Socialism is a “natural” force of attraction (and not a rational argument)

by | Jan 26, 2024 | Philosophy

Socialism is fundamentally a “natural” force of attraction, and in no way a rational argument. Socialism is like gravity. It is indeed the path of least immediate effort (according to several criteria), the line of steepest immediate slope, and therefore a considerable force of attraction.

The attraction is always present, and if one does not constantly fight against it, one succumbs to it. Jefferson wrote: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It is an eternal, permanent vigilance, the only thing capable of countering the ongoing phenomenon because the phenomenon itself is permanent.

This attraction/gravity itself generates additional forces in the sense that, within a group, there will be aggregations that have their own force of attraction and inertia, further reinforcing the movement (herd behavior).

An individual alone may be tempted to loot a house but will give up due to a lack of means. A crowd, due to its numbers, is stronger and more confident, and each individual can then take advantage to unleash their looting instincts. (As leftist crowds unfortunately often show.)

This phenomenon of the path of least immediate effort (inability, laziness) obviously affects a considerable population, hence the early interest in crafting a “theoretical” justifying facade for it.

This theoretical facade is nonsensical, for the simple reason that it has no intention of seriously explaining anything, especially not reality. That’s not its function. Its function is that of a simplistic alibi, meant to cover a raw natural impulse.

It is practically a liturgy, intentionally simplistic, to be able to engage and be memorized by the largest number of people. Treating or attacking this liturgy as if it were a logical argument is inevitably deceiving.

Within its circle of followers, a liturgy essentially plays a role of identification. The liturgy serves as an access code, but it is not what truly binds the circle of followers. What truly binds them are the shared impulses. Disassembling the liturgy is therefore futile.

Spinoza said: “What I desire is good: it is not because we judge that something is good that we desire it, but it is because we desire it that we judge it to be good.”

This is profoundly true.

The supporting pillar of the thing presented as “good” is the (animal) primal desire, not the inherently good (and logically explainable) nature of the thing. Trying to dismantle it through any argumentation is bound to fail because, in fact, the thing is not initially supported by any argumentation.

It is like sawing off the external, artificial legs of a table that actually rests on a concealed central leg (largely hidden by the forest of peripheral legs). One can cut, chop finely, and burn all the apparent legs… the table still stands (and the liberal apostle tears his hair out, if he has any left).

All individuals who make the mistake of wasting their time arguing with a socialist go through the same experience. For every element of socialist liturgy dismantled, another element follows until one ends up looping back. The elements of liturgy are poor shields whose function is not to be solid but simply to hold just enough to brandish another amulet, another element of liturgy, and so on. This allows the carousel to keep turning without ever delving into any serious economic theory, as the liturgy spares that effort, and also never scrutinizing one’s own basic motivations too closely.

It is sometimes claimed that the success of socialism is due to the slow and patient argumentation work of its clergy to convince the masses. (And therefore, by applying the same approach to liberal ideas, they will also take root). But correlation is not causation. It is primarily because socialist liturgy has a strong tailwind and is easy that it seduces, not because of any intellectual solidity (which is non-existent).

Believing that proselytizing for liberal ideas operates under the same conditions as socialist proselytism is a dramatic misjudgment.

“Socialism is, first and foremost, a personal shipwreck.” Here is another relevant adage. An individual’s socialism is the voluntary and deliberate personal adherence of an individual to this deadly doctrine. Adherence may be due to a lack of intellectual faculties or a deliberate choice, but in both cases, the renunciation of this lazy and deadly doctrine can only come from the individual themselves. And if the individual is truly predisposed to socialism, nothing will make them renounce it. It’s like expecting energy to suspend the fall of a falling stone.

All of the above does not mean that liberal and libertarian arguments would be useless. It’s quite the opposite. But they are materials only exploitable by individuals willing to hear them. Targeting a resistant population represents wasted time and energy, time and energy that would be much better invested in concrete projects.

“No one should expect that any logical argument or any experience could ever shake the almost religious fervor of those who believe in salvation through spending and credit expansion.” – Ludwig von Mises


This article was originally posted here.