by Matt Wyers
In previous pieces, I set out to define Socialism, to dispense with the idea that it was Christian in nature, and to show how impractical it was. While I spent some time not writing consistently, I didn’t avoid thinking about the subject so I would like to continue with more on this idea.
Not only is Socialism impractical, but it relies on a nature contrary to that of actual human beings in order to work. Proponents of Socialism tend to emphasize not just the fairness but the inherent tenant of selflessness. Selflessness as a feature is the claim, but I would argue with the suggestion that that is actually a valid analysis.
I would argue rather that selflessness on the part of others or on the part of the society as a whole is idealized whereas how such a system might affect the individual and the selflessness required to deal with that is shunned as an undue burden.
I discussed briefly the idea of imposing a standard of charity on others while refusing to embrace it personally in one of the other pieces, but here is where this idea takes full form. It is common among proponents of Socialism to decry the ills of society, a society based on greed of course. Putting aside for a moment the fact that greed is a human trait and not a function of society, it is still interesting that individuals who complain about society’s greed see Socialism as a means to right this great wrong. If greater compassion and greater charity are needed then why does such change not begin within one’s person? Why is society at fault and not me? Well, that’s simple. If I’m at fault then I have to change my life. I might have to be more charitable and I might have to change the way I view other people.
With Socialism, however, I don’t really have to change the way I look at the world or sacrifice of myself in order to help others in need. Rather, I can simply blame it all on someone else, do essentially nothing, and still get the feeling as thought I’m a really great person and I’ve been a part of helping those less fortunate. “Someone else needs to change,” I might say. “Someone else needs to give more,” I might charge. I hope the irony on this concept is evident by now, but just in case it isn’t I’ll go further.
It is common among proponents of Socialism to make grand predictions about the possible future of our nation if we keep heading down the path towards this new economic model. They talk about the freedom to pursue goals and the ability to dedicate one’s self to solving society’s problems when the need to create monetary wealth is removed as a motivation. Well, that’s ambitious. Unfortunately, it’s also unrealistic and it comes down to the sentiment I’ve been talking about as to why.
If you are familiar with the ObamaCare legislation then you are also familiar with the fact that health care itself will be rationed when the law becomes fully implemented. Why will this be the case and what does this have to do with the topic of the article?
Health care will be rationed because much of the profit motive will be removed under the new system. Doctors will have less motivation to treat large numbers of patients because of new billing procedures. Hospitals will have less incentive to hire large numbers of nurses and support staff because of the increased and inherent cost of doing business. The biggest blow may come in that new technologies and new medicines will have less of a place in the market. Profit motives are needed to drive advancement in any field, but certainly in medicine.
With the federal government playing a large role in what procedures are now “cost-effective,” however, you can bet pharmaceutical companies and medical tech companies will have fewer customers among medical professionals for their services. Why? Because patients either won’t be able to afford higher cost procedures and higher cost medicines(also known as the latest developments) due to the insurance issues I haven’t even covered OR they won’t have access because the increased cost of doing business will drive the cost up for services and make these procedures and medicines expensive as gold thereby forbidding them from use by the general population because of the arbitrary limitations on services prescribed by ObamaCare panels. Was that a mouthful? Yes, but the point is that profit motives make the world go ’round economically speaking. When you monkey with the system and try to socially engineer whole industries then you get problems, big problems.
Now if profit motives(or greed as the Socialists like to refer to them) are bad then the system should work just fine if not better without them. That’s not going to be the case, however, as no such increase in charity among the everyday population to compensate for the reduction in business is present in Socialist societies. The “public option” as it has been called(that one is mandated to buy if you don’t have insurance whether you want it or not) will reduce the profit motive, but in every nation that reduces or altogether eliminates the profit motive there has never been a corresponding increase in charitable contributions to disease research, technology development, or pharmaceutical development. In fact, the vast majority of advancements come out of the United States where the profit motive is on full display every day.
If Socialist societies cure ills by removing profit motives(greed, remember) then why don’t the people pick up the pace in their own personal lives to make up for the very obvious slack? It doesn’t make sense does it that such wholesome societies balk at charitable contributions to research and advancement? In fact, let’s take this one step further. If it is human nature to be so giving then why aren’t people being as charitable right now despite the presence of the profit motive?
The profit motive may be effective for all us greedy people out here, but shouldn’t all the people with good natures already be in the process of giving larger amounts of their wealth towards such research. Now certainly, there are charitable organizations that exist in this country that do just that, but these organizations do not have to carry the bulk of the load much less actually provide care if a shortage were to arise. The reason for this? Humans are selfish by nature. It is not through societal transformation that our natures can be changed. Rather, our natures will shape the society.
We must also understand human nature from the perspective that we need greater motivation than is within ourselves to accomplish great things. Profit motives provide balance here and allow people to do things they otherwise wouldn’t be interested in doing and everyone benefits. The idea of innate goodness within us is a falsehood, however, and if one expects society to function as well when selfish human beings no longer have a reason to be productive then you are asking for trouble.
Human nature must be fully understood and not viewed as an afterthought if we are to truly understand the difference between Socialism and Capitalism or any political reality for that matter.
In the next piece, I will continue to look at human nature and how it works in Socialist societies compared to Capitalist and market driven societies.