"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
It might be unusual to quote a committed socialist like Mr. Shaw in a free enterprise blog, but he did finally come to this realization later in life.
His life was spent writing novels and plays about the wonders of socialism, and the inexorable rise of the proletariat as the masses march toward utopia.
Shaw's disappointment grew however as he saw how history unfolded. He was particularly affected by World War I.
In a play written just following that war, Heartbreak House, the line was uttered, "It is said that every people has the government it deserves. It is more to the point that every government has the electorate it deserves."
And later, following the dictatorships that ushered in World War II, the protagonist of his 1946 play Bouyant Billions says, "Why appeal to the mob when ninety five percent of them do not understand politics, and can do nothing but mischief without leaders? And what sort of leaders do they vote for?"
The utopia he believed in and longed for had vanished. Utopia would not be.
The end result of socialism is the creation of a voting majority composed of a multiplicity of Pauls. The Pauls can be counted on to vote for those who will rob Peter! Why work when the gubment takes and transfers the ill-gotten gains of the bourgeoisie? The entitled transfer is what ends up getting voted for.
No, the masses are not lifted toward utopia. The specious "hope and change" they vote for, whatever in the world that means, dissipates. The tide has not been lifted for these fabled and loved masses. An ultimate accounting follows.
But that accounting was known from the start by the gubments that got the electorate they deserved! But they are exceptionally good at masking their deceit with misconception and blame.
What history has shown does lift the masses is free enterprise and free-market economics! All boats are lifted. The lifestyles enjoyed by much of the "poor" in capitalist societies are the envy of the proletariat who basks in the glow of the dictatorships or theocracies that govern most people of the world.
But alas, the socialist cannot allow such as this to continue!
Marx said it takes gubment edict, and taxes, regulations and force to bring down a capitalist society. And he was right. As society slides downward toward the promises of utopia (is that counter intuitive?), all end up basking in the equality of growing misery, complexity and difficulty. The majority becomes the obedient Four Legs in the farmyard, very much under control.
Did I say that "all" end up basking in misery? All, that is, except the gubment ministers of the edict, the taxes, the regulations and the force. Those ministers are above the rest in the farmyard because, after all, they have learned to walk on Two Legs.