An Open Letter to Young Socialists

Article author: 
Mark Hendrickson
Article publisher: 
Epoch Times
Article date: 
27 December 2022
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

... Over the past half-century, my abhorrence of poverty hasn’t waned. However, I quit being a socialist long ago. It wasn’t because my values and goals changed, but because my understanding of how best to achieve the worthy goal of defeating poverty has evolved. Caring about a problem is the easy part. The harder part is to find the best way to solve the problem. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you a few thoughts that every socialist needs to confront...

Point #1: If you’re going to be a socialist in practice and not just in theory, the first thing you need to do is to realize that you can’t believe in egalitarianism and also believe in socialism... As a socialist leader or planner, you need to be more powerful than your fellow citizens...

Point #2: Related to the first point, you must reject a truly democratic ethos. Like Marx and Lenin, you recognize democracy as a rhetorical fig leaf and useful device for attaining power. Once you and your fellow socialists have won the democratic struggle for power at the ballot box, you need to jettison notions that “the people” rule....

Point #3: ... have you ever stopped to consider that socialism in practice is a system of total bureaucracy?

Point #4: But does any socialist or group of socialists know enough to intelligently plan and organize production to meet the needs of the masses of people? Economic theory has already demonstrated (thank you, Ludwig von Mises) that by trampling property rights, socialism prevents the discovery of economically rational prices, and therefore renders economic calculation (the ability to determine whether an enterprise is adding value or destroying it) impossible—the inevitable outcome being tragically unnecessary impoverishment (see Venezuela).

Point #5. The lust for power problem....

Point #6.... Socialism embraces the gloomy and fallacious zero-sum view of life—the awful notion that you have to diminish the welfare of some citizens in order to uplift others....


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