VIDEO: Socialism Makes People Selfish
And once it catches on, it’s almost impossible to undo it.
The newest video from Prager University is hosted by Dennis Prager himself and is as entertaining as it is enlightening.
For the subject, Prager examines the differences between socialism and capitalism with an eye to the stereotype propagated by many on the left that capitalism makes people selfish.
The exact opposite is true, Prager suggests. People living under socialism become accustomed to government handouts that are eventually seen as rights. This leads to a selfish and ungrateful society Prager concludes.
Here’s the official video description from the Prager University website:
Socialism Makes People Selfish
Which is better: socialism or capitalism? Does one make people kinder and more caring, while the other makes people greedy and more selfish? In this video, Dennis Prager explains the moral differences between socialism and capitalism, and why anyone who wants a kind and generous society must support one and oppose the other.
Watch the whole thing below:
Featured image via YouTube.
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I don’t think either system “produces” selfish people. I think people are inherently selfish by nature (not all, of course, but in general).
Capitalism leverages that selfishness by rewarding effort, innovation and ability…that way, even though the people who do well are no less selfish than they would have been otherwise, their selfishness is a net benefit to society rather than a drag on it.
Socialism amplifies the costs of selfishness rather than the benefits. The selfish nature of people is not encouraged to produce things, but to demand things produced by others. The problem is that with no one being encouraged to be producers, eventually there’s nothing left being produced to demand.
When it gets to that point, you have to go to Columbia to buy your groceries.
I’m not sure “selfish vs. selfless” quite describes it; you’ll certainly find both under either capitalism or socialism.
I think the divide is more along a “makers vs. takers” axis. Socialism rewards “takers” by providing everything they want/need and calling it an “entitlement” (or a “right”). At the same time, it punishes “makers” through taxes and punitive regulations, so that it’s literally harder to provide your own living than it is to live on the dole.
Capitalism, on the other hand, rewards productivity, innovation, and ingenuity — it rewards “makers” for their work (subject to their work/effort being in demand). Capitalism does not punish “takers” — it merely leaves them to their own devices; they can decide to become “makers” and start benefiting from their own productivity at any time, but they’ll get nothing for free.
Just my $0.02.
“I think people are inherently selfish by nature (not all, of course, but in general).”
I enjoyed your perspective on selfishness, and I like how you related the costs/rewards of capitalism/socialism (as I see those existing on a continuum in societies).
Personally, instead of describing people in general to be inherently selfish by nature, I suggest that all people act in their own self-interest by nature. In that framework, selfishness (defined as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself; seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others”) is an output, not an input.
From my perspective, self-interest allows philosophies/perspectives that are not inherently pursued to the detriment of others (as I see described by selfishness).
There are examples of this in discussions such as this:
Many people in the Western cultures find true charity (which CANNOT be compulsory) very much in their self-interest.
The American people have been demonstrated to be the MOST charitable people in time or space. Meaning, we have that history, and we still hold the record.
The time in our history when most people think we lived under “laissez faire” also saw the explosion of private charity organizations, often by ordinary people of ordinary means.
None other than FDR explained it very well in 1935 when he said this:
The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers. The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.
Prager gets right to the crux of the matter. As usual. Bravo!