Often my father and I debate on socialism and its influence on India. Constitution of India defines the Union of India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic. I feel the term ‘socialist’ has no place in this definition as we aren’t one any longer. To me socialism is just a theory and a flawed one at that! It can never succeed in any democratic economy. My father being a ‘Nehruvian’ would beg to differ but I present here a small experiment conducted by a university economics professor in the US, to give a hint of what happens in a socialistic democracy. I am not going to get into the pros and cons of capitalism and socialism and will just present this short experiment.
The professor said that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked as a system and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich--- a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will conduct an experiment on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade, so no one would fail and no one would receive an ‘A’.” After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who had studied hard were upset and the students who had studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too and worked less. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. The average in the 3rd test was F. The scores never increased and bickering, blame game and name-calling started resulting in hard feelings. No one wanted to study for the benefit of the other.
Everyone failed, to their great surprise, and the professor then told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
To put it in more formal words I quote the Late Dr. Adrian Rogers; “You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don't multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn't first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don't have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don't get to enjoy the fruits of their labor”.
Socialism as a theory seems great and just, but it is impractical and studded with many flaws. It leads to other evils plaguing our country like reservation etc. I wish to conclude by saying that the greatest injustice a government can do is to treat unequals as equals.