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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 59 -- Abortion. | WILLisms.com | EU: French & Dutch, Non & Nee. »

Quotational Therapy: Part 14 -- Barry Goldwater, On Creeping Socialism.



For many years it appeared that the principal domestic threat to our freedom was contained in the doctrines of Karl Marx. The collectivists-- non-Communists as well as Communists-- had adopted the Marxist objective of "socializing the means of production." And so it seemed that collectivization were imposed, it would take the form of a State owned and operated economy. I doubt whether this is the main threat any longer.

The collectivists have found, both in this country and in other industrialized nations of the West, that free enterprise has removed the economic and social conditions that might have made a class struggle possible. Mammoth productivity, wide distribution of wealth, high standards of living, the trade union movement-- these and other factors have eliminated whatever incentive there might have been for the "proletariat" to rise up, peaceably or otherwise, and assume direct ownership of productive property. Significantly, the bankruptcy of doctrinaire Marxism has been expressly acknowledged by the Socialist Part of West Germany, and by the dominant faction of the Socialist Part of Great Britain. In this country the abandonment of the Marxist approach (outside the Communist Party, of course) is attested to by the negligible strength of the Socialist Part, and more tellingly perhaps, by the content of left wing literature and by the programs of left wing political organizations such as the Americans For Democratic Action.

The currently favored instrument of collectivization is the Welfare State. The collectivists have not abandoned their ultimate goal-- to subordinate the individual to the State-- but their strategy has changed. They have learned that Socialism can be achieved through Welfarism quite as well as through Nationalization. They understand that private property can be confiscated as effectively by taxation as by expropriating it. They understand that the individual can be put at the mercy of the State-- not only by making the State his employer-- but by divesting him of the means to provide for his personal needs and by giving the State the responsibility of caring for those needs from cradle to grave. Moreover, they have discovered-- and here is the critical point-- that Welfarism is much more compatible with the political processes of a democratic society. Nationalization ran into popular opposition, but the collectivists feel sure the Welfare State can be erected by the simple expedient of buying votes with promises of "free" hospitalization, "free" retirement pay and so on....

I do not welcome this shift of strategy. Socialism-through-Welfarism poses a far greater danger to freedom than Socialism-through-Nationalization precisely because it is more difficult to combat. The evils of Nationalization are self-evident and immediate. Those of Welfarism are veiled and tend to be postponed.

Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative, 1960.

Previous Quotational Therapy Sessions:

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10; Part 11; Part 12; Part 13.

The right quotation can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy every Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 27 May 2005 09:03 AM



Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 27, 2005 12:36 PM

Very Theraputic!... I met Barry Goldwater when I was about 3 years old! I was in Goldwaters Department Store with my mom and her friend Bernie Bayless! I remember running up to him and telling him I voted for him!... What I didn't remember is that I lifted my dress up while I was saying that to him. Bernie told me about that a few years ago! My oh! my...

Posted by: Linda at May 28, 2005 07:29 AM

People fail to realize that Engel's/Marx's basic premise of all relationships being economic alone discounts his vision of a perfect future. They went as far as reducing the family structure down to division of labor and means of production. Whoops!

Posted by: hofzinser at May 30, 2005 09:06 AM