Daniel Hannan Explains Why Socialism Does Not Work

Tyler Durden's picture

Having explained how well socialism worked in France and in Venezuela, why socialism alway fails; and exposing the "costs" of socialism around the world, we leave it to the much more erudite UKIP member Daniel Hannan to explain why socialism does not work. Hannan, simply put, explains why socialism (using force to make individuals comply with planners plans) doesn't produce the results the planners planned. As Austrian Addict notes, socialists don't like the spontaneous order that results when individuals are free to make decisions on what they produce, consume, and exchange. The only reason central planners think that socialism hasn't worked is because it hasn’t been tried by the right people, namely them.


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X_Weatherman's picture

It works pretty well for the bankster class.

prains's picture



The only thing that x thousand years of human existience works is Oligrachism, they've won every century so far.... the bloodshed to even things out has involved to many innocents, so the oligarchs even then win again. They are our cockroaches, unkillable in essence. Kill one another one grows to fill its place.......

Mercuryquicksilver's picture

Oligarchs are found in every "ism".  Ever play king of the hill?

prains's picture

there's an echo in here tonight

<---and I'm drunk on r'tard 2008 tonight because i thought it was whine

Anusocracy's picture

Socialism doesn't work in a modern technological world because it developed to promote survival in a hunter-gatherer society, one almost completely devoid of innovation and property. As such, socialism has little use for property rights, stifles innovation, and tends to promote the status quo economically. The Soviet Union is a good past example and currently, the elites using socialist practices in banking and finance to increase their control of the economy.

Fascism fares a little better. Being a derivative of the hunter-gatherer culture but with the additional influences of sedentism, positive-sum economics, specialization of labor, and rudimentary property rights, it is more conducive to progress and innovation. Its failure is that generally the state is the greatest beneficiary of its successes.

Of course, either of these two systems can be improved by increasing the freedom of individuals and decreasing control by governments. All the way to no government at all.

Banjo's picture

I hope you realise that America has been socialist for a long time.

BigJim's picture

'America' isn't socialist (unless you're referring to South America - in which case... fair enough, a lot of the countries in South America are fairly socialist). But how many industries are owned by the state in North America?

The USA is fascist. The 'government' tightly regulate industry, whose owners then buy off the politicians and regulators 'regulating' them. As Robert Higgs described it, in the West we have 'Participatory Fascism' - it's a fascist oligarchy, but the peons are periodically allowed to vote for a selection of puppets from an oligarchy-approved list. Occasionally, a politician will wander off the reservation... but they are unlikely to have been able to advance up the slippery pole unless they had serious character flaws that allow them to be taken down at a moment's notice by the oligarchy's attack dogs, the MSM.

It's a pretty neat system, in that the vast majority of the citizenry have no idea they are either just bought-off vote machines or tax/fiat serfs.

Doña K's picture

The psycopath elite thrive in any system and if it was not corrupt already, they would find a way to corrupt it by capitalizing (pun intended) on human weaknesses and vices.

Example: Insurance companies and organized religion capitalize on human fear.

Case and point: My daughter who was an atheist, started going to church when she turned 18. I then asked what happened. Her answer: "I am hedging my bets." 

Given all choices, I would rather be in a libertarian setting. Just my opinion.

what&#039;s that smell's picture

psycho-sociofacist-commieCapitalistic-cronyAusterical-keynesianRandish-kleptoCrypto economic system more like....

....the rich wanna keep their stuff and the poor wanna take it....

tragioComedic or comedioTragic...you pick.

mc225's picture

indeed... if a person starts gathering a bit of money together, other people come after it.

Antifaschistische's picture

but....we can say we have both fascist and socialist principles.

Obama started his political career as a socialist.  One who does not approve the choices individuals make when they are allowed to make their own decisions.  So, we will impose decisions upon you and force you into mold.  This "protect the parasite" mentality has existed for a long time.

However, Obama was quickly schooled in Fascism and learn that his survival is really about the cozy relationships with the people who really run the world.   He embraced the new game.  You know that clown didn't write "obamacare".   He too is a puppet of the real rule makers now (fascist) but clings tightly to his socialist roots of envy and spite.   He realizes, that even after being a president he's not really qualified for any productive job....this eats away at his fabric...the more it eats away at him, the more insistent he is that we take from those who produce and handout to those who don't. (socialist)


Anusocracy's picture

Fascism is socialism tweaked to better parasitize modern economies.

snodgrass's picture

You're both wrong. It's fascist at the top and socialist at the bottom. Fascism for the 1 percent who own the corporations and who are joined at the hip to the govt. It's all financed by socialism of the masses who pay for all the excess and failures of those at the top. 

