Townhall’s Walter E. Williams argues in his commentary piece Wednesday that “noble-sounding” socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, caring for less unfortunate, and the will of the majority, though imbued with an “aura of moral legitimacy,” in fact conceal a great evil.
He begins his piece with a simple thought experiment:
Imagine there are several elderly widows in your neighborhood. They have neither the strength to mow their lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks nor the financial means to hire someone to help them. Here's a question that I'm almost afraid to ask: Would you support a government mandate that forces you or one of your neighbors to mow these elderly widows' lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks? Moreover, if the person so ordered failed to obey the government mandate, would you approve of some sort of sanction, such as fines, property confiscation or imprisonment? I'm hoping, and I believe, that most of my fellow Americans would condemn such a mandate. They'd agree that it would be a form of slavery -- namely, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.
His point is clear enough: What might appear in abstract terms like magnanimity is in reality a whitewashed form of forced labor, slavery. Socialism denies the truth that one cannot be generous with someone else’s money or time or efforts; generosity must be an individual sacrifice individually chosen. But, Williams argues, socialism attempts to conceal this common sense truth.
This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, confiscation and intimidation, to accomplish what are often seen as noble goals -- namely, helping one's fellow man. Helping one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy. Helping one's fellow man through coercion and reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation. Tragically, most teachings, from the church on down, support government use of one person to serve the purposes of another; the advocates cringe from calling it such and prefer to call it charity or duty.
Williams argues that the distortion of the concepts of generosity, charity, personal sacrifice help obfuscate the coercion that underlies socialistic policies. So too does the concept of democracy, which socialism portrays as a validation for its seizure of personal property:
Some might argue that we are a democracy, in which the majority rules. But does a majority consensus make moral acts that would otherwise be deemed immoral? In other words, if the neighbors got a majority vote to force one of their number -- under pain of punishment -- to perform household tasks for the elderly widows, would that make it moral?
Read the Williams’ full article here.