Socialism Does NOT Work | Theodore Dalrymple | Oxford Union



mr. president ladies and gentlemen I in turn will point out what I think this side of the house is under no obligation to prove and that is that no system other than socialism shall we say feudalism or slavery or primitive hunter-gatherer that we see in so many parts of Great Britain or or even the corrupt corporatism of contemporary Britain fails to solve the problems that socialism is allegedly the solution to all we have to do is to show that socialism does not solve the problems that it allegedly sells and it does so it fails to do so because of its very intrinsic nature there's something contradictory to its claims that prevents it from producing the benefits that are claimed for it now the definition of socialism I will use is that of the Oxford English Dictionary and it's the only definition really I think that is worth debating a theory and it says that socialism is a theory or system of social organization based on state or collective ownership and regulation of the means of production distribution and exchange for the common benefit of all members of society and that is the same ladies and gentlemen mr. president we're not debating social democracies such as Sweden or Denmark which maintain their generous social provision by a very efficient private-sector economy let us turn then to this socialism in which the means of production etc are allegedly organized with the benefit of all members of society the first thing to notice is that all members of any society may not agree what is beneficial certainly to them this is not possible and here I speak from experience is not even possible in a marriage letting let alone in a society of many millions in other words conflict over desirable ends is irreducible except for an anchorite in the syrian desert subsisting on locusts and honey so the very idea of socialism is absurd from the start you can only impose theoretical absurdity by force if we turn to so those societies in which socialism as I defined it and as I say is the only way worthwhile to define it was put into practice namely the communist countries that are now almost non socialist with the exception of Cuba and North Korea there are no advertisements for socialism and I hope I don't have to rehearse the historical record of those societies which has been almost universally disastrous from the first and from every possible angle the record could be summarized as millions dead freedom unknown and nothing to show show for it the reasons for the failure were intrinsic to the theory on which the practice was based it was not just because a theory was applied wrongly that the people who were apply applying this theory were somehow foolish or weak or so on I won't go into the economic inefficiency entailed under socialism by the virtual abolition of the pricing mechanism and the replacement of the impersonal allocation by price by allocation by political influence which is obviously far more conducive to tyranny let me just remark instead on something that I think is so obvious that it takes considerable intellectual effort to avoid thinking about it and it requires training in order to be able to avoid thinking about it when socialists talk glibly of organizing the economy the organization of the economy for the benefit of all there must be some organizer for the benefit of all some philosopher king or kings who will do that organization there are the organize and there are the organizers and not much in between and so there's no freedom no spontaneity and it is not in my view coincidental that not much in the way of innovation or invention ever arose in any socialist state tyranny and shortage both organized and disorganized is the natural result and were mitigated only by jokes on the one hand and black marketeering on the other which was the re the reestablishment of a market human nature being what it is the organizers do not and will never work for the benefit of everyone with selfless indifference to their own personal advantage I once worked in a socialist country in Africa Tanzania where millions of peasants had been moved off of course by force from their land and herded into collectivized villages for the benefit of everyone apparently and to the hosannas of socialists around the world in short order the country in which 90% of the population were peasants and there was no shortage of land could not even feed itself let alone produce anything for export indeed by far its largest expert export was requests for emergency foreign aid but you could tell the members of the organising party the party of the Revolution the Chama Cha map in doozie and you could tell them very simply by their girth they were fat and the peasants were thin we on this side of the house do not have to claim that man is only a selfish beast and inevitably acts red in tooth and claw in his own private interest we do not believe that no society has ever been like that socialists however tend to think that that is what people are like left to themselves which is why they want to Dragoon them in their own in the interests of society as a whole let me remind you of the opening words of the Theory of Moral Sentiments by a man not often known for his socialist sentiment namely Adam Smith how selfish so ever man may be supposed there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others and render their happiness necessary to him though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it this is from the the profit if you like of economic freedom it does not follow however from the fact that all of the people are altruistic some of the time and some of the people are altruistic all of the time that all of the people can be altruistic all of the time which is what socialism requires for it to work it never can be so and therefore socialism does not and cannot work socialists in my view have always been and are fantasies Marx thought that when under socialism the division of labor was abolished Society would regulate the general production and thus make it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow to hunt in morning to fish in the afternoon to rear cattle in evening criticise after dinner just as I have in mind without ever becoming hunter fishermen Shepherd or critic there is scarcely mr. president a religious fantasy half so absurd and you might as well make Hogwarts the blueprint for British education mr. president socialism does not work because it cannot work




Comments
  1. Follow the money….capatlism has its dirty hands in the pockets of the poorest through imf loans….socialism stops such abhorrent and horrific behaviour….your are living off the blood and sweat of the enslaved and go about pretending to be kind virtuous 'hard working' and completely at one with yourselves…which you are totally not….cause you know somewhere lurking down there is your hand on the throat of the poor….but don't look down…….look anywhere but down….

  2. Basic Argument:

    Socialism requires altruism of the people all the time.

    Some people are altruistic some of the time and some people are altruistic all the time.

    Not all people are altruistic all the time.

