Acton Institute Powerblog

Despite the failures of socialism, many still believe it leads to utopia

Regardless of the obvious failures of Karl Marx’s utopian agenda, many believe that alleviation to poverty and social ills are found in the promise of big government, redistribution of wealth and regulations. Rev. Robert Sirico, co-founder and president of the Acton Institute, would say otherwise.

“One need only trace the causes for the collapse of the USSR more than 25 years ago to observe the extreme shortcomings of centralized planning,” writes Sirico in his article titled “Despite evidence, myth of Marxist utopia persists.” While history exemplifies the moral bankruptcy of Marx’s ideas, the present also bears witness to the grave “shortcomings” of socialism. “The catalog of ignominies inflicted upon the populations incorporated under the banner of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (and ideologically aligned regimes such as North Korea, China, Cuba, and Venezuela) is well-known and oft-repeated,” says Sirico.

The decline of extreme poverty over the last 25 years proves that free market systems pose the best solution.

It’s up to all of us to determine the best methods of reducing the number of poor as much as humanly possible, regardless of the cause of their poverty: external or self-inflicted. The operative word is humanly. That doesn’t mean we should downplay efforts to alleviate the suffering of the poor, but, instead, recognize that massive government wealth and income redistribution plans disingenuously described as programs designed to assist the poor actually risk increasing poverty.

Read Sirico’s whole article found in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.