The Difference between Capitalism and Socialism

The Difference between Capitalism and Socialism

Socialism has finally come to the party without a mask.  Politicians at every level are openly and unapologetically advocating “Democratic Socialism.”  What is Socialism and what is its future in America?  First, some background:

Every tribe and nation on earth, without exception, must answer three economic questions: What will be produced?  Who will produce it?  Who will get what is produced?  Throughout history, mankind has devised only two general approaches for answering those questions:  Either a dictator or “elite group” will answer those questions on behalf of everyone else; or, everyone in a tribe or nation will participate to one degree or another in the decision making process.

The “elite group” approach, found all over the globe, is known by many labels: Authoritarianism, Marxism, Leninism, Fascism, Centralism, Collectivism, Egalitarianism, Statism, Communism and Socialism.  These are all variations of the same theme: power and control over production and consumption is concentrated with government decision makers.  The second approach, found only in a few isolated pockets, is called Free Enterprise or Free Market Capitalism.

The primary differences between all these systems can be illustrated with a playground seesaw.  On one end sits government power and on the other end sits individual freedom.  As one side goes up, the other side must go down.  For example, as the percentage of government workers goes up; as taxes go up; as regulations on the private sector go up, the freedoms and resources left to individuals on the other end of the seesaw must go down.

Socialism and its various permutations are all about making government bigger while subjugating the masses to government control.  Socialism is all about replacing the individual pursuit of happiness with “the common good.”  And, government planners will decide what is the “common good.”

In stark contrast to Socialism, Free Market Capitalism is all about government power going down and individual liberty and private property rights going up.  Capitalism recognizes the best ideas that advance and improve humankind frequently emerge not from government bureaucrats, but from the minds and imaginations of the most unlikely among us.  Therefore, the freer the masses to pursue their own personal happiness, the more likely valuable ideas will emerge and find their way into the marketplace; ideas that produce new wealth, create new jobs and elevate the standard of living for others.

Does Socialism work?  Of course it works.  The right question is: “For whom does it work?”  The government elites in Cuba and Venezuela are doing just fine.

So, what is the future of Socialism in America?  This November, like no other election in America’s 242 year history, will answer that question.  It will depend on how many voters understand that American blood has been spilled all over the globe fighting the very same ideas espoused by the likes of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum.

8 Responses to "The Difference between Capitalism and Socialism"

  1. This opinion piece is so sad and so ignorant. If only those who espoused “free market capitalism” truly understood what it actually is, they’d stop and think for a moment. That is if they were actually capable of thinking.

    I know those who frequent this site hold academia in disdain because they feel their views and opinions are discounted, but when this inarticulate, unsubstantiated drivel is what is passed off as being an amazing viewpoint, how can one blame the most educated and learned for dismissing it. You hate and fear what you don’t understand.

    Socialized institutions have done a lot for this country and so has capitalism. However, to present such a black and white, good vs. evil viewpoint, is to exacerbate further the divisions already hurting this country.

  2. I will probably get much hate email (if it were published)for saying what I am about to say!
    First I want each to stop, take a breath and really think about this. Yes, I am a patriot, a VietNam and Laos Vet. I was in VN before it was a war(1962) I was back there in 1968 and Laos in 73-74. Truly, this is the home of the BRAVE and NOT the land of the FREE. We have one of the most corrupt governments in the world. Gov. gave away our Constitution to let a group of folks from Europe to run our country (The Act or 1871), Who killed JFK, RFK, the twin towers, bldg.7, who knew Obama was not an American citizen and yet signed documents that approved he was eligible to run for the highest office in this land.”HE” and his cohorts lied about almost every event that made the Dems look bad. He was placed in office to destroy America and Hillary was to finish us off to be a third world nation. Stop and think about all the things that have been hidden from us. The FBI/DOJ files that even Congress can’t receive or even view. THERE IS DEFINITELY A DIFFERENT SET OF LAWS AND RULES THAT GOVERN US AND “THEM” ! THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS NOT FEDERAL! PLAIN SHEET OF PAPER, PRINT $100, 50,20,10,5 AND NOT ONE OF IT IS BACKED BY ANYTHING. IT IS FIAT, WORTHLESS. FDR STOLE OUR GOLD AND NIXON REDUCED IT’S VALUE TO ALMOST NOTHING.

  3. Mr. Minder, thanks for the definitions, which add additional clarity between the two systems. I do like the “seesaw” analogy in this TR article also – the bigger government gets and the more power and resources it controls, the less freedom and rights remain for individuals (Socialism). The smaller and less intrusive government becomes, the more freedom and rights are available to individuals. (Capitalism).
    Socialism is “Central Control” of society and nations. This is one reason that the radical American Left is aligned with radical islam: Both entities believe in “Central Control” of a society or nation – the Left by political means, radical islam by quasi-religious means. There’s a book on the subject: The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America by Andrew C. McCarthy

  4. Here are the easy to remember and argue about definitions.

    Capitalism = The right to own and dispose of private property as the owner sees fit (real and intellectual property)

    Socialism = government control of production (including schools, medicine, companies, banks, etc…)

    Communism (Marx’s own words) elimination of all private property.

    Socialism is the bridge to communism.

    Great article, thank you for publishing it. I cover these topics every Monday night on my radio show 107.5 in Jasper Florida “The Undefeated – with Jeff Minder” all about rugged individualism, Capitalism, and property ownership

  5. Good article. I also would like to add that in the long term socialism and communism nations have a 100% failure rate. China started returning to capitalism after only 30 years of communism with the establishment of 4 “economic zones” in the 1970s. The living standard in those zones improved so much more than the rest of the country that they slowly began a shift toward “controlled capitalism.” Since the whole country has been able to practice limited capitalism, the standard of living has increased ten-fold.

  6. Worth repeating: A few insights into Socialism and Gillum’s Dem-Socialist candidacy from a FOX News article by Justin Haskins, co-founder of and the executive editor of The Heartland Institute:

    “The Democrats’ sharp leftward tilt in just the last few years is disturbing. Socialism is a radical, oppressive, dangerous ideology. It calls for the complete destruction of property rights and the end of many individual rights, especially religious freedom.”

    “Gillum is a Socialist-leaning Democrat who received the endorsement of Bernie Sanders. He supports far-left policies like raising taxes on businesses, imposing a single-payer health-care system in Florida, and transitioning Florida “to clean energy as rapidly as possible” by sending huge amounts of taxpayer funds to solar companies to battle climate change. Gillum also thinks carbon dioxide is a “pollutant,” and he supports a slew of new regulations and mandates for gun owners.”


  7. You also might want to compare the results returned by DuckDuckGo and google for infowars, drudgereport, and Owen Benjamin.

    DuckDuckGo is unpersonalized and untracked.

    To paraphrase Owen Benjamin. The leftists are progressive slave owners. They want to enslave us all.

  8. Excellent article. It needs to be published in all Fl college/university newspapers. I will be forwarding it to my kids.

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