Libertarian's definition of socialism

Brian Carnell briand at
Sun Apr 28 09:41:22 MDT 1996

On Sun, 28 Apr 1996 14:10:24 -0600 (CST), HANLY at BrandonU.CA wrote:

>Many libertarian's talk of any government action beyond the minimum
>of defence and courts as "socialist". The entire welfare state is
>thus "socialist". Regulation of production of any kind is "socialist".
>Libertarians  see present capitalist governments as riddled with
>socialism. Thus you get the inane pronouncement of Carnell that
>if you got rid of socialist policies no one would starve!

Are you a mind reader as well as a Marxist?  I do not claim that every
instance of government control over an area of the economy is an
instance of socialism.

I was refering to the fact that in those countries in which starvation
has been rampant in the last few decades, one can trace the origins of
said starvation back to genuinely socialist programs of controlling
food production, such as Mao's farm collectivization program, etc.

> Only people
>with proper grounding in libertarian mythology could spout such utter
>rubbish. Even people who should have known better such as Hayek
>tended toward this totally absurd way of looking at things. Hayek
>thinks that policies such as those recommended by Galbraith for example
>are socialist.

Hayek is clearly correct on this point.

>However, in general political discourse in the US and to some
>extent in Canada any increasing use of government power is called socialist
>and any extension of the welfare state, even though the welfare state is
>clearly a product of capitalism, hence the libertarian way of speaking
>may not seem as absurd as it is.

The thing that is peculiar to the Marxist mythology is the claim that
there is a difference between Marxist oppression of the populace
through the machinations of government that is inherently different
>from non-Marxist oppression.

Did it really matter to the many people murdered under his regime that
Lenin claimed to be acting on behalf of the people?


Brian Carnell         
briand at

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