Socialism refers to a broad array of theories, ideologies, doctrines or political movements which envisage a socio-economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as methods of establishing such a systems. "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.
- Alphabetized by author
- The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shall not covet," and "Thou shall not steal," are not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.
- John Adams, Ch. 1 Marchamont Nedham : The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth Examined, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government (1787).
- Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
- You would oppose law to socialism. But it is the law which socialism invokes. It aspires to legal, not extra-legal plunder…. You wish to prevent it from taking any part in the making of laws. You would keep it outside the Legislative Palace. In this you will not succeed, I venture to prophesy, so long as legal plunder is the basis of the legislation within.
It is absolutely necessary that this question of legal plunder should be determined, and there are only three solutions of it:—
1. When the few plunder the many.
2. When everybody plunders everybody else.
3. When nobody plunders anybody.
Partial plunder, universal plunder, absence of plunder, amongst these we have to make our choice. The law can only produce one of these results.
Partial plunder.—This is the system which prevailed so long as the elective privilege was partial; a system which is resorted to, to avoid the invasion of socialism.
Universal plunder.—We have been threatened by this system when the elective privilege has become universal; the masses having conceived the idea of making law, on the principle of legislators who had preceded them.
Absence of plunder.—This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, conciliation, and of good sense.
- Frédéric Bastiat, Essays on Political Economy (c. 1850s), part 4, "The Law", p. 20.
- Let me hear that dirty word Socialism.
- I am a Socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, Socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for co-operation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality, not because it wants people to be the same but because only through equality in our economic circumstances can our individuality develop properly.
- Tony Blair, in his maiden speech as MP for Sedgefield (6 July 1983) as quoted in Hansard, House of Commons, 6th Series, vol. 45, col. 316.
- Socialists propose to supplant the competitive planning of capitalism with a highly centralized planned economy. Our aim is frankly international and not narrowly patriotic (Daughters of the American Revolution please notice), but I cannot here discuss socialism's international policies. If we gained control of the American Government, we would probably begin with a complete revision of the national governmental system. We would do one of two things. We would write an amendment to the Constitution giving the Federal Government the right to regulate all private business and to enter into any business which it deemed proper, or we would abolish the Constitution altogether and give the National Congress the power to interpret the people's will subject only to certain general principles of free speech and free assemblage.
- Paul Blanshard, "Socialist and Capitalist Planning", The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (July 1932), p. 10.
- I had entered the communist children's movement, an organisation called the Young Pioneers of America, in 1930 in New York City; I was only nine years of age. And I'd gone through the entire '30s as a—Stalinist—initially, and then increasingly as someone who was more and more sympathetic to Trotskyism. And by 1939, after having seen Hitler rise to power, the Austrian workers revolt of 1934 (an almost completely forgotten episode in labour history), the Spanish revolution by which I mean the so-called Spanish civil war—I finally became utterly disillusioned with Stalinism, and drifted increasingly toward Trotskyism. And by 1945, I, finally, also became disillusioned with Trotskyism; and I would say, now, increasingly with Marxism and Leninism.
- [Anarchism] was concerned not only with economic exploitation, it was concerned with domination, domination which may not even have any economic meaning at all: the domination of women by men in which women are not economically exploited; the domination of ordinary people by bureaucrats, in which you may even have welfare, so-called socialist type of state; domination as it exists today in China, even when you're supposed to have a classless society; domination even as it exists in Russia, where you are supposed to have a classless society, you see.
So these are the things I noted in anarchism, and increasingly I came to the conclusion that if we were to avoid—or if we are to avoid—the mistakes in over one hundred years of proletarian socialism, if we are to really achieve a liberatory movement, not simply in terms of economic questions but in terms of every aspect of life, we would have to turn to anarchism because it alone posed the problem, not merely of class domination but hierarchical domination, and it alone posed the question, not simply of economic exploitation, but exploitation in every sphere of life. And it was that growing awareness, that we had to go beyond classism into hierarchy, and beyond exploitation into domination, that led me into anarchism, and to a commitment to an anarchist outlook.
- The basic problem I really have is that whenever I meet leftists in the socialist and Marxist movements, I'm called a petit-bourgeois individualist. [audience laughs] I'm supposed to shrink after this— Usually I'm called petit-bourgeois individualist by students, and by academicians, who’ve never done a days work life [sic] in their entire biography, whereas I have spent years in factories and the trade unions, in foundries and auto plants. So after I have to swallow the word petit-bourgeois, I don't mind the word individualist at all!
