Is Socialism a success story? If we assume that Socialism has been successful because it has been so widely adopted then we would respond “affirmative”. However if we look further and ask whether Socialism has succeeded in bringing real success to the majority of the citizens under its rule then we would be obligated to respond “negative”. It is this “negative” response that Computer Science confirms appropriate.
Computer Science predates computers and includes that body of knowledge and proof that establishes what can be computed by algorithms, i.e. formal procedures of calculation that can be automated.
A famous theorem of computer science is Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, which revealed the fact that Truth can’t completely be established by finite axiomatic systems of proof. Only something infinite like the human mind lifted above the mortal limits of limited memory recall can establish all Truth.
Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem relates to Socialism because Socialism is an attempt to remedy all social ills by an inherently finite system of rules. One might make the mistake of assuming that all systems of law would fall under the same limitation, but I’ll get to that later. Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem proves that Socialism’s attempts to solve society’s problems will never succeed completely. Furthermore as time passes and laws are engineered to solve dilemmas more relevant to a former time period, the incompleteness of a system of laws under Socialism continues to grow. Socialistic systems of law thus prove themselves more inadequate with time. Socialism is inherently a context free language rather than a context sensitive one. Like the Finite State machine of computer science theory, its realm of discourse never fits all real life situations equally well. You can’t socially engineer away one man’s failures without such efforts working towards the failures of others. Likewise if everyone were already perfect such efforts would obviously be in vain. Even if everyone were identical in both personality and circumstance, Socialism would still be limited by its assumption that men can’t think independently and therefore rule themselves under the general abstraction framework of the Rule of Law.
The Rule of Law is an abstract framework concretely realized by individuals seeking to uphold each others rights. It’s antithesis, Socialism, is an abstract framework concretely implemented by the imposition of specific laws for specific circumstances assuming that individuals are inherently incapable of ruling themselves and need truth specifically defined for them. If Socialisms laws were abstract and general, they wouldn’t be socialistic and would contradict their framework.
Socialism’s laws by their specificity lose the flexibility that laws under the Rule of Law retain by their natural abstractness. Laws under the Rule of Law retain their abstract generality by trusting the individual and their capacity to discover truth. Socialism, by not relying on the intelligence of man, except perhaps for a brief snapshot in time of its planners, is under the same limitations as set forth by Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem being itself an attempt at establishing all truth by a finite system of axiomatic principles.
Socialism tries to fix men’s failures by constantly rewriting itself. As Ayn Rand once stated, socialists are always promising a better world with their next five year plan when in reality things are only getting worse and better in new ways. In contrasts, the Rule of Law doesn’t make this wrong assumption that a situation where some men fail and others succeed necessitates changing the law (until all “succeed”).