Socialism has its roots in visions of imaginary ideal societies, from thinkers who drew up elaborated designs and concepts for creating what they considered a more equal society, along collectivist lines or abolished private property; the primarily ideas came from British and French thinkers like Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Louis Blanc, and Robert Owen preceded by Thomas More, Tommaso Campanella, and Jean Meslier. Currently it is considered a leftist economic system which advocates state ownership or direct control of the major means of production and distribution of goods and services. Socialism is the economic system imposed by Communism, but another one of the most well known political parties of the 20th century that was socialistic was the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi), headed by the evolutionary racist Adolf Hitler. Often socialism is a matter of degree and numerous economies in the world are very socialistic such as European countries (many of which are facing financial difficulties and default due to over taxation and excessive spending).
- 1 Barack Obama and his socialistic and "fascist light" policies
- 2 Influence of Russia on socialism
- 3 Contradictory Goals of Socialism
- 4 Types of Socialism
- 5 Controversy
- 6 Key elements
- 7 Britain, the Labour Party and Socialism
- 8 Criticism of socialism
- 9 Past Socialist Countries
- 10 Other Socialist Countries (Current )
- 11 Quotes
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 Bibliography
- 15 References
The Ludwig von Mises Institute declares:
|“|| The identification of Nazi Germany as a socialist state was one of the many great contributions of Ludwig von Mises...
The basis of the claim that Nazi Germany was capitalist was the fact that most industries in Nazi Germany appeared to be left in private hands.
What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.
De facto government ownership of the means of production, as Mises termed it, was logically implied by such fundamental collectivist principles embraced by the Nazis as that the common good comes before the private good and the individual exists as a means to the ends of the State. If the individual is a means to the ends of the State, so too, of course, is his property. Just as he is owned by the State, his property is also owned by the State.
Because many businesses still are privately owned, ipso facto, the United States is not a socialistic government. "That definition is confuted by the earliest theoretical writings on socialism. In France, Henri de Saint-Simon, in the first decades of the 1800s, and his pupil and colleague Auguste Comte, in the 1820s and 30s, along with Robert Owen contemporaneously in England, stated that the essential feature of what Owen called socialism is government regulation of the means of production and distribution."  When the government controls the volume of money and its economic applications, it has the economy in a stranglehold. When government controls education so that nothing other than secular socialism may be taught, as Saint-Simon advocated, it controls the future destiny of a nation.
|“|| When Obama took office, federal, state and local spending accounted for 30 percent of gross domestic product. Now it is up to 35 percent, and when health care is fully implemented, it will rise to above 40 percent. But taxes are still below 30 percent. The difference is the deficit, now grown to 10 percent of our GDP.
If our government is to continue spending 40 percent of our GDP, we will morph into the European model of a socialist democracy. But if we can roll the spending back to 30 percent, while holding taxes level, we will retain our free market system.
Anita Dunn, the political strategist and former White House Communications Director, admitted that one of favorite political philosophers, one that she “turns to the most”, is Mao Zedong, the communist dictator responsible for the starvation, torture, and killing of 70 million Chinese. Critics of the Obama administration have coined the word "Obamunism" to describe Barack Obama's socialistic and "fascism light" economic planning policies (Benito Mussolini defined fascism as the wedding of state and corporate powers. Accordingly, trend forecaster Gerald Celente labels Obama's corporate bailouts as being "fascism light" in nature). Obamunism can also allude to Obama's ruinous fiscal policies and reckless monetary policies.
Larry Summers and Leftist Economics
Larry Summers currently is the Director of the White House's National Economic Council (NEC) for President Barack Obama. George Gerald Reisman, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Pepperdine University and author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, wrote that Summers socialistic ideas on redistributing wealth demonstrate that Larry Summers is a "lightweight leftist" who "fails to understand the nature of the most essential feature of capitalism, namely, private ownership of the means of production and the indispensable role it plays in the standard of living of the average person." Reisman also wrote that Summers is a shallow and ignorant man whose knowledge of economics is minimal and whose evil views qualify him to be the economic advisor to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela or Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, but do not qualify him to be an economic advisor to the President of the United States.
