Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Irony Law of Socialism

Under capitalism, said the old socialists, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Today’s socialists admit this hoary “immiseration thesis” is old hat.

“The socialist argument against capitalism isn’t that it makes us poor,” explains City University of New York Professor Corey Robin in the New York Times. “It’s that it makes us unfree.”


Nick Gillespie at Reason tries to make sense of that breathtaking inversion of the usual anti-socialist argument, which Gillespie characterizes as the invocation of “Stalin, the Great Leap Forward, or even Hugo Chavez.”*

But is there really anything new here? 

“When my well-being depends upon your whim, when the basic needs of life compel submission to the market and subjugation at work, we live not in freedom but in domination,” writes the tax-funded socialist professor. He wants “to establish freedom from rule by the boss, from the need to smile for the sake of a sale,” which is so very not new. It’s reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” which imagined rescue “from that sordid necessity of living for others.”

How real-world socialism “frees” us, though, is palpably oppressive: by burdening business and labor and trade with taxes, prohibitions, regulations.

And constant bullying. 

The ironies abound, too. Gillespie notes that “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may rail against the gig economy, but just like Bernie and Warren she uses Uber every chance she gets.” Jim Carrey praises “free” medicine in Canada, acknowledging no costs.

The cost of “free stuff” is actual freedom. And the cost of actual freedom is paying for what you get, and not getting what you won’t pay for.

That’s the Irony Law of Socialism.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* Gillespie also says it is unpersuasive. Well, unpersuasive to whom? As always, many arguments for the truth are necessary.

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By: Redactor


  1. John F. Brennan says:

    This excuse for socialist tyranny is due to the fact that, with the division of labor, and the lack of absolute independence from all others and outside forces, we appear to be more at risk. It is a false premise. 
    Actual independence is a function of individual productivity, which is approximated by monetary income, which in turn is traded for the productivity of others. 
    It is true the division of labor results not only in increased efficiency, it creates interdependence, the need for a civil society and a means of trading for the production of others, the marketplace. 
    Socialism as preached today is based on the false assumption that one needs to do nothing to earn and have continuance of life.
    The professor believes that somehow one may provide no productivity, act only for self satisfaction and enhancement, and yet be entitled to a share or all of the productivity of others, simply by virtue of existing as a human being.
    The problem is that there will come a time that all persons with his concept of freedom chose to self-actualize by entertaining themselves as opposed to “working”, and therefore there will be no productivity to share.  
    At that point comes the reckoning of the society having to force productivity, and with self-advancement and accumulation banished as motivators, that can only be accomplished by cohersion and brute force. 
    The professor may not like the ultimate result of his proposed system, when he is assigned his manditory productive assignment by the society, which would most probably would be something different and much more menial than utopian pontificating on the staff of a university by which he presently “earns” his keep. He will probably also find disappointing the reduction of his share of the goods and service available to him as a result of the lower productivity of from “enlightened” economic and societal system he promotes. 
    Please just allow me to freely chose to offer to the market my preferred productive activity, and keep for myself and family what value another free individual is willing to voluntarily exchange for it.  That is the freedom I seek.

  2. Rocketman says:

    The old arguments simply don’t work any more and the socialists are desperately trying to put a label on what they are doing that will sound good enough to the average person that they won’t laugh at them right to their faces when they say it.

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