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出处,Youtube:Milton Friedman - Socialism is Force

Has socialism failed because it’s good qualities were perverted by evil men who got in charge? was it simply because Stalin took over from Lenin that communism went the way it did? Has capitalism succeeded despite the immoral values that pervaded? I think the answer to both questions is in the negative. 

The results have arisen because each system has been true to its own values, or rather, a system doesn’t have values I don’t mean that, has been true to the values it encourages supports and develops in the people who live under that system.

What we’re concerned with in discussing moral values here are those that have to do with the relations between people.

It’s important to distinguish between two sets of moral considerations- the morality that is relevant to each of us in our private life, how we each individually conduct ourselves, behave; and then what’s relevant to systems of government and organization are the relations between people.

And in judging relations among between people I do not believe that the fundamental value is to do good to others, whether they want you to or not.

The fundamental value is not to do good to others as you see their good. It’s not to force them to do good. As I see it, the fundamental value in relations to among people is to respect the dignity and the individuality of fellow man, to treat your fellow man not as an object to be manipulated for your purpose, but to treat him as a person with his own values in his own rights, a person to be persuaded, not coerced, not forced, not bulldozed, not brainwashed.

That seems to me to be a fundamental value in social relations.

Whenever we depart from voluntary cooperation and try to do good by using force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions.
And you realize this is highly relevant to what I’m saying, because the essential notion of a capitalist society, which I’ll come back to, is voluntary cooperation and voluntary exchange.

The essential notion of a socialist society is fundamentally force.

if the government is the master, if society is to be run from the center ,what do you do? what are you doing?

You automatically have to order people what to do, whatis  your ultimate sanction?  Go back aways, take it on a milder level, whenever you try to do good with somebody else’s money, you are committed to using force.

How can you do good with somebody else’s money unless you first take it away from them.

The only way you can take it away from them is by the threat of force. You have a policeman, a tax collector who comes and takes it from you.

This is carrying much farther if you really have a socialist society. If you have an organization from the centre, if you have supposed government bureaucrats running things that can only ultimately rest on force.

But whenever you resort to force, even to try to do good, you must not questions people’s motives. maybe they’re evil sometime, but look at the results of what they do, give them the benefit of the doubt, assume their motives are good.

You know there’s an old saying about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions.

You have to look at the outcome. And whenever you use force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions.

The reason is not only that famous aphorism of Lord Acton, you all know it, you’ve all heard: “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

That’s one reason why trying to do good with methods that involve force lead to bad results. Because of people who set out with good intentions are themselves corrupted, and I may add if they’re not corrupted they’re replaced by people with bad intentions, who are more efficient at getting control of the use of force.

But also the fundamental reason is more profound, the most harm of all is done when power is in the hands of people who are absolutely persuaded of the purity of their instincts, and the purity of their intentions.

Thoreau says that philanthropy is a much overrated virtue, sincerity is also a much overrated virtue. Heaven preserve us from the sincere reformer who knows what’s good for you and by heaven is going to make you do it whether you like it or not.

That’s when you get the greatest harm done. I have no reason to doubt that Lenin was a man whose intentions were good, maybe they weren’t ,but he was completely persuaded that he was right and he was willing to use any methods at all for the ultimate good.

Again, it’s interesting to contrast the experience of Hitler versus Mussolini.

Mussolini was much less of a danger to human right because he was a hypocrite. Because he didn’t really believe what he was saying, he was just in there for the game. He started out as a socialist, he turned to a fascist, he was willing to be bribed by whoever would bribe him the most. As a result, there were at least some protections against his arbitrary rule. But Hitler was a sincere fanatic, he believed in what he was doing and he did far greater harm


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我有一种猜测:社会主义者为什么容易暴力? 因为这些聪明的人思考社会结构的时候,他们的思想太多的离开了自己的身体,结果就忽视了人性因素, 人性最大的因素是:身体。 充满缺陷和疾病的人类身体, 而这些人却总是试图寻找理想的社会结构。


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