Monday, June 30, 2008

Socialism and freedom are incompatible

I was reading something the other day - I can't remember where or by whom - in which the writer was suggesting that democracy and freedom are not compatible. You can have democracy or you can have freedom, but not the two together was the basic thrust of their argument.

Their main evidence for this was the increasing infringement on our civil liberties by our "democratic" government and that this appears to be happening in all developed democracies. Whoever wrote that piece was totally and completely wrong.

Britain has had democracy for centuries and only in the last 50 years have we seen a decline in our traditional rights and liberties. The USA likewise. What the author missed is that our decreasing civil liberties comes at a time when our main political parties offer nothing but socialism in slightly differing flavours. We do not have a true democracy anymore - in a true democracy there is choice - we have a choice of left wing, very left wing and rampantly left wing (I'll let you work out which is which).

Of course, it's not called socialism anymore as that is a discredited term. These days they use the euphemism "progressive liberalism" or the far more deceptive term "liberalism". Personally I find the term "liberalism" offensive when applied to socialists as I consider myself a liberal in the true sense of the word (if I want to ride a motorbike without a crash helmet, what the hell has it got to do with you?) and it annoys the hell out of me that people who want to regulate and legislate every last little thing call themselves "liberal". Call them what they are - socialists, marxists, commies - anything but liberals.

Britain has been like that for the better part of fifty years. In that time here have been some brief flirtations with right wing conservatism, but they were very mild and very brief. In the main, all we have been offered for 50 years is varying degrees of socialism and socialism, as Hayek warned us in his book "The Road To Serfdom", has only one outcome - authoritarianism.

Democracy and freedom are not incompatible. Socialism and freedom are.

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