TrustbutVerify's picture

My argument for quite some time is that a percentage of our society has been socialist for a long while, with another substantial percentage remaining capitalist/free market.  

The "government check, " and this includes government workers often overblown salaries and benefits, or welfare recipients, past the point of hard actual need or reasonableness of pay, is the "bread and circuses," or more acurately, the monetary heroin of our time.

The amount paid above "hard actual need" and "reasonableness of pay" is paid by that other demonized percentage - the capitalists and free marketers.   


Zoomorph's picture

The irony of libertarianism is that under the guise of championing liberty, it actually seeks to restrict it. The central premise (as far as I remember) is that an individual should not be allowed to coerce any other individual. This premise restricts the freedom of every individual.

Something is clearly betrayed about those who invented and champion such an ideology: they view coercion as their danger or weakness and recognize that it would be in their best interests to minimize it in society. It is a selfish system designed by a group of people who are in search for power and believe that they would be better off if some of the laws of physics were changed in their favor. Additionally, it helps if the system lends itself well to being marketed via prevailing moral jargon and sensibilities and sold to the sheep who might believe in it. But is it realistic to ask those who have power to willingly give it up for the sake of some other group that is trying to grab or maximize their own power? Such a thought seems to run counter to the principles observed in life up until modern man.

What I dislike about such ideals is that they attempt to limit or constrain real life via trimming it to fit a neat set of concepts which is a subset of the whole of all concepts that we have so far evolved. All of these ideals, if taken seriously, are essentially asking us to return to a more primitive state. Could that be why they all inevitably fail? And isn't real life already far superior to any ideology, with its vast phantasmagoria of players and creativity? Wouldn't the world just seem tremendously boring, limited, lackluster and handicapped if we removed, for example, coersion?

To think that such an ideal could ever be realized is to conceive of the weak conquering strength or the sick conquering health. It is the ultimate ideal of degeneracy, of stagnating humanity, of us ceasing to change and grow in unpredictable ways, of ending the evolution of mankind. The world and its great mystery would finally be "solved". We could no longer consider ourselves spiritually or philosophically "alive" under such a condition. Would anyone with an ounce of power in real life, anyone who enjoys life and judges it positively, actually push for such an ideal? Perhaps it could be met with the aid of some great accident or stupidity, but otherwise it seems unlikely. The driving force behind these ideologies in the real world is at best greed and deception, or at worst naive infatuation and stupidity.

All of this is not to say that these ideologies are not valuable (to the contrary), or that we should not consider more practical implementations (or perhaps intelligent variations) of them. But I suspect that for anyone to have a hope of a successful practical implementation, they must first grasp the bigger picture and have the clarity to focus on the right problems. But I'm starting to ramble....

Returning to the topic of libertarianism: the illusion of freedom in life is certainly very tiny, such that no intelligent person has honestly believed in it for over a century. An ideology that chooses that as its starting point can be viewed comically.

GernB's picture

To sum up, you believe that people should not be free, and those who believe in freedom are comical.

ebworthen's picture

Wait, wait...the article should be titled "Why Fractional Reserve Banking Doesn't Work".

BigJim's picture

 The irony of libertarianism is that under the guise of championing liberty, it actually seeks to restrict it. The central premise (as far as I remember) is that an individual should not be allowed to coerce any other individual. This premise restricts the freedom of every individual. Blah, blah, self-contradicting blah after blah after blah with some Nietzschean blah on top.

You have written some of the worst, self-contradicting logic-salad paragraphs I have ever attempted to read. Well done, sir! Quick, get a job in the Obama 'administration'.

BlindMonkey's picture

Speaking of which.  Where was the teleprompter?  I didn't see it.

Drachma's picture

It's implanted in his left eye.

H. Perowne's picture

"What you have written above is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

PS: Points that would have been awarded for actually spelling phantasmagoria properly are withdrawn for obviously having no idea what it means

PPS: Please learn to spell coercion properly before making the concept a centerpoint of your gibberish


The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

u r a communist piece of shit and a complete waste of vital organs. 