I believe in individual freedom; that's my primary and complete commitment—individual liberty. That’s what it's all about. And that's what socialism was supposed to be about, or anarchism was supposed to be about, and tragically has been betrayed.
And when I normally encounter my so-called colleagues on the left—socialists, Marxists, communists—they tell me that, after the revolution, they're gonna shoot me. [audience laughs, Murray nods] That is said with unusual consistency. They're gonna stand me and Karl up against the wall and get rid of us real fast; I feel much safer in your company. [audience laughs and applauds]
- After all, that’s exactly why we call ourselves National Socialists! We want to start by implementing socialism in our nation among our Volk! It is not until the individual nations are socialist that they can address themselves to international socialism.
- Quote from Hitler according to Otto Wagener in Hitler Memoirs of a Confidant, editor, Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., Yale University Press (1985) p. 288.
- Socialism is like Neil Diamond music. It's not good and belongs in the past, yet there's a group of people who think that it will eventually catch on if only they keep playing it.
- I believe Socialism is the grandest theory ever presented, and I am sure it will someday rule the world. Then we will have attained the Millennium.… Then men will be content to work for the general welfare and share their riches with their neighbors.
- Andrew Carnegie in New York Times (1 January 1885) "A Millionaire Socialist".
- The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
- Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons (22 October 1945).
- Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.
- Winston Churchill, speech at the Scottish Unionist Conference, Perth, Scotland (28 May 1948).
- Modern science will continue to be blindly destructive as long as its operations are determined by the anarchism of market economic forces. The problem to be solved is whether science, technology, and industry can be brought under genuinely democratic control in the context of a global planned economy, so that all of us can collectively put our hard-won scientific knowledge to mutually beneficial use. I am confident it can be accomplished, but will it? If so, there is reason for optimism. If not... well, to paraphrase Keynes, "in the not-so-long run we're all dead."
- Clifford D. Conner, A People's History of Science (2005).
- The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society — we are on the eve of universal change.
- Eugene V. Debs, in an open letter to the American Railway Union, Chicago Railway Times (1 January 1897).
- Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Yes? Well socialism is exactly the reverse.
- The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labour...I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.
- Albert Einstein, "Why Socialism?", an essay originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949).
- I believe that for the past twenty years there has been a creeping socialism spreading in the United States.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, off-the-cuff speech to Republican leaders, Custer State Park, South Dakota (June 11, 19530; in Robert J. Donovan, Eisenhower: The Inside Story (1956), p. 336. At his press conference in Washington, D.C., June 17, 1953, President Eisenhower was asked what he meant by "creeping socialism". Donovan writes, "He replied: continued Federal expansion of the T.V.A. He reiterated for what he said was the thousandth time that he would not destroy the T.V.A., but he said that he thought it was socialistic to continue putting money paid by all the taxpayers into a single region which could then attract industry away from other areas" (p. 336). See also Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, p. 433.
- I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.
- Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.
- Mikhail Gorbachev, as quoted in Daily Telegraph (16 June 1992).
- I've always doubted that the socialists had a leg to stand on intellectually. They have improved their argument somehow, but once you begin to understand that prices are an instrument of communication and guidance which embody more information than we directly have, the whole idea that you can bring about the same order based on the division of labor by simple direction falls to the ground. Similarly, the idea [that] you can arrange for distributions of incomes which correspond to some conception of merit or need. If you need prices, including the prices of labor, to direct people to go where they are needed, you cannot have another distribution except the one from the market principle. I think that intellectually there is just nothing left of socialism.
- But in the meantime they have entered a new relation; a powerful social force has caught them up. They themselves are changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.
- The true Anarchist decries all influences save those of love and reason. Ideas are his only arms.
Being an Anarchist I am also a Socialist. Socialism is the antithesis of Anarchy. One is the North Pole of Truth, the other the South. The Socialist believes in working for the good of all, while Anarchy is pure Individualism. I believe in every man working for the good of self; and in working for the good of self, he works for the good of all. To think, to see, to feel, to know; to deal justly; to bear all patiently; to act quietly; to speak cheerfully; to moderate one's voice—these things will bring you the highest good. They will bring you the love of the best, and the esteem of that Sacred Few, whose good opinion alone is worth cultivating. And further than this, it is the best way you can serve Society—live your life. The wise way to benefit humanity is to attend to your own affairs, and thus give other people an opportunity to look after theirs.
