quotations about socialism

This socialism will develop in all its phases until it reaches its own extremes and absurdities. Then once again a cry of denial will break from the titanic chest of the revolutionary minority and again a mortal struggle will begin, in which socialism will play the role of contemporary conservatism and will be overwhelmed in the subsequent revolution, as yet unknown to us.

ALEXANDER HERZEN, "Epilogue 1849", From the Other Shore


Tags: Alexander Herzen

This isn't new. Those who favor socialism always make the moral case for it. The truth is, maybe they actually believe in it, but in the real world, socialism harms, it weakens the economies of countries that have tried it. It just does. Weaker economies hurt everybody in them. Socialism kills incentive, opportunity, freedom. It is the opposite of what America is all about. Look, socialism always harms the people it claims to help the most. It handicaps them, leaving them weaker, less self-determined, less free. We should have this debate out in the open.

BOBBY JINDAL, The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2015


If Socialism is what its friends say it is, it should be commended; if it is what its enemies say it is, it should be condemned.

FRANKLIN VERZELIUS NEWTON PAINTER, attributed, Why I Am Opposed to Socialism


The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society -- we are on the eve of universal change.

EUGENE V. DEBS, open letter to the American Railway Union, Chicago Railway Times, January 1, 1897


Tags: Eugene V. Debs

It wasn't idealism that made me, from the beginning, want a more secure and rational society. It was an intellectual judgement, to which I still hold. When I was young its name was socialism. We can be deflected by names. But the need was absolute, and is still absolute.



Tags: Raymond Williams

If socialism is a nonentity in the experiencing world, then what is it in reality? I have argued that in the experiencing world, what was set up was not socialism but statism. Statism is a fact whereas socialism is a faith or a belief. Reality and ideal enter into conflict with each other. This conflict was most evident in Maoist China. Maoism had a commitment to ideal (socialism), unwilling to bow to the fact of statism. The Cultural Revolution is in essence a conflict between statism as a fact and socialism as a faith.

HENRY WANG, Socialism and Governance: A Comparison Between Maoist and Dengist Governance


In different places over the years I have had to prove that socialism, which to many western thinkers is a sort of kingdom of justice, was in fact full of coercion, of bureaucratic greed and corruption and avarice, and consistent within itself that socialism cannot be implemented without the aid of coercion. Communist propaganda would sometimes include statements such as "we include almost all the commandments of the Gospel in our ideology". The difference is that the Gospel asks all this to be achieved through love, through self-limitation, but socialism only uses coercion.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN, interview, St. Austin Review, February 2003


Tags: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shall not covet," and "Thou shall not steal," are not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

JOHN ADAMS, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government


Tags: John Adams

What is a Socialist? That's when all are equal and all have property in common, there are no marriages, and everyone has any religion and laws he likes best. You are not old enough to understand that yet.

FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov


Tags: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE, speech at l'assemblée constituante, September 12, 1848


Tags: Alexis de Tocqueville

The aim of socialism is no less than to effect a complete redesigning of our traditional morals, law, and language, and on this basis to stamp out the old order and the supposedly inexorable, unjustifiable conditions that prevent the institution of reason, fulfilment, true freedom, and justice. The most ambitious attempts to institute a socialist heaven on earth, however, have instead displayed the dynamic of producing hells on earth instead.

KELLEY L. ROSS, attributed, Capitalism, the Free Market, and the Duties of Property and Contract


Great Socialist statesmen aren't made, they're stillborn.

SAKI, The Unbearable Bassington


Yet there was an air of good humor about their idealism that made me feel they would not be too offended if I admitted that I regard socialists as well-meaning but muddle-headed brigands.

COLIN WILSON, Access to Inner Worlds


If Socialism is a legitimate form of government, why have not the forces of government evolved it? The age of experiment has long since passed. We have had repetition over and over again, but no materialization of Socialism. Government is purely human, and until there is a new creation there will never be anything new in government.

JOHN CALHOUN TUTT, attributed, Why I Am Opposed to Socialism


I think it's wrong that only one percent of the people should own ninety percent of the country.



As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

GEORGE ORWELL, The Road to Wigan Pier


Tags: George Orwell

Socialists make the mistake of confusing individual worth with success. They believe you cannot allow people to succeed in case those who fail feel worthless.

KENNETH BAKER, London Observer, July 13, 1986


All socialist structures I have ever encountered have toilets stemming from a single model engineered by the Orthodox Church in Tsarist Russia to ensure that man never be allowed to forget the corruption of the flesh.

ARTHUR MILLER, Salesman in Beijing


Tags: Arthur Miller

The socialist economy has become so strong, so vigorous that from the summits we have reached we can issue an open challenge of peaceful economic competition to the most powerful capitalist country--the United States of America.

NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV, concluding speech to twenty-second congress of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, October 27, 1961


The only hope of socialism resides in those who have already brought about in themselves, as far as is possible in the society of today, that union between manual and intellectual labor which characterizes the society we are aiming at.

SIMONE WEIL, Oppression and Liberty


Tags: Simone Weil