If you are like me, you regularly interact with people who remain unphased by America’s recent giant strides towards authoritarian socialism, of an economy run largely by and for state actors and their corporate minions. Those who bother to engage with the problem at all eventually exclaim something like, “Well, no society has ever tried ideal socialism”, by which they mean a system that truly redistributes wealth according to everyone’s needs.
A new book from Chapman University law and economics professor Bart Wilson entitled The Property Species nowhere mentions communism, Marx or socialism, but nevertheless provides a powerfully cogent explanation for why socialism, especially ‘ideal’ socialism, can never work – it’s inhuman, because it doesn’t account for humanity’s property instinct.
Classical liberal comebacks to the ideal socialism canard tend to focus on the reasons why socialism cannot possibly succeed. Check out Don Boudreaux’s The Inevitable Failure of Socialism for many powerful economic reasons whi socialism, even ‘ideal’ socialism, cannot increase the living standards of the masses as quickly as market economies can.