This article from the Free Beacon about Bernie Sanders being kicked out of a “hippie commune” in 1971 reads like something from The Onion.
Bernie, age 30(!) at that point, was like a bad, lazy college roommate who preferred late night political discussions to housework and cleaning. And based on uncontested reports of his nonexistent career path, we can safely assume he contributed nothing to the communal finances.
That Bernie Sanders – a shiftless layabout who openly joined socialist and communist groups – can even sniff the US presidency is a testament to American suckerdom and an enduring fetish for collectivism among rich westerners.
Anyone who wants to can, in a free society, join a voluntary commune, like Brook Farm or an Israeli kibbutz, and lead as blissfully communistic life as he or she wishes.
Although US communes hit a peak in the 1960s and 70s, their memberships never approached 4% of the population. And their abrupt decline demonstrates that communal living doomed for failure except in very rare circumstances.
But what must be emphasized is this: under a conservative, limited government voluntary “socialist” arrangements would be perfectly allowable and legal. But conservative communities are never permitted in statist societies.
A limited government that the founding fathers fought for has nothing to say about private communities except this: force and fraud are not permitted. So thousands or even millions of people could come together in areas like San Francisco and voluntarily create single-payer health schemes, “dues” based on income, free schools, collective child-raising, etc. — the whole panoply of progressive programs.
But the opposite is not true: in Bernie Sanders’s America, conservatives and libertarians cannot opt out of income taxes, Selective Service, Social Security, Medicare, drug laws, giving their money to the abortion industry, property restrictions, federal regulations, or a host of state and local laws. There are no conservatives/libertarian communities permitted within the geographical confines of the US.
So while pro-Bernie progressives are free to create their own communities in a limited government, conservatives and libertarians are compelled by force to participate in Bernie’s world. That is the fundamental difference between liberty and socialism, between voluntary-ism and collectivism, between statism and private property. Nothing prevents progressives from living as they wish now, except the fact it does not work, whether voluntary or by force.
Progressives hate hearing that taxation is theft, that government is force, and that every rule and regulation implies violence for noncompliance. It offends them on a visceral level, because their entire worldview hangs on the myth of social contract. But their currency is violence, and real contracts — in the form of voluntary, private communities — are not allowed.
From an article by Jeff Deist via The Mises Institute