Obama administration and land ownership
In August of 2010, Hot Air declared:
|“|| The federal government, as the memo boasted, is the nation’s “largest land manager.” It already owns roughly one of every three acres in the United States. This is apparently not enough. At a “listening session” in New Hampshire last week, government bureaucrats trained their sights on millions of private forest land throughout the New England region. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack crusaded for “the need for additional attention to the Land and Water Conservation Fund — and the need to promptly support full funding of that fund.”
Property owners have every reason to be worried. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a pet project of green radicals, who want the decades-old government slush fund for buying up private lands to be freed from congressional appropriations oversight. It’s paid for primarily with receipts from the government’s offshore oil and gas leases. Both Senate and House Democrats have included $900 million in full LWCF funding, not subject to congressional approval, in their energy/BP oil spill legislative packages.
Not until the birth of the Soviet Union after the Communist Revolution did the idea become generally accepted that socialism meant government seizing ownership of the economy. Experience in 19th and 20th century France, England, and Germany, however, made it clear that regulatory control by government bureaucrats is sufficient to implement socialism. 
In Communism (the primary variant of socialism) the central goal is to establish a "worker's paradise"-an ideal state with perfect equality.
In practice the socialist government owns the banks, railroads, farmlands, factories, and stores, and is the only employer, or at least controls the regulation of production and distribution. The central goal is to destroy the "evils of capitalism" by government ownership or control of the means of production, usually with one party controlling the government on behalf of the working class.
The socialist system never manages to establish this "paradise" because management for the benefit of the employees leads to featherbedding and lack of investment or economic growth, at the expense of consumers. Collective farming (operating farms like factories) sharply reduced the food supply. The most thoroughgoing efforts by Communist regimes turned into authoritarian dictatorships. The government controls all investments, production, distribution, income, and prices, as well as all organizations, schools, news media and formerly private societies. Churches and labor unions are suppressed or controlled by the government. Socialism is the antithesis of capitalism, because it opposes private ownership of capital or land, and rejects the free market in favor of central planning. It also rejects "civil society" and makes sure that all organizations are controlled by the government.
Theoretically, socialist regimes can have multiple parties. In practice there is only one political party, and it controls the government. The leaders of the party choose the government officials and set all policies for the nation and for cities and localities. Opposition parties are not allowed access to the media or to meeting halls or to funding, and their leaders are often arrested as "enemies of the people."
As a political ideology based on the redistribution of wealth, socialism stresses the privileges of the many over the rights of the few, but in practice when socialist economic principles are forced onto a nation by a totalitarian government a new Upper Class appears which is much better off than the Lower Class.
|“||Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. - Winston Churchill ||”|
Contradictory Goals of Socialism
Socialism's stated purpose is to eliminate the huge gap between the highest and lowest classes of society. Their bitter complaint has been that the upper class exploits its dominance to gain privileges and wealth, while the lower class must suffer tyranny and poverty. This obsession with class paradoxically creates a group of people with a vested interest in seeing class differences remain (socialist politicians, community organizers, etc.); if by some means the class system actually were destroyed, these people would be out of a job.
Another essential goal of most socialist thinkers has been to eliminate Capitalism, on the grounds that only "social control" of the economy can prevent abuses such as feudalism, monopoly, cartels, etc.
But experiments on both a moderate and a grand scale have shown that socialism's main purpose has been undermined by its unremitting opposition to free market economics. In its drive to eliminate capitalism, it has overlooked the fact that general prosperity is vouchsafed by economic freedom, and that free market economics improves the lot of the poor much more quickly and permanently than any system of central economic control.
The real aim of socialists is probably personal: why else would socialists want to create programs which encourage Dependency? Well, it fits into their lust for power. People who want to control others need people who are willing to be controlled. Independent, proactive people do not fit into the socialist Power Model. That is why the first thing Marx wanted to remove from the economy was the Profit Motive: it gives people an incentive to make their own decisions!
Types of Socialism
There are three main kinds of Socialism, all of them are built on the premise of government control of the means of production.
