Socialism guarantees a basic level of dignity to the poor. Why do some people oppose this idea ?

You are the only one who owns your life. You are the only one who owns your property, the result of your productive actions. You can trade with others what you have produced. No-one can tell you what you must produce, and no-one can tell you, whom you can trade your product with, as long as you are not initiating violence against your fellow men. You are free to associate or not associate with anyone around you for any purpose whatsoever, according to your own judgement.

This is a crude version of the set of individual rights. All the rights, if they are to be valid, pertain to individual liberty. Violation of individual rights is equivalent to enslavement of men.

A slave is someone who continues to produce, while others consume his product without his consent. No-one in his right mind would want to live in a slave society. Slaves are not happy people. Slaves do not innovate.Slaves do not initiate production. Slaves do not trade. Slaves do not prosper.

Capitalism is the only political-economic system that is based on the principle of upholding individual rights. It doesn’t recognise any form of enslavement.

To answer your question, in a society that doesn’t recognise slavery, you are not at liberty to force your fellow men to guarantee your livelihood. You only have the liberty to earn your livelihood, if others are willing to trade with you what they have, for what you have produced. Be it a tomato, or your ability to teach a theorem by spending your time. There’s dignity in trade.

If you think your fellow poor man is a good person, and that he deserves your help in his hard times, so that he can be a more productive trader at a later date, you are at liberty to donate your own wealth. You are at liberty to start a campaign and ask others to donate their wealth, if they are willing to do so. Many will do so, out of generosity. The poor man will respect their generosity and there’s some dignity in that. Because he is respecting others’ right to their own property and respectfully seeking their help with a forthright attitude. Only such a man deserves generosity.

But if you try to amend the rules of civilised association by proclaiming that the poor man must own a so called “fair share” of everyone’s wealth, so that he can live with a basic level of dignity, you’ll achieve the opposite. Everyone who is sane, will start hating the poor man. They won’t be generous anymore. And he won’t feel dignified anymore. He’ll start feeling like a robber, because he is. He has no right to other’s wealth. And taking another person’s wealth by force is stealing, even if it is sponsored by the state. There’s no dignity in stealing, or worse, trying to enslave others by institutionalising slavery. If you force generosity, you’ll only succeed in achieving cruelty. A penny donated with generosity is different from a penny taken by force. The difference is the liberty to spend one’s own wealth in the way they see fit.

So that is the problem with socialism, whose alleged goal is to guarantee a basic level of dignity to the poor: 1. You propose to do it with others’ wealth without their consent. 2. Another person’s dignity is not yours to guarantee. He has to earn it.

Avinash Kumar.

Originally answered on Quora for the same question.

Acknowledging the preachers of animal rights

We, the conscious, animal killers, acknowledge your existence. We know that animals feel pain when we kill them. They do wail and fight with every ounce of their strength to avoid their slaughter. We know it. They are not happy about their death, as any living being. We appreciate that fact. We kill them anyway because we judge that our purpose of the slaughter is far above the displeasure we feel at the animal’s suffering and painful death. We do not yield our purpose to the animal wails. We never have. It is a well thought out and morally good choice that we make, and we understand that it is the right choice. Good because the choice furthers our lives, even if only by a few good minutes, at the expense of the animal’s life we took, and we are proud of that choice. We are proud, just like the capable men of every generation since the dawn of mankind. Achievement of our purpose and our own happiness is far more important for us than the suffering, which we consciously cause to animals. And we are at well earned peace with that thought.

We understand that capable men have fought against the wilderness and that the fight included, killing other animals. For protection against them, for the nutrition in their meat, eggs and their milk, and for the shelter of their hides. We are grateful for their purposeful choices, which made our existence possible. We are happy that those men were intelligent enough to not equate humans with animals.

We are happy that they never sought consent from the animals, only from their fellow humans. We are grateful for their well deserved victory over wilderness. We are grateful that they voluntarily organised themselves, cleared the animals off the land, and cultivated it, which involved identifying and using the right animals for that purpose, without spending their time to feel sorry for the animal’s misery, because they were not stupid enough to judge the worth of the animal life superior to that of human purpose.

We are thankful that capable men have made the moral choice to create and continuously improvise miraculous medicines that continue to save human lives, even today, by making intelligent use of animals, by purposefully, systematically experimenting on animals. We are happy that their chosen purpose involved the judgement that the worth of human lives is far greater than that of animals. We are happy that their eyes were not clouded by the tears which they didn’t shed for animal suffering.

We are happy that men have always desired the best that their minds can perceive, grateful that they had the minds to perceive it, and for the moral choice they made: to choose to achieve the best. By the same moral spirit of judgement that achievement of our own rational purpose as superior to every other choice we can make, we purposefully, mercilessly kill animals.

We kill the animals without a second, and with a completely conscious and careful first thought, if that slaughter meant that it can further any rational interest of our own, even if by a minute amount, and we will continue to do it, so long as the slaughter continues to serve our rational interests. No, we have no concern about the fate of the animals unless it serves our purpose. We do not care about the well being of animals, unless it is tied to our own purpose. We do not place any considerations whatsoever, above our own rational purpose, as judged by our own morally superior, self-serving minds.

We know, it is the sense of moral righteousness one earns by achieving a rational purpose, that you utterly lack. And hence you seek to replace it by preaching selflessness, by defending the rights of animals. We know, it is the desire of men to achieve their own rational purpose, that you actually hate, though it is that motive power which makes your life possible. We know that you are the result of the mercy of competent men who created abundance, yet generously passed it over to you, the unworthy recipients of charity, who identify your own lack of purpose with that of the animals that you seek to serve, that makes you empathise with the pain and suffering that you see in the animals that we kill. Not in your wildest dreams can you fathom or empathise with the pain of a rational man, when he failed in achieving his chosen purpose, despite his best efforts. We, the conscious, purposeful, animal killers, acknowledge you. Now, get out of our way. We have a world to run.

Avinash Kumar.