Zoomorph's picture

Proof that ZH doesn't need arguments, rebuttals, intelligence, critical thinking, creativity, or anything like that. As long as we all believe in the common witch hunt against communists/TPTB/cronies/etc, we can all feel good about ourselves. Every day we sign on to receive our heavily biased dosage of articles that affirm our world view. Anyone who dares question our common beliefs shall be down-voted to oblivion!

mc225's picture

i don't know that people should be 'unfree' but do agree by now that an 'earth without coercion' is probably a pipe dream. so the idea of 'freedom' is an ideal. one can carry it in their heart, but probably never realize it in the 'real world'. basically, 'if it isn't one thing, it's another; it's always something.' 'frictionless' living seems impossible here. i would posit that it is possible to 'take chances in life', but to actually be 'free'? no. the only freedom is in motionlessness. once things start moving, it's a world of risk/reward/pain.



mumbo.jumbo's picture

libertarianism, or freedom, is not about an earth without the use of force, but a small set of ethical principles that guide the use of force in a way that lets humans strive. forget what he mumbled...

TrustbutVerify's picture

So for you the term, "Freedom is slavery," is accurate? 

rbg81's picture

No "ism" is perfect, but Capitalism beats Socialism by a long shot--there is really no comparison.

There are a few reasons why this is so.  Hannan mentions a few in his speech.  But the biggest reason Capitalism always wins is "dog eat dog competition".  Paradoxically, this is the facet of Capitalism that Socialists always rail against, denoubcing it as "inefficient" and "unjust".

In the Socialist (or Communist) economy, almost all economic decisions are made by a bureaucracy of central planners.  They reason that if the top planners are "The Best And The Brightest" (TBATB), then they will make the best, most efficient decisions for the society as a whole.  Even if we accept that the [often false] premise that the ones calling the shots are indeed TBATB, the obstacles of information and time will always prevent them from making the best decisions.  To make the right decisions, you need accurate fresh information.  But his takes time to collect, process and study--anywhere from weeks or months to years, even with the latest information technology.  By the time that happens, the information will likely be stale.  Furthermore, the processing of that information may introduce bias by those charged with performing that task.  In addition, we all know that TBATB at the top will have their own biases and be subject to political pressure.  As a result, the decisions made will always be suboptimal.  And then there is the question that the chosen economic "winners" will actually be able to execute the decisions in an effective manner.  As Hannan points out, more often than not, in Socialsm/Communism, the winners are often selected by politics and bootlicking.

With "Dog Eat Dog" (DED) Capitalism, you have thousands of companies competing in the actual economy, not some theoretical model.  Many approaches will fail, many others will succeed moderately, but a few will succeed spectacularly.  The later will be imitated, refined, and improved.  Only by the "wasteful" process trying a myriad of different approaches, will you find the ones that are most opimal.  Most of these strategies are ones that even the supposed TBATB would not have dreamed of.  It is "wasteful"?  In a way, but only by such massive, concurrent experimentation can you discover what actually works in practice.  And while it may result in "inequity", it better serves society and, as a result, raises the overall standard of living.  I would forcefully argue that standard of living is a better measure of social progress than "inequity" ever will be.

That in a nutshell, is why DED Capitalism succeeds, while Socialsm, Communism, and even Crony Capitalism fail.

Zoomorph's picture

"DED Capitalism succeeds"

DED capitalism is certainly not sustainable, so if that's what you mean by "succeeds", I doubt that is true. "Crony" capitalism is going to evolve from it every time. It's irrational for those in power to limit themselves for the good of everyone else. Capitalism is very competitive. To throw out the rule books is simply another advance in competitive strategy. If those in power were extremely brainwashed, it might be able to hold together for a few generations, maybe?

rbg81's picture

Crony capitalism comes about when some of the "winners" from DED capitalism get too big.  After a while, they figure out its easier to make profits from buying political favors than actually innovating.  In the end, though, politics isn't always enough--sometimes the TBTF companies end up failing anyway.  In a DED system, its not he big that eat the small, its the fast that eat the slow.  When American society ossfies enough and that stops happening, we are all in trouble.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"ism" start out well-reasoned and well-meaning, but morph into cancerous monstrosities over time, as the Sociopaths and their army of psychos infiltrate and take over.  In the modern era...

"When a People become comfortably numb and willfully dumb, they become less than People.  They become... Sheeple" -Kirk

Think clearly, act wisely and stop falling for false paradigms and false arguments.

Harbanger's picture

There's No Place Like Utopia-

A trailer of a soon to be released movie about Socialism.



Anusocracy's picture


Trailer for J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night about the economic collapse of the US.

luckylongshot's picture

The isms all take the focus away from the key issue of where the power lies and so can be said to be one of the strategies the elite use to hide their power. The key rule with power is actually fairly simple. The more centralised power is the more oppresssive the state, the more it is sent to the fringes the healthier the state. Decentralised power, where the government fears the people seems to be best and isms become irrelevant in this context.

