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 Politics: Laissez Faire Capitalism
Socialism Is Tyranny
Liberty Institute, India Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shanu A
A petition against the insertion of the word "Socialism" in Indian Constitution was dismisses as withdrawn by the Supreme court. Socialism is a failed ideology, and no one can claim of its ignorance. The collectivist claim that words don't have a specific meaning, and doesn't matter is wrong. This is an assualt on Individual liberty, writes Shanu A.

The Supreme Court dismissed as withdrawn a writ petition challenging the insertion of the word “Socialism” in Indian Constitution. According to the constitution, every Indian political party should swear allegiance to Socialism. The court said that it will consider the petition when the situation comes. Earlier the application of Swatantra party was rejected because it failed to do so.

No one can claim ignorance of the consequences of Socialism, theoretically or practically. There were warnings against socialism, even in works written in the first half of the Nineteenth century (See Frederic Bastiat). Ayn Rand wrote half a century back: “Fifty years ago, there might have been some excuse (though not justification) for the widespread belief that socialism is a political theory motivated by benevolence and aimed at the achievement of men’s wellbeing. Today, that belief can no longer be regarded as an innocent error. Socialism has been tried on every continent of the globe. In the light of its results, it is time to question the motives of socialism’s advocates.” Half a century has passed since then, and India still clings to the Socialist ideal. Surprisingly, the cry of leftists is that India hasn’t lived up to that ideal.

Words do not matter, collectivists allege. People are unable to realize the harm certain words can do when they have positive or negative connotations. The image of a mindless brute evoked by the word selfishness has led to people rejecting the whole concept itself. The aversion to dogmatism has made people intolerant to anyone with strength of conviction. The same is true of words like egoism, altruism and humility. The case of socialism too is no different. It has a positive connotation in the minds of people which make them forget all the torture, mass murders and slave labor enforced in its name.

The chief justice said this while rejecting a petition in the past: "Why do you take socialism in a narrow sense defined by the Communists? In a broader sense, socialism means welfare measures for the citizens. It is a facet of democracy. It hasn't got any definite meaning. It gets different meaning in different times." This is worse than nonsense. Words are not to be used loosely, without assigning any proper meaning. In the words of Ayn Rand, “Every word of man’s language, with the exception of proper names, denotes a concept, an abstraction that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a specific kind.” The word Socialism means a politico-economic system (If it can be called so) in which all property is centralized in the hands of the state. If words are used without assigning proper meaning, it will assume meanings some scoundrels want it to assume. People(Even non-Marxists) look at it benignly only because they haven’t given it much thought or think that Socialists won’t venture to go that far. They foolishly believe that it is a system which favors welfare of the common man.

 To make it mandatory that every political party should swear allegiance to socialism is to prevent people from choosing the political system people want. It is an assault on individual liberty and Capitalism. This would mean that anyone who wishes to fight the brutality of socialist policies would be prevented from doing so at the outset. It proves that even the pretense to “democracy” is a sham. It shouldn’t escape our attention that the 42nd amendment was passed during the emergency period. So, the intentions behind it should be evident for everyone to see. People should see the word for what it is and act upon their knowledge if we are to move towards a society which respects individual liberty.


This article was published in the Liberty Institute on Sunday, July 18, 2010.
Author : Shanu works as a research assistant with Liberty Institute. He blogs at http://austrianeconomist.net
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