Marxist Socialism, or Leninism, as revised by Vladimir Lenin and practiced in the pre-Stalin Soviet Union, was the Socialistic theory developed by Vladimir Lenin during his rise to power. Lenin defined socialism as a transitional stage between capitalism and communism. Leninism is totalitarian, with no democracy and all decision made by the leaders of the Communist party. Lenin saw the Communist Party as an "elite" that was committed to ending capitalism and instituting socialism in its place and attaining the power by any means possible, including revolution. Lenin was quite mild on the belief, believing that, though controlling of resources was important, the people's will comes first.
Though Bolshevik Russia was somewhat more prosperous than its former Tsardom, Lenin's death in 1924 sparked the overthrow of his Marxist-Leninism and the imposition of Stalinism, the violent, totalitarian belief that went against some of Lenin's ideas (many of Lenin's works were censored by Stalin post-1924).
The second form of Socialism (sometimes called "Revisionism") prevailed in Europe down to the 1970s, and is typified by the British Labour Party. It was inspired by Socialism and closely linked to labor unions that had real power. The goal was for the government to own ("nationalize") major industries such as coal mining, railways, steel making, shipbuilding, airlines, and banking. Small businesses remained private. The idea was that labor unions controlled the government and therefore unions controlled working conditions and wages for the benefit of workers, regardless of the damage to long-term economic growth.
The Socialists were well organized and after 1918 they bitterly fought the breakaway faction that became the Communist movement. In recent years major Socialist parties (in Europe and Canada) have sometimes dropped the long-standing demands for state ownership of the means of production and have mostly accepted "Controlled Capitalism". However they remain tied to labor unions and favor liberal policies regarding high taxes and public spending. Conservatives have been negative toward the economics of the second form of socialism. Conservatives complain socialists use government power to redistribute wealth.
Within the European Union, a form of democratic socialism was initially viewed as successful, but eventually lead to lowered social equity and a downward spiraling economy, as well as general discontent. Although this acts as a drag on the economy, in democratic countries of the industrialized west, some socialist ideas have been put into practice with varying degree of success. Beginning in 2010 many European countries were racked with rioting and social unrest as governments began to back away from out-of-control entitlements that began bankrupting them and lead to a world financial crisis because of unrestrained debt.   
The third form of Socialism has nothing to do with Marx or government ownership, and emphasizes the importance of the community over the individual. Usually it means small communities sharing most of their possessions. The most famous examples are the religious Shakers of the 19th century (a conservative group), and the new-left communes that briefly existed in the 1960s and 70s.
Similarities between Communism, Nazism and liberalism
|Communist Manifesto||Nazi Party Platform||Analysis|
|1||"Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes."||"We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land."||The stripping away of land from private owners. Liberalism today demands "eminent domain" on property.|
|2||"A heavy progressive or graduated income tax."||"We demand the nationalization of all trusts...profit-sharing in large industries...a generous increase in old-age pensions...by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor...and the creation of a national (folk) army."||The points raised in the Nazi platform demand an increase in taxes to support them. Liberalism today demands heavy progressive and graduated income taxes.|
|3||"Abolition of all rights of inheritance."||"That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished."||Liberalism today demands a "death tax" on anyone inheriting an estate.|
|4||"Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels."||"We demand that all non-Germans who have entered Germany since August 2, 1914, shall be compelled to leave the Reich immediately."||The Nuremburg Laws of 1934 allowed Germany to take Jewish property.|
|5||"Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly."||"We demand the nationalization of all trusts."||Central control of the financial system.|
|6||"Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State."||"We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press...editors and their assistants on newspapers published in the German language shall be German citizens...Non-German newspapers shall only be published with the express permission of the State...the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper..."||Central control of the press. Liberals today demand control or suppression of talk radio and Fox News.|
|7||"Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c."||"In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State. "||Central control of education, with an emphasis on doing things their way. Liberals today are doing things their way in our schools.|
This section confuses "interpretation" with "debate".
The ideology of Socialism is subject to a variety of interpretations. From a conservative perspective, Marxist socialism is an economic system whereby the means of production are seized and monopolized by the government sometimes without compensation to the builders of the capital. Investments, production, distribution, income, prices, and economic justice are administered by a government nomenklatura that regulates the transfer of money, goods (including capital goods), and services primarily through taxation, regulation and aggressive institutionalized coercion.
