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Journal Journal: And it should be, too

Regarding the JibJab copyright suit over "This Land is Your Land," ~Rei wrote:

"I could keep going, but you get the picture. It's nice to see someone mention the versus [sic] of 'This Land is Your Land' that rarely get sung because socialism is almost a dirty word in this country."

To which I can only reply: it should be a dirty word. Anyone who thinks that socialism is about the freedom of the individual is clearly not paying attention to

  • the principles of the thing, and
  • the historical examples of it.

The extension of the idea that "everything should be owned by the people" (which it is, technically speaking, in the United States) to the idea that "everything is owned by the individual" (which is just asking for trouble) is completely specious. If all property is construed to belong equally to all individuals, then there can be no personal security, and consequently no liberty. Keeping all land, all resources, and all intellectual property up for grabs guarantees either anarchy or totalitarianism. The idealists want there to be a middle ground, but there isn't.

The true scientist relies on empirical data, not wishful thinking. And the empirical data says socialism deprives people of liberty. Hard to see it as a good choice. There's not much point in arguing "well, it just hasn't been done right so far" because, given a truly dispassionate analysis of the princples involved, it doesn't take long to see that there's no right way to do it.

On a more personal note, it's difficult for me to value the opinion of someone who doesn't know the difference between "versus" and "verses."

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