In his article, “Why Socialism Failed”, Mark Perry says it best that socialism failed because it does not account for simple human nature (Perry, 1995). Simple human nature had always told us survival of the fittest. Someone always has to have more, have better, and come out on top. People want to have something to work for, like an incentive. From Marx’s view of socialism we are exposed to equality and common property, without him accounting for lack of incentives, human nature, and free will.
Perry’s article talks about the tradgedy of commons, a 16th century British idea of communal land for growing crops and for grazing animals. The idea is that no one person has ownership of this land and that together everyone will work together to care for it. However, this plan failed horribly because there were not incentives for hardwork. If you worked harder, you would never gain more land or food. It later turned out that the land became worthless because the villagers felt that if everyone owned it, it was just the same as if no one owned it (Perry, 1995). This is a key reason why private property is dominant over public property. This land was disrespected and misused because the villagers let simple human nature take over. Since there was nothing to gain or call their own they just gave up on the idea. Private property (land) is much better cared for because people see a sense of pride, respect, and conservation. If you were planting your field you would take time to make sure the soil was good, and that the seeds were planted correctly. On the other hand, if you were planting a public field with the towns seeds you could be more careless and possibly not work to your full potential. Why would one do this? Well because it is simple human nature. The private field would bring a harvest that was all yours, while the public field supplies food for everyone with just a little for you.
To me, Marx saw socialism as in a perfect fantasy land. He saw it as a place where everyone cooperates and abides with the structure at hand. Marx saw socialism as pure. He did not factor in human error or choice. His ideas might have worked much better in countries where the people choose socialism, but most of the time it is not a choice. In Cuba and Eastern Europe, socialism was forced upon the people instead of them choosing it with free will. Since the people became oppressed they took it upon themselves to act out and fight back.In these countries socialism failed while human nature won. Marx’s biggest flaw was that he forgot to incorporate the fact of free will and human nature into his plan.
“No government power can be abused long. Mankind
will not bear it. There is a remedy in human nature
against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every
form of government.”
Perry, M.J., (1995, June). Why Socialism Failed. Retrieved from: http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/why-socialism-failed