I am so lacking in energy this morning I may not have it in me to do a great deal of posting today but I wanted to say this. I am reading a number of observations on socialism and capitalism, some pro some con. In my view like libertarianism socialism is a fine value with which to inform one’s political opinions but it makes for a lousy governmental organizing principle. Anarcho-capitalists cannot bring themselves to admit that their preferred system may produce intolerable social outcomes. Socialists can’t bring themselves to admit that culture and history are important and are not infinitely malleable.
The track record of state socialism is terrible. That cannot be denied. It is possible for small, wealthy, ethnically and culturally homogeneous countries to create expansive welfare systems for themselves only to pull back from them as they become less ethnically and culturally homogeneous and less wealthy. There is no experience to which to turn to consider such systems in large, wealthy, diverse countries. I think the results will more closely resemble the Soviet Union or China than they do Denmark, a tiny country of six million which, when it adopted its system, was 99% ethnically Danish and culturally Lutheran.
Something for those promoting the virtues of capitalism to consider: crony capitalism which is what we have now is not one whit better than soft socialism. If you’re going to defend capitalism, you need to condemn the aspects of our system which have led to it becoming crony capitalism.
What, then, is the solution? I think it lies in patient, constant stewardship. There is no broad, sweeping simple solution to our problems. As H. L. Mencken pointed out a century ago “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”