Even now, people think nothing of professing their attachment to socialist ideology at cocktail parties, at restaurants serving abundant foods, and lounging in the fanciest apartments and homes that mankind has ever enjoyed. Yes, it is still fashionable to be a socialist, and — in some circles within the arts and academia — socially required. No one will recoil. Someone will openly congratulate you for your idealism. In the same way, you can always count on eliciting agreement by decrying the evils of Walmart and Microsoft.
Isn’t it remarkable? Socialism (the real-life version) collapsed nearly 20 years ago — vicious regimes founded on the principles of Marxism, overthrown by the will of the people. Following that event we’ve seen these once-decrepit societies come back to life and become a major source for the world’s prosperity. Trade has expanded. The technological revolution is achieving miracles by the day right under our noses. Millions have been made far better off, in ever-widening circles. The credit is wholly due to the free market, which possesses a creative power that has been underestimated by even its most passionate proponents.
What’s more, it should not have required the collapse of socialism to demonstrate this. Socialism has been failing since the ancient world. And since Mises’s book Socialism (1922) we have understood that the precise reason is due to the economic impossibility of the emergence of social order in the absence of private property in the means of production. No one has ever refuted him.
CONTINUED at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Written by Llewellyn H. Rockwell.