The Margaret Thatcher Socialism Quote:
“Socialists cry ‘power to the people!’ and raise their clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean, power over the people, power to the state.” -Margaret Thatcher on Socialism
My Take on this Margaret Thatcher Quote
When I saw this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote, I immediately recognized two things. The first is that she is absolutely right; this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote is one-hundred percent spot on and perfectly sums up what socialists really mean. The second realization I came to is that I don’t write anywhere near enough about some of the West’s greatest cold warriors.
Although I have done a few takes on Ronald Reagan quotes, such as his famous one on how America is the last stand of freedom left on Earth, I’ve done nothing about Margaret Thatcher. So, from now on, I’ll try to focus more on those that stood up to communism in some of the world’s darkest days.
Margaret Thatcher: Cold War Hero
I’d like to elaborate on that point before expanding on my analysis of this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote. The Cold War was a dark time for the world. In my opinion, it was actually worse than World War II. Because of the death toll of socialism, just as many people died during it, if not more. Socialists killed their own citizens at a faster pace than Hitler killed his occupied subjects, a fact many are quick to forget.
So, the cold warriors that were fighting for freedom and democracy were fighting against the greatest evil the world has ever faced; totalitarian socialism. Yes, the democratic socialists of today are a reprehensible group of lazy ingrates. But, they’re not quite as bad yet as the socialists of the Cold War were.
Read The Case Against Socialism or The Gulag Archipelago. China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, and others killed millions upon millions of innocent people and tortured or arbitrarily arrested many more. That tendency towards authoritarianism is exactly what is being referred to in this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote.
All that is to say that as America once again deals with the ugly specter of socialism, we need to look back to the people that defeated socialism. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and others understood just how evil socialism is because they were witnessing the evils of socialism firsthand. So don’t take this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote as just another rant against socialism. It’s not. It’s the truth, spoken by someone who defeated socialism because she knew just how evil and reprehensible of an ideology it is.
My Analysis of this Margaret Thatcher Socialism Quote
Socialism Benefits Socialist Leaders
Now, on to my main points about this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote. In it, I think that Thatcher did a much better job of clearly stating what I was trying to refer to in my post on who socialism benefits. It does not benefit the working man, whatever socialist propagandists say about loving the “proletariat” or “working man.”
In fact, it does the exact opposite; socialism is a system that benefits only those who are leaders in the system. Politburo members, or whatever the state calls the ruling council (note: ruling council, not a representative, legislative body), dine on fine caviar, drink fine wine, and smoke high-quality cigars in their smoke-filled palaces. Meanwhile, the average people, those socialists claimed they would help, are left outside to starve and be worked to death by the jack-booted storm troopers that turned entire nations into work camps.
Now, the socialists described as “raising their fists” in this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote, would tell you that capitalism is just the same way. They say monopolists, or big businessmen, or whatever, sit in similar rooms and have similarly decadent habits.
But, there are a few differences, as you might expect. Socialist leaders never earned a penny of their wealth. They stole it. They’re the bad guys, the thieving government, in the original Robin Hood myth. No socialist politician ever created something of value, all they’ve ever done is constrain businesses and prevent value from being created! So, despite having immense wealth, they don’t deserve it. It was just stolen from the country. They’re the looters and moochers of Atlas Shrugged.
On the other hand, the despised “monopolists,” or whatever radical socialists want to call them, actually earned their wealth. They didn’t steal it. They’re not interested in the power over people as described in this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote. All they want is to create value and become immensely wealthy from having done so.
Who deserves their wealth more, Nicholas Maduro or Elon Musk? The Castro family or Bill Gates? Obviously the capitalists do.
The other difference is that while socialism only benefits socialist rulers, capitalism and the incredibly successful capitalist billionaires benefit everybody. Not that that’s a precondition for them deserving their wealth, it isn’t, but all the same it’s worth stating. A rising tide lifts all boats. Hank Rearden testifies to that point in his trial in Atlas Shrugged:
“I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record. I am in full agreement with the facts of everything said about me in the newspapers – with the facts, but not with the evaluation. I work for nothing but my own profit – which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it.
I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage – and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner. I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own.
I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with – voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product.”
Rearden sums up in that exactly what I think Margaret Thatcher is saying in part of this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote. Capitalists don’t want power over people, they want money. Only socialists want power over the people.
This Margaret Thatcher Socialism Quote Comes from Her Personal Experience
The other aspect of this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote that I would like to point out is that it comes from not only her experience dealing with the Soviets, but also her experience at home in England.
Like America in Atlas Shrugged, England after World War II was a grey place. It wasn’t behind the Iron Curtain, so there were no totalitarian death camps like those in Siberia. However, socialists were in power. And they were the very embodiment of what’s described in this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote. They weren’t in power to help the people, they were in power to rule over the people.
And rule over them they did. Businesses were nationalized, welfare grew to insane amounts, and bureaucrats used their power to stifle innovation and industry. Like said in the Margaret Thatcher socialism quote, it was a situation of power over the people and to the state. Because they placed equality before freedom, they got neither.
I think that’s what makes this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote so poignant. It wasn’t just based on what she observed abroad, it was based on what she saw happen to her homeland.
All Britons today should thank her for rolling back the Labour Party’s communist policies. Had she not done so, England today would be significantly less free.
The war against communism and the socialism described by this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote is not only one that was fought and needs to be fought abroad. It also needs to be fought at home. The Cold War was as much a domestic war of ideas, as Diana West writes about in American Betrayal, as an international war of ideas as we normally think about it.
The domestic socialists, people like Bernie Sanders, AOC, and others, embody the same desire for power that was so powerfully described in this Margaret Thatcher socialism quote. They might not be as tyrannical as the other famous socialists, but that’s only temporary. All of socialism stems from the same idea, the idea that socialist leaders should have power over the people and benefit from that power. Remember that when you young conservatives that debate socialists on college campuses find yourselves in those debates. The socialists aren’t debating you in good faith. They’re debating you because they want power over you.