[Marquis de Grey’s Selections] Socialism: A Means to an End? [PART I]

Socialism is often a dirty word for many proud conservatives, myself included in the not-so-distant past, conjuring images of revolution and the destruction of various old regimes, or of simply […]

Socialism is often a dirty word for many proud conservatives, myself included in the not-so-distant past, conjuring images of revolution and the destruction of various old regimes, or of simply rewarding the lazy. Often, we tend to prop up Socialism as a sort of bogeyman, along with the frequently misused and abused phrase, “Cultural Marxism”. To further complicate issues, within even the truest conservative circles, one can scarcely discuss economics without the over-bearing presence of both capitalism and socialism dominating the conversation, aside from the peculiar presence of those ever eccentric distributists.

I will be very quick to state that I, like the editors here, believe in a hereditary, Aristocratic elite. Spiritually speaking, socialism is very much opposed to this, even if these states often “collapse” into a sort of dynastic rule.  However, there can be no doubt that socialism is most often the ‘loser’ in these discussions, as most conservatives would wish to continue living with the devil they ‘know’ than the devil they do not.

One of the tenets of modern conservatism is to let individuals control every aspect of their own lives, to let a man rule in “in his own domain”, so to speak. Very quickly, however, one must realise this is an almost liberal sentiment, suggesting all men should be free to dictate their own lives, especially in regards to his economic station. Regardless of the liberal roots, this is the reason most conservatives would lean to the “capitalist” side of this discussion; the very fact it is ‘ideal’ to them is because we have grown up for successive generations believing in this very ideal, liberal and conservative alike. This makes the concept seem conservative to many of us, which has led us down a dangerous road indeed, particularly as so few wish to explore the possibilities a more ‘socialist’ mindset could bring.

In fact, if one must take a stance on either of these two economic systems, socialism inevitably shares much more with the old regimes than capitalism ever can, due to the very fact that it indeed does create a culture of servility. For my example below, I will be using basic tenets of actual socialism and the similarities shared in an Aristocratic society.

  1. The state provides housing for the citizen.
  2. The state ensures or provides work for the citizen.
  3. The state expects loyalty, military service, production and taxes from the citizen as a result, thus creating a sort of indentured servant.

These three points are simplifying what the socialist state seeks to provide the citizen, but let’s look at what feudalism would typically provide its subjects.

  1. The lord provides land for the subject
  2. The lord provides work in the way of farming or other tasks for the subject, which the subject uses to sustain himself and his family
  3. The lord in return expects service (militarily when needed) and taxes for compensation, as well as a share of the subjects crops.

In effect, ‘the State’, i.e. the lord, provides these with the assumption that in return he will receive payment, though the pecuniary portion of the payment is arguably the least important, depending on the individual lord/state. The difference between these two, however, is in the principle and what it seeks to achieve and I need not explain that part. Another difference, which most will overlook, is that the lord is primarily a man more at home with a sword in his hand than politicking; the bourgeois statesman, conversely, is more inclined towards politicking than personally defending his realm.

When one examines how the capitalist views the function of a government, one would arrive at a vastly different conclusion. The state exists to ‘protect’, although it’s debatable if this is to protect the citizens of the nation, or the economic interests of the plutocrats running said nation. There are many times when the two things are considered one in the same, that all matters of humanity, especially the governing of individuals, can be reduced to mere economics.

At this point, I’d like to return to a previous term that I italicized above so you’d hopefully remember it (it can never be said that I don’t enjoy playing mind games), that phrase being ‘servility’. As stated above, the modern conservative movement does indeed tend to promote this idea that we’re all capable of ‘pulling up the bootstraps’ and ‘making something of ourselves — without handouts’. A fine sentiment when applied to the right group of people, to be sure! The issue is that these people want it to apply to everyone, very much a notion that we all have a right to be a landowner , that we have a right to be without a master, that we have a right to be a lord. That, my friends, is liberalism; it shares absolutely nothing in common with true conservatism, for it rejects hierarchy based on heredity, but instead proclaims that with ‘hard work’, we may all be a lord, of course defined by our monetary wealth rather than blood!

Socialism may seek equality among all as a stated end-goal, but capitalism itself does this as well and, unlike socialism, creates absolutely none of the material conditions required to promote servility.  Do we believe in an egalitarian society? Absolutely not, but hopefully at some point conservatives may wake up and realise that capitalism can never and will never lead them to the traditional society they seek, at least when the idea of ‘Independence for all!’ is applied to even the lowest common denominator.

A master may do as he wish and a subject may not. Make no mistake, socialism is not the answer, but “socialistic” (dare I say traditional!) elements of society may very well hold the key towards re-establishing a culture of servility. When the common man relies upon the superior man to provide him his land, housing, healthcare, protection and livelihood itself, the common man becomes intimately indebted to the superior man — and this is, of course, a salutary state of affairs.

If from this we are to accept the obligation of providing for our subjects, so as to create a society that is much alike a well-oiled machine, are we to do so as an organized body (a state), or is this an individual responsibility of each lord? In my next article, I will answer this question and explain the distinctions clearly. Until then, good sirs, I wish you well.

Charles, Marquis de Grey


About Charles Grey