However, some socialists reject this description. Democratic socialists advocate a system of governance based on the principles of solidarity, equality and liberty, viewing these principles as interconnected. They believe increased socio-economic equality is associated with increased practical freedom to fulfill human potential. In many countries, such as Britain, socialist movements have been built on Christian, democratic and co-operative bases, embracing the notion that individuals should 'treat others as they would wish to be treated', and arguing that all individuals have a moral responsibility for the welfare of other members of their society. Socialism seeks to prioritize human welfare over other goals, such as profit and wealth accumulation by elites; it views increased redistribution of wealth as vital to securing greater freedom and happiness for the bulk of the people. Though this rosy picture of socialism is appealing to many, it ignores what Hayek called "the road to serfdom." Though in theory socialism is an idealized, egalitarian form of economics, in practice it means rule by labor bosses who minimize individualism and economic growth in the name of equality and benefits for the working class.
Karl Marx considered socialism to be a transitory stage between capitalism and communism. In his view, socialism is summed up by the expression: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." A major criticism of socialism is that it infringes individual rights in favor of the populace. In a very real sense, politics in the Western World throughout the 20th century was shaped by the conflict between socialist and capitalist governmental policies.
Although socialist parties are common in Europe, the leading examples all currently embrace some free enterprise, individual property rights and certain other aspects of capitalism although leading European Socialists are very critical of America. In many European countries socialism has been changing to Social democracy.
As a political ideology based on the expropriation of wealth, socialism stresses the privileges of the nomenklatura over the rights of workers and earners. Many of the most notoriously oppressive dictatorships have been socialist, such as the Soviet Union and China under Mao Zedong. Private wealth was seized and the owners executed.
As an economic theory, democratic socialism calls for equalization of incomes, through taxation of private wealth coupled with welfare state spending. The nationalization of major industries is primarily a device to allow the unionized workers to control their own wages and working conditions, cutting out the capitalistic owners.
State pensions and unemployment insurance were not brought in by Socialists--they were first introduced by arch-conservative Chancellor Bismarck in Germany in the 1870s. In Britain they were introduced about 1910 by Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George of the Liberal Party, and in the U.S. were part of Democratic President, Franklin D. Roosevelt's,New Deal in the 1930s. Welfare state ideas such as universal health care, and state control of key industries have been common throughout the developed world in the modern era. However, the United States has always rejected socialism as an ideological position, with a few exceptions such as the TVA.
Some forms of socialism have often been atheistic in character, and many leading socialists (most prominently Karl Marx) have been critical of the role of religion - and conservative religion in particular - which they criticize for lending support to an unjust social order. Other Socialists have been Christians, and there has been considerable interplay between Christian and Socialist ideas. Christian socialists have asserted that early Christian communities, in particular, displayed certain traits, such as the holding of possessions in common, the rejection of conventional sexual mores and gender roles, the provision for communal education, etc., that could be considered similar to socialism.
During the chaos sparked by the advent of the Reformation in Europe, several sects with radical new interpretations of Christianity sprung up, many of them Anabaptists (believers in adult baptism). Under the leadership of the reformer Thomas Muntzer the peasants of south-west Germany rose up in arms against the clergy and nobility, establishing anarcho-communes in their wake. Though they were massacred to a man, ten years later a group of radical Anabaptists under the leadership of Jan Matthys seized control of the north-western Germany city of Munster from the Prince-Archbishop there and established a Christian-Communist state. True to the spirit of applied communism, Mathys took twelve wives, held lavish feasts for himself and his most loyal followers and had himself crowned King of the World as the city starved, besieged by an alliance of Protestant and Catholic forces keen to see them exterminated. Mathys and all his followers were all tortured and killed when the Prince-Archbishop returned with professional troops to sack the city and reassert his authority, effectively wiping out all non-pacifistic Anabaptists in north-western Germany. Only Baptists as we know them today survived the following persecution.
