In imitation of the political Fundamental Rights some anti-liberal writers have tried to establish basic economic rights. ... According to Anton Menger, Socialism usually assumes three basic economic rights - the right to the full produce of labour, the right to existence, and the right to work.
For fundamentally, Socialism is nothing but a theory of 'just' distribution; the socialist movement is nothing but an attempt to achieve this ideal. ... The problem of distribution is moreover peculiar to socialism. It arises only in a socialist economy.
The socialist aspiration is to extend community and justice to the whole of our economic life. As I have acknowledged, we now know that we do not know how to do that, and many think that we now know that it is impossible to do that. But community conquests in certain domains, such as health care and education, have sustained viable forms of production and distribution in the past, and it is imperative, now, to defend community.
Socialism aims at higher goals than full bellies ... First and foremost, socialism means a new cultural world. For the sake of it, one might conceivably be a fervent socialist even while believing that the socialist arrangement is likely to be inferior as to economic performance. Hence, no merely economic argument for or against can ever be decisive, however successful in itself.
Socialist society embraces the maxim 'from each according to ability to each according to need' and recognises all the different capabilities and contributions of each member of our human society... This is a society of cooperation and empathy based on social capital and tangible benefits for all, one which supersedes the former outdated system which functions on the overriding principle of pursuing and satisfying the profit motive for the benefit of the few.
All political systems are ultimately the expression of some underlying philosophy. For example, Marxian socialism upholds that man is a collective entity shaped by economic forces beyond his control whose greatest good is to serve the ends of "society." Capitalism, however, is implicitly based upon a world view which upholds that man's mind is competent in dealing with reality, that it is morally good for each person to strive for his own happiness, and that the only proper social arrangement for men to live under is one in which the initiation of physical force is banished.
It is widely believed that politics and economics are separate and largely unconnected; that individual freedom is a political problem and material welfare an economic problem... such a view is a delusion, there is an intimate connection between economics and politics, in particular a society which is socialist cannot also be democratic, in the sense of guaranteeing individual freedom.
In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary... The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree- and thus keeps the road open to man's most valuable attribute: the creative mind.
The least understood and most widely misrepresented aspect of the history of capitalism is child labor. ... One is both morally unjust and ignorant of history if one blames capitalism for the condition of children during the Industrial Revolution, since, in fact capitalism brought an enormous improvement over their condition in the preceding age.
Capitalist systems are not rigid, nor are they all the same. Capitalism is unique in permitting change and adaptation, so different societies tend to develop different rules and processes, often reflecting cultural requirements. What all share is ownership of the means of production by individuals who remain relatively free to choose their activities, where they work, what they buy and sell, and at what prices.
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