If there is any better way to teach virtue than by practicing it, I do not know it.
- Elbert Hubbard, in "The Better Part" (1901).
- Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
- Isaiah 40:4
- For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
- Jesus, in his parable of workers in a vineyard Gospel of Matthew 20:1 - 16 (KJV).
- Variant translation: "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
"About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.
"He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'
"'Because no one has hired us,' they answered.
"He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'
"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'
"The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'
"But he answered one of them, 'I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
- The socialist economy has become so strong, so vigorous that from the summits we have reached we can issue an open challenge of peaceful economic competition to the most powerful capitalist country—the United States of America.
- Nikita Khrushchev, concluding speech to twenty-second congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union (October 27, 1961); in Thomas P. Whitney, ed., Khrushchev Speaks: Selected Speeches, Articles, and Press Conferences, 1949–1961 (1963), p. 450.
- The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.
- Clause 4, as redrafted in 1995, from the constitution of the Labour Party in Britain.
- It is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else. When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor, for his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flat-boat, just what might happen to any poor man's son! I want every man to have the chance, and I believe a black man is entitled to it, in which he can better his condition. When he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system.
- But it may come as a surprise to learn that for Rothbard the New Left's most "crucial contribution to both ends and means…is its concept of 'participatory democracy.'" … This may seem less surprising once one realizes that for Rothbard the free market is the fullest realization of participatory democracy. … The political appeal of participatory democracy for Rothbard was its requirement of decentralization, and its rejection of a layer of political "representatives" above the people. But Rothbard also found the idea appealing outside the narrowly political sphere. He wrote: "Participatory democracy is at the same time…a theory of politics and a theory of organization, an approach to political affairs and to the way New Left organizations (or any organizations, for that matter) should function." And he praised "fascinating experiments in which workers are transformed into independent and equal entrepreneurs." Traditional "socialist" goals such as workers' control of industry, then, were apparently not anathema to Rothbard.
Indeed, he would later argue that any nominally private institution that gets more than 50% of its revenue from the government, or is heavily complicit in government crimes, or both, should be considered a government entity; since government ownership is illegitimate, the proper owners of such institutions are "the 'homesteaders', those who have already been using and therefore 'mixing their labor' with the facilities." This entails inter alia "student and/or faculty ownership of the universities." As for the "myriad of corporations which are integral parts of the military-industrial complex," one solution, Rothbard says, is to "turn over ownership to the homesteading workers in the particular plants." He also supported third-world land reforms considered socialistic by many conservatives, on the grounds that existing land tenure represented "continuing aggression by titleholders of land against peasants engaged in transforming the soil."
- All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
- The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.
- Norman Mailer, as quoted in Peter's Quotations : Ideas for Our Time (1977) by Laurence J. Peter.
- It is true, as I have already stated, that I have been influenced by Marxist thought. But this is also true of many of the leaders of the new independent States. Such widely different persons as Gandhi, Nehru, Nkrumah, and Nasser all acknowledge this fact. We all accept the need for some form of socialism to enable our people to catch up with the advanced countries of this world and to overcome their legacy of extreme poverty. But this does not mean we are Marxists.
- Nelson Mandela, statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the Rivonia Trial, Pretoria Supreme Court, (20 April 1964).
- Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.
- Karl Marx, The Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848).
- Socialism has come, and it has failed. Marx's legacy is in his materialist historiography. It's time we left his ideology to be the parlor game of bourgeois college students, and let the new radicals define a new radical economy for our neo-liberal age. I won't be among them, as a staunch kind-of-conservative, but it'd be nice to see the 'Red Flag' retired.
- It is the common error of Socialists to overlook the natural indolence of mankind; their tendency to be passive, to be the slaves of habit, to persist indefinitely in a course once chosen. Let them once attain any state of existence which they consider tolerable, and the danger to be apprehended is that they will thenceforth stagnate; will not exert themselves to improve, and by letting their faculties rust, will lose even the energy required to preserve them from deterioration. Competition may not be the best conceivable stimulus, but it is at present a necessary one, and no one can foresee the time when it will not be indispensable to progress.
- Whenever, in any country, the proprietor, generally speaking, ceases to be the improver, political economy has nothing to say in defense of landed property, as there established. In no sound theory of private property was it ever contemplated that the proprietor of land should be merely a sinecurist quartered on it.
