Posted by: Greg Huff | September 8, 2012

Slavery and Socialism

Recently I commented on some posts on Facebook that were made by two women who are friends of a family member.  They were disagreeing with this family member’s post   “Socialism is the distribution of poverty”.  Both were in agreement with Socialism and of the belief that government is an agent of compassion.

Glen Allport wrote an essay called “Government is Not Compassion”.  In the intro he says: “The single most damaging error of the modern age is the misperception of government as an agency of compassion.  As a replacement for the “divine right of kings,” this misperception has, for those in power, been an astonishing success.  For the rest of mankind, it has frequently been a disaster beyond imagining.”

 I invite you to read his essay here:

 Below is my post in blue.  Their posts are in black with my rebuttal in blue.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. Socialism = the redistribution of wealth from those who earned it to those that did not. This is involuntary servitude and therefore the equivalent of slavery outlawed by the Constitution.
As far as Canada goes…Socialism works fine…until you run out of other peoples money. Canada as well as Europe has been able to afford their welfare states partially due to the military umbrella provided and financed by the United States and partially due to the international aid that has been provided by the U.S. Canada has gotten more prosperous due to the free market reforms they’ve recently instituted. Consider the statement : people have the RIGHT to basic needs (i.e. health care and proper education)” OK people have this right…who provides it? This means that the government has the right to TAKE the product of your labor to provide for those “rights”. That means there is no right to property. The Constitution provides negative rights — the freedom from. Positive rights as wanted by statists necessarily negates those negative rights and makes everyone a slave to every person who demands their right to health care and education. It is flawed in every sense.

First person’s comments:

Socialism is NOT COMMUNISM.  I don’t believe I mentioned communism but it is cut from the same cloth.
Everyone has the chance to prosper in a socialized country.  This is delusion.
I’ve lived in both socialist and capitalist countries, so I can speak from life experience.  It’s easy for outsiders to criticize something they know very little about.  I don’t know of any Capitalist countries. So which one have you lived in?  The United States for much of its history was the freest country in the world. Not now.
Canada’s prosperous economy has nothing to do with US military umbrella. That is completely false.  Afraid not, the US has protected the world with its Navy.  The shipping lanes are safe because of the US Navy not the Canadian Navy.  As much as Canada may have helped, the U.S. and Canada are not living under a Nazi government because of the United States, not Canada.  The United States is the economic engine that has pulled the world into the prosperity it has.
If Capitalism is survival of the fittest and tax dollars shouldn’t be spent back on the people, then WHY COLLECT OR PAY TAXES?  Really? Why collect or pay taxes?  You really have no idea what the function of government is do you? First of all capitalism is nothing more than two people agreeing on some sort of exchange.  You have an old couch to sell.  Someone wants to buy that couch.  You ask $500.00.  He counters with $100.00.  You finally agree on $250.00.  Mutual exchange for mutual benefit.  If you have ever done this or anything similar then you were at that point a capitalist.  It is the only system that has at its core, exchanging valuable for valuable.
Government has a specific function.  It is NOT to decide who is to be extorted in order to give it to someone they deem to deserve a handout.  Its function is to protect its citizens from force and fraud.  That is the proper function of government, nothing more.
In that’s the case, dissolve the government so we don’t have to pay politicians and let everyone fend for themselves like the animal kingdom.  This is typical statist talking point.  Seems you’ve been well indoctrinated.  The United States became the most prosperous, the most benevolent, and the world stabilizing force it is, precisely because it has for the most part stuck to the philosophy of not interfering into the market place but only protected the parties from force or fraud.
You mention “fend for themselves like the animal kingdom”.  I understand that it is hard to imagine anyone but government can do the things they do. The lie that everyone will be left to “fend for themselves” is pervasive in the circles you run in.  You hear it so often that “it has to be the truth”. I get it.
I am telling you now that without government interference, the innovation that would be unleashed would be staggering.  I know this is true because this is what happened.  The upward spiral of affluence of a free society is overwhelming.  It is that philosophy and freedom that is responsible for the wealth that has been produced in the past hundred years.
Poverty and misery has been the normal state of man for millennia.  It is only since the rise of the United States and ITS limited government that made possible the innovation of the industrial revolution and more recently the information age.  It is not government that made that possible.  Government cannot produce anything…except security of a person or group and that is impossible if they are trying to favor one group over another.  Suggested reading for you to educate yourself is “Free to Chose” by Milton Freedman

