Some Choice Socialism Quotations: Good and Bad

Socialism doesn’t work, so it’s surprising that some very intelligent people believe in it with a near religious fervor. Of course, it’s not about mental makeup but faith despite the evidence.

1. “I am a Socialist not through reading a textbook that has caught my intellectual fancy, nor through unthinking tradition, but because I believe that, at its best, Socialism corresponds most closely to an existence that is both rational and moral. It stands for co-operation, not confrontation; for fellowship, not fear. It stands for equality, not because it wants people to be the same but because only through equality in our economic circumstances can our individuality develop properly.”

  • Tony Blair, in his maiden speech as MP for Sedgefield (6 July 1983) as quoted in Hansard, House of Commons, 6th Series, vol. 45, col. 316

2. “I believe Socialism is the grandest theory ever presented, and I am sure it will someday rule the world. Then we will have attained the Millennium.… Then men will be content to work for the general welfare and share their riches with their neighbors.”

  • Andrew Carnegie in New York Times (1 January 1885) “A Millionaire Socialist”

3. “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, as quoted in The New American Newspeak Dictionary (2005) by Adrian Krieg, p. 96

4. “The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society — we are on the eve of universal change.”

  • Eugene V. Debs, in an open letter to the American Railway Union, Chicago Railway Times (1 January 1897)

5. “Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Yes? Well socialism is exactly the reverse.”

  • Len Deighton, quoting an anonymous Czechoslovakian joke in the 1960s, in Funeral in Berlin (1964) p. 145

6. “The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.”

  • Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus (1991)

7. “The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.”

  • Norman Mailer, as quoted in Peter’s Quotations: Ideas for Our Time (1977) by Laurence J. Peter

8. “The trouble is with socialism, which resembles a form of mental illness more than it does a philosophy. Socialists get bees in their bonnets. And because they chronically lack any critical faculty to examine and evaluate their ideas, and because they are pathologically unwilling to consider the opinions of others, and most of all, because socialism is a mindset that regards the individual — and his rights — as insignificant, compared to whatever the socialist believes the group needs, terrible, terrible things happen when socialists acquire power.

  • L. Neil Smith, in “Cambodian Road Trip,” (15 March 2009)

9. “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.”

  • Margaret Thatcher, in a speech to Conservative Central Council (15 March, 1986).