- John Stuart Mill, "The Principles of Political Economy" Vol.1.
- As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.
- In my opinion, nothing has contributed so much to the corruption of the original idea of socialism as the belief that Russia is a socialist country and that every act of its rulers must be excused, if not imitated. And so for the last ten years, I have been convinced that the destruction of the Soviet myth was essential if we wanted a revival of the socialist movement.
- The Spanish war and other events in 1936-7 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects.
- Since 1930 I had seen little evidence that the USSR was progressing towards anything that one could truly call Socialism. On the contrary, I was struck by clear signs of its transformation into a hierarchical society, in which the rulers have no more reason to give up their power than any other ruling class. Moreover, the workers and intelligentsia in a country like England cannot understand that the USSR of today is altogether different from what it was in 1917. It is partly that they do not want to understand (i.e. they want to believe that, somewhere, a really Socialist country does actually exist), and partly that, being accustomed to comparative freedom and moderation in public life, totalitarianism is completely incomprehensible to them.
- In three ways unemployment would be reduced. First... by greater equalization of purchasing power and consequent stimulus in the form of effective demand. Second, by utilizing the national credit and socialized industries for the creation of new industries and the extension of existing ones. ...Social ownership and operation of the basic industries, and especially socialized banking and credit, would greatly facilitate the task of shifting the masses of unemployed into productive channels. Third, if necessary, by shortening working hours and dividing the available work among all the people.
- The actual participants in industry under individualism are prompted to action by the following combination of incentives: desire for an income, desire for a higher income, desire for security, satisfaction received from shouldering responsibility or from wielding power, the joy of participation in creative activity, and the desire for applause and prestige. ...And all these motivations may be conserved and strengthened under socialism.
- Kirby Page, Property (1935).
- A social order in which the maximum legal income is not more than tenfold the minimum... and in which competition for private profit has been eliminated, and in which social motivations are more dominant, is certain to be a more harmonious community than can ever be created by economic individualism.
- Kirby Page, Property (1935).
- If individuals exercise the freedom to seek their own gain through competitive struggle and to acquire unlimited wealth and property, the result for most of the population will be bondage to destitution and insecurity.
- Kirby Page, Property (1935).
- When we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth," we are praying for the abolition of individualism and the coming of the higher individuality through collective action as members of God's Home on earth.
- Kirby Page, Property (1935).
- The consolidation of financial and industrial power in the hands of a small section of the people leads inevitably to more and more intense congestion of money.
- When an individual becomes utterly dependent on another person or group to provide all of their emotional, spiritual and physical needs, that individual has given away all of their power. They are allowing another person or persons the ability to pull the proverbial rug out from under them at any given moment. It is a form of slavery, plain and simple. Furthermore, the dependent individual is held down, unable to rise above the level of the person or persons to which they have become dependent upon. I call that evil.
- If it had pleased them [the legislators] to order that this wealth, after having been possessed by fathers during their life, should return to the republic after their death, you would have no reason to complain of it.
- The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.
- Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus (1991).
- The fundamental reason why Medicare is failing is why the Soviet Union failed; socialism doesn't work.
- Rand Paul, as quoted in Kentucky Tonight (16 June 1998), KET.
- In the strictly Marxist sense, there is not even in Soviet Russia a state socialism but a state capitalism. According to Marx, the social condition "capitalism" does not consist in the existence of individual capitalists, but in the existence of the specific "capitalist mode of production", that is, in the production of exchange values instead of use values, in wage work of the masses and in the production of surplus value, which is appropriated by the state or the private owners, and not by the society of working people. In this strictly Marxist sense, the capitalistic system continues to exist in Russia. And it will continue to exist as long as the masses of people continue to lack responsibility and to crave authority.
- Wilhelm Reich, in his Introduction to the third edition of The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1945).
- You are afraid of life, Little Man, deadly afraid. You will murder it in the belief of doing it for the sake of "socialism," or "the state," or "national honor," or "the glory of God."
- Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man! (1948).
- The Idiots of socialism are slaves, but they are no one's property and therefore no one's loss.
- George Reisman, Capitalism : A Treatise on Economics (1996).
- Under communism (socialism), there is no incentive to supply people with anything they need or want, including safety.
- George Reisman, Capitalism : A Treatise on Economics (1996).
- Few places in the world have suffered so much from the bad advice of socialist and welfare economists as Africa.
