The Great Debate: Socialism vs. Capitalism
Socialism mistakes productivity for greed. Capitalism concedes the point, and proceeds to mistake greed for virtue.
Socialism believes there can be no freedom as long as there is private property ownership. Capitalism believes the legal right to hold material goods in one’s own name is a sufficient condition of freedom.
Socialism asserts that it is wrong to judge men as better or worse on the basis of relative material success — and then demands that everyone be allotted the same material wealth on the grounds that this represents the principle of equality. Capitalism denies that disparities in wealth represent any violation of natural equality — and then judges people as more or less admirable and substantial on the basis of their relative material success.
Most of the prominent socialists in history were men of political power lust who judged themselves exceptions to the principle of material equality on account of their extraordinary fitness to rule. Most of the great capitalists in history were closet socialists whose dream was to impose a quasi-command economy that simultaneously glorified their own personal wealth as somehow establishing their legitimate claim on social influence.
Socialism, when push comes to shove, justifies its peculiar excesses — ubiquitous propaganda, property-annihilating redistribution, the destruction of the family, the outright rejection of moral self-determination — with collectivist utilitarian arguments. Capitalism, when push comes to shove, justifies its peculiar excesses — rampant materialist superficiality, corporate-political machinations, truth and art reduced to soul-deadening commodities of no substance — with collectivist utilitarian arguments.
Socialism traditionally favors universal compulsory schooling organized and administered according to government-controlled standards. Capitalism traditionally favors universal compulsory schooling organized and administered according to government-controlled standards.