Marita Vargas
Why I am not a socialist
By Marita Vargas
September 6, 2009

It is almost certain that I'll offend someone if I say that I am not a socialist because my mama didn't raise any stupid children — but ever since I became equipped to understand that two plus two equals four, I was equipped to understand that socialism just doesn't add up. Dorothy Sayers really said all that a thinking person needs to hear on the matter when she commented on the newly hatched labor government of post-war Britain: "Some Governments take credit to themselves for being more lavish with the public purse than others; and lavishness may, indeed, be a Good Thing. But the fact remains that, whoever gets the credit, it is not the Government that provides the cash. You do that. A government, of whatever complexion, has no money, except what it can beg, borrow or — that is, except what it can extract from you, me and the man in the street by loans or taxation."[1] So there it is, the stark fact: Government's sole source of income comes from you and me.

Socialism eventually crushes you and me, the common man, by playing both ends against the middle. It unfolds like this: The wealthy are more deserving of being fleeced for the public good, and the poor are more deserving of receiving the goods. The government reserves the honor of picking Peter's pockets to pay Paul because government cares.

Government cares about Peter insofar as he is wealthy enough to kick-in his share to the public and private coffers (those of the politicians); and it cares about Paul insofar as his allegiance can be bought for a pittance. It's the Marthas in the middle who get squashed — they are too busy running their own lives to notice. Pay attention or pay the piper.

Now government takes its cut upfront, and leaves us to fend for ourselves with what remains. But it's a truly take-as-you-go system. Because no matter how much the government takes, it is never enough to meet its obligations. That is why every dollar you spend is cut by sales, excise, energy and other taxes — government always capturing its funds first — whether you're monetarily bleeding to death or not. It's called excessive taxation.

If government makes a deal with its financial friends, allowing us to pay back its debt with interest, that's called mortgaging our future. Some of the people are happy for a short time, the financial investors (often foreign governments that are hostile to us) are happy for a long time.

If in the meantime, government gives away large chunks of our money to dependents (the Pauls) who delay, possibly forever, contributing to the tax base, that's called creating an underclass. Predictably, this underclass becomes a reliable voting block for government give-away programs and the pols who support them, even though the people are thereby enslaved. Government entitlement programs also become a breeding ground for bureaucratic expansion — neatly creating a voting army of apparatchiks.

If government gives away plum portions of our money to friends and supporters (the Peters) that's called business as usual. If the government prints up the money it needs to keep the cycle going that's called currency manipulation and inflation of the money supply.

When government combines this with the pernicious practice of racking up deficits that's called inter-generational slavery. And when we reach that state, my friend, the servile state has arrived, and most of us will be working for our masters for a long time to come. Never fear, the masters are going to give us everything we want. Right?

Wrong. Adding insult to injury, government will have delivered us from the greed of the capitalist to ensnare us in the grip of the state apparatus. Think of soup lines, gas lines, medical services lines. It has happened in the world before. Even liberals such as Bernard Henri Levy[2] or Joseph Wood Krutch[3] used to worry about such things — though neither of them had the perspicacity of Hilaire Belloc.[4]

However, you don't need any of their principles to critique government of the government, by the government, for the government. Try Marxist doctrine as your point of departure. One of Herr Karl's maxims has it that capitalist economies fail when they don't pay their workers enough for the workers to buy back the finished goods that they, the workers, produce. He never mentions what happens when the workers are taxed to death.

It should be a capitalist maxim that socialist economies fail when they don't allow their workers to keep enough of their money to buy food — that is if there is any money at all or any food. Think of bread lines.

Or as a worker from the old U.S.S.R. put it: "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us." (We won't even bring up the issue that socialist-communist-statist-centralized-power-inflated economies don't allow the people to produce anything worth buying.) When the work and the pay are both pipe dreams, that's called a socialist paradise. And Marx thought religion was the opiate of the people.

So shake off the haze. Food Stamps don't pay for caviar. The government will not take care of you in old age. Social Security is broke. If you rely on a public retirement fund, keep in mind that its health depends on government solvency, the influx of younger workers, sustainable retirement rates, steady tax revenues and honest management — all of which may give cause for worry. Well, no matter, at least you will have your medical needs met. Not so fast — Medicare is broke, and there is no reason to believe nationalized health care will be any better.

In fact, every socialized program that was meant to be there for you and me is not there — and the money is gone. So who's stupid, the person pressing for socialism or the Town Hall protester who wants freedom?

Our freedom hangs by a thread. Now that we have government banks, and government car manufacturing, and government schools what's to stop us from someday having the salary that the government wants to give us, and the cars it wants to sell us, and the education it wants to grant us (Oh, wait a minute. We already have that.) Wait until we have the health care it wants to fork over. You know, in the zero-sum game that we are playing, where the winner takes all, we had better make sure that the people and not the government triumphs.


[1]  Brabazon, James. Dorothy L. Sayers. Charles Scribner's Sons (New York, 1981), 244-245. Quoting from Sayers, Dorothy L., Tory Challenge, "You Are the Treasury," July, 1947.

[2]  Try Barbarism With a Human Face by Bernard Henri Levy.

[3]  Try The Modern Temper by Joseph Wood Krutch.

[4]  Try The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc.

© Marita Vargas


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Marita Vargas

Marita Vargas believes in freedom of speech and in civil discourse. Because for decades the American people have been silenced, intimidated, and poorly informed, they are in danger of losing their freedoms for the simple reason that they rarely discuss the underlying reasons for the current state of affairs. She can be reached at


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