A discussion about socialism with one of my older sister's friends brought up some truths with which she was apparently not very comfortable discussing, in this case how I have found socialism to be a morally bankrupt and historically corrupt ideology, quite often descending into tyranny and creating misery for the populace (but not the ruling elite, of course).
While she countered that not all socialist states devolve like that, I did bring up that a number of the modern socialist states are finding out that socialism is a very expensive way to run a society and that the supply of money to sustain them is not limitless. One example is Sweden which has long provided “cradle to grave” government support but that is now cutting back on what it has been spending because the costs have reached the point where any further increases will bankrupt the country. Another is Greece, which has already exceeded its ability to pay for all of its socialist programs and is now dependent upon bailouts from other EU nations, primarily Germany, in order to remain solvent. But even that line of credit is about to dry up and Greece is once again on the verge of bankruptcy. Call them the latest examples of the Thatcher axiom: Eventually they run out of other people's money.
I also brought up the example of Venezuela, a failed state whose socialist government made all kinds of promises to create a utopia but has instead destroyed its economy and lead to widespread misery and poverty along with corruption, political oppression, and drives to silence any dissent.
For many of those arguing for replacing what they see as a greedy and heartless capitalist system with a humane and caring socialist system, the one thing they are incapable of providing is a single example of where their proposed changes have ever succeeded...because there isn't one. Even the original socialist experiment – the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts – failed, leaving the colonists on the verge of starvation. If not for the intervention by the local Indian tribe and their abandonment of their experiment in socialism, they would have died out.
While my sister's friend tried to defend socialism by stating that what she was talking about and the examples I used (the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cuba, China, Kampuchea, and Venezuela, just to name a few) were in no way related, I countered with that they are cut from the same cloth, that being the belief that government is the best arbiter of how we should live our lives, applying one-size-fits-all solutions to problems that do not affect everyone, causing far more in the way of problems than they solve. 'Soft' socialism of the type she supports ignores human nature exactly the same way its more extreme adherents did, creating an ever increasing dependency on a government that has an ever decreasing ability to meet the demands of its dependents. Eventually the system collapses when it can no longer meet its obligations to its citizens. We certainly saw that with the collapse of the Soviet Union and will see it again when Venezuela finally falls apart. (I expect Venezuela will see some kind of uprising, perhaps a civil war to unseat the inept government that has brought so much misery and strife upon its people.)
Socialism is a failed ideology, based upon false premises, envy, and greed. The sooner it breathes its last, the better.