Conservatism vs Democratic Socialism – why one works and the other doesn’t

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I watched a clip by the brilliant and funny Steven Crowder explaining the difference between ‘Conservatism’ and ‘Democratic Socialism’ – which is still Socialism by the way. You can add the word ‘Democratic’ to Communism as well. It doesn’t change the economic system at all.

You’ll see many Bernie supporters (and Bernie himself)  throwing the words ‘Democratic Socialism’ around, hoping that you won’t pick up on the fact that ‘Democracy’ and ‘Socialism’ (and ‘Communism’) are orthogonal concepts. One is an ECONOMIC SYSTEM, the other a POLITICAL SYSTEM. No matter how the political system changes, the economic system remains exactly what it is.  So don’t let anyone woo you with the word ‘democratic’ as if that somehow makes it ‘not Socialism’. The fact that they even have to add the word ‘democratic’ to make it sound more palatable just shows what a bad history socialism has.

I’ve posted the clip at the bottom, but for those who aren’t going to watch the full 19 minutes, here’s a short summary of why Conservatism works and Socialism doesn’t.

  1. Conservatives believe that an individual, when left alone and given the freedom to make their own decisions, tends to do so more effectively than any government bureaucrat would, if they were empowered to make decisions on behalf of said individual. Conservatives also believe that it is morally imperative to provide people with that freedom. That’s all. That’s Conservatism in a nutshell. Limited government and freedom for the individual.
  2. Of the two world views (Conservatism and Socialism), there is one that allows and acknowledges human nature and one that NECESSITATES humans being inherently altruistic, particularly those in government – Socialism requires that governments be completely immune to corruption. So Socialism centralizes money and power to the federal government, trusting that the government will always be beyond corruption and altruistic, whereas Conservatives prefer that power be decentralized and left with the people themselves.
  3. So Conservativism allows for the fact that some people are going to be good and some are going to be idiots. It allows all of these types to make their own decisions and the INVISIBLE HAND OF THE MARKET is there to mitigate the damage, as opposed to the incredible damage that can be done by a centralized power.
  4. An important question where Conservatives and Socialists differ is: What is the legitimate role of government? Conservatives would say that the role of government should be similar to that of an ice hockey referee. An ice hockey ref is there to (A) ensure the safety of the players, and (B) ensure the players are obeying the rules in a way that keeps the pace of the game -keeping the players (ie, the citizens) safe. That would mean that the military and the police force, etc are part of the legitimate role of government. Having regulations in place to ensure that people don’t steal or hurt each other is what government is there for. Anything beyond that is considered incidental and the referee at an ice hockey game keeps his whistle in his pocket. The referee’s role is not to pick winners, losers, provide medical assistance, to be a water boy, or even to draft the teams… Likewise, a Constitutional Republic provides for a very limited role of the federal government, and it does so for a reason.
  5. To sum up, Conservatism says that when accounting for human nature, you want a DECENTRALIZATION of power. You don’t want the bulk of the power and money in one place (like Socialism requires). History has shown repeatedly that putting all the power in one place and trusting ‘that place’ to be altruistic and only look out for the needs of the people, never leads anywhere good. You only need to open a history book to see how socialism generally starts with the best intentions…. And ends badly.

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