Thursday, 9 April 2015

Why I am a conservative II: socialism

II. Socialism doesn't work

Come on, you are thinking, even Labour admit that Soviet socialism failed. The debate's moved on. Well, actually there are still loons out there like the Green party. But do you really think that socialism doesn't work? Specifically, that command-and-control systems, where goods are allocated by a central planner according to need rather than being demanded via a price mechanism, are doomed to failure?

If you do think so, then you should draw the conclusions that follow. For instance, the NHS won't work: it is just this kind of system. Nor will state education, for the same reason. You must expect these systems to fail. I do. (I see the failures of state education at first hand.)

This does not mean that the market will provide a utopia. There are excellent reasons to think it won't - health and education are not like packets of cornflakes, whose buyers know what they need. I do not know any perfect solution; but our current systems are doomed to failure by design.

Socialism doesn't work. Consider taking this truism seriously.