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Many of the socialists are honest and conscientious. The need is to convert them rather than to make them more bitter. Men cannot be converted by abuse. Men can be converted only by appealing to their hearts and their intellects. With many people, socialism is a form of religion. Like some other dangerous beliefs, the effect of preaching it is often harmful. There are ten reasons why the preaching of socialism is harmful.
(1) Socialism directs people's minds from the production of wealth toward the division of wealth. The fact that there is only enough already produced to keep civilization going a few months shows that this is a very dangerous doctrine.
(2) Socialism sets class against class to an even greater extent than does the competitive system, although the solution of our industrial problems will come about only through co-operation.
(3) Socialism directs the thought of the people to the symptoms of the disease instead of the cause, It does not go to the heart of the difficulty.
(4) Socialism gives the underworld a dose of morphia to keep it feeling good when it really needs a surgical operation. The competitive system must be reformed rather than asphyxiated.
(5) Socialism tries to set aside the law of supply and demand which always has determined, which does, and which always will determine production and prices.
(6) Socialism gives a wrong reason for government ownership. The government should engage only in such activities and pass such laws as are necessary to give the individual the fullest opportunity for self-determination. To the extent that government ownership can give man more freedom of expression, to that extent government ownership should be encouraged; but when government ownership tends to suppress individual initiative and development, it loses its effectiveness.
(7) Socialism sets aside the only known method of selecting the fittest. Socialism tends to substitute votes for efficiency. Socialism would operate a horse-race by walking the horses back and forth in front of the grandstand and then would determine the winner by voting instead of by racing the horses.
(8) Socialism discourages thrift. Capital is only stored-up wages. The only permanent way that men can create work for themselves is by investing their money rather than by spending it. The world needs more capital instead of less capital.
(9) Socialism stands for the pig-trough philosophy rather than for the work-bench philosophy. It may be Christian in its conception, but it is pagan in its operation.
(10) Socialism talks about the rights of people instead of the duties of people. The great need today is to preach duty and responsibility, The competitive system should not be cast aside until there exists a race with sufficient religion to get on without it.