T Nation



Interesting article that I believe makes some very good points w/r/t socialism. Seriously, all this hullabaloo over the possibility that an employee might get fired from their job? Ridiculas.

Socialism is indeed a failed political ideology IMHO.


March 21, 2006
Socialism Makes People Worse
By Dennis Prager

Throughout much of last week, hundreds of thousands of students in France were angrily protesting.

They have been joined by the major French labor unions, which are threatening a general strike.

And what is this all about?

It is all about a new law in France that allows a company to fire a person under the age of 26, without cause, within two years of being hired.

Wow. Imagine that. You might get fired from your first job.

As it happens, the whole point of the law was to encourage companies to hire young people. The unemployment rate among young people in France is 23 percent. And in many suburbs, it is double that. Meanwhile, French companies are understandably loath to hire 22-year-olds when they cannot fire them except "for cause," which under union rules means something like committing mass murder in the workplace.

What these massive demonstrations reveal is the narcissism, laziness and irresponsibility inculcated by socialist societies.

Enough generations of socialist policies have now passed for us to judge their effects. They are bleak. Socialism undermines the character of a nation and of its citizens. In simpler words, socialism makes people worse.

These young people in France really believe that they should be able to be hired at their tender ages and that a company must not be allowed to fire them from their first day at work (except "for cause," which, as we are learning in America, is increasingly difficult to establish). In America, most of us would call the French young people's attitudes "spoiled."

Socialism teaches its citizens to expect everything, even if they contribute nothing.

Socialism teaches its citizens that they have a plethora of rights and few corresponding obligations -- except to be taxed.

And that is why the citizens of less socialist -- and more religious -- America give more charity per capita and per income than do citizens of socialist countries. That is why Americans volunteer time for the needy so much more than citizens of socialist countries do. That is why citizens of conservative states in America give more charity than citizens of liberal states do. The more Left one identifies oneself on the political spectrum, the more that person is likely to believe that the state, not fellow citizens, should take care of the poor and the needy.

Under socialism, one is not only liberated from having to take care of oneself; one is also liberated from having to take care of others. The state will take care of me and of everybody else.

The same holds true for foreign affairs. Why did the conservative government of Spain support the American war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq and send troops there, while the Spanish socialists withdrew Spanish troops as soon as they were voted into office? Because the idea of risking one's life to bring freedom to others -- or to risk one's life for another nation for just about any reason -- is alien to the socialist mindset.

Similarly, in the great litmus test of moral acuity -- the Middle East -- socialist countries and parties virtually all line up behind the Palestinians. They do so either out of moral confusion or out of cowardice -- it takes a lot more courage to support Israel than to support the Palestinians and the whole Muslim world.

The socialist idea sounded altruistic to those who began it, and it sounds altruistic to the naive who believe in it today. In practice, however, it creates self-centered individuals and a narcissistic society. So while it may have begun as a way to help others, it has come to mean a way of evading responsibility for oneself and for others.

That is why France is so frightened of the utterly rational idea that a young person should have a two-year trial period at work before being granted a lifetime job. Such an innovation in France would mean that young people would have to work hard and earn the right to lifetime employment. But if socialism means anything, it means that one shouldn't have to earn anything. One merely has to breathe.

As much as America has been adversely affected by socialist thought, it is still inconceivable that in America hundreds of thousands of students would shut down their schools in order to gain the right not to be fired by the first company that hires them. But every time America's socialists, the Democrats, prevail in an election, we move in that direction. No matter how pure their motives, the Left makes America and its citizens less noble people, just like the spoiled French students.


Interesting points. But it is far too swayed, and the author isn't remotely trying to be objective.

It cuts the effectiveness of his argument apart.

I agree that the French law is ridiculous. But socialism has not had a purely negative effect on this country....yea I really hate child labor laws, safety standards, minimum wage, etc. C'mon now. This guy is ridiculous.


I'm not going to try to defend any of these crazy policies, but neither am I willing to accept that "socialism" is a failed concept.

There are many bad ways to try to make the world a better place.


Name 1 successfull society that did not have a little of all the -isms?

You can't.

One or more will dominate but they all have their place much to my chagrin.


Capitalism is the least of all evils.


Capitalism and socialism can live together, its just bloody difficult. Socialist ideals can aid in capitalism (morale, job security etc)but this has to be tempered against outright abuse by unions etc.

I myself am a member of a union, and i know if the shit hit the fan, i was being bullied at work, or the like, then i could get some apprpriate representation. I am also a capitalist, and have no doubts that the world needs to operate in that environmet.

