"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
Looking for an Honest Socialist
There are no free-enterprise nations today. Every country has government-enforced fiat currency, large State-run economic sectors, and bureaucratic meddling in every area of human life. Many nations even have more than one government telling their citizens what to do, often the US and UN governments as well as their own local kleptocrats. So we don't really know what an undistorted market economy would look like today; we can make guesses, but we must admit that they can't be very accurate.
Many libertarians have hoped that a wealthy businessman would step up and fund the creation of a free-enterprise enclave somewhere. Perhaps Bill Gates might put up a couple of billion out of petty cash to buy Kazakhstan or Costa Rica , just so he could have an FDA-free zone for his fledgling biotech companies. Or maybe Oprah would take over an African nation from its foreign-aid dictator and give everyone there a shiny SUV. But history has not been kind to such hopes. There may be 500 American billionaires or so, but most of them are old and burned out. They'd rather put their efforts into using government to put their competitors out of business, or to give themselves subsidies, than put any effort into reducing government itself. Most old capitalists don't like capitalism; it involves way too much work and financial risk.
Fortunately, capitalism need not depend on capitalists for support. The best hope of capitalism is to find an honest Socialist.
Socialists claim to be trying to improve human lives. They claim that Socialism can mitigate the horrors of unrestrained capitalism. Specifically, they claim that forcibly taking the fruit of their labor from productive people and redistributing the wealth can improve society as a whole in many measurable ways. For example, they claim that education, health care, and the environment can be improved by this use of force.
But how can the Socialist know that they have improved on the lives that an unregulated market would have provided? How can a government 'planner' know that they aren't just a harmful parasite on the productive part of society? How can they know that the lives they send to the Gulag are human sacrifices well spent? Well, they can't know, unless they have a fully capitalist nation as a control group. No honest Socialist can do anything without a capitalist control; after all, Socialism is supposed to be scientific. Who ever heard of a scientist without a control group?
Now of course many famous Socialists have been openly admitted frauds. Few people would suggest that the 'Socialist' dictators of Africa have much interest in anything but their Swiss bank accounts. Nor is there much hope for finding any honest Socialists in academia, where there has never been much interest among the professors in explaining exactly how they were going to solve the problems of economic calculation without the market. Still, just because thousands of 'Socialists' are con artists, does this mean that ALL of them are? Of course not.
Now all we have to do is find that one honest Socialist. He or she will immediately see the necessity of all Socialists to band together and protect a free-enterprise enclave, somewhere in the world, to serve as Socialism's Control Group and Cautionary Tale. Using force and fraud as necessary, they will then torture, imprison, and execute their fellow Socialists until the goal of allowing capitalism in one country is achieved.
Then, finally, we will find out how education, health care, water and air-pollution rights, and yes, even the roads, would work in a free society.
In the time of the Internet and the 'five degrees of separation' theory, finding the Honest Socialist should not take us more than a week or so. Somewhere in the nomenclatura of Myanmar , Byelorussia , or Berkeley , the Honest Socialist is lurking. So don't delay; immediately forward this missive to all your socialist friends, acquaintances and enemies. Spam every Socialist forum, put classified ads into the People's Daily and the Village Voice. Spread this meme into every Socialist ecological niche.
Workers Unite! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a control group!