News and Commentary

FRANKEL: Why Socialism Makes People Lose Meaning In Life

It’s no secret that humans need meaning. Meaning is arguably one of the most important human necessities and essential to a happy, fulfilling existence.

What gives a person meaning? Most people would say family, career, or religion. Along with a close circle of friends, these aspects of life tend to give a person happiness and a sense of purpose.

The factors of family and career and their connections to meaning are obvious. A person goes out to his or her job in the morning, works long hours and comes home at night to provide for a family. Religion connects to meaning as well, since people who believe in God know that there is a higher purpose in life, namely God’s purpose for His creating humanity. In fact, most religions tell their adherents to provide for their families and communities, to be as charitable as possible, which in turn helps to achieve fulfillment and meaning in life.

However, the idea of socialism makes fulfilling this fundamental need virtually impossible.

What are the reasons for this?

For one, socialism, by definition, abdicates personal responsibility. It lends to the mindset of not having to care for oneself, one’s family or one’s community, because the government will instead. Thinking this way inevitably makes a person more selfish and lazy, since he or she knows that the government will always hold everyone’s hand, so the individual doesn’t have to help himself or anyone else.

Another reason is that a mindset of a cradle to grave utopia, where everything is provided to a person, will always lead to a person becoming bored. Humans crave purpose, almost as we crave food and oxygen. As psalmist says in the book of Psalms (28:2), “For you shall eat the labor of your hands; happy shall you be, and it shall be well with you.” In other words, when someone works hard and he or she benefits from that work, that helps to create happiness and satisfaction. However, if someone is handed everything without earning it, it will most likely lead to a sense of emptiness. This phenomenon explains why most who win the lottery become miserable.

Moreover, the idea of socialism, where the foundation is that the world is handed to a person on a silver platter, is antithetical to Americanism. Putting aside the unconstitutional aspects of it, socialism also goes against the American spirit and natural law. Americans have historically been known for their rugged individualism, so much so that it is a major part of the American identity. Our history is imbued with this, from the colonists to the revolutionaries to the settlers out west.

We always need to remember that from its seizing of the means of production, to its legacy of gulags and mass murder, socialism truly is the most destructive movement in world history. And due to its killing of human purpose, socialism’s victims first and foremost include the socialists themselves.