Socialism was intentionally designed by its early French writers as a hardcore authoritarianism with an alluring utopian ideal that would attract followers. Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) [a profound social thinker – read the Wiki on him!] warned that socialism and democracy are polar opposites. Democracy extends the sphere of freedom; socialism restricts it by trying to redefine freedom as equality instead of liberty. “Democratic socialism” is an oxymoron.
The deception woven into socialism was a perversion of the idea of freedom. I wrote about this on 11/24/15 and 7/6/16, while introducing Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) on this blog. Freedom, for thousands of years, has always meant freedom from coercion and being subject to the arbitrary power of others. Classical freedom is liberty – release from ties that give an individual no choice except to be obedient to a superior power.
The “new freedom” promised by Leftists is freedom from want: Freedom from the necessity of providing for oneself: Freedom from the compulsion of circumstances which limit the range of choices that we all have. It’s a seductive promise that the State will provide for all your material needs and wants. Leftist thinkers sneakily try to change the concept of freedom. But it’s obvious that this “new freedom” is merely another name for something much different– power and wealth.
Collectivism (from fascism to communism) is the deceptive pursuit of a great utopia by replacing individual liberty with collective power. The problem and greatest danger is that the great utopia is not only unachievable, but that its pursuit produces something so utterly different (death, misery, servitude and poverty) that few would strive for it if its true nature were clearly understood. The Estate Planning War Chest continues down F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) next week.