“Honest and Dishonest Socialism”

That’s the name of a recent Wall Street Journal piece. The article centers on Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s version of socialism, fueled with her dishonest ad hominem attacks on her primary rival for the Democratic Party nomination, and Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator (D, VT) Bernie Sanders, that rival, and his purer and more honest (and deliberately ad hominem-free) version of socialism. As the piece puts it,

The difference between Mr Sanders and Mrs Clinton is political character. He’s a sincere socialist who follows his principles, however unrealistic or calamitous, to their logical conclusions. Mrs Clinton will conceal her true ambitions if that’s what it takes to win, and she’ll drop on her opponents any political anvils that happen to be handy.


As President, Mrs Clinton would head in Bernie’s direction only more slowly.

Socialism is, itself, wholly dishonest, though. It robs and cheats men out of their property, out of their ability to show the best that is in them, out of their right to see to the fulfillment of their opportunities. Socialism robs men of their lives.

A measure of redistribution of the outcomes from fulfilling those opportunities? Our Judeo-Christian obligations to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves and to help those who are less well off than others of us encourage us to see to that. Such obligations can only come from the instructions of God, though. These are constant and easily understood.

No government of men can pretend to impose such obligations, nor can any government of men hope to constancy. Indeed, after a very short period, government imposed obligations become so byzantine that even the men of government cannot understand what they have done, much less those of us who must live under such burdens.

Worse, very quickly government imposed redistribution obligations—government imposed obligations of any sort—will evolve to benefit, in particular, those men of government and their associates, to the detriment of the rest of us. Judeo-Christian, or not.

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