Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Marxism sees socialism as a transitional state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
Communism and socialism are not much different. The only real difference is that under communism the government owns everything, the people own nothing. Socialist theory is that the community owns everything. The reality is that the people under either system own nothing. Both economic systems give the government absolute power over everything.
Communism might be described as socialism on steroids. The theory of both holds that there are no wealthy or poor people — all are equal, and the community distributes what it produces based only on need. To each according to his need, from each according to his ability, is a slogan popularized by Karl Marx.
Under either socialism or communism, assuming there is any difference between them, they have the same effect — Nothing can be obtained by working harder or more than what is required. Working less than what is required can get you killed immediately or killed slowly in the gulag, a labor camp where people are generally worked to death. Gulags, labor camps, are necessary under both systems to supply labor for public works projects. Few will volunteer for hard labor because they cannot gain anything more than their individual needs. If there are too few volunteers some will be impressed into a labor system that very much resembles slavery. That’s why a socialist state is always a police state. It is always necessary to use force to carry out socialist policies.
You might think that under Marx’s slogan each individual is examined to determine his or her needs, and that the socialist government will then supply that person at a level commensurate with their needs. Not so. Individual needs are determined in the aggregate, not individually.
You might think you need more than one roll of toilet paper per month, but if the government thinks you only need one, then that’s all you’ll get. If they put Sheryl Crow in charge of toilet paper you won’t even get that. In the final stages of socialism even one roll of toilet paper will beyond reach because the government won’t have any, at least not for common people that make up around 98% of the population. The ruling class, the other 2%, do not have any worries about such common things as toilet paper. They will always have all the want, delivered to their door. They won’t need to disturb the Mercedes in their 5-car garage.
Socialism is and always will be a small, very wealthy ruling class determining the living standard for of the rest of the population that have no hope of climbing the socio-economic ladder.
Those who tout the blessings of socialism, such as Alexandria O’Crazy-Cortez, have to be doing so only because they believe they will be members of the rich and privileged ruling class. Since those are long odds, only about 1 in 50, they are allowing their enthusiasm to lead them into probable ruin.
Contrary to what many believe, no European country is socialist. They are capitalist welfare states. Because welfare entails enormous and costly bureaucracies to administer the system, taxes are very high. Governments in these states become massive and intrusive into people’s lives. This stifles individual initiative and hope for a brighter future. The welfare roles become ever expanding and consume much of a countries DGP.
Welfare statism, like socialism, inflicts harm on a country and eventually can destroy it, only slower.
A lack of adequate supplies of toilet paper are a sufficient metaphor to describe the harshness of socialism, at least in its final stage. Everyone will take toilet paper for granted until it’s not available. Life without it stinks.