Checks and balances

Both socialism and free market capitalism are the same in that they emphasize money, property and power. Their only real difference has to do with who should decide their accumulation. Socialists believe the institution of government should decide based on its perception of a fair and just society. Free market capitalists believe individuals should decide based on private initiative and ability. The problem that each system faces is the over-concentration of power and wealth. Socialism, by its very nature, leads quickly to this phenomonen, because an institution that makes and interprets the laws of a nation, proceeds to nationalize the means of production, and has the police and military forces at its beckon call becomes almost unstoppable, and thus dangerous.

Free market capitalism can also lead to this phenomenon through greed and corruption, as is evident now in the United States, but at least it has the government to serve as its overseer, regulator. In other words, there are more checks and balances within free market capitalism, more hope… theoretically at least. The problem with free market capitalism comes when the government is co-opted by corporate interests, and those checks and balances begin to disappear. The problem with socialism is that its adherents do not generally believe in checks and balances because they view government as some sort of pure and perfect entity that will make everything better if only given enough power.


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