Question for Bernie Sanders
by Tibor R. Machan
"Would it be possible, under your socialist system, for someone to be a capitalist -- engage in production and exchange without being forced to stop doing so, just as it is possible for you to be a socialist under a substantially capitalist system?"
Because socialism requires having everyone be part of the collective, no one may exercise what economists call the exit option. But because capitalism requires everyone to administer his or her own property, those in the system may elect to join in various collectivist endeavors.
This was observed astutely by the late Robert Nozick in his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia (Basic Books, 1974).
It would be insightful for someone at one of his rallies or who interviews Senator Sanders to pose this question to him. His answer would seriously enlighten voters.
A basic principle of socialism is that the major means of production are owned by society as a whole, the collective. Private property rights do not exist in such a community, as Marx & Engels made clear in The Communist Manifesto (1883). The major means of production is human labor which under socialism is collectively owned. (This is why East Germans were shot when they tried to escape -- they were "stealing" what belongs to the society, namely their labor!) So, all property, including one's labor, belongs to society. Elementary!
Someone needs to pose this matter to Senator Sanders and see how he answers the question.
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