See, for instance, Arnold Toynbee, the British historian, has responded to this,
- "the Marxian excerpt from a Christian Socialism is an experiment which is doomed to failure because it has denied itself the aid of the spiritual power which alone is capable of making Socialism a success. ….'Christianity', they say, 'is the opiate of the People'; and, in the Soviet Union… Christianity or of any other theistic religion have been debarred… from admission to membership of the All-Union Communist Party. In fact, Communism has been definitely and militantly anti-Christian. Thus the campaign against Christianity which is to-day an integral part of the propaganda of Marxian Socialism is a challenge to the living generation of Christians …we latter-day Christians may still turn a Marxian attack upon Christianity to good account … a re-awakening of the Christian social conscience has been the one great positive practical achievement of Karl Marx" 
The earliest Christians were decidedly living in a manner consistent with basic aims of socialism, albeit with critical requirements and distinctions from its secularist expressions. Luke 14:33 requires the forsaking of all one has if one will be a disciple of Christ, and while this is not shown to necessarily always require the literally forsaking of all, Acts 2:44 states that the communal believers "had all things common". Acts 4:32-5:11 also describes community redistribution of property, and details the Divine punishment of a husband and wife for hypocrisy, in keeping proceeds from the sale of a piece of property while openly pretending that they gave it all, as others voluntarily did.
However, forsaking all is shown to be that of first surrendering oneself and life to the God of the Bible, and placing all at His disposal, with literal giving as a result being as He directs, and voluntary. (2Cor. 8,9)
|“||Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)||”|
While the early organic community provides a noble model of communal life, and of a "seminary" type experience, it was also soon dispersed by persecution (thus greatly expanding the church: Acts 8:1-5; 11:19), and it is later indicated that believers retained ownership of property after conversion. (Lk. 19:8,9; Acts 16:14,15; 1Cor. 11:22; 2Tim. 4:13) Rich Christians are evidenced to have been part of the early church, but were not mandated by the church itself to give all they had away, but to be lowly in mind, and to be ready and willing to distribute, in faith and surrender to God. (1Tim. 6:17-19)
Moreover, in both Testaments capitalism is clearly supported, and indolence is not subsidized, but penalized by poverty, while diligence in work is rewarded by its fruits. (Prov. 6:6-11; 13:4; 20:4; 2 Thes. 3:10-12; 1 Tim. 5:17-18) Although holy widows over 60 years old who were without familial support were taken in by the church, a man is clearly required to provide for his own family, if able. (1Tim. 5:2ff)
While the success of the early church as an organic community is often invoked in support of modern socialism, and many communes of the 1960s evoked the Bible, the early organic church was a result of the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit among believers, while the "administrators" were humble servants who were examples of self-sacrifice, and who worked with their own hands as needed, (1Cor. 4:9-16) and whose authority was established by manifest Divine attestation, including the pro-active exercise of church discipline being only by supernatural or otherwise spiritual means, not carnal force.
In addition other distinctions, without the unique changes and influence resulting from faith and full surrender to Christ from all the community, and His anointing upon the work, attempts to mimic the communal life of Christians have failed.
As one critic of modern-day socialism states:
Socialism, unfortunately, completely disregards Biblical teaching about the fallen nature of human beings and assumes that human beings will act in a morally upright fashion if their basic needs are met. This is at the heart of why socialistic systems never work: because human nature does not work in this fashion.
Britain, the Labour Party and Socialism
At its inception, the Labour Party borrowed socialist ideas by committing itself to a program of nationalization under 'Clause 4' of their Constitution, but was always fundamentally committed to the British system of parliamentary government. Clause 4 was formally dropped after the election of Tony Blair as Party leader, signaling the creation of 'New' Labour. The British governments of 1945-1950 and 1950-1951 under Clement Attlee implemented the nationalization of several industries and utilities, including coal, steel, water, railways and electricity. Former owners of nationalized industries were compensated. The best known example is the nationalization of health care to create the National Health Service (NHS). This made - literally overnight - health care "free" at the point of delivery for everybody in Britain, and it remains so today.
In the 1980s under Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher most of the nationalized industries were returned to the private sector, and public housing has been sold to the residents. These conservative decisions were endorsed by the "New Labour" of Tony Blair, to the annoyance of elderly radicals who fondly remember the poverty and inefficiencies of the old system.
Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises were important critics of socialism, particularly regarding what is known as the Socialist Calculation Debate. Hayek and Mises argued that a socialist economy would face information constraints that would prevent even well intentioned planners from efficiently allocating resources. That is, the planners would not know how much a battleship or a hospital cost, and could not efficiently allocate resources among different choices. This criticism should be considered as compatible with, but independent of, criticisms based on Public choice theory that bring into consideration the incentives of political actors.
Svetlana Kunin, who lived in the Soviet Union until 1980 explains how the system worked:
Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures....Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West. The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care.
USSR, 1959: I am a "young pioneer" in school. History classes remind us that there is a higher authority than their parents and teachers: the leaders of the Communist Party.
Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise....These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party...
The slogans of "fairness and equality" sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.
A government which adheres to economic socialistic principles also tends to have cultures which prize unmerited equality among citizen and criminal alike, and through extension of socialistic welfare policies, between the chronically employed and the chronically unemployed, by ensuring both groups receive income though only one group works for income. This enables people otherwise healthy to not seek gainful employment because they will receive income no matter their actions, thus providing no incentive to produce. The economies of socialistic governments are thus weak and riddled with flaws, such as expecting increased production from a reduced workforce, and when engendered with a progressive culture, which simply means people who do are the same as people who do not, eventually fall under the weight of their own poorly managed and over-extended public welfare institutions. Public welfare also decreases personal charity, thus making the people dependent on the aid of the government since charitable aid, such as from a church, is discouraged by the secular nature of socialistic nations.
Socialists occasionally appeal to the fact that God, in the Old Testament, commanded His own nation to surrender a tenth of its proceeds for the maintenance of the priests and for the care of the sickly and weak. But, while fallen men, and their secular and pagan nations, shall always struggle to understand the righteous balances between government and liberty. (i.e., between local and national logistics, as well as between the logistics of the individual person and those of his community) the mark of socialism is the general allowance for a naive, and willingly ignorant, adult sub-population whose members prefer, despite the limitations imposed by bureaucratic accountability, to live under all the securities rightly afforded in the fallen world only to infants. In the unfallen world, such security was a given for all persons, but without any of the bureaucracy required in the fallen world for maintaining it. In the fallen world, such security is an unattainable ideal, so that the more is done to attain it, the more the society suffers under the requisite bureaucracy. And, while the initial policy made toward that ideal is the creation of an executive class or executive vocation, such as monarchies and professional armies , there is a 'tipping point' in the creation of bureaucratic entities beyond which any civilization cannot help but increasingly lose its footing in the struggle to balance all its righteous human interests. The result is an ever-increasing proportion of that civilization's total population which, for all variety of reasons, becomes enslaved to their own demands for that ideal of security. When there is no judge who judges righteously, when all the people make the laws, and when the power of money is used to try to stay ahead of the natural consequences of unrighteousness, the 'bad money' cannot help but drive out the 'good money', until the 'Bank of Reality' is forced to call in the loan, and the civilization implodes to the point that it falls victim also to militant invaders and, or, to unmanageable internal unrest.
Past Socialist Countries
Marxist socialist leader Salvador Allende was elected in Chile in 1970 in a minority government run by the Popular Unity Party. Allende's economic policy, known as the Vuskovic Plan, sought to achieve transition to socialism. The Vuskovic Plan involved nationalization of large foreign enterprises, land redistribution to farmers, and redistribution of income. The majority in Parliament never supported it and the plan was never carried out as Allende was overthrown by the military.
Other Socialist Countries (Current )
Communist leader Fidel Castro violently overthrew the Cuban government in the 1950's and has declared Cuba to be communist since then, nationalizing millions of dollars worth of American-owned property. It is notable that Fidel Castro originally self-defined as liberal, before coming out openly as a communist. Today, Cuba faces copious economic problems and the people lack their fundamental rights. (Fidel's brother Raul Castro now runs the country, having taken it over from his ailing brother Fidel.)
North Korea's form of communism is in the form of "Juche" - a doctrine established by Kim Il Sung and carried on by current leader Kim Jong Il. Although it is investing heavily in nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, extreme poverty on the verge of starvation is the fate of the people, who are very tightly controlled. The country has little to no electrical power at night outside the capital, which can be verified by looking at nighttime satellite photos. 
