The Quote by Ayn Rand on Socialism
“Socialism rests on the premise that man, by his nature, is unfit for freedom.” -Ayn Rand on Socialism
I love this quote by Ayn Rand on socialism because it is succinct yet completely sums up what’s wrong with socialism as a political philosophy. Yes, there are other aspects of socialism that make it evil. Envy, collectivism, laziness, and the desire to control are not virtues. But, those relate to the moral aspect of socialism rather than its efficacy as a political philosophy. But, in this quote, Ayn Rand is able to distill what exactly it is about socialism that makes it not work politically, especially in America.
That aspect of socialism that makes it fail every time it’s tried is socialism’s connection to tyranny and authoritarianism. Because, as Rand says, it is premised on the idea that man “is unfit for freedom,” socialist governments invariably resort to tyranny to control their populaces and direct them towards “the greater good.”
Of course, that’s absolutely absurd. Socialist and communist utopias can’t exist because no one, other than perhaps a special few, will work for the good of society. Instead, people like making money. So they won’t work if they don’t have to, hence why the Soviet economy was failing, the Chinese economy was a total basket-case until some capitalist elements were allowed in, and Venezuela has effectively collapsed.
So, as a result, socialist governments are confronted with two, stark choices: allow capitalism or resort to what Francisco D’Anconia termed “whips, chains, and slavery” in his money speech in Atlas Shrugged. Some socialist governments, like the government of China and Vietnam, recognized the virtue of selfishness and allowed capitalism to slowly percolate through their economies. But, others didn’t; North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela are still socialist hellholes because they still subscribe to the failed and ruinous ideology of socialism.
The governments that stick with socialism despite the disastrous economic consequences of doing so remain committed to socialism because they still subscribe to the socialist idea that man can’t handle freedom. That’s why those countries are now (correctly) seen as authoritarian hellholes where individual rights are dead, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan would be seen as a benign and limited form of government, and thousands, if not millions, are stuck inside gulags.
But, for some reason, many Americans remain committed to socialism. Perhaps they’re just statists that are stuck there because of the socialist fly trap that Bernie Sanders the communist created. Or, maybe they’re just lazy and envious of what their betters created. And they’re all stuck in the fascist, progressive mindset that Jonah Goldberg wonderfully identifies in Liberal Fascism. In any case, Ayn Rand was right, just as she was right about rule by brute force; the socialist left wants to rule, and likely rule harshly, because they don’t think we deserve freedom.
This quote by Ayn Rand on socialism is what you need to remember and tell people when they start talking about what they perceive to be the morality of socialism. It’s not moral. It’s evil and based on the idea that you shouldn’t be free!
By: Gen Z Conservative