    Therefore, it is too optimistic to be true.

  3. A very common misconception is that communism is a system that needs to be impossed to stop capitalism, its not like that, communism is a system that should follow after capitalism is fully developed and going down the toilet after it has worn itself out, destroyed the enviroment, generated enough exclusion and wasted most of the resourses, making necessary a central planification. A planned economy which will be more austere and less wasteful in resourses.

    Marx, in fact, WANTED capitalism to fully develop itself first in order for communism to be successful. The revolution is only there to help overthrown capitalism when its dying. Similar to what happened in Europe when revolutions helped to overthrow the dying monarchies. But I guess people cant be bothered to read what Marx was actually saying. Reading is hard, isnt it?

  4. this man is right, The Communist should just start a factory, organize it, then when they make it a success, buy out all the private firms. but they couldn`t organize a piss up in a brewery

  5. http://www.staff.uni-giessen.de/~g31130/PDF/marx/Manifest
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf
    Abolition of the nuclear family (p.24), abolition of private property (p.22), no individuality and personal freedom (p. 23-24 ), forced labour (p. 26). Communism and Socialism are totalitarian by design! and will inevitably end with a FUHRER on top of millions of dead bodies.

  6. How does he explain the success of Germany then . I know it's not a totally socialist country but it leans that way . That's what Corbyn and his ilk are calling for . Not a communist country .

  7. What's social about taking resources from people who earned those resources and giving it to people who didn't earn it?

  8. Socialists are hypocritical therefore it does not work . Corbyn has never had a proper job so cannot understand the needs of the working people. Money has to be generated to pay for the things we like or need to live. Being employer are an employee we need money to live . Most government run bodies are poorly run and waste our hard earned money on taxes that fail to deliver services.

  9. Socialism is a trick of ruling class for purposes of control. All you need is to have leader over a barrel (an oil barrel) and you're in business–Big Business. Socialism violates categorical imperative–"Do Unto Others….." How would you like to be the one who is robbed by Socialists. Socialists already steal enough–if you work less, college tuition drops dramatically–here you see the fallacy of removing work ethic under socialism. Evolves out of feudalism but is only tried in pre-feudal societies, China and Russia. Socialism/Communism seems to be the way in which pre-feudal societies justify their pre-feudal autocratic governments. Communism assumes that man is good and leaders of Soviets can be trusted with all the wealth of society. Actually, in Russia, the ruling elements or nomenclatura became corrupt after the revolution faster than John McEnroe's return of service. Anarchist Bakhunin knew this would happen and destroyed Marx in debate–the Soviets would be corrupted because of corrupted human nature. Also, economist Menger destroyed Marx's theory and Marx apparently actually accepted Menger's critique–Marx stopped writing and just studied, gambled, drank, and goofed off for most of his adult life after starting 'Das Capital'–he was writing about a false, disproven theory and he knew it.

  10. So we agree "democratic socialism" actually works in Denmark. So why don't we talk about that more?!! A socialistic healthcare, but a private capitalistic economy. You can have both!

  11. 5.00 "Not much in the way of innovation or invention ever arose in any socialist state" Yuri Gargarin first man in space, Sputnik 1 first artificial satellite in space ??????

  12. Some posh toff named Theodore, born with a finely polished silver spoon in his mouth. Mummy and daddy had the same such privilege. Never once wanted or needed due to the privilege of being born into such family. These posh chums with plumbs in their traps do not understand any struggle or adversity as they have never been exposed to it.
    Read ‘The Establishment’ by Owen Jones and you will ‘get it’ if you don’t already.

  13. denmark is shit tier without sitting on lots of oil, and fuck off with sweden they are massively capitalist with no unproductive minorities, or were until EU forcing trash in

  14. What seams really childish to me is all that quarrelling about what is better, socialism and capitalism, as if that were really a question. Havent they both failed?! It seems to me like asking the question "who is better, men or women?" Why must everything be black or white? Shoulnt the question be what is the best of either idea and how can we bring it together? As some european countries do – like germany, were i live.

  15. Corporate Socialism is the key, communism was collectivism, nothing more, financially fascism was copied by Roosevelt for the New Deal with 200 americans on the Italian soil, pls before type anything do your research not use your Netflix intelligence

  16. @6:59 The toff lad is wondering if he should assume power over the people through an international banking monopoly or becoming a socialist dictator.

  17. The elites want to return to Victorian Britain free from socialism. They need to perpetuate it as a demon to deflect us away from corporations bribing them to frack, pollute and exploit us, to privatise the NHS (socialism in action) and make themselves mega rich so that 1% hold on to the 99% of wealth and 99% stay poor.

  18. Because humans are selfish, love to hoard and hate to give, we should go with capitalism the most selfish concept known to man? Now, that all depends upon the reason for why we are bigots toward those who have less education, wealth or whiteness. For if evolution has a few million years to go to achieve equality, than to grin and bear it we must.

    But, if by intelligent design we have a destiny to establish that good is life, death is evil and that sin is a desire to do evil, than it behooves us to get on the right side of history.

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