quotations about socialism
Socialism accepts... the principles, which are the cornerstones of democracy, that authority to justify its title , must rest on consent; that power is tolerable only so far as it is accountable to the public; and that differences of character and capacity between human beings, however important on their own plane, are of minor importance when compared with the capital fact of their common humanity. Its object is to extend the application of those principles from the sphere of civil and political rights, where, at present, they are nominally recognized, to that of economic and social organization, where they are systematically and insolently defined.
R. H. TAWNEY, Equality
Every reasonable human being should be a moderate Socialist.
THOMAS MANN, New York Times, June 18, 1950
Socialism is the antithesis of Anarchy. One is the North Pole of Truth, the other the South.
ELBERT HUBBARD, "The Better Part"
True socialists should not place any obstacles in the way of capitalist evolution. For only the full maturity of capitalism could bring about socialism.
LUDWIG VON MISES, Planned Chaos
To make men Socialists is nothing, but to make Socialism human is a great thing.
OSCAR WILDE, Pall Mall Gazette, February 15, 1889
I pass the test that says a man who isn't a socialist at 20 has no heart, and a man who is a socialist at 40 has no head.
WILLIAM CASEY, attributed, Washington Post, May 7, 1987
In my opinion, nothing has contributed so much to the corruption of the original idea of socialism as the belief that Russia is a socialist country.
GEORGE ORWELL, preface to the Ukrainian edition, Animal Farm
I am opposed to Socialism because I believe that it attempts to do by legislative enactment, what must come through an evolutionary process. I believe that we are now ready for a long evolutionary jump, but not so far forward as some of our Socialist brethren would like to jump. I desire to go as far toward human justice and good will toward men, as anyone, but I do not feel that we should start and stop, because we are not ready to go the whole distance. I would start and go but one day's journey at a time.
WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE, attributed, Why I Am Opposed to Socialism
The basic problem I really have is that whenever I meet leftists in the socialist and Marxist movements, I'm called a petit-bourgeois individualist. I'm supposed to shrink after this. Usually I'm called petit-bourgeois individualist by students, and by academicians, who've never done a days work life [sic] in their entire biography, whereas I have spent years in factories and the trade unions, in foundries and auto plants. So after I have to swallow the word petit-bourgeois, I don't mind the word individualist at all!
MURRAY BOOKCHIN, attributed, Anarchism in America
Here in Jacksonville there's a road called Commonwealth Blvd., and today as I was driving on it, I realized how socialist the name sounds.
JAROD KINTZ, This Book Has No Title
We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system! And with my inclination to practical action it seems obvious to me that we have to put a better, more just, more moral system in its place, one which, as it were, has arms and legs and better arms and legs than the present one!
GREGOR STRASSER, "Thoughts about the Tasks of the Future", June 15, 1926
Whether considered as a doctrine, or as an historical fact, or as a movement, socialism, if it really remains socialism, cannot be brought into harmony with the dogmas of the Catholic church.... Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are expressions implying a contradiction in terms.
PIUS XI, Quadragesimo Anno
Socialism is a political vision of religious and moral import, whereas capitalism is a self-regulating system, deploying a means-end rationality. The two are in different orders of reality.
CHARLES DAVIS, "The End of Socialism?", After Socialism?: The Future of Radical Christianity
Either this organisation of injustice with its entire machine of oppressive laws and privileged institutions, must disappear, or else the proletariat is condemned to eternal slavery. This is the quintessence of the Socialist idea, whose germs can be found in the instinct of every serious thinking worker.
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN, The Policy of the Internationl: to which is added an essay on "The Two Camps"
People of the world
We ain't got nothing to lose
Got them Bourgeoisie Blues
Mr. IV Lenin, Lenin of love
Gonna make us feel so fine, with a hit
Of socialism, in the mainline
ALABAMA 3, "Bourgeoisie Blues"
For billions of people throughout the optimistically styled "developing world," socialism is a dreary reality. Such countries mostly adopted socialism before accruing capital for socialists to squander, and as a result, socialism has kept them in permanent impoverishment.
CHARLES SCALIGER, "The Fruits of Socialism", The New American, August 14, 2017
I see no shame in putting my name
To socialism's cause
Nor seeking some more relevance
Than spotlight and applause
Neither in the name of conscience
Nor the name of charity
Money is put where mouths are
In the name of solidarity
BILLY BRAGG, "I Don't Need This Pressure Ron"
The whole problem with Communism and Socialism is summed up in this old Polish proverb: "If I lie down , I get 1000 kopeks a month. If I stand up I get 1000 kopeks a month. Why stand up?"
REVELGEN, "A reply to Tiietso Makhele -- in reality, Socialism is a dead duck in SA", News24, August 10, 2017
Socialism, hypnotism, patriotism, materialism.
Fools making laws for the breaking of jaws
And the sound of the keys as they clink
But there's no time to think.
BOB DYLAN, "No Time to Think"
The right still denounces socialism as an economic system that will lead to misery and privation, but with less emphasis on the political authoritarianism that often went hand in hand with socialism in power. This may be because elites today do not have democratic rights at the forefront of their minds -- perhaps because they know that the societies they run are hard to justify on those terms.
BHASKAR SUNKARA, "Socialism's Future May Be Its Past", New York Times, June 26, 2017