When the people, who have no property, feel the power in their own hands to determine all questions by a majority, they ever attack those who have property, till the injured men of property lose all patience, and recur to finesse, trick, and stratagem, to outwit those who have too much strength, because they have too many hands to be resisted any other way. Let us be impartial, then, and speak the whole truth. Till we do, we shall never discover all the true principles that are necessary. The multitude, therefore, as well as the nobles, must have a check.

—John Adams. Letter to Samuel Adams, October 18, 1790.

There is nothing new about socialism—it is the natural result of politicians attempting to secure the most votes. A highly virtuous people can resist these sirens for a long time, but when war, and all the corruptions that attend it, erode a people’s dignity, the downward spiral to socialism can only be avoided by strong constitutional protections. This is how the British, traditionally a highly virtuous and industrious people, after two world wars came to accept all manner of infringements on their freedom and to adopt a corrupt national culture of dependency. In election after election, the British voted to steal other people’s money, to borrow money, and to print money, and the result was poverty, national decline, and the loss of freedom.

Socialism is immoral because through it the noble institution of demo-cracy is hijacked and used by the majority to plunder the minority. This is illegitimate because, just as a policeman has no business using his gun and uniform to rob banks, so too the majority has no right to use the coercive power of the majority vote to deprive the minority of their rights, including their property rights. Socialism and other adventures beyond the legitimate scope of government abuse the institution of democracy.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove