After quite some time, I have found my ‘Tocqueville and begun a study trying to distinguish between “communism” and “Socialism.” For Socialism, we think of the European governments with socialized medicine, way higher taxes, but way more government services. But for communism, we think of the tyrannies where millions of the “Bourgeois” are killed and millions more set to work in labor camps. But this is not quite what either of these words mean, and no one, myself especially, really knows how one should use them.
“Communism” is found in the Act of the Apostles and in its most extreme in Plato’s Republic. Priests who live together, especially without families, can own all things in common because no one cares at all about things o the money that encapsulates their value. But Aristotle is right in practice, when he notes that “what is held in common gets less care.” Plato’s best regime is not at all about practical or possible regimes, irrelevant for almost all practical purposes, and perhaps those who cannot see above practical matters should not even read it, if they are going to be confused from beginning to end. But Plato’s city includes the dissolution of the family even for those who are not celibate, so that the attachment to ones own wife is destroyed, and women and children are shared. The sacrifice of one’s own love is the sacrifice of our attachment to the world at the navel, which is why the loss of love can lead to rebirth. Sometimes truths walk right by us like the philosopher of Al Farabi walked past the gatekeeper by telling the truth when asked his name while pretending to be a reveling drunk, so he was thought to be lying.
But Marxist Communism includes the “class-ocide” of the Bourgeois, and so it must be considered a perversion that has forever, as a side effect, blocked our ability to consider “communism” in theory. Socialism, as the word was first used by Robert Owen and Mr. Fourier, simply means the common ownership of property and the distribution according to need. It is wrong because humans are not able to live that way, though it does indicate the limitations of property rights in theory. In truth, in one sense, people should not own anything they cannot use well, and so the one who knows man deserves to own and distribute all goods. The problem is of course that we do not have a wise man, if such a thing is even practically possible, since one would also have to know the circumstances of each. A second point from Aristotle is that property is equipment for action. What if my friend, since friends have all things in common, borrows my car without asking to go golfing, and I come out to get in my car and go to a doctor’s appointment on which my child’s life depends?
Marx was also a “socialist, ” but attributed common ownership and distribution according to need to a Utopian condition to magically occur after torrents of blood far worse that the French Reign of terror killed all the “Bourgeois.” This is different even from the violence and the state tyranny required for such a project, which indeed leads to the Comment on Gonzalo’s speech in Shakespeare’s The Tempest That the latter end of his speech forgets the beginning. He forgets that someone must rule and do this by force, while the force of government is to be used in the true function of government, to fight crime, not act as a general store. Hence, under socialism, property rights are violated and things that are not crimes are made crimes. The artificiality is disgusting, and we find things in society to be all ready artificial enough due to human vulgarity. But if private property is natural to man in the usual condition, and as ineradicable as the appetite for sex, the result is a perpetual and pointless war against human nature. One hundred million were killed and tortured in the twentieth century under that flag.