually propped up on the cosy cushions of fraud, corruption, and counterfeiting.
The intellectuals will become the priests and chief apologists for these higher-level thieves. They will become university professors, mainstream media reporters, Keynesian economists, or whatever, so long as they get a piece of the pie stolen from the productive by the over-arching criminal state gang and their junior lackeys in the local ‘authorities’, or what in Mafia parlance would be described as local families operating under the blessing of an overseeing crime commission.
Where any of these people get their ‘authority’ over the rest of us is never questioned. Censorship, ‘hate’ crimes, and other propaganda techniques, particular the takeover of all child education, are used to suppress anyone questioning where this ‘authority’ to rob the rest of us comes from.
And so this cancerous ‘anti-natural law’ system spreads its violent criminal tentacles throughout society leading to moral debasement, and in Hoppe’s words, to decivilisation.
The ‘intellectuals’ become the bagmen, apologists, and the runners of these interconnected organised criminal gangs, collectively known as ‘the state’.
And all so that they can have a fat piece of the stolen pie. They really ought to be ashamed of themselves. In order to protect themselves from this shame, they become holy about the criminality that they seek to inflict second-hand upon the rest of us.
And so now we have our new religion, socialism, an ideology invented by the state to justify its continual criminality against the rest of us in society.
And then it comes to pass that even when a private criminal steals from us, he can use those self-same mantras of socialism. ‘I stole that Dolce & Gabbana dress and that rare diamond necklace from that vain evil rich person, because they deserved it. They’re rich because they have ‘oppressed’ and ‘looted’ the poor. I am now merely redressing the balance.’
Socialism is a religion of theft. Socialists are its priests.
Andy Duncan is an Honorary Vice-President of Mises UK and also the Chief Technology Officer of Finlingo.Com
Your last paragraph is actually the philosophy espoused by today’s police. They are not interested in property theft, because it is merely addressing the imbalance in society.
But many socialists, in my experience, believe they are genuinely doing good for ‘ordinary people’ like us who are too stupid to live our lives without constant State supervision and interference , sorry ‘direction’. It’s for our own good, you see.
Then there are those who are born into wealth and who feel guilt because of this accident of birth. They feel it is wrong that the ‘working man’ should have to toil for his bread while they do not. So they try to redress the balance in ‘society’.
As Huey Long, Governor of Mississippi I think he was, once said ‘Nobody should be allowed to have too much money, and nobody should be allowed to have too little.’ If you are one of those who has ‘too little’ (which is most people) this might sound attractive, but what does it mean? It means that somebody – the State, the government – will have to decide whether I have ‘too much’ money, and if so, they will have to relieve me of some of it, and give it to somebody who has ‘not enough’ money (while keeping a cut for themselves of course). That sounds less attractive to me.
My problem is that I couldn’t care less whether anybody has more money or less money than I have. I neither envy the rich nor pity the poor. Maybe I should be sent for re-education?
He was the governor of Louisiana