The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property
rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and
disposal) is vested in “society as a whole,” i.e., in the collective, with
production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.
Socialism may be established by force, as in the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics—or by vote, as in Nazi (National Socialist) Germany. The degree of
socialization may be total, as in Russia—or partial, as in England.
Theoretically, the differences are superficial; practically, they are only a
matter of time. The basic principle, in all cases, is the same.
The alleged goals of socialism were: the abolition of poverty, the achievement
of general prosperity, progress, peace and human brotherhood. The results have
been a terrifying failure—terrifying, that is, if one’s motive is men’s
Instead of prosperity, socialism has brought economic paralysis and/or collapse
to every country that tried it. The degree of socialization has been the degree
of disaster. The consequences have varied accordingly.