Second person’s Comments

Who is the “we” you are speaking about surviving in our early years, Greg?  Huh? Sorry, this makes no sense to me.
The slaves may have a bone to pick with you on how great this country was at that time. Hmmm I thought I quoted the 13th Amendment.
Capitalism would argue that slavery is perfectly ok because the cheaper the labor the better the profit.  You, as with most statist have a perverted view of history and especially of Capitalism.  I would argue that slavery was not a help to the profitability of South but a hindrance to it. It has been demonstrated time and again that it is free people that are the most productive.  Slaves will only do as much as they are whipped to do.  Slave will sabotage production by either deliberate action or just not doing what is required.  Freedom was not tried by the plantation owners to their own, not to mention, the country’s detriment.  It is you that wants to start this back up, with the productive being slaves to the non-productive.
It is our humanity that causes us to pause and reflect on how important personal wealth really is.  I agree.
Welfare is not giving everything to some lazy people (to paraphrase you), it is realizing that anyone of us could fall into that hole at any moment through no fault of our own and that a helping hand out of the hole is a basic decency we should expect from the greatest country in the world.  This is another platitude of the indoctrinated. The government cannot force people to be compassionate.  That is the function of each individual to be that. I do not admire the “humanity” you have.  Your humanity puts a gun in your hand and points it at my head ordering me to give it to someone YOU deem to be deserving.  Yours is a philosophy of extortion and denigrates both the receiver and the extorted.  It is no longer a “hand up” it is an “entitlement”.  It isn’t “charity”, how can it be?  It is an entitlement, meaning you are entitled to it.
Charity is the responsibility of the individual and is wholly moral.  It benefits the giver as he or she feels they have benefited someone less fortunate.  It benefits the receiver as well.  It gives them a hand up.  Knowing it is charity they try not to be burden to those that are giving of themselves.  They then try hard to be deserving of that charity.
The people of the US are the most generous in the world.  Not because they are forced to be, it is because they are (relatively) free and affluent enough to be able help those in need.  The rest of the world’s charity pales by comparison.
Not everyone has a family structure that can help if the worst befalls them. Not everyone can rely on their friends to be able to pick them up in the toughest times. And not everyone who has ever benefited from a welfare program is a horrible drain on all the “good, worthy” Americans. Some of those people are children escaping abusive homes.  and needing food. Some of those people are law abiding citizens who have been hit by a drunk driver with no insurance. Some of those people are elderly and can no longer work enough to pay their medical bills. Some of those people are veterans that have made larger sacrifices than most can imagine and now need to be helped to find a job and return to a non-combat life. What gives you or anyone else the right to tell these people that they deserve their circumstances because they are not “the fittest”?
The above is one of the more ignorant statements I’ve seen in some time. (Note I did not say stupid).  I would ask:  What gives you or anyone else the right to extort or steal money from me or any one else in order to help these people you believe need to be helped?  If you believe they need to be helped, then help them.   If I came into your house and took your things in order to sell to help people I believe need to be helped, I am sure you would call the police and have me arrested.  Your philosophy is no different except you want the police to come and take my things to give to people you believe are deserving.
Suggested reading:  Who Really Cares by Arthur C Brooks.
Thomas Sowell reviewed this book. “People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes.
It is not that conservatives have more money. Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families.”
So, who really cares, the person who wants government to take money from those who earn it or the person who takes his own money in order to give a person a hand up ?
See also my piece “Liberal Questions”
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  1. I always enjoy reading your perspective on politics!

    • Thanks Clint! I am very happy to have a kindred spirit!

  2. […] also my piece “Slavery and Socialism Discussed on Facebook” // Like this:LikeOne blogger likes […]

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