- It is not the truth of Marxism that explains the willingness of intellectuals to believe it, but the power that it confers on intellectuals, in their attempts to control the world. And since, as Swift says, it is futile to reason someone out of a thing that he was not reasoned into, we can conclude that Marxism owes its remarkable power to survive every criticism to the fact that it is not a truth-directed but a power-directed system of thought.
- Roger Scruton, Political Philosophy : Arguments for Conservatism (2006).
- As we know, socialism is calculational chaos. Rational appraisement and allocation are eternally elusive. It is a gigantic negative-sum game in which each player quickly grabs a piece of the pie, and all the while the pie shrinks before the players' eyes. The welfare/warfare state, the interventionist state, is no improvement. Each intervention begets yet another. Bureaucracy is the only 'industry' guaranteed to experience growth. Each new regulation taxes the private sector, relentlessly shifting resources out of the hands of the productive, and into the hands of the unproductive. Capitalism is the only positive-sum game in town.
- Larry J. Sechrest, in "The Anti-Capitalists : Barbarians at the Gate", Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture at the Austrian Scholars Conference in Auburn, Alabama (15 March 2008).
- It is far more likely that by the time nationalization has become the rule, and private enterprise the exception, Socialism (which is really rather a bad name for the business) will be spoken of, if at all, as a crazy religion held by a fanatical sect in that darkest of dark ages, the nineteenth century. Already, indeed, I am told that Socialism has had its day, and that the sooner we stop talking nonsense about it and set to work, like the practical people we are, to nationalize the coal mines and complete a national electrification scheme, the better. And I, who said forty years ago that we should have had Socialism already but for the Socialists, am quite willing to drop the name if dropping it will help me to get the thing. What I meant by my jibe at the Socialists of the eighteen-eighties was that nothing is ever done, and much is prevented, by people who do not realize that they cannot do everything at once.
- George Bernard Shaw, The Intelligent Woman's Guide To Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism, And Fascism (1928).
- The trouble is with socialism, which resembles a form of mental illness more than it does a philosophy. Socialists get bees in their bonnets. And because they chronically lack any critical faculty to examine and evaluate their ideas, and because they are pathologically unwilling to consider the opinions of others, and most of all, because socialism is a mindset that regards the individual — and his rights — as insignificant, compared to whatever the socialist believes the group needs, terrible, terrible things happen when socialists acquire power.
- Capitalist enterprises buy components from others who have lower costs in producing those particular components, and sell their own output to whatever middlemen can most efficiently carry out its distribution. But a socialist economy may forego these advantages of specialization— and for perfectly rational reasons, given the very different circumstances in which they operate.
- Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics, 4th ed. (2010), Ch. 6. The Role of Profits—and Losses.
- I believe anarcho-capitalism is, in some ways, incorrectly named. … Socialism…has never been a mere intellectual discourse upon why the labor theory of value was supposedly a superior line of academic thought. Socialism is not and never has been a "club". Socialists have always been motivated by a passion for social justice as best they understand it—which naturally implies that understanding is capable of being raised to a greater degree of accuracy and sophistication. … It is my contention that Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism is misnamed because it is actually a variety of socialism, in that it offers an alternative understanding of existing capitalism (or any other variety of statism) as systematic theft from the lower classes and envisions a more just society without that oppression. Rather than depending upon the the labor theory of value to understand this systematic theft, Rothbardian market anarchism utilizes natural law theory and Lockean principles of property and self-ownership taken to their logical extreme as an alternative framework for understanding and combating oppression. … Murray Rothbard was a visionary socialist. … Because the market anarchist society would be one in which the matter of systematic theft has been addressed and rectified, market anarchism…is best understood a new variety of socialism—a stigmergic socialism. Stigmergy is a fancy word for systems in which a natural order emerges from the individual choices made by the autonomous components of a collective within the sphere of their own self-sovereignty. To the extent coercion skews markets by distorting the decisions of those autonomous components (individual people), it ought to be seen that a truly free market (a completely stigmergic economic system) necessarily implies anarchy, and that any authentic collectivism is necessarily delineated in its bounds by the the natural rights of the individuals composing the collective.
- All socialism involves slavery. What is essential to the idea of a slave? We primarily think of him as one who is owned by another. To be more than nominal, however, the ownership must be shown by control of the slave’s actions, a control which is habitually for the benefit of the controller.
