Today’s call for Democratic Socialism is all the rage. What is it? Advocates of Democratic socialism give lip service to capitalist markets only because they understand that they need the goose to lay the golden egg. If there is no golden egg, then there is nothing to tax and redistribute.
The following is my description of how it works on a small scale.
If someone breaks into your house to steal something, that person most likely will go to jail or pay some type of restitution. What if a person who wants to steal from you calls on some of his neighbors to join him in stealing your identity? Would that be legal? What if when they were caught they attempted to justify their actions by claiming that what they had stolen was for a worthy cause? Some of them needed money to send their children to college. Others needed help with their mortgage payment. Would this neighborhood theft ring be morally justified to steal from you if the cause was said to be good?
What if the group expanded its efforts by asking the less fortunate to join the group and help with the stealing? Would that be moral or legal?
How about if this larger group decided to implement a political solution to avoid anti-theft legal sanctions by creating a civil government to pass laws to take money from some people so it can be redistributed to other people?
Democratic Socialism is theft by the majority. Using the power and force of government to extract money from some people so it can be given to other people is the essence of Democratic Socialism. What would be illegal for one person or a group to do outside the bounds of government is now made legal and exemplary inside the protective bounds of government.
When we hear the word “Democracy,” we immediately believe it’s a good thing. There are certain expressions of Democracy that aren’t good. One of the last accurate definitions of Democracy was published in 1928 in a training manual developed by the U.S. War Department. Democracy was described as “a government of the masses.” Authority was said to be “derived through mass meeting or any other form of ‘direct’ expression.” Direct democracy, according to the manual, would result in “mobocracy.” The “attitude toward property is communistic—negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.”
In a word, direct democracy makes “we the people” the immediate sovereigns without any guarantee of external moral restraint. C. Gregg Singer, echoing this definition, writes that “Modern political theory has replaced the doctrine of the sovereignty of God with that of the sovereignty of man” that manifests itself either in anarchy or totalitarianism.
Democracy has become a political god—vox populi, vox dei—for many: “The voice of the people is the voice of god.” Is it any wonder that John Adams, the second president of the United States, declared that “the voice of the people is sometimes the voice of Mahomet, of Caesar, of Catiline, the Pope, and the Devil.” Adams also wrote: “If the majority is 51 and the minority 49, … is it certainly the voice of God? If tomorrow one should change to 50 vs. 50, where is the voice of God? If two and the minority should become the majority, is the voice of God changed?”