Mark my words: Socialism will catch up with every one of the countries (who practice socialism) eventually, especially if they allow massive immigration (which will result in massive changes in culture). One of the fundamental core values that I’ve learned from the philosophy of Stoicism is the idea of “living in harmony with nature.” Socialism is completely against the laws of nature. In nature, we reap what we sow. I’m all for “voluntary” wealth redistribution (also known as giving to “charity organizations”); but INVOLUNTARY wealth redistribution (through taxes) is legalized theft, plain and simple. For someone to vote to redistribute another person’s property is immoral. If it’s not freely given, then it is forcefully taken (through taxes, with the threat of punishment or imprisonment if refused). That’s not love. That’s not neighborly. That’s not freedom. That’s theft―government sanctioned theft, plain and simple!
Need, Convenience, and Self-Interest
A show I watched recently (Undercover Law) had this line in it:
“Most people are motivated by three main things: need, convenience, and self-interest. Everything else is pure romanticism.”
This quote from an article I recently read sums it up perfectly:
“…There’s been a striking shift in how corporations see themselves. In normal times, corporations serve a lot of stakeholders―customers, employees, the towns in which they are located. But these days corporations see themselves as serving one purpose and one stakeholder―maximizing shareholder value. Activist investors demand that every company ruthlessly cut the cost of its employees and ruthlessly screw its hometown if it will raise the short-term stock price.”
The ugly truth of the matter is, it’s dog-eat-dog out there. Power and success go to the ones who devise the most ruthless strategy to dominate their adversaries; and if they don’t, someone else will do it to them.
In all honesty, most people aren’t quite that bad, especially on a personal level. But take the “personal” out of it, where the victim becomes a faceless, nameless, abstract entity, and the game seems to change quite a bit.
For instance, most corporate owners and their shareholders have no idea of the conditions in the factories in China where most of their products are made, and they don’t want to know. It’s called “willful ignorance,” and is necessary for them to be able to sleep soundly at night. They are probably pretty decent people in their everyday life, but have cut themselves off from any moral responsibility they may feel, and hide the truth from themselves. Deep down I think that most people who benefit from the unfair labor of others know that they are living out of harmony with conscience, and maybe they even do some extra philanthropy work because of it, but that’s as far as it goes. And so the world turns…
I see absolutely no way for this to change―now, or in the future. Governments can’t force corporations to become more “moral.” (Anyways, that would be the pot calling the kettle black!)
Confucius taught that the citizens will either consciously or unconsciously follow the examples of the people in power. When, in the past, the people in power seemed to have more morals (when those in power were more openly Christian, for example, and actually practiced their religion more), we, as a society, had more morals. Now, those in power (governments, corporations) seem to be almost completely morally bankrupt; it’s no wonder our country is the way it is!
Excerpted from Them and Us: A Philosophy of Freedom by Adam Soto