We live in a mixed economy where the state is responsible for almost 50% of the spending in the economy in the UK, and 19% of the population is employed in the public sector. The state controls the money supply, sets the interest rates, and is responsible for regulating each and every facet of the economy from the provision of energy, to the conditions under which someone can employ another person. The state runs the schools, and a great deal of the hospitals. It decides when a road is to be built, and when we are to build a railway. It hands subsidies to tobacco farmers, then taxes the tobacco we smoke. It hands welfare to the wealthy in the form of contracts and preferential legislation, and to the poor in the form of entitlements, free services and food stamps
There is no part of the society left untouched by the machinations of the state – whether rightly or wrongly – and yet we are told again and again that this is capitalism. The free market at work.
What’s more whatever goes right in the economy: the government is responsible for, whatever goes wrong in the economy: capitalism is to blame.
This line of reasoning (if we acquiesce to calling it one) is at its most flagrant when people on the far-left attempt, shamelessly, to redefine the nature of regimes which were heretofore ubiquitously considered and described as communist – The Soviet Union, China, Cuba – as not socialistic, but in fact examples of “state-capitalism.” The underlying message is clear: Whatever we don’t want is capitalism, and whatever we want do want is socialism. And so it necessarily follows that no socialistic regime can ever really be bad, because if is woefully inefficient, or it yields tremendous abuses, or the people starve, we simply redefine it as some form of capitalistic one. What is more the philosophical doctrine of socialism narrowly escapes condemnation like a slippery frog.
By this trick the socialistic ideology becomes an unfalsifiable doctrine which is immune to any rational discourse or examination. An idee fixe. Whenever it fails in reality, it is “not real socialism.” Equally is it immune to the puncturing incision of factual evidence such as the inconvenient truth that throughout history the nations that are the most free economically thrive, while the nations that are the least free economically flounder. Socialism is good qua definition and thus consequently can never be abandoned as a doctrinal goal in light of the facts.
Source: Seeing Not Seen