The fundamental flaw in every variation of socialism — and this includes the watered-down versions we enjoy today (i.e. progressivism or welfare statism) — is the idea that human survival is or should be guaranteed.
Therefore, says the theory, it follows that the legitimate function of government is to ensure everyone’s survival.
This is achieved through massive applications of expropriation and other force.
The reason this is a fatal flaw is that survival by definition is not assured or guaranteed — not for any living thing — because life by definition is effort.
Life is work.
Survival — even human survival, which unique among the animals is physical and epistemological — requires effort.
Ultimately, this effort is an effort that can only be made and maintained by each individual.
No one person can think for another person.
We can and properly should help others if we choose, but it must always be voluntary.
If you come down on the side of socialism — any form of it, no matter its mutation — you necessarily come down on the side of force.
Force is why from a purely moral standpoint socialism is fatally flawed.
From a practical standpoint — which is to say, an economic standpoint — it’s fatally flawed on any number of different levels.
It cannot work.
If you come down on this side of the issue, you’ve come down on the wrong side — the side of force and non-consent — and no amount of equivocation, rationalization, circumlocution, or permutation will change that.
Egalitarianism is the defining characteristic of all forms of socialism and virtually all leftist political theory.
Full egalitarianism is the belief in total equality — not equality before the law (which is the only legitimate meaning of that term in a political context) but metaphysically equal: in personal attributes, including most importantly ambition, desire, motivation, drive.
But humans don’t possess the same attributes — not even close — nor are they born into the same circumstances, and that is why the implementation of egalitarianism by definition requires force.
Humans when left alone naturally stratify, as several experiments have demonstrated.
Egalitarianism is essentially the view that all humans must be made equal. For this precise reason, egalitarianism requires massive and continual applications of expropriation and the bureaus who enforce it.
Morally speaking, egalitarianism is an injustice.
Practically speaking — because human are limitlessly varied — it’s impossible to implement full egalitarianism, though Pol Pot’s murderous and cataclysmic Khmer Rouge, which was downplayed by leftists like Noam Chomsky until it couldn’t be downplayed any longer, is one of the nearest successes in modern times.
This is egalitarianism:
A woman who has worked hard to become a great runner — and who has succeeded — goes to the doctor to have her injured ankle mended, but instead of mending it, the doctor breaks the ankles of twenty other women and tells them all that this will make the patient feel better. When everyone has broken ankles, the doctor advocates for laws making it mandatory that everyone has broken ankles at all times, so that everyone is slightly crippled, and in this way the “unfairness” of nature is to that extent equalized.
Anarchism: anarcho-syndicalism and anarcho-capitalism
Despite the fact that both ideologies nominally (and only nominally) reject all forms of government, there is a significant ideological difference between left-wing anarchism and right-wing anarchism — most commonly, anarcho-syndicalism and anarcho-capitalism — and that difference reduces down to egalitarianism, which in turn hinges upon the principle of private property.
Anarcho-syndicalism, which is leftist and Marxist (or Neo-Marxist) in the extreme, is the anarchist theory that believes industrial unions or some similar collective will control the property and thus the economy.
Anarcho-capitalism is the anarchist theory that private property is just and therefore all things should be privatized — so that even national defense, police, and courts to adjudicate honest disagreements are, says the theory, privatized.
Both forms of anarchism — indeed, anarchism in general — will amount to mob rule or a de-facto government: e.g. the private firms that hold the weapons for national defense.
The real paradox of anarchism-versus-laissez-faire is from my perspective that true laissez faire is actually much closer to true anarchism than the brand of anarchism most stated anarchists espouse: a kind of non-conformists variety of conformity, albeit one that takes the longer way around to get there. Where?
Which, I think, is why ninety-nine percent of self-described anarchists I know vote unswervingly and unhesitatingly for whichever left-wing pundit, no matter how gigantic (and corrupt) the government programs said pundit explicitly calls for.
As I recently wrote, everything is complicated until it’s reduced — and reducing is often the most complicated part. But once it’s reduced, it becomes simple:
There are only two fundamental forms of government: freedom and non-freedom.
Freedom is the absence of coercion. It simply means that you are left alone.
Most governments are a mix — but one must always remember the iron-clad law:
Bad principles drive out good.
This is a variation on Gresham’s law.
The fight is always a fight for principles.
Thus, when people — even good people — accept doctrines the premises of which they do not know and do not seek to fully understand, they’ve instantly come a long way in conceding the principle.
And that is the process whereby bad governments, whether rightwing or left, come gradually to control the land.
And neither cronyism nor colonialism nor corporatism is laissez-faire but just the opposite.