The socialist policies of president-for-life Hugo Chavez have destroyed the economy of that oil-rich nation. In 2009, he seized the Venezuelan operations of U.S. based Cargill in order to tighten his grip on the shrinking food supply in his country. 
Some quotes on socialism by historical figures and great thinkers.
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
"I've always doubted that the socialists had a leg to stand on intellectually"
"The trouble is with socialism, which resembles a form of mental illness more than it does a philosophy"
-- L. Neil Smith
"Socialists cry "Power to the people", and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean — power over people, power to the State."
"All socialism involves slavery"
- The Intellectuals and Socialism, By F.A. Hayek, The University of Chicago Law Review, (Spring 1949), pp. 417-420, 421-423, 425-433.
- Socialism Encyclopædia Britannica.
- What Liberals Say - Category: Socialism, Accuracy In Media
- Busky, Donald F. Communism in History and Theory: From Utopian Socialism to the Fall of the Soviet Union (2002) excerpt and text search
- Dougherty, Jude P. "Socialist Man: A Psychological Profile," Modern Age Volume 46, Number 1-2; Winter/Spring 2004 online edition, a conservative critique
- Laslett, John, ed. Failure of a Dream: Essays in the History of American Socialism (1984)
- Lindemann, Albert S. A History of European Socialism (1984)
- Lipset, Seymour Martin, and Gary Marks. It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States (2001), Lipset was a leading conservative scholar excerpt and text search
- Malia, Martin. Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia (1995) excerpt and text search
- Muravchik, Joshua. Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism (2003) by conservative historian excerpt and text search
- Novak, Michael. Capitalism and Socialism: A Theological Inquiry (1988) excerpt and text search, bu leading conservative scholar
- Nove, Alec. An Economic History of the USSR 1917-1991 (3rd ed. 1993)
- Pipes, Richard. Communism: A History (2003), by a leading conservative
- Suny, Ronald Grigor. The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States. (1998) online edition
- Thomas E. Brewton; Once Again: What Is Socialism?
- What is Socialism?
- Churchill; Quotesdaddy.com
- "all socialists agree that a socialist economy must be run for the benefit of the vast majority of the people rather than for a small aristocratic, plutocratic, or capitalist class." 
- "... one of the fundamental goals of the socialist movement throughout history has been the abolition of capitalism" A Wisdom Archive on Socialism - Opposition and criticisms of socialism; arguments for and against
- "In striving for socialism, however, we are convinced that it will develop into communism", Lenin, State and Revolution, Selected Works, Progress publishers, Moscow, 1968, p. 320. (End of chapter four)
- WSJ; "Obstacle to Deficit Cutting: A Nation on Entitlements"
- Anti-austerity protests sweep across Europe
- "Debt crisis pushes Europe toward economic reforms"
- Acts 2:44: "Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need."
- Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History, Annex II to Vol. V, Part C (i) (c) 2, p. 585-586, Marxism, Socialism, and Christianity.
- Lk. 19:8,9; Acts 16:14,15; 1Cor. 11:22; 2Tim. 4:13
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, 5:1-11)
- Matthew Henry (1662 - 1714), Commentary on the Whole Bible, Lk. 14:25-35
- Archibald Thomas Robertson, WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, Lk. 14:33
- Gary North, Capitalism and the Bible
- Acts 2:43; 5:5,9,10; 1Cor. 4:19-21; 2Cor. 13:2,3; 2Thes. 3:14,15; 2Tim. 4:2
- Bob Ellis, Capitalism and Socialism in Light of the Bible Dakota Voice, June 23rd, 2009
- The Perspective Of A Russian Immigrant, Investors Business Daily, 09/10/2009
- The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, "NPR’s interview of the book’s author, Marc Levinson"
- First Samuel 8:19-20Blue Letter Bible
- [http://www.wbur.org/media-player?url=http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2011/09/29/consequences-combat-vietnam&title=The+Consequences+Of+Combat&segment=consequences-combat-vietnam&pubdate=2011-09-29&source=hereandnow Interview of Vietnam war veteran, and What It Is Like To Go To War author, Karl Marlantes, on NPR's Here And Now
- The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, "NPR’s interview of the book’s author, Marc Levinson"
- Fidel Castro - His Rise and Rule of Cuba