There’s a lot of excitement among our younger generations about socialism. As a baby boomer it is hard for me to understand why. Besides the fact that Socialism has never worked in any significant way. Clearly, recent examples show that it literally destroys economic systems everywhere it’s tried. How does the Golden Rule relate to Socialism?
First off, we must remember that the Golden Rule establishes the standard of reciprocity. I’ve shown in previous blogs that we are to develop self, first. This is not “selfish” but essential to a healthy, functioning society. If we don’t respect ourselves, we cannot expect others to respect us. There is the law of reciprocity and Golden Rule. Essentially, Socialism takes that away from the people controled by it.
Socialism defeats a “self-first” mentality and places control at a centralized communal level dictating life decisions and action on the individual. This ideology breaks the fundamental law of reciprocity or Golden Rule. For instance, I’m not free to pursue my passion if it is outside the “state’s” dictate. Socialism keeps me from owning the product of my labor, it belongs to the state. The fruits of my labor are taken from me and then distributed as the state (certain powerful individuals) sees fit. When this happens (every time it has happened) the individual “gives up” and production across the board begins to fail. When each individual cannot produce for his or her own benefit – the way we evolved – we lose the will to struggle and excel.
Humans, wired to embrace the struggle, find motivation in the challenge. We are in harmony when we push ourselves to succeed and prosper. When I say this I’m not just talking about monetary gains! There are many ways to succeed and find prosperity. Most of us seek something other than just money. I am very passionate about my writing and teaching. These things bring me great happiness.
Liberty of opportunity is the anthesis of Socialistic ideologies. Socialism obstructs liberty of opportunity. It has shown that it drains self-motivation and personal drive because a third party is in the middle of our business disrupting and restricting personal drive and innovation. The state will attempt to control those things. That attempt will eventually lead to low standards of living and distress. Everyone is brought down to the lowest level, rather than everyone striving for the highest level. When everyone is striving for a high level the community ends up with a very healthy middle class. Those comfortable with their current state of affairs – a middle way. Most of us fall into this “middle class.” We balance a level of work with our level of play (comfort, family, security).
Why is it that we must bring everyone down? Why can’t we embrace liberty of opportunity, accept that some are more driven than others in their particular areas of expertise and will, therefore excel. All participants have the opportunity to develop their best performance. We each have a place in the social fabric. By doing our part to improve our personal affairs we are benefiting the entire community. I mean that in a Golden Rule fashion. I avoid harming others in the process, because I wish not to be harmed.
I proposed in my book, The Simple Little Rule, that historical literature everywhere has suggested through time that we stick as close to a one-to-one transaction as possible. Our individual striving results in achievement for self and in turn for our neighbors, this produces harmony in our communities.
The addition of the state (that third party) produces more opportunities for abuse. The leadership has (takes) control and subsequently has the power to rule over the plebs. We now create a class society of haves and have-nots. The controlling leadership has the power to control the means of production and the plebs’ wellbeing. Just pay attention to the news and you’ll see the suffering of communities that have allowed Socialism to overcome liberty of opportunity.
Our nature is to survive! Survival requires struggle, overcoming challenges, striving for harmony, safety and security. We are at our best when we are motivated to accomplish these things. Developing strategies, and then overcoming life’s many obstacles. A government cannot do that for us. There are two many variables – each one of us is a variable in a central government’s planning – for a central government to succeed in providing the harmony for the majority of the citizens. Liberty of opportunity, open economic systems (supply and demand) protected by strong law systems based on the foundational Golden Rule eliminates “control of variables” because the “variables” (each one of us) are in control. This is why democratic governments are better than other types at producing the highest levels of opportunity.
We must strive at an individual level, but simultaneously assist others. Conversely, our neighbors are therefore compelled to do the same. We evolved this way! You might say, created this way, if you like. Socialism doesn’t work because it promises something it cannot possibly deliver. It cannot deliver to every human the desires of every human! Each one of us must pursue that end on our own (first) with our neighbors each striving for their pursuit of happiness, also. Adding reciprocity (Golden Rule) creates a system that has the potential of growing powerfully, without bounds.