econscius

Gallup: Liberals More Positive about Socialism than Capitalism

In Capitalism on December 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm

How do we explain this?

A Gallup poll conducted Nov. 18-19, 2012, found 53% of Democrats and Democrat-leaners are “positive” about socialism and 88% of them are “positive” about free enterprise. [1]  Folks, free enterprise and socialism are mutually exclusive.  Also odd, 23% of Republicans and Republican-leaners were “positive” about socialism and 94% of them were “positive” about free enterprise.

Only 55% of Democrats were positive on capitalism versus the 53% positive on socialism.  That’s right, they were almost as positive about socialism.  Among self-identified liberals, more were positive about socialism (62%) than capitalism (59%). 

Perhaps people are unclear what socialism is?

As originally conceived by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, socialism was a step between capitalism and communism.  Socialism calls for public (government) ownership of property, the means of production and natural resources.   It calls for government planning of the economy.  There are many variants of socialist thought with control over production ranging from a centralized government to a more localized collective form of ownership.

“This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed.” [2]

In a socialist system, there would be no Facebook, Apple, Google, Whole Foods, John Deere, Caterpillar, Boeing or Ford Motor Company as we know them.  The older firms would be owned by the government and the newer ones simply would not exist.  Socialist economies simply aren’t innovative; they lack the entrepreneurial companies found in capitalist systems.

In free enterprise (a/k/a capitalism), a government still exists to enforce contracts, criminal and civil law, for policing, national defense and other common services.  Despite some claims to the contrary, public education is not inconsistent with free enterprise.  The basis of capitalism is private ownership of the means of production.

Regardless of one’s opinion about socialism, it is not compatible with free enterprise, making it odd so many Democrats claimed to be positive on both systems in the poll.  Even more concerning is that more American liberals support socialism than support capitalism.  It shows how far to the Left the modern Democrat Party has moved.  Not so long ago, Democrats stood for a stronger social net and took more liberal stances on social issues.  Sadly, far too many Democrats today really would prefer socialism to the capitalism that brought great top-to-bottom prosperity to the Western world.

 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/158978/democrats-republicans-diverge-capitalism-federal-gov.aspx

[2] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/551569/socialism

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism, retrieved 12/3/12.

Pictures from Wikipedia Commons.

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