We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Socialism is communism designed by capitalists.

By redistributing income rather than wealth, it meets the proles expectation that somebody else’s money will be given to them, the truly wealthy’s expectation that their capital will not be touched and cripples the higher earners who are only going to be anti-government trouble makers anyway.

– Commenter Roue le Jour

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nuke Gray

    I would have said that Socialism is Communism diluted by Capitalists, a Communism-lite. If the revolting peasants want only common bread for all, give them some socialist cake instead. Better socialism than communism, after all, and better Free Enterprize above either!

  • Ian B

    The quote is pretty much accurate I think. The socialism we live under currently is the Victorian ideal of philanthropy by an enlightened bourgeoisie. You can be a “capitalist” so long as you earn your money in a moral way, and then spend it on good causes. If you don’t, the State will take it off you and do the philanthropy on your behalf.

    The social model in this is model villages like Port Sunlight, on a national/international scale. As Leverhulme said of his business aims-

    “to socialise and Christianise business relations and get back to that close family brotherhood that existed in the good old days of hand labour.”

    He also described Port Sunlight as “profit sharing”, but rather than actually share the profits…

    “It would not do you much good if you send it down your throats in the form of bottles of whisky, bags of sweets, or fat geese at Christmas. On the other hand, if you leave the money with me, I shall use it to provide for you everything that makes life pleasant – nice houses, comfortable homes, and healthy recreation.”

  • Andrew Duffin

    IanB, that second paragraph is chilling beyond words.

    But it is also the best statement I have seen yet of the philosophy of socialism. Gordon Brown would be right with you.

  • Roue le Jour

    I’ve commented this before, but I can’t help thinking there’s something wrong, some undiagnosed mental condition, afflicting people who exhibit an unnatural interest in the private lives of others. Perhaps at some point in the future this condition will be identified and a treatment devised for it, but until then the appropriate response to someone who thinks a bar of chocolate or a “fat goose at Christmas” is a sign of moral decay is to point them out in the street and utter the traditional condemnation “‘Ee’s a nuttah!”

    Also, if I remember correctly, Port Sunlight differed from real villages in that it had no pub. So there’s another puritan target we’re making real progress towards.

  • I think we have a second SQOTD in a row, haha

  • Sunfish

    Also, if I remember correctly, Port Sunlight differed from real villages in that it had no pub

    “Any town with more churches than bars, that town’s got problems.” -Ed Abbey.

  • Pat McCann

    An oxymoron if I ever saw one. Two opposing positions “Capitalism” and Communism”. While it is true when ou rob Peter to pay Paul, you will always have the support of Paul. Until such time as Peter says “ENOUGH”!!!
    And the Dinosaur media wonders why the Tea Party has such success.

  • Laird

    Pat, an oxymoron can be a useful literary device if it makes you think, which this one clearly did.

    But anyway, I think you’re wrong. It’s not an oxymoron; it’s an illustration of the Hegelian Dialectic: thesis/antithesis/synthesis. And the result suffers from the inherent flaw in the Dialectic: if you mix good and bad the result must be at least partially bad.

    So I still think it’s brilliant.

  • Mike Lorrey

    The problem of the past century, the 200 million dead from war, genocide, and political purges, is that nobody can agree on which half of the capitalism + communism = socialism synthesis is the bad half.

  • James Waterton

    “The good old days of hand labour”?!?

  • Bruce

    Part of the problem is that “Capitalism” is a marxist construct.

    Before the coming of that global insanity, what is flexibly described as “capitalism” was just the way people did things.

  • TDK

    Does the quote accept the communist claim that their objective is to place power in the hands of the workers, rather than an elite?

    Experience shows us that this is false. Every communist experiment has obtained power by having a vanguard seize it and exercise it on behalf of the workers.

    Therefore the contrast is that Socialism is the rule of the existing elite whereas Communism is the rule of the replacement elite