It’s a fantastic claim to make, but one I think is objectively true.
First, we must understand what “good” is. Many different theories of “good” claim supremacy and can be debated and discussed. But I think the definition that corresponds closest to reality is the degree to which a thing conforms to its created purpose. If something, whether a human, a truck, or a fork, accomplishes what it was created to do, we call it “good;” if it fails, we call it “bad.”
For example, suppose I buy a book that markets itself as exciting science fiction. But, after reading a few chapters, what if I have to put the book down because unreadable grammar makes the novel impossible to navigate? The book cannot accomplish its created purpose (telling a story that engages the reader) and is, therefore, a “bad book.”
What is the purpose of socialism? It might’ve been that the old socialist (like the NDP in Saskatchewan) was genuinely concerned about the poor. It may well have been that the socialist in those settling days was concerned about inequality and tried to remedy it. Fair enough.
But if that’s the purpose of socialism, then it has failed miserably. If socialism intends is to raise people out of poverty, provide for them, and ensure they live richer lives, then it’s a futile ideology with deadly consequences. People under socialist regimes do not become wealthier; they become poorer. They do not become happier; they are sadder. And they do not become well-fed; they start to starve. In this respect, socialism is a bad ideology, and for the humanitarian who wants to help the impoverished, he should immediately abandon any and all socialist ideals.
But I believe the modern intent of socialism has evolved into a monster. I have never met a socialist who said, “Western society is good and excellent; I just want to help the poor.” However, I have met numerous socialists who scream and shout that the west is a horrible place to live, full of racists and sexists, and that its foundations must be not only abandoned but crushed, and then rebuilt in the image of Marx.
If the aim of socialism is the destruction of western values (which it is), then I think it’s doing a good job. All else equal, socialism in this capacity is executing its intended purpose and is therefore “good.”
But the problem is that you cannot isolate an ideology like that and assume that its intentions are benevolent. We must therefore ask, “Is destroying western values, cultures, and institutions, and replacing them with Leninist ones, a good thing?”
It’s not. And that’s why socialism is evil. No matter what form socialism takes, due to the nature of man, it’s only able to be impressed upon the people through oppression, violence, and force. It’s true that socialism also violates economic axioms and rules (and will therefore fail to bring about utopia), but it doesn’t matter because it’s morally wrong. Even if the economics of socialism worked out, we'd reject it with the same vehemence because it believes violence and oppression are acceptable terms to create a society imagined by a man who hated God.
One more thing, marketed socialism implies that due to their enlightened ideological understanding, the central planners are pure. This is false. Many societies that fell for this trick have suffered the consequences. I agree with Lewis when he says,
“I am a democrat [proponent of democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . . The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.”*
*See C.S. Lewis "Present Concerns"
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