“Socialism just hasn’t been done right yet.”
Socialism can be broadly defined as an approach to politics and economics which favours the production of goods for the good of society as a whole; it locates the ills of society in the acquisitive goal of private property, the chaos of the free market and the harmful effects of the division of labour; it is still a significant part of left-wing politics, but found its most eloquent expression in Marx and its practical culmination in the stillborn communist revolutions of the 20th century — supporters maintain it just hasn’t been done right yet, and hasn’t had a chance to fulfil its potential.
Socialism does sound like a more agreeable and egalitarian economic system over the profit-driven capitalist system. However, based on historical data, the hatching of a socialist state will involve much bloodshed. If someone thinks socialism is still worth one more try, then they are asserting that the benefit to the inhabitants of a new socialist society is worth, if not the cumulative total of all deaths from past attempts at socialist utopias (approx. 100 million people), then at least the historical average amount of citizens you need to kill to get one going.
If we include the socialism-inspired experiments of the USSR, China, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia and the countries in the Eastern Bloc, then we find it’s normally about 19% of the population that needs to die, in order to benefit — in a generous estimate — 80% of the survivors. The 19% fatality allowance is a curious limit considering the typical anti-violence stance of the Left.
Let’s consider another issue close to the hearts of people on the left: capital punishment. It has long been held that no one should be killed by the state, not even if it would remove convicted killers (the bad eggs) from society. This would correspond to a 0% threshold of government murders, literally infinitely less than the 19% rate of government murders socialists give themselves for their revolution, surely a miscarriage of justice.
Applying the threshold to a smaller scale, if the father of a family of six has the bright idea of a fairer, more socialist system of pocketmoney for the children, the observing socialist must be OK with the summary execution of one of the children during the family meeting at breakfast. Perhaps the father could explain the recent death of the child’s sibling as the necessity of “breaking eggs to make omelettes”; this would be more easily explained if they were eating omelettes at the time.
In the spirit of egalitarianism, we should also be fair among government types. This would mean that democracy is owed many, many more murders in order to improve itself. Perhaps Barack Obama, leader of the world’s most iconic free-market democracy, should have the power to personally dole out murder to improve the nation. Such a rampage could only damage his reputation in the eyes of those who already believe him to be a socialist — or those who believe states shouldn’t murder people. However, socialists’ super-moral stance allows them the tolerance to look past the scramble of Obama’s rampage and the resulting mountain of dead countryman he stands atop rather than abort their beliefs for a better future. Ironically, this brings us to the highest death quota the Left accept: the paradigm case of abortion, with a ratio of one death for only two lives improved.
To see the calculations for this article and to see what your threshold of slaughter would be, an interactive spreadsheet can be found at: http://goo.gl/Mt848