These socialism quotes shed light on the political and economic theory.
“Socialism” has been a word that has increasingly been thrown about in the volatile sphere of American politics. However, most people do not truly understand the term, because it has been used as a blanket term in response to many different agendas.
So, what does socialism actually mean? These socialism quotes might help shed a little more light and include sayings from people like Winston Churchill and Thomas Sowell.
The dictionary has several different definitions of the word socialism, which in part is why it is all confusing. The definition of the noun itself is, “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”
Another definition of the word, though, results from Marxist Theory and defines socialism as “a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.” It is no surprise that you will find a lot of socialism quotes from Karl Marx on this list. Keep reading for some quotes that portray both sides of the argument!
Don’t forget to also check out these social justice quotes the everyday warrior needs to keep fighting the good fight.
Socialism quotes from Winston Churchill
1. “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” — Winston Churchill
2. “Socialism is like a dream. Sooner or later you wake up to reality.” — Winston Churchill
3. “Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state.” — Winston Churchill
4. “Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police.” — Winston Churchill
5. “Socialism would gather all power to the supreme party and party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of civil servants no longer servants, no longer civil.” — Winston Churchill
6. “The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” — Winston Churchill
7. “It is not alone that property, in all its forms, is struck at, but that liberty, in all its forms, is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of socialism.” — Winston Churchill
8. “Socialism needs to pull down wealth; liberalism seeks to raise up poverty.” — Winston Churchill
9. “Socialism exalts the rule; Liberalism exalts the man.” — Winston Churchill
10. “Socialism attacks capitalism; Liberalism attacks monopoly.” — Winston Churchill
Socialism quotes from Karl Marx and Thomas Sowell
11. “Democracy is the road to socialism.” — Karl Marx
12. “The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.” — Karl Marx
13. “Christian socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.” — Karl Marx
14. “The bourgeoisie is just as necessary a precondition for the socialist revolution as is the proletariat itself.” — Karl Marx
15. “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” — Thomas Sowell
16. “Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous.” — Thomas Sowell
17. “Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export…. Nevertheless, for many of those who deal primarily in ideas, socialism remains an attractive idea — in fact, seductive. Its every failure is explained away as due to the inadequacies of particular leaders. ” — Thomas Sowell
18. “The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.” — Thomas Sowell
19. “Capitalism makes them pay a price for their failures, while socialism, feudalism, fascism and other systems enable personal failures, especially by those at the top, to be ignored.” — Thomas Sowell
20. “The economic disasters of socialism and communism come from assuming a blanket superiority of those who want to run a whole economy.” — Thomas Sowell
Socialism quotes about democracy
21. “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” — Alexis de Tocqueville
22. “Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system that is corrupt, that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.” — Bernie Sanders
23. “Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself.” — Jawaharlal Nehru
24. “The only way to save the world is through socialism, but a socialism that exists within a democracy; there’s no dictatorship here.” — Hugo Chavez
25. “When we talk about the word ‘socialism,’ I think what it really means is just democratic participation in our economic dignity and our economic, social, and racial dignity. It is about direct representation and people actually having power and stake over their economic and social wellness, at the end of the day.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
26. “Democracy is indispensable to socialism.” — Vladimir Lenin
27. “More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life.” — Mikhail Gorbachev
28. “Socialism is the democratisation of every level of society, or it is nothing. It is based on an understanding that the concentration of wealth and power leaves democracy hollowed out, and that simply trooping to a polling station every few years is an insufficient counterweight to the behemoths of global capital.” — Owen Jones
Socialism quotes for and against the concept
29. “Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.” — Ben Shapiro
30. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.” — Margaret Thatcher
31. “No one should suffer from the great delusion that any form of communism or socialism which promotes the dictatorship of the few instead of the initiative of the millions can produce a happier or more prosperous society.” — Charles E. Wilson
32. “In practice, socialism didn’t work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy.” — David Horowitz
33. “I believe that all forms of socialism have been proven over time to result in a loss of both economic and civil liberties, with increasing poverty.” — John Mackey
34. “Socialism has no moral justification whatsoever; poor people are not morally superior to rich people, nor are they owed anything by rich people simply because of their lack of success. Charity is not a socialist concept – it is a religious one, an acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty over property, a sovereignty the Left utterly rejects.” — Ben Shapiro
35. “To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity. It’s asserting the value of saying that the America we want and the America that we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It’s one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
36. “I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself… I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.” — Roger Nash Baldwin
37. “Socialism is a sacred cause for realizing the demand and desire of the masses of the people for independence; it is a revolutionary cause that advances amid a fierce struggle against imperialism and all other counterrevolutionary forces.” — Kim Jong-un
38. “To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.” — Margaret Thatcher
39. “The harsh reality is that socialism not only destroys economic freedom, it severely limits the capability of everyone to reach maximum potential. It’s a system that doesn’t provide more, but instead vastly less.” — Katie Pavlich
40. “All socialism involves slavery.” — Herbert Spencer
41. “The goal of socialism is communism.” — Vladimir Lenin
42. “Socialism means slavery.” — John Dalberg-Acton
43. “Socialism requires that government becomes your god.” — Rafael Cruz
44. “Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.” — Hubert H. Humphrey
45. “Socialism is the ideal state, but it can never be achieved while man is so selfish.” — Annie Besant
46. “Socialism values equality more than liberty.” — Dennis Prager
47. “There is nothing in socialism that a little age or a little money will not cure.” — Will Durant
48. “Capitalism is war; socialism is peace.” — Karl Liebknecht
49. “While there’s capitalism, there’ll be socialism, because there is always a response to injustice.” — Ed Miliband
50. “Neither an ox nor a donkey is able to stop the progress of socialism.” — Erich Honecker
There are many sides to the arguments around socialism, but capitalists will point out that socialism just doesn’t work. Mark Perry says that “While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.” Then there are proponents of socialism who stand firmly in their belief that it would work much better for everyone.
Lumen Learning offers these benefits in one of its courses on international business, “reducing wealth disparities, unemployment and inflation (through price controls).” The course goes on to add that additional benefits include economic planning, the ability to make good use of land, labor, and resources, as well as avoiding production excess or deficits.”
One of the socialism quotes that seemed most profound to me doesn’t actually define the word or argue one way or the other. Hubert Humphrey simply states that “Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.”
No matter your political beliefs, I would like to think that we can all agree on this sentiment. The world is a much better place when humans show compassion and concern.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these socialism quotes and sayings? You can share your thoughts, in a respectful manner, in the comment section below!