G-R-U-N-T's picture

Ayn Rand pulled the covers on Statism years ago with surgical precision like no other. It's mind boggling how a populace can be conned so easily! They haven't the criticle thinking skills to even understand what their doing to themselves, absolutely tragic!

"A statist system—whether of a communist, fascist, Nazi, socialist or “welfare” type—is based on the . . . government’s unlimited power, which means: on the rule of brute force. The differences among statist systems are only a matter of time and degree; the principle is the same. Under statism, the government is not a policeman, but a legalized criminal that holds the power to use physical force in any manner and for any purpose it pleases against legally disarmed, defenseless victims.

Nothing can ever justify so monstrously evil a theory. Nothing can justify the horror, the brutality, the plunder, the destruction, the starvation, the slave-labor camps, the torture chambers, the wholesale slaughter of statist dictatorships."

The dumb shits that want to believe and blame the rich and corporations are playing into the hands of the real perpetrator, the Government! In the next few years we're going to see grass root uprisings against Government corruption like we've never seen before, it's coming and it ain't going to be pretty!

ATM's picture

I think you got it all right except for the last part. The uprisings are not going to be against the government but against the last vestiges of freedoms and personal property ownership. The government itself will stoke those uprisings but there will then be a backlash. That is when all hell breaks loose.

sgt_doom's picture

So, G-R-U-N-T, you love pervo Ayn Rand and want to perform a BJ on Alan Greenspan.


Kreditanstalt's picture

Don't be ridiculous.  Free markets and free enterprise are the default position - the ABSENCE of "isms'...

barroter's picture

Sure does! It's an easy life when you have gov't backing you all all the way with QE and whatever tax-paid for bailout there is.  Privatize the profits, socialize the losses and sing about how great a capitalist you are.

sgt_doom's picture


Besides, what sane and rational human would pay any attention to a douchey-looking guy wearing a bow tie, fer crissakes?

DeliciousSteak's picture

Hannan switched parties? Last time I heard he was in the Conservative party.

Spitzer's picture

So are you implying that conservatives are socialists ?

One thing about these Brittle limey chavs, they know how to have a good debate.

bankerbackbacon's picture

Haven't you heard the news? In North American and most of the world, voters who aren't disenfranchised by electronic voting, have a choice between the left and the left of center. The right died with central banking, "progressive" taxation, bailouts and LIBOR type cronyism.

Now when do the reds get bayonets in the throat? Why the fuck are these pseudo-corporation CEO's like (ex, fill in the blank) __Monsanto__ not eating lead, made in the USA, from the vantage point of a coffin?


The fluoride is pretty effective apparently. Fucking Nazi, Communist-Libertarian Masonic - Talmudic Godless assholes, the lot of them. 

Socialism doesn't work because it leads to Communism every time and the Devil is the top General Secretary in the party.

We have leaked documents from the Kremlin and Beijing to back this up don't we... Shadow of Hermes, enjoy.


mc225's picture

'shadow of hermes' is a trippy vid... really has an uncommon perspective. definitely worth watching. ymmv

beaglebog's picture

Conservatives ARE certainly Collectivists ... and all Socialists are collectivist.

Go and read the comments section of a traditionally-Conservative paper, such as the Daily Telegraph. You'll find it jam-packed with "common-gooders", "national-interest" types.


To be fair, there isn't a ha'porth of difference between Conservative' policies and Labour' policies.  Just like Democrats and Republicans... they all mean to violate you, the individual.


The real debate is "the individual versus the tribe".

Herodotus's picture

Why isn't this man Prime Minister?

sgt_doom's picture

Negative, DS, he's still with the Bankster Party.

Spastica Rex's picture

It works pretty well for the Hutterite colonies up the road.

Oh, wait - they're communists. Never mind.

TheDuke's picture

Sure, it works for Hutterites. The problem with communism is it doesn't scale.

What works for a community of a size under Dunbar's number (~150) doesn't necessarily work for a community of thousands, and won't work for a society of millions.


Oldwood's picture

Communism requires "shared" values. As you say, it works in small homogeneous groups where the people feel connected. Every communist attempt has required the elimination of all non adopters or re-education of those deemed salvageable. They understand this problem well and are now trying to mold us, condition us to accept their template. Breaking down racial and sexual differences, trying to convince us we are all the same, while also dividing and pitting us against each other for the sake of retaining their power. For their plans to work millions upon millions will need to die. Yet it will still fail. Tyranny will be the ultimate solution, as it always has been.