Democratic Socialism and the Garden: Part 2

When last we left the democratic socialists, wonderful people all, kind and caring, they were promising to unlock the Garden for their blue shirted, blue-capped constituency. No longer do they call these people “Labor” or the proletariat. They now mainly use the terms public, workers, and consumers. On occasion, they say they’re standing up for ordinary Americans, citizens and people.

The way to enter the Garden is through AOC and her buddies, but they don’t come right out and say “We are the way, the truth, and the life”, at least not yet. Once inside, they promise a “more just” society, one that’s “radically transformed”. They want power to manage the Garden, to landscape it, to plant beautiful trees producing the choicest of fruit. This they call “the major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy.”

The Garden, it turns out, does require labor and a lot else. But, no need to worry, it’ll all work out because AOC aren’t commies, they are Democrats as well as socialists. Most decisions about the Garden will be made democratically. They affirm “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically…”

Good luck with the principle of making billions of decisions via democratic procedures.

BUT, the democratic socialists claim that the result will be a MORE JUST society. This raises huge questions: What does justice have to do with democracy, with voting, with deciding economic and social questions by votes? Even if the people whom the socialists intend to rob were all done away with, would there be more justice in a society in which everything is put to a vote? How does democracy achieve justice? Does the claim or promise even make sense?

Do decisions made by groups through voting result in greater justice than decisions made by property owners themselves? What is group justice? What standards will people use in casting their votes, even if such a system were feasible?

If the society broke into pieces, each one containing only those people who voluntarily wished to be democratic socialists, each could develop its own ideas of justice. This is not what democratic socialists have in mind when they call for radical transformation. They want political power and they speak of bringing institutions “under greater democratic control.” They applaud national programs: “We can learn from the comprehensive welfare state maintained by the Swedes, from Canada’s national health care system, France’s nationwide childcare program, and Nicaragua’s literacy programs.”

The new Garden will be stuffed with ballot boxes and constant voting, but will that ensure justice?

Lysander Spooner’s ideas of justice never once mention voting as the key.

The democratic socialists mention two other goals which appear to be facets of their idea of justice: “equality of opportunity” and “economic equality”. These goals are inconsistent with human life. They are impossible concepts, meaning they never can be realized, and they can only be attempted to be realized by massive coercion. Even in the Garden, there could not be equality of these kinds without uniformity throughout the Garden. It’s that uniformity that contradicts everything we know about human nature and human beings. Not everyone is alike in nature, in opportunities and in economic means. This is a fact that’s verifiable.

Even democratic socialists have to confront reality now and then. They concede “Although a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor, we recognize that unappealing jobs will long remain.” But their way of “progress”, the way of the progressive, is to force employers to pay more: “…the burden should be placed on the employer to make work desirable by raising wages, offering benefits and improving the work environment.” Coercion is their method of attaining uniformity and equality. What else could there be? Voting? The votes of employers do not count.


7:40 pm on September 16, 2020