- Socialism is nothing but the capitalism of the lower classes.
- Oswald Spengler, The Hour Of Decision, Part One : Germany and World-Historical Evolution (1934).
- We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system! And with my inclination to practical action it seems obvious to me that we have to put a better, more just, more moral system in its place, one which, as it were, has arms and legs and better arms and legs than the present one!
- Gregor Strasser, from "Thoughts about the Tasks of the Future", 1926 June 15.
- Wealth in modern societies is distributed according to opportunity; and while opportunity depends partly upon talent and energy, it depends still more upon birth, social position, access to education and inherited wealth; in a word, upon property.
- In reality... the greater part of modern property... is merely a form of private taxation which the law allows certain persons to levy on the industry of others... it confers upon its owners income unaccompanied by personal service.
- R. H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Society (1920).
- The real economic cleavage is not... between employers and employed, but between all who do constructive work, from scientist to laborer, on the one hand, and all whose main interest is the preservation of existing proprietary rights upon the other, irrespective of whether they contribute to constructive work or not.
- R. H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Society (1920).
- If by "Property" is meant the personal possessions which the word suggests to nine-tenths of the population, the object of socialists is not to undermine property but to protect and increase it.
- R. H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Society (1920).
- Hitler’s socialism was his own and subordinate to his secret aims. His concept of organized economy was close to genuine socialism but he would be a socialist only so long as it served the greater goal.
- Quoted in Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography by John Toland (1992), p 314.
- Socialism accepts... the principles, which are the cornerstones of democracy, that authority to justify its title , must rest on consent; that power is tolerable only so far as it is accountable to the public; and that differences of character and capacity between human beings, however important on their own plane, are of minor importance when compared with the capital fact of their common humanity. Its object is to extend the application of those principles from the sphere of civil and political rights, where, at present, they are nominally recognized, to that of economic and social organization, where they are systematically and insolently defined.
- R. H. Tawney, Equality (1931), p. 197.
- Socialists cry "Power to the people", and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State.
- As for me, I am deeply a democrat; this is why I am in no way a socialist. Democracy and socialism cannot go together. You can't have it both ways...socialism is a new form of slavery.
- Alexis de Tocqueville, "Notes for a Speech on Socialism" (1848).
- A nationalized planned economy needs democracy, as the human body needs oxygen.
- Leon Trotsky in a statement of 1936, as quoted in The Informed Vision : Essays On Learning And Human Nature (2002) by David Hawkins, p. 25; sometimes paraphrased "Socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen."
- Yet there was an air of good humor about their idealism that made me feel they would not be too offended if I admitted that I regard socialists as well-meaning but muddle-headed brigands.
- Colin Wilson in Access to Inner Worlds, p. 30.
- Nothing has spread Socialistic feeling in this country more than the use of automobiles. To the countryman they are a picture of arrogance of wealth with all its independence and carelessness.
- Socialism...must have a dictatorship, it will not work without it.
- Mao Zedong, as quoted in Dikötter, Frank, The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution, 1945–57 (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 1st U.S. ed. 2013 (ISBN 978-1-62040-347-1)), pp. 236–237 (author Dikötter chair prof. humanities, University of Hong Kong & was prof. modern history of China, School of Oriental & African Studies, Univ. of London.
- "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific" by Friedrich Engels
- "Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein
- "The Soul of Man under Socialism" by Oscar Wilde
- "Socialism and Liberty" by George Bernard Shaw
- Freedom Socialist Party website
- What is Socialism?
- History of socialism at Spartacus Educational
- Modern History Sourcebook on socialism
- Socialist history at What Next?
- "The Two Souls of Socialism" by Hal Draper
- "Approaching Socialism" by Harry Magdoff and Fred Magdoff
- PBS television documentary: "Heaven on Earth: the Rise and Fall of Socialism"
- Towards a New Socialism by W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell
- 21st Century Socialism web magazine
- New Ideas of Socialism
- World Socialist Web Site
- The Marxists Internet Archive (online library of Marxist writers)
- Marxist.net - a resource on socialist writers
- In Defense of Marxism
- Reason in Revolt: Marxism and Modern Science By Alan Woods and Ted Grant
- Science, Marxism & the Big Bang: A Critical Review of Reason in Revolt by Peter Mason
- What Needs to be Done: A Socialist View by Fred Magdoff and Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review, November 2009
- The Socialism Website