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Socialism as a Reaction to State Corruption

Socialism as a Reaction to State Corruption Anders Mikkelsen writes: Ambrose Bierce defined politics as a “strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” In the past many famous thinkers have noticed contemporary and historical examples of state corruption matching this definition, and these examples in turn were the inspiration for many a socialist thought.

Imagine, if you will, an idealistic young man in a Greek or Italian city-state, a European court of the ancien régime, or a 19th-century republic? He wishes for justice; he believes in principles over interests and public advantage above private. He believes, like Lord Acton, that it is right to do right. Like Rothbard, he believes there are absolute values. What does he see when he looks around his society? The powerful live in the splendor of shining stone houses, surrounded by the opulence of gleaming bronzes, white marbles, red carpets, and bright paintings, while the masses suffer in hovels and slums.


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