France have it all wrong, and need a rocket up their arse. The "people" want want want, yet fail to comprimise. There needs to be a 2 way street in all of this. Their problem is that its so ingrained that a mini counter revolution of fiscial and social ideals will have to occur.


I thought you attributed those laws and regulations to liberalism in the past :slight_smile:


In the US today with all the labor laws and worker protections there is little need for Unions anymore. In the beginning they did help bring about a lot of good and needed changes. Now they only exist to maintain their own existence. Now instead of helping to raise the bar in terms of quality and productivity they support the opposite. Unions now are just a drain on society and provide little positive benefit to it's members and society in general.

For example, who produces a better car, Toyota or Chevy? Both are made in the USA. The Chevy plants have Union employees and the Toyota plants don't. Which have better quality and which last longer?


No offense, but your example doesn't exactly prove that unions cause a drop in quality...


Offense? From you? Never! You are the nicest guy on this site! Riiiight!

No, I think what it may prove or demonstrate is that you can produce a great industry-leading product without Unions. So it suggests that Unions are not needed.


Well, if you insist...

Look shithead, this isn't actually what you were talking about -- that is what you have changed your tune to.

Anyway, I'm not particularly pro-union, so I'm not going to go out of my way to support them.

... happy now?


Unions are needed still to protect workers,if you are in a job where you can be permenantly injured or lose your life,the laws your talking about dont really protect you,and you would need a lot of money to hire a lawyer to protect yourself ,it could easily bankrupt you.Also if those toyotas are made non-union ,how come they cost so much ,shouldnt they sell for a lot less being they dont have to pay union salaries?? and why are their parts prices so much higher,My friend had a toyota and says his parts prices are about 3 times higher than his chev for same parts.


Unions are needed still to protect workers,if you are in a job where you can be permenantly injured or lose your life,the laws your talking about dont really protect you,and you would need a lot of money to hire a lawyer to protect yourself ,it could easily bankrupt you.Also if those toyotas are made non-union ,how come they cost so much ,shouldnt they sell for a lot less being they dont have to pay union salaries?? and why are their parts prices so much higher,My friend had a toyota and says his parts prices are about 3 times higher than his chev for same parts.

Small hijack here.

Re the cost issue, toyota and honda don't really need to compete on a cost basis, as they sell so well at their current prices. As an example, would you go around selling something for $20 when the same number of people would buy it for $23?

One of my professors related a story a few weeks ago where he was speaking with a former colleague who works as a stock analyst covering the auto industry. Apparently, honda and toyota, based on their cost structure, could be selling most models for a 5-10% lower price and still turn a profit.

Why they haven't done so is another thread altogether.


LOL @ Dennis Prager. He's a kook anyway. I wonder what % of self-professed "experts" on socialism like this turd have ever read Das Kapital. Probably less than 1%. Sorry boys, you need to understand your opponent before you can criticize him.



one word: SWEDEN.


Japan and Korean auto manufacturers pick their parts suppliers wisely while American auto manufacturers pick their parts suppliers though nepotism.

See Ford and Firestone for just 1 example.


Sweden kind of works but it is kind of a mess too and is getting worse by most accounts.


Re: capitalism v socialism
If America was any other country, and by that I mean, not the most powerful country in the world, or the most influential, and our bonds were not as valued by China and other foreign investors, I don't think our capitalism would be such a great sucess right now.

Everyone's talking about how bad things are in these socialist countries, but the reasons we get away with the debt and deficit while maintaining the dollar's spending power are completely separate from our being a capitalist economy.

I think.


"kind of a mess"!? Dude, have you BEEN to Sweden? In what respect is Sweden "kind of a mess"?

According to the CIA world Factbook, "Sweden's long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system interlarded with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 by the global economic downturn, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries."

Sweden has only 6% unemployment, one of the HIGHEST qualities of living in the WORLD, EXCELLENT foreign relations, GREAT functional healthcare, a PRISTINE environment, LOW population density, and one of the cleanest human rights records there is.



And what is their tax rate? From what I've read, Sweden is no paradise. It's a country of welfare-sucks. They, of course, don't count those as unemployed. Also, didn't they go broke a few years back, and had 400% interest rates? Some paradise.

Capitalism is the only -ism that ever did anybody any damn good!

God bless the USA, the most noble, generous, and moral country on this planet! Without us, this world would have torn itself apart years ago.